Okay, Let's Go
By ice rivers
- 542 reads
A few thousand words from now, we'll find out where we were going when we started with "Okay. Let's Go"
Then once again we'll be finished unless somebody is taking notes. In that case we got a shot at eternity. After all Plato was listening to Socrates and taking notes. Not that I'm Socrates or anything although I'm not considered as dumb as I look even though I know for sure that I'm even dumber than that if you can imagine such an amusing level of ignorance.
So let's begin with this fact: Chronology is important.
If you don't know that Ruth came before Mantle who came before Munson who came before Jeter, then you don't know much about the Yankees and if you don't know much about the Yankees, you don't know much about baseball.
If you don't know that Jackson came before Lincoln who came before Coolidge who came before Clinton then you don't know much about the chief executives of the United States which means you don't know much about America.
If you don't know that Shakespeare came before Swift who came before Shelley who came before Shaw then you don't know much about English literature, which means you don't know that much about literature which means you don't know that much about civilization which means you don't know much about how the present connects with the past.
If you don't know that Socrates came before Plato and Plato came before Aristotle then you don't know much about philospphy and if you don't know much about philosophy, you don't know much about knowledge and if you don't no much about knowledge, you don't know much about virtue and if you don't know much about virtue, you don't know the difference between right or wrong.
Am I right or am I wrong?
Always remember: Socrates then Plato then Aristotle.
Someday, someone will ask you a confounding question to which there are many possible answers. There are worse answers to those kinds of questions than these:
"Well, if it wasn't for Plato we would never have heard of Socrates"
"If it weren't for Socrates we never would have heard of Plato"
"Thank God for Aristotle"
Chronology, important as it is,can not exist apart from time.
Time is relative, therefore so is chronology, which bring us into the realm of relative chronology which is kind of like genealogy only the family we are linking is the evolutionary family of man and not just the non-solutionary family of Uncle Zeke or the way too many drums in the garage family of the guy across the street.
Understand that Socrates died four hundred years before the birth of Jesus. Shakespeare died approximately four hundred years before the presidency of George Bush. That might give you an idea of what can happen in four hundred years.
Some might criticize this particular relative chronology as another in a long line of mixed metaphors. An accurate metaphor is a balanced combination of analogies. Take this little analogy test to measure the validity of the above metaphor: Socrates is to Jesus as Shakespeare is to George Bush or if you look at it another way, (and you must if the metaphor is to be accurate) Socrates is to Shakespeare as Jesus is to George Bush.
Does anybody see anything wrong with this picture?
How in the heck can Dubya be linked to JC?
The simple, and perhaps only possible answer, my friends, is time. Especially when the other half of the equation is the relative chronology of Socrates to Shakespeare.
Time, however, can never be a simple answer unless we investigate the further question....
"What is time"
and there are worse answers to that question than "Thank God for Aristotle"
It was one of those moments when it became apparent that the teacher was about to ask a question. When one of those moments occurs, the only hope is that a student will ask the teacher a question before the teacher asks the class a question.
Thank God for Aristotle.
Julia raised her hand.
The teacher called on her.
" Excuse me, Sir. Wouldn't it be better to find an idiot philosopher that came 400 yrs after JC and then use him for the W analogy? I'm much more comfortable with the JC/Shakespeare comparison, since both taught through parables & symbolism."
" Well, Julia, first of all, we don't keep too many records of idiotic philosophers as most of them either set themselves on fire or attain stupendous success and get out of the field of philosophy before they are stigmatized as thinkers rather than doers. Somewhere, someone invented the square wheel. Sometime before the invention, a philospher dreamed a dream of square wheeling all over the country side on the flat and square planet that we live upon. We don't have any records of either that inventor or that philosopher.
"In the mid-twentieth century there was a tremendous need for prose to fill the proliferation of magazines that were being published. There wasn't much need for poetry. As a result only skillful, sensitive poetry was published while at the same time great heaps of mediocre prose were exposed to the public. Next thing you know, readers thought poetry was superior to prose because of its ratio of rarity to quality. Of course that wasn't true then and isn't true today. Loads of lamentable poetry have always been written but until today rarely published except to the most captive of audiences or psychiatrists. That's why we know as little about inept poets as we do idiotic philosophers.
"And you are correct with the awkward selection of Bush. I was grasping at straws. Metaphor is a great place to grasp straw. Most people aren't listening anyway. Of the few who are listening, most of them will swallow anything. Of the few who won't accept anything, some of them are going 'Oh wow,' I never thought of that and still fewer are going . . .'that's just wrong.'
"Socrates was a 'that's just wrong' type and a teacher always hopes there will be a Socratic-style student in his class just to keep him honest.
"Some teachers, that is.
"And some governments
"Other teachers will do everything they can to punish and silence the Socratic thinker.
"And so will some governments.
"As far as metaphors go, if you have big enough table and put any two objects upon that table side by side, some comparisons and contrasts can always be drawn. If you put a porpoise on a table with a peanut butter sandwhich, if nothing else, they could be compared by the fact that they are both on this gigantic table being compared and contrasted by a lunatic philosopher.
"Contrasts are always available as a form of comparison, for example.
"What's the difference, Julia, between bass fishing and shark fishing?"
Julia, anxious to get out of the spotlight, answered, "thank God for Aristotle."
"I've heard worse answers", the teacher responded, "but here's a better one: a shark weighs a thousands time more than a bass and is trying to devour you. It's probably best to keep your metaphors very simple.
"A sock is to a foot as a glove is to a blank. Anybody who gets that relationship wrong has a serious cognitive problem."
With that, a guy named Arthur Gregor walked out of the classroom, apparently on his way to the john.
When Junior walked into Schinetzki’s office, he had no suspicion that he might have a problem with sex. He was eight years old. He didn’t have any idea what sex was. So Schinetski started showing Junior some pictures and asked him to identify the pictures. The pictures were very concrete; an apple, a desk, a lamp, a shirt, a dog and then a bra.
Junior hesitated when he saw the bra. He knew what the name of the item was but he didn’t want Dr. Schinetski to know that he knew what it was for fear that Schnitetski would tell his parents that their child knew what a bra was which of course he would have and that would have been considered normal and that might have eased the suspicion that Senior had about Junior which might have eased the suspicion that Senior had about himself which may or may not have dented the wall of certainty that Sara had constructed about her husband and hence her son.
Junior decided that he either had to continue in silence as he contemplated the picture which he figured would be suspicious or he could mis-identify the picture. Junior chose option two.
“Well, Arthur, can you name this picture?” asked the good Doctor with an edge of impatience in his voice.
“ Oh yes, Doctor. That’s a glove”
“Very good young man” said the doctor and moved on to a picture of a goat, and then a telephone and then a piggy bank all of which Arthur identified.
From that day on, the suspicion of Arthur Senior about Arthur Junior began to grow and then one day that suspicion appeared within Arthur Junior and it started to grow.
The next day, the day after sexual suspicion started within his son, Senior uncomfortably explained the birds and the bees to his boy and Arthur began to believe that bees were having sex with birds.
When Senior got the report from Schinetzki, which indeed cast suspicion upon the sexual inclinations of his son, he did what any other father who is suspected of unusual sexual inclinations by his wife would do. He over-reacted. Senior figured that if he could ease his suspicion about his son that would enable him to ease his suspicion about himself which would lessen the infuriating certainty of his wife which somehow had become the deciding vote in every domestic disagreement.
Senior bought Junior a pair of gloves. When he gave Junior the gloves, he said “these are gloves, son . Do you understand me? These are gloves. They keep your hands warm. They protect your hands".
This was the beginning of Arthur Junior's compulsive, lifelong search for defintion and overstanding.
It was May. Junior’s hands were already warm. Still, his father insisted that Junior put on the gloves immediately.
When Junior put on the gloves he remembered his session with Schinetzki. The gloves made him feel guilty. Eventually that guilt would transform into suspicion of sexual abnormality. Every time Junior put on a glove of any variety, for the rest of his life, the whirlwind of self-doubt reared its furious head reaped its own devastating harvest. The wearing of the glove would ease the internal whirlwind.
Senior insisted that Junior always have a supply of new gloves. Senior insisted that Junior concentrate on three sports, baseball, hockey and golf. All three sports required a glove.
The incidents with the baseball glove were particularly painful.
Senior bought Junior the most expensive ball glove that he could find which amounted to three hundred plus dollars. Junior wasn’t any good at baseball but he had the best glove so he made the major leagues in his local Little League. When the manager asked him what position he played Junior said “shortstop” Junior had no idea what a shortstop was or where on the field the shortstop played. He knew the word and he liked the word so that was the word he said when his manager, Otto Dingfeldt, while eyeing the expensive glove asked him what position he played.
At the first practice Dingfeldt said “ Okay Junior, You’re my shortstop.”
Junior, overcoming the urge to ask his coach to "define shortstop" instead asked Dingfeldt “where do I play”
Dingfeldt assumed that Junior was asking a subtle question about shading the hitter toward third or second depending upon whether or not the hitter could get around on the inside fastball.
“Shade over towards third” said Otto.
Junior walked on to the field and stood right next to the third baseman, a veteran eleven year old named Jake Genovese.
“What the hell are you doing here, kid” Genovese asked.
“The manager told me to shade towards third” said Junior. "Could you please define 'shade'
“Well for Christ sake move halfway between third and second and that’s good enough but get the hell away from me before I kick your ass” replied Jake.
Arthur moved to the spot indicated. The first three batters hit rockets right at and through Junior. After the third rocket Arthur fell to the ground, faking an injury. When Dingfeldt came out to see ‘what the f&^!* is wrong with the fruit with the glove’. Arthur said “Mister Dingfeldt, I don’t like shortstop”.
And with that, Junior was benched. He would remain benched for the rest of his Little League career which itself would end later that year.
Every moment that he sat on the bench while the others kids played the game, Arthur grew more suspicious of himself.
If you added up the price tags of all the gloves on Junior’s team, it’s likely the sum would be less than the one glove on Junior’s hand on the bench.
Bobby Lowmeyer took Junior’s spot at shortstop. Bobby had perhaps the worst glove on the team. Bobby’s glove had been passed on to him by his older brother, Whitey, who gave up baseball while waiting for the bass player in his band to get an amp. Whitey got the glove as a hand me down from his Dad, Norbert who had gotten the glove from his Dad, Karl, whose favorite player was Chuck Klein.
To Karl, baseball was the national pasttime.
To Whitey,the few times that he thought about it while making noise in the garage, baseball was the national past its time.
All of the other gloves on the team were either hand me downs or K mart twenty dollar specials. Arthur and his glove stood out on this team like a sore thumb which everybody on the team had because of their lousy mitts except for Arthur who had the good mitt and the permanent seat on the pine.
Arthur Senior told Arthur Junior to never loan out his glove. Senior came to the first few of Junior’s games but lost interest when he realized that Junior was not going to get into the game. Senior stopped showing up.
Before Senior stopped showing up, it became clear that the other players on the team hated Junior’s guts because of the glove disparity. Bob Lowmeyer particularly hated Arthur. Bobby had the quickness and coordination to handle the shortstop position but his crappy glove prevented him from cleanly fielding the grounders hit his way. With every error, his antipathy towards Arthur increased. He started calling Arthur “Glove” and pretty soon everybody on the team began to follow suit.
The nickname spread from the ball field to the neighborhood to the school. Before long, everywhere he went, Arthur was called Glove. In Arthur’s mind, they might as well have been calling him “Bra” which might as well have been “Oddball," “Weirdo,” or “ "Dipshit"
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