Beauty Secrets of 20th Century British Philosophers

In 1941, philosopher Bertrand Russell was paid $50 for an article by Glamour magazine.

Intellectuals, Paul Johnson

PRINCIPIA AESTHETICA

THE logic which occupies Part I of the present work has been constructed under the guidance of three different aesthetic purposes. In the first place, it aims to bring out the inner you that’s just waiting to explode with a total philosophical makeover! In the second place, it is framed with a view to your personal face shape, which determines the hairstyle, sunglasses and eyebrows that are right for you. In the third place, the system defines the 10 Things Women Do That Drive Guys Crazy!

(. . .)

In spite of the fact that eyebrows are theoretically superfluous, it is nonetheless true that, when considered as a whole, they often convey more important information than is expressed by the sum of the hairs taken individually. Thick, Brooke Shields-esque brows can be maintained with Occam’s Razor—the simplest solution is the best!—reducing the number of trips you need to make to your waxer or plucker.

(. . .)

The statement “You are as big as a whale” is true but falsifiable if you take these simple steps to accentuate your cheekbones. Swirl mauve blush onto a darker foundation of nihilism, then highlight with an apercu by a French philosophe. Remember Plato’s cave–most people can’t tell the difference between reality and something else!

* * *

 

Cosmo’s Guide to a Romantic Dinner for Two

by

J.L. Austin

Planning a dinner party or other important social occasion? As I wrote in my essay “Pretending”, when entertaining someone “special” it is considered vulgar to pretend to be vulgar, even though one is pretending and may not actually be vulgar. Thus, it is no excuse on such an occasion that you are imitating a former boyfriend when you remove a wad of pork gristle from your cheek while saying “This is ‘zackly how my ex Darrell used to take food out of his mouth!”

* * *

This Month in Redbook: Keep Your Man Crazy in Love the Logical Positivist way!

by A.J. Ayer

I am often asked, “What is logical positivism and how can it help me have a more fulfilling love life?” I respond that the central principal of logical positivism is that no relationship exists unless there is a verifiable basis by which you can determine that your potential new boyfriend has dropped the woman he was previously dating. If, for example, a young man regularly asks you out on Friday nights, but is curiously unavailable on Saturdays, there is no cognitively meaningful grounds upon which one can make the statement ”Floyd is all mine now, he dropped that back-combed bimbo he used to date.”

* * *

Ask Dr. Wittgenstein, a Marie Claire Exclusive

Dear Dr. Wittgenstein:

In your column last month you said many conventional philosophical problems are “meaningless wordplay.” I was at the bottom of the page where you said “What is Truth?” was one such problem, but I was in the beauty shop and it was time for my rinse and when I came back from the sink some other girl had taken my copy of Marie Clare! I’m going out on a second date tonight with a guy I really like and could use a few more examples if you have any.

Thanks.

Mary Beth Patrick, Seekonk MA

Dear Mary Beth:

There are a number of philosophical problems of this sort which can be used as “icebreakers” when conversation lags or to get someone else talking when you feel a burp coming on. I like “What’s reality done for you lately?” and “Have you seen Truth? She’s like totally changed her look!” If you need to fend off an importunate attempt to “cop a feel,” try “If p follows from q, I can make an inference from q to p, deduce p from q, so mind your p’s and q’s, buster!”

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”

Our Philosophical Gang

After hearing Paul Tillich mention Aristotle in a lecture, Delmore Schwartz went up to him and belligerently said “Listen, I’ve been studying Aristotle since I was a child–nobody can tell me anything about Aristotle.”

Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, James Atlas

our gang

We was playin’ marbles, me and Delmore and Eddie Wilson.  Delmore had a big hog roller he was shootin’, and he kept aimin’ for the prize of my collection: a green and blue cat’s eye, it looked just like Brenda Thomason’s right eye, except hers is brown and blue.  It was as close as I could get to having her for my very own, there was so many guys who was creamin’ in their jeans about her.

So it woulda crushed me if Delmore had won it.  I was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs, to use a pseudo down-homey expression like I was some kind of future Dan Rather or somethin’.

And then–tragedy struck.  He hit it, dead on, and sent it flyin’ out of the circle.  It was his by rights under the 1956 International Convention on the Rules of Marble-Shootin’–unless I could think of some exception, or some overriding philosophical principle under which his claim was like totally bogus.

And then it occurred to me:  Now is the perfect time to invoke David Hume, the great Scottish philosopher.  God I loved the guy!  He was the author of several pithy phrases I liked to insert into heated discussions of baseball cards and other important topics.  “Dogmatic slumbers,” “fell stillborn from the press”–the guy was a laugh riot!

hume
David Hume

 

So I cleared my throat to announce my intention to challenge him.  “Excuse me,” I said as Delmore reached for my prize marble.

“Yes?”

“You aren’t suggesting that your marble caused my marble to leave the ring, are you?”

“You better believe it, you stupid doody-head!” Delmore snapped.

“That’s funny, because as David Hume pointed out in A Treatise of Human Nature, and subsequently re-cast in An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, we have only a weak understanding of causality.  When billiard ball A hits billiard ball B and billiard ball B moves, are we certain that A caused B to move?”

“Of course we are, you dingbat!”

“I think not,” I continued, as calmly and rationally as I could in the face of Delmore’s rage.  “Hume taught us that we are not reasonably justified in making inductive inferences . . .”

“Listen,” Delmore snapped.  “I’ve been studying David Hume since I was in diapers.  Nobody can tell me anything about David Hume.”

………………………………………………………………

It was Friday night, time for the weekly sock-hop at Mel Ott Junior High School, and all of us guys was getting spiffed up.  I had on my two-tone loafers, Lionel Trilling had on his two-tone jacket, Wallace Stevens had on his two-tone pleated slacks.  Delmore Schwartz was the only one of our gang who hadn’t bought into the whole two-tone craze that was sweeping boys’ clothing at the time.  He was trying to harmonize the apparent duality between poetry and philosophy, the nut!

sock hop

All of us started gettin’ nervous when we saw the girls walk into the gym.  I don’t know what it is–the most confident seventh-grader in the world can get all knock-kneed when the women arrive in the flesh, no matter how tough he talks when he’s takin’ his last puff on his cigarette outside.

“I don’t know how to talk to girls,” Trilling said, disconsolate.  This was the guy who could draw fine distinctions between the sincere and the genuine, and even he’s tongue-tied at school dances!

“Just ask her what her favorite song is,” Delmore said, and rather dismissively I might add.

“What if she don’t have one?” Stevens asked.  His ice cream was dripping on his pants, but I didn’t say nothin’.  He says he’s the emperor of ice cream, and I’m a mere commoner.

“Every girl has one,” Delmore said.

“Although it’s possible,” I mused aloud, “that at some point as humans continue to procreate–assuming some of the babies are girls–that girls will exist who don’t have a favorite song.”

“Why’s that?” Trilling asked.

“Because you got a possibility of an infinite number of girls, whereas Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz postulated that there was only a finite number of songs in the world.”

leibniz
Leibniz

 

“Why is that?” Stevens asked.

“I dunno, somethin’ to do with monads or somethin’,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.  “If you read his . . .”

That was all Delmore could take.  He’d been simmering like a pot of potatoes, ready to boil over at the first misstatement of a fundamental principle.

“Baloney,” he snapped.

“Oh yeah?” I said.  I’d had enough of the boy genius.

“Yeah!” he said.

“How do you know?” I asked, and believe me I meant it rhetorically ’cause I didn’t think he had anything to back it up.

“How do I know?” Delmore said, then laughed a mirthless laugh–if that’s even possible.  “I was studying Leibniz before you took the training wheels off your bike, you mook.  Nobody can tell me anything about Leibniz.”

…………………………………………………

Karl Shapiro gave me the nod of the head, which was our signal to simultaneously ask to be excused to go to the boys’ room–me, Karl and Delmore Schwartz.  Mrs. Cooper said our bladders must be synchronized, since we always had to “go” at the same time.

We beat it down to the end of the hall, checked under the stalls, then Karl spoke.

“What’s so bleepin’ important?” Delmore asked, although I have scrubbed his language to protect the innocence of any young children who may be reading it on something called the internet many years hence.

“I really screwed up,” Karl said.

“What–what did you do?” I asked.

“I told Mary Alice Fogarty I loved her.”

Delmore and I groaned like we’d been hit in the solar plexus by Rocky Marciano.

austin
J.L. Austin

 

“What’d you do a stupid thing like that for?” I asked.

“I wanted to feel her up,” Karl said.

Delmore looked around with that distracted air he got whenever he was about to receive a divine inspiration.  “This may not be fatal,” he said after a while as he stroked his chin.

“Nuh-uh,” I said with certainty.  “If you tell a girl you love her, you gotta take her to the Sweetheart Dance in February.

“No fair,” Karl said.  “She didn’t even let me put my hand on her sweater.”

“You can wriggle out of this,” Delmore said.  “‘I love you’ isn’t a performative utterance, it’s merely an expression of an emotional state.  Now, when you say ‘I do’ at a wedding–that’s final.”

While I respected Delmore’s towering intellect, I thought he was just plain wrong for once.  “I disagree,” I said.  “If you examine Austin’s ‘How to Do Things With Words’ carefully, you’ll see that he contemplates a wide range of apparently innocent statements that may commit us to consequences enforced by culture and not just logic.  ‘Trailing clouds of etymology’ and all that.”

Delmore looked at me with a withering gaze.  “Really?  So you’ve been brushing up on your philosophy of language, have you?”

“Yes,” I said, and I was about to elaborate but he cut me off.

“Listen, you dink.  I was studying Austin when you were riding a rocking horse.  Nobody can tell me anything about Austin.”

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical!”

Fred Nietzsche, C.P.A.

That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.


Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888

 


That which does not kill you only makes you stronger, PricewaterhouseCoopers ad

 

You think it’s easy being an accountant?  You think once tax season is over I just come into the office to open up the mail and cash the checks?  Let me tell you, all is not strudel and schnitzel at Nietzsche & Nietzsche, P.C.

First, there is my partner-Elisabeth, my sister.  Don’t get me wrong-I love her to death.  But would it be too much to ask that she include self-addressed envelopes in the tax returns she sends to her clients?  God is dead, but God forbid that one of them should ever pay us in thirty days.  We’re a business too!

As for her filing, the less said the better.  I found the home office worksheet of Lou Andreas Salomé under “A,” not “S,” and her self-employment expenses under “L.”  Zarathustra gave us the Superman-why can’t I have a Superwoman for the office!

I’ve told Elisabeth not to eat at her desk, but every day she spreads her tuna salad sandwich out on her work papers when I’m trying to concentrate.  I can’t have clients in-the place smells like the cafeteria at the Domgymnasium in Naumburg.


Mouflon

 

I’ve thought about going out on my own since I seem to be the only one with any business-getting skills around here.  It takes a will to power to hustle for clients.  You can’t sit back and just wait for the Übermensch to do it all.  I joined the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Mouflon and the University of Basel Booster Club.  I spent a hundred Deutschmarks on an ad in the program for the Bayreuth Festival, and she gave me a ton of grief!  “When do we see the payoff on that one?” she asked.  “Or is this another one on the ‘Eternal Return on Investment’ plan?”

I could put up with her constant caviling about which depreciation schedule to use for business equipment if she would just stay out of my personal life!  Last summer she insisted on serving as “chaperone” when Lou and I tried to get away to Tautenburg for a week.  “It is improper for someone who will one day be revered by college freshmen around the world to be seen with an unmarried woman at a Dionysian Fantasy Camp,” she said.

What she doesn’t “get” is that there’s no money in auditing, and tremendous exposure.  That’s why all the other existentialist accountants are going into consulting.  Schopenhauer’s building a nice book of business in the construction trades, retail and ethics.  Kierkegaard’s pretty much cornered the restaurant and hospitality industry and the subjective nature of truth.  And what do I have?  Nothing, because I must constantly correct Elisabeth’s arithmetic!  Naught, naught, carry the one-how hard is that to remember?


Kierkegaard:  “‘Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto Death’?  Naw–too depressing.”

 

No, if I am to succeed, if I am ever to take my place at the head of the German Institute of Certified Public Accountants, I must breathe free!  Perhaps Malwida von Meysenbug and Enno Friedrich Wichard Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff would join me in an office-sharing arrangement.  I would of course ask Enno to drop some of his names, as the extra expense will increase the cost of our stationery and business cards.  “Nietzsche, Meysenbug & Wilamowitz, P.C.”  Kinda catchy, no?

But I am thinking-big picture-I need to rebrand myself.  Deloitte’s slogan is “To be the standard of excellence.”  Ernst & Young has “Quality in everything we do.”  KPMG has “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”  PricewaterhouseCoopers has “That which does not kill you only makes you stronger.”  God I love that one!

Wonder if they’re hiring.

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”

Ask the Ontologist

Ontology, as every lisping toddler knows, is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of being and reality, and asks fun questions such as “What beings exist, or can be said to exist?”

Thus, an exchange between a youngster who is curious about ontology and his mother might go as follows:

BOBBY: Mom, can I have my imaginary friend “Timmy” over today?

MOTHER: Bobby, I think it’s Timmy’s turn to have you over to his house to play.

BOBBY: Yay!

MOTHER: Be careful crossing the street . . .


Jimmy Stewart, with “Harvey”

 

Even though we learn ontology at our mothers’ knees, many people appear confused or perplexed as they go through their daily lives by the appearance, or non-appearance of others around them. The voices you hear in your head–are they real? Of course they’re real–otherwise you wouldn’t hear them. But the people you hear talking–are they real? Let’s put it this way–they might ask the same question about you!


Seance circle

 

Unfortunately, most HMOs do not cover visits to the ontologist. That’s why I’ve arranged to have Stanley Fishell, Ph. D., Professor of Philosophy at Barton College in Orono, Maine and a specialist in ontology, answer your questions about being and reality. Dr. Fisher–welcome.

ONTOLOGIST: Glad to be here.

HOST: If you’re here.

ONTOLOGIST: Ha-ha. If I had a nickel for every stupid philosophy joke people subjected me to, I wouldn’t be driving a 1997 Volvo.

HOST: Enough about you, let’s talk about talking.

ONTOLOGIST: What about it?


Cool!

 

HOST: With the proliferation of cell phones . . .

ONTOLOGIST: The bane of my existence!

HOST: You will often see people walking down the street, talking on the phone, and gesturing with their hands. What do think about that?

ONTOLOGIST: Not much. Your gestures basically are just stirring up air, which, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in chaos theory, could start a hurricane that wipes out a remote island village in the Pacific.

HOST: So ix-nay on the and-hay estures-jay?

ONTOLOGIST: What?

HOST: That’s pig Latin.

ONTOLOGIST: Oh. So few of my students know a foreign language these days. I think it’s okay, unless you’re driving. Then the people you put at risk could track you down and sue you.

HOST: How about talking to yourself on the street?

ONTOLOGIST: If you’re really talking to yourself, fine. If you’re talking to somebody who’s not there, not so good.

HOST: Why’s that?

ONTOLOGIST: What’s the point? You might as well be talking to your spouse for all the good it does.


“Did I ever tell you–you’re my heee-ro!”

 

HOST: I see. One last line between reality and fantasy that’s been troubling me–singing.

ONTOLOGIST: Were you the guy singing along to “I Knew You Were Waiting” by George Michael and Aretha Franklin in the cabernet section of Town Line Liquors last night?


Aretha and George Michael

 

HOST: I hadn’t heard that song since the late 80′s. I couldn’t help myself.

ONTOLOGIST: Yes, but you were dancing too.

HOST: That’s self-referential.

ONTOLOGIST: No, it’s not. It’s a form of social display. Robin Collingwood . . .

HOST: The British philosopher?


Robin Collingwood, Robin Roberts: Curiously, never seen in the same room together.

 

ONTOLOGIST: No, Robin Collingwood who pitched for the Phillies in the 60′s.

HOST: I thought that was Robin Roberts . . .

ONTOLOGIST: No she’s an anchor on Good Morning America.  (beat)  Of course it was. I was pulling your leg . . .

HOST: Figuratively.

ONTOLOGIST: Precisely. Anyway, Collingwood said dance was the first form of language.

 

HOST: Pfft. Collingwood–what did he know?

ONTOLOGIST: He replaced Denny Terrio on “Dance Fever”.

HOST: No he didn’t. Nobody could ever replace Denny Terrio.

ONTOLOGIST: Reminds me of a poem . . .

HOST: Oh God . . .

ONTOLOGIST: By William Hughes Mearns, called “Antigonish.”

HOST: Go ahead.

ONTOLOGIST:

Yesterday, upon the stair
I saw a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I
wish, he’d go away.

HOST: You don’t have a picture of him we can put in this post?

ONTOLOGIST: Oddly enough, when you do a Google Image search for Mearns, you get . . .

HOST: Nothing?

ONTOLOGIST: Strange, isn’t it.

 

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”

Among the Young Aesthetes (for Ted Cohen)

We sit at rectangular tables, formed into a square.
The others, more women than men,
have woolen coats, frizzy hair,
spiral notebooks, felt-tipped pens.
We wait for the professor of aesthetics
to tell us how to spot the beautiful when we see it.


Ted Cohen, 1939-2014

 

He hurries in, kept late by a student entranced
by his talk or starved for attention.
Breathless, he begins: The first art was dance
according to Collingwood.
He mentions movement and gesture–a woman squirms;
I hope to know her by the end of the term.

I think of Plato’s cave, and how the light
from outside cast shadows against the wall.
It is January, and what sun we get is bright
but we are shades who walk the halls.
He’s a skeptic, bearded and short;
like Socrates, a questioning sort.

To Croce, he says, art is the expression of emotion.
This does not come as a revelation
To the woman beside me who looks on with devotion
That borders on veneration.
He distinguishes sentiment from sentimentality,
She scribbles on, tracing a shadow for reality.

The progress out of the cave is tedious and slow.
By hour’s end the yearning for beauty is dispelled
and in its place distinctions invidious are all we know,
among mind and soul, and the body where they’re held.
She stops to chat him up afterwards,
earnest furrows across her forehead.

I found him on the internet the other day,
His air laconic, the beard now ashen grey.
Three decades hadn’t doused the fire, only banked the coals,
His look facetious under heavy-lidded folds.
I saw within the dark of his eyes’ squint–
Dry tinder that needed only a flint.

The Logical Positivist Boxing Team

A.J. Ayer, a 77-year-old philosopher, confronted Mike Tyson who was forcing himself upon then little-known model Naomi Campbell at a party. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer said: “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world,” to which Ayer replied: “And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.”

                               Ben Rogers, “A.J. Ayer: A Life”


Ayer:  “Are you talkin’ to me?”

 

I dunno as I got the guys I need.  I mean, I got Rudolf Carnap at lightweight, he’s comin’ along okay.  We call him “Carnap the Magnificent,” trying to get him some Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 with Teddy Atlas.  Ring Magazine rates him #4 contender in the Logical Positivist division, but he needs to learn how to grab and hold, you know what I’m sayin’?  You can punch yourself out against a phenomenologist if you don’t know how to clinch, that’s all I’m sayin’.


Rudolf Carnap:  Needs to develop a jab.

 

I dunno as I’d match Carnap against Karl Popper.  Popper, he’s a big critic of logical positivism, always running his mouth.  What the fuck does he know?  So I says to the guy I says, “You and your freakin’ ‘falsifiability.’  You think that’s better than verifiability?  Shut your trap, you stupid mook!”


ESPN2′s Teddy Atlas, showing scars received in Oxford University philosophical debates.

 

I wish I still had Lou Wittgenstein, but he turned pro.  I can’t blame him.  You can’t make no money bein’ an amateur.  If he hadn’t turned pro I coulda taken him to the Olympics, but that’s water over the bridge, what can I say.  Lou had the right idea; make money and give it to the rich.  You give it to the poor, they’re just gonna blow it on booze and drugs and dames and horses.  ‘Course he coulda give some to me–I woulda known what to dood with it.


Karl Popper:  What a mook.

 

People say I oughta give Bertrand Russell another chance.  I say no freakin’ way–too many shots to the head writin’ Principia Mathematica, he’s off doin’ peace marches and nookular dismemberment–he’s lost his marbles.


Wittgenstein:  “Lou–you okay?  How many fingers am I holdin’ up?”

 

No, I gotta go wit da guys I got for the Golden Gloves Tournament.  We’re up against some real heavyweights like Thomas Kuhn, Mr. Structure of Scientific Revolutions and all dat crap.  Good ting I got A.J. Ayer in that weight class.


Thomas Kuhn, Willard Van Orman Quine

 

And cruiserweights like Willard Van Orman Quine–I could knock his freakin’ beret offa him!

Me–what am I sayin’!  I mean one of my guys, like Hans Hahn, or Otto Neurath.

That’s a problem fight managers have, we’s always confusin’ ourselves with our fighters.  It’s a problem of identity.

Good thing I gotta lotta philosophers around to help me with it.

 

Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”

Philosopher Who Reached Out Finds Unenlightened Ungrateful

BOSTON.  Like many academically-trained philosophers, Norton Weiner lives a hand-to-mouth existence, hoping to catch on as an adjunct professor with each new semester before he runs out of money from his last paycheck at his existing position.  “It’s tough,” he says stoically, “but pursuing the true, the good and the beautiful means you have to eat a lot of ramen.”


“Did everybody bring their monad to class today?”

So Weiner was excited when he learned about Philosophy for You, an adult-education franchise that has experienced strong growth since its founding a decade ago as a substitute source of meaning for those who aren’t religious.  “Philosophy shouldn’t be solely an ivy tower pursuit,” says current COO Del Davis.  “For $99.95 we can help you understand your place in the universe–hemlock not included.”


Death of Socrates: “Drinks are on me!”

So Weiner signed up and after passing a background check and an aptitude test, was hired to teach the winter semester at the Back Bay Adult Education Center, a non-profit whose course offerings tend more towards ballroom dancing and photography than Bertrand Russell’s greatest hits.


“Some pipes are just pipes, but this one’s a honking big phallic symbol.”

With his extensive experience teaching philosophy, Weiner assumed he wouldn’t miss a beat as he made the transition from higher ed to adult ed, but he’s been surprised by the dogged determination of his students who press him each class for practical solutions to their everyday problems.

 
“Is the meaning of life going to be on the final?”

“Okay, the assignment for today was Leibniz,” Weiner announces as class begins.  “Did everyone read the assigned material?”

“It was so depressing!” moans Tina Canino, a 26-year-old with a day job as a receptionist at a car rental agency who moonlights as a restaurant hostess.


Leibniz:  “I just washed my hair–can I call you later?”

Weiner is taken aback, surprised that the young woman has plumbed the depths of a difficult philosopher whose primary emphasis is epistemology, not morals.

“I’m heartened that you read the assignment,” he says to her pleasantly.  “In what way did you find Leibniz depressing?”

“The part where he says music is just math so human beings are going to run out of new songs eventually,” Canino replies, as she spins the dial on her iPod.  “Does that mean there’s not going to be a Best New Artist category at the Grammys next year?”


“I’d like to thank my voice coach, and my philosopher, and . . .”

“I don’t think that’s the principal lesson we should derive from a study of Leibniz,” Weiner says, and Carlton Charette, a cab driver who switched to philosophy after he hurt himself during a Dungeons and Dragons game gone awry, shoots his hand up in the air.

 
William of Occam: For a close, smooth shave, borrow his razor.

“Yes?” Weiner asks, thankful for an excuse to change the subject.

“Can you tell me where I can get one of those Occam’s razors we learned about last week?” Charette asks.  “I looked at CVS and all they had was Schick and Gillette.”

“I think you may have misconstrued me,” Weiner begins.

“I didn’t touch you!” Charette says with alarm, as his decades-long marijuana habit has given him a hair-trigger sense of paranoia due to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” the drug’s principal psychoactive component, in his bloodstream.


Digging for meaning.

“I didn’t say you did,” Weiner says softly, hoping to direct the discussion back to today’s lesson and away from feelings of persecution.

“When are you going to bring some freaking meaning to our lives?” asks Gil LaLiberte, a backhoe and snowplow driver who signed up for the course because he finds his mind wandering to loftier subjects sometimes while on the job.

“Yeah,” another class member chimes in.  “All you ever talk about is stuff like ‘All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore all men are Socrates.'”

“That’s not quite what I said,” Weiner says as he glances at his watch, hoping he can run out the clock, basketball-style, before things get out of hand.  “I never said I would tell you the meaning of life,” he reminds the class.

“But that’s what the school said,” Canino says as she pulls a copy of the course catalog from her backpack.

Weiner smiles, realizing that the student has painted herself into a philosophical corner.  “Oh yeah?” he asks slily as he packs up his things.  “How do you know that book exists?” he says as he bolts out the door.

Miley Cyrus: A Critique of Pure Awesomeness!

“I think we’re both deeper than normal people – what they think and how they feel.”

        Miley Cyrus, on herself and boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, Teen Vogue

Miley Cyrus, eating t-shirt

Hey yall!  Had an awesome day today! Slept in until my puppy Mate woke me up with kisses @ 10:30! Then sat outside for an hour drinking coffee with my dad catching up on so much stuff!  We were chillin’ in the sun–is that a paradox?–when this old guy walks by.  Time to set my watch dad said.  I asked him why and he said That’s Manny Kant, philosopher and super-agent.  He always comes by every day at 11:30, he’s so organized n punctual n stuff. 

Immanuel “Manny” Kant

I said I like that–any agent who keeps me waiting can forget about it!  Is he taking new clients I asked and dad said probably not, he’s always busy writing “critiques”.  Uh-oh–don’t want to hear that!  I say “Get a hobby!” to crum-bum critics but dad said no he’s not that kind of critic he’s more philosophical, plus being organized.  Like he called his first critique his First Critique and his second critique Second Critique and so on.  Sorta like my system for keeping my shoes lined up–you never see me mixing up the first pair with the second pair!  Dad says Kant’s Third Critique is about what it takes to be beautiful–that’s the guy for me!

That reminds me, G2G–shopping that is!  I LOVE WEST HOLLYWOOD!

XOXO

Guys–I am so excited! To Write Love on Her Arms has a chance to win a million dollars for suicide prevention!  This is an amazing cause because as Søren Kierkegaard said, the true test of any philosophy is its answer to the question of suicide.  I know that’s deep, but I can’t help it–just bein me!  So get involved guys! If you see somebody trying to commit suicide, give them a copy of old Søren’s Fear n Trembling n Sickness Unto Death–it was a bestseller!

I like how he makes his o’s with that little stripe through them!

love u XOXOXO

Kierkegaard

Honestly I am so over these photographers! I went to the salon to visit my buddy Scott and bring him a snack and it turned in to total chaos there was at least 30 photographers!  Its really scary for me, especially being a neophyte driver and not a heirophant of esoteric bodies of knowledge!  Sorry I’m venting but somehow I feel like my fans are the only people I can talk to.  The universe is totally indifferent to us, just like Jean-Paul Sartre said.  Dad says he can get Sartre to sing backup on my next album–wouldn’t that be like totally awesome!

Yours ’till Niagra Falls!

XOXO

Just fyi don’t believe anything you read by the enquirer EVER! I’ve never read one true thing in that tabloid EVER! To quote one of my faves Francis Bacon “What is truth, said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”  True dat!

Francis “Crispy” Bacon

Honestly don’t believe any magazine! I’m honest with my fans!!!  Also don’t believe anything in the material world of change known to us through sensation–Plato sez u got to go beyond to the non-material abstract forms of things.  Well I guess he’d know!

TTYL8TR!

Xoxoxoxo

Jean-Paul Sartre, puckering up for “air kiss”

Hey guys–now I’m at dinner with my dad, Braison, Noah, and Liam! This day has been the best one in a while what with shopping and eating and driving my new hybrid suv around.  Go ahead–call me an Epicurian–like I care!  Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility sooo . . . thats what Im doin!  Except for the modest part.

Someone quoted me saying “I’m deeper than normal people” but what they did not know was I was being like totally ironic, which is a word that comes from the Greek eirôneia, which was a feature of Socrates’ personality that made him difficult to deal with.  Ya know why–cause it means SARCASTIC! 

So I’m difficult–BITE ME!