Cinema, psychoanalysis, politics, communism, marxism, chocolate laxative, theology and toilets. These topics all play a central role in the ideas of the provoking Slovenian-born critical philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, who is awkwardly dubbed as the “Elvis of cultural theory”.
The best introduction to Slavoj Žižek is probably Slavoj Žižek himself:
To use a question asked by Žižek: Why is it that Hollywood, the imagination of (popular) western culture cannot imagine a post-capitalist world, and has a much easier time imagining simply the end of the world? He argues that this political-cultural problem is not different from the psychoanalytic problem, which is: how do you puncture, break through what people say so that you can open up new space for thought? By revolutionizing how to think about the problem of ideology, Žižek believes that we can only get to the real answers by structuring and exploring people's fantasies.
In an unconventional fashion, instead of recommended readings, following the scores of public appearances of Žižek there are two videos that will provide the fuel for our discussions.
The first video is a speech given by Žižek in London in 2011. In this speech he introduces his book “Living in the End Times” by talking about ideology in contemporary political- and cultural examples. The speech ends after one hour, and you don't need to watch the question and answers section.
The second video is a documentary from 2004 which is a lecture by Žižek. He discusses in a much denser manner what lies at the heart of his thesis on ideology – get a pen and a paper ready for this one!
According to his critics, far from being consistent and systematic, Žižek's main aim is to provoke and think about the contemporary global world in a novel way. I say, let's keep to this thought and to the style of Žižek: let's be provoked and let's discuss how to get rid of our ideologies, and how it is impossible to do so.