Saturday, March 13, 2010
[Comments On] The Society of the Spectacle
III. No one today can reasonably deny the existence or power of the spectacle; on the contrary, one might doubt whether it is reasonable to add anything on a question which experience has already settled in such draconian fashion. Le Monde...offered a felicitous illustration of the saying, "If it exists, there's no need to talk about it", a fundamental law in these spectacular times...
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I've been to East Timor. Eight years ago. I saw a very depressed country with little infrastructure, electricity operating only a few hours a day, independence only a few months old, and residual trauma from the militia attacks of 99 still very fresh. There was a UN war crimes tribunal taking place in Los Palos, a pretty desolate village. Not much evidence of a spectacle for me. During the Indonesian invasion of 75, the country was cut off from the rest of the world. A handful of foreign journalists were murdered.
It was the dry season. A very arid climate and yellow landscape. The people were a bit Polynesian in appearance, very unlike Indonesians of Java. Difficult to get around--no real public transportation between the cities.
I assume you've heard the Ginger Baker CD with Bill Frisell where he does a piece dedicated to East Timor.
Bill, my intention was unclear then- the spectacle is the US-backed invading Indonesian power.
You've been some places.
It was certainly a spectacular massacre to be certain and the aftereffects in psychological terms were pretty said to say the least. Glad you are noting it here.
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