We can put a picture of Zizek up, too. That doesn't mean he writes for us.
Yesterday, the internet was abuzz with the unexpected news that Slovenian Marxist Slavoj Zizek and pop superstar Lady Gaga are friends — perhaps more than friends. The New York Post appears to have broken this ‘news’ with a ‘Page Six’ (gossip) article. The Post refers to unnamed ‘sources’ who say they spent time together, and references a blog post entitled “Communism Knows no Monster” in which Zizek allegedly expounds on the significance of Gaga. The article ends by quoting Zizek, reached by the Post, as saying “I am terribly sorry to disappoint you, but this is all a fake!” This quote did absolutely nothing to stop the spread of this rumor. But I am almost certain that quote is the truth.
The key is the blog post, “Communism Knows no Monster.” Although it is attributed to Zizek, it is absolutely not by him. It appears on the website of something called Deterritorial Support Group. This is an anarchist/theoretical site. As those whose familiarity with Zizek dates back before June 20, 2011 probably know, Zizek’s main intellectual antagonists are anarchist theorists. They typically regard him as a rigid Marxist. He regards them as ineffectual and unwilling to take direct aim at power (on the other hand, Zizek and ‘anarchists’ like Micheal Hardt and Antonio Negri probably agree on about 80 or 90% of real world political questions. In practical matters everyone these days is less dogmatic than in theory). Zizek would not be writing for such a website. He regularly contributes to the London Review of Books, which, in any case, has a much larger readership.
The blog post has a link to an announcement
that both Gaga and Zizek will appear at an event in March of this year supporting the University of College Union (UCU) strike of lecturers. In fact, neither showed up, even though Zizek was apparently in town teaching a course that week. Lady Gaga did send an email in support (source, Grietje Sabra, on the Facebook wall of “UCU Strike Teach Out with Zizek and Lady Gaga”
). “Communism Knows no Monster” elaborates on Gaga’s supposed theoretical significance, which, in itself, is not implausible for Zizek. He has written about many popular cultural icons and texts. But the references are otherwise off. No Lacan, for example. There is a reference to abjection and public nudity, but Zizek has actually been quite critical of this sort of thinking and practice, associated above all with Giorgio Agamben
. As a final note, the comments thread for the “Communism Knows no Monster” includes a question about the authorship of this post. Commenter ‘sprandrell’ responds “no, this is not Zizek”. If a small website like this actually did net a contribution from a giant like Zizek, it seems inconceivable that the editor would let this discussion stand, rather than jump in to let everyone know that this is in fact Zizek. Sorry, New York Magazine
, et al, you’ve been punked. Zizek did not write a blog post about Lady Gaga. They did not appear at a protest together. And the likelihood they ‘spent time together’ (winky-wink) is practically non-existent.
Posted by Left Eye On Books
on Jun 21 2011. Filed under News Blog
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0
You can leave a response or trackback to this entry