Monday, April 30, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Explanations Come to an End

"Hey there's some really good Gazpacho left in the dining hall"

"I think that's salsa"

"Oh My God I Am Going to Bed."

Chicago Does Not Have Weather

We can predict the weather. What Chicago has is a temporal succession of unrelated phenomena. Chicago weather is pretty much as Hume's skepticism imagined the world. Weather can be talked about. The only possible remark on the environment in Chicago is:

"Can you believe this?"

To which the only rational response is:

"No, I cannot."

Likewise, Chicago weather cannot be said to be threatening, as it is not coherent enough to propose anything. Bullies threaten. Chicago weather simply crashes stark naked through your plate glass window and beats you senseless with a pogo stick singing "Helter Skelter": then it tries to give you a pretty bunny.

Of course one could invent for oneself a manner of speaking and say that Chicago has weather, or even seasons: but this would be much in the same sense one could say that a sandstorm has a constitution.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Minotaur Lives

I am an unfortunate time traveler, not out of any particular personal misfortune, but because all time travel is unfortunate, arriving either too soon or too late.

For Kant, time and space exist necessarily only for human beings as a part of their experience; other creatures come and go as they please, filled with nostalgia for their memories of their future, and only having to buy one kind of glove that fits on either hand.

This is the worst thing about the Martian Invasion: they have no sense of promptness.

So it is with returning to a city after nearly a decade: there a futuristic domes and buildings everywhere and suicide booths in the places where you used to get drunk. The same waiter serves you in Salonica, your favorite diner, only he has gray hair and drives a flying saucer.

I arrived here with very little except suits with holes in them. The first thing I seemed to do was make an immediate tour of all the terrible food I used to love, in what rapidly became some kind of Spurlockian experiment. The University of Chicago often begs the question: heaven, or ironic punishment?

I don't have a bathrobe. I had bathrobes back in Sarasota, but I hated them so much I left them behind. It was illogical, but the idea of toting something big and fluffy that I really hated through the airport appalled me. So I go to the shower in this dormitory in my overcoat and shoes, which gives a Godot like feel to my morning ablutions. Especially when I wear my hat.