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July 19, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Engaging with the Innards of Philosophy

Let me preface this piece of writey by saying that this edition of the ever-popular ‘Engaging with the Innards of Philosophy’ series may have been a mistake.

I blame the French. Oh, their food may be delicious, and their red wine may be the only thing keeping most theatre students from realising the futility of their efforts and choosing a real degree like Comparative Literature or Eugenics, but the whole nation appears to be one Cognac away from breaking out ye olde Guillotine and re-floating the Rainbow Warrior just so they can sink it again. J’accuse!

This column will hopefully teach you that while theoretically interesting, Philosophy is evil and you should just do whatever your parental guardians or peer group tells you to do.

This week… Jean-Paul Sartre (Existentialist philosopher/anarcho-communist revolutionary)

Jean-Paul Sartre was the epitome of fashionable French public intellectual, he was in a long-term relationship with fellow philosopher/feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir (but had numerous affairs with women of note), palled around with Che Guevara and Albert Camus, and was even pardoned by Charles de Gaulle because, as he argued “You don’t arrest Voltaire.”

His philosophy was equally chic, but slowly became either comical or horrific, depending on your interpretation. This may be due to the fact that he was mostly taking the piss.

To honour this great man I shall submerge myself in the philosophical ideas of Sartre, basing my every decision for one day on a mean-spirited bastardisation of his lifeworks.

Day: Sartre
Time: 8:25:43:16 am
I must choose my clothing for the day, but this has been hindered by the fact that colours are inherently bourgeois and therefore counter-revolutionary. I opt for a black on black (on black) ensemble to signify my unity with the proletariat—and it’s washing day, but mainly for the reasons I just stated.

Day: Sartre
Time: 10:25:00 am
Some guy at the bus stop calls me an ‘emo’, does this man not understand that these taunts are but meaningless anti-revolutionary labels that stem from false consciousness? I’ll show him.

Day: Sartre
Time: 10:26:03 am
I yell, “What are labels in a void of inauthenticity?” ZING!

Day: Sartre
Time: For another revolution
Wake up on the ground of the bus stop. My face is sore but I have successfully created chaos (and therefore revolt) in the hearts of the people—well, it was only one guy, and he also stole my beret, but if that’s what it takes to break through then so be it.

Day: Sartre
Time: 11:47:31 am
Now getting sick of being called an emo. Yes, these are the words of the desperate holding on to whatever false sense of existence they can grasp on to, but the last guy threw a road cone and I think I’m bleeding internally. I shake this off, blood will be split in the eternal revolt and I found enough change while hiding under the bus stop to buy a coffee.

Day: Sartre
Time: 12:19:27 pm
I ask for my coffee black, preferably with a revolutionary zest to it (cigarette butts are preferable, though cinnamon is also acceptable and delicious—err, I mean, it’s an earned authentic experience and therefore acceptable under this crazy scheme).

Day: Sartre
Time: 1:04:49 pm
Maybe my challenges to the accepted state of being have been too small (and have involved more beatings then I had hoped for). Therefore I must take to fight to the powers that be.

Day: Sartre
Time: 1:10:12 pm
After realising that the guy who writes with chalk on the Manners Mall is too far away, especially in my physically diminished state, I opt for the destruction of the most insidious power structure I can find in a 100m distance… VUWSA.

Day: Sartre
Time: 1:15:03 pm
After the troubles of the last edition of ‘Engaging with Innards’, VUWSA President Max Hardy was not ‘happy’ to see me. Even so, he let me speak and only threw me out of his office after the third time I rationally explained that “In order for the bourgeois to be awoken from their state of false-consciousness, heads must roll so as to wake the masses to the inauthentic nature of knowledge. And by ‘heads must roll’ I mean we’re going to have to start chopping off peoples’ heads.”

Overall I think the meeting went well, while he appeared to be physically disgusted by these concepts, this terror had awoken him to the dark consequences of our ‘freedom’. We are condemned to be free, and he is condemned to have crazy people like me yell things at him every week.

Day: Sartre
Time: 2:33:01 pm
Quitting time is finally here, but before I can throw off Sartre completely I must remove myself from the public and confront a hell far greater than ‘other people’, LOLCATS.

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