Saturday, May 21, 2011
Today we see liberal capitalism and its political system, parlimentarianism, as the only natural and acceptable solutions. Every revolutionary idea is considered utopian and ultimately criminal. We are made to believe that the global spread of capitalism and what gets called “democracy” is the dream of all humanity. And also that the whole world wants the authority of the American Empire, and its military police, NATO. Badiou - “On Evil: An Interview with Alain Badiou” in: Cabinet. Issue 5, Winter 2001/2002
Friday, May 20, 2011
It is no surprise that Coke was first introduced as a medicine - its strange taste does not seem to provide any particular satisfaction, it is not directly pleasing and endearing; however, it is precisely as such, as transcending any immediate use-value (like water, beer or wine, which definitely do quench our thirst or produce the desired effect of satisfied calm), that Coke functions as the direct embodiment of “IT,” of the pure surplus of enjoyment over standard satisfactions, of the mysterious and elusive X we are all after in our compulsive consumption of merchandise. The unexpected result of this feature is not that, since Coke does not satisfy any concrete need, we drink it only as a supplement, after some other drink has satisfied our substantial need - it is rather this very superfluous character that makes our thirst for Coke all the more insatiable: as Jacques-Alain Miller put it succinctly, Coke has the paradoxical property that, the more you drink it, the more you get thirsty, the greater the need to drink more of it - with its strange bittersweet taste, our thirst is never effectively quenched. So, when, some years ago, the publicity motto for Coke was “Coke, that’s IT!” we should discern in it the entire ambiguity: “that’s it” precisely insofar as that’s NEVER effectively IT, precisely insofar as every satisfaction opens up a gap of “I want MORE!” Zizek - Surplus-Enjoyment Between the Sublime and the Trash
Depression! Sacrosanct depression! The word is spreading, at a gallop, and rinforzando, the rumor is making its way, the devil, it’s spread all over, and for some days now it’s been haunting the Elysée Palace. From Lisbon, the journalist from Le Monde who covers him, Mr. Philippe Ridet, wrote “Another life is beginning for the chief of State. What president will he be now that he is alone? Depressive, weakened?” One of his counselors wants to reassure us: “The exercise of power”, he says, “will triumph over the depression.” But no, the harm has been done: whatever his entourage might say, the public eye will no longer let him be, it will scrutinize the shades of his pallor, the luster of his eyes, his complexion, the tilt of his head, his gait, the circles under his eyes… Woe to him at the first sign of fatigue! We are henceforth living in a world where good old tiredness no longer exists: it’s the blues, depression, darling, where are you? Quick, my anti-depressor! JAM - Depression