How Not to Despair or A Kierkegaardian Analysis of Typhoon


All I really want to do with my life is convince you that the indie-rock group Typhoon are a) awesome and b) channeling the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard, but to do this I first have to explain humanity's desire for goodness and the concept of despair. It's an odd route round, but what else are you going to do, your job? Right then.Homo sapiens -- may they be fruitful and multiply -- experience a desire to be themselves. This is utterly strange. Rocks, trees and bacterium are laughing at … [Read more...]

Typhoon and the Goodness Revolution


My will to live in some semblance of communion with my culture has been snatched from despair by the fact that I can say, in all seriousness, that a certain 11-piece indie-rock band from Portland is best understood through the lens of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. If this is a reduction of the marvelous music Typhoon has so far produced, my only defense is that all writing about music is a reduction, so leave me alone, my ego is as sensitive as a bladder after two large coffees and ro … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Heterosexual


Before beginning this immature polemic against the concept of heterosexuality, I need to preemptively acknowledge the two primary reactions the Internet will have, thereby negating their distractive powers. They are:andNow that we've shaken these from our system, I want your ears. The idea that a person is heterosexual is stupid. This claim is the beginning of what will surely take years to articulate, but we really must begin with something, and deconstruction sounds as fun as … [Read more...]

What’s in a Name?


Most names are classifications. I window-watch the heaving mass of green and gold and say "tree," and this name places the thing in a mental "class" of similarily heaving objects, the class of "trees." Rock, sling, giant, corpse -- all these "names" are fundamentally classifications, names that allow us to understand a thing by referring to its species. But a personal name does not refer to a species. There is nothing about the name "Michael" that groups its named object into a class.Many n … [Read more...]

Dear Gordon Gee

Dear Gordon Gee,I understand you are still under fire for referring to Catholics as "those damn Catholics." The Huffington Post, in particular, is indignant that you did not apologize sooner. The Huffington Post is, of course, full of shit, and thus, in contrast to that constantly feigned indignation which exists for the sole purpose of garnering pageviews, I would like to extend my whole-hearted gratitude for your reference to Catholics as "those damn Catholics."I live in a world -- and … [Read more...]

Eyeball the Enemy


Eye-contact is a fascinating phenomenon. With our beloved, it is a delight. With a stranger walking down the hall, it is unbearable. This leads to the exciting game by which I -- knowing full well that I am about to cross paths with the aforementioned stranger -- pretend not to know it at all. I keep my head down, fascinated -- for some inexplicable reason -- with the movement of my feet, and only at the last moment look up, make eye-contact, and acknowledge the other’s presence with my most i … [Read more...]

Virtue is an Experience of Reality

4 cardinal virtues

When, in a moment of absentmindedness, I practice a virtue, my reaction to the fact is not that "I'm being good," but "Oh, so this is how it is." Before the moment of virtue -- be it patience or prudence -- I stumbled blindly without knowing my blindness. In the light of virtue the universe is illuminated and what was obscure makes sense. Virtue reveals the very consistency of existence.The virtues are not additions to life, supplementary goodies we tack onto our behavior -- they are modes of … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Porn Sucks

I don't think opposition to the pornography industry is a religious issue. Here's why: 1. Sex Trafficking The word pornography comes from pornos, prostitute, and grapho, to depict or write, meaning "depicting prostitutes." We seem to be waking up to the possibility that the word's etymology may very well be a description of reality. Pornography is fundamentally an experience of bought sex.In the purchase of pornography, we pay for sexual arousal. We do not simply pay money for a video -- … [Read more...]

Ghosts With Erections


This is so blisteringly obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning, but there is a difference between the high-school proms of our grandparents and the proms of current high-school kids. A brief survey of 1950's-1960's prom footage shows, somewhat shockingly, that there was dancing. That is, there were dances and people knew them. Men held the hips of women cupping the shoulders of their man, shuffling through sets of understood and pre-ordained movements of the foot and sways of the waist, … [Read more...]

The Difference Between a Pilgrim and a Tourist


It is a trend for white people fed up with the banality of existence to run to exotic locations and there write best-selling books about finding themselves. And while I admit to a certain romance in spending thousands learning to eat, pray, love, and afterwards become rich selling the simplicity of foreign cultures back to our own, I can't help but wonder whether the "self" is really "found" in such amazing, caucasian explorations. I wonder -- because I'm cynical -- if the self hasn't been … [Read more...]