The arrival of Zizekmania was announced to us this morning on Michael Krasny's Forum. We normally avoid the post-10 a.m. segment of the show, as the inane questions posed by callers tend to stoke our misanthropy in unflattering ways. Thus it was purely by accident that we tuned in this morning just in time to hear a caller ask Slavoj Zizek his opinion of Burning Man.
We barely had time to pull over and turn up the volume before the esteemed professor, with the words, "To begin with, I am deeply distrustful," let loose a long, rambling, erudite, and saliva-flecked response. The professor/"culture-mulcher" so flabbergasted the caller, the host, and apparently, the production staff that KQED went dead for an alarming few seconds while everyone collected their wits.
Philosopher Zizek -- faster than a speeding Derrida, able to leap from Martin Heidegger to Kung Fu Panda in a single bound, more prolific than Stephen King and Carole King put together -- appears Thursday as part of the City Arts and Lectures series (and Friday at a secret location).
We love to wrestle with heady philosophy, but we hate to wrestle with our computer's reluctance to accent Mr. Zizek's name correctly.
The two z's should each carry an accent known as a caron, and thus should be pronounced like the s in treasure (local muralist Mona Caron, while certainly a treasure, has no relevance to this discussion). According to a cunning linguist of our acquaintance, the caron indicates a "voiced postalveolar fricative," a "sh" or "ch" sound, as in the balkan-band-enthusiast expression of joyful assent: šitčjea!