Let’s play Žižuku!

Slavoj Žižek is one of the most interesting, influential Marxist philosophers living today. If you’ve never heard of him, here’s a video of him explaining why The Sound of Music is racist.

Always lively.

Julian Baggini over at TalkingPhilosophy.com was inspired by Slavoj to create a new game:

I’ve invented a great new game called “Žižuku”. The rules are simple: pick on any widely received idea and find the most clever-sounding way to invert it, so as to create a paradox, or at least the semblance of one.

The game is of course inspired by Slavoj Zizek. Reviewing his latest book for Times Higher Education, I realised that this is really almost all that he does, in a number of varying ways:

There is the simple psychoanalytic trope of claiming that however something seems, its true nature is the precise opposite. Then you have the repeated claim that a certain position entails its opposite, but that both sides of the paradox are equally real. Then again, there is the reversal of common sense, in which whatever the received wisdom is, Žižek postulates the opposite. And that really is it: Žižek simply repeats these intellectual manoeuvres again and again, albeit brilliantly, supplementing them with Lacanian embellishments such as the objet petit a, the Other, and the Real.

The point is that you can play this game well and generate some real insights from it. The drawback is that you can just as well come up with something profound-sounding but empty.

So, the invitation here is to play the game for yourself, debate its merits (and rules), or share some examples of particularly good or bad examples of it from the writings of others. Let’s play Žižuku!

We took Julian’s advice, and gave Žižuku a whirl!

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Srsly Wrong

Aaron and Shawn are all about the linguistic prescriptivism, exploring alleged contradictions, creative re-interpretation, changing and challenging ourselves and the world, and exciting strategic paradigms for mental toolkits.

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