mad in pursuit journal


Fleeing into Philosophy

I was going to do a political rant this morning but... what's the point? The President and VP are madmen, but why are all the rest of our elected officials too fearful or incompetent to help our run-amok government come to its senses? Why must I still be subjected to OJ Simpson? Why is Giulliani such an asshole? I have no answers.

I'm tempted to send my $50 to the Hillary campaign, then turn off the television and radio till 2009. But then who would I have to get mad at?

I heard Al Franken say once that "satire was the last refuge of a corrupt society." Aside from listening to clever wisecrackers on the radio and TV, a lot of us take refuge in watching ball games. Way too stressful for me. I've probably also made a refuge of family history -- at least it's getting down on paper what one in 10 family members might wind up appreciating.

Maybe my refuge will be philosophy. Let the chips fall where they may.

As I've done some reading on ancient and modern philosophy, I realize how hard it is. Somewhere between "write-your-own-philosophy" in college and my exposure to the blizzard of pundits on TV, I started thinking that "philosophy" was whatever pompous bloviation someone with a microphone wanted to spew out.

But no, philosophy is the opposite. It teaches us to think -- something sorely lacking in our caffeinated, sound bite culture.

My problem: I keep having to look up the word "metaphysics." Is it the branch of philosophy that deals with the essence of all things? Or does it have something to do with occultism? Or mysticism? Google leads me on a merry chase.


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Metaphysics: Multiple Meanings