Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SENIOR MOMENT

From time to time, people in my age bracket have difficulty calling a name, a place, or a fact to mind. It is called "having a senior moment," and is widely viewed as the very first hint of dementia. I have had such moments, myself -- or at least I think I have. I cannot recall just now. But I have a totally different and quite new theory of why they happen. You see, people my age know an enormous amount more than young people. This fact was borne in upon me one day when I was doing the NY TIMES crossword puzzle, which I finish, in ink, on all but the very rarest of occasions [hem hem]. My son, Tobias, who is ferociously smart and superbly educated, asked me how I knew something or other which came up in one of the clues, and I replied, "because I was there." It concerned something I had lived through, so if course I new it.

People my age know, or at least can recognise, simply vast numbers of names of old movie actors, political events from the 40's and 50's, long forgotten sports figures, and minor television shows too trivial even for Trivial Pursuit. Of course we forget things from time to time. Anyone can remember the last six or eight years of ephemera. But sixty years of ephemera is a feat of memory.

You youngsters out there -- how many of you know that "cute as a bug" refers to June Allyson? Or that Randolph Scott was gay. [Do you even know who Randolph Scott was?]

I rest my case. Now, what did I have for breakfast?

5 comments:

NotHobbes said...

Randolph Scott?
I loved the movie about his ill-fated expedition. Almost chewed half my own face off trying to stop the tears flowing when his companion Capt Oates left the tent saying he would "be gone for some time" Thinking ....Hmmmm I best scroll back, I forget which bloody blog I am on at moment...
;-)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

You are showing your age!! :)

Brenda said...

Question--maybe rhetorical--why are you so concerned about age? I think I'm still 16, so you can't be any older.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I am not sure, save, of course, that at seventy-six, I am painfully aware of how little time I have left, under the best of circumstances. It may very well be a consequence of retirement, which, despite all of my actiities, has been a wrenching change for me. I spent fifty years as a professor, and I miss the institutional setting as much as the daily work.

Brenda said...

All the more reason to enjoy the freedom.