Saturday, June 25, 2011


The celebrity, the spectacular representation of a living human being, embodies this banality by embodying the image of a possible role. Being a star means specializing in the seemingly lived; the star is the object of identification with the shallow seeming life that has to compensate for the fragmented productive specializations which are actually lived. Celebrities exist to act out various styles of living and viewing society unfettered, free to express themselves globally. They embody the inaccessible result of social labor by dramatizing its by-products magically projected above it as its goal: power and vacations, decision and consumption, which are the beginning and end of an undiscussed process.
Society of the Spectacle 60

The gym was warm from the San Francisco heat. Summer solistice had just passed and the weather was finally turning. Neungsiam was doing padwork in the ring while my camera snapped pictures. The 36 year old Thai man will be fighting next month in Ponoma California. I was at his place to help him spar, and to possibly interview him.

"Hey, I like your writing a lot," David said to me. I turned toward him. He looked vaguely familiar, later I would recognize his portrait on a fight poster for a couple of years ago. "I totally live through you reading your stuff while I'm at my job."

"There's nothing quite like mediated living," I said in reply.

He looked at me quizzically and a friend nearby smiled.

This is one of the disheartening effects of writing and being public about my trips to Thailand via mymuaythai. People read the highlights of my "adventures" and don't realize that I live an everyday life that is quite normal. Put on stage my exploits are read as a life lived unfettered by social norms, a life of permanent vacation, the complete opposite of socially necessitated labor time/work. Just like happy hours and weekends my advertisements of a life fully lived ends up being escapism. Free time is the time away from work in which we are supposed to regain ourselves and replenish. Labour is a magical commodity in that it can be replenished unlike other items such as coal, meat, or toilet paper. There is a limited supply of the latter, (although I hope that toilet paper doesn't run out anytime soon) because the earth has limited resources. Yet in our free time we reinforce spectacular society. In the above case I am inadvertently reinforcing this idealistic notion of a life truly lived yet as long as there is capital there can only be choices made by and for economics.


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