An essay I wish someone would write

There’s an urgent need to update Guy Debord’s concept of the spectacle to explain the unique contours it takes on in American politics. The way people desire a certain kind of succession of images and seem totally oblivious to the substance of politics is something that can surely only be understood in terms of the spectacle, but the idea needs to be reworked and adapted for the 2020 media landscape in America. How does it fit in with vulgar identity politics? Does it work differently on Twitter? How does it relate to cultural resentment? How does it interact with the fusion of celebrity and political culture? It’s as if only a fraction of the population are aware people are dying all the time as a result of politics- or rather, even if they know, they do not feel it to be true. In the American spectacle, politics is sublimated into etiquette.

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