End of Daft Punk

    Daft Punk announced their cessation today. 20 years ago their song 'Aerodynamic' sucked me into the world of electronic music and I have not cared much about other genres since then. The poetics of electronic music is not trapped in any abstruse movement but a primordial rhythm. This very accessibility has often been derided as being devoid of any substance but artists like Daft Punk have laid bare the emptiness of that argument and even their 'epilogue' does it.

I'll mark this moment (too) with a few words for now: of the many regrets in my life, missing out their concert in Toronto in 2007 will always rank high. So much so that I had mentioned to my friends several times that I'd spend a significant portion of my savings to watch them live when they tour again, no matter which part of the world it happens to be. A sentiment like that is atypical if not antithetical for me but once in a while our ideology, convictions and ethics give way to our cravings and indulgences, where we embrace the eternally flawed being within us. Only that this one would have easily survived the self-effacement and conscientious scrutiny that follow such 'lapses'.

For someone who's obsessed about 'punctuating memories' (putting in quotes here because it might appear again in another format, in the future) it's the absence of one that will stay with me.

Edit, Feb 25:

This is the epic tour  

More people in the same boat.

 


Learning To Die: Episode 3 - Socratic Method and Plato's Dialogues

This episode is a primer to Plato's Dialogues.

Edit, Feb 22:  Had a bad fall and re-injured my back again a couple of weeks ago. Not sure when I'll be able to continue this.

Learning To Die: Episode 2 - Socrates in The Clouds

In this episode we get a glimpse of Socrates in his early years; discuss Aristophanes's The Clouds and way he portrays Socrates in the play.

Learning To Die: Episode 1 - The Pre-Socratics

 

In this episode I discuss the origins of Western Philosophy; a few basic philosophical ideas in general and go over some key Pre-Socratic thinkers and their major thoughts.

Learning To Die: Preface

This episode is the preface to my new podcast series on Western philosophy: Learning To Die; இறத்தல் அறிதல் in Tamil. 

I think it'd be redundant to type out what I've discussed in the podcast but it is, perhaps, prudent to disabuse the uneasiness the title is likely to cause.

The title is inspired by what Plato says in the Phaedo: "…those who practice philosophy in the right way are in training for dying". Montaigne rewrote that as "to learn to philosophize is to learn to die" in one of his essays. The are some well known metaphorical readings of Plato's words but my reasons aren't just that.

I hope all listeners start with this episode so they know what they could expect from the series and orient their engagement accordingly. 

Note: This blog will only be temporary 'host' for the podcast series until I get to setting up a dedicated site.

Like a tree

When this blog is scoured for 'evidence' in the future, let it be known that the following chapter -- from  Kim Stanley Robinson's book, The Ministry for the Future -- encapsulates a scene that has played out in my mind for decades.

We were on the lakefront in Brissago, on the Swiss side of Lake
Maggiore, partying on the lawn of Cinzia’s place, just above the narrow
park between her property and the lake. She had a celebrity chef there
who cooked with a welder’s torch he used to fire at the bottom of big
frypans he held in the air, and a band with a brass section, and a light
show and all that. Altogether a righteous party, and lots of happy people
there, skewing young because that’s the way Cinzia likes it.
    But the narrow stretch of grass between her lawn and the lake was a
public park, and as we partied we saw a guy down there on the shore,
just standing there staring up at us. Some kind of beachcomber dude,
holding a piece of driftwood. Nothing Cinzia’s security could do about
him, they told us. Actually they could have if they wanted to, but they
didn’t. The local police might make trouble if someone were objected to
for just standing on a public beach. This is what one of them told us
when we told him to make the guy go away. The guy was skinny and
bedraggled and he just kept staring, it was offensive. Like some kind of
Bible guy laying his morality on us.
    So finally a few of us went down there to do what the security team
ought to have done, and send this guy packing. Edmund led the way as
usual, he was the one most annoyed, and we followed along because
when he was annoyed Edmund could be really funny.
    The guy watched us come up to him and didn’t move an inch, didn’t
say a word. It was a little weird, I didn’t like it.
    Edmund got in the guy’s face and told him to leave.
    The guy said to Edmund something like, You fuckers are burning up
the world with your stupid games.
    Edmund laughed and said, “Dost thou think because thou art virtuous,
there shall be no more cakes and ale?”
    We laughed at that, but then this guy hit Edmund with the chunk of
driftwood he was holding, so fast we had no time to react. Edmund went
down like a tree, didn’t get his hands up or anything, just boom. He had
been cold-cocked.
    The guy held his piece of wood out at us and we froze. Then he
tossed it at us and took off right into the lake, swimming straight out into
the night. We didn’t know what to do— no one wanted to swim off after
a nut like that, not in the dark, and besides we were concerned about
Edmund. It just looked bad, the way he went down. Like a tree. Cinzia’s
security finally joined us, but they only wanted to hold the perimeter,
they didn’t chase the guy either. They took over checking out Edmund,
and when they did that they quickly got on their phones. An ambulance
showed up in about five minutes and took him away. After that it was a
couple of hours before we got word. We couldn’t believe it. Edmund was
dead.

Chipper is dead

Chipper passed away a couple of days ago (September 12, 2.30 AM) due to heart failure caused by pericardial effusion. There were no prior signs. He was playing in the park nearby when he suddenly stopped and collapsed. The vets in the emergency clinic could not save him.

I used to dread this day from the time I kissed him on his tiny forehead the first time, nine years ago. I knew that his death will affect me like nothing else could. It is hard to explain the relationship I had with him even to those who have had 'dog children'. I'm not in a mental state to write anything else at this point but I wanted to mark this moment.

 

 
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