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Triumph of the Spectacle: A Poem

Posted to Poetry and Politics




Triumph of the Spectacle: A Poem

Oh, Guy Debord, are you shaking your boney head in the grave today,
your eternally deaf ears resounding with the thud of cruise missiles
exploding in Babylon?

Are you reaching for your pen and glass of wine, your skeletal fingers
scratching for an authentic literature of revolt?

Are you, Ralph Rumney, holding court in a Provencal cafe with forgotten
art world cronies and irrelevant despair? What's become of your
paintings and your mischievious genuis?

Excommunicated from the Situationist Internationale for failing to provide
a timely psychogeography of Venice, are you sad about that?

Are you sad you'll never perambulate the cobbled souks of Iraq toward a
smoking hookah?

Alas, mon dieu, allez, the necessity of art grows greater with each assault on
the Hanging Gardens, yet no performance piece will ever out-spectacle
the tragic absurdity of puppets in business suits proffering mendacity
at press conferences of the willing.

The show has been stolen, the pageant of art evicted from the gallery.

Guernica will not be shown in order to bring you an unending special
news bulletin.

Oh, Guy Debord, is it War or a football halftime show?

Your dry theorizing has proven prescient and your Spectacle Society
has triumphed. Goodbye Marx, goodbye the revolutionary moment.

The barricades have been torn down and in their place erected satellite
towers to broadcast the Show across the planet.

Paris is an isolated town now, its Pere LaChaise cemetary a desulatory
spa for artists, intellectuals, and jesters.

Put down your pen, Guy Debord. Ralph Rumney, put away your paint and canvas.

Finish your glasses of cotes du rhone and crawl back into your crypts. You will
find nothing to comfort you above ground this day.

The spectacle is now live and broadcast 24 hours a day.