Sunday, June 22, 2008


I'd like to apologize for falling behind on my posts here, but I've fallen prey to summer. It's difficult to give a good goddamn about literary criticism and politics when you spend most of your day lounging on your deck, smoking cheap tobacco and strumming (badly) on your guitar.

However, I have undertaken a project of sorts. I've decided that my diet is getting a bit boring as of late, so I've done everything in my power to make it less healthy and more delicious. The fruit of my labor is described below, as an apology for my recent laziness.

Louis Berceli's Ridiculously Delicious Heart Attack Inducing Burger

First, grill a thick beef patty as rare as you can while actually cooking it. A lot of gourmet recipes call for onions and other whorebaggery mixed in with the meat, but that is just bad business when you're in the mood for something thick, greasy and smothered in cheese.

Speaking of cheese, melt a few slices of Colby over the burger.

While this is going on, fry up ten thick slices of bacon. These should finish around the same time as the burger, which you will put them on.

Now, in the pan still sizzling with bacon fat, fry two eggs over well. Put these on the burger.

Put the burger on a grilled bun with lettuce, tomato and mayonaise. Serve with fries (or pan fries, if you'd like) smothered in colby cheese and topped with crumbled bacon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Passenger exemplifies civil disobedience ethic.

I like to smoke. Cigarettes are wonderful for a number of reasons, most of which outweigh the monstrous risks for me, mostly because I lack any sense of forethought or self-preservation. My libertarian leanings also influence my distaste for smoking bans, which I would oppose even if I were not a smoker. Lastly, Thoreau has instilled in me a love for civil disobedience, for resistance against unjust laws.

Nevertheless, even I cringed a bit when I read this story. A woman on a Jet Blue flight apparently decided that federal bans on smoking in planes are unjust, and so retaliated against the oppression by lighting one up mid-flight. That's cute and all, but she took it a step beyond my Thoreauvian sensibilities when she punched a flight attendant in the jaw, acted hysterical upon attempts at restraint, and repeatedly referred to a flight attendant (whom she had threatened to kill) as a "dumb motherfucker" and a "fucking nigger."

She had allegedly had three vodka drinks over the course of the flight; she dismissed this as a reason, saying that she has a high tolerance for alcohol.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Poverty of Contemporary Philosophy

Every time I make the mistake of reading a work of analytic philosophy, I become both disgusted and elated; disgusted at what passes for philosophy right now, and elated that I am not enrolled in a philosophy program at the University level. Philosophy there has been largely reduced to conceptual and linguistic analysis; that is, the task of the philosopher is no longer seen as understanding the world and our interaction with it. It is taken to be a "second-order" discipline whose central task is to clarify and explicate the concepts and language used by "first-order" disciplines such, popularly, science. This assumption is so accepted among analytic philosophers that Jay F. Rosenberg, in his The Practice of Philosophy: Handbook for Beginnersis able to make this statement without so much as a qualification.

The history of analytic philosophy extends back more than 100 years, with the relevant beginning in theMoore-Russell-Wittgenstein trinity. These three advocated an approach to philosophy based in common sense, rigorous logic, and language, respectively. These techniques were viewed by them as means to an end: tools by which the philosopher may more acutely carry out his tasks.

Over time, these ideas were seized upon by third-rate philosophers undeserving of the title. While ostensibly utilizing the tools created by and paying homage to the three philosophers mentioned above, they created systems of thought which viewed the analysis of concepts and language as an end in themselves. First, with Logical Positivism, which saw the task of philosophy as differentiating between meaningful and meaningless propositions by setting every statement against a scientific standard, and later with Linguistic Analysis and all of her bastard children, which saw philosophy as being "talk about talk," with its highest task, according to one of the guiding lights of the movement, J.L. Austin, being the elucidation and dissection of ordinary-language speech acts, determining the fine distinction between, for instance, a "tool" and an "implement", and the implications of that distinction. Gilbert Ryle, a major figure of that period, had the audacity to call this the "whole and sole function of philosophy."

By their estimation, all so-called philosophical problems arose out of confusion over the language involved. Once that was cleared up, they maintained, the problems simply vanished. So there was no first-order task for philosophy to carry out, no questions of its own to answer. Instead, they should take their methods and turn them loose on other fields.

This view of philosophy has certainly changed somewhat, but the central premises under which it flourished have not, by my estimation, been abandoned. The modern philosopher understands a number of things to be basically true: that the sciences have taken the task of learning about the universe farther than any philosopher could, and what's more, it has taken over the field of epistemology with cognitive science, and so these fields are no longer accessible to the philosopher in the traditional way; that ethics and aesthetics are basically metaphysics and therefore propositions about these things are logically meaningless; that philosophers are in the business of analysis, not of theory or system building; and, though this is not often clearly stated, that while historical figures like Kant are interesting and had a lot to say, they were basically wrong about their whole approach to philosophy, and really, when you think about it, were not truly philosophers at all.

This analysis (ha, ha) of analytic philosophy is probably uncharitable and partially misinformed. I am speaking as an outsider; but I am a happy outsider, because I am not convinced that the serious philosophical problems that pervade our lives--problems of time and space, of perception and of human knowledge--are simply linguistic confusions, or that (as was often said) any problem that butted heads with common sense is simply not a problem at all, or at any rate not one worth addressing. Analytic philosophy is the worst sort of self-conscious intellectualism, and I'm glad to have no part in it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Humanity, in photo form.

That's right kids, those are Nazis playing with a kitten. I think the human race is best summarized by this image alone.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Thousand Monkeys Serial: Episode 1

He wasn’t sure how he got there, or why there was blood on his hands. What he was sure of, what was painfully apparent, was that she was dead. And Naked. And, considering the incision down her front, the gaping hole that showed her insides in sickening view, that she was the source of the crimson gore that ran down his wrists.
“Ah, Monday already?” said James, strolling up behind him.
“Nah, Thursday,” said Alex. “I figured I get a head start.”
“You always were the industrious one. Have you made quota yet?”
“Let me check.”
The adrenaline fading and his senses restored, Alex fished about in his pocket. He produced a cocktail napkin stained with no small amount of feces.
“About three to go.”
“Jesus! That would make, what, like seven already? It’s only the twelfth, for Christ’s sake!”
Yes, he had been busy. Busy bringing new life to the world around him. Culling the herds, burning the dead growth, fertilizing the soil. There was no telling when the change would come, but revolution was irrevocably coming. There is no stopping that locomotive. Not with all the armies of priests, celebrities, orphans, cancer survivors, politicians, and white-haired, old bitches this sad community could muster.
James was saying something too softly to drown out Alex’s inner dialogue.
“I said the Pittsburg union is talking about a strike.”
“A strike? Christ. Remember when the Miami boys went on strike? I’ll never forget those bastards they brought in as scabs.”
“I know! Fucking necrophiliacs; what were they thinking? I remember when people still had professionalism.”
An old woman walked a poodle past the alley. She glanced at Alex, froze and screamed.
“It’s alright, ma’am!” Shouted James and flashed her his credentials. This did little to comfort her and she ran off shrieking.
“It’s too early for this,” groaned James.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scientology's continuing douchebaggery.

Yes, we all know that Scientology is an evil, money-grubbing cult. This has been made more than clear to everyone, so I won't bother spouting off the usual lines.

However, a new development must be shared.

Stu Wyatt was a man who spent a while wandering around France playing violin for money. He was stricken with a crippling neurological disorder and had to stop, and now campaigns for medical marijuana.

He also campaigns against Scientology, as all right-thinking human beings should, and rolls his wheelchair outside the "Free Stress Test" booth in plymouth to warn off passerby.

Recently, a woman running the booth decided to stick her foot under the wheel chair and claim he assaulted her. If you don't believe that, he handily taped the entire episode.


Skip ahead to about 4:00 and you'll see it happen. I doubt she'll have much of a case, but in the event that this somehow goes forward it would help to have plenty of awareness concerning the incident.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Standard bitter hate post

I hate it when mothers thank me when I remark about the cuteness of their infant. I wasn't complimenting you. You are not an adorable little baby girl. You were, in all likelihood, probably an ugly child.

I hate it when war veterans assume that the fact that they shot at some people for a while makes them experts on foreign policy. "I think the war in Iraq was a horrible blunder," I said. "I served in vietnam, son," he growled, "I think the war was necessary and has been handled as well as could be expected." The first statement does not justify the second, asshole.

I hate it when overweight bisexual teenage girls think they're Wiccan. Some bloated, greasy, black-haired, sexually confused social outcast with tater tot breasts and a scowl welded to her face calling herself Raven Moonspirit and threatening to put curses on The Conformists just to infuriate her Wasp parents, who are obviously trying to oppress her for her beliefs. No one will ever love you, Raven, not even the High Priest of your coven who told you that doing your rituals naked will release more spiritual energy.

I hate Dr. Phil.

I hate it when otherwise good news broadcasts insist on including a story about what sort of condom Britney fucking Spears prefers, and where Angelina Jolie buys her douching supplies. No one cares, and those who do care ought not to have their fetish catered to.

I have no funny ending for this, so instead I will post a relevant video.


The video is shit, but the song is fun.