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2004-10-18 10:31

a id="1"> Reductio ad Fodorium

1. p

Jerry "Cannon" Fodor, explain to us the superiority of neo-scholastique philosophy over all that Forren rubbish:

Anyhow, our arguments are better than theirs.

2. p

Jerry "Cannon" Fodor, what do you make of the arguments, in particular, of the 'conceptual analysis' school of philosophy that dominated post-war neo-scholasticisme?

[T]hese arguments strike me as risible; dialectics dissolves in giggles.

Those wacky neo-scholastiques, isn't it?


2004-10-15 15:06 (utc+1)

Beer and Ham Samwidges, yum yum

Oh, exqueeze me, I forgot my very necessary Oxbridge comma: Beer, and Ham Samwidges, yum yum, for sure.

(This 'bladet's mad scientistes are second to none, of course, but even they have not yet been able to brew a bier that can serve as a samwidge filling. I keep telling them: I don't care; I don't have cancer! Work on the bier project! Bier! Sigh...)

2004-10-15 12:18


There is an unwedding party, which I am in my triple capacity as brother, brother and (especially) son.

Interwebbings will be vair vair intermittent, I should think.

2004-10-14 16:03

On being Swedished harder

1. The bookshop.

Akademibookshop wrote to me, in Swedish, to say they haven't got the Donald Duck pocket I ordered to dilute the postage-price pain (it stings so!) of shipping a papperbock's worth of Nietzsche from there to here, and they don't like to ship items separately to Abroad on account of the postage-price pain (ouchy-ouch ouch!) and what to do?

So I wrote back in Swedish over which the entire customer service department is probably in convulsions of laughter as I speak.

2. Flirtnings (a)

A male person looking for female persons managed to mistake my Du och Jag page for the basis of a flirtation. I pointed out the error of his ways, in Swedish. Me no girl-person, silly Swedish!

3. Flirtnings (b)

After correcting randombloke's mistake, I thought it might be wise to make some adjustments to my profile. In, of course, Swedish.

(Parts of the process get a bit Miss World: having to select things over which to unrejoice, I finally plumped for "evil, injustice and tomatoes in Samwidges". I like, on the other hand, to travel and meet persons.)


2004-10-14 12:59

More Filth: "And spits by ground"

A long long time ago, in a land far, far away a catchphrase was born of unlikely parentage:

It is the history of a driver heavy lorry who arrives in a transport caf. It is put at the bar and starts to tell:

It me arrived from there good... Ha! putain of 2CV! and it spits by ground.

My truck came out of the road on ten terminals from here... Ha! putain of 2CV! and it spits by ground. I was completely planted in the fields... Ha! putain of 2CV! and it spits by ground.

Suddenly arrives a 2CV... Ha! putain of 2CV! and it spits by ground. It was led by pd who says to me: I will leave you from there with my car... Ha! putain of 2CV! and it spits by ground. Then I answers him: if you manage to leave my truck with your "deuche", I cut you a pipe.. . HAAAA! PUTAIN OF 2CV!!! and it spits by ground.

Scroll down, and then scroll down one more for the original French text and an idiomatique interlinear translation. But while it's a good (coarse) joke that way, I prefer it, as have countless generations, as an indecipherable exclamation.

And spits by ground.


2004-10-14 morning (utc+1)


1. The Honda What?!!

I'm not much of a one for multiple exclamation marks, of course, but this is genuinely splork-worthy: Honda was all set to lauch a marque of car with the jolly name of "Fitta" globally, until they were alerted that "global" includes Scandiwegia, and that that name might have certain issues in the 'Wegian market: "fitta", in Swedish, corresponds very exactly to the literal (anatomical) meaning of the Engleesh 'c'-word (albeit without the connotational baggage - 'Wegian swearing is organised otherwisely).

2. When I die / Wrap me in a shroud / And sprinkle me with seaweed

All I know about Goethe is that if you substitute his name for that of Bertha in the theme tune of the eponymous childrens's TV show, it make me laugh. Or, that was all I knew until I read this lavishly detailed autopsy. Now I know also of his back complaint.

3. Foopball

I have come lately to have some familiarity with the game of foopball, for sure, and I gladly follow Челси in the League of Champions.

But lately there has been an outbreak of games involving teams named after countries, and I know nothing of why this should be. From what I've seen and heard, Челси would be more than a match for any of them, but VG is sufficiently exultant about "Norway"'s triumph over "Slovenia" that it doesn't bother to mention the score on the front page.


2004-10-13 15:52

Of Boutiques and Booty

Permatanned prinsess Madeleine of Sweden has been copping freebies off of clothing boutiques who appreciate the chance for their clothings to share her considerable media attentions:

Det r ingen hemlighet att kungabarnen r superbra marknadsfring fr oss. De fotograferas jmt. Srskilt Madeleine har ju blivit en trendsttare fr unga tjejer, berttar en butiksanstlld.

"It's no secret that the royal childrens are a great marketing tool for us. They're fotografed all the time. Madeleine especially has been a trendsetter for young wimmins", said a boutique employee.

Although we are assured that the initiative is taken by the boutiques, which decline all offers of payment, this is nonetheless a breach of protocol:

- Dremot r det en annan sak om "moster Agda" skickar en stickad trja till ngon av prinsessorna. D ses det som en gva frn en privatperson, sger hovets presschef Ann-Christine Jernberg.
Att kungabarnen tar emot gratis klder i butiker kommer som en verraskning fr henne.
- Det visste jag inte, s det hr mste jag underska vidare, sger hon.

"However it's another thing if 'auntie Agda' sends a knitted sweater to one of the prinsessor," says court presschief Ann-Christine Jernberg.
That the royal childrens are accepting free clothes from boutiques came as a surprise to her.
"I didn't know that, and I'll have to look into it further", she said.

The Anne-Christine Ironmountain ("Jernberg") regime looks like being very different from the halcyon days when Elisabeth Tassled-Warthog ruled the press-office, that's for sure.


2004-10-13 samwidge (utc+1)

Mi star Mufti; Ti qui star ti?

Robert MAGGIORI reviews (in Libbladet) Barbara Cassin (sous la direction de) Vocabulaire europen des philosophies (Seuil/Le Robert, 1 534 pp., 95 EUR) which's ideological targets extend beyond the mundane hegemony of the Engleesh as an international auxilliary language:

D'abord une certaine philosophie analytique, qui considre que la philosophie relve seulement d'un universel logique, identique en tous temps et en tous lieux ("Aristote, mon collgue Oxford"), et qu'il n'est pas ncessaire de se soucier de la langue qui habille le concept (il se trouve que c'est l'anglais, donc tout est O.K.). Ensuite, et plus gnralement, la tradition anglo-saxonne, laquelle, refusant le langage sotrique, s'attachant dgonfler les baudruches de la mtaphysique, utilise la langue commune (forcment anglaise) et arrive mme, parfois, dnier le statut de philosophie cette philosophie continentale englue dans les contingences de l'histoire et des langues.

[This translation ostentatiously left blank.]





Meanwhile, AC "DC" Grayling:

Dr Johnson remarked that those who know they have nothing to add to truth try to get noticed by pedalling paradoxes instead. If Derrida deserves an epitaph, that is it.

And a smrgsbord of further attempts at summary, from which we may extract, preferably with sterilized tweezers, Roger "Scroot-Scroot" Scruton's:

He's difficult to summarise because it's nonsense. He argues that the meaning of a sign is never revealed in the sign but deferred indefinitely, and that a sign only means something by virtue of its difference from something else. For Derrida, there is no such thing as meaning - it always eludes us and therefore anything goes.

I say, Scroot-Scroot, they don't call you a master of condensed nonsense for nothing, what? (Both via B&W)

If you want to read Jerry Fodor on why no one reads Anglophone philosophy, you can do so here (in a display of virtuoso empiricisme that probably only Chomsky could match he infers the reasons exclusively from his own philosophical prejudices); if you want to read me on why I don't (again) you can do so at the Timber.


2004-10-13 10:40


1. No whimpering, please, we're Dalmatian

At least one Romance language is no longer spoken - the language of the Dalmation coast, now completely supplanted by Serbo-Croat, after the last known speaker was blown up by a mine on the island of Veglia in 1989.

The Romance Languages R Posner, p. 3

2. Egentligen inte s gammal

r 1830 hade f lnder haft en allmnt brukad nationalsng, men r 1900 gde i princip alla europeiska stater en sdan. "Du gamla du fria" [eller tidigast: frisk] komponerades redan 1844 men kom i bruk som national lystringsng eller "folksng" frst p 1890-talet.

In 1830 few countries had a widely-used national anthem, but by 1900 all European states in principle had one. "Du gamla du fria" [the Swedish national anthem - DvB] was composed as early as 1844, but first came into use as a song of national devotion or "folksong" in the 189_s.

Idernas historia, S Hgns

3. Demoticisme in the Mighty Marvel Manner:

ZOWIE! He's the ever-lovin' GEAREST! Far as I'm concerned the mod's have HAD it! That crazy cape really comes on STRONG!

- A passer-by's thought bubble on seeing Dr Strange,
Strange Tales, v. 147, S Lee


2004-10-12 tea (now+1)


1. Two (2) and two (2) - together at last

Vad som gmde sig i kronprinsessans mage var ingen blivande regent - utan gallsten.

What was hidden in the kronprinsess's tummy wasn't an heir - but a gallstone.

(The other papers had been diligently ignoring the babyrumours, so we are relieved to see this angle on a 'bladet other than our own.)

Exactly what are the constitutional grounds under which a gallstone can't be an heir, anyway, we ask or enquire?

2. Les linguistes contre la grammatologie

Mark Liberman of Language Log, he say:

Meanwhile, back at Language Log, our plain duty is to deconstruct chapter two of Of Grammatology, the one entitled Linguistics and Grammatology, on behalf of Derrida's many fans and anti-fans among our readers.

(For "deconstruct" above, read "refute". The choice of laughing at or with this such usage I leave to my Varied Reader.)

I, for one, would be very glad to see even a hostile engagement with Derrida's ideas from an actual linguist. (It isn't especially the "hostile" that I have previously found in short supply, for sure.)

In anticipation, I shelved the Deleuze and Guattari last night in favour of just this such chapter and so far (I am reading in Frenchy-French, which is a bit slow) it certainly wouldn't qualify as nonsense by my standards.

3. Elfin Elfreide, Intelligible Enfin

The aftermath of the Nobel literature prize has been vair vair annoying: it has been full of darks hints about the Elfin Elfreide's not unstrained relationship with her native Austria that I haven't been in a position to follow up, since I don't have enough German to track such somethings to their lairs.

Some highlights, then, from Libbladet for those who can, and especially those who cannot, handle the Frenchy-French instead:

An interview with her first French publisheuse Jaqueline Chambon:

Peut-on dire que son oeuvre est parfois illisible?
Par moments oui. [...]

Is it fair to say her work is sometimes unreadable?
In places, yes. [...]

And some of ses engagements politiques:

Le FPO a rappel que l'crivaine a toujours tran l'Autriche dans la boue. Les amis de Haider ont sans cesse bataill contre Jelinek, qui le leur rendait bien. Ds 1991, elle avait trait Haider de jeune nazi: C'est le fhrer d'une association homo-rotique, devait-elle redire en 1995, lors des municipales de Vienne. Le FPO avait alors men une campagne de diffamation avec des affiches dans les rues. On y trouvait son nom, ct de ceux de Scholten, ministre social-dmocrate de la Culture, et de Peymann, directeur du Burgtheater qui montait ses pices, avec cette mention : Est-ce la culture que vous voulez ?

The FPO [the execrable party of the execrable Haider] has said that the writer "has always treated Austria like dirt" [lit. "dragged Austria in the mud"]. Haider's friends have battled ceaselessly with Jelinek, who has given as good as she got. From 1991 she has called Haider a "young Nazi": "He's the Frher of a homo-erotic club", she repeated in 1995 at the time of the municipale elections in Vienna. At the time FPO ran a defamation campaign of posters in the streets. They had her name, besides that of Scholten, the social-democrat minister of culture, and that of Peymann, director of the Burgtheatre where her plays where being shown, and the caption: "Is this the culture you want?"

Meanwhile, back in the Anglosphere:

Although a celebrated and controversial author in Austria and Germany, the 57-year-old Jelinek doesn't even have a publisher in the United States, an increasingly tough market for books in translation. English versions of a handful of works have been released by the London-based Serpent's Tail, which specializes in experimental and political works.


"I've tried to get U.S. publishers interested in her work and they would say she was too downbeat, or she was too grim and not necessarily the kind of writer they felt they could sell," Serpent's Tail publisher Peter Ayrnot said in an interview from the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, where he says he has already been approached by "three or four" American publishers.

Varfr, man frgar mig ibland, lra du dig s mnga sprk? C'est--dire : pourquoi, on me demande quelquefois, apprenez-vous tant de langues ?

It is, you will certainly agree, to laugh.

4. Heterogeneous ideas, slightly yoked together by violence

Until alerted just now by a search engine trace in my referral logs I had never made any connection between the names "Monty Python" and "Merleau-Ponty". From now on, I do not think I will ever be able to completely separate them.


2004-10-12 10:47

Prinsessgossip, stereophonic sound edition!

This is a journey into gossip!

1. (Left) Gallstones ett moi biy-bee!

Starring Meryl Streep as Kronprinsessmary, ne Knudella, in a heart-rending drama:

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark underwent surgery to have a gallstone removed, the royal palace said.

The 32-year-old Australian-born crown princess had the operation at the Gentofte County Hospital in northern Copenhagen. Crown Prince Frederik, her husband, was by her side during the brief procedure.

She was spotted nipping into hospital for ultrasound and Inferences Were Drawn, but now the biybee has gawn - ett by gallstones. Allegedly.

2. (Right) Knudella: My gallstone hell!

I strlende sol og mildt efterrsvejr klippede en smuk, smilende og rank kronprinsesse Mary i lrdags det rd-hvide bnd over til det nordligste motorvejsstykke i Danmark.

Ingen fik noget at vide om, at hun gemte p en smertefuld hemmelighed: Dagen efter motorvejsbningen blev den 32- rige Kronprinsesse nemlig opereret for den smertefulde lidelse galdesten.

On Sunday, in beaming sun and mild autumnweather a smuk, smiling and rank Kronprinsessmary cut the red and white band to open Danmark's northest section of motorway.

No one could know that she was hiding a painful secret: the day after the motorwayopening the 32-year-old kronprinsess was operated on for the painful affliction of gallstones.

For once, though, we approve of the bonnet.


2004-10-12 morning (utc+1)


1. Exile

Time was when there were two (2) newsagents within walking distance that sold Forren bladets. Then they both shut leaving only Borders, which opens at 0900 (local time) and not before, and doesn't stock Lib.

I am not less cosmopolitan than I was, but I'm currently having trouble keeping my lifestyle in the manner to which it has become accustomed.

2. Schubert, not very Schubert

Long story, shortened: I have an edition of some songs of 17__s songster Carl Michel Bellman with tunes and words and chord accompaniments - this being the best I could manage in Stockholm - but I also saw there and regretted not buying a German edition from Reclam with fuller accompaniment, in which the first verse (written with the music) is Swedish and subsequent verses are instead all Tysked up. (I like musique bestest when it comes in distributed kit form for your bricolaging pleasure, for sure.)

So I ordered this from along with some Nietzsche, and I thought, why not also get Mr Schubert's The Hotty Mill-Chick while I'm at it? So I did, but I neglected to notice that it is a Textausgabe. Explain to me, Universe, why Mr Schubert's name is attached to these such words, when he by no means wrote a single one of them?

3. Where have all the hyphens gone?

My hair-conditioner (my hair is vair long now, so I need this such goo) refers to "full bodied hair". I would have preferred "full-bodied" hair, personally. (I blame, of course, the silliness of Engleesh, in which persons cannot even reliably spot a compoundnoun from the orthography, and are unlikely to be better with compoundadjectives. Others may blame the youth of today or falling standards as they see fit.)


2004-10-11 14:06

The Eternal Return of the Not-Yet

As we approach, with breathless anticipation, the return of now, a malevolent lunatique seeks to ensure that it will never be now:

Shifting the clocks an hour forward is popular in England because it gives lighter evenings.

But previous attempts to switch time zones have been defeated by Scottish MPs whose constituents do not want winter mornings to get any darker.

Bad Kent MP Nigel Beard - for it is he! - your biscuits have been despatched to a Sysiphean realm permanently an hour ahead of now.


2004-10-11 11:51

"Jumping" Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004

We recommend the Libbladet coverage.


2004-10-11 09:54

Of Truth and Scotsmen

So. We begin with a dialogue:

A: Of course, no Scotsman would put sugar in his porridge.
B: Au contrairement: my Scottish friend Jock does just that.
A: Well, no true Scotsman would put sugar in his porridge.

This, then, is an exemplification - the eponymous prototype, if you will - of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy which consists in an ad hoc defining away of counter-examples.

You might, for all I know, be planning to remark that an example claimed to be of such a fallacy could be acquitted as being in fact a perfectly legitimate process of refining a definition to avoid false-positives, but you may rest very assured indeed that (wait for it...) no true instance of "No True Scotsman" fallacy could be so acquitted.


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