Chapter 12 - Society Is a Fraud

(Four guys are walking down the street. They take turns talking)

Waking Life: Chapter 12 - Society Is a FraudIf the world that we are forced to accept is false and nothing is true, then everything is possible.

On the way to discovering what we love, we will find everything we hate, everything that blocks our path of what we desire.

The comfort will never be comfortable for those who seek what is not on the market.

A systematic questioning of the idea of happiness.

We'll cut the vocal chords of every empowered speaker. We'll yank the social symbols through the looking glass We'll devalue society's currency.

To confront the familiar.

Society is a fraud so complete and venal that it demands to be destroyed beyond the power of memory to recall its existence.

Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline.

To interrupt the continuum of everyday experience and all the normal expectations that go with it.

To live as if something actually depended on one's actions.

To rupture the spell of the ideology of the commodified consumer society so that our repressed desires of a more authentic nature can come forward.

To demonstrate the contrast between what life presently is and what it could be.

To immerse ourselves in the oblivion of actions and know we're making it happen.

There will be an intensity never before known in everyday life to exchange love and hate, life and death, terror and redemption, repulsions and attractions.

An affirmation of freedom so reckless and unqualified, that it amounts to a total denial of every kind of restraint and limitation.


(The same four guys see an old man up on a telephone pole.)

Hey, old man, what you doin' up there?

Well, I'm not sure.

You need any help getting down, sir?

No, don't think so.

Stupid bastard.

No worse than us. He's all action and no theory. We're all theory and no action.


(The same four guys see an old man sitting at a bench)

Why so glum, Mr. Debord?

What was missing was felt irretrievable. The extreme uncertainties of subsisting without working made excesses necessary and breaks definitive. To quote Stevenson: "Suicide carried off many. Drink and the devil took care of the rest."


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