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The Ladder Disappears...

Digesting Wittgenstein and applying it or not applying it to the speech of Sarah Palin.  Or, the "I am that I am" candidate.

Wittgenstein in his Tractatus says many things that may often be misappropriated into other things. As the bible is often used, so can the isolated items in his text fuel the imagination and serve as points of departure for agendas of desire that are no part of his intent.  This can happen because logic is the background of his work. It is what cannot be described, but what is natural, what is given. As humans we are constantly attaching some purpose, need, hierarchy to logic that should not be there. His goal for philosophy is that it should identify its own limits, that it must indicate where we go astray. Further, that we must wean ourselves from attempting to say what cannot logically be said. 

Ironically, in his quest to relieve us of the burden of conflating logic with a hierarchy of made-up philosophical propositions-- he uses a list of made-up philosophical propositions.  Thus, once one has read through the material, he is told that the propositions are merely  the ladder to reach a higher awareness, and now they can be seen as false, and made to vanish.  Your classic sky hook!

Wittgenstein wants us to question whether a thought, statement, or question should be valid, should be engaged in at all, should be pursued.   The real is real and there is nothing to ask about it.  Like, for instance: is it really real?  After all, what good is meaningless talk about things that cannot logically be  valid?  In such a world, I wonder though of what use poetry could be?

Whether fiction is real or not, logical or not, I think writers can gain something from his words. A grip on knowing what is real or not real within a specific context of a work of art?  I also agree with something he said somewhere that  the myriad things of the world individually are not mysterious, it is the very existence of anything at all that is mysterious.

I used to say for fun: If you are not confused, you are not paying attention.  I suppose that, moving on to politics, the gap between the reality of things that "merely are" and the things that are said to be important in the political arena is about as large a gap as might be contained in a human mind without forcing a psychotic break.  Politicians new to the lofty heights of  "poli-speak" like Palin-- she is probably the text-book case-- will speak in a confusion of overlapping contexts. This is her reality, and perhaps it reveals her honesty more than an intellectual disability that she speaks that way.

Palin-speak thus disappears.  I am glad she was able to make enough of her views known, honestly, that America made an informed decision.  Next time around I doubt that the rawness will stll be there.  She will be much better packaged, and handled like Bush has been. There have been many notable language melt-downs with Bush on occasions where he has been left to his own devices. But the formula of  "speech writers + figureheads" creates a "professional" image that says more about the image-maker's professionalism than the product-candidate it cloaks.

So I guess I would actually like to see more candidates that have not been "airbrushed" by an advertising firm, sanitized, silenced, or made sweet-smelling to the public.  Or else, in some a future dystopia, why have a living candidate at all? Let ad agencies vie for the presidency. The winner just sets up a life-size cardboard  image in the oval office for the next four years to use in all picture opportunities, and sometimes with products that the government endorses to reduce the tax burden.


Nov. 23rd, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Kleinwitz...that's good. Kleinwitz is good. To use the phraseology of somebody or other who wrote of Denmark.
Cydonia photo: ESA

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