Shall We Sing…???

“All my trials Lord, soon be over.”

I wish, now we’ve got a plumbing problem and the plumber is coming tomorrow.

“Once you label me, you negate me.” [Kierkegard]


Maybe we should sing “I love my cheery chaps, my existentialist saps” Lalalalala.

I take it Mr. Kierkegard doesn’t want me to label a plumbing problem as bad. Wouldn’t want to negate the plumbing, right? Okay, let’s think about concrete reality rather than thinking in abstracts.

Søren wanted some birds. “Give me birds, they know how to stay grounded” he said forthrightly.

And darn it Søren, if you press down and hold the “o” key on the Mac keyboard, you get a pop-up box for making the strange “ø” character. We can call you by your first name now!







I just got somewhere between 10 and 11 hours of sleep which is a small miracle given my insomnia. I think I was worn out by pain.

We took the dogs to the vet and my Newf has developed some problems walking in addition to her arthritis. It looks like some spinal cord damage affecting her right hind leg. Sometimes she stumbles or falls, because the nerve signals cut out on that leg. She is almost 14 so there is nothing to be done. The vet said at some point if she can’t walk it will be the end.

Knowing this already, as both my dogs are old and in final decline, it still left me with a lingering weepiness and sadness. Tears keep coming to my eyes periodically.

Nietzsche – “God is dead.”


I’m getting somewhere, I can spell “Nietzsche” off the top of my head. Of such marketable skills are life made.

Back in the 60s man, Nietzsche was revered and this one phrase of his reverberated in universities throughout the world. Weren’t we clever? Is God dead? I think our human notion and bastardization and mistranslation of God is the problem.

Beyond that, I think there are people who shine with something providential; they access the divine.

For today, awash in tears for old dogs and inevitable death, I prefer to imagine something concrete, but rarely accessed by 6 billion humans.




I Exist, Therefore I Scan Freely Wearing a Bowler Hat

I’ve been playing around today examining my new Existentialist Playing Cards or Exist Playing Cards as is printed on the title card. The bowler hat is a reference to Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot which I studied in high school but missed the reference here until I looked it up, thinking instead that it might refer to a René Magritte painting which depicts a man with a bowler hat. Beckett features in the Clubs suit in caricature and in several quotes on the Clubs pips.


I scanned several more cards for my database but here is a sample of a few cards and the back with numerous bowler hats.


The colours are wonderful in this, I can see where you could pick a card or two and use them as impetus for artwork. Yes, Camus would like you to use a bunch of gold green shades and paint a reptile. Of course he does. I think Rita put a lot of thought into the organization of this and the stream of colour families in each suit.

The Court Cards have caricatures of the three philosophers quoted in the pip cards with a name tag on each that says “Hello my name is ______”, and each has an additional famous quote in a speech ballon.

The pip cards have quotations on them from Ace to Ten:

SPADES: Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers.
HEARTS: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Marcel.
CLUBS: Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka.
DIAMONDS: Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Tillich, Martin Heidegger.

Existentialists brought in emotion and the whole human experience rather than just reason and rationality to philosophy. They felt conventional philosophy was too distanced and abstract from human experience. They were very, very big on being free and authentic.

And wearing bowler hats.



Existential Systemic Restoration

Oh yes, here we go, I had to do a full system restore and get rid of all the Brother printer software. I phoned Staples and explained the problem and they said I could bring it back, so I will do that on the weekend. Now if only Norton would stop eating my hard drive. I’ve removed and reinstalled it three times and nothing seems to work. It has been going nuts all through the month of July.

Finding myself without a scanner, I thought I’d show a shot of a deck I want called Exist Playing Cards, full of caricatures of philosophers and existentialists and their famous remarks.


So, what I need is some pithy philosophical remarks about technology. Sartre said “Hell is other people” but I shall paraphrase that and say “Hell is software.” It’s a sad thing that the human intellect cannot create an anti-virus program that doesn’t kill the machine it is supposed to help. Likewise with printer software.

Kafka just shouted out “You are all free and that is why you are lost.”

Would that I could buy this card deck and ruminate on existential truth. Barring that I’m having a tea and will ponder my confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless world.