a crash course for the ravers
My MFA exam (fifteen pages of
poop measured scholarly analysis) is done. So that will be turned in this afternoon to fill the maw of the Graduate College, which couldn't let me off with an advanced degree for no academic work at all. One step closer to graduation and... what? A job? A real life? What does that even mean?
When I was eleven years old, my father and I visited Egypt. I have a distinct memory of looking out the window of our hotel room, on our first night in Cairo, and seeing a star hanging between the horns of a crescent moon. Go on, workshop thatit's contrived; it's writerly; it happened. Two days later we were crawling into the Great Pyramid of Khufu, down the passages three feet high that made me very glad to be eleven; and then we had to slow down because somebody had spilled strawberry ice cream ahead. "Stop! Stop! Ice cream!" a couple of Egyptian men were shouting, waving us around. We stepped gingerly around the seeping pink puddle and went on to the main sarcophagus chamber, where lots of tourists were sitting in the lotus position under the security camera. But who the hell takes ice cream inside the Great Pyramid?
Here's an angry little British reply to Stephen Hawking's claim that philosophy is outmoded as a source of knowledge and has been reduced to an analysis of language. The article does the best it can; but really, Hawking's right. Fuck philosophy. There's a handful of subjects that will never yield to analytic rigor, and the mind (not the brain, note, but the mind) is one of those. If the mind even exists as an entity, which plenty of folks would dispute these days. Wittgenstein tried to destroy philosophy at the start of the century, but apparently he only succeeded in crippling it since philosophers are still out there spouting irrelevancies. You want logical certainty? Go into genetics. You want a description of the soul? Try Beethoven's Seventh. You can't crossbreed 'em.