Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spectacleshards [v]: Zizek's

Just so you know, Spectacleshards are excerpts. My sidecommentaries (yes, imbento! pumoportmanteau kuno!) are optional. Previously lifted excerpts from the writings of Italo Calvino, Robert Pirsig, Jorge Luis Borges and from the pages of Philippines Graphic. Like most things, I do this to fake productivity. This time, I am taking Slavoj Zizek's "joke" out of context by posting it here. I shall also include a facebook note about er.. love and activism, to somehow neutralize my taking of Zizek out of context, as a jocular attempt to make fun of machismo. And, this is not copypasted. I've just encoded the excerpt, so, if you have the book and you notice any error, typographical or whatnot, please do tell me.

A critical analysis of the present global constellation--one which offers no clear solution, no "practical" advice on what to do, and provides no light at the end of the tunnel, since one is well aware that this light might belong to a train crashing towards us--usually meets with reproach: "Do you mean we should do nothing? Just sit and wait?" One should gather the courage to answer: "YES, precisely that!" There are situations when the only truly "practical" thing to do is to resist the temptation to engage immediately and to "wait and see" by means of a patient critical analysis. Engagement seems to exert its pressure on us from all directions. In a well known passage from his Existentialism and Humanism, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone ill mother and the duty to enter the Resistance and fight the Germans; Sartre's point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. An obscene third way out of the dilemma would have been to advise the young man to tell his mother that he will join the Resistance, and to tell his Resistance friends that he will take care of his mother, while in reality, withdrawing to a secluded place and studying...
There is more than cheap cynicism in this advice. It brings to mind a well-known Soviet joke about Lenin. Under socialism, Lenin's advice to young people, his answer to what they should do was "Learn, learn, and learn." This was evoked at all times and displayed on all school walls. The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they would prefer to have a wife or a mistress. As expected, Marx, rather conservative in private matters, answers, "A wife!" while Engels, more of a bon vivant, opts for a mistress. To everyone's surprise, Lenin says, "I'd like to have both" Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No--he explains: "So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress and my mistress that I have to be with my wife..." "And then, what do you do?" "I go to a solitary place to learn, learn, and learn!"
Is this not exactly what Lenin din after the catastrophe of 1914? He withdrew to a lonely place in Switzerland, where he "learned, learned and learned," reading Hegel's logic. And this is what we should do today when we find ourselves bombarded with mediatic images of violence. We need to learn, learn and learn what causes this violence.

That's from Zizek's Violence. Here's Ana Catalina Paje's viral (yes naman!) "Fall in love with an activist," [source] which is something I cannot relate to. I am just thoughtful enough to post this for people who may find this, er.. "cute." (yes, I'm acting cool. plus, I am asexual. and, I am petiburgis.) *copy*paste*a few edits that i hope does not change much of the text's essence*
Fall in love with an activist because...

You could have the worst hair day of your life, he wouldn't care...with his way of life, he's had worse. You won't need to take her to a fancy restaurant, fine dining was never her thing...she would rather eat with her hands in the company of farmers. You could shout at him all you want, he would just smile...he does it everyday..to assert for your rights.

She doesn't care if you're rich or poor. After all, she does understand class struggle. You can be frank about him, in fact, he would like that very much. Criticism and self-criticism are second nature to him. He always wants to improve himself. She isn't afraid to make the first move. Don't worry she's no bimbo. It's just that she believes in the equality of sexes. And she's knows that women hold half the sky. When you have a fight, it's never all your fault. He knows that partly, he was to blame. Because he is a dialectical materialist.

She's never boring. As long as social injustice and inequality exists, you won't run out of things to talk about. She's very good at sharing her life with someone. Maybe it has something to do with their practice of collective living. Being articulate is a skill he has come to master. And he will have no trouble telling you how much he loves you.

P.S. There's a catch. You should know that you're not the only person who owns his heart. You share it with the poor, the sick, the hungry, and the opressed.

P.P.S. By the time you fall for an activist, give it a week or so, you'll be an activist yourself. Because if you love and understand her, you would know it's the right thing to do.

That is all. Ugh, back to my desk. Toiling over.. whatever needs to be toiled over. Internet's being a motherfucker again and Gehenna is not cooperating either. Sighs.

(Pa-rant. Badtrip yung parang panginginig netong computer na di ko mapaliwanag. Andami tuloy typo kanina. Yung "to" naging "too," at iba pang nadodobleng letrang hindi naman dapat nadodoble and vice versa--at sobrang obyus na hindi dapat kaya nakakabwisit kasi hindi naman ako ganong ka-noob para hindi malaman ang difference ng "to" at "too," though oo, may grammatical lapses pa rin talaga paminsan, pero nakakainis na hindi ko maedit agad dahil sa pangmomotherfuckingina ng internet. Hindi ako galit. Ktnxbye.)

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