wherein time goes *poof* and we all become spectaclists
this week, I asked one of the older adults I work with, “where does the time go?” and he motioned upwards with his hands in fleeting gesture, said, “it goes, *poooof!*”
i nodded, last month did go by like *poof*, even though it also felt like a couple little lifetimes. though, I say that at every turn of the month… time really is both/and. fast, slow, molasses, coffee, zippy and zmooth!
this January, I started practicing my driving again. I got to take part in the creative-community-immersive-explosive-poetic experience that is In Surreal Life. I wrote lots of poem sketches and some fuller poems. I spent a lot of quality time with my dog on the couch. and, I went on vacation, my first since the pandemic.
traveling brought up a lot of reflections for me on the topic of SPECTACLE!
how do we witness, with curiosity, without “spectacle-ing”?
how do we go to new-to-us places, visit new-to-us cultures, meet a new-to-us people, and resist turning it all into a spectacle for ourselves to munch on and digest?
how do we learn and absorb without furthering the divides between ourselves and that which is new to us by seeing it only as spectacle?
in search of answers I turned again to Debord’s Society of the Spectacle . I discovered this text 10 years ago and seem to return to it every 3 or 4 years on a loop. it exposes how spectacle has weaseled its way into the very fabric of our society. spectacle as goal, as means, as lens, as product. spectacle as modus operandi.
spectacle as alienation. spectacle as the root of our communal separation and loneliness. of disconnection and discontent.
“The spectacle reunites the separate, but reunites it as separate.”
if we live in Debord’s world (which, I think, even in resistance, we do), then we are all spectaclists; spectaclingo ur way around life, both consuming and projecting, creating and demanding, being and seeing, making ourselves and others into spectacle. nature, feeling, humanity, time… all turned to spectacle
I saw this while traveling, and I saw this when I read the news that week too. we turn tragedy to spectacle and alienate so many of us from the true true true trauma of it all. if it is spectacle it makes it less real, but it isn’t actually ever truly less real, is it?
woof! it is a lot to think about and hard to summarize my thoughts and Debord’s take. i highly recommend giving Society of the Spectacle a read (the link is to a pdf of it). It is written in bite-sized chunks that make the theory-heavy-ness quite palatable. *note: it is from the 60’s when writers still wrote about “man” when they meant “human” lol.
this train of thought leads me in all sorts of directions and I’m not sure where they will land from here (perhaps an All My Strangers character is in store?), but I thought it was worth sharing even now at this most budding starting point!
I had wanted to wait to publish this newsletter when I was ready to announce an upcoming event/workshopp-y thingeroo that I am so so eager to share, but it needs a little more time to percolate. I really don’t want to rush it so, we shall wait, even if it’s just a few days…. so stay tuned and keep an eye out and and and…
in the mean time - here are a couple of collages I’ve made this month as part of the februllage challenge - a full month of collaging to prompts alongside a global community of collage artists! it is helping me let go and play a little, which I just did through ISL in poetry, so it feels nice to ride that same wave into my collage work too.
friends, thank you always for reading and not only embracing but encouraging and celebrating my WEIRD, my explorations of the most unexpected corners of this ol’ brain o’ mine!
I am feeling so chuffed this season from all the electric connections and friendships and sharing happening online and I hope to bring the same little sparks to you and yours! so please - share with me, let me know what you’re doing, tell me if I’ve somehow missed out on following your newsletter, your blog, your cat pics, because i probably do really want to read/see/love on it…