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2004-10-22 15:47

My other blogmoot is a philosophy seminar

Ethics, at that. I'm still not entirely sure where the philosophy department actually is, but I've only been here a few years.

So have nice weekends, one and all, and when we resume next week we will no longer be posting an hour ahead of now, which will certainly be a great relief to me.


2004-10-22 13:04

We are very much fun having, ha ha!

Clark Boyd (!) does a who'd-a-thunkit? piece on the academic study of games, featuring some persons whose blogues have occasionally read over the years at a conference in Denmark.

It's a patronising but indulgent article, and the smirkage misses the obvious and important question - why would anyone think game studies is less serious than book and story studies ("literature")? ("Gosh, these persons sit around reading story books ALL DAY! But they take it all very seriously...")

By which I do not especially mean to defend game studies, of course.


2004-10-22 10:26

If it wasn't for us, you'd all be speaking... Oh.

It is Joschka Fischer, Germany's foreign minister, and he say:

Mr Fischer said his children, aged 20 and 25, were puzzled by Germany's portrayal on British television and in the press.

British TV is the best in the world! (According to an esoterique metric whose secret is jealously guarded from Forren access, of course.) Is it that my legendary cosmopolitanisme is in fact enhanced by an absence of British television and press? Can we, in fact, seriously doubt it?

He urged the British to visit Berlin, which he described as "fascinating" and now in the same league as Paris and London.

Berlin, Varied Reader, Berlin! It's like London or Paris but much cheaper and with much much more sausage! (This is a good thing.)


2004-10-21 teatime (utc+1)

Belated, not deferred

What has been missing, of course, in the to-ing and also, and perhaps especially, the fro-ing about the late Mr Derrida, is any willingness on the part of the neo-scholastique diss-merchants to consider their dismissal of Forreners as charlatans and spreaders of nonsense in a historical perspective: it is not hard to find examples of early (and not-so-early) neo-scholastiques dissing Hegel, or mid-period (and not-so-mid-period) neo-scholastiques giving Heidegger a good old-fashioned clarety riggering.

But as time has passed, Hegel and even Heidegger have shown sporadic twitches of at least partial rehabilitability, and Nietzsche (who used to get the treatment too) is firmly back on an assortment of agendas.

What has lacked to me, then, is an argument from neo-scholastique principles that establishes that Derrida, in very particular, is beyond the slightest possibility of any accommodation within any possible future history of philosophy.

I wish for such a something, not especially for the argumentation (although we would not spurn any hilarities this had to offer) but as a unwitting cartoon sketch of the militantly nave insistence on the state of perpetual teleological immanence with which neo-scholasticisme attempts to defy historicity. (We are all about the pointing and laughing at this 'bladet, for sure, although there are still those who hope we may yet grow out of it.)

But, cop a paranthetical boggle at this:

(at the university I studied, Hegel was deemed unphilosophical; we were not allowed near Nietzsche, let alone Husserl. At that university we focused for the most part on texts published in the English speaking world over the last twenty years. Nothing older, nothing French or German, nothing 'Continental').

(I would have considered it unsporting to make this up, for sure. She or he seems to have recovered and the non-parenthetical parts of the post are interesting too, but I would very much like to know which institution(s) perpetrate such behaviours. I have an abundance of pointing and laughing to dispense, and there are few candidates as admirably qualified.)

The above comes via an excellent post on Derrida and the American academy, which indulges from a state of knowledge my prejudice that Derrida has suffered more at the hands of his admirers than his detractors, and offers also some advice:

Those who would like to know what Derrida was really all about should just read his books, particularly the earlier ones and especially Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference, Margins of Philosophy, and Dissemination.

(As a committed iconoclaste, I like nothing better than being told what to do, of course, especially if I happen already to be doing it.)

The section of De la grammatologie concerning la linguistique, where I have started, seems to me to be preoccupied to no small extent with the themes of "metaphysics of presence" and "l'tre de l'tant" and such phenomenological things. Which is fine by me - I dig that phenomenology jive the mostest, Daddy-O - but makes me wonder a little how persons not noted for their enthusiasm for such themes even in other hands aquired such compelling certainty that this treatment of them was unusually inept.

Which was, of course, where we came in.

(The latter link via John von Johnenbelle, who offers a promissory note of his own.)


2004-10-21 samwidge (utc+1)


If you are looking for a secular equivalent for Kierkegaardian absurdity, can I recommend translating poetry?

Poetry concentrates everything that is peculiar and untranslateable in what they used to call the "genius" of a language, it is widely agreed.

And yet...


2004-10-21 09:39

Oh, yes I can!

From the provinces to the moon

The moon in the sky is as fat as pig -
Round as a ball and it's ever so big!

The evening calls time as the curfew bell tolls,
There's no one about as the constable strolls.

The music's not finished - its chimes tinkle on,
Floating over a wall that a tom sprinkles on.

Everything's sleepy out here in the sticks,
Listen, now! That's the last of the harspsichord's tricks.

And down comes the lid on the last muted chime;
It's all finished now, then, whatever the time.

Your calmness, O moon, is not unreassuring
But must things be quite so exceptionally boring?

Moon, fancy-free, footloose, travelling light,
Your journey encompasses everywhere's night,

First you beam down on Conneticut dells,
And later Parisian beaus and their belles,

Over fjords, crystal clear, stretching out to forever,
Wide oceans, both North pole and South pole. Whatever.

O fortunate moon - down below you unravels,
The skein of my once-beloved's honeymoon travels!

Off to Scotland - which shows how much worse it could be
If she took adulatory verse seriously!

Moon, you old vagabond, let's swear a pact
And be partners forever in thought, word and act!

O, for nights of abundance and endless exploring!
O, for nights far from here! (I might die, it's so boring!)

But the man in the moon gives no sign that he hears;
His own quest's for sleep, cotton wool in his ears.

There's such a fine line between homage and travesty, isn't it?


2004-10-20 14:56

And to think it all started with a prinsess...

AND when tweetle beetles
battle with paddles in a puddle,
they call it a tweetle
beetle puddle paddle battle.

AND when legal beagles battle
in a procedural muddle
over twaddle in a 'bladet,
it's called a legal beagle procedural muddle 'bladet twaddle battle!

Let's get it on:

Ladeeez n Gennlemen, introducing for your entertainment and delight the heavyweight jurisprundential contest that all Yoorp's been waiting for,

Featuring in the red corner, the challenger from Karlsruhe, Germany, the bundesrepublic battler, the guarantee of press freedom, representing the Fundamental Law and undefeated since 1949!

And in the blue corner, the defending champion, the Scourge of Strasbourg, the Individual Right To Privacy, fighting out of the legendary Yoorpean Court of Human Rights Gym!

Seconds away...


2004-10-20 12:15

What are you doing in Hungary, kronprinsess?

We ask or enquire of kronprinsess Vickan of Sweden?

- Nu vill jag bara kommentera det jag gr hr i Ungern, sa hon.

"At the moment I only want to talk about what I'm doing here in Hungary", she said.

It's uncanny, is it not? We'd make a fine royal correspondent, we've always thought.



2004-10-20 09:50

A braw bright [brIxt] light [lIxt]

Och aye, Varied Reader, it's the Scottish Upplysningtid ("Enlightenment"). The New Yorker's David Denby - for it is he! - has pretty much decided to eliminate the Frenchy-French from his upplysande enquiries.

As a notorious crypto-garlician, I am inclined to wonder at all the talk of Hume without any mention of his relations with Rousseau, but still:

And those who were well educated were extraordinarily well educated. Scotland had long maintained close ties to universities in Holland and France, and the scholars returning from Leiden or the Sorbonne were up to date on European intellectual currents in a way that men at Cambridge and Oxford often were not.

Wimmins hadn't been invented yet, of course, but once again we find the Oxbridge in a state other than of philosophical grace. Modulo Wittgenstein, it occurs to me to ask or enquire, has Oxbridge ever actually produced any philosophes such as might trouble posterity?


2004-10-19 15:58

In which I am unusually memetique

When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your blog.

My favourite poem of all time is sometimes Mr Laforgue's Complainte la Lune en provence, but I am in no position to translate it. Instead I will remark that it is vital to give (interior) mute es their full poetique value in order to maintain the rhythm, and the sing-song rhythm is a large part of how it works. Also: la retraite is the curfew; monsieur l'adjoint is the deputy mayor; a clavecin is a harpsichord; a voyage de noce is a honeymoon and a panneau is a trap - the narrator exults that his love poetry was rejected, sparing him a honeymoon trip to Scotland, and who wouldn't?

Complainte la Lune en province

Ah ! la belle pleine Lune,
Grosse comme une fortune !

La retraite sonne au loin,
Un passant, monsieur l'adjoint ;

Un clavecin joue en face,
Un chat traverse la place

La province qui s'endort !
Plaquant un dernier accord,

Le piano clt sa fentre.
Quelle heure peut-il bien tre ?

Calme lune, quel exil !
Faut-il dire : ainsi soit-il ?

Lune, dilettante Lune,
A tous les climats commune,

Tu vis hier le Missouri,
Et les remparts de Paris,

Les fjords bleus de la Norvge
Les ples, les mers, que sais-je ?

Lune heureuse ! ainsi tu vois,
A cette heure le convoi

De son voyage de noce !
Ils sont partis pour l'cosse.

Quel panneau, si, cet hiver,
Elle et pris au mot mes vers !

Lune, vagabonde Lune,
Faisons cause et moeurs communes ?

O riches nuits ! je me meurs,
La province dans le coeur !

Et la lune a, bonne vieille,
Du coton dans les oreilles.

Jules Laforgue
L'Imitation de Notre -Dame la Lune


2004-10-19 12:06

Dj vu, encore une fois (trois fois)

Gosh, remember when the incessant Interwebular doommongering of the chronically clue-deprived was routinely dismissed with the sarcastic catchphrase Imminent-Death-Of-The-Net-Predicted?

No? Well, it went a little something like this (music, Maestro puh-lease):

Internet gr under r 2006 [shoo-bop, ah shoo-bop], tror professor Hannu H Kari p Tekniska hgskolan i Hel[-hel-hel-]singfors[, yeah!]. Det lst sammansatta [Den lst sammasansatta, det lst sammmansattnade, det lst-lst-lst sammansammansammansatta] ntverket havererar mycket sannolikt inom[-munumunamam] de nrmaste ren om pgende trender hller i sig [om dem hller, om dem hlla, hlla med, hller med hlla med].

The death of the 'Net -
There's no sign of it yet,
But it's never too late to predict it.
You never should let
The non-death of the 'Net
Make it look like you've been contradicted.

Take it to the bridge!


2004-10-19 morning (utc+1)

It isn't easy being a prins, either!

Not that we especially care about prinses in general at this 'bladet, but kronprinsess Vickan's bestly beloved is undergoing a course of treatment such as which would allegedly fit him for the difficult role of Prinshenrik ("consort"), and nuptuations of a prinsessly nature are very much on-topic:

Kronprinsessan Victoria och Daniel Westling ska gifta sig.
Nu skolas pojkvnnen in som blivande make genom olika specialutbildningar.

Kronprinsess Vickan and her boyfriend are to wed. Now the boyfriend is being prepared as a husband to be through various specialtrainings.

Daniel, sit! Fetch, Daniel! Beg! Good Prinshenrik.


2004-10-18 15:39

Two (2) words

1. Swedish

trudelutt (-en, -er): enkel och glad melodi ("a simple and happy tune")

2. Frenchy-French

photocopillage (m): breach of intellectual property law by means of photocopying.


2004-10-18 samwidge (utc+1)


1. Foopball

Foopball fans are in general noted for their tact, of course:

A Dutch referee stopped a football match 10 minutes early on Saturday following racist chants from the fans.

There are new regulations, apparently, that not only permit but require referees to act thuswisely.

2. The international language of diplomacy, slightly undiplomatique

One of the official arbiters of the French language launched a bid Wednesday to make the mother tongue of Moliere, Chirac and Inspector Clouseau the official idiom of the EU justice system.

French "reduced the risks of differing interpretations to a minimum" compared to other languages, Maurice Druon, a member of France's centuries-old Academie Francaise, told a news conference in Paris.

This proposal would have been obviously doomed even before the newbies joined up; the odds of Hungary, Estonia and Malta signing on to such a something strike me as very other than good.


3. Pter Esterhzy has been awarded an award!

Viz le prix de la Paix des diteurs allemands which is in fact for littttratture, especially of a tactful nature, exemplifications of which he was keen to exhibit in his acceptance speech:

[T]elles que "couvrir ses propres crimes par les crimes allemands est une habitude europenne", ou encore "la haine contre les Allemands tait le fondement de l'Europe au lendemain de la guerre"

Such as "covering up their own crimes with German crimes is a European custom," or yet, "hatred of Germans was the foundation of post-war Europe."

Central Europe, isn't it?


2004-10-18 10:31

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?


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