I know it’s fun to make fun of Žižek — but I think Paul and Scott both missed something crucial about Rebecca Schuman’s broadside: it’s ridiculous beyond the point of stupidity. I’m not defending the man — I’m on the record as not being a fan — but at least I had the common courtesy to read work written by and about him before beginning the ritual slagging.
Because that’s what this is — a gussied up version of the annual conservative articles about the MLA written by intrepid reporters whose investigations amount to “flipping through the MLA catalog and writing down the names of funny sounding sessions.” Anyone could string together a series of bitter remarks made by put-upon academics if said academics had a camera pointed at them all the time. I’m not defending what Žižek said — he knew he was on camera or the record — merely noting that the manner in which this article was constructed is highly suspect.
Unless, that is, you think this a fine piece of journalism.
Whenever someone writes a condemnatory sentence as hedged as this one:
I have no idea what a superstar like Žižek gets paid, and I don’t know if he actually fills his office-hours sign-up sheet with fake names so that none of the “boring idiots” come and bother him with their stupid problems, as one New School faculty member has apparently claimed.
You should seriously consider not taking that person seriously. What I just wrote about The Donalde almost exactly obtains here:
Where do you even begin with this drivel? The initial confession of ignorance? The non-sequitur in the next clause? The non-sequitur in the next sentence? The second admission of ignorance? Or the confident statement of fact about what is really going on with the thing [she] twice-professed he knows nothing about?
When you only need to alter one pronoun to make a true statement about The Donalde apply to someone else, do you really want to take that person seriously?