wow, I never used to understand the big deal about Zizek, pro or con. But last night at Left Forum, I got it. He’s brilliant and funny and his energy is actually really fun to be around. He gave a well-argued and super smart defense of coarse language as part of what solidarity looks like. (Then of course dumb people said, how dare you use coarse language!) He talked about not fetishizing the oppressed and their roots or their “essential goodness” but struggling in solidarity with them for the commons of humanity.

For instance, refugees — it’s not because they are perfect humans that we demand open borders, but because mobility is everybody’s right. And when everybody can go everywhere, then we talk about the cultural issues and clashes that are real and that come up when we treat people like our fellow human beings and not like fetishized objects of our white savior complexes.

I disagreed with plenty that he said, but Zizek is provocative and funny and I am surprised how much I enjoyed his talk. It could have been called “against paternalism, for solidarity.” Or “against bourgeois middle-class bullshit moralism and for laughter.” I highly recommend your watching it on youtube and the Left Forum website when it goes up in a day or two.


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