Fantasy.Com: Game One, ZIP (Through Zizek to Internet Pornography).

O = A, "Big Other," a typically ambiguous Lacanian quantity which is identified by turns with the socio-Symbolic Order (SO) and the Real (R)-residual being, that which has never (yet) entered consciousness; A, being, in the former case, merely a form, or (more or less conscious) structure, and, in the latter case, no-thing, can only be sensed through a ("small other")--part-objects, displacements, particulate quantities of desire that endlessly defer ("it") through a syntax of substitutions. O, which will also take the forms, in the following presentation, VO, DO (Virtual, Digital Other).

X = R: that portion of the Real, psychic residue, primordial trauma, that motivates all positivization-including RL (Real Life) scenarios that supposedly foreground VR (Virtual) phenomena while disavowing the Real (though the stain of the R reads through all). What is R? X. Who knows. What the ego is not (and can we say X = VR X RL/R = R(VL)/R = VL? We can say:)

[1] And so in a way this lecture begins. It takes the form of a game-a competition without clear rules of play, a game that is, perhaps, unplayable... [Holding up a video cassette in a white-gloved hand] I begin with an act of "object insertion" into (in this case) the analogue Other [load video]-not that the tape bears direct relation to the text, but for the sake of play, your J-Jouissance... so we begin with an empty form [video: a clear plastic box subdivided-an empty grid] --the O at its purest, as Zizek would say...


[2] Set one. Going on an AOL trip, keeping my Notepad window open, first thing that gets me is the uncanny arrangement and brilliance of the billboards on the VR highway ("Liquid Dreams," "Circuit City"), link lists, and sign-posted portals to... my generic electronic "self," with my place as consumer and fetishizer of taxonomies pre-set; the Virtual Other returns my gaze, pre-filters and (re)configures my ID baggage and I might not give it a second thought except for Zizek's damn "anamorphic turn"--that twist of thought-- I can't get out of mind, so I sense what's being dropped in the shuffle: merely to write it off-that's just how things go-and go on about my business is to underread the first subtle web seduction (the VO's initial gesture)-to deck the impact of certain realizations from which I'm being decoyed...which of course cues a V (re)performance mirroring RL scenarios of a "diverted self," as Walker Percy has defined it-" a self that continually diverts itself from itself"..."Welcome," I hear in a syn voice, reinscribed by a "personalized" screen greeting-preinscribing me in the V world; those are my naughts and jigs, alright, though the $ sign of my "portfolio" I misread as the Lacanian split subject (if only those clouds on my desktop were prog to slowly morph and move in a balmy digital seasonless breeze, I would be hooked much sooner-a task for Flash. And so...

[3] Having blocked the V interface maneuvers through the turn to critical attention-a de-formation (anamorphic torquing) of digitally duping drift (point-score-though ultimately, the game goes to the machine) level two: links hierarchically arranged (the "real" estate channel-listings complete w/digital pics--along with jobs, cars, games, TV listings, restaurants, travel deals, etc--you can fill in the rest-you are (always already) there...)--keeps me on the consumer loop, of course, and I'll find no opening through the AOL home page to more "Taboo" sites--for that, I'll have to try a less ideo-focused Search (Symbolic?) Engine (SE)--Hotbot...? (Before going, one more play, at the "Games" link on the AOL channels sidebar; a game developed by Semi Logic Entertainment: Santa's shop has exploded and gifts are flying through the air; virtual object--bounce Elves off a trampoline to rescue... the circuit of exchange? The ultimate consumer manufactory/warehouse fantasy, from which issues the magical appearance of the commodity--gift as Gif--has been sabotaged? The Game second guesses my disruptive critical impulse, co-opts it, re-deforms it into-amusement! Or rather, onanism: the "game," after all, does nothing-the always changing array of offerings follows a logic of commercially synthesized desire, seasonal hype or MR (market research) readings of current cultural anxieties-Santa's Shop surface shifting to Highland Golf and/or Heavy Cannons-changing faces spun over a structural redundancy... at any rate, none of it has an investment in my project (projection). Touché to my own crit game-point, (M)Other M(ac)).

[4] Set two. Using Hotbot's boolean word filter fields for "sado-masochism" and "prosthetics," the SE lets six sites slip though. Alternative Sources Web Subscription is the third link (; I cut and paste the descriptors here: "Alternate Sources: Books, CD-ROMs, and web search engines for people with alternate sexualities: kinky heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, crossdressing, fetishes, and BDSM (B&D, D&S, and SM)." But why does "Gay, lesbian, and bisexual" share a taxo/syntactic-space with "kinky" hetero, the fetishistic, and perverse? O nods to the text formation, which locates me this side of the "people with," encoding a "typical" hetero surfer for whom this will be a voyeuristic game. But O won't bounce me off so easily. If I delete "kinky" from the descriptor, what/where is my own (demonstratively non-kinky) sexuality in this context? The revised parataxis repos me in the socio-Symbolic along with (vis a vis) the sexual "other," the simple editing function serving crit consciousness: I re-orient my "self" (inserting diacritical marks), derailing the ole' Saussurian binary pre-scripted for me. "Alternate" to what? (point--mine)

[5] The alphabetized keyword search list on the Alternate Sources site is itself a mind-bending found poem composed of part objects and meta categories: BDSM and Bears, boots and breasts, databases and dildos, manufacturers and masturbation, noses and organizations, STI's and stockings, television and tickling... How do such sights position me as sub--voyeur simply (or sub-voyeur)? In the context of this techno-bio fetish assemblage my first impulse to "breasts" (reminding me again about my place in an RL sexual-Symbolic economy) feels self- and "other"-degrading; in this cracked window of self-consciousness, I select what (most immediately) repulses (though if I am now in a VR and not still an RL mind frame, then the adjacency "internet/intersex" should be as intriguing)--click, click... Boldface warnings vie with calls for subscriptions; thumbnails of bondage, submission, organ torture; animated fist fucking gifs--"up to the elbow." You can add your own amateur "slut" pic. I think about that: How do these repulsive yet somehow dull fantasies shore me up all the more thoroughly in my heterosexuality?

[6] In the pics it often seems a silly game (desire for the "o," "petite autre," focused on the piercing of a nipple, though some images bear a trace X--the unspeakable tint--of a turbulent psychic background--a sutured vagina, no longer even attached to an expression of pain). I imagine myself with a pictographic pencil the size of a cigar stuck in my ear as I seductively suck candy canes with little synthetic bows, which soon become soft enough to smear over my bald head like blood and come--CUT (is this what Freud meant by where the id was, there will the ego (of the analyst) go? What Hegel meant by (tarrying with) the negation of negation--myself in my daydream of hetero subjecthood, and then again in my phantasmic displacement to the field of the "o" --the trace of "X" in "o"--tick click-- opening a space for the "revenge of the substance"? What Lacan meant by the "anamorphic stain," as salted with Marxian critical consciousness, rendering the Hegelian subject "for itself" as a "constitutive distortion"? Have I begun to "traverse" the fantasy? Is this enough? This theoretical overcoding cum (to) critical buffoonery as self-de-mystifying play?) I can't, except for those few images of apparently real pain, situate myself in this "extreme" (as the site bills it) sexual deviance (point, point-whose?). All tack.

[7] So keep (off)track (blowin' in the mind wind). And rematch, as I play at the transmogrifying recombination of various discourses--theoretic, (cultural)critical, carnivalesque, gaming--to play through the VO-make it dance for itself (for the project of crit con)... step right up to screen displays that will shatter sexuality as you know it (i.e., as authorized symbolizations of the RLO), but that reveal nothing about the psychological dynamics of "alternate" (dis)positions of sexuality--since it is really all simply for your (digital) visual pleasure, and though the "subjects" depicted are "real," the acts/situations often appear posed, positions staged, the whip never striking, the images photoshopped "up to the elbow"--and so rather than challenging/cracking/ shattering the Symbolic Order (Zizek, et al)--or your head-faith in it--the V window-peeping has reinforced it with a moment of (digitally "Mastered") repugnance--point (but, conceding that the VO has me playing the game in the first place, and produces the show...)

[8] TIME. All the neat holiday-trimmed Leave-it-to-Beaver houses I gaze at through the window of the Academy (bus) on my way to RL metropolis seem all the more insubstantial and desired after my phantasmic browse. Rents in the squeaky-clean Playboy centerfolds of my own comparatively PG sexist fantasies [note what's happening in the video-tapped plastic cells, like little peep shows--see below]. There are fantasies beneath fantasies... Surface fantasies like commercials for libidinal (dis)satisfaction mask a level of the truly phantasmagoric that I have less--perhaps no--control over, which was why, finally, I simply couldn't look at the bloody rectum, digitally staged though it may have been. I'll never really know, caught in the anamorphic turn of my (self)examination...

[9] And, then, to recognize, from the boundaries of my identificatory field, whatever self or sense of self has been (pre)blocked out/arrayed, and, like Neo in The Matrix or Truman in The Truman Show, to experience the Limit, the piece of the R mumblingrumbling behind the scenes (black cat déjà vu signing a glitch in the system--glimpse of X/R in the black of the sign; Neo's image in the broken mirror made momentarily whole as he gazes at it, then warbling into distortion--dream-thought arising from the fluid unconscious in which he is--"literally"--immersed; or, more comically obvious, a stage light crashing into the middle of Main Street "out of the blue"...): to what extent does the WWW provide such a "limit" experience, throwing into relief how "I" have been configured, posited (with)in the Other, opening a space for possible re-configuration? The phantasmic tableau and "live feeds" played out on the websites are just so much graffiti on the wall...

[10] Subway: in the underground, we know where we are in relation to the immediate environment--like directionality in a computer game--but not in relationship to the outside/above (coordinates of a subject's self-experience alter in virtual environs, so the identity--the "subject"--encountered there--especially in IRC's and MUD's--may be non-identical to its articulations in the RLSO).

[11] What we need to hold on to in (thinking about) VR is this distorting split, this doubling out of phase of the subject, a kind of ghosting supplement or perversion that smears the subject in its phantasmic wanderings, its encounters with the Other in/of the Self; blurs its sense of (self) presence even after the return to RL... the "subject." I mean me. You. And my need to cast the O as GPS (Global Positioning System)...

[Video: has been and continues to display a pair of female (not stereotypically feminine) hands arranging/rearranging image fragments-body and facial parts from various pop magazines-creating continuously permuting haut couture monstrosities in grid subsets]

[11] All this, rhetorical excesses included, is part of the (split) critical story, too-a narrative full of holes and false moves, but also surprises.
Set three. And now... (with bits of electraporn, bondagr, bizarre-x, and the opening pages (rather than the virtually endless stream of embedded images of the Same), to catch the essence of the site's "self" presentation...

Sweet Pain

[12] Sweet Pain ( is typical of the design of such sites, asserting a virtual (im)materiality aiming for an instinctive response--the large, black-lettered bold title shadowed in red--eliding the highly coded, scientifically (digitally) mediated reality of its WWW surface presence; the exploited sexual other, virtualized perverse/abusive sexuality, enjoyed in the comfort and control of a FrontPage layout (select the "View Encoding" command on Netscape, for example, for a Neo's critically-conscious eye view of the Matrix/O, the "real" porn, but, yes, "ignorance is bliss"). Compare to the red Flash swastika, filling the entire screen, pulsating over a black background on a typical, racially separatist site, WhitePowerDotcom (; in both cases, a counter, transmogrified O has (always already) colonized the V territory, established its negative "Law" as Gateway to the phantasmic.

[13] Not surprisingly, both sites are inconsistent in their stance toward the phantasmic: clicking on the swastika of the WhitePower site, for example, (re)places the viewer/surfer "comfortably" within the net of the socio-symbolic--a catalogue of consumer goods, mostly music CD's, promoting "unacceptable" (anti-(authoritative) O) ideological positions. Sweet Pain's schizo-Imaginary is more complexly dis-jointed: the home page defines "bondage" as "to restrict by means of restraint, either physical or mechanical," yet presents, at least at this first level, a Playboy-like, highly stylized version of "S & M" as signifier (i.e., in name) only--voluptuous women, straps cinched comfortably over full breasts (SM practice read as "kinky," here, in contrast to the more seriously drawn straps in hard core images); entering the site's second level, through a suspended--fetishized--frozen moment of (yet to be) satisfied desire, anticipating the sting of a manicured male hand (yet again) on firm young white female PhotoShop-reddened buttocks ("if you aren't legal, use the back key"--which is to not say, password for rear entry), we view a little table of S&M acts, each box a discrete image: all part objects, the fragileness of sex organs violated by chains, clamps, wires; gagged mouths, pierced vaginas. The side show rhetoric of the site promises thousands of windows into the taboo from this phantasmic node, with any site on the node functioning as a portal to the others: leather and rubber bondage, blind folding, mummification... also rare Japanese suspension, dom-sub: "there's a lot of penetration shots, too... A carnal explosion... meet your demons... explore your limits... push the envelope of the ultimate power exchange... we order you to have fun... enter our site over and over." The amusement park aura of the phrase "have fun" somewhat discharges while complicating the potentially dis-turbing entry into a simulated pre-synthetic, where part objects are libidinally charged, the O's codes are violated--literally suspended for spectacular pleasure ("our favorite position is one leg raised...")--and the subject is invited to imagine its extinction through the metonymy of death. Such code-mixing keeps the imagination itself liminally suspended between the false (or at least mis-leading) promise of an opening into uninhibited phantasmic play and the equally false sense of socio-symbolic closure, safety and control, in image composition and site structure. Let the games begin... "Are you ready for the edge of human endurance? "

[14] The third level of Sweet Pain is a wall of text boxes, the "Age Verification Page," where capital enters the circuit of the phantasmic--it has been there all along, of course, and is the underlying support of the "show," so we find it embedded, appropriately, at the third level of our imagined "descent" into the simulated pre-symbolic beneath (conventional moral) "law and order." No matter which phantasmic thumbnail turns arrow point to clickable hand on level 2, we arrive at the same dis-illusioning screen of consumer economics, the foundation of the SO--with an inversion quick as a professional judo flip, we arrive where we started--point (the system's)--and yet we are still embedded in the (Virtual) phantasmic. ). So again, the global security gate of WWW (find the hidden "X"s) site (sub)structure becomes a means of containing/evading confrontation with the other, with the potentially destabilizing otherness of an XXX sexuality (tautology rather than strike through, to...? tick tick tuck) reconstructed into frames of manageability. Just as universal meta-(HTML)language overrides the destabilizing potential of an other's actual ("foreign") words on non-(linguistically)Anglicized sites, so the colors-the texture and quality of the colors-layout, and design of most sites, no matter what the content or where they are constructed, are not unfamiliar, the "other" always already "up to" Net standards (i.e., the GatewayTM to Western Technocracy). On the mobius-way of digital journeys, there is always a Motel 8 (bits = 1 byte--raise the pot). Only a de-collage web experience can XXX the WWW (coming soon...). Yet, for now, the destabilizing uncertainty is what "counts" (for this surfer). As in Conrad's Heart of Darkness via Zizek's The Ticklish Subject: the white explorers/agents, traveling to the (decentering) center of the (racial/social/sexual) other of the SO, meet the transmogrified flip side of the Same (hegemonic white rule)--Kurtz, the "CEO" of a ritualized, dysfunctional "company."

[15] Power serve: a taste of the VP (Virtual Phantasmic), of the maniacally un-site-ly: Electraporn Gold ("250,000 + hot images... 70,000 + videos...30,000 live feeds"--"group sex," "interracial," "lesbian," "anal hard core," "double penetration," "torture chamber"... "lesbo-bashing," "nigger-bashing" (WhitePowerDotCom); "Do you want to see what we do"? Hands, canes, studded leather paddles... driving a well-sharpened heel into the sex organ; "White Power" symbols-the branded fist, the black face-stomping boots; foot fetish-"long delicate toes wrapped around or inserted into your sex organ"... ropes, chains, hot wax, fisting, pissing, fruits... "chicks stomp sperm out of dicks"... "love hurts"... "if you think the level of violence is high now, it is a mere hint compared to what is to come without racial, ethnic, and population stabilization"... (The Occidental Crusader-- texts/index.htm); " teen girl lesbo action and public dick sucking"... PCV, latex... "taste the experience." "Women who relish the doctor's speculum... watch the youngest legal teens shoving baseball bats up their asses... make a subject hold in their [sic] bodily functions until you tell them [sic] to release" .... "visit White Pride Entertainment.Net--the 'Most hated site'"; "Welcome to the most bizarre and extreme shocking site on the web 24 hour pain" "like on TV. See our cable program--Race and Reality..." ass worshipping, face fucking; Violence Culture; smothering. "How about a candle up her..." self-bondage story rubber suit with sex pain sex sex with midget fetish pics. "Welcome to..."

Point, counterpoint?

[16] GAME. "This page cannot be displayed... you may need to adjust your browser setup." Comment. I'm diverted, turn up a blank--instead of an O that can be seen, a wall of a symbolic authority, flag of an other's ideology, I drift in a (non)place that bears me no relation; the phantasmic can't be depicted, only endlessly rehearsed. No matter how many thousands of nodes and thumbnails beckon, marketing a stylized Imaginary of sexual perversions, and no matter how many hysterically driven entries we pursue--sexualization of the other's hatred for me, the violence of the fantasy answering the violent imposition of a "global" (i.e., Westernized) SO, a counter "O" (i.e., a part object/identity position standing in for the "Universal," as in white racialist discourse) asserting itself in place of the ("authorized") O--all this covers the most disturbing fantasy: the failure of the phantasmic itself, the frictionless fiction of cyberspace. This derailment does more to increase the sense of dis-ease, brings us closer to the R (Real) of the "taboo," than any positivised, digitally boxed content could (even--or perhaps especially--with programmed dysfunctions intended to proliferate the positivized taboo. I experience such a nerve-wracking moment while viewing the above online porn sites: as I try to back out of a site, new browser windows open, proliferating on the bottom of my screen; as I "X" one, another appears--I have, quite literally, lost control of/within the DO, reminding me of a moment in childhood when my immediate world was an amusement park merry-go-round that wouldn't stop, the operator (O) coming round again and again taking my tickets--I had only a few left!--until, finally, I jumped... as I click, here, on the mark, repetitively, augmenting rather than eliminating, my act turning against it (my) "self"). No matter how horrendous a screenal pic, the "horror" at the heart of darkness is the fundamental X, the nothingness, the hollowness of the SO; at the "heart" of darkness we encounter no "other" that can bear it for us, but the other in--the constitutive lack of--ourselves.

[17] This page that is not... The glitch, lost link, crashed drive, viral disablement, garbled codes, missed destinations, dysfunction: this is the (resurgence of) traumatic X, the original lost relation, the fundamental fantasy Zizek endlessly rehearses (since we must endlessly restage it) charged by the primordial seduction scene that breaches known boundaries; this disruptive urge of the Real, non-substantial, non-entitative, detectable only in surface ripples in the SO; this inconsistency (glitch) in reality that prevents phantasmic closure, realizes gap as constitutive, sustaining circulation of desire but necessitating O's suturing of reality to simulate a surface smoothness supporting the performance of the everyday. "Humiliation is necessary to make the subject pliable enough for the games to come" (Bizarre-X.Com). And this failure of the virtual system, the disruptive trace of R in the web is the "real" obscene fantasy, the phantasmic scenario that supports free agency--the smooth flow of the virtual drifter--and spooks perversion (i.e., fixation on frozen screenal moments). The risk is not just the knowledge that there is "offensive" material "out there," virtual material that may challenge (our) subject positioning, and that we may lose our sense of direction amidst the wealth of positive contents, but the dis-comforting sense that we may without warning lose our link--our place in the VO (as in RLSO)--altogether, fall through the gaps in the Net: this is the Real of our experience in the D(V)R.

[18] By an alternate route (many doors lead to the same room), consider a site such as, product of a different dialogos vis a vis certain realities and stereotypings of the Gay community (RL socio-cultural tensions can be heard through the rhetorical structure of the site itself). The front page offers visually straightforward, authoritative, simple bold heads with bulleted lists: educational workshops, calendar of events, publications; "safe and lawful SM practices through sharing of information"--the O colonizing the phantasmic ("alternate") sex act. The SM Gays Guide to Safer Sex configures a matter-of-fact, rule-bound, almost clinical how-to approach to SM practice: "a dirty dildo shouldn't go anywhere unless it's been properly cleaned... if you are doing piercing within a scene, use new or sterilized equipment... don't come on or near the piercing." The phantasmic dimensions of SM are displaced from imaginative reinscription of acts on the Web to, not the bodily "act" (as yet suspended in the Symbolic), but to a fear of the biological Real of fluids and bacteria (secreted, excreted, expulsed); intense pleasure in the "illicit," O-defying act--"if you think paradise is a fist up your arse"--is undercut by emphasis on safe and clean techniques: make sure to use condoms on dildos; be sure finger nails are closely trimmed (contrast this to the raw, rough riding imagery of Electraporn). In this proceduralized, risk-reduced, prophylactic phantasmic (necessitated by socio-political (R)realities of the gay community, the shaping force behind the site), Real J and the enigmatic/unpredictable resurgence of the R are displaced to the apparatus--the "toys"--itself: latex condoms and dental dams register the impact of the embodied phantasmic; one must be careful in selecting insertable objects, since they may be lost in the bowels of the Other. Secured in a hygienic, AMA approved rhetorical space; immersed (suspended?) in fantasy-dissolving, anamorphic stain purging solutions (of/to desire), SM practice is represented as "safe" as an assignation in Epcot ("plenty of soap and hot water and strong disinfectant on hand").

[19] But even sites such as Sweet Pain, for all their high resolution, in-yr-face positing/positivization of the "taboo" (pseudo)phantasmic, are no less dis-charging; simply reinscribing (offline) fantasies or creating web-simulated fascination scenarios without exploiting their dialogic potential, they don't go far enough. As I discuss in "Re(X)locating the Critical Self: the Global Subject in an Electronic Age" (Symploke, winter, '02), an approximate virtual experience of Zizek's (negative) act of traversing the fantasy would not be a tawdry commercialized reinscription/re-synthesis of the phantasmagoric "pre-synthetic," but a "de-collage" website simulating an experience of the R, the void/insubstantiality of all pos contents ("de-collage," cf Flux artist Wolf Vostell: de-collage activity signs the gap, signifying on key articulations/"installations" of the seamless Order of the Symbolic to render them dysfunctional, freeing them to function negatively as culturally critical meaning in a counter (aesthetic) SO--Vostell's de-collaged TV set, for instance, turned, literally, inside-out; art critic Claudia Mesch demonstrates how Vostell's de-collages were deployed, in postwar Cologne and Paris, as "mnemotechnic" for reinserting a memory of catastrophe, of ruination/deterioration and failure into the smooth- functioning surface of the postmodern, reconstructed city). The de-collage web site would incorporate inconsistencies and run time errors, breaches/ failures in the "search" process, including search "engines" that constantly derail; a disobedient web materiality; glitches and crashes. The de-collage site could include links to documentation of crashes/computer catastrophes, as well as links to progs (programs) that shut down the browser; dead links, misnamed links, links to disturbing/disruptive (anti-search, surveillance-jamming) content; embedded bug-links leading back to a hacked ghost version of an "official" (e.g., .gov., .org, .edu authorized) site, leaving the illusion of the techno integrity of the host site intact--i.e., playing through it to make it appear (as "illusion") "for itself"; random lines of flight and stoppages according to mouse movement/mouseovers--as the surfer tries to read or scroll he/she is blocked/detoured (I experience such a nerve-wracking moment while viewing the above online porn sites: as I try to back out of a site, new browser windows open, proliferating on the bottom of my screen; as I "X" one, another appears-I have, quite literally, lost control of/within the DO, reminding me of a moment in childhood when my immediate world was an amusement park merry-go-round that wouldn't stop, the operator (O) coming round again and again taking my tickets--I had only a few left!--until, finally, I jumped... as I click, here, on the mark, repeatedly, augmenting rather than eliminating, intention detoured through act--no longer "my" act). The site could include content too small (or large) to read; as the visitor highlights and attempts to readjust the font, the text would be further obscured/defaced, etc. The de-collage site would, in a sense, devirtualize its own virtuality, throwing one out of the gravityless, but nonetheless mesmerizing VR orbit (leaping free of the merry-go-round's spin, the sudden jut away/out of centrifugal compulsion knocked me, momentarily, off my feet).

[20] Consider the metonymic conjunction: Internet--Interstate Highway (i.e., the cliché "Information Highway"); the link is not only (or even primarily) based on speed, but also the smoothness of data transfer--an uninterrupted flow, no potholes of the urban Real. Imagine hitting a chuckhole on the Interstate; then imagine--or recall--losing documents, perhaps an entire drive, to a modem surge (the pathway to connectivity and knowledge doubling as line of flight, invasive route--dial-in to devastation). Both are grievous catastrophes, but what intensifies the shock of loss may be, in part, that we have forgotten the "constitutive" breach, "primordial loss" (variously figured by Freud, Lacan, et al, as original seduction, loss of the original mother/object, incest prohibition/pre-symbolic castration, etc.) that keeps us moving; we have become accustomed to repressing tremors of the pre-synthetic (as my own fearsome chronic gastro-intestinal disruptions/eruptions), the dis-identificatory rush of part objects-- Hegel's "night of the world"--while the (im)postering/posturings of "progress," the technological O, suspend us in a daydream of consistency--a dangerous ideological fantasy (dangerous for a cogito), since, as Zizek emphasizes, the disruptive R can not not make itself felt/heard, penetrating/fracturing the surface fantasy of substantive reality. It is these fissures in the system, these imaginative insecurities (glitches in the Matrix), the inevitable repeated crashes that keep the dynamic exchange of desire and drive spinning; crashing hard drives charge psychological drive. Which is why a site like Electraporn, striving for exhaustive representation, feeding the frenetic hyperactive search, ultimately nullifies itself, flattening the phantasmic into a field without gaps, a tautology of the Same--O effectively stifles J, as Z says, not by rigidly prohibiting (sexual, bodily, fetishistic) pleasure, but by exhaustively commanding the subject to Enjoy! "Taboo" sites such as Electraporn and Sweet Pain serve/preserve, rather than destabilize/put into question, the O/SO. The "ethical" (or, at least, procedural) goal of VR (as of RL) de-collage activity, then, can be seen as the praxis of critical consciousness: preventative, prophylactic, offsetting wide-spread ("lethal") dis-ease through repeated localized infectious exposure to deterritorializing flows, de-collage keeps R virally alive in the system, a kind of inverse immunology, since the place of the "real" threat is in the (anaesthetizing, psycho-sterilizing) encoding of the O of the SO, S of the eSystem--take it as a call for disaster.

[21] Consider all this again in terms of Hegel's philosophical transposition "in itself"/"for itself", which is also the move from "negation" to the "negation of negation." By way of clarification, Zizek hypothesizes a Marxian example: if a worker says "no more owners," he/she acts under the illusion of destroying a system that nevertheless remains intact (structurally and ideologically)--the fantasy has not been traversed; by negating again this negative stance-then, there are no more "workers"--the (de)proletariatized subject brings (the former) falseness of his/her position to critical consciousness. So, on the one hand, in terms of computer culture, to demonstrate knowledge of viral disruption (re)presents the Web "in itself," but retains the illusion (belief) of (techno)security as a functioning system (or, as Zizek would have it, we know it is an illusion, but disavow symbolic knowledge and act as if it isn't, continuing to travel the information byways in a daydream of functionality, as the worker above is still under the spell of capital); on the other hand, "actual" (performed) viral attack (viruses are always performed, though bio metaphors misrecognize them as self-generative) exposes security as an illusion (in a "true"--i.e., negative--act, in the Hegelian/Zizekian sense, the "disavowal" itself is (up)staged), making the falseness of the position appear "for itself." It would be misleading to reduce this situation to a simple "don't trust technology," which belies the psycho-political dynamic. We may say as much, but (disavowing such "knowledge") act as if we trust/believe in it: it's such brisures, inconsistencies, that de-collage critical consciousness works. Not that de-collage opens a space for existence of/within the pure Real--a contradiction in terms, since the Real is, oxymoronically, a function of the non-extant (or vice versa). What's posited/sustained in such moves is not (the false opening of) the substitution of a colonized self with (the fantasy of) an "uncolonizable," more "authentic" one, but the rhythm of play and counter play-the V(i)R(e)ality of self as player/engaged in play, a critically (self)conscious self that works against (it)Self (as demonstrated above), scanning for breaches in identificatory stances and/or producing them where possible. Right up to the (Taco) Bell--identity "out of the box" may not be possible, certainly not packageable, even though we try to think (of) it in un-Descartesian ColoursTM.

[22] Reconsider the thumbnail postings of "taboo" content on Sweet Pain's home page [the monotonous construction of the monstrous on the video on going]. The boxing suggests containment, framing, gate control, even as it provides a phantasmic glimpse into the R, the other/under side of the (SO); so the "cells" of the hidden tables which hold the place/space of the phantasmic figure Z's "empty form": colonization by the O (a kind of "endocolonization" of the imagination paralleling prosthetic colonization of the body) is a function of the form--the structure--of the presentation itself. The R, then, is on the side of (de)structuration, breaches in form, the (constitutive) imposition of form as continual failure (not just glitches in the system, but an anti-system of glitches), rather than in the establishment of (repeatable, operable) form. The "rhythm" of Reality (as opposed to "reality," or VR), as the rhythm of crit/grit consciousness (that which befouls, sullies functionality), "renders the gap," breaks the pattern, suspends completion/cadence, scuttles (itself as) rhythm.

[23] So, finally, that the "game" may continue and desire "somehow survive," in RL as VR: "what goes up will have to come down: make sure that whatever you put up... can't go all the way in, or you may never see it again."

Match. [Eject video]