Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Can you say “landslide”?

Music, Part 5

Are you warmed up? Marvin, JoseJimi, Slash, and Roseanne take us to the game.

Music, Part 4

I’m trying to get you warmed up for the game. This may be the greatest song ever made. Don’t try to stay in your chair while listening to it. It’s impossible. You must dance to the music. Check out the guitarists at 1:46. Is that cool, or what?

Addendum: Here is the studio version.

Music, Part 3

Two hours until game time! I’m stoked. This song goes out to my Texas Ranger home boys: Ian, Michael, Josh, and Miltie.

From the Mailbag

Have you noticed that the only places you see jokes about Prince Obama are the Internet and talk radio? I’ve been watching Letterman’s monologue to keep up with how the election’s going, and haven’t heard one about Obama. Hillary wears pantsuits, McCain’s old, but apparently no one has noticed that Obama has big ears and a funny name, is way more elitist and arrogant than Kerry, as preachy as Gore, and changes his positions constantly. Where’s the laughter?

Note from KBJ: You can’t make fun of Obama. That would mark you as a racist, and that’s about the very worst thing you can be in 2008. Hell, I’m probably a racist just for posting this letter.

A Year Ago


Music, Part 2

If this isn’t the best album ever made, then you do, after all, deserve to live.

Addendum: Here is a live version of “Brother of Mine.”

John Rodman on Theriophobia

More common in Western thought than theriophilia has been theriophobia, the fear and hatred of beasts as wholly or predominantly irrational, physical, insatiable, violent, or vicious beings whom man strangely resembles when he is being wicked. Thus in a state of nature “man is a wolf to man” (Hobbes). A society founded on the principle of satisfying appetites is “a city of pigs” (Plato). The basic theriophobic stance is one of disgust at “brutish”, “bestial”, or “animalistic” traits that are suspiciously more frequently predicted of men than of beasts, just as the types of behavior in which these traits are exhibited (egoism, insatiable greed, insatiable sexuality, cruelty, the gratuitous slaughter of other species, and the mass extermination of one’s own species) are more frequently observed on the part of men than of beasts.

Theriophobia appears to be compounded of two major elements: man’s disgust with his own body and appetites (“certainly man is of kin to the beasts, by his body; and, if he be not kin to God, by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature”—Bacon); and man’s anxiety stemming from the loss of inhibitions (e.g., against the killing of one’s own species) normal to other animal species. The well-spring of theriophobia is thus fear of self, and its central mechanism is projection. In the most alienated form of theriophobia, the beasts themselves were seen as animated by devils, and man’s extermination of the beasts and of “savages” (bestial men) was carried on as part of God’s war against Satan.

(John Rodman, “The Dolphin Papers,” The North American Review 259 [spring 1974]: 13-26, at 20 [footnotes omitted])

Note from KBJ: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) famously wrote that life in the state of nature is (or would be) “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” Brutish = of the brutes. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) defended utilitarianism from the charge that, because it exalts pleasure, it is “a doctrine worthy only of swine.” He also said that “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.” Can you think of other such examples in the history of philosophy?


What were you doing when you were 14?

Addendum: The drummer/vocalist of this band is the son of musician Eddie Jobson. Here is Eddie at work.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Senator Barack Obama’s “plan for Iraq” is not so much a plan as a lawyerly attempt to paper over the difference between his stated position and what the reality in Iraq may require.

Senator Obama’s stated position was and is that he will begin removing combat troops from Iraq immediately upon taking office and complete the process within 16 months. He has never told us how the period of 16 months was arrived at and what military analysis supports it. Why not 12 months? Or 24?

Nevertheless, the senator now seeks to temper the rigidity of his position with assurances that he “would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government.” But he does not address the crucial question of whether such consultations might result in an extension of the 16-month withdrawal period. An affirmative answer would drive many of his supporters into a frenzy, but the absence of one deprives his assurances of any meaning.

Douglas M. Parker
South Orleans, Mass., July 14, 2008


I’m tingling with excitement about tonight’s All-Star game. This may seem silly to those of you who don’t care about baseball, but I’m sure there are things that make you tingle as well. I’ve been a baseball fan since 1967, when my neighbor, Roger Young, introduced me to the game in Millington, Michigan. (I was in fourth grade.) By the time the 1968 season began, I was head over heels in love with baseball. It didn’t hurt that my team, the Detroit Tigers, won the World Series that year. You might say that I was spoiled early on. Little did I know that it would be 16 years before my Bengals won another World Series. I’m not complaining. Some teams go half a century or more without so much as a World Series appearance. I have said many times that, with two World Series victories in my lifetime, I can die happy.

I have always loved the All-Star game. It’s been said that the only All-Star game that means anything is the Major League Baseball All-Star game. The basketball, football, and hockey All-Star games are jokes. I have no idea why anyone would even watch them. Baseball is a team sport, but it pits individuals against one another. When Alex Rodriguez steps to the plate against Brad Lidge this evening, it doesn’t matter that the game is already won or lost. There is pride at stake. A-Rod will be trying as hard as he can to drive the ball; Lidge will be trying as hard as he can to strike A-Rod out. It’s always man against man. I love that. I like seeing which players perform under pressure and which players crack or choke. It’s a morality play. It’s about pride, self-respect, honor, and character.

My first All-Star game was in 1967. My family lived in a farmhouse on Brown Road in Mayville, Michigan. We didn’t live there long, but that’s where I watched the 1967 All-Star game. I was 10 years old. I remember lying on the hardwood floor in front of the television set. The game went 15 innings, and I remember being very tired by the time it ended (on Tony Perez’s home run). I may have dozed off for part of the game, but I saw the ending. It was magical. That was 41 years ago. I have watched every All-Star game since, and enjoyed every one immensely, even the one that ended in a tie. May tonight’s game be one for the ages!

Addendum: Here are my predictions:

American League 7, National League 4
Home Runs: Derek Jeter, Milton Bradley, Chipper Jones
Most Valuable Player: Derek Jeter

Make your predictions now, if you dare.