Thursday, February 14, 2008

Coming Soon! and a quote

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that starting this Sunday night the 2008 Veritas Forum at LSU would be under way, and Dr. Dallas Willard will be this year's lecturer. Between Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Dr. Willard will be delivering 5 lectures, at least 4 of which I'm hoping to attend. Also, for your reading pleasure, I intend to blog through the forum, offering lecture summaries, quotes, and whatever else I can at the close of each day. So swing by the wardrobe next week for that.

For now, I wanted to post a lengthy, ridiculously fun quote from Either/Or. The first volume of the book, from which this snippet is taken, was written by a man known only as "A", while the whole of Either/Or was compiled and edited by Victor Eremita. "A" is a hedonist and a strict aestheticist and I don't think that I agree with anything he has asserted thus far--nevertheless, it's a pleasure to read. Enjoy!

Why "Boredom is the root of all evil."

The history of this can be traced from the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored, and so they created man. Adam was bored because he was alone, and so Eve was created. Thus boredom entered the world, and increased in proportion to the increase of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored together; then Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were bored en famille; then the population of the world increased, and the peoples were bored en masse. To divert themselves they conceived the idea of constructing a tower high enough to reach the heavens. This idea is itself as boring as the tower was high, and constitutes a terrible proof of how boredom gained the upper hand. The nations were scattered over the earth, just as people now travel abroad, but they continued to be bored. Consider the consequences of this boredom. Humanity fell from its lofty height, first because of Eve, and then from the Tower of Babel. What was it, on the other hand, that delayed the fall of Rome, was it not panis and circenses?* And is anything being done now? Is anyone concerned about planning some means of diversion? Quite the contrary, the impending ruin is being proclaimed. It is proposed to call a constitutional assembly. Can anything more tiresome be imagined, both for the participants themselves, and for those who have to hear and read about it? It is proposed to improve the financial condition of the state by practicing economy. What could be more tiresome? Instead of increasing the national debt, it is proposed to pay it off. As I understand the political situation, it would be easy for Denmark to negotiate a loan of fifteen million dollars. Why not consider this plan? Every once in a while we hear of a man who is a genius, and therefore neglects to pay his debts--why should not a nation do the same, if we were all agreed? Let us then borrow fifteen millions, and let us use the proceeds, not to pay our debts, but for public entertainment. Let us celebrate the millennium in a riot of merriment. Let us place boxes everywhere, not, as at present, for the deposit of money, but for the free distribution of money. Everything would become gratis; theaters gratis, women of easy virtue gratis, one would drive to the park gratis, be buried gratis, one's eulogy would be gratis; I say gratis, for when one always has money at hand, everything is in a certain sense free. No one should be permitted to own any property. Only in my own case would there be an exception. I reserve to myself securities in the Bank of London to the value of one hundred dollars a day, partly because I cannot do with less, partly because the idea is mine, and finally because I may not be able to hit upon a new idea when the fifteen millions are gone...

* bread and circuses

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