It is impossible to have -


Sorry. It is impossible to have any prolong -

Be right back. There’s some clacking upstairs.

Okay; he was thrashing a stuffed animal up and down to break its neck, I presume, and the big plastic eyes were hitting the floor. No, he can’t eat them. Don’t worry. As i was saying, it is impossible to have any prolonged thought, or concentrated effort on anything, because


He’s getting rangy. Those legs were made for loping. But oh so damned cute; when he gets something to play with and dances across the lawn, or lifts up a paw to say hello, or tilts his head because you’re saying something that might be important. All those puppy things. Adorable, of course . . . annnnd daughter just texted to say she’ll be at the friend’s cabin for another night. So that’s four straight days of having a madcap spirit romp through my days causing mayhem, just like some ancient legend of a trickster spirit, except the ancient trickster spirits were not running away with your wife’s favorite sandal.

Checked the Arts and Letters Daily for some erudition today ;saw a link to a piece on Martin Heidegger’s final works, just released. We all know Martin; boozy begged who could drink you under the table, as the Monty Python philosophy song put it. But I confess to knowing little about his ideas.

I am not sure I missed much. In the annals of codswallop, this towers supreme:

When pressed to define the pivotal notion of “Being” in one of the key texts of his later period, the 1947 “Letter on Humanism,” Heidegger wrote:

Man does not decide whether and how beings appear, whether and how God and the gods or history and nature come forward into the lighting of Being, come to presence and depart. The advent of beings lies in the destiny of Being.

It is impossible to know how one might verify or even evaluate such a statement.

I suspect that wasn’t the point. You were supposed to take it and like it. The article concerns the anti-Semitism of Heidegger, and how the publication of recent texts the philosopher intended to be the capstone of his output reveals that he didn’t have the easy, lazy cultural anti-Semitism of the era, but really, really thought hard on how the Jews were putting the stick to the decent noble Volk. Not just any kind of Jews, though: worldwide jewry! It’s the richest kind.

It takes a particular kind of mind to write this, in Germany, in the Thirties:

Russia and America are the same, with the same dreary technological frenzy and the same unrestricted organization of the average man. The lives of men . . . slide into a world which lacked the depth from out of which the essential always comes . . . The prevailing dimension became that of extension and number. Intelligence no longer meant a wealth of talent, lavishly spent, but only what could be learned by everyone . . . This is the onslaught of what we call the demonic (in the sense of destructive evil).

Anything that starts out with “Russia and America are the same” is the product of a mind so high in the clouds it cannot tell the different between red and black ants. But while Russia did indeed have “unrestricted organization of the average man,” an inevitable consequence of the state’s politicization of the entire society, you could say Germany under Hitler had a smattering as well. Or a gerschmatturung, to use Heidegger’s word. Just kidding; he doesn’t. But the article is full of German words intended to set off a Concept, as though expressing a concept in a train-wreck of consonants makes it important. I suppose the point is to be accurate, use the terms the author uses so there can be no misunderstanding. But for my part that would require anything close to comprehension, and I cannot grasp a lot of what Heidegger is talking about, perhaps because there seems to be no point in understanding what he's saying.


In Heidegger’s view, another hypocritical aspect of World Jewry is that, whereas “since time immemorial, the Jews, relying on their express talents for calculation, have ‘lived’ according to the principle of race, they now seek to defend themselves against that same principle’s unrestricted application”—a reference to the Nazis’ draconian and persecutory racial legislation.

Someone in the comments noted that the author of the piece is a fraud and a hack, and sure ol’ Marty may have some bad patches, but “Being and Time” is a great book. I have to admit that by the time I got 2/3rds of the way through the piece I wondered why were going on so long about this fellow, since the man’s work seems to consist of airy pronouncements and unprovable theses. From a wikipedia page:

Roger Scruton stated that: "His major work Being and Time is formidably difficult—unless it is utter nonsense, in which case it is laughably easy. I am not sure how to judge it, and have read no commentator who even begins to make sense of it.”

This got me clicking on some other varieties of philosophy; each had its appeal, and its strangeness, and its schisms.

In the late 1930s, logical positivists fled Germany and Austria for Britain and America. By then, many had replaced Mach's phenomenalism with Neurath's physicalism, and Carnap had sought to replace verification with simply confirmation.

You can sum up the mistakes of many by replacing verification with confirmation. Seems a nice little slight of hand, though, and it got old Carnap in the books. Mach and Neurath must have groused a bit.

There is very little of this that explains anything. Or accomplishes anything other than coming up with a new doctrine for someone to reject. I am, at the moment, across from a great construction site, where a structure will emerge. The site is full of men in similar garb. No one appears to have a plan in their hand; each has in their heads a series of actions which will produce a particular outcome. They have specific training. It would be possible to sit at this window and watch them for the next two years and conclude that their efforts, from the excavation of the site to the moment the building was opened for tenants, simply arose organically from their actions without a plan. This would be a reasonable conclusion from someone who knew nothing of how buildings were made, and was also quite stupid. But even the most dim among us knows there has to be a plan, even though there’s absolutely no evidence of it whatsoever on the site.

Ah, you say, you’re in Inferentialist. That school of thought was discredited by Logical Implicationators at the famous Oxford debate in 1957. Yes, yes, but there are some of us who persist. In caves and cafes, we carry on! The day shall come!

Aren’t we all Inferentialists, in a way? We see the built world, and infer that it was constructed on purpose according to innumerable plans. We infer from the circular cut of a sidewalk that there once was a stout tree trunk here. We see shattered glass at an intersection and infer an accident. All of life is inference. Of course, this is different from Assumptionism.

Bloody splitters.




I'm guessing this ends with someone falling out a high window, and it's either Cap, the District Attorney, or Spunky Gal Sidekick Dale:


If you recall, he was engaged in one of those automotive gun-battles, and Matson - you know, Matson! - shot out one tire, and he went over the cliff. Or rather his car did; anyone familiar with this feature, or serials in general, know he was out the door of the car at least ten minutes before the car went over. And that’s what happens.

I don’t know why anyone ever considered the Cliffhangers to be Cliffhangers. A Cliffhanger would be something where a guy is hanging from a cliff, and you tune in the next week to see if he falls. If we see the guy go over the cliff, it is not a cliffhanger. There is no hanging.

So what the devil is left with this thing? Finding the Scarab, I guess. Unmasking him, and figuring out that he was the guy Captain District America had spent the last 10 episodes bringing into his confidence. Well, there’s only two left, so the Scarab has to come up with some other ridiculous idea that attempt to get rid of the District Attorney by luring him to a house and locking the door, filling the room with gas, setting the house on fire, and blow it up. You know, one of those little schemes so subtle and devious no one would ever figure it out.

Well, we switch to the nation's rails, wheresits one of the principal backers of the Mayan expedition, the existence of which peeved off the Scarab for reasons long forgotten. It’s one of the things they drop in now and then to tie everything together.

Now we know why:

Butterfingers. Anyway, he says the other part of the map belongs to Dr. Maldor, which gives the serial an excuse to bring him back in. Captain DA says “I must protect Dr. Maldor from the Scarab” and calls him right away to tell him about the half-map situation.

Turns out Maldor didn’t know he had half the map. He tells a minion to get the Mayan tablet.

Yes, genuine Mayan hieroglyphics. Malodor invents a scheme: he’ll tell Captain Attorney that the half-map has been stone! Then, when the District Attorney leaves him alone in his office, he’ll plants some sort of device with a timer. No idea. Apparently some sort of listening device that lets him find out where the other guy with the map is. The DA goes back to his office where the henchman is listening to the playback; gunfire. The District Attorney kills another man. Shoots him in the back, actually. At this point he does not give a tin crap.

But Matson has the other Explorer Guy at gunpoint by now, so jeez, sure, why not. Put on the costume. Cap and Matson have a fistfight. Again. And there’s another guy. Again. Thank heavens he’s the winner of the Capital City Slow Reflex Competition:

It’s like he’s fighting Mr. Atoz.

Then Matson - who was DEAD a few episodes, recall - picks up Captain America to throw him out the window. Hence the Skyscraper part of the title, one presumes. Ah! It’s all clear now!

How long does Matson have him hanging out the window? Several hours, it seems.

Annnnd cliffhanger:

Hard to see how he'll edit out of this one! I mean get out of this one.


What the hell else has he been doing all this time, if I may ask? But next week's our Exciting Conclusion! After that, it's something else in this spot, because I know you're all tired of serials.

Kidding. You're stuck with this feature for the entirely of 2014, and you'll take it and like it.

The weekly batch of Motels; Lint around noon; work blog at


Good boy.




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