Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hello, My Name Is Peter Johnston, And I'm In DS

This was your reaction to all the SCOTUS news, right?
The three branches of the American government work in a similar way. The legislative is the appetitive: it is the origin of many competing proposals. It provides the raw material upon which the other branches of government will work. The judicial is the rational: it deliberates upon the legislative proposals, determining which should be struck down, and which should be remain. Finally, the executive is the spirited: it enforces and carries out the desires approved by the judicial.
Okay look, I get it, it seemed really cool when your H/P section leader explained the metaphor in the Republic. The earth didn't move for me, but whatever, our passions are not morally assessable, as you'll learn from Hume's Treatise next semester. Here's the thing. There are two ways this could work out for you. If you're lucky, you'll get really embarrassed about sucking Socrates off like no one since Alcibiades just as soon as you read the Politics and realize that Aristotle actually has all the answers to everything ever. It's okay. Most of us behave like schoolgirls around the first thinkers we encounter---though rushing into a YDN column about it was probably not a wise move, and quite frankly it seems a little gay.

If you're not lucky, you're already infected, in which case likening things to Delino Deshields' tripartite theory of the soul will keep coming up as frequently as a herpes outbreak. Before you know it, you'll be racked with a juggler's OCD about breaking up groups of three. ("You've got three apples? I guess I can't have one.---Mitch Hedburg). What's worse, if you're unable to get over Platocratestotle, it probably means you've joined the Party of the Right. And that isn't going to get you laid.

I'm writing this because your mom and dad and I are concerned.


At 2:00 PM, Blogger Nostradamus said...

Was this supposed to be like the Matt Damon rant in GWH?

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i find it disturbing and revealing that your response to a naive ydn column is not to say "This is ridiculous" or (if you went so far as to take it seriously) "This argument is a bad one," but to suggest that its author lacks the intellectual poise which, apparently, you possess. your own ydn columns, contrary to whatever delusions you have about your own subtlety and fairness, rarely do more than attempt to coerce and re-hash the same position over and over again; you interpret and judge politics in terms of a single criterion, individual rights; and you seem more interested in styling yourself a public intellectual than in cultivating genuine debate.


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