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"Totality for Beginners" and a Situationist competition!

Phan Nguyen12 September 2011

Avid Verso readers and SI devotees know that McKenzie Wark’s The Beach Beneath the Street features a dustjacket that folds out to a full-length double-sided poster, doubling as a graphic essay. The graphic essay, “Totality for Beginners,” is illustrated by Kevin C. Pyle with texts selected by McKenzie Wark.

“Totality for Kids” is the interactive version of the graphic essay, hosted by Vectors Journal and available at

To introduce you to “Totality for Kids,” we are announcing our latest online competitionNow we’re aware that our last competition proved time-consuming for many participants, resulting in a marked decrease in worker productivity. To ensure that doesn’t happen again, we have made this competition much easier, less open to interpretation and less time-consuming.

In fact, all the answers can be found within the “Totality for Kids” site.

Here are the rules:

There will be three questions a day, beginning on September 12 and ending on September 16. Contestants should submit their answers to all fifteen questions by email after the final questions are posted on September 16.

We will post the proper email address to submit answers to at that time.


There will be one winner for North America and one winner for the UK and the rest of the world.

There will also be five runners-up for each region.

The winner will be the first entry received with all fifteen correct  answers. The runners-up will be the following five people to email with all correct answers. Please do not enter before the final questions are published on September 16th. 


The two winners will receive:

Volumes 1–3 of Critique of Everyday Life
The Situationists and the City
Comments on the Society of the Spectacle
The Beach Beneath the Street 
The Beach Beneath the Street poster

The runners-up will each receive a poster and a copy of Panegyric.

Remember to please do not post answers to the competition questions in the comments below. Answers posted below will be deleted and not counted.

Note that all questions refer to the site

Day 1:

1. Which quarter of Paris does the narrative start in?

2. Where did one of the characters throw up?

3. Who opened the bar L’Homme de Main?
Ghislain de Marbaix

Day 2:

4. Who said the following, and where was it said: “While I have written much less than most people who write, I have drunk much more than most people who drink.”
Guy Debord in Panegyric

5. Poetry should be made (and unmade) by whom?
By all

6. I take my desires for reality—what do I take reality for?
My desires

Day 3:

7. Who mounted the pulpit of Notre Dame and announced the death of God?
Michel Mourre

8. “Let the dead bury the dead.” Debord is quoting which author quoting which religious text?
Marx, quoting Gospel of Matthew

9. What is the film advertised between Critique of Separation and Breathless?
The Naked City

Day 4:

10. What Debord film title is a palindrome?
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

11. Who came up with the line, “Our ideas are on everybody’s mind”?
René Viénet

12. “We live to tread on kings.” Who said this, and in what Situationist text is it cited?
Shakespeare (Henry IV), cited in Debord’s Society of the Spectacle

Day 5:

13. Why should we beware of the man with the bullhorn?
He is thinking to himself: “I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

14. Sociologists and psychologists are the new what?

15. What can you get a 5% raise with?

The competition has ended, and all winners have been notified. Thank you for participating! For those who didn’t win, there will be more opportunities in the future. Subscribe to our Twitter feed and Facebook page to stay abreast.

Filed under: competitions