La La Land: A Leninist Reading

Among the PC reproaches to Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, the one that stands out for its sheer stupidity was that there are no gay couples in the film which takes place in LA, a city with a strong gay population… How come those PC Leftists who complain about the sub-representation of sexual and ethnic minorities in Hollywood movies never complain about the gross misrepresentation of the lower class majority of workers? It’s OK if[ …]

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (transcript/subtitles)

They Live (1988) I’ll give you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eating that trashcan. I already am eating from the trashcan all the time. The name of this trashcan is ideology. The material force of ideology makes me not see what I am effectively eating. It’s not only our reality which enslaves us. The tragedy of our predicament when we are within ideology is that when we think that we escape[ …]

Slavoj Žižek on Cuba and Yugoslavia

Q: You’ve lived through the Cold War the, fall of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of Yugoslavia – did you think that in 2016 there would still be a Castro in power in Havana? Slavoj Žižek: No, I didn’t. But let me add two points. First, you know there are so many surprises, for me the big surprise was not that communism disintegrated in 1990. People usually say who would have imagined this happen even[ …]

Smashing the Spinning Plates

The outcome of the June 17 Greek election—a narrow victory for the conservative New Democracy over the leftist Syriza party, and the prompt formation of a “pro-European” coalition government—predictably unleashed a gigantic sigh of relief all over Europe. The catastrophe was averted, European unity had prevailed, etc. But, in fact, a great opportunity was missed, a unique chance for Europe to finally confront the depth of its economic and political deadlock. The sigh of relief[ …]

Zizek at Occupy Wall Street (transcript)

[Transcript below. Talk given at Occupy Wall Street rally on October 9th, 2011.] They are saying we are all losers, but the true losers are down there on Wall Street. They were bailed out by billions of our money. We are called socialists, but here there is always socialism for the rich. They say we don’t respect private property, but in the 2008 financial crash-down more hard-earned private property was destroyed than if all of us[ …]

How to read Lacan – “God is dead, but he doesn’t know it”: Lacan plays with Bobok

The true formula of atheism is not God is dead – even by basing the origin of the function of the father upon his murder, Freud protects the father – the true formula of atheism is God is unconscious In order to properly understand this passage, one has to read it together with another thesis of Lacan. These two dispersed statements should be treated as the pieces of a puzzle to be combined into one[ …]

Through the Glasses Darkly

When the hero of John Carpenter’s 1988 They Live puts on a pair of weird sunglasses that he has stumbled upon in an abandoned church, he notices a billboard that once invited us to a Hawaii beach holiday now simply displays the words: “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Ad copy on another billboard – this one for a new color TV – says, “DON’T THINK, CONSUME!” The glasses, then, function as a device for the critique of[ …]

The Audacity of Rhetoric

In January, when the United States remembered the tragic death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., an urban history professor at the University of Buffalo named Henry Louis Taylor Jr., bitterly remarked: “All we know is that this guy had a dream. We don’t know what that dream was.” Taylor was referring to an erasure of historical memory after King’s 1963 march on Washington, after he was cheered as “the moral leader of our[ …]

Tibet: dream and reality

All the media reports impose an image which goes like this: the People’s Republic of China, which illegally occupied Tibet in 1950, engaged for decades in brutal and systematic destruction not only of the Tibetan religion, but of the identity of Tibetans as a free people. Recently the protests of the Tibetan people against Chinese occupation were again crushed with brutal police and military force. Since China is organising the 2008 Olympic games, it is[ …]

Slavoj Žižek: “Everybody in the World Except US Citizens Should Be Allowed to Vote and Elect the American Government”

Amy Goodman: Our next guest has been called “the Elvis of cultural theory,” widely considered to be one of Europe’s leading intellectuals. Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, cultural theorist. Born in Slovenia, he has written more than fifty books, speaks to sold-out audiences around the world. In 1990, he campaigned unsuccessfully to be president of Slovenia, the first Yugoslav republic to hold a free election. He’s in New York right now to give a[ …]