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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Society of Spectacle: Demmies Do Hollywood

JM, Sawing Logs, Forest Lawn Glendale, 1.29.08

Joseph Mailander
a guy in laelsewhereemail

What promised to be a decent debate is written of as though it were a SuperBowl. There are ceaseless notes about the crowd, the venue, the seating, the bright happy shininess of it all. Everyone is There.

Mostly missing are sincere attempts to use what is transpiring to inform.

I know you're not likely big on French situationists, but Guy Debord said over forty years ago:
The spectacle is the bad dream of a modern society in chains and ultimately expresses nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep.

That said, there was a pretty good book written last year by NYU prof Stephen Duncome: "Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy." Duncome argued in some ways even more violently than Debord about spectacle; it is to him "the property of fascism." To wish for sleep, however, is ultimately to dream, and dreams are from whence ideas come.

Ideas? There will be none tonight. None by the primary either. But maybe someone will go to sleep long enough to have one.

BTW: what I like about this blog: the way people are fantasists, the way they are characters here, especially Zuma, Sam, Red Spot, Valley Doll, Antonio Watch and also commenters like, DQ, Captain Jack, Jack Hoff: they're all dreamers, they're all re-imaginers, and none are asleep. Politics is best when it's a carnival; and this blog is one every day. It's more fun Here than There.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

well, I grand you that. This blog is full of "characters."

January 31, 2008 7:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

At first glance, thread looked like "Dummies Do Hollywood," which would have made a lot of sense -- for zuma, Red Spelling Spot, Valley Doll and DQ especially... Actually, the Dems were polite and not such dummies.

Liked Obama's version of healthcare system better -- but it won't make it to policy. Would be good, to limit "each family's" liability to $2500/yr but I don't think it's feasible, especially with the illegals added into the mix.

Her version requires everyone to purchase, in an HMO type system -- when HMO's suck so badly already.

January 31, 2008 7:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is the substance? All sizzle, no steak. What is your point?

Joe, I hope you don't respond by saying you're simply smarter than the rest of us. Besides, isn't this a place for Los Angeles politics?

January 31, 2008 10:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe Joe is hoping that someone who is actually smart will actually say something of substance.

I'm very smart but I don't know what to say about the debates that's smart because "all sizzle and no substance" could be said about them, too.

Neither could explain how they'd pay for their universal healthcare plans, while saving money for consumers, just lots of wishful thinking -- and they didn't deny they'd have to raise taxes by billions to pay for "it" whatever it is. All they could agree on was that the current system is broken.

January 31, 2008 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If wishes were cows, then all beggars would be eating steak, too.

January 31, 2008 10:16 PM  

Blogger don quixote said:

Thanks for the nod JM, and yeah the spectacle and hype surrounding the "debates", Democrat and Republican, is actually slightly overshadowing the nightly "news" of the Brittany Spears saga, incredible as that is.

With all the hoopla though it sometimes seems the cult of the personality is more important than the real issues that plague the country.
Will anything really change? Will there be a tangible difference in our lives 5 years from now?

I think often of the great book by the visionary author "Marshall McLuhan", "The Medium is the Message" which 20 or 30 years ago forecast the diminishing importance of critical issues and the rise of the media and the talking heads that tell us how to think and how to act. Seems much of that book has become reality.

Also today I had a discussion with someone about Marxist theory and dogma. (And don't call me a commie I'm only a Democrat!), and I recall what Marx said 150 years ago that I hope isn't making a Prophet out of him, but maybe thats for history to decide.

According to Marx "democracy is just a system that allows the slaves to chose their masters every few years".

I sure hope not.

January 31, 2008 10:24 PM  

Blogger drinking with tony, said:

W-W-What? Can I believe my eyes...Iv'e only had two Manhattan's.


"If you're looking at substance rather than whether it's an R or a D after his name...If he's (McCain)our candidate, then Hillary's going to be our girl, Sean, cause she's more conservative than he is. I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism. I absolutely believe that."

February 01, 2008 2:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Somebody goofed. When Fed chairman Ben Bernanke cut interest rates to 3% yesterday, the price of a new mortgage went up. How does that help the flagging housing industry?

About an hour after Bernanke made the announcement that the Fed Funds rate would be cut by 50 basis points the yield on the 30-year Treasury nudged up a tenth of a percent to 4.42%. The same thing happened to the 10 year Treasury which surged from a low of 3.28% to 3.73% in less than a week. That means that mortgageswhich are priced off long-term government bonds---will be going up, too.

Is that what Bernanke had in mind; to stick another dagger into the already-moribund real estate market?

February 01, 2008 2:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When US homeowners default on their mortgages en-mass, they destroy money faster than the Fed can replace it through normal channels. The result is a liquidity crisis which deflates asset prices and reduces monetized wealth, says economist Henry Liu. The debt-securitization process is in a state of collapse. The market for structured investments and Commercial Paper has evaporated leaving the banks with colossal losses. They are incapable of rolling over their their short-term debt or finding new revenue streams to buoy them through the hard times ahead. As the foreclosure-avalanche intensifies; bank collateral continues to be down-graded which is likely to trigger a wave of bank failures. "Lenin was surely right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose." John Maynard Keynes

February 01, 2008 2:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Keep up with the times.

What's this about "Swift Boat" money being used for the Mayors Prop. S?

That deserves a thread of it's own.

February 01, 2008 9:56 AM  

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