On the Subject of Certain Book Titles Which Proclaim the “End” of an Abstract Concept

The End of History. After the End of Art. There exists a compulsion among modern intellectuals to pronounce the death of otherwise seemingly interminable concepts. Or there appears to exist such a compulsion, perhaps is the correct way to phrase it. In fact, reason dictates that such titles represent a calculated means by which to prevent the end of something else — namely, of book sales.

Polemics vs. Polemics

It’s easy — and perhaps even glib — to suggest that the only sort of acceptable polemics are those which condemn polemicists and their work.

Which, that’s why one ought to suggest it: because of how easy it is and simultaneously true.

A Hasty Endorsement for Lyricism in All Things

It’s either impossible or rare to extract pleasure from the contents of a lecture while also harboring a low opinion of the lecturer himself. The inverse arrangement, however — that is, to find a lecturer compelling while simultaneously possessing a lack of interest in the topic — this is quite common.

Are there grounds, probably, on which to dissent from the substance of these remarks? Probably. That said, one can’t spend the day in explanation.

Two Friends Do a Bit

One friend called another on the phone.

When the latter answered, the former (after sufficiently identifying himself) replied: “Hey, got your wedding invite. I’m supposed to respond with any ‘known regrets,’ it says. What about unknown regrets, though? Who do I talk to about any possible unknown regrets?”

“I see,” said the second friend. “Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to help you. We’re currently only equipped to deal with known regrets here. We looked into possibly doing work with unknown regrets, but that’s a whole big thing. Lot of moving parts with unknown regrets.”

They didn’t call it a bit. Like, they didn’t use that word. But it was pretty obviously a bit.

On Showing Versus Telling, One Argument for the Former

As he prepared for his date, his roommate urged him: “Don’t just tell her about your dog all night, okay? No one cares.”

He agreed reluctantly (because his dog was very important to him) and, shortly thereafter, left.

The next morning, escorting his date to the front door, he saw his roommate in the living room. When she’d left, the roommate smiled. “That appears to have gone well.”

“Yes,” he replied. “I said I’d prefer to show her my dog.”