Posted by Nick Curley

Case File: Slavoj Zizek
Air Date: October 26th, 2011

Botanica (Summary): In his first appearance on the show, Zizek – Slovenia’s hottest Lacanian philosopher – praises PBS from right outta the gate, while sporting the look and gesticulations of a Muppet born of the Children’s Television Workshop.  This meeting of the minds came last week in the midst of Zizek’s brief but storied tour of our fair city, which included transcribed speeches at St. Mark’s Bookshop and Occupy Wall Street.  The theorist’s infectious vigor makes for ideal talking head TV: light but informative chatter.  Someone put this dude into the next Pixar joint already.

In Bloom (Highlights): Zizek’s sincere admission of having never publicly danced or sung in his life, which he blames on “the obscenity of gestures”.  His admonishment of anti-Semitic Zionism amongst the Fox News and creepier European sects.  His take on postmodern ideologies in Titanic and Kung Fu Panda.  Zizek: “20th century Communism… it did some good things, but let’s face it, it was a fiasco.”  Rose and his invited bonding over the common practice in both Russia and the American South of hanging horseshoes in your barn.  Reminders that the Arab Spring was a potentially exciting series of events, coupled with real talk about our digs at Iran while offering Saudi Arabia cordial reach-arounds.  Zizek: “If you speak about science, everything is possible on iPhone, blah blah blah… in disaster movies we can imagine asteroid hitting Earth, yet we cannot imagine a small change in capitalism.”  Rose’s rallying cries of “I hear you!”, “I’m with you!”, and “You’re singing my song!”

Thorns and Bramble (Low Points): Keeping with Ol’ Charliemagne’s custom of losing interest in a guest’s answer halfway through their response, Rose responds to Zizek’s remembrance of academia during the fall of Yugoslavia’s hardcore Leninists with “Isn’t there a dance place named after you in Buenos Aires?”

La vie en Rose (Host’s Hair, Attire, Demeanor): Less withered than expected on all fronts.  Despite rocking a drab JC Penney blazer saved only by a wide lapel straight out of Carlos, Rose drinks the Kool-Aid and by interview’s end is notably engaged, his sinewy wisps of a gray mane bobbing along, refusing to go gentle into that good night.

Previously on Rose Peddles: Norman Mailer (May 26th, 1995)

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