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January 19, 2011

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Kenny

I enjoy how you've turned Žižek's analogy on him, because the Joker does live the biggest lie behind his makeup (but wait, maybe so does Juilian Assange?)

I'm not convinced by Žižek that the leaks haven't revealed "anything new." Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com has best outlined many examples and wrote today: "I'd be interested in hearing anyone who wants to argue that the WikiLeaks disclosures contain "nothing new" dismiss the actual revelations (here and here)." [citations below]

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/24/wikileaks

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20026591-503543.html

And to take apocalypse in a different direction, I'm not sure that coming out "saying it in public changes," as Žižek suggests, anything..

Perhaps I've been reading a little too much Susan Sontag, but I feel all the horrible facts or statistics we hear are like the photographs Sontag writes about—only another spectacle for the masses to consume: "Social change is replaced by a change in images. The freedom to consume a plurality of images and goods is equated with freedom itself." Access to these leaks means people don't look them up. When they hear about them, they go about their daily lives as if undisturbed.


Richard Prouty

I agree that there have been some revelations in the WikiLeaks so far. For instance, a lot of people were surprised by how little the Chinese know about what the North Koreans are up to.

I like the quote from Sontag. Walter Benjamin made a similar point: The dreaming collective is a lot happier with the illusions of change than with actual change.

Although I disagree with him, Zizek has a point: it's naive to think that the free flow of information will make everything better. At the same time, just because you won't throw a bomb at the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't mean you're an accommodationist.

I liked Zizek better when he was trying to sell Lacan to the public. Now he's turned into an international scold.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Kenny.

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What Is One-Way Street?

One-Way Street [Einbahnstrasse, 1928] was Walter Benjamin's first effort to break out of the narrow confines of the academy and apply the techniques of literary studies to life as it is currently lived. For Benjamin criticism encompasses the ordinary objects of life, the literary texts of the time, films in current release, and the fleeting concerns of the public sphere. Following Benjamin's lead, this blog is concerned with the political content of the aesthetic and representations of the political in the media. As Benjamin writes in One-Way Street, "He who cannot take sides should keep silent."

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