The Examined Life

Last night I sat down to watch a film on contemporary philiosophers called The Examined Life. I got about halfway through before my mother called and I spent the next hour or so hearing about her recent bout of hives (from Chinese food, no less) and how you can eat sour cream up to six months after the expiration date without any risk. She doesn’t believe in expiration dates, you see.

So I never got past Judith Butler, who was kind of boring me with talk of “the role of the body” and all kinds of deconstructionist gibberish. But she was actually fairly coherent after ten minutes of Zizek carrying on about garbage being the real soul of ecology. “To be an ecologist” – I’m quoting from memory – “means you must learn to love trash.” Zizek is hilarious but I cannot bring myself to take anything he says seriously. He’s like the Charles Bukowski of contemporary philosophers.

Here is a clip of Avital Ronell yakking on about “the other.” It’s kind of a minor masterpiece of nonsense. “The minute you think you know the other, you’re ready to kill them.” Oh, shit, really?

I could’ve used another ten minutes of Cornel West, all things considered.