Then Guy Debord has something to say to you.
“In its most advanced sectors, a highly concentrated capitalism has begun selling “fully equipped” blocks of time, each of which is a complete commodity combining a variety of other commodities. This is the logic behind the appearance, within an expanding economy of “services” and leisure activities, of the “all-inclusive” purchase of spectacular forms of housing, of collective pseudo-travel, of participation in cultural consumption and even of sociability itself, in the form of “exciting conversations.” “meetings with celebrities” and suchlike. Spectacular commodities of this type could obviously not exist were it not for the increasing impoverishment of the realities they parody. And, not surprisingly, they are also paradigmatic of modern sales techniques in that they may be bought on credit.”
So, have you ever been to Disney world? Have you been to a Disney “timeshare”? Me TOO.
It was a completely artificial experience. It made me want to seek out nature, and the dark, and something more real.
If you have been similarly dissatisfied with Disney and its sanitized backward-looking version of life, perhaps you might enjoy this video.
Guy Debord continues:
“The development of capitalism meant the unification of irreversible time on a world scale. Universal history became a reality because the entire globe was brought under the sway of this times’ progression. But a history that is thus the same everywhere at once has as yet amounted to nothing more than an intrahistorical refusal of history. What appears the world over as the same day is merely the time of economic production -time cut up into equal abstract fragments. Unified irreversible time still belong to the world market-and, by extension, to the world spectacle.
The general time of human non-development also has a complementary aspect, that of a consumable time which on the basis of a determinate form of production, presents itself in the everyday life of society as a pseudo-cyclical time.
Pseudo-cyclical time is in fact merely the consumable disguise of the time as commodity of the production system, and it exhibits the essential traits off that time: homogeneous and exchangeable units, and the suppression of any qualitative dimension. But as a by-product of time-as-commodity intended to to promote and maintain the backwardness of everyday life it necessarily finds itself laden with false attributions of value, and it must manifest itself as a succession of artificially distinct moments.
…modern society’s obsession with saving time, whether by means of faster transport or by means of powdered soup, has the positive result that the average American spends three to six hours daily watching television. The social image of the consumption of time is for its part exclusively dominated by leisure time and vacations -moments portrayed, like all spectacular commodities, at a distance, and as desirable by definition. This particular commodity is explicitly presented as a moment of authentic life whose cyclical return we are supposed to look forward to. Yet even in such special moments, ostensibly moments of life, the only thing being generated, the only thing to be seen and reproduced, is the spectacle-albeit a ta higher than usual level of intensity. And what has been passed off as authentic life turns out to merely be a life more authentically spectacular.
Our epoch, which presents its time to itself as essentially made up of many frequently recurring festivities, is actually an epoch without festival. Those moments when, under the reign of cyclical time, the community would participate in a luxurious expenditure of life, are strictly unavailable to a society where neither community nor luxury exists. Mass pseudo-festivals, with their travesty of dialogue and their parody of the gift, may incite people to excessive spending, but they produce only a disillusion – which is in turn offset by further false promises. The self-approbation of the time of modern survival can only be reinforced, in the spectacle, b reduction in its use value. The reality of time has been replaced by its publicity.”
From: Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Pages 107, 110, 111-112
Next time you see a vacation package offered, or a ski mountain, or a European tour advertised, know that this is what you’re buying. The “publicity” of “authentic” time.