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Social media etc.

Another new paper available on the web, “Social media and levels of freedom“, written by myself, Reijo Kupiainen and Juha Suoranta for the DREAM conference in Denmark.


  1. Santeri Satama wrote:

    Perhaps in the context of Zizek analyzing Hollywood films today on Teema-Channel, the Husserl quote at the beginning of the article made me think about the reason why the movie “Dances With Wolfs” has allways felt so interestingly beautifull while also deeply disturbing.

    Most disturbing is not that the white hero turns into Indian after introduction of insanity of multiple forms (pointedly the suicidal kind, both unsuccesfull and succesfull) and the gradual recovery of the hero in solitude, but the explicitely overstating emphasis of that fact of turning indian: in the scene after the soldiers have captured the hero, how one of the soldiers says “He’s turned Indian!” and how the hero – with whom we the audience are supposed to and most probably do identify with – refuses to speak English and says in the language of his newfound tribe – or rather, in subtitles: “I don’t speak to you, you are not people to me” – or something to the same effect.

    Would be interesting to see Zizek analyze that. 🙂

    Zizek: What snappy psychological symbolism of Western-Universal Subject-Void migh that scene represent?
    Hero-Turned-Indian: [In subtitle paraphrase of the incoprenehsible barbarian utterance: “I refuse to talk to you”]

    What is really disturbing about this movie scene is why I’m now writing this and – yup – in English! Still, somehow, on some level, still (re)living the Greco-Hollywoodian Oidipal myth of saviour of the World, instead of trying to pull also the other leg from the Grave of Universal Saviours?

    Because it’s just a shared experience?

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 5:39 am | Permalink
  2. tere wrote:

    Ah – have to watch that again, can’t remember it very well. Thanks for the example; I might want to add it to my list of anti-zizekian arguments.

    Sometimes Hollywood can be surprising. For instance, “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise is a thoroughly anti-progressivist and anti-modernist movie. There is a background in the destruction of Indians there, too. The hero (Cruise) has been slaughtering Indians, but finds in Japan a salvation in rural/collectivist traditions. Again a film that Zizek would hate. Maybe the “getting-one-foot-out-of-the-grave” is emphasised in “The Last Samurai” by how the hero loses twice; first in the US and then in Japan. Only after the double-defeat does he get off his horse.

    Friday, August 29, 2008 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  3. Santeri Satama wrote:

    “The human being is this night, this empty nothing, that contains everything in its simplicity — an unending wealth of many representations, images, of which none belongs to him—or which are not present. This night, the interior of nature, that exists here—pure self—in phantasmagorical representations, is night all around it, in which here shoots a bloody head—there another white ghastly apparition, suddenly here before it, and just so disappears. One catches sight of this night when one looks human beings in the eye—into a night that becomes awful.
    (Hegel 1974: 204; quoted in Verene 1985: 7-8).”

    Sounds like a subject (latin word literally meaning ‘thrown down’) thrown down into the lower world or “alinen” or what Jung referred to as ‘collective subconscious’ without any help and protection, relying only on theoretical philosopher’s theoretical intellect and facing nothing but the subject’s total terror of its annihilation. A more succesfull trip with appropriate help, overcoming the worst subjective fears of possibility of ego-death could instead of fearfull sense of “empty nothing” lead to joyfull “full everything” which is a common sensation related to the upper world or “ylinen”.

    What is plainly evident in the Freud-Lacan-Zizek continuum of theoretical psychological thought is their strong anti-Jungian attitude, clearly out of subjective fear of sharing the Jungian – or better, shamaninistic – pragmatic experience. This subjective terror is clearly not even “scientific” since it can only stubbornly deny the empirical evidence of the “collective subconscious” that e.g. shamanistic practice of collective drumming seremonies offers.

    In some deeply meaningfull relation (best left uninterpreted) to the linguistic dilemma that gave birth to my earlier post, the next day I attended a drumming seremony lead by a Finnish shaman where there was also present a visiting British druid. From his vision quests that night the druid brought deeply meaningfull experience to me concerning my previous experience and relations with certain animal spirits (or “fantasmata”) known subjectively only to me and to certain extant to the shaman, that the English speaking druid could not have subjective knowledge about.

    On this level of shamanistic experience – which in some sense can also be called linguistic experience – sharing of symbolic imagery of the “collective subconscious” – the presumed untranslatabilities between Ugric and Indo-European naturally do not form obstacles.

    But is the common “archetypal” or shamanistic language universal language, language of One – or just local languages of Many? To this question I must try to answer based simply on my gut feeling, that just as binary logic betweend subject and object dichotomy and the whole dichotomy, also the dichotomy or dialectic between universal “One” and local “Many” is not in any way definitive question about shamanistic level of experience and it’s shared and sharable “linguistic” aspects.

    Rather, the question which does not need to arise to become too limiting on thought and action, is based on rather naive “analytic” take on algebras and number theories. From what I hear, e.g. Von Neumann algebras and p-adic fractality and trinary logic could offer much more meaningfull mathematical approaches to these levels of reality-nature-experience than (eurocentric) binary logic of either-or.

    Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 12:46 am | Permalink

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