One of the greatest comedians of our time: Slavoj Žižek

I’m serious: the marxiste célèbre and #Occupy Wall Street avuncular philosopher Slavoj Žižek is really a funny man. Case in point, this excellent coffee table book containing a collection of the jokes he spices up his impenetrable prose with (complete with references to the original texts).

Žižek employs jokes like Plato resorted to myths as heuristic devices designed to convey a logical meaning. Thus, they are used iteratively — the Marx Brother one-liners about self-identity or refusal of choice, the Rabinovitch anecdote about realism, the skeptical paradox about the fiancée who’s late for a rendez-vous…

Find a selection of the best scanned pages on the publisher’s website, and discover the maieutic value of laughter. (Also discover that this is a project of the Mickey Mouse Club ft. the norwegian artist Audun Mortensen, and that the book is actually printed in a very limited edition of 1…)

“There is an old joke about socialism as the synthesis of the highest achievements of the whole of human history to date: from the prehisotric societies it took primitivism; from the Ancient world it took slavery; from medieval society brutal domination; from capitalism exploitation; and from socialism the name…”
[Slavoj Žižek (2011) The Collected Jokes, Mickey Mouse Club, p. 73]

“This situation is not unlike the joke about the conscript who tries to evade military service by pretending to be mad: he compulsively checks all the pieces of paper he can lay hands on, constantly repeating: ‘That’s not it!’ The psychiatrist, finally convinced of his insanity, gives him a written certificate releasing him from military service: the conscripts casts a look at it and says cheerfully: ‘That is it!'”
[ibid., p. 106]

“It is not that his call for more passion in politics is in itself meaningless (of course, the contemporary Left needs more passion); the problem is rather that it resembles all too much a joke quoted by Lacan about a doctor asked by a friend for medical advice — unwilling to give his services without payment the doctor examines the friend and then calmly states: ‘You need medical advice!'”
[ibid., p. 32]