GABRIEL THY: A Review
GUY DEBORD WAS THE COMPELLING force among two small groups of thinkers and activists known as the Lettrists and the Situationist International. He published in Paris, 1967, The Society of the Spectacle, considered one of the most engaging expressions of revolutionary dialectics of the 20th century.
The influence of Debord's writings and activities range from the Paris riots of May 1968 to contemporary cinema. His ideas were appropriated by the punk rock scene to a suspicious degree in Europe and the States in the late 1970s. Several books and tracts are available which argue the pedigree, but it's merely sponging the obvious to intuit that the punk rock spectacle gave the world a proto-situ heartbeat. Whatever its deficiencies in the puffed-up dialectic skills of the SI, the punk gestalt conducted more people toward the sedating farce of worklessness than all the work stoppages of the conveniently well-informed put together. But the SI was much more than grinding gears and sloganeering. Its analysis of the global spectacle is absolutely breaktaking in both its rich elasticized coherence and its absolute disregard for the rhetoric-weary human drone it dare claims to set free. It's hardly a profound assessment to acknowledge that whether one is calling the plays from within the global system or from outside the psychogeographical context, proletarian indifference is still being challenged by several forces UNRELATED to each other only by the EXPRESSION of time and personal culpability. Syzygy is still syzygy and entropy is what's leftover.
With the first American biography of Debord, Len Bracken has written a book aimed at the reader who perhaps has never heard of the Situationists nor their revolutionary cant. This book offers a merited tapestry and chronology of the many dialectic forces that had drawn the original and succeeding cast of aspiring revolutionary characters together. To those savvy few who have been following the ever-fraying threads of assorted intellectuals judging the world a fabricated spectacle will have the opportunity to reconsider the faith and the facts and should be glad to have Guy Debord: Revolutionary nearby as a handy reference. I do.--GABRIEL THY
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