Recently by M.G. Piety:

 

Søren Kierkegaard is one of the few philosophers read by people outside the academy. The reason for this is not simply that the substance of his thought has a broad appeal, but that, unlike most philosophers, Kierkegaard has a beautiful prose style. It is still, however, his most explicitly philosophical and theological works that tend to be read. That is a shame, because his more novelistic works, such as The Stages on Life’s Way and Repetition, are among his best in terms of literary style­ — and yet they still have enough theoretical substance to satisfy people for whom this is the primary concern. Repetition, in particular, offers many delights. It is ostensibly a novel that traces the ill-fated romance of a young man who learns early in the relationship that he is really in love, not with… More…

They show farces in the Königstädter Theatre. The people who gather there are thus naturally very diverse. He who would study the pathology of laughter in a variety of estates and temperaments, ought not to lose the opportunity offered by the performance of a farce. The shouts and shrill laughter from the gallery and the second balcony are something completely different from the applause of a sophisticated and critical audience. It is a constant accompaniment without which farce could not be performed. Farce is associated, for the most part, with the baser aspects of life and thus those in the gallery and the second balcony recognize themselves immediately. Their noise and shouts of “bravo” are not judgments of the esthetic approval of individual actors, but purely lyrical outbursts of their own wellbeing. They are not even conscious of themselves as an audience, but would like to be down with the… More…

[I]s it not the case that the older one becomes the more life reveals itself to be deceptive, the smarter one becomes, the more ways one learns to help himself, the worse off he is, the more one suffers. A small child is completely helpless and yet thrives. I remember once having seen a nursemaid on the street pushing a baby carriage in which there were two children. The one, just barely a year old, had fallen asleep and lay in the carriage dead to the world. The other was a little girl around two years old, chubby in short sleeves just like a little woman. She had pushed herself forward in the carriage and easily took up two thirds of the space. The smaller child lay next to her as if it were a package the woman had brought with her. With an admirable egoism, she appeared not to… More…

Figure skating is the quintessential American sport, not merely because it is fiercely individualistic while at the same time incredibly conformist, but also because the athletes and fans, like the American electorate, have an extraordinarily high tolerance for corruption. It is surprising that the sport is not more popular in the U.S. It has long been the most popular sport in the Winter Olympics, but that is probably damning with faint praise because winter sports tend not to be very popular spectator sports, what with the standing out in the cold and all that. Still, figure skating has experienced a marked decline in popularity in recent years, so much so that the United States Figure Skating Association, now known simply as U.S. Figure Skating, lost its long-standing television contract with ABC and has had to accept what is rumored to be a much less lucrative arrangement with NBC.

There has… More…