18 February 2011

Slavoj Žižek - the fourth option

Norm comments on Žižek's approval of liberty-seeking Egyptians. Precise, short and painful.

He concludes with:

From which one may infer either that Žižek has now had a change of heart, or that he says whatever suits the moment, or that democracy for him is precious except when it isn't.
I would offer a fourth explanation: Žižek doesn't really care about being correct or consistent. What he cares about is the visibility value of his verbal shenanigans.

In this regard he reminds me of the Russian expression "эпатировать обывателя", so popular in Russian arts and letters circles somewhere in the first two decades of the last century. The most close translation will be probably "to shock and confuse the philistine". For a short while Žižek was good at it. But only for a short while.

Update: That Russian expression (thanks to Miriam) comes from French "epater les bourgeoisie".

13 comments:

Francis Sedgemore said...

<span><span>

"What he cares is the visibility value of his verbal shenanigans."

<span>Indeed; Žižek is a media tart par excellence. Where would YouTube be without him?</span>
</span></span>

Noga said...

He appears in this youtube very Rasputinish. Scary looking. It brought out the prettiness in Tariq Ramadan ...  

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Indeed.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oy... that's re Ramadan.

Noga said...

Oh, sorry. I thought Norm linked to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29NffzEh2b0

Now my comment will make more sense, hopefully.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Thanks. <span><span>Žižek looks rather unwashed in this one.</span></span>

jams o donnell said...

The more I beciome familiar with Slavoj Zizek, the more I am convinced he is an utter wanker

miriam said...

The most close translation will be probably "to shock and confuse the philistine".

In French it is epater les bourgeoisie.  Accent over the e, but I can't do it with my limited computer skills.

Dick Stanley said...

Media tart. I like it. Fits so many.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Great, thanks Miriam, it's precisely where the Russian word comes from!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yup.

Anonymous said...

You mean he's dirty!  Do you know that that's exactly what the antisemites have been saying about Jews for centuries? Dirty Jew? Грязный жид?  It sickens me to see this kind of Jewish natzism!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

"<span>You mean he's dirty!" No, I mean that he looks unwashed, dumbo. </span>

If you don't see the difference, it's your problem and your "nutzism".