Monday, August 24, 2009


In all my years of studying philosophy, now, just when I thought I was finished with it for good, I've discovered what you're supposed to learn first: logic. I find it a relief, mainly because I thought there was nothing left for me in this science (that's right, assholes: philosophy is a science), but also because of the intellectual confidence which it fosters. I truly consider metaphysics to be "first philosophy," not only because it founds, grounds, and causes every other science, but also because it really ought to be studied first. I honestly don't see how my study of logic would be anything but a nightmare if I didn't already hold a rather rigid and traditional system of metaphysics. Before rational argument can even begin terms (which refer to things) must be defined and judgments (which refer to complexes of things) must be formed; and for the past sevenish years I have been focussed on these first two acts of the mind. The third act of the mind, reasoning, is what I've been missing, and it consists in logic proper. The "square of opposition" is about the most intellectually interesting thing I've encountered since I first encountered potency and act, essence and existence. I definitely see now how no intellectual advancement is possible without logic; without logic one remains stuck at the level of propositions which--even when true--don't go anywhere.

The difficulty, of course, has been in finding suitable books to learn from. One might say, "But there are tons of logic texts to choose from," but 99% of them are not for me. That 1% of logic texts--like that 1% of texts on metaphysics--is the Old Logic, of Aristotle and Aquinas, of Cicero and Augustine, which predates and, in my opinion, wholly outperforms the new, nominalistic symbolic logic. In all fairness to the symbolists, however, I can already see how it will be useful to one day study it, and then, perhaps, after that, mathematics. But it would be a gross error to do what the contemporary philosophy department in the mainstream university today does: teach symbolic logic with scarcely any reference to the ancient and infinitely more useful logic of Aristotle. In any case, through an antiquarian bookseller (, I discovered a gem by one Celestine Bittle--last printed in 1947--which gets down to brass tacks and teaches logic without regard or respect for contemporaneous "debates" or so-called "advancements" in the "field." And, thank God, it contains a bibliography with more books like it, all written, gloriously, before the 1950's. So that's a relief.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It baffles me that for eight years the media and the Democratic Party constantly assaulted the character and decisions of George W. Bush and never once thought that they were doing anything outside their rights, but now, eight months in to the Obama administration, criticism of the president--by the same media and same Democratic Party--is considered un-American, or as they love to say, "mean-spirited." A year ago when a picture of Bush painted like Joker was in a magazine, they called it "brilliant" and "art." And now the picture of Obama as Joker is condemned by the same audience as "dangerous."

One thing is clear: these people care nothing about freedom of speech as such. All they care about is freedom to express their ideology. If anyone disagrees with their ideology--and most do--it's considered some kind of calamitous moral ambiguity (oddly, from a group of people who profess moral and cultural relativism).

The comparisons of Bush with the Nazis were completely unfounded because nothing Bush did was comparable to anything the Nazis did. The comparisons of Obama with Naziism are becoming more and more evident each day for the opposite reason. "Nazi," in fact, means National Socialism. I mean, when Bush and Cheney encountered criticism, they took it as mature statesmen should. When Obama and his people are criticized, Americans sympathetic to their cause are called upon to spy on their fellow citizens and send information about possible "dissenters" to an e-mail address at the White House! And the fact that Bush thought it prudent to spy on terrorists plotting against this country from within this country was criminal?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Equity Clinics

Let's be fair. If we must have abortion clinics, we really ought to have aborter clinics. That is, whereas the "abortion clinic" is where mothers take their children to be killed, aborter clinics are where those would-have-been mothers go to be killed. I'm thinking of opening one myself, free of charge. Low overhead. Just line them up out back by the dumpsters, aim, and fire. Doctors and politicians who felt like coming to give up their share would be more than welcome too. Of course, since they are responsible for so many more dead children, they really ought to pay a fee as well.

I mean, it only seems fair to the kids. It's not like they could defend themselves, much less avenge.

(It's people like me that make all the rest of you look bad.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wisdom of Warhol

Strategic extractions from:

"'The thing is to think of nothing.... Look, nothing is exciting, nothing is sexy, nothing is not embarassing. The only time I ever want to be something is outside a party so I can get in.'"

"At the times in my life when I was feeling the most gregarious and looking for bosom friendships, I couldn't find any takers, so that exactly when I was alone was when I felt the most like not being alone. The moment I decided I'd rather be alone and not have anyone telling me their problems, everybody I'd never even seen before in my life started running after me to tell me things I'd just decided I didn't think it was a good idea to hear about. As soon as I became a loner in my own mind, that's when I got what you might call a 'following.' As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I've found that to be absolutely axiomatic."

"We should really stay babies for much longer than we do, now that we're living so much longer. It's the long life-spans that are throwing all the old values and their applications out of whack. When people used to learn about sex at fifteen and die at thirty-five, they obviously were going to have fewer problems than people today who learn about sex at eight or so, I guess, and live to be eighty. That's a long time to play around with the same concept. The same boring concept. Parents who really love their kids and want them to be bored and discontented for as small a percentage of their lifetimes as possible maybe should go back to not letting them date until as late as possible so they have something to look forward to for a longer time."

"The biggest price you pay for love is that you have to have somebody around...."

"You can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person. A place can really make your heart skip a beat, especially if you have to take a plane to get there."

"I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. A person is entitled to the lighting that they need."

"When you want to be like something, it means you really love it. When you want to be like a rock, you really love that rock. I love plastic idols."

"People's fantasies are what give them problems. If you didn't have fantasies you wouldn't have problems because you'd just take whatever was there. But then you wouldn't have romance, because romance is finding your fantasy in people who don't have it. A friend of mine always says, 'Women love me for the man I'm not.'"

"Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue for ten years, is one of the most beautiful women in the world because she's not afraid of other people, she does what she wants. Truman Capote brought up something else about her--she's very, very clean, and that makes her more beautiful. Maybe it's even the basis of her beauty. Being clean is so important. Well-groomed people are the real beauties. It doesn't matter what they're wearing or who they're with or how much their jewelry costs or how much their clothes cost or how perfect their makeup is: if they're not clean, they're not beautiful. The most plain or unfashionable person in the world can still be beautiful if they're very well-groomed."

"Someone once asked me to state once and for all the most beautiful person I'd ever met. Well, the only people I can ever pick out as unequivocal beauties are from the movies, and then when you meet them, they're not really beauties either, so your standards don't even really exist."

More to come...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sacred and Profane

The enduring dichotomies for me, that under which nearly every work of art, visual and non-visual (or written and non-written), seeks to unite itself in my mind under the specter of a single vision or idea may receive some revelation by consideration of these ideas:

- The Monk and The Gangster

- The Monastery and The Mean Streets

- The Late-12th Century and The Early-20th Century

These are not complete, but they are momentary abstractions which serve as adaptations or manifestations of what I Always Mean. They represent my fundamental tension, my curiosity and my cynicism, my sendintariness and my violence, my ideas of vita contemplativa and vita activa.

The late-1100's of course were more rational than the early-1900's. For in the 1100's you had monks who were also Crusaders, i.e., knights. In the Middle Ages it was not "decided once and for all" that type-A is type-A and type-B is type-B. That is to say, in the Middle Ages, the human race had a better knowledge of itself, because it had a better knowledge of Original Sin, a better knowledge of the Pauline observation that the Spirit is willing but the Flesh is weak, that, in spite of our more holy aspirations, we are still fallen creatures; that it would be better for us to take up the habit and pray, but, if we must, let us fight, and fight for Truth.

I think this is one of the reasons I always come back to the notion of the Detective, who seems to reconcile these contraries in his person. Or rather, he is the only modern archetype who recognizes the reality of Original Sin, the only man who will acknowledge that he is a house divided against itself.

"Facebook": I don't get it, and I never will.

I've never liked "facebook." I don't like it now. And I have real reasons for not liking it. Ever since everyone switched over to it, it has basically screwed my social life over totally. What this means is: people that I actually liked keeping in touch with, have essentially cut me off, because I don't keep to the bullshit standards of decorum that no one ever uses in real life, but that, evidently, as soon as you're on "facebook," you simply must conform to. Another way of saying this is: what, a year ago, I could have said that would have been to the total amusement and entertainment of the other party, now is considered some kind of obnoxious crudeness with which association is expendable entirely. Fortunately a few of the people I actually do care about--viz., largely outside the e-world--I already deleted from there, especially since I have other means of contact with them (not that I am not forced to talk to them less since I don't share that common e-realm with them, which apparently filled some long-sought hole in their lives all the years before it was invented).

And what in hell is "facebook" supposed to even mean anyway?