Friday, January 31, 2014

Young Woman miraculously ignores her Beauty and studies Philosophy

Dateline: PITTSBURGH—Lisa Prettysweet, an achingly beautiful 26-year old, stunned her family and friends by showing the slightest interest in philosophy. Predictably, her reading of philosophy has made her more skeptical, pessimistic, and cynical and her parents are convinced that somewhere along the line, some dark miracle has brought about this ruinous diversion.

“I see no other explanation,” says Lisa’s father. “What the hell are her genes thinking, allowing this to happen? Already, she’s turned down job offers because they don’t live up to her newfangled ideals. Soon she’ll still be single but she’ll also be homeless and a couple decades from now, when she’s lost her youthful beauty, she’ll no longer have her golden ticket to fame and fortune.”

A hunchbacked academic philosopher, Joseph Bitterman, is also perplexed by Miss Prettysweet. “The mystery,” he says, “is how anyone could willingly surrender such a natural advantage for so paltry a reward as philosophical insight. Beauty earns you tangible goods such as success in all your endeavours, whereas philosophy is just consolation for the downtrodden. If you’re not in dire straits, you’ve no need for consolation. However, if you learn the dark philosophical truths, pretty soon you will find yourself miserable and then you’ll need more and more philosophy. So you’ll have entered the trap, but you’ll have done it to yourself. Why would anyone do that?”

One evolutionary psychologist sees Lisa’s peculiar interest as an extreme case of self-sacrifice. “I don’t go in much for Christian theology,” he says, “but if I were so inclined I might get down on my knees and worship this weirdly altruistic young woman. Jesus gave up only his heavenly father’s kingdom, which obviously doesn’t exist; and anyway, Jesus supposedly got it all back when he was resurrected.

“But the blessed Lisa Prettysweet is sacrificing her physical beauty, something which is obviously real. And she won’t ever get it back. Thanks to philosophy, all she’ll be left with is knowledge of life’s absurdity. Fat lot of good that will do her when her face is all wrinkled and her breasts are saggy! Turning your back on heaven to help out some conquered desert tribe is all very moral. But throwing away the chance to earn millions of dollars thanks to your having won the cosmic lottery, with full lips, large eyes, and a flat belly? That’s just insane.”

However, Lisa is not insane. When she first began reading philosophy as a teenager, her parents assumed she was developing a mental illness and they took her to a therapist. “Without anyone forcing this on her, she started reading Nietzsche,” relates the therapist. “I agree this is baffling, considering her beauty, but I ran all the standard tests and despite that anomalous and counterproductive interest in philosophy, her mental faculties are normal.”

Asked why she bothers to study philosophy when she could be entrancing the average person with her good looks, Lisa Prettysweet smiled, shook her head slowly, and turned and looked out the window.

7 comments:

  1. Could you please write about your struggles with angst and disillusionment at a young age? I'm a really conflicted person and I feel like my brain is always in a civil war. Reading your articles has helped me articulate many latent ideas in my head and I feel like the left side of my brain will soon route the coalition of frightful memories and animalistic urges.

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    1. Actually, I wasn't so angst-ridden at a young age. I wasn't popular, so I was bullied a little and I remember that even before I got into philosophy, through philosophy of religion in high school, I felt like an outsider studying people rather than joining in. So I've always been more introverted than extroverted, but as a young person I didn't have any of the ideas I have now and I was distracted by my hormones, thanks to puberty. Most of my thoughts at a young age were just lustful ones, comparing the breasts and rear-end sizes of girls in my classes, scheming how I could brush up against my hot math teacher, and so on. Those sorts of juvenile fantasies. So I was too horny to feel alienated.

      Still, there are other, special reasons for my alienation that wouldn't be relevant to most people and that I'm not comfortable talking about. They have to do with my experience of mental illness.

      If you have debilitating frightful memories and animalistic urges, you might need to see a therapist or a doctor. Remember that I'm just some philosophical guy on the internet. I have no expertise as a social worker, although I hope readers benefit from my writings in any way they can. It's just that your expectations should be realistic.

      Regarding the animalistic urges, if they're somehow troubling I wonder whether sublimation might be the answer: express them through some form of art (writing fiction, painting, music, etc).

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    2. I don't know how you get the time to write so much, most blog writers could not be bothered writing to some anonymous commenter from some far-off node on the internet who they will never know and likely never hear from again.

      I often wonder about how many great minds have walked this Earth and contemplated marvelous things, only to never write any of them down and take them to the grave. I am truly thankful for stumbling upon this blog after Googling "Why Canadians are boring", reading an incredibly interesting article, and then realizing that I had found a treasure trove of equally fascinating material. Please keep doing what you're doing, I only hope that this trail of philosophy you're following leads to fulfillment and peace of mind.

      As for my earlier comment, the frightful memories and the animalistic urges were meant to imply something much more benign, although I can see how they could cause alarm. By memories I mean the lifetime of experience involving social alienation and familial separation that has left me feeling isolated and contemplating the tragedy of the atomistic age we live in. By animalistic urges I was referring to sexual compulsions, although there are many other vices to be sure (in terms of causing unhappiness). I realize you are not a social worker, nor do I trust them to begin with, so I will not spill a host of issues onto someone who already has enough to deal with. Oh, woe is the arrow of time, if only we had an eternity to talk and discuss without the interruptions of biological consumption and decay.

      Anyways, I plan on catching up on all your posts, since I believe they will increase my value as a human being by some margin, and hopefully demolish some of the noble lies I have unwittingly bought into for my 22 years of being a parasite on the underbelly of the undead god.

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    3. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad to hear your problems aren't so bad. If you're looking to catch up on my writings, you might try out my eBooks, which collect my writings in PDF form. You can find them at the top of the blog in the horizontal menu, between Satirical News and Videos.

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    4. Anon, in regards to sex, it's probably worth thinking in terms of how would the woman (or man, if that's the case) feel about it and how would they want you to relate to them? If you figure that out, you might be able to find someone who actually thinks that way and you have something in common with each other. The first part is to think how someone else would want to be treated and respected. Otherwise your sexual impulses are just clawing at the air, wanting and clawing, searching simply to have like one might have an object.

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  2. 'Dark Miracle' should be the name of a heavy metal band.

    It's a shame no one asks he why she is monomaniacal on doing just one, rather than a mix of both worlds? But the askers are monomaniacal too, just as she appears to be.

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    1. That would be a cool band name.

      I suppose she is monomaniacal, but the problem is that there's a classic, platonic conflict here between pursuing intellectual versus worldly goods. There are different skill-sets involved; indeed, philosophy calls for certain virtues which would be disadvantages in the sexual or business fields. The woman here is appalled by those who objectify her because of her beauty. She's bored by them, which is why she looks out the window at the end. She'd like to be elsewhere.

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