A melancholic's hopeful frolics through hopeless bollocks; a lugubrious litany of the insane, arcane, and profane with a touch of disdain--a lonely refrain in light of my pain to fight to stay sane. With lovelorn loving and lusty longing, I'm loosely leading, sometimes lifelessly living, the affective effects of a not perfect prefect with not just one defect that you may detect. My only intention is to spread an infection of intensive reflection and extensive affection, my untoward neurotic obsession whose excessive inward inflection is my first sworn imperfection. It's no senseless pretense to stress I'm intense--this, soon you will sense with total credence.

6th March 2011

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Why are so many problems today perceived as problems of intolerance, rather than as problems of inequality, exploitation, or injustice? Why is the proposed remedy tolerance, rather than emancipation, political struggle, or even armed struggle? The source of this culturalization is defeat, the failure of directly political solutions such as the social-democratic welfare state or various socialist projects: ‘tolerance’ has become their post-political ersatz.


It is as if, in today’s permissive society, transgressive violations are permitted only in a “privatized” form, as a personal idiosyncrasy deprived of any public, spectacular or ritualistic dimension. We can thus publicly confess all our weird private practices, but they remain simply private idiosyncrasies. Perhaps we should also invert here the standard formula of fetishistic disavowal: “I know very well (that I should obey the rules), but nonetheless… (I occasionally violate them, since this too is part of the rules.” In contemporary society, the predominant stance is rather: “I believe (that repeated hedonistic transgressions are what make life worth living), but nonetheless… (I know very well that these transgressions are not really transgressive, but are just artificial coloring serving to re-emphasize the grayness of social reality).”

—Slavoj Zizek

— Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times (New York: Verso, 2010), 5; 9.

Tagged: SlavojZizekCritical TheoryContemporary ethosLifeTransgressionPleasure

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