Elfbar Ideology: Reimagining the Death Drive

Slavoj Zizek, a proponent of Jacques Lacan, describes the psychoanalytic concept of the death drive as “the fundamental libidinal stance of the human individual for self-sabotaging; the basic idea of psychoanalysis is the pursuit of unhappiness, people do everything possible not to be happy.” Plainly, the death drive is that tendency for rational beings to engage in self-destructive behaviors as a refusal of mortality. A medieval footsoldier will charge into certain death with the reassurance that God waits in the afterlife. The people of Gaza now stand their ground in the face of bombardment with that same reassurance. This is an archaic instantiation of death drive ideology to those that live in the contemporary West, in the heart of empire. But mortality transcends time and place.

E-Cigarettes: A Shiny Alternative To Smoking?

Smoking is cool again. Who would have thought? Just when many thought smoking was on the decline, with stomach-churning advertisements of charred lungs on public television and the preeminence of smoke-free environments, an alternative form of nicotine delivery is gaining popularity: high-tech e-cigarettes. One of the most popular of these is the JUUL, which accounts for 32 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share. The JUUL is about one-fifth the size of an iPhone and uses patented nicotine juice cartridges, called JUULpods.