Monday, 7 October 2013
Kierkegaard, Book of Job, Zizek
At the weekend I am glad to have a bit of money in my pocket, so I can buy myself a pair of shoes, and my daughter a pair of shoes (two in fact!), and help her mummy a little. See? I am a person doing as many, many others do. If I can just show that I can look after myself, it should be enough that one looks after oneself. That is what Christianity is enabling us to do. To love ourselves as we do our neighbours, because there is no-one else to do it. If we can once perceive that there is no-one else, then we know we must do it for ourselves and we can then see that the way we would choose to do it, to live is a Christian way of life. This is Kierkegaard. (The choice of Marxism – or rather as Zizek might qualify it, Stalinism - is finding a “something else”, which is “History”). I saw Zizek at the cinema last night. "The Pervert's Guide to Ideology". It is at the closing of this film directed by Sophie Fiennes – of the Fiennes dynasty – that Zizek comes to consider the book of Job, as he did to great effect in his EGS talk "Materialism and Theology" (2007, on YouTube). Zizek says that in this important book, God confirms it is Job who is correct, not the three theologian-friends who come to Job, offering explanations for Job’s suffering. Job rejects all their interpretations and keeps to his line that his sufferings are because God is God. Because God can. And God supports Job. In Zizek’s words “God confirms that there is no God!”, so that Christianity is the best atheism! (LOL!) Zizek is very good in the last ten minutes of this film. (Just skip the rest). He wants to point out that whereas leaders such as Stalin might have been at pains to show that they are just like the ordinary people, the interesting early “Czech New Wave” film of Milos Forman “The Firemen’s Ball”, which shows ordinary people to be really not worth wanting to be like! So the best satire on the leader who claims to be representative of the ordinary people (Stalin or whoever) is to satirise the ordinary people whom he claims to esteem. Being among ordinary people, fitting in, showing that one can get on, and yet being in touch with that there is no-one else, that alone-ness, an infinity, and carry on.