Since power is theoretically dispersed to the masses in a democratic system where the have-nots will always outnumber the haves, it becomes necessary for mass desire to be manufactured such that the status quo is believed by the people to be their will, and not something being forced upon them from the outside. This keeps things from changing, or not changing, too fast, so that the small ratio of dominant to the dominated can remain fairly static over time. That's why 1984 has never been a wholly convincing metaphor for the modern Western democracy. People would vote out Big Brother if he were seen to symbolically conflict with their democratic and other structuring beliefs ("don't need no outsider telling me what to do"). However, his ideas of control might work if the people can be convinced that those ideas are their own. In fact, Orwellian totalitarianism began when democracy ended, but a more pressing concern for modern democracy is its own despotic fault-line.
Since I used Slavoj Žižek's latest book, Violence, in my discussion of the latest Batman flick, I figured why not link to this recent interview Michael Krasny conducted with the man himself. Just push 'play' for the best stand-up comedian of today:
Therein you will hear Žižek discuss, among other things, The Dark Knight (ideology at its purest), violent video games (he lets his 7 year old play Grand Theft Auto, but is wary of Disney films), rape (why masochists would be the most traumatized), Hugo Chavez (how authoritarians are as pragmatic as everyone else), the mystery of Stalinism (why Stalinists terrorized themselves), the honesty of fascism (it kept its promise to kill minorities), and so on and so on. Theory comes out as flakes on the corners of his mouth -- philosophy as a 3-day meth binge.
While I'm at it, here's some more fun stuff:
From his Q&A with the Guardian:
Cultural criticism is now second only to being in a rock band as the great
equalizer: Žižek with fourth wife, Analio Hounie, an Argentinian
model who just happens to like reading Lacan.
"Stand By Your Man"
Ozzy Loves Lita
"Close My Eyes Forever"
Udo Loves Doro
(His most holy Texan loves taking a rest from writing, but will be back soon.)
"Every man has his price" and every man discovers his threshold where Huey Lewis no longer sounds that bad. My threshold was reached upon rediscovering this video for "Summertime Girls" by Y&T:
The half-shirt, a sign of 80s masculinity. It made a comeback with Axl when he did this duet with Elton John on "Bohemian Rhapsody" (skip to the end where the two walk towards each other in 60s variety show fashion for the denouement):
I'm sorry for not being able to stay away from the Axl videos. However, the most holyfuckingshit moment comes from his ex-bandmate Slash's team-up with Puff Daddy for some vague, all-inclusive charity function. Note the "Ending Hunger" message dead center in big Broadway letters while Puffy raps "It's All About the Benjamins":
Five carats on my hands with the cuts/
And swim in european figures/Fuck bein' a broke nigga.
That kind of dimwittedness requires a purity of essence. One would have to go back to Tom Mix serials to find an equal lack in irony.