Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The Dumbest Thing You'll Read This Week: Slavoj Zizek, "The Sexual Is Political"

Total bullshit, as usual.
   In his drunken rambling, Professor Z does manage to stagger into some truths: the leftist neo-orthodoxy on transgenerism makes no sense, PC is dumb, the West and white guys are expected to be "multicultural," but no one else is... When you talk enough bullshit, I suppose you're bound to say the occasional true thing.
   But my God. This is what often passes for philosophy outside of philosophy. This is the the kind of shit that counts as a paradigm of advanced thought in certain sectors. THESE PEOPLE VOTE.
   I think I know how biologists must feel when they come across creationism purporting to be biology.
   But this is worse, man. This is like...I dunno...Scientology or something.
   What. The. Hell. is going on in people's heads who take this shit seriously? How can their bullshittometer be so completely busted? HOW DO THEY SURVIVE IN THE WORLD? The fact that they do makes me suspect that they aren't really taking this shit seriously. They're treating it like fiction or poetry. Maybe it's just used as a kind of Rorschach test. Or it's some kind of idea-based entertainment...somebody just spews out outre ideas, and others watch the crazy thoughts flow by...
   tl;dr: This Z fellow is bullshit personified


Blogger The Mystic said...

It's as if every single sentence, in an agonizingly circuitous fashion, and to whatever extent it bears any actual significance whatsoever, manages to presuppose a falsehood.

I actually tried to read this with the idea that I would see a person saying false things, but what it is instead is a person using intentionally extreme opacity to accomplish some nearly-indiscernible end.

It's not that I have no idea what he's talking's that he doesn't really appear to be talking about ideas at all.

5:11 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

You know what would be good? A sort of graphical depiction of an intelligent person's interpretive process when reading this thing. Perhaps a heavily marked up document in which the interpreter writes about his struggles to comprehend it to show just how many obstacles there are to doing so and what kind of limited, tentative conclusions can even be drawn from the exercise.

That is probably the most worthwhile response to this thing. It could show an honest attempt to understand bullshit on behalf of an intelligent person and, in doing so, demonstrate exactly what it means to say that this is bullshit.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

It's an interesting idea. I've spent innumerable hours of my life working through shit that was in roughly the same league as this bullshit, and I'm not sure I've ever found it very fruitful as a teaching tool. I mean, on a few rare occasions I've been able to force students to slow down and spend the large number of hours it actually takes to work through a few paragraphs of shit like this, until the light starts to go on and they *really start to see* what's wrong...

But I'm not really sure it works often enough to make it worthwhile.

Maybe adding some graphics might help. I think argument maps do help quite a bit. I wonder how many people who are actually attracted to something like this even have it in them to see their way through it, even with help.

Part of what lets this shit survive is that it's so obtuse that it's almost impossible to pin down. And once you get to that point--that is, once it's anything more complicated than a straightforward "see how this part is false," you lose the vast majority of people. If you have to say "see how this can sort of mean two different things, and one is false and the other is just gibberish..." Even a small, minimally complicated thought like that loses almost everybody, IMO.

My current view is roughly that there are people who don't need to be told it's bullshit, and they don't need help. And there are people who can't see that it's bullshit, and they are beyond help...and I'm just not sure how many people there are in between.

But maybe that's the whiskey talking...

9:20 PM  

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