I’ve recently decided to leave academic philosophy, and one of my first thoughts, after the decision had been cemented, regarded starting a blog.1 Rather: I wanted to write. Rather: I wanted to write about some things I cared about, in a way that would self-satisfy, even if it didn’t match the ordinary polish of academic work. Some of these things are articulations of old boozy arguments I had with good friends, and some of them are things that I wanted to say to facebook ranters, but I lacked the patience and courage for the inevitable tidal reply.
Mostly, I wanted to write about the things I listened to, the games I played, and the thoughts I had while scrolling tumblr. I wanted to put content to those thoughts, and see if they might be justified.
See, I’m an utter failure at Boston salon parties.2 Whenever someone tries to make a point thoroughly, I find myself losing all interest in the monologue and wishing instead that they’d just spit out their bibliography so I could read the book that they are quoting, because they are quoting, and too often I feel like interlocutors think they’ve secured some SmartPoints™, some originality, because they conceal their sources. Books must be taken seriously, but they can also be set aside, and disagreed with thoroughly.3 In conversation, the theatre of personality seems to always carry the day. But I like to chat, and I am a big personality, and I love when conversation consists in honest hunches. That’s all I ever seem to give, and that’s part of why I’m a failure among big-word talkers — I am suspicious of anything longer than a paragraph, and dislike answering questions when I don’t think the medium is suited to it, so I only cut in with a bit of boozy humor or sass.
But I might also be a coward.4
What I’ve mentioned, so far, has just sounded like academic after-hours. But that’s not really what I’d like to write about here. I’d like to write about a good thought, a good worry, with uncowardly thoroughness. I get these good worries more often from albums you’ve heard of and games you’ve already beaten.
Ergo ‘Hits.’ Hit songs are so cool that it’s uncool to care about them. Getting hit hurts. I’ve found most of my mental life involves being struck by pop culture in a way that leaves me uneasy, and here, I’d like to settle some of that.
- Funnily, also: ‘Finally, I’ll have enough time to read philosophy!’ My father told me once that he decided to delay law school after he dosed on LSD and said to himself, ‘You can’t apply to law school, you’re not thinking in straight lines.’ ↩
- I’ve found astounding improvement in my party experiences if I remember to get drunk in the shower first. ↩
- I keep saying that word. Some people call me Henry David Thorough.