On David Lynch

In chapter 15 of Seminar XI, Lacan introduces the mysterious notion of the “lamella”: the libido as an organ without body, the incorporeal and for that very reason indestructible life substance that persists beyond the circuit of generation and corruption. It is no accident that commentaries on this passage are rare (for all practical purposes non-existent); the Lacan with whom we are confronted in this passage does not have a lot in common with the[ …]

Two-state solution is the greatest obstacle to peace

Two years ago, the city of Petah Tikva created a hotline that parents and friends can use to inform on Jewish women who mix with Arab men. The women are then treated as pathological cases and sent to a psychologist. In 2008, the southern city of Kiryat Gat launched a program in its schools to warn Jewish girls about the dangers of dating local Bedouin men. The girls were shown a video called Sleeping with[ …]

Europe must move beyond mere tolerance

When, a decade ago, Slovenia was about to join the European Union, one of our Eurosceptics offered a sarcastic paraphrase of a Marx brothers joke about getting a lawyer: Do we, Slovenes, have troubles? Let us join the EU! We will have even more troubles, but we will have the EU to take care of them! This is how many Slovenes now perceive the EU: it brings some help, but it also brings new problems[ …]

The Neighbor in Burka

In January 2010 Jean-François Copé, the parliamentary leader of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire, the ruling French party, proposed the draft of a law which bans the full-body veil from French streets and all other public places. This announcement came after the anguished six-month debate on the burka and its Arab equivalent, the niqab, which cover the woman’s face, except for a small slit for the eyes. All main political parties expressed their rejection[ …]

In You More Than Yourself

In December, Time magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” honor went not to Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Kim Jong-Il or any of the other usual suspects, but to “you”: each and every one of us using or creating content on the World Wide Web. Time’s cover showed a white keyboard with a mirror for a computer screen, allowing each of us to see his or her own reflection. To justify the choice, the editors cited the global[ …]

Is this digital democracy, or a new tyranny of cyberspace?

Time magazine’s 2006 “Person of the Year” award went not to Ahmadinejad, Chávez, Kim Jong-il, or any other of the usual suspects, but to “you”, that is each and every one of us using or creating content on the world wide web. The cover showed a white keyboard with a mirror for a computer screen where readers can see their own reflection. To justify the choice, Time’s editors cited the shift from institutions to individuals[ …]

Why is Wagner Worth Saving?

[Appared in Journal of Philosophy and Scripture, 2004, Vol. 2, No. 1. pdf.] With Romanticism, music changes its role: it is no longer a mere accompaniment of the message delivered in speech, it contains/renders a message of its own, “deeper” than the one delivered in words. It was Rousseau who first clearly articulated this expressive potential of music as such, when he claimed that, instead of merely imitating the affective features of verbal speech, music[ …]

The Thing from Inner Space

JACQUES LACAN DEFINES ART itself with regard to the Thing: in his Seminar on the Ethics of Psychoanalysis, he claims that art as such is always organized around the central Void of the impossible-real Thing – a statement which, perhaps, should be read as a variation on Rilke’s old thesis that “Beauty is the last veil that covers the Horrible”. Lacan gives some hints about how this surrounding of the Void functions in the visual arts[ …]

Connections of the Freudian Field to Philosophy and Popular Culture

I would like to begin with an almost narcissistic reflection. Why do I resort so often to examples from popular culture? The simple answer is in order to avoid a kind of jargon, and to achieve the greatest possible clarity, not only for my readers but also for myself. That is to say, the idiot for whom I endeavor to formulate a theoretical point as clearly as possible is ultimately myself: I am not patronizing[ …]