This Thursday, March 21st, the most dangerous philosopher in the west turns 64. Help us make Žižek’s birthday one for the history books. TMR will be celebrating by throwing him a digital birthday party on twitter. To join the festivities, we are asking that starting at 12am on March 21st you to tweet @themediares your favorite 140 character Žižek quotes, the most shocking, scandalous, or hilarious Žižek video footage you can find, images, homemade photomontages, or anything else that strikes your Žižek-fancy with the hashtag #hbdzizek.
Turning and turning in the infinite gyre of economic exchange, slouching toward Bethlehem on the eve of the holiday frenzy, caught in the crossfire of the perilous war on Christmas. And while all anarchy is being loosed upon the world, TMR pops the question on the minds of every consumer—from midnight fire-sale stalker to Etsy troll; philosopher—from Derrida to Marion; Christian—from Mary Magdalen to martyred saint; boyfriend, parent, or aspiring CEO: what is the pure gift?
Before blowing your hard earned cash on what Derrida might consider to be an “impure gift” for your boss, boyfriend, or this year’s secret santa draw, invest a few bucks in a pint and a few hours in conversation at TMR’s next talkshop—holiday style—as we discuss the ethics of gift-giving.
Join us at 7pm on Wednesday November 21st at the Fernwood Inn, just days before the biggest shopping day of the year—the Saturday after American Thanksgiving—to discuss the banned ceremonial practices of potlatch, the useless gifts of Georges Bataille, the Gifts of the Maji—from O. Henry to the Nativity—or any other festive text pertaining to the seasonal topic on the talkshop menu: THE GIFT. Bring a reading, bring a friend, bring a white elephant gift for our gift exchange, and bring yourself to talkshop with TMR!
At the edge of early modernity, the humanist Erasmus praises Folly’s widespread influence in order to critique what he sees as the insanity of vice. More recently, Michel Foucault traces the rise of the institutional asylum as a factor in the ostracization of marginal voices that would check the State’s power. Frighteningly, Gilles Deleuze defines the individual living in postmodern capitalism as essentially schizophrenic. Even more frighteningly, Thomas Merton noted that Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann’s sanity suggests that “it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.” More positively, William Desmond proposes idiocy as an intimate way of knowing the material world as saturated with religious significance.
What is the place of the absurd and the foolish, whether voluntary or not, in human life?
On Thursday, October 11th at 7pm, The Media Res will host the first monthly “TMR Talkshop” at the Fernwood Inn, where we’ll meet to talk, read, and imbibe, this month around the topic of FOLLY. TMR invites you to bring a story or reading - literary, theoretical, personal, official - related to FOLLY, interpreted broadly. What roles does foolishness play today, and what are its effects in public life, entertainment, politics, child-rearing, business, art, domestic life, ethics, and recreation?
As the saying goes, only the truly crazy insist on their total sanity.
Idiocy, foolishness, insanity: let’s talk about FOLLY.