Slavoj Zizek, in case you haven't encountered him before, is a Slovenian philosopher, sort of an existentialist neo-Marxist or something like that, and a bit of a global star on the lecture circuit. He has a huge appetite for popular culture, contrarian aphorisms, and - unusually for a philosopher - jokes. (You can read a fascinating, long profile of him here.) As this brilliant little sketch of Zizek at a book signing conveys, the man is a walking gag machine, and an unstoppable gossip. It's hard to know which bit to extract:
He said he was looking forward to a trip to Jenin next spring and had recently met with a group of Palestinians he would be visiting there. "They're not Islamic fundamentalists. They're normal people like us. We started exchanging dirty jokes. They told me one. 'Why do Iraqi women not sleep with American soldiers? Because they always talk about pulling out but never do.'
"Beneath every Communist," said Mr. Zizek, "there is a secret bourgeois snob. At least I admit to it."
The man with the camera asked him about politics in the Balkans. Mr. Zizek said that his native Slovenia was in disarray but that he saw hope in Montenegro, where many Albanian refugees had settled without upheaval. The Observer admitted that he had an Albanian grandmother. Mr. Zizek said he liked to tell ethnic jokes about Balkan nationalities. Montenegrins, the jokes held, were famously lazy.
"How does a Montenegrin masturbate?" Mr. Zizek asked. "He digs a hole in the earth, puts his penis in and waits for an earthquake."
He also tells some very unreliable anecdotes about Ralph Fiennes and Nicole Kidman.