Zero Squared #122: Lacan’s Television

Vakhtang Gomelauri is a therapist and self-proclaimed psychoanalyst working in NYC who is influenced by the ideas of the Jacques Lacan and this week he’s stopped by to discuss the book Television by Jacques Lacan, and the televised broadcast that the book is based on.

If you’re looking for a book to help you understand psychology and its crisis you should pick up a copy of The Off Modern by Ron Roberts. Other Zero Books titles worth having would be Anselm Jappe’s The Writing on the Wall which is a collection that brings an understanding of Marx’s Value Theory to bear on political questions, and, of course, Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies which is turning out to be a great conversation piece. It’s guaranteed to transform any leftist get together into a struggle session.

If you enjoy this podcast consider joining the Zero Books Club. Zero Books Club members receive access to a Saturday podcast entitled Inside Zero Books which sometimes features the second half of conversations with Zero Squared guests and sometimes features conversations with Zero Books readers about the state of the left. Zero Books Club members are also invited to participate in youtube workshops with Zero Books authors and others.

Zero Squared Special: A Reading in Defense of Zizek

Right before I jetted off to NYC to attend the Left Forum I’d edited a conversation with C Derick Varn for this week’s podcast. Upon my return I see that I made a mistake and saved the wrong file. So that podcast will be put off for a bit. Instead this week’s podcast is merely a reading of a blog post reporting on the Left Forum and the Zizek controversy.

This is entitled “Standing with Slavoj Žižek and Against an Illness on the Left” and it’s dedicated to Vakhtang, a fellow traveler and Lacanian who I know on FB and met for the first time in NYC. Cheers, Vakhtang. Let’s not let the PC police get us down.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from the Left Forum and a clip from Slavoj Zizek’s appearance on the podcast Comedy Bang Bang!

Zero Squared # 57: Hegel vs. Spinoza

Gregor Moder teaches philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. The original plan for this episode was to discuss his paper about street theater and Althusser but the two of us hit it off so well, so easily fell into philosophical conversation, that my prepared questions on his paper were simply pushed aside as we entertained each other with a spontaneous conversation about Hegel, Spinoza, and, of all things, Donald Trump.

In the United States the reality TV show known as the presidential race is dominating our political imaginations as the hollowness, the silliness, and the unreality of the spectacle proves to have its own mesmerizing power. However, our aim at Zero Books shall be to, as much as possible, think and evaluate the problems this spectacle is designed to distract us away from even as we try to suss out what secret meanings even these distractions contain.

Having mentioned distractions I should also point out that listeners to this podcast might want to take a look at the 8 bit philosophy youtube channel. There is a video in the works about Alfie Bown’s book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism as well as a fun vid about Donald Trump and the end of politics that’s online now.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from Mel Brooks’ Hitler Rap, an excerpt from an old Diet Soap podcast wherein I describe Hegel’s phenomenology to my son Benjamin and my wife Miriam, the music of Cyriak, and Slavoj Zizek pontificating on Hegel. The music you’re hearing right now is from Cyriak’s video “Something” but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Gregor Moder and I talk about Hegel and Spinoza.

Diet Soap Podcast #210: Your Own Personal Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is the subject of conversation this week with guest George Elerick. Elerick is a faculty fellow at the Global Center for Advanced Studies and a writer on Critical Theory at the Huffington Post. We speak about his visit to The International Zizek Studies Conference in Cincinnati last month, and about his chance to interview Žižek. Elerick made an effort to find out about the personal side of the Marxoid Lacanian, but his questions met what a psychoanalyst might call resistance.

Of course in Astra Taylor’s film Žižek! the philosopher made his position on personal questions clear: “I am not human, I am a monster, I claim. It’s not that I have a mask of a theoretician and beneath I am a more human person; I like chocolate cake, I like this, I like that, and so on which makes me human. I rather prefer myself as somebody who not to offend others, pretends, plays that he is human.”

Thanks goes out to my subscribers and one time donors. If you’d like to donate you can find the paypal button at dietsoap.oprodomatic.com.