Diet Soap Podcast #199: A Situationist Ideology?

C Derick Varn returns this week and we discuss the Situationist International or the SI. What you’ll hear is not a theoretical explanation of the SI nor less an introduction to the history of the SI, but rather some personal reflections on how we first encountered the SI and what the SI has come to be within the Spectacle. To misquote Guy Debord:

In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. And everything, even revolutionary theories, is reduced to fodder for snarky Facebook posts and monotonous podcasts where two guys drone on with their half baked impressions.

I want to thank everyone for listening to this podcast and communicating with me on Facebook, on twitter, and through my blog that’s douglaslain.com. Also I want to thank Shane S, Bob M, Caytlin G, and Michael P, Jason P and Michael P for donating to the podcast. And if you want to donate you can find the donate buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com.

At the end of this episode you’ll find a ten minute excerpt from what was a 40 minute reading of my short story “The Dead Celebrity” from my short story collection Last Week’s Apocalypse. Nicholas Techosky is the narraotr.

You can find the rest of this story and nine more hours from that collection on audible, and I hope to get Nicholas on the podcast soon to talk about acting and voice acting.dietsoap199

Diet Soap Podcast #191: The Spectacle of Disintegration

The guest this week is an author and a professor of Communications at the New School, McKenzie Wark. Wark’s latest book The Spectacle of Disintegration is the subject for today’s podcast and I was glad for the chance to discuss some of my favorite avant garde radicals, namely the Situationist International.

At one point in the discussion Wark points out that he finds the idea of an Orthodox interpretation of Marx to be an antiquated and highly suspect idea, and I largely agree with him. However, I would point out that if there is such a thing as an Orthodox interpretation of Marx today it is a Marx without Marx, and that the most dogmatic forms of anti-capitalism today are precisely those without a theory of what Capitalism is. What that means is that calls for Orthodoxy or a return to Marx are, paradoxically, a way of breaking with today’s dogmas and orthodoxies.

It’s Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 and I’m Douglas Lain the host of the podcast.

Thanks again to everyone who donated to the Think the Impossible book and podcast tour through Kickstarter. My novel Billy Moon will be coming out from Tor Books is six days, on August 27th, and I’ll be traveling to San Francisco, Chicago, and NYC in order to promote the novel and this podcast. If you’re hearing this now and you live in NYC, Chicago, or San Francisco I do hope you’ll turn up to these events. I’ll be at Bluestockings in NYC on September 15th at 7pm, and you’ll get a chance to meet McKenzie Wark at that event and to participate in a follow up conversation to the one you’re about to hear.

There are several sound clips in this episode. You’ll hear many clips from the American situationist film Call it Sleep, as well as clips of TJ Clark, Andrew Kliman, and Woody Allen. Pierre Schaeffer’s avant garde Symphony Apostrophe comes near the end of the episode. wark191