How to avoid getting punched in your face

Philosophy: Now commonly known as, “Oh God! Not this again. Please Shut up. Please.Shut.Up…”

Once a quaint subject, philosophy has become an oratorical overcompensation. And I am very guilty. But I am also mildly satisfied that other people are slowly joining me in the quest to offer this effervescent experience.

Let me explain how this works.

You ask me a simple question. Say, “What’s happening?” Instead of answering the question, I tell you why that’s such a vapid question and how in your pre-supposition that something must be happening all the time, you forget the infinite extent of invariable happenstance that is the world. Now, you go: Your partner asks you if had a good day and you proceed to give a 20-minute discourse on the moral absolutism of good and bad. Mom asks you to be careful as you head out, and you say everyone’s going to die someday and walk off. You get the drift.

Lately, I have been at the receiving end of a lot of this crap. That’s when I understood: it sucks! I realized people don’t want to collectively stare at your navel. Everyone wants you to put on a shirt and just answer the damn question.

Thinking about all this made me a tad philosophical. (Crap!)

Somewhere in the last 2500 years, philosophy went from being a way of thinking to a way of talking to more recently, a way of being a pretentious pothead. Everyone from Socrates to emperor Marcus Aurelius used philosophy as a way of life. They never spouted it to prove how deeply rad they were. In fact, Socrates never wrote down his philosophies. Marcus Aurelius wrote only for himself.

Then you and I come along and write things like “I write therefore I think,” when asked to write about ourselves.

Okay, maybe that was just me.

We read a philosophy book or two and enter a fancy dress competition dressed as Kant and Descartes and make speeches to friends and family about how – we are all an illusion – and everything that our memory is telling us is a lie – and that sense, shape, and location are mere functions, while happiness but a figment of imagination of the mind.

When someone played that speech back to us, we threw-up.

They say silence is broken when spoken. Something similar can be made of philosophy. It stops being philosophy when it goes from a way of thinking to a way of looking all deep and dope.

You ask what’s happening? I was reading an interesting book that I think you will like…yada yada yada.

How was my day, you ask? Oh, it was great. I punched this one dude in the face

“Be careful,” is that what you said, mom? I’ll be careful enough not to indulge in long solipsistic rants in metaphysics and hammer-headedness. Because, you know, I like my face.

Footnote:

Much of this blog has an undercurrent of philosophy running across it.  In the last year, I learned that writing about philosophical ideas can become self-defeating if it makes people numb with complexity. I realized if you aren’t 5000 years old and don’t have a long-ass beard, you are better off admitting to your ‘General igno-rants on specific things’. So, I wrote a poem as an apology to all philosophers. It’s called hence proved and you’ve gat to read it hip-hop style:

I rant. I’m no Kant. 
Please call me Rembrandt.
The d is silent, I’ve no talent.
I write, therefore I eggplant!

 

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