That Time Zizek Wrote for Playboy

As if writing copy for Abercrombie & Fitch wasn’t enough, a recent article by Zizek in Playboy Magazine is circulating around the internet. I always thought the “articles” that people use as a justification for buying Playboy were just a sham put on by sad old men who haven’t discovered the internet. And maybe this confirms that? I can’t tell. Maybe a Playboy article rambling about commodity fetishism does, in fact, confirm that no one actually reads the articles.

This article appeared in Playboy on December 30, 2013 and managed to slip by our radar (perhaps due to severe holiday-related inebriation). You can also read the full article on Playboy’s safe-for-work site here.

The article features many anecdotes and examples that Zizek has previously used in lectures and videos, including Starbucks’ feel-good consumer “activism” and the genius behind Coca Cola.

Read below. Click the gear box and hit “see full resolution” to enlarge.

[H/T Simon Gros]

  • How nice of you to have included my name in this article. The fact is, he regularly writes for Playboy magazine in Slovenia. I’m not sure if you have, you probably haven’t, but if you ever opened the magazine you’ll notice that the usual texts published there aren’t that bad and that people actually read what’s written there, especially women. But what am I supposed to expect from a populist website that can’t even properly report on the Chomsky-Žižek debate?

    I’m even ready to make the claim that Playboy has higher quality theory than

    • Critical Theory

      Hi Simon,

      Would you like for me to not properly credit your website when I find material on it? I’d be happy to include or omit it, depending on your preference.

      I’m deeply sorry to have offended you and our eternal overlord, Slavoj Zizek. May I be purged in the glorious fires of revolution for my transgressions.

      I don’t doubt that Playboy has higher quality theory than my website. I would be wise to pick up a copy, especially if I ever wish to get my intellectual and physical masturbation done in one sitting.

      Tell me, dear comrade, how do you go back to reference your notes when the pages are stuck together?



      • No, you can leave the credit, I’m perfectly fine with simply insulting you, like you’re insulting our eternal overlord. As he once wrote: populism is (sometimes) good enough in practice, but not good enough in theory.

        btw. I seem to have been the only one who has noticed that Chomsky wrote something extremely strange at the very beginning of the Žižek-Chomsky conflict:

        “There is no need to comment on a remark that gives irrationality a bad name.”

        The main problem with this statement is: hasn’t irrationality always have a bad name? Shouldn’t the phrase be “no need to comment on a remark that gives rationality a bad name”? What is bad in giving irrationality a bad name? It’s it actually correct that it has a bad name?

        This sentence was obviously meant as a dismissal, but it fails in its very mistaken formulation. I suspect a Freudian reading would say that mistakes in writing and speech sometimes give us a glimpse into it’s author’s unconscious. And if Chomsky wanted to do a brutal dismissal, but failed at the very word/moment that should have been the most offensive (the switch between rationality and irrationality in the sentence), maybe we could read this as a proof that he knew Žižek’s points aren’t simple irrationality. It’s like someone wanted to visciously slur someone but would accidentally provide a compliment.

        • Johnny Arson

          >The main problem with this statement is: hasn’t irrationality always have a bad name?

          That’s the joke.