from Guy Debord

To Jacques Le Glou
9 August [1974]
Dear Jacques:

Since the last time I wrote you, I have received two letters from you, plus an envelope that was re-sent.

I believe that, if the notes for the disk so not have supplementary information concerning the song about Ravachol,[1] this is not serious. And it is necessary now to release the record as soon as possible without complicating your life with details. But everything you have learned will be useful for the presentations of the next recordings.

It seems to me that it is not necessary to do anything with the Chileans, especially because the disaster of Chile is so clear and "fatal" -- even before it happened -- that there is nothing interesting there to reveal. Everyone knows the essential, although many can draw conclusions that are completely inverted. In general, one has not been very interested in the Latino-Americans encountered in their downfalls (you remember the famous Mexican in '68!).

The Portuguese continue to send me texts, which seem to be good, but more and more difficult to translate. Thus it would be impossible to publish the entire series and, moreover, they are thinking of soon putting them together as a book. Eduardo [Rothe] estimates that the blow must come suddenly, on short notice, because the accord of the "captains" and the Stalinists is now the dominant official force and can not tolerate much longer the contestation that develops in "a thousand Mays and a dozen Lips"[2] -- this image makes me think that the multiple foci of revolution still cannot unify themselves, while our enemies know how to do so with much audacity and activity.

You saw [the news] about the attack in Italy[3] -- again on the Florence-Bologna line -- which is as serious as the one in December '69.[4] One can thus think that the same people (certainly the special services of the army) have as their objective a turning point as decisive as the previous one. What could this be? The entrance of the Stalinists into the government or even a military coup d'Etat to prevent such an entrance or, on the contrary, to encourage it? In any case, the collapse of the Democratic-Christian Republic is such that one can wonder if the regime will last through the winter. Can it at least show itself to be as expert in matters of living death [survie cadaverique] as Franco?

Well met, the gambler from the F.A.I.![5] His memory must be a little deceived, because Durruti was already dead when Lister raged. But he must, just the same, have known all about it. I do not believe that the hoodlum from Amsterdam is as interesting.

On the album of authentic "old sailor songs"[6] (I no longer remember the title), do you know the melody for rowing, very slow and sad, that goes with these words:

One day, to recover my sweet, oh! my buoys!
Oh! there. Oh! there there there!
Over a thousand seas I navigated, oh! my buoys! etc.

The refrain comes from the galleys, the "Oh! there there there!" rhythming the movement of the rowing. To this melody, I have written a Complaint of the Breton Workers of the XIIIth arrondissement [see below], which complains about their current miseries. If Marchais[7] sings it, it would be a hit. Tell me if you know the melody, if not I will teach it to you here.

When were you thinking of returning? The sooner, the better.

We embrace you.

Complaint of the Breton Workers of the XIIIth Arrondissement[8]

Paris is always foggy, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
Industry remains unchecked, oh! my buoys!
With the result that we cannot breathe.
Ones pumps air to us all day, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
So many medicines reimbursed, oh! my buoys!
Do not sure us.
Our misery is programmed, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
We must sell our time as salaried workers, oh! my buoys!
Upon us one can step.
In the hachloums we are parked, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
And Brittany is devastated, oh! my buoys!
You would not even know it.
And our loves are forgotten, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
One tells us that it is necessary to consume, oh! my buoys!
One considers us not.
About nothing true one can vote, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
No one listens to our will, oh! my buoys!
Nor to what we don't want.
We are heckled and unionized, oh! my buoys!
It is the fault of the State.
Workers councils are necessary, oh! my buoys!
All the rest does not serve us.

[1] "The Good God in Shit."

[2] Translator's note: May is May 1968 and Lip is the strike at and occupation of the Lip Factory in 1973.

[3] Attack by the "Black Order" on 4 August 1974, which killed 12 and injured 48 people.

[4] Bomb [at the Piazza Fontana] in Milan on 12 December 1969.

[5] Translator's note: The International Federation of Anarchists.

[6] Translator's note: Such songs were generally sung in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

[7] Jacques Marchais, interpreter of songs on the album, Pour en finir avec le travail [to which Guy Debord contributed].

[8] On the melody of "Harpoon the Whale" (song of the forecastle).

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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