The world’s most dangerous philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, visited UVM on Tuesday to deliver a talk about Buddhism. The talk covered much more than Buddhism, however, touching on subjects like Project X, Anders Brevik, Glenn Beck, Woody Allen, good parenting, computer-controlled rats, bizarre sexual practices of obese maharajas, and even gangnam style.
Some of the best quotes from the speech:
Slavoj discussed how the “canned laughter” in many sitcoms doesn’t laugh when you do, “It laughs for you….I feel relieved as if I was laughing,” Zizek said.
"Ethic for me begins when…is there something I don’t see that is the price for this,” he said.
On the Holocaust: “God did not die at Auschwitz, God came back to us…If you can normalize this [the Holocaust], it’s ethically obscene.” Zizek argues that what is sacred must be traumatizing, beyond language and logic.
Slavoj talks about the bizarre sexual practices of obese maharajas centuries ago: “They were so fat, they were barely able to walk…[his harem] somehow aroused him [and through] a complicated series of ropes…pulling the woman up and down onto his penis.”
Slavoj called gangnam style “repetitive, stupid, mechanic music”. ”Your first reaction, ” he says, “Fuck them stupid Koreans…You make fun of it, but you are caught in it. It works.”
As a psychoanalyst, Zizek stated, “All humans want happiness, want to suffer less….but we want to suffer.” On love, he says, “What we celebrate is the fall. Love is a catastrophe.”
When he finally talked about Buddhism, he says “Buddhism tries to argue [that] less suffering begins with ethical training…in order to arrive at Nirvana, the zero-point, you should be a good person. This is not true…Don’t expect from it [Buddhism] what you will not get.”
In closing, the philosopher admitted, “I just wanted to complicate things, that’s all.”
If you have pictures from the talk, please email them to us! All the pictures of Zizek himself were sent to us by Bryant Hughes, of http://bryantphoto.tumblr.com.