Friday, July 31, 2015
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
The Tooth Fairy and the Noble Lie
Plato, in his “Republic”, spoke of “noble lies”, which his ideal Republic must tell to exist. But these lies, upon inspection, prove to be crass, self-serving rationalizations of philosopher-king rule. They are also transparent. Plato’s philosopher-kings fool only themselves.
I see nothing noble about such lies. I would call a lie noble only if it costs the teller, and it’s built to be temporary, and it improves the minds of the hearers when the deception inevitably fails. A lie is noble if it creates philosophers.
I therefore commend the legend of the Tooth Fairy. It’s a known falsehood told to the young by their parents; a prank designed to collapse. Eventually, inevitably, the child discovers that there is no Tooth Fairy; so you shouldn’t believe just anything you hear! The Tooth Fairy takes away both baby teeth and baby mind.
The Tooth Fairy is a failed myth, deliberately told by unbelieving adults to their credulous children as an initiation into skepticism. Her liberating miracle is that she does not exist. The Tooth Fairy is to the gods as a vaccine is to disease; a failure coopted into a warning. She is a paradoxical guardian spirit of a doubt-based culture.
As such the Tooth Fairy is much like Santa Claus, whose final and most generous gift of all is sales resistance. They differ in that Santa is communal and seasonal; he comes at a time of year; whereas the Tooth Fairy is personal and developmental; she comes at a time of life.
I am an outsider to the Santa cult, but I did initiate my daughter Hannah courtesy of the Tooth Fairy. See my story “Toothseeker”, on this blog, for more details.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Televideo Proof Of The Missing Link
The existence of moralistic misanthropic snark proves that we are a transitional species. If we were still truly bestial, then we would commit crimes against humanity but not regret them; if we were already fully human, then we would not commit those crimes and so have nothing to regret; but as is we do things we later regret. This proves that we are the Missing Link.
Consider this planet’s radio output. It contains signals, produced by ourselves. If an intelligent extraterrestrial were to receive our radio output, then would the alien call those signals signs of intelligent life?
If our species were still truly bestial, then we would transmit only “Gilligan’s Island” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, and not regret it; if we were already fully human, then we would transmit “I Love Lucy” and “Cosmos” instead, and have nothing to regret; but as is, we transmit all of those signals, and regret some of them.
This is televideo proof that we are a transitional species. Only a Missing Link would broadcast both Gilligan and Lucy!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
On Stupid Metaphors in Politics
Once, to my distress, I read the following sentence:
“The runaway economy has worn down the contract that has been the bedrock of Korean society for centuries.”
It’s about politics, of course, and like much political speech it is full of clashing stale metaphors. Now mind you I admit that language normally has lots of stale metaphors, which often clash; “clashing stale metaphors” being a case in point! Nonetheless this sentence, like much political speech, is painfully stupid if you read it rather than just scan it.
First there’s that runaway. Runaway what? A horse, a bride? An economy? How can an economy run, and from what? Then there’s wearing out, and a bedrock. Well at least those two metaphors actually work together; they denote erosion. (For that much coherence I should be grateful.) But what is being eroded? A contract? Of a society? But societies don’t have contracts! You don’t sign up to be born!
I am a sighted person, and therefore my mind automatically tried to create an image fitting this word salad. The best I could come up with is this surreal tale:
“Hundreds of years ago, a Korean got some land; he carted off the topsoil to expose the rock layer underneath; and upon that stratum he chiseled the words ‘the party of the first part’. Alas, a stampede of rampaging dollar signs eroded the inscription to illegibility.”
This fever-dream is political analysis? Why, oh why, are politics discussed in language so antipoetic and stupefying?