A Cup of Decaf Reality

The Real Cancun (2003), the first ever “reality movie,” follows sixteen people together for eight days in a beachfront Cancun villa for the ultimate Spring Break vacation. The movie which was advertised with “NO SCRIPTS. NO ACTORS. NO RULES. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON SPRING BREAK, AND IT DID.”, fared rather poorly at the box-office (earning less than 4 million dollars). It is easy to see why, in contrast to the triumph of the TV reality[ …]

Is romance dead? – In the future we’ll outsource sex

Romance is maybe not yet totally dead, but its forthcoming death is signalled by object-gadgets which promise to deliver excessive pleasure but which effectively reproduce only the lack itself. The latest fashion is the Stamina Training Unit, a counterpart to the vibrator: a masturbatory device that resembles a battery-powered light (so we’re not embarrassed when carrying it around). You put the erect penis into the opening at the top, push the button, and the object[ …]

‘Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots’, Interview with Decca Aitkenhead

Slavoj Žižek doesn’t know the door number of his own apartment in Ljubljana. “Doesn’t matter,” he tells the photographer, who wants to pop outside. “Come back in through the main door, and then just think in terms of politically radical right; you turn from left to right, then at the end, right again.” But what’s the number, in case he gets lost? “I think it’s 20,” Žižek suggests. “But who knows? Let’s double check.” So[ …]

Drilling into hearts of darkness

There were two ‘Reigns of Terror’ if we would remember it and consider it; the one wrought in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood … our shudders are all for the ‘horrors’ of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak, whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heartbreak? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by[ …]

Anti-immigration politics: barbarism with a human face

Recent incidents – such as the expulsion of Roma, or Gypsies, from France, or the resurgence of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment in Germany, or the massacre in Norway – have to be seen against the background of a long-term rearrangement of the political space in western and eastern Europe. Until recently, most European countries were dominated by two main parties that addressed the majority of the electorate: a right-of-centre party (Christian Democrat, liberal-conservative, people’s) and[ …]

Slavoj Zizek: the world’s hippest philosopher, Interview with Helen Brown

Flapping his elbows and lathered in sweat, Slavoj Žižek looks like a man in the final throes of radiation sickness doing the birdy dance. But the world’s hippest philosopher is actually miming what he imagines it would feel like to be trapped inside an all-body condom. “I saw this thing in an American store!” he explodes, lurching towards me in the quiet conservatory of a Bloomsbury hotel. “A total mask for the body! The ultimate[ …]

Q&A, Interview with Rosanna Greenstreet

lavoj Zizek, 59, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, international director of the Birkbeck Institute for Humanities in London and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s institute of sociology. He has written more than 30 books on subjects as diverse as Hitchcock, Lenin and 9/11, and also presented the TV series The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema. When were you happiest? A few times when I[ …]

“Hidden Prohibitions and the Pleasure Principle”, Interview with Josefina Ayerza

Zizek: Yes, but my point is that prohibition is masked as this kind of universal, objective, knowledge statement. This is for me today’s Spinozist world, especially in the United States. For example, every can, every package, is full of information. Of course this information is about what it contains and what it does not contain: no cholesterol, no fat. This for me is the practical side of Spinoza today. The inherent dimension is that there[ …]