User:Luisa Moura/reading/film/Žižek

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NOTES ON THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY

JOHN NADA (1988); Introduction to ideology: we cannot escape it and it prevents us from seeing what we are actually looking at. The glasses of John Nada allow him to see beyond propaganda and marketing. We are addressed socially as subjects of pleasures: be yourself, lead a satisfying life; apparent freedom (…) Ideology is the tool we use to reach reality (when actually getting free from it should be the way to let us see things with objectivity). Ideology is not imposed on us; it is our spontaneous way of dealing with reality. We enjoy our Ideology (…) to step out of ideology hurts; you have to force yourself out of it (…) the strangest scene in the film, extremely long and violent, when John Nada tries to force his friend to put the glasses on (...) he refuses it; freedom hurts. You must be forced to be free.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (-); Psychoanalysis: distinction between enjoyment and pleasures. Enjoyment can also be a disturbed pleasure, even related with pain, this troubles its perception and its relationship with a sense of duty. Ideology in religion (…) Maria has too much sexual energy to be a nun. She falls in love and gets disturbed with it, running back to the convent (…) the song of the mother superior: go for the man, climb every mountain (censured part in old communist Yugoslavia), pretty hedonist. The power of attraction of catholic religion: intelligent propaganda. They don't prohibit, it is much more cynical what is proposed between the church as institution and the troubled believer. It is a hidden, obscene, permission: you are covered by the divine big other. Enjoy. This contract doesn't belong to Christianity itself but to the Catholic Church as institution ("logic of institution at its purest"). Pretend to renounce, and you can get it all.

DESERT AND COKE; Contemporary patients Psychoanalysis: don't feel guilty because they do wrong or act immorally, but because they feel they are NOT enjoying enough (…) coke. (…) the perfect commodity: It is not only an object; it is something full of meaning, hidden transcendence. Coke is "the real thing" the mysterious something more, impossible to describe. We are obliged to enjoy, perverted duty. When you are thirsty you feel like drinking coke, but, the more you drink it, the thirstier you get. We tend to ignore it: there is always the desire to continue feeling desire that obscures our perception. The ultimate melancholic experience is the one of loosing desire itself.

KINDER surprise egg: materialized desire, wrapped egg, the surplus that you get for free (…) toy. The chocolate is not there to take you deeper into the treasure. We actually aim at the higher goal in order to be able to enjoy the surface. The chocolate tastes better because it comes together with a toy; hard metaphysical lesson.

ODE TO JOY; ode to humanity as such? (…) freedom of all. universal adaptability of this well known melody. It can be used by opposed political forces. Nazi, communist Union. Chinese cultural revolution. south Rhodesia, Zimbabwe. independency, again ode to joy (CHECK) sendero luminoso the same- Olympics, golden medal east Germany (00:21:30) now, non official hymn of the European union. we can imagine a scene of universal fraternity, Obama and Osama bin laden, ... , and it works. ideology has to be an empty container, able to get everything in. neutrality of a frame. even though not as neutral as it appears.

CLOCKWORK ORANGE.; Alex, delinquent, cynical. fascinated, overwhelmed when he hears the lady singing the ode to joy. When ideology speaks about a place of gathering where everyone should join, someone gets to be excluded. who? he feels identified with this place of exclusion. Beethoven literally staged this exclusion (back to the film) carnavalesque version of the music shopping arcade. Beethoven: Ideology and the failure of the ideology; he was practicing already the critique of ideology (LISTEN)

WEST SIDE STORY (1961); scene with crooks enacting an explanation of why they are delinquents to the police officer (mum is bad, father is drunk, we need education and help, not punishment and pain, we are sick, we are sick!). Cynical ideology, I know very well what I'm doing but I'm still doing it. How can you know all this but still do it?

ENGLISH RIOTS (2011); the same, this people lack everything, and then? how can we assume our role as victims and choose to hold on to it. conservative reaction: we need more control and more police. this solution seems to simple. they were burning, destroying and so on. but the ultimate crime with no excuse: they were taking away stuff without paying for it. no ideology justification then. It is the reaction of people that are totally caught in the predominant ideology but have no way to realize what this ideology demands from them. the space of consumerism. disintegration of great ideology of protest. violence is always the enactment of something you cannot put into words, dreadlock.

TAXI DRIVER (1976); Travis. here is someone that won't take it anymore, the dirt, the scum, the whores. fantasy, the prostitute, bothers him, bothers him precisely because she embodies his fantasies (he feels attracted by her victimhood, he suspects of her hidden pleasures). fantasies are the core of our ideology. fantasy is a lye and is the place for things that we don't manage to define (covers up a gap in consistency). fantasy, construction of a scene in which we get to be desired by others (...)

THE SEARCHERS. (taxi driver, remake of the searchers?) once again the task of the hero is to save the perceived victim. what does actually drives him? the suspicion that the victim enjoys her victimhood... and doesn't wish to be redeemed. she resists to it (American 'humanitarian' interventions) this leads inevitably to an outburst of violence

TAXI DRIVER; the last part of the film is the explosion of violence. covering up an impotence to create a cognitive mapping (the same goes for the killings in Oslo. Brevic’ s manifesto is worth reading. It is a reaction to the impenetrability of global capital. Travis, put his fingers towards his head showing that this was all about suicide.

JAWS (1975); what does the shark stands for? metaphor for natural disaster, emigrants, other threats? Fidel Castro believes that the shark is the metaphor for the ordinary American capitalism (...) the function of the shark is to embody all of fears. our experience of reality gets to be more simple then.

TRIUMPH OF THE WILL (1935).; vulnerability of the German population after WWI, nothing functions, what does society wants from the common citizen? moral degradation, misery, impotence. lack of values and meaning. excess of antagonisms. fascism, conservative revolution, development yes, but based on a traditionally hierarchical society. modern, efficient but controlled by hierarchical order that is free from classes or antagonisms. problem? class and antagonism is inherent to capitalism. disintegration of old systems and revolution of social structures in needed. capitalism works on fragmentation. how to deal with this? which kind of ideology allows people to deal with this?... create an intruder to put the guilt on. focus on eliminating the intruder, in this case the Jews. like the shark in 'jaws'. the multitude of fears confuses so you just gather them into one single object.

SINGLE MUMS ON BENEFITS (UK); john major. ideological campaign to return to morality. evil embodied in the figure of unemployed, single mothers (00:45:28). root of the criminality in the suburbs. we lack of mother and have problems because of them. we need a figure to gather our attention and mobilize us. ideology is a filer, a frame. if you look at the same ordinary reality through this frame everything changes,. the frame opens up suspicion.

THE ETERNAL JEW (1940); how to convince people that Jews, despite their great intellectual power and influence in society, were immoral, dirty and disgusting? contradictory. typical of racism. stimulate a sense of envy. the other is not simply an enemy, is usually someone invested with all secret imaginary enjoyments. he there to steal from us our way of living. Nazism. masses of people. discipline. solidarity. ingredients taken from socialism, from the 'workers' realm. there is nothing wrong about solidarity in itself, the problem here is that it only refers to a certain kind of people and it is based on the exclusion of many others.

CABARET (1972); song, 'the future belongs to me' (?) music ironically composed by Jewish composers. used in this context supports and almost clarifies the Nazi ideology, but its lyrics are deeply popular and could perfectly fit a socialist context.

RAMSTEIN; playing with the German militarist iconography. polemic. but. minimal Nazi elements re-enacted. no precise ideological meaning, Rammstein actually takes this elements away from their meaning and allows us to enjoy them in their pre-ideological state. the way to fight Nazism is to precisely play with their symbols, you destroy it from within. free floating elements that can fit different ideological fields.

STARBUCKS COFFEE. coffee charged with ideology. its more expensive because our productive is fair trade and we help children in Guatemala. you buy and then you feel bad, but here you already get something to balance that guilt. starbucks allows you to be a consumerist without having bad conscience. ultimate form of consumerism.

CAPITALISM. move of capital, reproduction, growth. and everything is valid to keep this on. destruction of nature, exploitation. in other hand, ecological concerns (...) cemetery of airplanes. capitalism is always in crisis, that's why its indestructible. the crisis is what allows its perpetual growth. incredible amount of waste. we cannot get rid of it. maybe we should just accept the uselessness of things. accept this lack of function in many things. (Walter Benjamin) we don't feel History when things move or happen (engagement), but when we see its trace, waste of culture in confrontation with natural decay.

I AM LEGEND (2007). pos catastrophic movies. devastated human environment. what we experience in this moment: inertia of the real. mute presence beyond meaning. change for an authentic passive experience? without this, nothing new can emerge. maybe this is what we need more today.

TITANIC (1997). impact. sinking in a society unaware of the decay that awaited it in the future world war and so on. fascinating presence of the ruin n the bottom of the ocean. metaphysical experience, forbidden territory, sacred and obscene get together. grimace. petrified enjoyment (...) the death of Jake. ideology. Cameron’s Marxism, fake sympathy with the lower class. upper class egotistic, lost and so on. cynical hidden message. two of them together would be the true catastrophe. she is in stress. his role is just to help her to reconstruct her ego. literally. even with the portrait. when the upper class looses their vitality, they need to get in contact with the lower class in order to enjoy back their position. vampire exploitation.

ORATORIO FOR PRAGUE (1968). social (soviet army) intervention seen as a destruction instrument of the check spring (democratic socialism), when it actually saves it. either ch would turn into a liberalist state or the communists in power would be forced to define limits within it. the army saved the dream for another communism.

in the film, the catastrophe saves the illusion of eternal love, the ship hits the iceberg when they decide to stay together. its is just a trap to lower our attention in order to open us up to accept the true conservative message. rich people have the right to revitalize themselves using the poor (...) when kate notices that he is dead and says that she will never let go, she lifts his fingers up and set him loose.

THE FALL OF BERLIN (1949). WWII from the soviet point of view. worker in love with a girl. meets Stalin. Stalin recommends poetry to read and so on. the couple later embraces. in that moment, the triumphal entrance of the obstacle. air German attack. girl taken prisoner. the boy joins the red army and we follow him in all the battles, the point of everything, the guy has to find the girl. and he gets her in the end, but through Stalin. the match maker. a scene that never happened, Stalin feared crowds. the girl sees first Stalin and then the man. its only through Stalin that the couple sees each other. stronger ideological message then the propagandistic film itself. small surplus element that maintains our attention, the relationship. the human scale of the ideology.

FULL METAL JACKET (1987). songs of obscenity. obscene supplement of military discipline (almost all American movies on military discipline). is not undermining of making fun of discipline. Its its inner most constituent. you take this obscene supplement away and the military machine stops working. the sergeant, is rather a tragic figure. after is work turning back home and being quite decent and so on. show only to impress and BRIBE the soldiers with bits of enjoyment*

MASH (1970). anti militaristic. not actually. but the other way around. they actuate perfectly as soldiers, despite their sexual escapades and permanent jokes. IF... (1968). *groups (military or not) need unwritten rules, next to official rules. crucial for the identification of a group. UK public schools. nice, ordered, democratic, friendship. but behind it. violence, punishment, sexual abuse, rituals, terrible cycle of obscenity. it feels like to make part of collective you have to make your hands dirty. enjoyment for both perpetrators and victims.

ABU DHABI. staging of the obscene side of military culture. the joker in full metal jacket. he manages to detach himself through humor. the guy that suicides lost the distance to ideology. if you get too close to it, if you identify yourself too much, you end up killing other people or yourself.

THE DARK KNIGHT (2008). the joker, which is the lie he is opposing to? lie as general social principle. the joker is the truth and he is destructive as such. In order to keep the order, succession of lies. old conservative wisdom. Plato, Kant, Burke. truth is too strong. politics should not tell all the truth to people, but being able to create a good fable. Democracy. even the most democratic state, in order to display authority, power needs authority, encloses this message: "we can basically do with you anything we want"

if there is no god then everything is permitted, this is not a Dostoyevsky statement, but Sartre's. this statement is simply wrong. it is precisely when there is god that everything is permitted. if you legitimize yourself as a direct instrument of a divine will, then all other minor considerations disappear. this is the way in which not only religious fundamentalist works, but also the authoritarian regimes. subjective experience of a Stalinist condition: the BIG OTHER. the big other has many names in Stalinism: necessity of historical progress towards communism, or simply History in itself. Instrument (socialism) to actualize a historical necessity. Idealized point of reference. My hart bleeds, but it was for a higher cause, on behalf of the big other. Lenin was always seen as a man that loved cats and children, not as a man that led massive killings. killings were done as a duty, his heart was no there. how to undermine Stalinism? not making fun of the leader, that is almost tolerated. the worst would be to make fun of the people under Stalinism.

THE LOVES OF A BLONDE (1965); mocking of ordinary people. daily conformism, stupidity and lust. this is a way to undermine the whole structure of Stalinism: destroying the myth associated with the population itself, used to legitimized political order and decision.

(...) The big other is the secret order of things in one hand and the order of appearances in other. BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945). annoying lady, brutal intruder. the two lovers are forced to keep appearances. the function of the big OTHER, for whom we maintain appearances. Is is that simple? Under the pressure of appearances, we can hear her line of though: "I wish you could be a true friend" she would like to share her thoughts with her husband, but she cannot of course. In other hand there is this person that could be a confessor, but that is totally unable to hear or to deserve any trust. That is the tragedy of our predicament. we need the agency of a big other. an agency to confess. and if there is no agency? Yugoslavian women, survived the rapes to tell the truth. but there was no one there to listen to them (Lacan) there is no OTHER. we are alone.

BRAZIL (1985); Kafka was right, state bureaucracy is the only remaining contact with the dimension of the divine. bureaucratic engagement, rush, performance, leading to nowhere and endless. 'are you from central services?' the clandestine plumber! fixing with efficiency and we no obstacles – ultimate offense to the order of things.

THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (1988); hysteria at its most essential; demanding answers from authority. doubt. productive position. Christianity. no hidden meaning in suffering. Jewish, in constant tension about the intentions of god. Christianity solved anxiety with a love story, the sacrifice of God's son. What dies on the cross is actually the death of hope regarding divine meaning. Christianity is much more atheist than simple atheism.

SECONDS (1966). neglected master piece, heart of the hippie era. a man runs away from his own life. new body, face (...) fakes his death. then the agency invents a life for him, puts inclusive a girl on his way. he is now a modernist painter. the girls tries to engage him in parties, orgies or whatever. But he starts missing his old life. He turns to the agency again and explains he is not able to adapt to his new life. He became a problem for the agency and he will be therefore 'deleted' and reused as cadaver for another customer. the nightmare of following the wrong dreams, imposed by a consumerist society.

ZABRISKI POINT (1970). orgy, further then a subversion of the old order, it is the official engagement in a new one. it could be a publicity shot.

Old dreams turned into an ultimate nightmare (Cuba). capitalism has been the true revolutionary force, even if it only serves itself. shall we become realistic, demanding the impossible?... occupy movement, Arab spring, (...) it depends on us, in our will. 'every revolution is not only directed towards the future but it also redeems also the past failed revolutions... gathering of unsatisfied ghosts.