Nov 23, 2012

The elevator button

It is a well-known fact that the close-the-door button in most elevators is a totally dysfunctional placebo which is placed there just to give individuals the impression that they are somehow participating, contributing to the speed of the elevator journey. When we push this button the door closes in exactly the same time as when we just press the floor button without speeding up the process by pressing also the close-the-door button. This extreme and clear case of fake participation is, I claim, an appropriate metaphor [for] the participation of individuals in our post-modern political process.


lajos said...

Have you ever been in those elevators from Schindler without buttons on the inside of the cabin? One has to chose the destination floor before entering the elevator. Once inside, you cannot change your mind any more because there are no control buttons at all, not even an alarm. Apparently inside those elevator cabins, without exceptions, at least for the first couple of rides, people experience a sense of helplessness that freaks them out.
At any rate, Zizek and his metaphors from the mundane are funny. And at least on traditional elevators the "keep the doors open" button - the possibility to veto - still works as intended. :-P

adina said...

True, the metaphor is faulty if you think of other buttons :)

Haven't tried to Schindler elevators yet. They do sound like the perfect place to have a panic attack tho :)