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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, February 15, 2014

THE ESSENTIAL NARCISSISM OF BLOGGING

For a long time I read Andrew Sullivan's blog, The Daily Dish, pretty regularly.  It is one of those blogs that collect lots of stuff from the blogosphere and link to it, which is convenient.  He is also gay, and a determined gay activist, which inclines me in his favor.  But he has certain obsessions that get on my wick, and they have driven me away from the site.  The dominant one, of course, is religion in general and Catholicism in particular.  Sullivan is some sort of Catholic [it is hard to tell just what sort] and he cannot stop talking about every aspect of religiosity.  He is adamantly opposed to the "Christianism" of the Evangelical Right and, as you might expect, over the top delighted with the new Pope.  He is also obsessed with the new atheist movement, if one can call it that.  It is a great bore.  Along with that, Sullivan is fixated on beards.  He has one himself, and he is forever posting pictures of men with full beards.  I mean, really.

Then, this morning, I had a rather embarrassing moment of self-realization.  I had spent a nervous hour or so disassembling my viola [taking off the strings, the bridge, the chin rest, and the piece to which the strings attach at the bottom] so that I could polish it with W. E. Hill & Sons varnish polish, a product that originates in Coventry, England, after which I had reassembled it -- a great challenge -- and tuned it so that it was ready once more to be played.  I thought to post a description of the process on my blog, but it occurred to me that my obsession with the viola is really no better than Sullivan's obsession with beards, so I decided that I would not do that post.

Except that it would appear I have.

Oh well.

4 comments:

David Auerbach said...

Some obsessions are more better than others.

Jerry Fresia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Fresia said...

I can't think of a musical instrument that is not beautiful in its own right. Beards are quite another story.

Ever since I heard Sullivan make a stupid critique of Chomsky, I ignore him.

So do you mean that all those parts on a viola are attached with screws, not glue? A rather ambitious undertaking if you ask me; might all of this fiddling (!) alter the sound?

GTChristie said...

I love the comedic way you turned on yourself at the end there - the irony. It's priceless. We all have our fascinations and I can't begrudge yours. If we did not like to hear ourselves talk, we wouldn't be philosophers. Given a choice between beards and violas as fascinations to read about, I'll take violas anytime. Play on.