Tag Archives: nietzsche

coca-cola (cu žižek)

un articol despre coca-cola (la aniversarea a 125 de ani) și ce înseamnă ea istoric, psihologic, semiotic, economic vorbind și nu numai. ce zice warhol (What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the president knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.) ce zice henry millerm without a Coca-Cola life is unbearable. 

plus cică ce ar zice žižek despre coca-cola: For Žižek, as for the early Coke executive Robert Woodruff, who said that “Coca-Cola should always be within an arm’s reach of desire”, Coke represents the eternally unsatisfied emptiness we seek to fill with something ungraspable, something Coke made eminently graspable in the form of its perfectly curved bottle, which was designed so you could recognize it in the dark by touch.

doar că nu e chiar așa. căci uite ce zice de fapt žižek în the fragile absolute (2000) și nițel mai jos în filmul žižek! (2005):

It’s no surprise that Coca-Cola was first introduced as a medicine – its strange taste does not seem to provide any particular satisfaction; it is not directly pleasing and endearing; however, it is precisely as such, as transcending any immediate use-value (unlike water, beer or wine, which definitely do quench our thirst or produce the desired effect of satisfied calm), that Coke functions as the direct embodiment of “it”: of the pure surplus of enjoyment over standard satisfactions, of the mysterious and elusive X we are all after in our compulsive consumption of merchandise.

The unexpected result of this is not that, since Coke does not satisfy any concrete need, we drink it only as a supplement, after some other drink has satisfied our substantial need — rather, it is this very superfluous character that makes our thirst for Coke all the more insatiable: as Jacques-Alain Miller put it so succinctly, Coke has the paradoxical property that the more you drink the thirstier you get, the greater your need to drink more – with that strange, bittersweet taste, our thirst is never effectively quenched. So, when, some years ago, the advertising slogan for Coke was “Coke is it!”, we should note its thorough ambuigity —“that’s it” precisely in so far as that’s never actually it, precisely in so far as every satisfaction opens up a gap of “I want more!”. […] This process is brought to its conclusion in the case of caffeine-free diet Coke – why? We drink Coke – or any drink – for two reasons: for its thrist-quenching or nutritional value, and for its taste. In the case of caffeine-free diet Coke, nutritional value is suspended and the caffeine, as the key ingredient of its taste, is also taken away – all that remains is a pure semblance, an artificial promise of a substance which never materialized. Is it not true that in this sense, in the case of caffeine-free diet Coke, we almost literally “drink nothing in the guise of something”?

What we are implicitly referring to here is, of course, Nietzsche’s classic opposition between “wanting nothing” (in the sense of “I do not want anything”) and the nihilistic stance of actively wanting Nothingness itself; following Nietzsche’s path, Lacan emphasized how in anorexia, the subject does not simply “eat nothing” – rather, she or he actively wants to eat the Nothingness (the Void) that is itself the ultimate object-cause of desire. […] So – along the same lines, in the case of caffeine-free diet Coke, we drink the Nothingness itself, the pure semblance of a property that is in effect merely an envelope of a void.

This example brings home the inherent link between three notions: that of Marxist surplus-value, that of Lacan’s objet petit a as surplus-enjoyment (the concept that Lacan elaborated with direct reference to Marxist surplus-value), and the paradox of the superego, perceived long ago by Freud: the more you drink Coke, the thirstier you are; the more profit you make, the more you want; the more you obey the superego command, the guiltier you are – in all three cases, the logic of balanced exchange is disturbed in favour of an excessive logic of “the more you give (the more you repay your debts), the more you owe” (or the “more you have what you long for, the more you lack, the greater your craving”; or – the consumerist version – “the more you buy, the more you have to spend”). […] The key to this disturbance, of course, is the surplus-enjoyment, the object petit a, which exists (or, rather, persists) in a kind of curved space – the nearer you get to it, the more it eludes your grasp.




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