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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Loud - Page 38

though it is a cultural product from top to bottom, it nonetheless enfolds the audience and isolates it within the symbolic order. The intensity of loud drowns out the Other. It is the limit of the symbolic, its null point, experienced in the very onslaught of its signs. Perhaps we could appropriate a Lacanian term for this fantastic volume that goes beyond fantasy: the "sinthome."Zizek calls it "subversive," but that, unfortunately, is to offer it to those who wannabe subversive, to see themselves seen as subversives, to be (to fantasize being) political agents in an older and ever more current sense.26  Let us nonetheless pursue the concept for a moment. Zizek:

[T]he signifier permeated with idiotic enjoyment is what Lacan, in the last stage of his teaching, called "le sinthome." "Le sinthome" is not the symptom, the coded message to be deciphered by interpretation, but the meaningless letter that immediately procures "jouis-sense,""enjoyment-in-meaning," "enjoy-meant.". . . [W]hen we take into account the dimension of the "sinthome," it is no longer sufficient to denounce the "artificial" character of the ideological experience, to demonstrate the way the object experienced by ideology as "natural" and "given" is effectively a discursive construction. . . . What we must do . . . on the contrary, is to "isolate" the "sinthome" from the context by virtue of which it exerts its power of fascination in order to expose the "sinthome's" utter stupidity. . . . [It] produces a distance not by locating the phenomenon in its historical totality, but by making us experience the utter nullity of its immediate reality, of its stupid, material presence that escapes "historical mediation" . . . . [I]t is a little piece of the real attesting to the ultimate nonsense of the universe, but insofar as this object allows us to condense, to locate, to materialize the nonsense of the universe in it, insofar as the object serves to represent this nonsense, it enables us to sustain ourselves in the midst of inconsistency . . . . (LA 128-29, 134-35)

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