The examiner on “Hardtalk” asks difficult questions, and without the possibility, given the clipped world of television, of lengthy responses, Zizek comes across as incapable of successful counterarguments. Is it possible that Zizek needs practice with this kind of television appearance, with providing short and convincing explanations of his positions? The philosopher in Zizek asks at one point to be allowed to finish his sentences, to engage in longer monologues, to treat complex questions with elaborate, complex answers. It is as if Zizek imagines he can have C-Span like television time as his interlocutor peppers Zizek with quotations from Zizek’s own works, and shifts the discussion quickly, leaving Zizek awash in fragmentary responses, most of which never meet the questions head on. This looks like a rhetorical failure, generally speaking, for Zizek. He is much better in other venues, in other media structures.
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