Wednesday 25 January 2012

Zizek and the olive tree

I'm afraid this is one of those laboured links that radio presenters mock themselves for.

The potted front-garden miniature olive tree: elegant and pleasing, a small source of cheer, and at the same time a small horror, so removed from its ancient home and function and meaning. It's a symbol of dislocation, travesty - the ground, the fruit, the process: gone, all gone!

Somehow this resonated with the latest piece from Slavoj Zizek, in the new London Review of Books, which is all about things unbelievably gone, all gone.

" ...greater efficiency, raised productivity etc which produces unemployment, rendering more and more workers useless: what should be a blessing – less hard labour needed – becomes a curse. Or, to put it differently, the chance to be exploited in a long-term job is now experienced as a privilege".
Not too long or difficult an article, it's worth reading in its entirety. Sometimes it's a relief to see the monstrous global situation articulated. The monstrousness absolves me - look, it's not just me, not just my personal dislocation and threatened implosion! Just as often, of course, I wish it was just me. Or (deeply sad as it makes me to contemplate its fate) just the olive tree.

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