Spectacular Times: Bigger Cages, Longer Chains

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Spectacular Times: Bigger Cages, Longer Chains
by Mickey Z.
 
"We remain passively receptive to the overall design."

"The only choice we are presented with is the choice between the spectacle of domination and the spectacle of opposition."

 
The above quotes are from one of Larry Law’s excellent Spectacular Times pamphlet series. I’ve read these mini books maybe 20 times over the past 15 years or so and never failed to learn something...so, today, I thought I’d share some Situationist-style thoughts on activism and see what you think.


 
“In the society of the spectacle, we are not all expected to hold the same views. Indeed, we are encouraged to have strong opinions about this or that particular issue. All that is required is that we remain passively receptive to the overall design.”

“Far from damaging the system, (activists) actually legitimize it. By their petitioning, they acknowledge the right of those in power to exercise that power as they choose.”


“Anyone working for a saner world will, from time to time, be faced with the choice of caring for present suffering or working to remove the cause of suffering. The choice is always painful. More so because we know that a preoccupation with present suffering—of which there is apparently an inexhaustible supply—is a means of social control. We all know people who have become so involved in caring for present suffering that they have not time and eventually no optimism for the radical changes which would remove the source of the problem.”

And finally:

“Capitalism cannot be reformed piece by tiny piece. Surely it is not our intention to take out bank loans to buy back our world from capitalism. Neither is it our intention to help capitalism run more efficiently.”
 
 
 
 
 
Once upon a time...
 

I was on an uptown #5 train at about 7:30 in the morning... standing near the doors. Just behind me to my left sat a homeless man. He was black, perhaps in his 40s, and had a very loud, distinctive voice with which he shared his innermost thoughts, for example:
 

"I wouldn’t send my dead enemy to prison. That’s how bad jail is. And they sent me there for stealing two motherfuckin’ dollars. Grand larceny, they called it. What’s so motherfuckin’ grand about two paper dollars? I should be in the newspapers. You know how old I am? I’m two days older than dirt. I’m reincarnated. In my last life, I was a rhinoceros... but niggas killed me so I came back as a nigga. (pause) But the niggas are still after me."

 
 

  

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