Thursday, December 26, 2013

Drawing Philosophy

Philosophy Time
Adventure Time is already philosophical, so why not make it official?
I have lately rediscovered my love of drawing, and since I am supposed to be spending my time working on philosophy, I thought why not fuse the two activities by drawing philosophers.  

Admittedly, I'm not good with hands, but there is something about Nietzsche that makes a paw seem appropriate...
As you might imagine, Nietzsche has been my main preoccupation (his mustache is just too damn hard to resist, but I have been trying to branch out.

It's either Kant or Sylvester Stallone doing a period piece...
If you like these, you might like my deviantART page, where you can see some more of my work and even buy some of it.  

Kierkegaard and Kant both have surprisingly pouty lips...
I have noticed myself noticing more since I started drawing again, and in particular noticing how one can see the world as to-be-drawn.  When I look around now I can feel my hand preparing to draw what I'm looking at, leading me to further notice things about what I'm looking at—such as curves, intersections, shadows—that I had not noticed before.

I tried my hand at David...
To try Michelangelo's Nietzsche...

I have similarly begun to notice things about the philosophers themselves that I had not noticed before—such as how pouty were the lips of Kant and Kierkegaard, or the evolution of Nietzsche's magnificent 'stache.  Perhaps drawing philosophers is indeed a way to get to know the philosophers in a way that their works alone could not provide...
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Monday, December 2, 2013

It All Started With Marx

"Once upon a time there was no such thing as Communism. People ignorantly toiled and saved, hoping to Get Ahead like the heroes in Horatio Alger's books, which they forgot were fiction. Frequently, blinded by sentimentality, they left money to their Loved Ones. When this was done on a large scale, it led to the accumulation of huge fortunes, like those of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford, which some harebrained member of the younger generation was sure to squander on public libraries and housing projects."
Thus begins Richard Armour's It All Started With Marx. I recently came across this book in a used bookstore in Fairport, NY, which, either because they did not realize the value of this book, or because, having read the book they came to disdain money and greed, they only charged $4 for it. As it unfortunately appears to no longer be in print, I have reproduced some of the many delightful anecdotes, as well as illustrations by Campbell Grant, for you below. At the very least they should help spruce up your Marx lecture power points.

Marx and Engels, from the book cover
"Karl Marx was born in the Rhineland city of Trier, early on the morning of May 5, 1818. It was an ungodly hour, which may explain Marx's later attitude toward religion. He awoke everyone with his cries, and few realized that even then he was complaining about the injustice of it all."

"[Rasputin] was finally murdered by a group of conservative noblemen who believed in paying their way. they had to poison him, shoot him, and drown him before he gave up. Then he died of a broken heart, suddenly aware of his unpopularity."

"What qualified Marx for his proletariat (he already had his baccalaureate) was the work he did with his hands. Bending over a desk in the public library, he lifted ideas out of books from morning till night."

"At any rate Marx set out to give the laboring class a chance to suffer in a new way. He spread his doctrine far and wide, and sometimes spread it pretty thin. When he was not lecturing, he wrote feverishly. He had a genius for being pithy. Frequently he could boil down a simple idea and state it in 400 pages."

"[Lenin] took to reading Das Kapital. This he did in the kitchen, probably because reading about poverty made him hungry and he wanted to be where he could grab a bite of kavkaski shasslik before starting the next chapter."

"Comrades, now the world is yours,
Gently flow its open sewers.
If a corpse goes floating,
Yours is not to reason why.
If you do, much though we sorrow,
You'll be in there, too, tomorrow."

"As we look back over the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, the Whites and the Reds, the purgers and the purged, we must leave the reader with one final thought. There are those who feel a certain nostalgia for the good old days of Ivan the Terrible, who had never read Marx and had no use for the proletariat. At least you could go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, secure in the knowledge of whom to hate."

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