Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Of Used Brillo Pads: Zizek, Penman, and Ironical Correctness

Brought to you by Andy Warhol

Without defensively resorting to citational pedantry, academic-Big-Other castration, or psychophilosophicus pomposity, much less an insistence on the precious existence of some extra-ideological humanist kernal (ala Sokal et el) that magically "exposes" the fakery of applied social theory, of Academic Institution - its Form, its syntax, its Message (instead of being its very condition of possibility), I think Penpill's response to Z-Man, here and here, is itself a misguided patho-casualty of the very flaws, of the impotent malaise that both Z-Man and Penpill are forever challenging ...
I have difficulty here taking seriously someone who's point of departure in ridiculing Z-Man is a conflating, a short-circuiting of Thought with Feeling, of "real" thoughts really really really manifesting one's indivisible, ineluctable unconscious desires. Isn't this at the very core of Kapitalist New Ageism, of Gestalt therapy verbatim, of the reductivist reality principle, and of a reactionary retreat into mystic post-modern subjectivity? Was this all just in Penrap jest? Just another flaky pendulum squirm of in-your-face pomo Oirony? A response to this guy accosting him while out jogging?
No, it wasn't. It is worryingly suggestive of a cynically passive, nostalgic idealisation of a time (up to post-punk early-1980s, reading Derrida and Lacan, watching Scarface [or maybe even its later art-house classist British "remake", Peter Greenaway's Jacobian The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover?]) when someone like Z-Man would have been taken seriously by the NME crew, but now is a suitably safe and iconic, media-construct-saturated performing chameleon hyperstitionally whisked off the 1983 set of Woody Allen's Zelig as Tony Montana's Id ... Someone who's "criticisms" of Z-Man amount in this instance to nothing more than lazy personal abuse?
There are many serious reasons to be devastatingly critical (and I include myself in that cohort) of Z-Man - his refusal to engage with issues, his philosophy-as-parlour-game, his political schizophrenia, romantically appealing for far-left Leninist revolutionary Acts while simultaneously justifying the antics of the Christian fundamentalist far right [on "class antagonistic" grounds to be sure - his alibi then oh-so-remaining intact] and scribbling nonsense about the "saintly" Lacanian Pure Desire of Drive in the obnoxious Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, his appalling Israeli visitation to promote his filmic perversion as Lebanon suffered mass meltdown, making him one of the very "liberal communists" he supposedly so detests - but Penman's resort to ad hominem, personality-driven derogatory assaults is not one of the better ones.

"Cultural Analysis, it's as easy as this ridiculously sublime Lego set."

From 90s Political Correctness to 00s Ironical Correctness: let's just "I don't wish to offend, but ..." disavowedly lash out at Z-Man's Slovenian/East European eccentricities and idiosyncracies, in an update of Steven Hawking AS INTERVIEWED BY Beavis and Butthead passive-aggressivist, Ricky Gervais.
The lisping, slobbering lego man, with a used Brillo pad for a beard ... [What, Marx?]

"I blame it all on Scarface."

Penman: "I know we are supposed to be above such things and shouldnt mention it, but what's with the cheap false teeth or whatever it is causes him to pronounce all his Sz as SH's? ("Show we sheee clearly wish SHyco...") and means that he comes across as even more of a cliche Whacky Euro Prof than he would anyway?" Do you imagine he'd get to make all of these documentaries if he didn't, if he wasn't? That's the rub: the subject supposed to be a "Cliche Whacky Euro Prof."
Penman, appropriating a fantasy-female Big Other - as real autonomous being - to the cause: ""He's just a stupid old man with a beard Penman." ... [] ... "But Christ if I have to read or hear that beating-yourself-up-before-the-Other-as-liberating-paradigm example from The Fight Club ONE MORE TIME I'll tear his bloody beard out by the roots... "
Time to grow one yourself then, Ian ...[for iconical correctness sake].


Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I think you have Z-man's number. He loves the game. No matter how absurd sounding his view is, he always has wiggle room.

To be an ex-lefty, denouncing Z-Man is an initiation right.

Good blog.

5:37 AM  
Blogger sexy said...







8:24 AM  

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