Oversion

Palestine Israel York Kierkegaard Nietzsche Philosophy Poetry

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  1. In a matter of speaking they are, but universities
    have a different way of experiencing it,
    being multibuilding hierarchical corporate organizations
    cliented by a populist fantasticalized mass of students.
    Reminds me of a new story I don’t think I’ve told yet,
    (a pretty minor one, but lately I’ve been confronting the fact
    I’ve told just about all the stories I tell 200 times each now!)

    Some months ago the York Express Bus 196 had its route changed
    so that now about 3 every five minutes come barrelling
    down the grim stretch of Dufferin North where I catch my 117s and 105s.
    That means that when clambering down the muddy hills to the stop
    and through the parking lots of russian car salvage and the paranoid antiquity dealer
    I now just about always see a bus hurtling by. Except just one in nine
    will stop if I make it down the hill in time and throw myself in front of it.
    One wet slushy sleeting day last week the york express 196
    didn’t just barrel thunderously by actually rode tight on the curb
    and flushed with icy salty water and slush.

    Still they fail to rile my resentment though, because I see inside them,
    all packed to the extreme, all looking kind of miserable they have to
    ride along like that. The majority of students stressed about money
    and issues and school work. For me at least windsor university was
    seemingly a lot more fun. York campus right now is fraught
    with extreme edginess by the immanent Anti-Apartheid in Israel
    conference they’re having there. Between that and the downsview demeanor
    and their commute and money worries and stresses over classes
    I can’t say they look very happy at all in those buses.

    As for the conference, it will mean constant protests, police presence,
    yelling and screaming and accusations and hate and outrage
    flying in about 9 directions at once, some for everyone I figure.
    Not a safe seat to be had.

    I of course have my fatcat lazy free speech liberalism to ride on
    general good wishes to all, wishing all parties could have it
    just the way they want it and be able to do that despite the other sides
    doing so. In practise that polyannaism however is basically embodied
    by the visage of the Israeli left and the Palestinian peaceniks
    and the Lebanese progressives and the Iranian progressives
    and the civic minded in all those places being constantly under siege
    and driven out of the game, with all force of intimidation.
    Just what some 19 year old from Whitby’s ready to deal with
    when he sobers up on a Tuesday morning and realizes it’s nearly
    exam time.

    York had such a history of radical progressive atheistic politicalcorrect
    that one hopes a lot of the people who chose to go there
    like adrenalin based politics?

    On the other hand it was always such a mixed bag.
    My partner in the 80s was a high end student there
    and I used to go along to sit in on some of the classes.
    A great irony reprised out of the presence of Dr Johnson there
    after my having had a Dr Johnson in Windsor. Each
    were professors teaching philosophy, each teaching
    existentialists during my presence. In fact I caught
    both the Kierkegaard and Nietzsche takes of each.
    The Windsor Dr Johnson taught Kierkegaard as a kind of
    fly weight philosopher – foolish, silly – but nonetheless
    mildly revered, and creditted with bringing the questions
    to a certain point. Nietzsche then it all up multiplying
    the number of questions by tens of thousands,
    and laughing himself to madness at the quaint views
    of the Platos and Aristotles and Kants and that weird bird british
    component Carlyle (sp?) Carlisle (sp?) who he actually
    seemed to like more.

    But York’s Dr Johnson was a heavy duty Christian,
    one all too rem-a-ni-scient of some vague aspect of my own
    family tree’s bearing on religion, tho seeming to me more Americanized
    almost born again, which I actually see as the outcome of
    waspculture, ‘white anglo saxon protestant’
    the nightmarishly simplifying = Rules and rules –
    “There are sins for which you are punished as by an ant bite
    and others for which your punishment is like the bite of wasp;
    While still other things you could do which would have the
    punishment by the al powerful overarchingly destructive God!
    I always found it antagonistic. To me it seemed the religiously clad figure
    was threatening both me and my family, so I fought it 100%
    and got to stop going. My Dad was practically atheist himself
    and we birdwatched sundays instead. My brother and sister
    still had to go to church with my Mum. Being 4 I guess
    my not being there to defend them from what I to this day
    know nothing of in fact, because I didn’t have to go.

    And this York Dr Johnson taught the course in reverse.
    Extolled Kierkegaard as the most fantastical and wonderful
    both philosopher and poet, a clear and lateral genius
    at once with being such a faithful man. Kierka meant everything
    to the religious question, and amounted to a peacemaker
    between philosophy and religion, while showing himself so tormented,
    and giving depth and meaning to the grandiose choices we make.
    As human beings! As souls! As spirits! And he said
    studying and reading Nietzsche after doing so with Kierkegaard
    was like going from a wonderful spring sunshiny day in the gardens
    and suddenly finding yourself in a dungeon of cold darkness and torment.

    Their lives didn’t reflect his sentiment though. Kierkegaard
    was a sometimes shut in half schizophrenic hypochondriac with a conscience
    who’d barely come out but to make some nutty spectacle of himself
    then returning to his harrowing writings on the dire overwelming questions.
    While Nietzsche liked to take vast long walks through wilderness
    and fill his lungs with mountain air, then return suffused
    with visions and soar along with his mad laughing science.

    Both, to the best of my observation, were insane.
    So it was interesting to watch them each taught by
    first a hardcore american intellectual and second
    by a devout professionalist hyperchristian.

    And then, just as quickly as it had begun,
    the modern era of philosophy was basically over.
    That was it then, in the late 1800s.
    (Philosophy was always ahead of poetry:)

    John

    Comment by oversion — March 4, 2010 @ 4:54 am

  2. As I re-read this to myself tonight a night later
    watching my own flight from intervening
    even while intervening, and I chuckle self-indulgently

    Comment by oversion — March 5, 2010 @ 5:17 am

  3. cheers to east van

    https://oversion.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/poem-for-the-60s-activists-the-like/

    Comment by oversion — June 18, 2010 @ 2:26 am


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