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Debord Debord

No man is a hero apart from truth. But if he was...

Early on, Guy Debord realized that life, like art, had to be contested to be fully realized, and in his film HOWLING IN FAVOR OF SADE, Debord had suggested that, "The perfection of suicide is in ambiguity." Elsewhere he stated that "We live and die at the confluence of a great number of mysteries." These statements would be verified by the events that followed his own suicide. Faced with this misery of the modern world, drinking became the strategist's dominant characteristic and his greatest consolation.

Like Winston Smith languishing at the bar in 1984, Debord spent a great deal of his time in his latter years in the dives of the seedier districts of Paris. Consoled by the Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Chateaubriand and Shakespeare, he's quick to divulge, "Even though I've read a lot, I've drunk even more."

This hiding out in bars was Debord's formula for retaining his pseudomilitary distinction with dignity. The masks of gravity and discretion, borrowed from those whom he considered to be masters, enhanced Debord's reputation for genius in letters. Debord explicitly states that he wanted to give the impression of possessing great talents, which he withheld from his contemporaries.

Attracted to the aura of subversion, but always careful to suggest that revolution cannot "be made" but rather "will ignite" given the proper situation, Debord proved yet again that the master will gather few disciples who have understood the gospel.

A quick glimpse at the handful of Debordian sycophants circulating Situationist propaganda over the Internet today reveals little in the way of social correction but much of the predictable petty egoism of a few safely niched revisionists who offer nothing save a few beguiling moments of cheap sloganeering and public vandalism, parrots to a bitter song informing us of an unchartable end.

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  • "We're not big fans of the Situationists or Guy Debord here at the Scenewash Project 20003. That makes us unpopular with those who would be hip, or those who are busy sniffing the air and staking their claim in the revolution to end all work. We will however take the time to explain our dissatisfaction with the Situationist movement in general, while agreeing with much but not all of its social critique in particular. This is an ongoing project, so bear with us . . ."