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Žižek Featured in The Onion —We Fill in the Blanks

Ryan Healey, Rebecca Nathanson25 May 2012

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The Onion Weekender recently featured our in-house champion of castration anxiety: 

The answers are here. We interns scoured our Žižek backlist to uncover his hints for YOU

10. Build up anticipation before the night. From The Plague of Fantasies:

Let us consider virtual sex: when I play sex games with a partner on the screen, exchanging 'mere' written messages, it is not only that the games can really arouse me or my partner and provide us with a 'real' orgasmic experience; it is not only that, beyond mere sexual arousal, my partner and I can 'really' fall in love without meeting in RL. 

9. Kink. From Living in the End Times

The entanglement of lust (sin) and law resides not only in the fact that the prohibition of sexuality makes lust desirable; one should also add that the pain and guilt we feel when, against our will, we are dragged into sexual lust, are themselves sexualized. Not only do we feel pain and guilt at sexual enjoyment, we enjoy this very pain and guilt. 

8. Don't be intimidated by his past history.

"The Elvis of cultural theory"; "unafraid of confrontation"; "often breathtaking in his scope and acuity"; "master of counterintuitive observation"; "Žižek is consistently penetrating"; "never ceases to dazzle";  "To witness Žižek in full flight is a wonderful and at times alarming experience, part philosophical tightrope walk, part performance-art marathon, part intellectual roller-coaster ride." 

7. Cheer him up. From Keith Gessen

You know who else is from Slovenia? Slavoj Žižek, the philosopher, author most recently of a book on Hegel called Less than Nothing. This is Kopitar's philosophy, perhaps: He wants the other team to score less than nothing. The impossibility of this causes him to stay up nights, developing dark circles under his eyes, causing him to look depressed.

6. Get ahistorical. 

And, since the basic inconsistency constitutive of human being as such is the discord (the "impossibility") of the sexual relationship, no wonder that one of the key elements in our fascination with the animal kingdom is represented by its perfectly regulated mating rituals—animals do not need to worry themselves with all the complex fantsies and stimulants needed to sustain sexual lust, they are able to "have sex ahistorically." 

5. Be discreet, unlike flowers:

4. Fidelity is indispensable. Žižek in Occupy!

The only thing I'm afraid of is that we will someday just go home and then we will meet once a year, drinking beer and nostalgically remembering "what a nice time we had here." 

3. Get creative, as the bar is high. From Occupy!:

What do we perceive today as possible? Just follow the media. On the one hand, in technology and sexuality, everything seems to be possible. 

2. Mix it up—the man likes variety. From The Plague of Fantasies:

In this precise sense, fist-fucking is Edenic; it is the closest we can get to what sex was like before the Fall: what enters me is not the phallus, but a pre-phallic partial object, a hand—we are back in a pre-lapsarian Edenic state. 

1. But still keep it simple—it's classic for a reason. From Less Than Nothing:

One can thus imagine a couple reducing their sexual activity to a minimal level, depriving it of all excess, only to find that the minimalism itself becomes invested with an excessive sexual jouissance (along the lines of those partners who, to spice up their sex life, treat it as a disciplinary measure, dress up in uniforms, follow strict rules, etc). 


Žižek's newest from Verso, Less Than Nothingcomes in four parts: The Drink Before, The Thing Itself: Hegel, The Thing Itself: Lacan, The Cigarette After. But before the cigarette, a drink:

An old Slovene joke: a young schoolboy has to write a short composition with the title “There is only one mother!” in which he is expected to illustrate, apropos a singular experience, the love which links him to his mother; here is what he writes: “One day I returned home earlier than expected, because the teacher was ill; I looked for my mother and found her naked in bed with another man who was not my father. My mother angrily shouted at me: ‘What are you staring at, you idiot? Why don’t you run to the refrigerator and get us two cold beers!’ I ran to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, looked into it and shouted back to the bedroom: ‘There is only one, mother!’” 


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