Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Dialectical Present Under the Essential Christmas Tree

Quote Of The Day

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. Kierkegaard.

IMHO your typical Singaporean doesn't have one and doesn't use the other.


So... Christmas is coming to Denmark, back in 1820 or thereabouts...

Mrs Kirkegaard leans toward her 7 year old son, who is attempting to bite the head off the family whippet: "What do you want for Christmas, young Søren?"

Søren Claus*

"Aesthetically it is quite in order to wish for wealth, good fortune and the most beautiful of damsels; in short, to wish for anything that is subject to an aesthetic dialectic. But at the same time to wish for an eternal happiness is doubly nonsense. Partly because it is at the same time, thus transforming an eternal happiness into something like a present on the Christmas tree; and partly because it is a wish, an eternal happiness being essentially relevant to essentially existing individual, not related by an aesthetic dialectic to a romantically wishful individual."

Mrs Kierkegaard, nods, smiles, rescues the dog, takes Mr Kierkegaard aside: "We need to talk about Søren..."


Now *I* consider myself free to think, but my brain is of no use to me here, it is hurting from the effort. I can't wrap my thoughts around Kierkegaard's jargon. WHY do I persist in trying to read such impenetrable stuff when I have hundreds of perfectly readable/understandable books everywhere in the flat? Is there anything of Kierkegaard which is understandable and useful?

In my quest to fully understand life, the universe, and Starhub Box programming, I am finally having some luck with >Slavoj Žižek, whom I once could only understand if I snorted a kilo of coke and then read it out loud with a lisp and an outrageous East European accent. "The Puppet And the Dwarf: The Perverse Nature of Christianity" seems to be going down relatively easily compared my assaults on his "On Belief" and the book on Lacan.

I am following his arguments, at least I think I am as I read them. "Zhe Fall ISSHhh zhe RedempSSShun": I understood that as I read it this morning in the waiting room. I'm thinking WTF just now, but hey.


In the meantime, as a Christmas present to myself (or maybe such self-flagellation is more appropriate for Easter), I've semi-started another diet (not counting beers tonight with Indy) as recommended by a friend who has lost 10kgs and kept it off. Just fruit in the morning with NO muesli or even my favorite wholegrain/rye/sourdough toast (not sure how long that restriction is going to last!), salad/coleslaw with some lean ham or chicken for lunch and NO rice (if I can get around to preparing such the night before and not blog inanely). Normal meal for dinner, but limit the size and try to avoid potato, bread and rice. Pretty much a low Glycemic Index diet, apart from the fruit. I'm not going completely vegetarian as I know some people have done in my situation, as I just do not have the WON'T power for something that strict.

I have been double dosing the medication (on Dr's orders) for the neuralgia and while it's not doing much for the pain, it IS boosting my appetite! The scale tipped over 130kgs on the weekend! Holy fuck! In 2005, I had slimmed down to a svelte 115kgs (The Mouse was cooking diet meals and me exercising 3 days a week) from about 125kgs, and I need to get back into that zone. At least I need to re-stabilize it at around 120kgs. 110kgs would be nice.

There is a new drug I read about today called Liraglutide which sounds like it might help with weight control and prevent the encroachment of diabetes, which is always a risk for someone bordering on the metabolic syndrome like me. Unfortunately it is not available in Singapore yet.

Fuck, I can't do exercise which requires me to use my feet and I am on drugs that increase my appetite - motherfucker... Mind you I was a fat ((!)) before all this drama, too.

Meanwhile, and yes I know I've tried and started before... and failed, but wish me well on this diet attempt anyway.


* Now you see why I don't have a job that requires Photoshop skills!


Unknown said...

Good luck Phil on your diet. Hope you succeed this time. If it's any comfort those who succeed at weight loss generally have at least 5 failures before they hit success.

That said, I've stopped counting. I'd go wonky without bread and meat since I can't have any pudding unless I eat my meat.

Told the boss over dinner last week that I was vegetarian. Cows are vegetarian and I eat cows.

Maybe Kirkegaard suffers from poor translation. I always felt like my head was in a vice when I read him.

expat@large said...

Jay: I have a buddy in Sydney (ex-HK) who ONLY eats meat. He doesn't touch vegetables or fruit, as matter of principle. He is as trim as a sportsman. He'll probably drop any day now, but he's having some great BBQs in the meantime.


Kierkegaard suffers from poor thinking as well as poor translation - Abraham would have been right to kill Isaac? WTF?? - Not if there is a no God (and there isn't) he wouldn't. But K refuses to accept this, and circles back to say BECAUSE there is a God, Abraham would not have been a child murdering fundamentalist nutcase who should have been locked up and/or not allowed near primary schools.

Take your leap of faith of a large cliff you silly Danish rationalizer...

I've read Fear and Trembling, well, much/some of it. And then I read a book called How To Read Kierkegaard and decided I didn't need to read him after all. I'm sticking to Schopenhauer, at least he's funny. Occasionally.

Skippy-san said...

The quote is a great explanation for Sarah Palin. Thanks for the seeds of an upcoming blog post.

Momentary Madness said...

I just called to say ...... I'll come back after I get a map and sharpen my concentration.
When I read Søren Claus I lost all sense of time and place.

expat@large said...

Skip: LOL - the space between thought and speech is sometimes insurmountable... I mean uncrossable (what DO you do with a space?).

MM: You are here. Kierkegaard is there. I am going for a swim.

Unknown said...

"Fear and Trembling" was bloody painful. I had to read it as an undergrad for philosophy 101. Our professor was cool, went to college and was friends with David Byrne (yes, THAT one) and said the he (the professor) was going to patent "Beerios". Beerios are Cheerios and beer...get all of your grains in one meal.

He and I had a wonderfully great disagreement about Descartes famous "I stink therefore I am French" (or whatever). I said "how does he know he can think and therefore exist? What if the idea of free thought is an illusion either formed from some chemical process or placed in our 'minds' by some greater being? What if it's just a dream?" Of course if it were a dream I'd be shagging a dusky beautiful young nubile maiden every night. I'm not so I guess it isn't a dream. Descartes should have written "I'm not getting any, therefore I am."

Unknown said...

Thinking more about that than I ought, I think Guinness beat the perfesser to it since Guinness is a meal in a glass.

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