Sunday, May 1, 2011

I wrote this for my film class blog. If my professor doesn’t laugh/smile, he obviously has no sense of humor, intelligent or otherwise.

note: This post is regarding Slavoj Zizek’s “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce” and Dušan Makavejev’s 1971 Yugoslavian film “W.R. Mysteries of the Organism.” If you have not read/scene either of them, this post probably sounds like I am absolutely insane… and yes, the parentheticals in the second paragraph WERE included in the final post.

Firstly when drawing a connection between the film W.R. Mysteries of the Organism and Zizek’s “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce” we can look at the idea of utopia. Zizek says that the first collapse of the “liberal-democratic utopia on 9/11 did not affect the economic utopia of global market capitalism” (5). A utopian society, by nature, is an ideal setting of perfection. Sir Thomas More’s Utopia emphasized the perfection in law and politics. It is interesting that Zizek refers to capitalistic tendencies as utopian (one must understand his humor and juxtapositive nature/ writing style) because of the essential and inherently repressive nature of capitalism and its 3rd world classist by-product (or arguably, not merely a by-product, but a direct and intended result of capitalism by nature… an argument to be had with Melvin Fein on another day, I suppose). Regardless, the capitalists bourgeois fear the possibility of counter-forces that may prevent the excessive flow of capital between the “entitled” 5%.

WR’s utopia complement’s the people versus the profit. The scene where Milena is leaning over her balcony and advocating for communism and free sexuality is a great starting point for a description on her female perspective of communistic utopia. In this utopian perfect society, Milena emphasizes the ability for free love to naturally exist. This loosely parallels the popular feminist belief today that one’s sex/reproductive organs should oppress no one. However, this “free” love is not the capitalistic - free to own whatever one shall please - free to own your property – kind of utopia. It is in a communist society, and therefore your sex organs and the sex organs of others are communal. The plaster-caster scene propagates my argument (and in another definition of my chosen verb, the plaster-caster propagates a penis… double meaning in my argument. I’m so smart.) The free love movement implies that everyone is entitled to love (read: sex) and thus a mold of a penis is made and can be potentially distributed to whosoever desires said object.

Capitalism holds the basis for free love, ideologically, stemming from property rights. You own your body, and therefore have the right to sell it in whatever way you deem appropriate. (I am using “selling” very lucidly, I do not intend to support/condone prostitution in this particular argument, but merely to suggest one may, in accordance with ideology, exchange “capital” FREEly in a FREE market economy). However communism would suggest that we are all in a free society, but not necessarily free subjects in the society on an individual level; thus our bodies/sexuality are, once again, communal entities that all in society are entitled to, versus the capitalist “free subject” who is allowed to choose and charge a price.

Submitted by ichbinvict