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what's eating him?

What are you so angry about?

1. When journalists attribute coherent thought systems to politicians who have no such thing. It becomes the duty of academics to "reconstruct" (i.e. construct) them. cf. Thatcherism, Reaganism, even Howardism.

2. When Peter Strawson sets the agenda for the metaphysics of the next fifty years with a bollocksy arbitration that William of Ockham wouldn't have touched.

Steve Pratt (2009), Metaphysics of Presence, elk shit on hessian

3. When geniuses are idiots, and loudly.

  • Freeman Dyson (denied that humans have damaged the environment, tried to discredit IPCC)

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: "Pinsent enraged me with notions of women’s suffrage. The only women I know are idiots who flirt with professors." Also his life-denial and Natural Law stuff.

  • Salvador Dali

  • Martin Heidegger
(Fry, Watson and Meades don't make the list.)

4. The theoretical conclusion that "The free-market is an automatic producer of justice."

5. When music is dismissed on grounds of it "obscure". (The music in question was Jerry Lee Lewis' !) I understand that obscurity is social (quasi-real) and that the rule of what's obscure is just whatever most people don't know, and not what any given obsessive music nerd reckons is seminal - but that doesn't stop the rule being ridiculous. Empires call their provinces "obscure" (that is, "over-covered"; "exotic"; "dark"). And there is nothing dark about a far land to those who live in it. Accusations of obscurity are based in failure to navigate, and in fear.

When music is hailed on grounds of obscurity. The life-denying intellectualism of alt.crowds is clear to us. And though it takes serious effort to dislike pop, we are still very willing to supply that effort. it's worth remembering that people who care about music are often terrible.

6. When realistic films are unrealistic. When sensationalists are hiding a good point. When I realize that I actually should have walked out of the fucking thing. (When Gaspar Noé beats me.)

"Gaspar Noé does not want you to stay for his movies. He wants you to leave...He is on a search for the true nature of man...

If he can offend us enough, perhaps he will find what he is looking for, a humanity who finds his style of entertainment not worth watching; finds his views on the world to be incorrect, finds that the actions he depicts in his films are rare and not worthy of the obsession and exclusive foregrounding with which he builds his world


  1. From your link on Fry:
    "Fry's remarks don't matter because they are off-the-cuff, secondhand, unaccompanied by research or evidence or even experience."

    Best euphemism I've heard in a good while.

  2. Also, there are people who have to try to dislike music?! Why would anyone try to dislike something?

    I've just been informed that there are people who try to like gin to appear to be cool.

    All these falsehoods shock me. I don't think I'm an adult yet!


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