Monday, November 21, 2005

Clover - 'The Mirror Sage'

In the grand tradition of Derrida The Movie, comes Zizek! - "The exclamation point marks a broad joke about cheesy biopix, or perhaps a more specific anxiety about the film's own place in the millennial raft of theoryporn". According to The Village Voice "The movie is an attempt to disseminate serious social philosophy, haunted by the threat one might be selling it out. Jokes mask ambitious investigations; serious gestures withdraw into self-negation; the specter of historical violence is omnipresent (he refers to his critical confreres as "a cell, the theoretical Al Qaeda"). Zizek, who finished fifth in Slovenia's 1990 election of a four-person presidency, says he was offered various governmental positions: "Minister of education, health, I almost died laughing. There are only two posts I want: minister of interior, or secret police." The certainty that he's both making fun and utterly serious crackles through the international phone line. "The only way to signal you are serious is, at the level of form, to make fun of yourself. This pseudo-Heideggerian jargon, we live in fateful times, the destiny of humanity is threatened blah blah blah—I think you cannot talk like that."

So how can you talk; what is philosophy for? "It's not to provide answers, it's to correct the questions," says Zizek. "Terrorism, freedom, democracy: The duty of philosophy is not to explain what would be true democracy, how to beat terrorism, but to ask, is this truly the question? This is the only thing a philosopher can do. Other questions are for politicians—I mean, what do I know? Fuck it, who am I, what do I know how to fight terrorism? Every secret policeman, I give him moral right to know more than me.""

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