Monday, September 26, 2011

A thundering call to action

Tribute to Gaurav Gopalan

There is a worrying trend of an increase in attacks on the transgender community in Washington DC. This is an interesting case and I hope they do find the killer.


Believe it or not I am still making my way through 'Independence Day by Richard Ford. Frank Bascombe has a day to re-connect with his troubled son - Paul, and after a great deal of effort he finally starts to talk:

"You know the one thing you can do that's truly unique to you and that society can't effect in any way?" he says. "We learned this in camp."
"I guess not." People out here with us are starting to stray away.
"Sneeze. If you sneeze in some stupid-fuck way, or in a loud way that pisses people off in movies, they just have to go along with it. Nobody can say, 'Sneeze in a different way, asshole.'"
"Who told you that?"
"I don't remember."
"Does that seem unusual?"
"Yes." Gradually he lets his eyes come down from the ceiling but not to me. His finger quits excavating his ear. He is now uncomfortable for being unironic and a kid.
"Don't you think that's the way everything is when you get to be old? Everbody lets you do anything you want to. If they don't like it, they just don't show up anymore."
"Sounds great," Paul says, and actually smiles, as if such a world where people left you alone was an exhibit he'd like to see.

Anyway after thinking about primary substances for so long it seems amusing to me.

Aristotle - searching for Primary Substances

According to the 'Categories' by Aristotle the wonder of classification is found in analysing what makes us unique -and not what we have in common. Therefore describing man as an animal or vertebrate or DNA is fundamentally flawed because there are so many other 'men', vertebrates, things depending on DNA. 

So much study and knowledge today is concerned with reducing things to their smallest components when Aristotle saw that it is only as a whole that we can truly know something.

Anyway, still a little bit confused but the 'Categories' is well worth the effort to study.