[lbo-talk] popularizing philosophy

shag carpet bomb shag at cleandraws.com
Sun Aug 28 13:22:12 PDT 2011

hah. well, i have to say this. i like going to work and having the guy who tells me he's got antisocial anxiety disorder come to my desk five minutes after i get there and yak away at me. his conversation is generally strewn with intersting commentary on this kind of stuff.

i'm totally glad for it. i'd really much rather listen and talk about those topics than sports news, america's greatest whjatever the fuck it's called, oprah, talk of obamas missing birth certificate or, carley whatsherfucking face, michael vick's moral character, or heaven fucking forbid, how great some google product is.

life is good, iyam, when my workmate has heard of foucault, and wants to hear me expound on malinowski, even though he graduated from phoenix university with a degree in computer programming and never took a humanities course in his life.

shit, i used up my meritocratic tarnish remover cleaning my pots and pans before packing.


> Shag writes:
> "Awhile back, James Heartfield made an interesting observation about
> the
> publishing industry, noting that there was a rash of books that
> focused on
> just one thing, tracing history and culture through, say, the use of
> salt
> or cultivation of broccoli (or somesuch).
> I have noticed other trends like that, particularly the recent trend
> toward
> popularizing philosophy. "Driving with Plato" is an example. There's
> the
> whole series of philosophy and pop culture (e.g., "Madmen and
> Philosophy",
> "Spongebob Squarepants and phil," ...) and "Plato and a Platypus Walk
> into
> a Bar . . .,""
> This is interesting. I have a friend who has the IQ of a genius and no
> culture whatsoever. He dismisses the humanities as soft, but realizes
> there's something in the palaver of the professional class that he is
> missing. So he reads Thomas Friedman for depth. He also tends to read
> these history-through-the-use-of-xxx type books. In fact he just
> handed me one a couple of weeks ago. I think these books attract
> because they promise to be insightful short cuts. You don't actually
> have to know about world history; the book will give you as much as
> you need to know, plus some insightful anecdote the next time anything
> touching the subject comes up in conversation.
> It's entertainment and artillery for those who need to keep their
> meritocratic credentials polished.
> Joanna
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