Monday, July 8, 2013

Abouting your passions! A Ring for Philosophical Satire

Q: This ring is closed, but I can still join it? What's the reasoning behind this?

A: Yes, this ring is closed, but you can still join it. Just go to my personal mailing list, tell me that you'd like to join this ring, and tell me what the url is for your site. When I have time, I'll take a look at it, mull the decision over, and if I like what I see, I'll open up the ring for you and invite you to join.

This is a more practical approach for a few reasons. The interest served by this ring is an esoteric one, so applications will be coming in infrequently, if at all. (I'm just hoping to see at least one). Checking daily for applications that, if I'm lucky, will be coming in yearly, would just be aggravating, as would be waiting forever for me to get around to logging in and acting on your application. While some ringmasters would solve this sort of problem by setting up some sort of automatic approval mechanism, we should all know where that will lead: to a ring choked with spam, with the worthwhile sites lost in all of that mess.

This approach minimizes frustration for both of us, and since I am vetting for quality, I can't really make this as a snap decision, anyway. What is good, in a creative work, is what grows on the reader, and some fixed brief time frame doesn't allow one to make that judgement; I'll be reading your entire site before approving it, and that takes time.

Q: "What does the title, 'abouting your passion' mean?"

A: Ah, grasshopper, wisdom is not to be found in the answer, but in its pursuit. You should not, therefore, seek my meaning, but the meaning for this phrase which is to be found within you.

OK, actually the title doesn't mean anything, but doesn't it sound like it should? I jotted down the first meaningless thing that popped into my head as I looked at a list of rings, the name of one of which started with the word "about", coincidentally enough, and the meaninglessness is part of the joke. What I'm mocking is Postmodernism, its rejection of meaning, and the foolish embrace of the arbitrary implied by this. If there are no meanings, then why not just jot down any random bit of gibberish that pops into one's head? The very fact that almost everybody will be left going "huh?" at this point makes my point: that Postmodernism isn't a serious philosophy, however fashionable paying lip service to it may be at the time of this writing. It is so much timewasting posturing, an argument best replied to with silence, because in the absence of real controversy, no other response is warranted.

It is amazing to me how such a vacuous failure to philosophize can be taken so seriously as a philosophy, that so many have so much trouble seeing out of the conceptual box it leaves them in. Believe it or not, My Postmodern Art Gallery, the first site I put on this ring, when it was first show to people was reacted to as if it were a serious online exhibition. "Are the images just fading out, symbolising the transitoriness of nature" somebody asked, about something that should clearly be taken as mockery. The person writing this seemed like a nice enough guy, so I couldn't feel good about laughing at him, but privately I was certainly rolling my eyes. I just couldn't help it.

That's what this ring is about - those moments in which somebody who claims to be a philosopher (and in some cases, perhaps claims this with some measure of justification) gets so carried away with himself that your eyes can not help but roll. Share with us your moment of unreality by taking those ideas and pushing them to their absurd logical conclusion. You know you want to, and now there's a ring for you to do so on.

I hope that answers all questions. Have fun.