Can Philosophy Be Saved?

The deliciously scathing and independent-minded Susan Haack in Free Inquiry. “The cannibal among the missionaries” — love it! This the quality of mind that I want and admire whatever one’s political persuasion.

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Bluesin’ By The Bayou: Ain’t Broke, Ain’t Hungry

Terrific compilation that has just been released by the very excellent Ace Records. It seems that it’s up to some very small European labels to keep this amazing history alive.

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Battle of Britain Day

I’ve been reminded by a friend that it is Battle of Britain Day, at least in the dominion of Canada it’s on the third Sunday of September (in the UK it’s commemorated on the 15th). Here is some discussion of Churchill’s famous “finest hour” speech. Listening to Winnie’s wartime speeches one can easily substitute several phrases for a [redacted] term denoting what has been the slowest burn and is currently the biggest threat, aided and abetted by the gormless regressives.

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Review of The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class

Benjamin Schwarz is perhaps in a class of his own in that his reviews are marvelously entertaining while remaining on point substantively. The danger for books reviewed by him — good, bad, or indifferent — is that his secondary commentary typically outshines the target work. Anyway, the discussion centres on what Jonathan Haidt has termed “lifestyle enclaves.” (Not sure what Schwartz and Currid-Halkett would have to say about my unapologetic Gordian knot of “deplorable” and “highfalutinculture).

[A]s The Sum of Small Things establishes, many of the elite’s purchases are made in the name of protecting the environment. But the notion that self-denial—rather than buying things to gratify oneself—might better serve that end seems absent from the elite worldview.

Given that this class’s identity depends on a form of consumption that revolves around the display of cultural capital, it’s unsurprising that so much of the elite’s intellectual and political life is merely gestural.

They “like feeling smart without doing work—two hours in a theater is easier than ten hours with a book.”

As befits these engines of global capitalism, these cities and their inhabitants are pulling away with growing momentum from their native countries and cultures.

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Harry Dean Stanton

It’s puzzling that HDS’s most important film gets relatively short-shrift in so many of the reports on his death. It took someone of the calibre of Dirk Bogarde to make sure that this film got its due recognition. Anyway, here is Roger Ebert’s review and a Guardian reassessment.

Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” (1984) is the story of loss upon loss. This man, whose name is Travis, was once married and had a little boy. Then that all went wrong, and he lost his wife and child, and for years he wandered. Now he will find his family and lose it again, this time not through madness but through sacrifice. He will give them up out of his love for them. — Roger Ebert

After 100 or so films, Travis Henderson was Harry Dean’s first lead role and he’s perfect, giving a performance of tremendous empathy and tenderness . . . Paris, Texas is a film about many things – about love, sacrifice and redemption, and about the fierce yearning for an imagined place always out of reach. — PARIS, TEXAS: A VISUAL TRIP

A Taste of Heaven: The Heartbreak Life of Raymond Myles

I’ve been wondering whatever became of Leo Sacks’ documentary on Myles — nothing new on the film’s website aside from the extended trailer. In case you don’t know who Raymond was, here is OffBeat‘s obituary. The most recent news I’ve come across are these articles: NYTHuffPo and Billboard (you’d think given the high-profile level of interest, the readies would have long since been found). Hopefully this project will still come to fruition.

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Ecology of the Brain

Coming soon: Ecology of the Brain: The phenomenology and biology of the embodied mind

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