from Guy Debord

To Jacques Le Glou
Tuesday, 9 [December 1974]
Dear Jacques

Congratulations to the producer of the album![1]

But sad news about the unfortunate beast.[2] She is a good example of the habits of inhibition and unhappiness, which are reinforced to the point that they can even proclaim themselves to be what they really are (others dissimulate), with a kind of assurance: as the comfort of the uncomfortable. In any case, this is the extreme inhibition of dialogue, because if one can never admit and conclude such an objective, it must be even more difficult to comprehend something that touches one's life from much further away. And this is how the French vote. . . .

This is especially a shame because one thus sees how much the poor girl needs you, and does not even believe she can keep -- merit -- what she needs.

But in resignation, as in mountain climbing, there are circumstances in which it is, alas! necessary to cut the cord!

It is not surprising that, in this atmosphere of fundamental failure, you encounter the shadow of Vienet, who is the prototype of failure.

It is quite easy to understand why Vienet is so perfectly the drop-out, the man of constant and ridiculous failure; and merits so much more the traditional qualifier of "failure" than that of the most conventional social opportunism.

A Vienet swallows everything (that is to say, he is the executive, duped and unhappy). He is distressed by the experience of having always swallowed everything, although he wants to be mistrustful. He would like to cease to be so; he cannot (because he has no basis to be autonomous, neither in intelligence nor in matters of taste; in brief, in nothing of his own actual socio-historical experience). And so, as compensation and as revenge, he would like to make all the other dopes[3] swallow everything (estimating, not without reason -- but a reason that remains without use -- that he is nevertheless at once a "beast" and "more informed" than the precisely average dope). Thus he wants to compete with the spectacle. He does not have any other content to distribute, because he himself depends upon all of the common mystifications that he has swallowed. He does not have the means of the established spectacle so as to stand out against the others -- far from it! (That is to say, he is a poor person, he is not in the situation of Paoli, nor even that of Gernet.) This emptiness of content corresponds to the desperate indigence of the form of the always-lacking "rip-off artists" [arnaques] (has he not tried to "sucker" Gianfranco, Lebovici, and many others?). Thus he only impresses one or two Zyls, who moreover are not even convinced, but who are poor enough -- in all senses of the word -- to prefer poverty over nothingness. Vienet is quite obliged to content them. His final unhappiness -- itself more logical than accidental -- is that no one there is rich; he has had no more than six months of rest and ease -- pecuniary -- in his sad life.

As there are persecuted-persecutors, this Vienet is the shipwreck/shipwrecked person; but I believe that he will never be as successful at drowning as Monique, which is a lot for her and also for you, but perhaps unsatisfactory for his career. Can you come to dinner this Saturday? Telephone.

Best wishes,

[1] Translator's note: Pour en finir avec le travail, to which Debord contributed.

[2] Former girlfriend of Rene Vienet.

[3] Translator's note: the French here is veaux, which means both "calves" (as in the animal) and dopes or lazybones. A taste of the first meaning must be retained through-out Debord's extended metaphor.

(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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