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The Best Model of a Street is the Street Itself

People used to believe that the way we knew how to walk down a street was to have a tiny model of the street in our mind, and a tiny model of our body in our mind. Then we would use the tiny body to walk down the tiny street and then transfer that to our bones and muscles and walk down the street.

Then people became smarter and realized — wait. If we know how to make the tiny person walk down the street in our mind, why don’t we just walk down the street? Why do we need a tiny model of the street in our mind? We have the street itself. How could there be a better model of a street than the street itself?

Similarly people used to think that when you fell in love with a person it was because you recognized that that person was a second self and you extended your self-love to that person. “Oh Jane!” thought Joe “I love you like I love myself!” Jane for Joe is an image of Joe, embodied in the form of another. Joe for Jane presumably is the same, a refuge from the foreignness and inimicality of the world — a harbor of self in a world made of others.

It’s time for people to get smart about love as they have previously gotten smart about streets! If Joe knows how to love anything he knows how to love someone else. If Joe were unable to love he would be unable to love himself.

People think the present is in love with the future and that the present contains a model of the future. Both ideas are wrong. The future is in love with the present, and that’s why it gives birth to it, through making love with the past. The future knows the present and kisses it without an intermediary. It is not hidden behind a veil of thoughts, but meets it skin to skin.

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Literature

Almost everything anybody has ever said has been really really boring. Those few things that aren’t we call “literature”. And even that is pretty boring.

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Pretty Good Psychic

Lesly, Kaila, and Anthony went to a psychic at Kaila’s tenth birthday party and asked her (her name was Midia Simba D’Obadi) to predict the age of their deaths. “Okay” said Midia Simba D’Obadi after collecting a dollar from each child’s hand. “You, Lesly will die when you are twenty. You Kaila will die when you are a hundred. And you Anthony will die when you are six hundred.” “Cool.” said Anthony. “Weird.” said Kaila. “Fuck.” said Lesly.

Kaila became a thrill seeker thinking that she was guaranteed a hundred years and plummeted off El Capitan at the age of twenty-eight, destroying her brain. Anthony died of a heart attack at sixtty-one. At the age of sixty-five Lesly went in search of the psychic Midia.

“I have a bone to pick with you. Your predictions were all false.”

“My predictions are never false.” said the psychic Madame Midia Simba D’Obadi.

“Yes they are. Anthony died at sixty-one. You said he’d live to six hundred.”

“Oh that. He invented the Anthony Smith protocol for organizing files in C++. It will be the industry standard for two hundred years and continue with his name on it for another four hundred at which point humanity will become one with intelligent stars and everybody will stop using C++.”

“Okay. But what about Kaila? You said she’d live to a hundred.”

“She is alive!” said the psychic. “She’s just brain dead. Swish!”

“Okay.” said Lesly. “But look you bummed me out all through my teens cause I thought I would die and I didn’t. I’m sixty one. You said I’d die when I was twenty. It made me moody.”

“That’s cause in the middle of the night when you were twenty you got bit by a vampire and died and since then have been undead.” said Madame D’Obadi.

“Okay. That’s pretty good.” said the vampire.

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Atoo-Kalish, the Powerful, and Holy King

A lot of people who acknowledge the power of Atoo-Kalish don’t accept that he is holy, but on this topic I am going to have to disagree. Powerful he is, but I have seen him cry real tears because a seven year old girl’s art project on the Conquistadors was ruined in the rain, and take time out of his schedule reviewing the troops to take her to an art supply store and help her make a new one. He is very tender with the imperial cows, speaks kindly and carefully, and is dilligent not to go to sleep having spoken words of anger unrectified. In fact on this last point I once saw him bestride his gingham destrier and ride through the rain twenty parasangs to apologize to his minister of exchequer for upbraiding him in the man’s own home, and the minister actually was at fault. Atoo-Kalish is an embodiment of the star Polaris and after he sloughs this mortal form returns to that celestial abode to drink with Eternity.

I, for one, do not begrudge him.

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Analytic Philosophy Fetishizes Clarity

When you fetishize something you get excited and entranced by it and credit that thing for being exciting and entrancing — you abstract from the human context that makes it exciting and entrancing.  The sexual fetishist gets turned on by a woman’s knee and thinks his erotic life revolves around knees. He ignores that an actual human woman is showing him her knee because she is attracted to him and wants him to be attracted to her.  The currency fetishist heaps up gold because he is excited by gold and doesn’t realize that gold is only important as a medium of exchange – -a way for human beings to let other human beings know what we find valuable.  The religious fetishist worships the wall in Jerusalem and doesn’t realize this wall is important because human beings express their desire for a fresh start at a meaningful life by building a temple and convening there, and this wall once belonged to the temple.

In philosophy we sometimes get excited and entranced by intellectual clarity.  We like the idea of saying sentences that are very clear and connecting those sentences into arguments that seem to prove things.  We fetishize clarity and argumentative rigor.  Rigor and clarity and argument are fine things when they help us get clear about something that is a confusion or a lie or a self-mystification.  But on their own they are nothing, just a symbol of liberation without the liberation.  Clear for one purpose is muddy for another.  My guide to how to hook up my t.v. does not say what color my t.v. is, but it is not for that reason vague or mysterious at all.

The trouble with fetishizing clarity is once you fetishize clarity, what tool is left for you to make yourself unconfused and unmystified?

If the salt shall lose its savor, how shall you salt it?

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