Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Examined Life"--the "Moving Head" film and the backtracking booktrack which "calls philosphy down from the heavens" Cornel West and Slavoj Žižek

I love that Astra Taylor assembled the "Examined Life" film, which interviews
public and ethical philosophers as they walk  (usually in a city or context that connects to their theme)..

I love that this surely turned out differently as a  somewhat spontaneous lab (not a scripted talking head flick, even though there are talking heads, they and their bodies are in motion) and a peripatetic exercise, and thus a "geography of place."  (see

sideways city-texts )

I love that I found the book version (the "booktrack" to a movie?) first, which features complete transcripts of each interview, including scenes edited out of the film.

Of course, I love that Cornel West and  Slajov Žižek were featured, and that their venues or vehicles were slightly different than the other stars.

West is interviewed in a car moving through Manhattan.  At one point, this is eerily similar to the Matrix scene when Neo realizes his greenview  out the car window is of a world that is

not "real"  and people who are not "really" alive (What is the opposite of simulacra? )
 West, who is  well aware of the Matrix hyperlink (He was even in the second Matrix film!) quips that someone studying in a  library is "more alive than the folks walking by us"...

Žižek's vignette...of course..set in a  garbage dump. (:

I'm sure you have trainspotted the title to Socrates' maxim about the "unexamined life is not worth living, butTaylor adds that also draws from Socrates' way of (per Cicero)"calling philosophy down from heaven."  Bring it, down.

Here's the Cornel West "chapter":  Truth below.
Some takeaways: centrality of music, why he's a "Chekhovian Christian," Jesus' anger (better yet, righteous indignation) in the temple, the "kairotic dimension of being in love,"  Charlie Parker riding on dissonance, "blues sensibility," "natural piety," As Christians, "nothing human ought to be alien to us", a "Kierkegaardian leap in Beckett's universe,"
- Here's Žižek's chapter: Ecology (in two languages no less):  Just watch(:
Most of the rest:
 -- Avita Ronell: Meaning:
Peter Singer: Ethics:
Appiah: Cosmopolitanism (Sadly, this is the only section not online, so here is a more traditional talk of his on the same topic):
 Martha Nussbaum: Justice:
Michael Hardt: Revolution:
Judith Butler & Sunaura Taylor: Interdependence: