René Girard


  1. Eight-word explanation of Girard’s theory: “I want it because somebody else wants it.”
  2. (so this doesn’t really work)
  3. Frazz is no longer the most pedantic comic strip.
  4. Why exactly is Barney angry?


  1. I…don’t think the artist looked it up. “mimetic rivalry” – if you copy me we’re rivals (and Barney takes it a bit far…). That’s all I can think of.

  2. Well, the minute-and-a-half I spent on wikipedia suggests that the mimetic rivalry ultimately leads to ritual sacrifice, so … who knows.

  3. Your problem is TMI. It works fine if you don’t know what Girard’s notion of mimetic reality is, or if it doesn’t exist. Barney makes an implicit claim of intellectual superiority by referring to an obscure bit of social philosophy. (Obscure to me, certainly.) Clyde rivals him through mimesis. Barney is angry at being one-upped.

  4. So his theory goes along with mine that people only want items that “everyone” else has or like foods because other people like them or others eat them because they are expensive, so one “likes” them for the same reason.

    Okay, it is my logic about why so many people want foods I find horrible – like cheesecake, steak, lobster, beer, wine…

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