In the months after September 11, titles like “The End of the Age of Irony” abound in our media. Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides.
Zizek argues that this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyses the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.