And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Friday, March 1, 2013

Shame on Me? No! Shame on YOU!

De-interpreting the Gay Pride Parade Shame Game
Lacan specifies shame as a respect for castration, as an attitude of discretely covering up the fact of being-castrated. (No wonder women have to be covered more than men: what is concealed is their lack of a penis...) While shamelessness resides in openly displaying one's castration, shame enacts a desperate attempt to keep up the appearance: although I know the truth (about castration), let us pretend that it hasn't happened... This is why, when I see my crippled neighbor "shamelessly" pushing his disfigured limb toward me, it is I, not he, who is overwhelmed by shame. When a man exposes his distorted limb to his neighbor, his real target is to expose not himself, but the neighbor: to put the neighbor to shame by confronting him with his own ambivalent repulsion/ fascination with the spectacle he is forced to witness. In a strictly analogous way, one is ashamed of one's ethnic origins, of the specific "torsion" of one's particular identity, of being caught in the coordinates of a life-world into which one was thrown, with which one is stuck, unable to get rid of.
Zizek, "The Parallax View"

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