Is Lacan An Anti-Philosopher? (2/3 – Slavoj Žižek) + transcript

[Transcript by Thomas Matthews below video.] Difficult to follow, I hope you hear me, glad to be here, glad to be with Alain. Of course in this 20 minute form it’s just a little bit too little time to really develop a line of thought- all one can do is more trace, define positions, oppositions, and so on. I would nonetheless like to begin with reference to what is going on recently in your territory,[ …]

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[ …]

Zizek! (transcript/subtitles)

What would be my… how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It’s a very dark one. The first thesis would have been a kind of total vanity: there is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally, like… ultimately…there are just some fragments, some vanishing things. If you look at the universe, it’s one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics,[ …]

Slavoj Žižek on His Favourite Plays, Interview with Liza Thompson

Can you tell us a little bit about why you’ve chosen each of these plays? At first, the five plays look like a jumbled heap lacking any common feature—what could they have in common? The bitter end of the old Oedipus who cannot reconcile himself with his fate; Richard II’s descent into madness after he is deprived of royal prerogatives; the meaningless self-sacrifice of a woman married to a man she despises; the ruthless killing[ …]

The Universal Exception (Preface)

The big Other between violence and civility Slavoj Zizek   The ‘universal exception’, according to Lacan, is the fundamental feature of the symbolic order (the ‘big Other’) as the order of universality: each universality is grounded in its constitutive exception. This feature is to be supplemented with its no less paradoxical obverse, the so-called ‘not-All [pas tout]’: an order (or rather, a field, a signifying space) with no exception that is eo ipso not-all, and[ …]

What is freedom today?

Are we free to live our lives as we want? We might think so, but philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that this apparent freedom is actually governed by a complex series of conditions. For Žižek, a ‘pathetic, old romantic’, the highest form of freedom is in fact love.

I am not the world’s hippest philosopher! Interview with Katie Engelhart

Almost 25 years ago, philosopher Slavoj Žižek broke through the intellectual cul-de-sac of Slovenian academia — making his mark on the English-speaking world with “The Sublime Object of Ideology” (1989), a wily fusing of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Frankfurt School idealism, and reflections on the 1979 blockbuster horror flick “Alien.” Today, he’s everywhere. The notoriously unkempt “radical leftist” philosophe has become the unlikeliest of celebrities: a cult icon and spiritual guide for Europe’s lethargic left. Žižek has[ …]

Slavoj Zizek and ‘The Year of Dreaming Dangerously’, interview with Anna Maria Tremonti

[Abstract from CBC:] Come with us on a journey, through the logic, the musings, and the divergent thoughts of a philosopher with rock star status. Slavoj Zizek examines the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring and everything from HBO’s ‘The Wire’ to Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. […] Anna Maria Tremonti: Now, you know, I’ve got another clip I want you to hear. I was in Victoria, British Columbia, where municipal officials from around the province[ …]

The politics of Batman

The Dark Knight Rises shows that Hollywood blockbusters are precise indicators of the ideological predicaments of our societies. Here is the storyline. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the previous instalment of Chris­topher Nolan’s Batman series, law and order prevail in Gotham City. Under the extraordinary powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organised crime. He nonetheless feels guilty about the cover-up of the crimes of[ …]

Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Gotham City

The Dark Knight Rises attests yet again to how Hollywood blockbusters are precise indicators of the ideological predicament of our societies. Here is a (simplified) storyline. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the previous installment of the Batman saga, law and order prevail in Gotham City: under the extraordinary powers granted by the Dent Act, Commissioner Gordon has nearly eradicated violent and organized crime. He nonetheless feels guilty about the cover-up of[ …]