Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The bliss which can only be for me!

It is both funny and sad to read Zizek writing on freedom. Far from the George W. Bush and liberal democratic mantras on freedom, which make it a positive certainty, so positive it is a thing which must be ruthlessly defended or strategically shared, Zizek's sense of freedom is not rooted in certainty, but an certain, wild, excited uncertainty, or rather a jubliant misrecognition. Far from something static that clings to us, so long as we wave flags or respect troops, freedom is something which rarely comes around, it is as Rosa Luxemberg said, for those who think differently. It is for those whose excitement or whose fidelity allow them to mistake the world around them, and sometimes remake it, by changing the possibilities.

For example, for Kant the French Revolution wasn't so much an exercise in freedom, as was people's jubliant, estatic responses to it. The way people reacted to proclaimed outburst of freedom, that reaching of the end limit of imagination and then riding a radical, excited burst to cross it, and traverse into something else possible, that was the freedom of the age. Zizek begins his book Organs Without Bodies with a story about the filming of Doctor Zhivago. In preparation for a scene of workers in a mass demonstration, David Lean had a group of Spanish workers sing the song Internationale. The actors sang the song so well and with such passion, that it wasn't long before the Francoist police arrived to suppress what they thought was a real demonstration. That night when the scene was being filmed, the song was heard throughout Madrid and upon hearing it, people in the neighborhood began to open champagne bottles and dance in the streets, thinking that Franco has died and the Socialists had taken power.

Why am I writing this? Because a mistake fell into my lap the other day, which when I came across it, felt it could only be for me.

While searching ebay for Guam stuff (something I do regularly) I came across something interesting. Someone was selling a DVD for the Hindi film Khabie Kushi Khabie Gham, which has got to be one of the archetypal Hindi films of recent years (meaning it has all the characteristics which make up that prototypical Hindi film). It showed up in a Guam search not because the item was on Guam, or because someone from Guam was selling it, but because the seller had mispelled Gham or Triniste, as Guam.

Just another one of those beautiful mistakes where freedom might be.

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