Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Post 1- Society Of The Spectacle

                                                      Video courtesy of youtube.com

According to Guy Debord, the society of the spectacle is "a social relation among people, mediated by images"(Debord 4) What Debord means is that the perceptions that people make about others is one based upon imagery and not one based on the other person's actions. Imagery, according to Debord, creates a "separate pseudoworld"(Debord 2), which "presents itself simultaneously as society itself, as a part of society, and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is ostensibly the focal point of all vision and all consciousness" (Debord 3).

A great way to give texture to the negative thoughts of imagery that Debord has is with the video for the Anti-Flag song "This Is The End (For You My Friend). The song, and the video talk about the the negative impact that that advertising has on a person's self image. Screens  displaying facts pertaining how much Americans spend on cosmetics every and 11% percent of boys and men suffer from anorexia, almost other thing which are all negative results of the images that we see and that we are supposed to emulate.

What Debord means by the commodity of the spectacle is that advertisers are using the "commodity of the spectacle" as a means of profiteering, by using imagery to tell us what we, as a society want and as a response, society throwing all the money they can into achieving this. The most glaring examples of this would be when people line up outside of Foot Locker a day before the new Jordans drop or the pre-order rush for the iPhone 5, which is only slightly different than the 4S. 

Photo from cyberpunkreview.com

Overall, the most tangible and easiest way to describe what Debord is have everyone watch the Matrix triology. The Matrix in the movie is exactly what Debord describes the society of spectacle to be, a "pseudoworld" that warp a person's perception of not only themselves but others as well. It's boils down to the same question that Morpheus asks Neo in the movie, "What is real?"


No comments:

Post a Comment