spectacle. The idea of the 'society of the spectacle' derives from Guy Debord's book of that title. Debord was a leading member of the Situationists group, a loose collective of radical political theorists and activists influenced by the Dadaist and Surrealist movements, which had a considerable influence upon the student and workers' revolt in France in May 1968 as well as upon similar events in Europe and beyond. Debord was the editor from 1957-69 of the group's journal whose use of collage and innovative graphics was itself an influence upon the underground press of the 1960s and 1970s, on punk, and a generation of fanzines. Debord's Society of the Spectacle argued that the mode of commodity production analyzed by Marx as characteristic of capitalism had been extended in the world of mass communications and electronic media beyond commodities to include human relations. These too were now the subject of exchange value. As he writes in the book's first paragraph, "in societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles." Debord's insights on the penetration of the commodity form, the ideological role of the new media, the absorption of 'real life' by its representation, the way history was becoming 'forgotten within culture' anticipate some of the key themes of postmodernism. Jean Baudrillard's ideas on hyperreality and the society of the image particularly echo Debord's findings. There is a significant difference, however. Whereas Debord and the Situationists felt that the media and the form of the spectacle could be turned back against consumer capitalism, Baudrillard sees only a loss of distinction between the real and its simulation and the resulting passivity and indifference of a desensitized mass, no longer even in any clear sense the spectators a spectacle requires. The kind of theatrical political tactic the Situationists favored has been already anticipated in a world where all the holdups, airplane hijackings, etc. are now in some sense simulation holdups in that they are already inscribed in the decoding and orchestration rituals of the media. Indeed, according to Baudrillard, TV, the principal postmodern medium "is no longer a spectacular medium. We are no longer in the society of the spectacle of which the Situationists spoke, nor in the specific kinds of alienation and repression that it implied. The medium itself is no longer identifiable as such and the confusion of the medium and the message . . . is the first great formula of this new era. There is no longer a medium in the literal sense: it is now intangible, diffused, and diffracted in the real"(1994: 30)>