“The word “obscene” denotates “off the scene” and “hidden”. When sexuality is hidden, it is made abject and thereby made to look obscene, Copjec writes.” – What the word “obscene” describes in Zizek’s vernacular, is used not as in the context of describing the creation of taboos in earlier times, but in the context of describing the unrestrained destruction of taboos in today’s time. What used to be taboo, the outright and open approach towards enjoyment is no longer taboo. This means also that the superego pressure is no longer to feel guilty for enjoying too much or too openly, but for not enjoying ever enough. The superego has reversed course competely from Freud’s time to today because the ego ideal has changed completely. It no longer is the ideal of wanting to appear as decent, it has become the ideal of wanting to appear as successful, influential, viral, or popular. The superego that Copjec describes when she uses the word ‘obscene’ is telling women to hide their sexuality, to bring it off scene or ob-secene. This superego makes sexuality something seemingly obscene by abjeting it off the scene, away from visibility. Zizek describes a different superego when he uses the word ‘obscene’. For him it is not what the word does to us by abjecting us that is a topic, but the actual obsenity of a new superego that doesn’t want us to hide but rather wants us to hide nothing, to show it all, in terms of sexual virality. Showing all is impossible of course, and thus this superego call is like any superego call tormenting insofar as it calls for something we cannot live up to or fulfill. But people do become more obscene in the sense of losing their sense for the distance others might need from them in their immediate surrounding. The superego call to enjoy makes it okay for many, apparently, to see sexual meanings in words where formerly one would not come to think of some description or word as sexually charged, intentionally or not. The paradoxical result of the end of taboos is a new puritanis, not as a contermovement, but at the heart of the society of enjoyment itself. This puritanism makes abject by describing as obscene, the remnants nonobscene display of sexuality. This is where Copjec and Zizek can be read together. In Zizek’s texts the word ‘obscene denotates no longer that something is made off-stage but rather that something, some semblance of sexuality, is made too center-stage in the society of permissivity.
– ANDRE VANTINO http://ift.tt/1J3waV1