I’ve spent the last couple of days reading a nearly impenetrable article on Lacanian psychoanalysis. You know, for fun. Because I like nothing better than an intellectual challenge, except maybe reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chocolate, music, sex and…well, I like lots of things more than an intellectual challenge, but while my mind was drifting along it happened to snag on Lacan and by golly I had an elite education that I’m still paying for and I was going to nail this sucker to the wall.
I am not a systematic learner. I skim and dip. I nibble. I can grasp some things quickly but superficially, particularly if I stay with secondary, pre-digested sources. I’m not a deep thinker, but I can be clever. I like shiny things. There’s nothing shinier than a mirror, and Lacan has a mirror. Plus I get to look at myself – my favorite subject.
But fuck it, I don’t understand this stuff. When you desire, you desire the other’s desire, which is their lack (something blah blah about castration). Oh, that should be the Other, not the other. The other is an object and the Other is a subject. I think. If you’re a pervert you deny desire and if you’re a neurotic you flee desire. Something like that. The pervert refuses to desire but torments the other (not the Other) by discovering his desire and refusing to fulfill it. The neurotic just freaks out at the uncertainty of what the Other might desire, and I guess bites his nails and plays Dungeons and Dragons.
I think it’s possible that French philosophers are full of shit, and they would be willing to discuss the metonymy of shit and its role in the current political structure as the shifting location of meaning. Then they would go out and smoke a lot of cigarettes, drink very strong coffee and sleep with undergraduates.