Saturday 12 April 2008

Birthday Stuff

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.


Karl Le Marcs said...


Firstly, you are very welcome:
Just my way of saying "Thank You" and bringing us ITLADians together for a special purpose.

But yes, I won't be attempting to organise anything like this again in a hurry!

Now, as you are aware, I am a dedicated Sartreian and I have purposefully avoided dicussing "Being and Nothingness" too much in a CTF light with you or indeed on this blog as I'd like you to draw your own conclusions (which I hazard an educated guess will mirror mine).

Indeed I generally say to people who begin reading Sartre that I look forward to the day when I hear the words "Phenomenological Ontology" coming from their mouths.
(Two words that can silence a room normally)


It's a magnificent book but hardly a laugh a minute

Enjoy your day, your book and your life (never mind what Desmond Morris says), I can show you with pure Mathematics and Hard Science that life gains a renewed energy and a Biorhythmic rebirth at age 58

"Consciousness is a being, the nature of which is to be conscious of the nothingness of its being."
Sartre - Being and Nothingness

Hurlyburly said...

How dare you use the P word infront of this particular sociologist.

Self defeating... i think not!

Karl Le Marcs said...


If we employ relativism to your final statement, "Self defeating...I think not!", oh sociological one, then "I think not" is in itself a self-defeating statement.

*Petard + Hoisted*

And anyway, it was mostly Husserl who formulated Phenomenology but now I'm nit picking at myself !!

*smile and runs away*

Hurlyburly said...

*Implied & Misinerpreted*

walks away....

Karl Le Marcs said...

*removes pipe from mouth*

There was no implication made thereby to be misinterpreted. Any erroneous misinterpretation would only reside in your personal inferration.

As Sartre calls it, "The Reflecting Cartesian Cogito" being self reflective, where its object is not itself but the original consciousness of doubting.

*dons tweed jacket with those leather elbow patch jobbies on*

Karl Le Marcs said...

*Aside: This is great fun ain't it Martin. Verbal and cerebral badinage on a Saturday afternoon - FABULOUS!*

Hurlyburly said...

You had me at hello...


Karl Le Marcs said...

Show me the money indeed, or not.
Let's try and keep the thematic of the original post in context shall we?