quinta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2007

Žižek in a nutshell #2

Neighbours from Hell

Especially today I claim that all this preaching about tolerance, love for one’s neighbour and so on are ultimately strategies to avoid encountering the neighbour. One of my favourite examples is that of smoking. I am deeply suspicious about all this anti-smoking propaganda. Firstly, I don’t smoke, and I’m not commissioned by any tobacco companies. But I find suspicious (and it’s even medically problematic) the idea of passive smoking where the focus is on how non-smokers are affected. I think that what is really at issue is that there are Others who, through smoking, are enjoying themselves too intensely in a self-destructive way – and this is unbearable. Here I think that you have at its purest the figure of the intrusive neighbour who enjoys him or herself too much.
The whole obsession that we have today with different forms of harassment is simply how to put the neighbour at a proper distance. So, again, here we have the neighbour as Real: a Real which is all too possible, and that is what is traumatic. With the intrusion of this Real, the almost central obsession of our times has become how to maintain a proper distance.