Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 1950

Today, Easter day of the Holy Year,
Here, under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris,
I accuse the universal Catholic Church of the lethal diversion of our living strength toward an empty heaven,
I accuse the Catholic Church of swindling,
I accuse the Catholic Church of infecting the world with its funereal morality,
Of being the running sore on the decomposed body of the West.
Verily I say unto you: God is dead,
We vomit the agonizing insipidity of your prayers,
For your prayers have been the greasy smoke over the battlefields of our Europe.
Go forth then into the tragic and exalting desert of a world where God is dead,
And till this earth anew with your bare hands,
With your PROUD hands,
With your unpraying hands.
Today Easter day of the Holy Year,
Here under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris,
We proclaim the death of the Christ-god, so that Man may live at last.

Dressed as a Dominican monk, Michel Mourre (who had previously belonged to the Dominican order) gave this anti-sermon, written by Serge Berna, at a quiet point in the Easter service which was aired on national television. This incident lead to the formation of the Situationist International, lead by Guy Debord, which instituted the art of action or "the situation" as a means of communicating reactionary ideas. By creating experimental situations set against the backdrop of a capitalist society, the situationists were able to create a dialogue where people were encouraged to critically analyze their everyday lives and in doing so realize their worth, meaning, or purpose. Debord's manifesto, The Society of the Spectacle, helped encourage and provoke a revolt against a consumer based society, spurring the May 1968 uprisings in Paris.

"The loss of quality that is so evident at every level of spectacular language, from the objects it glorifies to the behavior it regulates, stems from the basic nature of a production system that shuns reality. The commodity form reduces everything to quantitative equivalence. The quantitative is what it develops, and it can develop only within the quantitative."
Guy Debord (The Society of the Spectacle)

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