Desire is a relation of being to lack. This lack is the lack of being properly speaking. It isn’t the lack of this or that, but lack of being whereby the being exists. This lack is beyond anything which can represent it. It is only ever represented as a reflection on a veil. The libido, but now no longer as used theoretically as a quantitative quantity, is the name of what animates the deep-seated conflict at the heart of human action. [...] Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn’t even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack. Being attains a sense of self in relation to being as a function of this lack, in the experience of desire.
-- Jacques Lacan, Seminar II
My pal Jody and I were killing time before a showing of A Separation in West LA and came across A Video Store Named Desire on Santa Monica (just south of Cinefile). There's something comforting about all those stacks: the individual psychic topography of only the guy at the counter knowing where anything is; commerce resisting easy commercialization; retail that defies commodification. It's a small blow against the totally administered society.