It occurs to me that since I am incommunicado, having lost my phone, these little posts can keep people (mostly fam) notified that I am still among the living.
This morning I was taking my BP (which was low by the way), when there came a soft knock on the bathroom door.
“Come in,” I said. The door swung open and there was Eileen and the cat quickly came in the room. I keep the cat out of the room while I take my BP because he likes to nip me in the vulnerable part of my calf as a sort of love bite when I am sitting on the john. It annoys me and almost certainly does not lower my BP.
Anyway, the cat had been bothering Eileen as she lay in bed. She was worried about me since this is unusual behavior in the cat. He usually attends to me quite closely in the morning. I wonder if Eileen expected to come downstairs and find me dead in the bathroom.
Anyway, I’m not dead.
I just ordered a copy of the collection of essays by Peter Sloterdijk, Not Saved: Essays after Heidegger. I have had an interlibrary loaned copy of this book in my hands for a while, long enough to renew it. I read the essay, “The Time of The Crime of The Monstrous: On the Philosophical Justification of the Artificial,” a while back. The first paragraph of this essay has been rattling around in my head. This morning instead of starting with Greek first, I copied the paragraph into my journal by hand to continue pondering. Then I did my Greek.
I looked up “monstrous” and according to the OED it can be used as this kind of noun. It fits the time we live in, does it not? Especially in the USA. I wonder if due to being more connected via tech we are simply more aware of terrible deeds in our current time like violence against young black men and others, not to mention ongoing wars and the brutal treatment of peoples cast out from their homelands.
Sloterdijk points out we don’t have the alibi of not knowing anymore, if we ever did.
“The mental trauma of the Modern Age is not the loss of the middle, but rather the loss of distance from the many others” he writes a little later in this essay.
Just before this he counts off six world “languages” that have been established in our time:
2. the dollar
3. multinational brands
4. popular music
5. the news
6. abstract art
I have read a little Heidegger but not enough to understand Sloterdijk’s commentary on him. However, his ideas, like Dan Sigel’s ideas on the mind, give me something to chew over. Both help me understand this bewildering time a tad more.
It also helps to find wonderful music. My brother brought my attention to the work of Brad Mehldau.
On this album Mehldau plays a piece by Bach then he plays something he himself made up (improvised?) using the material of that piece. His musical language is classical/pop/jazz in these pieces and is quite nice (thank you Mark).