September 12, 2010

Slavoj Zizek-Quotes 1

Yläkuva: Slavoj Zizek at London Literature Festival. Southbank Centre, 2010.
Alakuvat: Prof. Slavoj Zizek lecturing at European Graduate School, 2009.
"Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn't give you what you desire - it tells you how to desire."

"The one measure of true love is: you can insult the other"

"Liberal attitudes towards the other are characterized both by respect for otherness, openness to it, and an obsessive fear of harassment. In short, the other is welcomed insofar as its presence is not intrusive, insofar as it is not really the other. Tolerance thus coincides with its opposite. My duty to be tolerant towards the other effectively means that I should not get too close to him or her, not intrude into his space—in short, that I should respect his intolerance towards my over-proximity. This is increasingly emerging as the central human right of advanced capitalist society: the right not to be ‘harassed’, that is, to be kept at a safe distance from others." - (Against Human Rights)

"What is the Absolute? Something that appears to us in fleeting experiences--say, through the gentle smile of a beautiful woman, or even through the warm caring smile of a person who may otherwise seem ugly and rude. In such miraculous but extremely fragile moments, another dimension transpires through our reality. As such, the Absolute is easily corroded;it slips all too easily through our fingers and must be handled as carefully as a butterfly" - (The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?)

"The true ethical test is not only the readiness to save the victims, but also - even more, perhaps - the ruthless dedication to annihilating those who made them victims."

"Nowadays, you can do anything that you want—anal, oral, fisting—but you need to be wearing gloves, condoms, protection."

"Come on. I don't have any problem violating my own insights in practice."

"Words are never 'only words'; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do."

"The fact that a cloud from a minor volcanic eruption in Iceland—a small disturbance in the complex mechanism of life on the Earth—can bring to a standstill the aerial traffic over an entire continent is a reminder of how, with all its power to transform nature, humankind remains just another species on the planet Earth."

"The same rightists who decades ago were shouting, 'Better dead than red!' are now often heard mumbling, 'Better red than eating hamburgers."

"Love feels like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures."

"I couldn't help noticing how all the best Marxist analyses are always analyses of a failure ... Like, why did Paris Commune go wrong? Trotskyites. Why did the October Revolution go wrong? And so on ... OK, we screwed it up, but we can give the best theory why it had to happen."

"The liberal idea of tolerance is more and more a kind of intolerance. What it means is 'Leave me alone; don't harass me; I'm intolerant towards your over-proximity."

"What we are dealing with here is another version of the Lacanian 'il n'y a pas de rapport ...': if, for Lacan, there is no sexual relationship, then, for Marxism proper, there is no relationship between economy and politics, no 'meta-language' enabling us to grasp the two levels from the same neutral standpoint, although—or, rather, because—these two levels are inextricably intertwined." - (The Parallax View)

"[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome."

"We Slovenians are even better misers than you Scottish. You know how Scotland began? One of us Slovenians was spending too much money, so we put him on a boat and he landed in Scotland."

"€7,500, first-class, everything—and all that for 40 minutes selling them some old stuff."

"For the multiculturalist, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are prohibited, Italians and Irish get a little respect, blacks are good, native Americans are even better. The further away we go, the more they deserve respect. This is a kind of inverted, patronising respect that puts everyone at a distance."

"The socioeconomic impact of such a minor outburst is due to our technological development (air travel)—a century ago, such an eruption would have passed unnoticed. Technological development makes us more independent from nature. At the same time, at a different level, it makes us more dependent on nature’s whims."

"On the 'Celestial Seasonings' green tea packet there is a short explanation of its benefits: 'Green tea is a natural source of antioxidants, which neutralize harmful molecules in the body known as free radicals. By taming free radicals, antioxidants help the body maintain its natural health.' Mutatis mutandis, is not the notion of totalitarianism one of the main ideological antioxidants, whose function throughout its career was to tame free radicals, and thus to help the social body to maintain its politico-ideological good health?" - (Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism: Five Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion)

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