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

Monday, November 28, 2022

Where's Anna?

Slavoj Žižek, "Anna is free" (Google translate)
How to be free in such a desperate age? Shonda Rhimes' series Inventing Anna (Netflix 2022) provides an answer to this question. Jessica Presses wrote the story of Anna Sorokin, who inspired the series: "How Anna Delvey Deceived the New York Party People" (New York Magazine, 2018) tells the fictional-genius-bizarre story of Russia's Anna Sorokin, who in her twenties became a brand as "Anna Delvey, the rich German heir" and sailed to very glamorous lives in the city's elite. Sorokin, who has fallen like a bomb on the internet, continues to leave the public opinion sad even though he has been sentenced to prison.

Those who evaluated the series had uncanny feelings: Anna's portrayal did not seem convincing to them because the real person hiding behind so many masks was not reflected in the series... But what if that's the truth? What if there is no such thing as the self-consciousness of the manipulative subject that pushes all the buttons? Anna's action is not like the pyramid schemes you know, it is not just to postpone debts and settle one debt with another, it is not just to make people believe that their debts will be paid. Insanely, Anna included her own subjective life in the pyramid scheme: she does not only deceive others; In a sense, it borrows from itself, borrowing from the future that it supposes. That's what feminine attitude is, whereas Shimon Hayut, described on Tinder Swindler, is that at all? (noticeTinder Swindler is a documentary, Inventing Annais fiction) Hayut introduced himself as the son of Russian-Israeli diamond judge Lev Leviev in the places he traveled in Europe. This man, Simon Leviev, deceived the women he contacted on Tinder and took unrequited debts from them. He lured women with very expensive gifts, took them to meals on private jets, with money he received from other women he had previously deceived. Then he demanded financial assistance from his victims under the pretext of a 'vulnerability' that locked his credit cards and bank accounts. Many of these women helped him by taking out loans from the bank or issuing credit cards. The finale of his career also took place in a very appropriate way: in February 2022, he launched an NFT collection, opening up images and excerpts from the film about him (sale of digital/virtual goods).

The remarkable parallelism between the two stories should not prevent us from perceiving the crucial difference between them: Hayut is a fraudster who manipulates others in cold blood, he has no projects to identify with, his only skill is to leave behind a woman he has deceived and switch to another woman, and Anna has carried out a giant plan with a network of collaborators woven with permanent ties: to establish the Mother Delvey Foundation. What distinguishes him is that he is unconditionally faithful to appearances: he never kneels to his friends who repeatedly beg him to confess his lying and deceit, andhe neverdrops his mask. Every time he is confronted with facts that prove his lies, we witness another way to save Zawahiri.

Anna is immoral, but she is absolutely ethical. When her lawyer claims in her last speech before the jury that this girl, as her defender, has always lived in her own fantasy world from beginning to end and that she has not come "close enough to create danger" (she could not raise money for the giant project), Anna considers this defense a betrayal of her and reacts angrily. That is to say, a ridiculous little calculator prefers to "save himself" by being considered a dreamer of a ridiculous little calculator by being considered a person who is tangential to success.

It is this unconditional desire that makes Anna ethical: she follows Lacan's formula to "compromise your desire" to the letter. In fact, when some of those whom Anna had defrauded realized that she was not interested in "saving herself", they continued to have a partnership with Anna. As Lacan says, "a hero can survive betrayal unscathed," Anna continues her heroism until the end. Ordinary psycho-social explanations are therefore in vain: even his father is surprised at who and what he is.

If we adapt a famous quote from the old novels about Hannibal Lecter, nothing happened to him, he happened to the world (nothing happened to him, he happened to the world). Yes, his giant project was ridiculous and artificial, but he still became a supreme figure with this action because he raised this ridiculous projectto the dignity of the Thing, he laid down his whole life for this Cause. Whoever or whatever he is, it is certain that he is not ridiculed and is naïve, and we need such naivety in our age, for a very certain reason: Anna is free, and Hayut is tailing his own selfish needs while manipulating others and making gains. Freedom does not hide in the secret core of my Self, which others cannot succumb/reach/comprehend, nor does it give me a position in which I can manipulate others from a safe distance. Freedom lies in my unconditional identification with the role I have decided to play in the eyes of others.


Turkish: Işık Barış Fidaner

security vulnerability of the safe vulnerability

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