Archive for the philosophy Category

The Socialist Primer: First Lessons in Socialism for Children by Nicholas Klein (1908)

Posted in history, i am endlessly fascinating, philosophy, reading list on June 22, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

This was a tough little book to find. It has been on my “I want to read this” list for some time now, and I have only been able to find excerpts on Google books- and these came from a journal criticizing the Primer for instilling “class hatred”. It has been unavailable on Amazon for as long as I have had an account there and the library world catalog says there are only 7 copies in libraries in the United States. This primer was written in the days before a 40 hour work week, the weekend, child labor laws, or any kind of mandated safety measures.

Delightful drawings by Ryan Walker- who I also found out through Google Books, was formerly a cartoonist for the Kansas City Times and St. Louis Republic before joining Eugene Debs’ “Appeal to Reson” Socialist newspaper. Google Books is awesome- especially the clip feature, which allowed by to embed these grabs with one click!

Click to embiggen and print to share with the kiddies tonight!

Benjamin Franklin on MILFs (1745)

Posted in american heroes, dames, history, manliness, philosophy on June 6, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

Advice on the Choice of a Mistress
by Benjamin Franklin

Philadelphia, June 25, 1745

My dear Friend:

I know of no medicine fit to diminish the violent natural inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper remedy. It is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness. Your reasons against entering into it at present, appear to me not well founded. The circumstantial advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being. Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her fitness, sensibility, and acute discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the world. A single man has not nearly the Value he would have in the state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors. If you get a prudent healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be a fortune sufficient.

But if you will not take this counsel and persist in thinking a commerce with the sex inevitable, then I repeat my former advice, that in all your amours you should prefer old women to young ones. You call this a paradox, and demand my reasons. They are these:

Because as they have more knowledge of the world and their minds are better stored with observations, their conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreeable.

Because when women cease to be handsome they study to be good. To maintain their influence over men, they supply the diminution of beauty by an augmentation of utility. They learn to do a thousand services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old woman who is not a good woman.

Because there is no hazard of children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much inconvenience.

Because through more experience they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an intrigue to prevent suspicion. The commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the affair should happen to be known, considerate people might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old woman, who would kindly take care of a young man, form his manners by her good counsels, and prevent his ruining his health and fortune among mercenary prostitutes.

Because in every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are gray, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.

Because the sin is less. The debauching a virgin may be her ruin, and make her for life unhappy.

Because the compunction is less. The having made a young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflection; none of which can attend the making an old woman happy.
8thly and lastly. They are so grateful!!

Thus much for my paradox. But still I advise you to marry directly; being sincerely

Your affectionate friend,

B. Franklin

The Wipers on love and reality (1979)

Posted in american heroes, American music, how much art can you take?, philosophy, playlist, punk rock on May 29, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

Sometimes I get these feelings
and I don’t know what to say
Is it that I don’t belong here
Cause I really want to stay
Sometimes I wish that you
Could break up to me
Is this real?

In time I found myself
Wishing that you were here
But then I realized
That all time stood still
Sometimes I wish that you
Could break down to me
Is this real?

Roky Erickson "The Creature with the Atom Brain" 1980

Posted in American music, lost souls, philosophy, playlist, religion, showmanship with tags , , , , on May 21, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

Florrie Fisher in "The Trip Back" (part 1)

Posted in american heroes, badassery, dames, lost souls, New York, philosophy, showmanship, youth culture on April 1, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

Amy Sedaris has reported in interviews that Ms. Fisher was the inspiration behind her strange and strangely loveable Jerri Blank character on Strangers with Candy.

Robert Oppenheimer on making sense of the world (1958)

Posted in american heroes, philosophy on February 3, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

“I think that the unity that we can seek lies really in two things. One is that the knowledge which comes to us at such a terrifyingly, inhumanly rapid rate has some order to it. We are allowed to forget a great deal, as well as to learn. This order is never adequate. The mass of ununderstood things, which cannot be summarized, or wholly ordered, always grows greater; but a great deal does get understood.

“The second is simply this: we can have each other to dinner. We ourselves, an with each other by our converse, can create not an architecture of global scope, but an immense, intricate network of intimacy, illumination, and understanding. Everything cannot be connected with everything in the world we live in.
Everything can be connected with anything.”
– Robert Oppenheimer
“The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture”, Daedalus, winter 1958 (according to the same issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Feb 1959)

i don’t trust people who don’t like Iron Maiden

Posted in badassery, i am endlessly fascinating, manliness, philosophy, showmanship, youth culture on January 30, 2009 by All Conference Vintage

and “The Trooper” with Dickinson singing.

It’s Friday!

Mr. Rogers testifies before the Senate Subcommitte on Communications (1969)

Posted in american heroes, fuzzy childhood memories, manliness, philosophy on December 16, 2008 by All Conference Vintage

This is Mr. Rogers’ testimony before the US Senate in 1969 as Lord Voldemort- I mean, Richard Nixon, sought to drastically cut funding for public television.
This has been posted elsewhere before, I believe on Boingboing, but I found it again on Good and yet again it put a lump squarely in my throat. Mr. Rogers is such a True American Hero that his profile should be on American currency. In an age of cynicism and practiced ironic emotional distance, we as a culture desperately need more men like Fred Rogers. Long after Machiavel’ian archvillians such as Nixon are long forgotten, surely the legacy of real men like Fred Rogers will live on.

“Looks like you just earned the 20 million dollars”

Roger Ebert on work and identity

Posted in american heroes, chicago, philosophy on December 4, 2008 by All Conference Vintage
“Here is how it happens. We find something we want to do, if we are lucky, or something we need to do, if we are like most people. We use it as a way to obtain food, shelter, clothing, mates, comfort, a first folio of Shakespeare, model airplanes, American Girl dolls, a handful of rice, sex, solitude, a trip to Venice, Nikes, drinking water, plastic surgery, child care, dogs, medicine, education, cars, spiritual solace — whatever we think we need. To do this, we enact the role we call “me,” trying to brand ourselves as a person who can and should obtain these things.

In the process, we place the people in our lives into compartments and define how they should behave to our advantage. Because we cannot force them to follow our desires, we deal with projections of them created in our minds. But they will be contrary and have wills of their own. Eventually new projections of us are dealing with new projections of them. Sometimes versions of ourselves disagree. We succumb to temptation — but, oh, father, what else was I gonna do? I feel like hell. I repent. I’ll do it again.”

– from his review of Synecdoche, New York