Jouissance...

"This endeavor [of striving for happiness] has two sides... It aims, on the one hand, at an absence of pain and unpleasure, and, on the other, at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure... the task of avoiding suffering pushes that of obtaining pleasure into the background"
--- Lacan

"The most painful experiences... can yet be felt... as highly pleasurable"
---Freud

With that in mind may I present to you the Jouissance of the Cat...

"The Cuckoo" - Tex Avery (1950)




The Cat shows symptoms.
Associates troubles with the Cuckoo.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cat gets his hand broken.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cat gets a hole blown through his thumb.
The Cat attacks the Cuckoo.
The Cat achieves momentary satisfaction in believing he has killed the Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo kills the Cat.
This is a cartoon.
Do you get the point?

The Cat is crazy. He has an unhealthy obsession with the cuckoo. The cuckoo is his drive, he desires it, but he can't have it. His desire is something that is never fulfilled. Something he lacks. To have it would mean an end to his obsession. Satisfaction. Orgasm. But then what? The bird will be gone, the Cat is left with a nothing. He had his momentary release and now it is just a matter of time. Within the Cat is something unknown, an intruder who rouses his delusions. From within it erupts, the ringing in his ears, his falling apart. There is an alien within that he is unable to understand that torments him, makes him fearful, which manifests in the form of a cuckoo (in Lacanian terms a fundamental phantasy). The Cuckoo; unto which he desires torture and consumption - an attempt to derive meaning and sense from his internally erupting jouissance. He is repeatedly unsuccessful. His desire grows. His schemes to capture the Cuckoo grow more and more desperate, but he shakes, he trembles, he is so close.

"Who is there who in the name of pleasure doesn't start to weaken when the first half serious is taken step toward jouissance?"
---Lacan

In his bravado, he is weakened, he falters, he falls, he fails. He suffers in his desire, he perpetually chases himself round and round, complete and circular. Pain > Pleasure > Pain > Pleasure. Each time knowing the risks. The Cat is masochistic then. And finally he believes to have caught the Cuckoo. He believes it to rest inside himself. Satisfied, he believes his desire to be fulfilled. Then he falters. He turns back. He mourns. He represses...

The cuckoo has an obsession, though we never really hear his side, we just see it manifest in the torturing of the Cat. He is obsessed with the Cat. He is happy and fulfilled, although he never confronts his own joussaince (that which is internalised, over which he has no control) he enjoys his drives; his drives to torture the Cat. Unlike the Cat the Cuckoo is able to enjoy his drives for after each 'little death' the Cat is revived ready for the next scene, ready for the next temporary satisfaction of desire.

Meanwhile, the Cat mourns the loss of his little Cuckoo. The chase is over. Now what? Unknown to the Cat, the Cuckoo has not so miraculously been revived, just in time to witness yet another death of the Cat. The Cuckoo does not mourn. He lets out a triumphant blast of his horn, for he knows, as do we, that this is ongoing, they will perpetually chase each other, round and round. Death > Revival > Death > Revival.  The Cat, we can only imagine, will be revived for the next scene, in which he will once again suffer a 'little death' at the feathered hands of the Cuckoo.

And this is how it must be. For this is a fantasy. It doesn't matter that one is dead, the Other can always be revived to temporarily fulfill the necessary desire. Pain > Pleasure > Pain > Pleasure >Pain > Pleasure - each one is necessary for the the Other to survive.