Saturday, 12 April 2008
I would like to thank everybody who has been involved in the massive surprise I had when opening the blogsite. I was ready for something because the enigmatic Dark Philosopher had left a cryptic text message on my mobile. Organising such a pulling together of all the International Association of Itladian Philosophers (IAIP) was a task of huge proportions. Thanks Karl, it really is appreciated.
Among my presents is Jean-Paul Sartre's Being And Nothingness - weighty tome of 656 pages but a book that I have planned to read for many years. This is a present from my mother-in-law, a true francophile (thank you Veronica).
Now this is where things get a little weird. For the last twenty three years I have had a ritual that I have followed on my birthday. Way back in 1985 I bought a book called The Book of Ages by Desmond Morris. This was not one of his most successful books but still a great idea. Each chapter deals with a year of life. For example for the age 25 it gives lots of info of what physiological, psychological and emtional changes usually take place at that age. It also discusses characters from history for whom huge events took place at that age. It then mentions a short list of selected famous people who died at that age.
On receiving Karl's text I delayed reading the chapter for age 54 to read what was on the blog. I noticed that Karl had specifically mentioned me being born on the day rock music started when Bill Haley recorded Rock Around The Clock. (indeed as an aside on my 20th birthday way back in 1974 the UK newspaper The Daily Mirror had a huge block headline which read "April 12 1954, The Day That Rocked The World". I was so taken by this that I placed it on the wall of my wall at university. Everybody I knew afterwards was convinced that it was a mock headline that I had had done).
After reading through your wonderful comments (and thanks again). I then settled down to breakfast and opened up the pages of the Morris book that dealt with the age 54. I was very depressed (pure Existentialist angst) when I read the following:
Fifty four is the year when 'old age' becomes visible in the distance. Previously out of sight, it now becomes a small speck on the horizon.
Great I thought. Sartre and old age! However what made my heart jump was on the next page (the only picture in the section) was one of Bill Haley, of Rock Around The Clock fame. Apparently he died at age 54. I pointed this out to my wife and she verbalised what I had initially thought. "Well, its not that strange because the article is about 1954". But we both realised that it was strange because the article was about the age 54, not the year 1954.
Yet further proof that we are continually creating our own phaneron from information in our minds - just as the Tom Cruise character David Aames does in the movie Vanilla Sky.