The digestif


The digestive

by lorenzo merlo


There entertainment company it’s a concept. Lately – and rightly so – he has been mentioned quite frequently. That formula is due to the Situationists (1), in particular to one of the founders of that cultural movement, Guy Debord, who made it the title of one of his books (2). What we have seen in recent tragic times is a proclamation of what the Situationists anticipated.

The Hegelian equation between reality and rationality is replaced by the equation between appearance and value” (3).


Unlike how it is often understood and used, with entertainment company there is no allusion to a reality steeped in the spectacularization of life through TV broadcasts, whether they are information, feature films, talk sessions or fictions; programs dedicated to the public, private and intimate, to journalism planed to the interests of the boss and to political correctness. Not to mention the humiliating imposition of advertising – true cultural pornography – as well as the winking bodies with impunity cleared through customs by the moral hypocrite that forces a blind man to be blind and a homosexual not to be a fag, to criminalize anyone who says black or whore , except to let anyone, in this case Emma Marrone, sing, rightly unpunished:

And every time it’s like this, every time it’s normal

There is nothing to say, nothing to do

Every time it’s like this, we’re saints or whores

And you don’t want to stay here, or even run away

without fear that no beaten neobigot will hit her phalanxes. We must say blind, disabled and use the right gender, combined with appropriate neolemmas and neoadjectives, specially composed of neoletters. If you say blind, handicapped and queer you go into the realm of the forbidden, that of men who live in the wrong world. So let the differently cool be the hunchbacks.

The real “offense to our sensibilities” are not the smashed bodies of a war, but the supply of weapons and money, a gruesome means with which their lords want peace.

The society of the spectacle achieves its culmination in making the ad hoc reality represented reliable as truth. It – shared, social, political – shows itself in the form of performances and situations specifically staged and is assumed as Reality, like a commodity and also a substitute for it. The behind the scenes that generates it is forgotten. When it happens that it is taken into consideration by someone, this hidden side fails to scratch the reality that preceded it and that has been mistaken for the only reliable one. In other words, but always representatives of the magic of language, the situationists can be considered to some extent the forerunners of what Neuro Linguistic Programming, Constructivism and more tell us.

As an indispensable decoration of the objects currently produced, as a general display of the rationality of the system, and as an advanced economic sector which directly shapes a growing multitude of image-objects, the spectacle is the main production of today’s society” (4).

If reality is, therefore, what the media and social media are spreading in a capillary way, the equation that exists what appears in them is easy and spontaneous. Nothing else. Almost. What they insistently make exist assumes a greater truth reliability than the reality absent on the TV screen, as well as that coming from less accredited sources. One, because the point of attention is predominantly placed on the represented reality or spectacle; two, because that representation is accompanied by tinsel and garlands, or by experts and specialists. Of something that, they have instilled in us, as bearers of data or superior erudition, is without a doubt anyone reliable to us. Genuflection. The events of the protopandemia, its current sequel and, subsequently, the war in Ukraine are a crystalline sample of this. The institutional megaphone by means of information media narrates an interested truth full of lies which, on average, is convincing for all.


The intellectuals anointing market power and single thought have evidently changed the DNA. Their original pointed ontology now has the flat shape of the bedside rug, their lost felineness has turned them into bolsi farm animals. And the universities should not believe they can escape such submission, such a denial of the mission, now sold rather than lost.

Everything can be thrown into the cauldron of the audience, which is the same as that of profit. The recipe remains one. There are also the price and value. The long cooking has crushed them, making it impossible to recognize them, dispersed and mixed with archaeoanthropologists, they will have a difficult life in reconstructing what was and even more in answering the question why did they do it? And it won’t be an isolated episode. It will repeat itself identically with regard to human and natural laws. How could they believe they could compress themselves within the wavering logic of politics and forget the iron ones of nature?

Waiting for time to pass and for those researchers to ask themselves those questions, an answer is already possible today. The accreditation of the elites, of their verb, the cultural reverence they enjoy and which they boast of, the absence of criticism from below or, when present, the criminalization of this, treated like Red Brigade members to be eliminated with water cannons or to be misunderstood when not ignored, they represent the cultural humus, ground on which they have been able to erect a real wall of extraneousness. On one side they, on the other we. No more pampered vote bearers, but annoyances to manage. Progress and Brussels impose it, they execute it. So they will say in a hypothetical Nuremberg who judges the times. “We were just following orders.”

It will get to the point where maybe no one will ever admit anything. Time will pass and we will then hear this era cited as one does with the sins that still want to escape. We will hear – we or whoever we are – jokes and giggles to pass off the wickedness we have witnessed as a laughable factone thing like another. As long as those who were not there can only doubt our narration, “so similar to other denialisms”. And it will still be the ′′ no-vax doctors who killed ′′ and it will have been the vaccine that ′′ saved the world ′′ from pandefraud. And there will have been no abuses, nor institutional and unconstitutional blackmail. Whoever has the communication has all the power it takes. How else to proclaim lies and make people believe they were “slogans”?

They created no-vaxes (without considering offending them with this title), they said democratic Ukraine – and they knew nothing of what had happened before February 24th -, they took away from Russian citizens their right to work, to dignity, to the property. Do you want those who are aware of what certain politics and certain entertainment communications have produced not find how to criminalize even those who see in it the demolition of individual identities (national ones have been in place for some time) and, with them, the stability of people? Will we still be fascists? Racists? homophobes? Stupid? Will they take our jobs away if we refuse to embrace the carnage? Will they reset our future points life tile if we don’t match their progress?

The question of rights has nothing to do with it. Anyone who is like him believes he is, without hesitation. The way in progress is not the way to educate to respect, indeed the obligation realizes the opposite. That noble purpose has nothing to do with demolishing history, culture, identity. Otherwise we also make the world of left-handed people, artists, veterans, etc.

If the situationists had already seen it since the end of the 50s of the last century, if Foucault, with theSpeech order of 1971, he had reiterated and further argued in his own way, accrediting, beyond ourselves, the expert’s word is exactly hanging the carrot in front of our nose and chasing it. It is believing uncritically. A uncritical that comes into being and makes the surrounding world disappear, the more our attention is fixed on the point that serves the hucksters, sellers, scammers that they are. And so historical truths are overturned without that nobody react, with the informed consent of all those who are more willing to say that the story goes on rather than acknowledging that history is a sequence of human choices.

Politics and its elites, to whom we give so much credit, therefore live in a world apart, with no longer any direct relationship with us. If to a large extent, the drift does not constitute a problem for the Fantozzi populace, the one with the nest egg collected over years of black and also the one with the BMW mirage. For others it can be translated as “I don’t feel represented by anyone”. Words that contain a growing sentiment.

But if discontent, discomfort, poverty, difficulties are, like that sentiment, on the rise, today capable of affecting increasingly thicker segments of the population, why is it all good and quiet?


One effect of spectacularization is digestion. Thus, the comedian on stage, the satire in an article and even the sarcasm in a cartoon are blades that would like to hurt the power – institutional, political or media – but which, in fact, have something else, in a certain sense the opposite. Jokes, sneers, teasing, applause-worthy criticisms are first and foremost a digestif that allows one to transcend the tragic of reality to make it compatible with life, to the point of transmuting it into ordinariness. The political weight of a jester – apparently not of the court – is zero. The one that had the king performed the same service. He allowed the sovereign to hear criticism of his crimes, otherwise unpronounceable and unspeakable. It was already then the implementation of the trick of the comedian. Indispensable turn around so that wrongdoings could come out of the alembic of a laugh as a right and due thing, dehumanized, even full of tears, but – this is the point – without the moral power of the sense of guilt.

With the show, reality passes as a broadcast passes. It is more easily swallowed and digested, even more so if it is about comedy, parody and satire.

Because of the pleasure of laughter or of the solidarity that we feel coming to us from a satirical pun that takes us away from solitude, reality becomes, without blows wounds and without the need for trait d’unionthe show.

From the sofa it is no different from what it was from the arena for the Romans, ready to click their thumbs up or abstain, then change the channel and continue the digestion.

Thus, the show, having found the field left free by the intellectuals, also offers the litmus test only to those who are able to see it. Poetry is radically excluded from the monad of the society of the show and with it the principle of beauty, although they are two symptoms of real life, the one to which everyone aspires in their dreams. From these we have passed without reaction to spiritual poverty and, above all, to accepting it as normality, even to be defended. The society of the show does not deal with the addiction, the habituation, the animal voracity that make us the food of a few, the flow that drags us away from what matters and pushes us to feed on ephemeral values. It would all remain on her stomach.

Reality arises in the spectacle and the spectacle is real. This mutual alienation is the essence and underpinning of the existing society” (5).


  1. Founders of the Situationist International, 1957: Pinot Gallizio, Piero Simondo, Elena Verrone, Michèle Bernstein, Guy Debord, Asger Jorn, Walter Olmo. It is a movement born in Italy.
  2. Guy Debord, The entertainment companyMilan, Baldini & Castoldi, 2008.
  3. There, p. 55.
  4. There, p. 57.
  5. There, p. 13.


The digestif –