30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
At last! Someone who isn't taken in,
This review is from: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Paperback)
There's been so much nonsense written about September 11th, it's refreshing to read something on the subject which is not dragged along in the emotional currents unleashed by the US state and its allies. Zizek portrays the attacks as an inadvertent wake-up call for the west to recognise that the world in which we live is awash with atrocities and that we don't live in an isolated sphere, innocent and separated from this world. He emphasises the eerie similarities between the attacks and imagery which has abounded in American cinema for some time, likening the attacks to Morpheus's announcement to Neo when he escapes from the illusory world in the original Matrix film: "welcome to the desert of the real".
A few words of warning are in order, however. Firstly, for all his criticisms, Zizek does not really have much to offer as an alternative to the present world order; he oscillates frustratingly between nihilism and reformism without ever making many serious suggestions about what we should do once we "wake up". Secondly, only a small portion of the book is actually about September 11th - although Zizek sticks to the subject of the book more closely than is usually the case. Thirdly, the Lacanian ontology underpinning his positions is not very tenable, especially when he tries to combine it with revolutionary posturing. If (as Lacan claimed) we're always necessarily in the desert of the Real, the subversive force of this revelation in terms of changing the world is largely lost. In any case, this is a worthwhile read and certainly far better than most of what I've come across about September 11th.