Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Said and Unsaid: From the Critique of Hypocrisy to Symptomatic Reading

The critique of hypocrisy did not begin with Trump, but it has been fueled by his campaign and presidency. It is hard not to see signs of hypocrisy everywhere, in the leaders of the evangelical community who have rallied behind a philanderer who has admitted sexual abuse; in generals who have stood behind the tough guy rhetoric of a draft dodger whose idea of discipline is getting seconds on dessert; and even in so-called business leaders who kowtow to a man who has gone bankrupt six times running a casino (you know, where the house always wins). As much as Trump represents the culmination of hypocrisy critique he also represents its limit. None of these critiques have stuck. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Knock-off Soviet Kitsch: On Comrade Detective

Has Slavoj Zizek written about Comrade Detective yet? It seems to be the perfect show for him, not just for its setting behind the iron curtain, but its central premise is that of a "subject supposed to believe." Comrade Detective is a show streaming on Amazon. Its central premise, or gag, is that it is ersatz Soviet Bloc propaganda. The show is made to look as if it is a Romanian detective show from the nineteen-eighties; it is shot with Romanian actors (but modern production values) the dialogue is then dubbed by actors such as Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.