josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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12 Sep '03 07:34:55 AM

Title of unwritten future paper: 'Wittgenstein's Avoision of Philosophy'.

12 Sep '03 06:07:29 AM

'What philosophers say about actuality is often just as disappointing as it is when one reads on a sign in a secondhand shop: Pressing Done Here. If a person were to bring his clothes to be pressed, he would be duped, for the sign is merely for sale.'

11 Sep '03 07:41:04 AM

I thought Geoff was talking to himself in the next room. But I forgot that I was playing a Glenn Gould record.

6 Sep '03 11:35:04 AM

The number of ways (4) in which I am not alone that I found tonight just about astonishes me.

4 Sep '03 07:49:11 AM

Devastating, brilliant passage by Kierkegaard follows (from 'The Seducer's Diary' by A. in Either / Or, I 383). Artless, lifeless technicians, leave philosophy now.

'An ancient philosopher has said that if a person carefully chronicles all his experiences, he is, before he knows where he is, a philosopher. For a long time now, I have lived in association with the fellowship of the engaged. Such a connection certainly ought to yield some harvest. I have thought of gathering material for a book titled: A Contribution to a Theory of the Kiss, dedicated to all doting lovers. Incidentally, it is curious that there is no book on this topic. If I manage to finish it, I shall fill a long-felt need. Can the reason for this deficiency in the literature be that philosophers do not think about such things or that they do not understand them? -- I am already in a position to offer some hints. A perfect kiss requires that the agents be a girl and a man. A man-to-man kiss is in bad taste, or, worse yet, tastes bad. -- In the next place, it is my opinion that a kiss comes closer to the idea when a man kisses a girl than when a girl kisses a man. When over the years the distinction has been lost in this relationship, the kiss has lost its meaning. That is the case with the conjugal domestic kiss, by which husband and wife, for want of a napkin, wipe each other's mouth while saying "May it do us good."

If the age gap is very great, the kiss lies outside the idea. I recall a special expression used by the senior class of an outlying girls' school -- "to kiss the councilor" -- an expression with anything but agreeable connotations. It began this way. The teacher had a brother-in-law living in the house. He was an elderly man, formerly a councilor, and because of his age he took the liberty of kissing the young girls.

The kiss must be the expression of a particular passion. When a brother and sister who are twins kiss each other, it is not an authentic kiss. The same holds for a kiss paid in Christmas games, also for a stolen kiss. A kiss is a symbolic act that is meaningless if devoid of the feeling it is supposed to signify, and this feeling can be present only under specific conditions.

If one wants to try to classify kisses, numerous possible principles of classification come to mind. The kiss can be classified according to sound. Unfortunately, language does not have an adequate range for my observations. I do not believe all the languages of the world have the stock of onomatopoeia necessary to designate the variations I have come across just in my uncle's house. Sometimes it is a smacking sound, sometimes whistling, sometimes slushy, sometimes explosive, sometimes booming, sometimes full, sometimes hollow, sometimes like calico, etc. etc.

The kiss can be classified according to touch -- the tangential kiss, the kiss en passant, and the clinging kiss.

The kiss can be classified according to time as short or long. In the category of time, there is another classification, really the only one I like. A distinction is made between the first kiss and all the others. What is under consideration here cannot be used as the measure of what appears in the other classification -- it has nothing to do with sound, touch, time in general. The first kiss is qualitatively different from all others. Very few people think about this. It would be a shame if there were not even one who thinks about it.'

2 Sep '03 08:02:29 AM

'Better off then than when life was babble? That's it, that's it, the bright side. And the absence of others, does that count for so little?'

1 Sep '03 08:12:32 AM

'crush list', what a useful way of putting it.

As a crush list my list of essential texts would not be too exciting. Or even very long. I'm like a prudish, pious, faithful housewife in that way.

31 Aug '03 01:43:06 AM

The new Basement Jaxx album Kish Kash certainly is exciting, but now I feel all weak and limp.

(No symbols where none intended.)

29 Aug '03 07:29:44 AM

I would like to remind you that on the VMAs one of the 'Crank Yankers' puppets said that Kelly Clarkson's got some junk in the trunk. Sometimes I think TV is the best thing the human race has ever done.