jessi lee's Reviews > Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan Through Popular Culture

Looking Awry by Slavoj Žižek
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's review
Jul 23, 2008

really liked it
Read in January, 2006

i think about this book every time i reflect on my fascination with mysteries & the bizarre comfort i get out of watching Law & Order. the only thing i remember from reading it is his discussion of psychoanalysis & mystery novels as having the same basic features.

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah if you would like to further unravel (or further reflect upon) your "bizarre comfort" with law and order, i would maybe recommend checking out elizabeth ellsworth, Teaching Positions: Difference, Pedagogy, and the Power of Address. although it's way heady, way academic, and very much geared towards educators, she intentionally uses a multi-disciplinary approach that includes media studies and psychoanalysis.

what you just said reminds me of one of ellsworth's main arguments: that movies, tv shows, and other forms of media that folks would otherwise "consciously" resist (i.e. crime dramas that reinforce white supremacy and patriarchy) nevertheless speak to their unconscious desires, pleasures, and fantasies. so while the crafters of these shows may be intentionally targeting a specific demographic, the shows will simultaneously attract a larger (and less anticipated for) audience of misfits... like feminists and queers perhaps?

but the kicker is that instead of watching these shows or movies in order to deconstruct them or be uber-critical, folks will watch for them pleasure and escape. (i read this book for my "gender and sexuality in education" class, mind you. but we actually did a very enlightening exercise where each student went around and shared a tv shows/movie that they were surprised that they liked; among the responses were OZ, law and order, laguna beach... mine was buffy.)

Now, unpacking that pleasure (and/or why we are "surprised" by our choices in the first place) is, to me, like unpacking our fetishes. although i only read a few of the chapters of this book, i was hoping/waiting for ellsworth to take her analysis into the "discipline" of BDSM and kink...

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