Sunday, May 25, 2008

LA in the rains

More and more I find myself feeling this absurd juxtaposition of seemingly trivial, superficial details of life, of livivng and these heady, profound even unthinkable questions about the meaning of existence. The feeling is bizarre. And all words in this register apply--it always strikes me that this should actually be one of the most normal feelings, so to speak. Since I have been trying, in the past days (save for the day of feeling totally trivial, myself), to get a generous sense of Zizek's take on ideology and ideology critique, I have thought that this feeling is related to this confusing process of externalization and internalization that he finds at work in the process of ideology--both the standard, normal Ideology and the new, Zizek-redefined IDeology. The old version would have that internalization is the process of ideology--that contingency is turned into necessity through a process of taking in the contingency and giving it meaning (through our belief in some necessity). The new version has that the inner necessity of external, contingent events is ignored, thus ignoring the inherent logic of a system that produces such contingencies. Thus the contrast between versions:
  • V(old): "internalization of the external contingency"
  • V(new): "externalization of the result of an inner necessity"

I feel like the sense that these things (the internal/external, necessity/contingency) are very distance from one another is one of the inevitable points of Zizek's theorizing, although I feel that this seems, in his writing, to happen accidentally--or by way of method, to be one of the things you must accept, if you are to think of things in the end in the way that he does. It seems, on the one hand as bizarre as the above-mentioned feeling of the normalcy of feeling estranged from your very own life. This feeling, an affect that Zizek does not comment on, but one that I feel is the predominant outcome of his theoretical writings, founds the desire I have to think critically about his work, and ultimately to not want it.

picture: Forest Spirits, from Hayou Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke

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