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johnk at johnk at
Wed Apr 14 00:44:26 PDT 1999

At 04:33 PM 4/10/99 +1100, you wrote:
>Doug quotes Zizek:
>>"All this cultural stuff is a dead end. We look at some film noir and see a
>>counterhegemonic subtext. Nonsense! We should be doing political economy
>I like this bloke more the more of him Doug feeds us.
>and Tavia suspects:
>'Could you say that the only reason we feel motivated to have these sub/heg
>debates is because we really enjoyed and/or were moved by the movie, but we
>worry that if we enjoy a mass entertainment unreflexively, we become
>complicit with some industrial-technological-entertainment complex? If so,
>arguing the political merits and demerits of a film becomes prophylaxis: a
>way to participate in the enjoyment of the film while protecting ourselves
>against the legitimating effects of that enjoyment.'
>I wouldn't like to make Mike Hoover cross (as I admire his posts on all
>things), but I think there's much to this. And there's good old-fashioned
>showing off somewhere in there as well. (I am reminded of that Ozzie art
>critic's - the one who wrote *The Culture of Complaint*, *The Shock of the
>New* and *Fatal Shore* [wassisname? Robert something?] note that Picasso's
>*Guernica* did nothing to prevent a thousand Guernicas - you could say the
>same for a *Schindler's List* or a *Saving Private Ryan*). Buffies and
>Matrices have nothing to do with anything that matters.
>But we can't get upset about that, 'coz we don't either. I guess that's
>what should be making us cross.
>And as for Besancon, Doug - you can see where he's coming from, but we have
>to be very careful. We have enough recent examples of lefties proposing
>entirely different 'truths', don't we? They get exposed on a relatively
>minor point of empirical fact, destroying their whole project in particular
>and a big chunk of the left's credibility in general.
>That a kernel of truth usually underpins the greater lie is true. To deny
>that kernel is to risk giving the lie to one's greater truth, I reckon.
>If it's Yugoslavia you have in mind here, I reckon a perfectly tenable
>argument can be made against NATO that need not even refer to the deeds
>NATO enumerated to justify themselves. We needn't deny their premises; we
>just take off from a different platform:
>that strategic bombing on its own is murder without a point (you have all
>*their* history books to point to);
>that evidence both leading up to the strike (failure to exhaust diplomatic
>options) and following it (failure to match the enthusiasm and commitment
>they evince in their bombing to help the very refugees in whose name
>they've been doing said bombing) point to either obscene stupidity or
>murderous deceit and opportunism (you have all *their* newspapers to poin
>that a plethora of perfectly foreseeable effects definitively militate
>against the interests of *anybody* with whom a reasonable person could feel
>sympathy etc etc ... (you have *their* common sense to point to).
>Hoist 'em on their own petard, I reckon (whatever that means). That way,
>you're coming from where those you seek to persuade are currently at, no?
X-Sender: johnk at X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Pro Version 4.1 Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 00:42:48 -0700 To: lbo-talk at From: John Kawakami <johnk at> Subject: Re: "Matrix", Zizek and Besancon In-Reply-To: <l03130300b33486211de7@[]> References: <v04011718b333f125943a@[]>


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At 04:33 PM 4/10/99 +1100, you wrote:

John Kawakami johnk at

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