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Debord Debord

Persona non-grata . . . save in his own country, the mind.

Guy Ernest Debord was born in Paris on December 28, 1931, just in time to ride the crest of the world financial crisis precipitated by the Great Wall Street crash two years earlier. He died November 30, 1994, after aiming a bullet to his heart, a penultimate actor to the very end with one eye on his already dead heroes and another on an audience yet to claim him.

In those nearly sixty-three years Guy Debord wrote some of the most provocative philosophical treatises of the century, orchestrated more than a few demonstrative acts of revolt in politics and film, and did so on his own terms. A heavy drinker most of his life, in 1990 Debord was diagnosed with a nerve disorder often found in alcoholics. This eventually led to his final act, a self-directed rendezvous with death, a death shrouded in mystery and conspiracy, just as his life had been lived.

There is no question a passionate man had spent himself doing what he thought was required of an intelligent citizen of his time. Never formally educated, he mastered many great and many obscure political classics, but never held a prestigious or highly paid job. A dialectic poet of the highest rank, he publically despised poets and their drawing room poetry.

Controversial and often enigmatic his philosophical and artistic work should outlive the man who claimed he did not believe in work, for several hundred years, if only the spectacular world of opression and over-production at the behest of the capitalist machinery he sought to strategically overthrow has not met its own nullifying Waterloo in the meantime.

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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 . . ."