“Indeed, as Lacan put it: a true Master is the one who cannot ever be betrayed – the one who, even when actually betrayed, does not lose anything.” -Slavoj Žižek, ‘The Actuality of Ayn Rand’, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Vol. 3, No.2, p.225
Okay, so it’s not really about being unblockable, but I’ve been thinking about certain types of twitter/facebook/online performances that are intended to pre-empt the (re)actions or criticisms of a certain other party and I think this quote captures the essence of it nicely. When I force a troll to block me, I am “betrayed” but even though actually betrayed, I do not lose anything (in fact I reclaim from the troll the very thing he was seeking a reaction). A lot of feminist ‘discursive activism’ (Frances Shaw’s very cool term) is about setting up the conditions true Mastery, in the sense that they cannot be betrayed. Feminist bingo, Mansplaining, and all the rest of the pre-actions Shaw talks about mean that when these betrayals happen, nothing is lost.
Not sure if I can be bothered tracking down the original source for Zizek’s paraphrase, but this quote will certainly do in a pinch. More on this topic in my forthcoming article for the Fibreculture trolling issue.