Tag Archives: Situationism

Some questions on ‘King Mob Echo’ #1

I mentioned King Mob Echo in my previous post on Rita Renoir[1]. It’s the magazine of the English Situationist offshoot wich ran for five issues in the period 1968-70.

Its historiography seems to be incomplete.

King Mob Echo first issue
King Mob Echo first issue

The first issue depicts and image of the Fantomas serial which Wikipedia[2] lists as of the Barrabas film.

Unidentified Fantomas film still, the caption above reads “77. Feuillade, Fantomas, 1912”.

However, if you look closely at the image, you will see that the caption reads “77. Feuillade, Fantomas, 1912”. The Barrabas film dates from 1920 so it seems unlikely that the still stems from that film. The film, which lasts more than five hours, is here, I just don’t have time to watch it. Can anyone tell us from where this still is taken? It is also on the cover of Fantomas: The Corpse Who Kills (2008).

Secondly, and here’s a little mystery I solved myself, there is the caption, a citation by Karl Marx:

I am nothing but I must be everything

Most sources researching King Mob attribute this dictum to The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, but it’s not, it’s actually from Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and reads in the original German: “Ich bin nichts und ich müßte alles sein” and is recently translated as “I am nothing and I should be everything”.

Rosa Luxemburg's corpse
Rosa Luxemburg’s corpse, photo from ‘Lipstick Traces’

Thirdly, there is the case of the photo of Rosa Luxemburg’s corpse. I’ve known this photo since I read Lipstick Traces, featured in their section on King Mob, but I would very much want to find out where this photo was first published.

Anyone?

I shop therefore I am

It makes little sense to talk about consumerism since consumerism is a pejorative (a third of the -isms are) and implies anti-consumerism.

So all talk of consumerism is talk of anti-consumerism.

Which brings me to the film above, which I suspect to feature strains of anti-consumerism. I speak of a Russian film about the Paris Commune which was titled The New Babylon.

I once[1] posted a lovely still of this film of a woman with a gun and a mannequin.

The New Babylon of the title of this film refers (I just learned) to a shopping mall, with the same title.

Shopping malls are paradises of consumerism.

The earliest shopping malls were arcades, admirably staged by Walter Benjamin in the Arcades Project and exemplified by The Crystal PalaceWindow shopping without getting wet! A feast of artificialitySociety of the spectacle!

I shop therefore I am.

A full version of The New Babylon is now on YouTube (above).