RND// To consider Slavoj Žižek’s Sex And The Failed Absolute (Bloomsbury Academic 2020) near the top of anyone’s shortlist for the biggest stinking load of old academic charlatan obscurantist bollocks ever pinched off by a major publisher.
While not entirely without merit – there are at least a couple of easily understandable, well thought out and clearly presented ideas and sentences hidden among too often patently batshit Lacanian waffle; Žižek appears to have outdone himself in terms of eye rolling obscurantism in the name of ego-inflating (strictly Academic) cleverness.
To paraphrase: “However, the true enemy of the present book is not new realist visions but what one is tempted to call the fine art of thinking-as-a-parody, an art which more and more pervades our public space: grand (yet embarrassing) academic theatrics in the guise of wisdom intended to fascinate us with their endless depth. They no longer function as synthetic articulated propositions but more like holographic images providing instant cognitive-spiritual satisfaction.”
And now a unedited quote from the book:
“Honoured to be included into Badiou’s list, I nonetheless consider my characterization – “positivism of drives” – inadequate: as it was abundantly developed by me (and, of course, Alenka Zupančič), “death drive” in our work does not refer to any kind of “positivity” but to the grounding gap or crack in positive reality (and that, consequently, also opens up the space for what Badiou calls Event and Truth-procedure). “Death drive” is in our reading Freud’s paradoxical name for its very opposite, for immortality, his name for what the German idealists like Hegel called radical (self-relating) negativity. It is not an (ontic or) ontological category but a category that points towards the fatal limitation of every ontological edifice, towards the impossibility that lies at its foundation, rendering it “non-all,” incomplete (without implying that there is an external limit to it, that something, some transcendent entity, eludes reality. In short, for our standpoint, it is Badiou himself who is, in some basic sense, all too “positivist” in his notion of Truth-Event: for him, the exception to the order of Being can only be a positive (affirmative) Truth, while for us, the space for such an exception is opened up by the void of radical negativity.”
– Slavoj Žižek, Sex And The Failed Absolute
What? Fuck right off with that shit, sunshine. Take your fancy European name dropping and your fellow bullshit academics and their shrinking collection of vain intellectual irrelevances and politely (yet firmly) stuff it. Was that some kind of private academic in-joke? But why does the reader have to be the butt of such obviously time wasting bullshit? Virtually nobody but Fucking Academics™* even talks like that. There’s a good reason for this. They’re under to much pressure from actual (non-academic based) reality to give two obscurantist shits about Bagel, or other radical self-relating negativities. Elvis, talk about a cliquey circle jerk in an ivory tower packed with stuffy, hyper-wordy assholes.
*Name of a forthcoming novel (mind you, sounds like a cheap paperback by that disgusting fascist pig turd Houellebecq.)
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m writing this under a moral rule articulated by Žižek himself; that while one must be intellectually harsh and strict with one’s enemies, an even more stringent and uncompromising gaze must be applied to our friends and allies. This is to keep them honest. The failure to do so is collaboration with cosmically useless intellectual™ pontification masquerading as innovative knowledge.
Žižek my son, talking shit like that simply does not help anyone except yourself. You’ve got a big brain on you, sure – but you’re blatant, bloated academic ego betrays the shaky philosophical foundations of cognitive vanity. It doesn’t really help humanity get out of it’s own deep shit. It’s a very unsexy look. When it comes to common cultural objects and processes, you regularly bring something exciting to the table – a undoubted fresh take on otherwise invisible public subjects, made invisible through their transparent (ideological) ubiquity. But this time you appear to have written yourself into a conceptual dead end, where useless old, dusty ideas parade themselves in a shameless public (Communist-era?) display of fancy terms everyone’s secretly both laughing at, and bored by.
Few people really give a shit about Hegel; most people shouldn’t have to give a shit about Hegel. Hegel’s just another Dead White Guy. (You don’t want to be an Undead White Guy, do you Zizzy.) Is it important that *someone* (/lurking in the willfully obscure, shaded hinterlands of Academia) gives a flying shit about Hegel? Possibly.
One delicious irony is when Zizek says “The storyline is shamelessly summarized from the Wikipedia entry on The Dark Tower.” Which precisely means; it’s plain bollocks, and I didn’t watch it precisely because I’ve better, actually meaningful things in my life. Likewise, perhaps one need only read a summary of Sex and the Failed Absolute from Wikipedia – equally without shame.
When the snout itself retroactively gives birth to the mollusk of the Real
‘Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation’ arrives with a lot of unexamined ideological baggage; it’s easy to be a perfectly ludic dipshit. D-for-disingenuous Kermit impersonator and all round Your-Asshole-Daddy-Figurine Simulator Jordan B. Peterson writes and speaks perfectly clearly, except he willingly obfuscates his naked reactionary right wing hated with a lot of ‘plain speaking’. Except it’s overwhelmingly just plain wrong, from the very outset. Žižek on the other hand seems pathologically amused with huffing the academic stink of his own hopelessly, bizarrely convoluted Lacanian farts. Theory for him seems like a nervous tick you just can’t stop.
Bob’s Score: 8.5/10 Theory-Fiction at it’s smartest.
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