Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making A Spectacle of Yourself

A spectacle refers to a memorable display that has been specifically made to be looked at. It can represent both the high-brow in a piece of theater, or the low-brow, as in the circus. A spectacular is both a noun (descriptive of the event) and an adjective (a measure of the spectacle). To be spectacular is to be magnificent, hyperbolically real. To make a spectacle of oneself on the other hand, is to draw the worst kind of attention.

Spectacles are eye-glasses worn to improve faulty vision. In order to see more clearly, one might employ a speculum.

Guy Debord’s 1967 work, The Society of the Spectacle, posits the spectacle as a socio-economic condition. In it he says that “the spectacle in general, as the concrete inversion of life, is the autonomous movement of the non-living.” He could be speaking of the people in this picture who are posed so rigidly they appear to be made of concrete and devoid of all life.
The lady in this picture is making a spectacle of herself by wearing spectacles that are truly spectacular.
The Kraft Ranch Dressing that brings them all together is utterly eclipsed.

Weekday Survival Cookbook, Kraft General Foods, Inc., 1991

Also from this book: Jizzed-Up Veggies
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