Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Post 1: Society of the Spectacle

     Today’s society is completely consumed by mass media. While all forms of media and technology grow, society has become lost in the whirlwind of the commodity; like the iPhone 5 and Michael Jordan sneakers, to say the very least. Becoming immensely obsessed and addicted to "what's hot" and "what's next," consumers have completely indulged in a false perception of reality. 

     In Guy Debord's reading, Society of the Spectacle, he compares and analyzes the mass media as the spectacle. He explains and describes how Society of the Spectacle creates a false sense of reality through the use of images, commercials and advertisements in which society can relate to these outlets as a whole. He further investigates the spectacle by introducing us to what the problems of the commodities are. He explains, "The fetishism of the commodity — the domination of society by “intangible as well as tangible things” — attains its ultimate fulfillment in the spectacle, where the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality"(Debord 36). Pretty much, Debord is saying that we as a society, have now become slaves to these products and images.
"The world at once present and absent that the spectacle holds up to view is the world of the commodity dominating all living experience. The world of the commodity is thus shown for what it is, because its development is identical to people’s estrangement from each other and from everything they produce." (Debord 37)
    Written over 40 years ago, Debord was extremely correct in his predications of how media images would effect society in future years to come. It is like we are living in the matrix; living in a world that seems to be reality but instead is just a façade. Over 50 years ago, we wouldn't work solely to just buy materialistic things. Now, however, as oppose to having these products as a luxury, we purchase them as a necessity, a must-have. As a consequence, instead of us having these products, images and other materialistic things, these products now have us. We have now become slaves to the things we once controlled. 

Kobe Bryant wearing Beats headphones in  Laker's Team Color

Getting a pair of Beats by Dre are an example of the commodity. Without witty marketing plans and "to die for" ads, no one would really want to spend $350 on these "not so good" headphones anyway. But because the consumer may glorify their favorite athlete, pop star and/or rapper who sport these headphones, these headphones have ultimately become a commodity.  Purchasing trendy and "cool"material items leads us to believe that we are worth something in the eye of society. We want everyone to know it and see it. It also gives us the feeling that we are just like those who we glorify to be. We intrinsically believe we have higher self-value; we feel better about our selves, inside. 


     With the help of our iPads, MacBooks, iPhones and other mobile electronics, it is so easy for society to fall into the lap of the commodity. Advertisements are found on every social network like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Being that we are able to instantly access these social media outlets at the tip of our fingers, we become soaked in the perception of what we as a people should be. Everyone begins to build a persona of what or who they would want to be. This form of brainwashing happens so often we forget who we actually are and rapidly lose individualism and originality."The spectacle is the stage at which the commodity has succeeded in totally colonizing social life. Commodification is not only visible, we no longer see anything else; the world we see is the world of the commodity"(Debord 42).

No comments:

Post a Comment