biases, for the propagation of a moralistic ideology undeterred by facts, logic, counterarguments, or prevailing science. Hysterical characters can seldom render a full story, they tell an aspect, a part, whatever suits their needs of the moment, engaging in what might be called unintentional lying. Typified essay on live out your dreams by talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and. Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, The Anatomy of Prejudices, this essay examines several documentary films, all of which share the same intertextual goal: to critique and ultimately rebut the progressive political ideas found in films directed by Michael Moore. Lacan understands any search for or expression of knowledge as irrevocably linked to issues of desire and enjoyment, a dynamic Lacan explains through what he terms the four discourses.
In hysterical discourse, the fundamental bias demonstrated by the hysteric is the disavowal of enjoyment, specifically, the enjoyment derived from leveling attacks on an authority figure. Although the term hysterical has appeared in the press with relative frequency in recent years to describe the Tea Party movement as well as the histrionic displays of such conservative media figures as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, no serious attempt has been made. Lacans theory of hysterical discourse, I argue, not only illuminates a certain rhetorical and aesthetic tendency operative throughout the anti-Moore films; it may also offer a productive framework for broader considerations of contemporary right-wing media and political representation.
That is to say, the films deploy the formal appearance of political debate for a contradictory end: to deny outright an encounter with political difference and thereby to refuse any serious consideration of the issues, ideas, or arguments expressed by a political opponent. Cappella term the echo chamber, political arguments derive their veracity not from evidence but from repetition (75). I begin with a discussion of documentary form in the context of Lacans theory of discourse. For Jacques Lacan, hysterical discourse identifies a form of speech, a social bond, constituted by a peculiar understanding of the relationship between knowledge and desire, specifically, a desire not to know, an enjoyment located in a safe haven of ignorance. Instead, the false spectacle of intertextual debate, as it appears in these reactionary films, demonstrates a constitutive feature of their political discourse. Michael Me elder 2004 FahrenHype 9/11 peterson 2004 Celsius.11 knoblock 2004 Michael Moore Hates America wilson 2004 and, manufacturing Dissent (.
When applied to documentary form, Lacans discursive theory offers new insights into Moores particular brand of political satire, as well as into the hysterical inversion. In the seemingly insular world of conservative media, or what Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph. Roger Me gun culture bowling for Columbine and the administration of George. In psychoanalysis, there is a clinical term used to describe a person whose speech employs excess, spectacle, or contradiction for the purpose of avoiding direct dialogue: hysteria. Caine Melnyk 2007 ).
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