Saturday, November 01, 2003

Having fun at Crooked Timber today.
Art is the articulate, even brilliant, glossing over of conflict and contradiction. To take art seriously, as more than a simple diversion, is to choose what is complex, indirect, intelligent and most often logically wrong, over what is simple, direct and quite often technically speaking, right. This is not practical at least in the short term, but in the long term neither is simplicity. ‘Justice’ is not simple, and is defined in our literature as ‘Imperfect’ Justice, imperfect both because of the third party systems of communication we are forced to use -language etc.- and because we have a tendency to replace logic with art for reasons of simple desire. This means: 1- That we may each ‘desire’ an outcome and -2 We can not even agree on the meaning of words. What is the definition of the color ‘red’. “Well… I think it’s more orange actually” These are limitations to our experience which we will not escape. Art reminds us, indeed demonstrates to us, the subtlety of our perceptions, the subtlety of our ability to bend and twist things beyond recognition. It is a dangerous drug to take by choice, especially since we’re born drunk. However, in my leisure hours, when I am not rushing someone to the hospital or at work -on a construction site- I choose to remind myself of the ambiguities we face by going to museums, listening to Mozart and 50 Cent, and attacking conservative arguments on constitutional law. That way I know that when it comes time to make the important decisions, I will have prepared myself to face them, aware of my limitations, as best I can.
Philosophy is ‘an attempt’ to think clearly. Please don’t confuse that with clarity.

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