Monday, June 28, 2010

Telling It Like It Is

Slavoj Žižek interviewed in yesterday's Observer:

He opens a copy of Living in the End Times, and finds the contents page. "I will tell you the truth now," he says, pointing to the first chapter, then the second. "Bullshit. Some more bullshit. Blah, blah, blah." He flicks furiously through the pages. "Chapter 3, where I try to read Marx anew, is maybe OK. I like this part where I analyse Kafka's last story and here where I use the community of outcasts in the TV series Heroes as a model for the communist collective. But, this section, the Architectural Parallax, this is pure bluff. Also the part where I analyse Avatar, the movie, that is also pure bluff. When I wrote it, I had not even seen the film, but I am a good Hegelian. If you have a good theory, forget about the reality."

or, as we put it:

A philosopher for our age, if by that one means a philosopher lacking any rigorous empirical standards of reference. Anything's fair game as a source of evidence for Žižek, including Wikipedia, Newsweek, and Lacan, FFS. This is just bricolage in the service of producing original and novel interpretations of the world without having to measure them against any objective criteria. His books offer the jouissance of avant-gardism while reinforcing the idea of philosophy as conspicuous consumption. The perfect postmodernist thinker, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

First as farce, then as tragedy.


Will said...

and you don'T likE this guY?


John said...

Heh heh. Emperor's New Clothes, Will. And we called it back when the Trots were all still fawning over him.

I'm sure he's a lovely bloke, mind.

Will said...

and when you read the interview in full and see the quote in context it makes him out to be more of a philosopher and honest interlocutor than you are with your anarcho-simplistic horseshite.

Just saying like. Nee offence like.

John said...

None taken.

Now show how putting the quote into context demonstrates anything different from what I've said or how I've in any way distorted his meaning?

He's nothing more than an eloquent hoodwinker of an aspiring petty bourgeois academic class fraction who imagine that what he says is profound and therefore that their admiration of him reflects back on them. He's a true heir to Lacan.

It's like the Sokal Hoax never happened.

No offence, like.

John said...

I'm amused (as ever) that you think it's anarchism rather than Marxism that's simplistic. Which of these claims to have discovered the laws of history?