How can celebrity be stopped once it has started?

by Les Amis de Némésis

What more can happen to an author in whom the universities have begun to take an interest?

The next stage has good chances of presenting itself as the logical consequence of the previous one: the Minister of Culture needs “living national treasures,” as one says in Japan, or dead ones, when such a thing happens in France.

Bruno Racine, the President of the BNF,[1] very justly interpreted “the classification as a national treasure […] as a recognition by the State of what [Guy] Debord represents in the intellectual and artistic life of the previous century.”

And when one is recognized in this way by the State, there is nothing left than to be recognized by the market.

But the market in books is only just a fraction of the market as a whole.

The market has many other marvels, such as T-shirts[2] and wax figurines.

As for Guy Debord T-shirts, they are already in circulation, and flourishing, too.

How about these? They say, “The rivers of revolution return from whence they came to flow once again”.[3]

Or these? They say, “Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit. – Guy Debord.”[4]

Or these? They say, “Debord à l’Autre.”[5]

Or these? They are called, “Society of the Spectacle T-Shirt Guy Debord X-Ray Spex.”[6]

Or these? They say, “Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivators for hypnotic behavior. – Guy Debord, the society of the spectacle.”[7]

What the market lacked were wax figurines.

But now this lack has been filled by the recent enterprise of an American retailer in cultural gadgets[8] named, which is putting into circulation, as the prize in a guessing game, figurines representing Guy Debord with a cigarette butt between his lips: Guy Debord Limited Edition Action Figure Giveaway.

This is a promotional item intended to spur sales of a book titled The Spectacle of Disintegration, written by McKenzie Wark, who sees himself as the heir of the theoretician of the spectacle.

Since the author of this book is also the creator of the figurines, we assume that he will provide a kind of situationist kit. We advise him to complete the collection with an office lamp, wallpaper for computer screens and a corkscrew in the shape of Guy Debord that raises its arms when the cork has been completely extracted from the bottle.

We do not doubt that such an approach is indispensable for emphasizing the seriousness of the theoretical research of the author. The production of the little guy is probably likely to indicate the considerable theoretical effort that went into making this new book. Inevitably, what is indispensable is always what is still missing. The good news, this time, is that it is missing less and less. The reader-collector can enrich his showcase by having one of these figurines stand between his Star Wars robots and his Marvel Comics superheroes.

The production of these figurines has already encountered a merited echo on the following website: Stunted Publicity.

No doubt its readers, like us, will find it a pleasure to read and critique this book with all the attention that it is entitled to expect, but only if this does not involve enriching its pathetic author. And so we must abstain. Regretfully so, because, if the warbling matches the plumage . . . .

[1] The Bibliothèque nationale de France, the National Library of France, a State-funded institution.

[2] English in original.

[3] A line from Debord’s film In girum imus nocte et consumimir igni (1978) and a détournement of Ecclesiastes 1:7.

[4] In point of fact, not a quote from Debord, but from Ivan Chtcheglov.

[5] A humorless pun on Debord’s name, which, if separated into two words (de bord) means “From” the “edge, rim or river bank.” Thus Debord à l’Autre means “From edge to the Other.”

[6] They show the picture from which the cover of the American edition of The Society of the Spectacle was made. Debord had nothing to do with this edition or selected this picture.

[7] The first line of Thesis 18 of The Society of the Spectacle.

[8] English in original.

[9] Cf. Jean de La Fontaine’s fable “The Crow and the Fox.”

(Written by Les Amis de Némésis and published 21 May 2013. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! 22 May 2013. All footnotes by the translator.)

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