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the badiou supremacy

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I’ve spent a lot of time on airplanes lately, some of them reasonably well equipped with infotainment, so among other things I watched some of the Bourne Films… I’ve also been reading a lot of Badiou – not by choice…

Thing is, as you no doubt have noticed, Jason Bourne never stops for a pizza slice or takes a shit, he never has to change his clothes or brush his teeth, and rarely needs to sleep. He only runs… Full forward, all subjective processes seemingly on autodrive. He doesn’t stumble when he speaks in foreign languages, he doesn’t hesitate because his great gift (if also ostensibly his curse) is that he is a permanent amnesiac, locked in a perpetual present tense. In short, he doesn’t think – he simply and automatically does.

Likewise this subject of Badiou’s, formed only in the event and by absolute fidelity to that event, unconscious of the event but instantly faithful to it, can’t have second thoughts or moments of confusion and ambiguity. He can’t quietly think what we all generally doublethink when trying to believe in the novelty of something – all this has happened before, there’s nothing new under the sun. Metanoia is coupe de foudre – blinded by the light, he does not think, he simply does.

They both, in other words, dwell wholly outside of the everyday – the actual state of the world all of the time and for everyone because we are what we are and we’re wired as we are wired. And the one requires as much suspension of disbelieve from its “audience” as the other… But of course the one is the currently most popular theorist of political change, the other a character in a silly series of films….

Written by adswithoutproducts

September 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

Posted in badiou

3 Responses

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  1. If one was to ‘run’ with this idea (pardon the metaphor) what about Bond?

    Bourne clearly owes a lot to Bond, (although recent Bond movies have been derivative of the Bourne movies…) Unlike Bourne, Bond has certain vices (martinis, women and, in the books, smoking) and a background that marks him out as part of the establishment. Bond also knows exactly who he is – indeed, Bond can never change. And there is also the highly formulaic and repetitive nature of the Bond movie – part of the pleasure lies in the repetition of these tropes: the action packed inciting scene; the mission; the villain; the gadgets; the women (usually two, one loyal, the other the villain’s moll – Bond gets both, naturally); the villain’s secret base in an exotic location; the big showdown etc etc… all the films are essentially the same…

    So does a Bond movie (unlike Badiou), suggest the cynical impossibility of the original event? Or the extent to which any event will merely repeat certain structures and tensions and in the end always reinforce the power of the establishment? Bond thus being a reaction against the possibility of historical change, but at least allowing (within that) for some human weaknesses and pleasures to prevail…


    September 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

  2. If Bourne is Badiouian (?) then Bond is Zizekian:
    The random, disjointed, implausible ‘scenes’ that barely add up to a coherent narrative/argument (except what its DVD cover/book blurb says the ‘plot’ is supposed to be about). The reliance on (imperially informed) national stereotypes instead of plausible characters. The sadistic misogyny. The lazy borrowings from recent hit movies and newspaper ‘talking points’. Embarrassingly bad jokes, too lame to shock despite their tastelessness. The belief in a purifying self-affirming violence along with ‘containable’ apocalypse porn.
    The treatment of all foreign transgressions as global threat (with the complimentary idea that the current global order must be fought for). The treatment of geopolitical conflict as a kinky cartoon scenario. The gimmicky stunts to sustain novelty to distract from widespread jadedness with the brand. And of course, the devoted fandom that flies in the face of any logic, political awareness or critical faculties.


    September 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  3. I think that we may be collectively founding a new school of post-critical thought here…


    September 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

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