Commodity dialectics (415)

“A desire is never simply the desire for a certain thing. It’s always also a desire for desire itself. A desire to continue to desire.” — Slavoj Žižek



Carlsen, be with me.
- What do you want from me?
- I love you.
What are you?
Why are you so human, so perfect?
What are the bird creatures
on the ship?
Our bodies are unimportant.
As you and your men approached
in your ship...
we changed them for you.
We entered your minds...
and found there new bodies.
I took my shape from your mind.
I took your language.
I became the woman I found there...
in your deepest thoughts,
your deepest needs.
I am the feminine in your mind.
Where are you?
Where's your body?
Let me go!
Touch me, Carlsen.

Oh my god, one is thirsty
in the desert and
what to drink but Coke?
The perfect commodity.
It was already Marx who
long ago emphasized that
a commodity is never just a simple
object that we buy and consume.
A commodity is an object
full of theological,
even metaphysical niceties.
Its presence always reflects
an invisible transcendence.
And the classical publicity for Coke
quite openly refers to this
absent, invisible quality.
Coke is 'The Real Thing' or
'Coke - That's it'.
What is that 'it', the 'real thing'?
It's not just another positive
property of Coke -
something that can be
described or pinpointed
through chemical analysis -
it's that mysterious
'something more'.
The indescribable excess
which is the Object-Cause
of my Desire.
In our post-modern,
however we call them, societies -
we are obliged to enjoy.
Enjoyment becomes a kind or
a weird, perverted duty.
The paradox of Coke is that
you are thirsty -
you drink it but,
as everyone knows,
the more you drink it
the more thirsty you get.
A desire is never simply
the desire for certain thing.
It's always also a desire
for desire itself.
A desire to continue to desire.
Perhaps the ultimate
horror of a desire is
to be fully filled-in, met,
so that I desire no longer.
The ultimate melancholic
experience is the experience
of a loss of desire itself.
It's not that in some return
to a previous era
of natural consummation
where we got rid of this excess
and were only consuming
for actual needs -
like you were thirsty,
you drank water, and so on.
We cannot return to that.
The excess is with us forever.
So, let's have a drink of Coke.
It's getting warm.
It's no longer 'The Real Coke'
and that's the problem.
You know, this passage from
sublime to excremental dimension.
When it's cold, properly served,
it has a certain attraction -
all of a sudden
this can change into shit.
It's the elementary dialectics
of commodities.
We are not talking about
objective, factual properties
of a commodity. We are talking
only here about that elusive surplus.
'Kinder Surprise egg'.
A quite astonishing commodity.
The surprise of the 'Kinder
Surprise egg' is that
this excessive object,
the cause of your desire
is here materialized.
In the guise of an object -
a plastic toy which fills in
the inner void
of the chocolate egg.
The whole delicate balance
is between these two dimensions:
what you bought, the chocolate
egg, and the surplus -
probably made in some Chinese
gulag or whatever -
the surplus that
you get for free.
I don't think that the chocolate
frame is here just to send you
on a deeper voyage towards
the inner treasure -
the, what Plato calls the 'Agalma'
which makes you a worthy person,
which makes a commodity
the desirable commodity -
I think it's the other way around.
We should aim at the higher goal,
the gold in the middle of an object -
precisely in order to
be able to enjoy the surface.
This is what is the
anti-metaphysical lesson,
which is difficult to accept.