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LX:81 | A Snobbish Idiot

A snobbish idiot goes to an expensive restaurant and, when asked by the waiter: “Hors d’oeuvre?,” he replies: “No, I am not out of work, I earn enough to be able to afford to eat here!” The waiter then explains he means the appetizer and proposes raw ham: “Du jambon cru?” The idiot replies: “No, I don’t believe it was ham I had the last time here. But OK, let’s have it now - and quickly, please!” The waiter reassures him: “J’ai hâte de vous servir!” to which the idiot snaps back: “Why should you hate to serve me? I will give you a good tip!” And so on, till finally the idiot gets the point that his knowledge of French is limited; to repair his reputation and prove that he is a man of culture, he decides, upon his departure late in the evening, to wish the waiter good night not in French - “Bonne nuit!” afraid that something might go wrong again, but in Latin: “Nota bene!

Do most of the dialogues in philosophy not function in a similar way, especially when a philosopher endeavors to criticize another philosopher? Is not Aristotle’s critique of Plato a series of “Nota bene!” not to mention Marx’s critique of Hegel, etc., etc.? (7)


Source

Žižek, Slavoj.  Žižek's jokes: (did you hear the one about Hegel and negation?).  Ed. Audun Mortensen.  The MIT Press. 2014. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Standing Toe to Toe;The 'Claro, Pero' Paradox 

Works and Days

 

Documents

 


Notes

 


LX:53 | The Red Ink

In an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, a German worker gets a job in Siberia; aware of how all mail will be read by censors, he tells his friends: “Let’s establish a code: if a letter you will get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it is true; if it is written in red ink, it is false.” After a month, his friends get the first letter, written in blue ink: “Everything is wonderful here: stores are full, food is abundant, apartments are large and properly heated, movie theaters show films from the West, there are many beautiful girls ready for an affair - the only thing unavailable is red ink.”

And is this not our situation till now? We have all the freedoms one wants - the only thing missing is the “red ink”: we “feel free” because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom. What this lack of red ink means is that, today, all the main terms we use to designate the present conflict - “war on terror,” “democracy and freedom,” “human rights,” etc. - are false terms, mystifying our perception of the situation instead of allowing us to think it. The task today is to give the protestors red ink. (95)


Source

Žižek, Slavoj.  Žižek's jokes: (did you hear the one about Hegel and negation?).  Ed. Audun Mortensen.  The MIT Press. 2014. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Diplomatic Situation; Discourse; Efficacious Transference; If Photography Tends to the Literary; Parrhesia; Quest for the Invariant; Reflective Understanding; Relations of Power; Semiotics; Socratic Midwifery; The 'Claro, Pero' Paradox; The Act of Naming; The Central Attitude; The Intention to Speak; The Lesson Reduction Teaches; The Most Blameworthy Ignorance; The Notion of Liberation; The Philosopher; The Place I Have Come To; The Public; This Permanent Dissonance;A Fundamental Quality of an Act;The Most Basic Sphere of Concern is Schooling;Standing Toe to Toe 

Works and Days

 

Documents

pdf CPE : Signifier, Signified (94 KB)  

pdf Mariu Palacios (Len Luterbach), Lima Peru (43 KB)


Notes