Well, it’s been a while. What a crazy bunch of months this has been.
1. The book is about 3/4 done. I’ll be glad when it’s done in March! I’m in the middle of the final Kierkegaard chapters, the last ones to be done are on Heidegger. It’s certainly been an interesting process, but it’s a lot of work.
2. Over the break I rediscovered two old Heart albums, Dreamboat Annie (1976) and Little Queen (1977). Although I was a big Heart fan years ago in high school, I lost connection with them through their pop-crap period in the mid-late 80s. Listening to these old albums, I’ve got to say — Ann Wilson has an amazing voice. The more I listen to them, the more I’m amazed at just how much the 80s style “big” production ruined Wilson’s voice by over-producing it with layering effects. You don’t need to over-produce a great voice — you leave that for the Britney Spears types who can’t sing. If you listen to the later Heart pop-oriented stuff and the earlier Zeppelin influenced stuff in the 70s, it’s too clear that Wilson’s voice is so much better on the earlier material. There’s no comparison. I’m tempted to say that Ann has the best female voice in rock and roll. Rock on, Ann!
3. Happy New Year!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. It looks like it’s been longer than ‘a week’ since my last post. This book project is pretty overwhelming! Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to regular posting soon.
Enjoy the Holiday!
So I went to see Van Halen up at the new Sprint Center in Kansas City with Greg Renoff on Friday night. It was a good time, but it was weird. I’m watching this band play and I keep saying to myself, “goddamn, last time I saw this band in concert was 1984.” Yeah, like twenty three years ago. It’s hard to come to grips with getting older at times like this. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have seen a band twenty three years ago. But it’s true. Saw them in Madison Square Garden (or the Meadowlands, I can’t remember), in New York City in 1984.
This has nothing to do with philosophy whatsoever (except insofar as philosophers tend to love Monty Python). But this is too damn funny. Who has the time to put this stuff together? If my students are reading this, I have no doubt that they will have no idea what Monty Python is (sadly). Nevertheless, for those of you born before 1980, enjoy the video below the jump and click the link below it if for endless scenes from the Holy Grail done in total Lego.
So last night, as some of you know, my wife and I had Peter Buck (the guitarist from R.E.M) over our house. He’s been dating a good friend of Christie’s for a few years now, and they were driving cross country and scheduled a stop by dinner at our house. I’ll admit it — I expected him to be an a diva (if you remember the British Airways situation years ago you know what I mean). I mean hell — the guy is a multi-multi millionaire, is in the Rock and Roll hall of fame, and spends much of his time with 50,000 people holding up lit lighters to him. But I was totally wrong.
Every year, I forget the Master’s birthday. No surprise, I’m bad with birthdays generally (just ask my wife, sister, mother, dad, friends, just about anyone — I’m bad). In any case, yesterday was Confucius’ birthday, so I figured an acknowledgment of it is better late than never. If Confucius had lived, he’d be 2,558 years old now!
Yeah. Okay. This has been one hell of a week. Time for it to end. I’m holding my ankles now. (For an explanation of all of this, read below the fold).
My wife makes fun of me a lot because I tend to watch science fiction. Well, that’s not true…if I watch television it’s almost certainly science fiction. She jokes that if I’m watching TV, you can be sure that there’s a Saturn-shaped planet in the bottom right side of the screen (if you know what that means, you watch too much sci-fi too).
So why do we do it?
My wife tunes into reality tv all the time. Our home is buried under an avalanche of US Weekly magazines. She knows why. She admits it. She likes to watch (and read about) other people’s lives self-destructing. I can’t lie. I’m no different (well, I’m not as bad as her, but I do it too).
The latest example of the “train wreck in progress” is Britney Spears. Apparently, she bombed pretty badly at the VMA last night. Here’s what one reviewer said:
In a story from CNN today, it was reported that a Roger Williams University board member “used the N-word” during a board meeting in response to concerns that the board itself was not racially diverse enough (apparently he wasn’t too happy about it). Apparently he explained his use of the word by saying that “it just slipped
out” and that “he’d never used it before.” Apparently annoyed that people kept bringing it up, he pointed out that he’d apologized, and asked “what can I do, kill myself?”
Firstly, it’s hard to believe that he’s never used the word before. I don’t know anyone –racist or non-racist — who doesn’t appreciate the seriousness of the word. Racists appreciate it, and that’s why they use it — for malicious effect. Non-racists understand it, and that’s why they don’t use it. A “flippant” use of the N-word in a board meeting in the middle of a heated discussion about racial diversity is a bit hard to swallow. As Confucius reminds us, we don’t have “inner” and “outer” ethical selves. What we do, and the choices we make, are sure signs of who we are (very existentialist, actually). Mu suspicions here are Confucian — I clearly don’t know the guy, but from his seemingly annoyed response — “what should I do, kill myself?” I’ll have to guess that he’s in the former category, a racist who understands the seriousness of word and who just so happened to get caught revealing his identity via foot in mouth disease in public.
Oh…should he kill himself? No. But he should probably resign.