Mar 6, 2012

Returns of the Day

Sir G and I were discussing philosophers at the Indignation Rally. No one discusses indignation at an indignation rally. Death is but a passing topic in a wake. It is recurrent, yes, but it is seldom discussed at length.

So I asked Sir G. Is there a philosopher who uses anecdotal information in their treatises? We sampled those we could think of: maybe Sartre, or the later Wittgenstein? Or Rousseau? Rousseau! But Rousseau was no philosopher. Okay. So the answer is No? The answer is Of Course Not.

We talked about the traumatic lives of the philosophers. Most of these lives were full of suffering. Nietzsche, of course, and Spinoza. I admitted that I was more enthralled by the biographies of philosophers rather than those of writers. Reading a writer's life is redundant. Reading a writer's life ruins the fiction. But the philosophers! You want to hear their stories because they try so hard to turn their backs on them.

The father of Ms. Cebanico was onstage. Such grace, Sir G and I agreed. I could not take my eyes off the man. I said to Sir G, what if we were there, standing in his stead?

We talked about a possible lack in Filipino philosophy and an equally possible lack in trauma and a definite lack of 'angst' in the Filipino. Because there was always the Bathala in Bahala Na, he said. And where others saw a glass half empty, we Pinoys saw a glass half full.

A lovely, terrible night for essentialism, but what else were we to say? You do not think at a time like this.