Zizek's Jokes 8.6分
读书笔记 第84页


In his book on jokes, Freud refers to the story of a middleman who tries to convince a young man to marry a woman he represents; his strategy is to change every objection into something praiseworthy. When the man says “But the woman is ugly!” he answers, “So you will not have to worry that she will deceive you with others!” “She is poor!” “So she will be accustomed not to spend too much of your money!” and so on, until, finally, when the man formulates a reproach impossible to reinterpret in this way, the middleman explodes, “But what do you want? Perfection? Nobody is totally without faults!” Would it not also be possible to discern in this joke the underlying structure of the legitimization of a Real Socialist regime? “There is not enough meat and rich food in the stores!” “So you don’t have to worry about getting fat and suffering a heart attack!” “There are not enough interesting theatrical and cinema performances or good books available!” “Does this not enable you to cultivate all the more an intense social life, visiting friends and neighbors?” “The secret police exerts total control over my life!” “So you can just relax and lead a life safe from worries!” and so on, until … “But the air is so polluted from the nearby factory that all my children have life-threatening lung diseases!” “What do you want? No system is without faults!”
•In an old Soviet joke, a customer goes to a bank, announces his intention to deposit 100 rubles, and inquires about how safe the deposits are. The bank clerk tells him that the bank guarantees all deposits, but the customer asks: “What if the bank collapses?” The clerk answers that the central bank also guarantees all local banks and their deposits. The customer persists: but what if the central bank itself collapses? The clerk again replies: “Then the Soviet state guarantees all bank deposits!” Still unconvinced, the customer raises the stakes to the top: “But what if the Soviet state itself disintegrates?” To this, the bank clerk explodes: “Are you telling me that you are not ready to lose the lousy 100 rubles as the price for such a wonderful event as the disappearance of the Soviet Union!”

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