Monday, September 28, 2020

Dark Tower Re-Read, Book 6: Song of Susannah


Stephen King's Dark Tower series has become one of my favorites in recent years. My re-read of the series continues with Book 6: Song of Susannah. What did I think the second time around? Is this my favorite Dark Tower book? Find out below!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Birthdays and Deathdays: 2020 Edition


From the show Metalocalypse

It has become my tradition on this blog to write a post on my birthday. This tradition began in 2015, when I wrote a post called "Birthdays and Deathdays." I wrote something of a sequel in 2019 with "Birthdays, Deathdays, Climate Change, and Humanity."

I'm still thinking of a lot of those same issues here in 2020. But the pandemic also makes everything weird-but-not-in-a-good-way, not to mention continuing racial injustice and an impending, increasingly terrifying election here in the US.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Lovecraft Country is US: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff


If you're looking for a response/retelling of a specific H. P. Lovecraft story, I'd recommend The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (which is a direct response to one of Lovecraft's most xenophobic stories, "The Horror at Red Hook"). 

That's not what you get with Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country, but that's okay. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Racism and the Discipline of Philosophy



I’m writing this as part of my participation in the Scholar Strike for Racial Justice, taking place on Sept. 8 and 9, 2020. You can learn more about that here and here 

In writing about racism and the discipline of philosophy, there are two relevant senses of “discipline.”


One sense involves the ways that individuals are disciplined to maintain the borders of philosophy: who is and isn’t allowed to exist within those borders, and who is and isn’t allowed to be comfortable within those borders.


The other sense is the more familiar sense of philosophy as an academic discipline.


The first sense is felt by others far more than it is felt by me, so I will leave this first sense to the side in most of what follows. I recommend starting with resources such as this and this, or this excellent post by Alexus McLeod that connects the two senses.


While there are still some within the discipline of philosophy in the second sense who would deny that our discipline disciplines individuals in the first sense, I suspect most philosophers will at least admit we have some work to do when it comes to attracting more women and people of color to the discipline. 


It may be more contentious among my fellow philosophers to suggest that racism has much to do with our discipline in the second sense. After all, how can race have much to do with plumbing the eternal verities? Isn’t philosophy about problems that arise for any thinking person, with solutions meant to be as general and context-free as possible? (Forgive me, continentals, I know not what I do, although I often wonder about the abstraction of things like the human condition or the Animal or the carceral state or whatever … the impulse to philosophical abstraction is maybe almost as strong even if it has a French or German accent).


But what if the very idea of “the discipline of philosophy” is itself constructed from racist assumptions?  

Monday, September 7, 2020

Pandemic Journal, Part 13: 13 is Still Luckier than 2020


My longtime pandemic journal continues with Part 13 (well, it feels like a long time, but it hasn't even been six months...). You can see some of my previous entries here and here.

What do I think about the new school year in these strange days, the 2020 US Presidential election, reading Frankenstein, the labor movement, and other things? Read on to find out!

And of course there's the real reason most of you are here: the memes! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Random Thoughts, Part 11: Pandemic, Politics, Philosophy, and Other Random Things

Made at:

My random thoughts continue! In Part 10, I got up to #221, so I'm picking up with 222 here in Part 11. Even though these are random, a lot of them focus on the pandemic, politics, and philosophy, but that's how randomness works... or is it? Anyway, there's also one about mustard, so maybe it really is random. Enjoy!