Dear Goedel, Escher,
Bach students and
meaning “to speak”
all in the yek family,
“The construction and payoff of
jokes and the construction and
payoff of philosophical concepts
are made of the same stuff.
They tease the mind in similar ways.
That’s because philosophy and jokes
proceed from the same impulse:
of the way
to flip our worlds
upside down, and to
ferret-out hidden, often
uncomfortable, truths about life.
What the philosopher calls an insight.
the gagster calls a zinger.”
(Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein:
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...)
Clown & Fool.
Classical philosophy was not said
to begin until the mind was blown
(nirvana: “he blows!”): categories
castigated, classifications castrated,
terms of desire doused, beliefs &
biases bowdlerized, prejudices
paddled, convictions spanked
assumptions chastened with a
stick so as to be stunned stupid:
HA! just right for study.
This process of deconstruction was
called ELENCHUS, and the state of
MINDING ultimately attained: APORIA
—no pores, no passage, no exit. A
consummation devoutly to be desired
& prerequisite to the practice of philosophy.
Hardly reached, however.
You can imagine the resistance. All the
sparkling dialogue going on and on
by Socrates and his peripatetic
colleagues ending in whimpers,
cicadae crackling overhead.
Not philosophy —only the prelude:
prior to the ludic (HA!) which
commences when there’s no
ground & not a leg to stand on.
& it’s turtles
all the way
to the beginnnngs
of philosophy, origins
originating originally; authors
authorizing authority authoritatively.