Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Situationists

Despite not being very interested in reading about the 1960s, perhaps because it did not originate in the US, I've always felt the Situationists to be worth the time to consider their ideas.  Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secretes is among the best sources for translations and analysis of their intellectual "products."  I've always favored the lack of leaders in that particular movement.

Anyway, a piece by Ken Knabb featured on Counterpunch offers a good synopsis of what the Situationists were all about, and the parallels with the Occupy Movement (including the use of the General Strike).  It also contains a rebuttal of the god-awful Salon article by Gary Kamiya, The Original Mad Men: What Can OWS Learn from a Defunct French Avant-Garde Group?  Frankly, it was such a piece of crap that I couldn't finish it, but Ken did:
I have examined Mr. Kamiya’s article here not because what he says about the situationists has any particular significance, but simply because it happens to be among the first examples of the sort of thing we can expect to see in the coming months as media commentators attempt to get their tiny minds around this strange phenomenon in order to reassure their readers and viewers: “Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered, we’ve already read this stuff so you don’t have to and we can assure you that these situationists are of no significance, they’re just some sort of zany cultural pranksters, or ivory-tower theorists, or grim radical dogmatists, or stuffy academic propagandists, or loony utopian dreamers, or irresponsible vandals, or something . . . . Anyway, whatever they are, there’s nothing to see here. Move on.”
God save OWS from the liberals--always the vanguard of the counter-revolution--and their authoritarian ass-licking.

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