A sound perspective

I don’t dislike Glee, in fact, I think it is a very clever way to bring back the classic 70’s variety show in an ironic, somewhat less cheesy manner. And it’s less grotesquely stupid than most television I’ve seen in the last ten years. That being said, I find Dave Grohl’s perspective to be more than a little refreshing in this age of celebrity overexposure:

“The Glee guy, what a f—ing jerk. Slash was the first one. He wanted to do Guns ‘n’ Roses and Slash is like, ‘I hate f—ing musicals. It’s worse than Grease.’ Then [Murphy’s] like, ‘Well, of course he’d say that, he’s a washed up ol’ rock star, that’s what they f—ing do.’ And then Kings of Leon say, ‘No, we don’t want to be on your show.’ And then he’s like, ‘Snotty little assholes…’ And it’s just like, Dude, maybe not everyone loves Glee. Me included.”

I very much doubt this Murphy character will ever be inclined to ask to use Psykosonik’s music on the show; let’s face it, even the more famous bands from our genre and era wouldn’t make much sense although I would definitely be intrigued in seeing what sort of epic catastrophe might result from an episode devoted to NIN, Ministry, and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. And although I like musicals myself, I don’t think I would want our music featured on that sort of soft pop show either.

Furthermore, there is no excuse for insulting Slash like that. I’m not the biggest GnR fan in the world, but there is no question that the man can play guitar.

Florida is empty

Relatively speaking, anyhow:

On Thursday, the Census Bureau revealed that 18% — or 1.6 million — of the Sunshine State’s homes are sitting vacant. That’s a rise of more than 63% over the past 10 years…. In Florida, the worst-hit county is Collier — home of Naples — with a whopping 32% of homes empty. In Sarasota County, 23% of the housing stock sits vacant, while Lee County (Cape Coral) has a 30% vacancy rate. And Miami-Dade County has a vacancy rate of about 12%.

This isn’t quite as bad as it sounds, since Naples is one of the primary second-home markets in the country. No one was actually living in a lot of those houses outside of “the season” as they called it down there. But it is really bad from financial and real estate perspectives, as it indicates that a) rich people can’t afford those second homes anymore and b) the housing market is far more overstocked than the real estate statistics indicate. It’s a classic example of Austrian malinvestment in action, with the perverse incentives created by the credit expansion of the last ten years.

Mailvox: on Socrates

F1 wonders why I think poorly of Socrates:

I’m interested in your take on Socrates given that you’ve said you’re inclined to despise him. He seems to me like a man that surpasses most, in authenticity at least, and any man who can simultaneously understand him and despise him would seem to me to really be taking a bold position. He might be annoying, and even describes himself as a “gadfly”, but I think the example he gave was really something extraordinary and admirable, so why do you “tend to despise him”?

I think that to understand Socrates is to despise him. If we assume that Plato’s portrait of the Athenian philosopher is accurate and his rendering of the dialogues is a reasonable facsimile of the historical conversations that took place, we are forced to conclude that Socrates is anything but authentic or admirable in a variety of ways. He was most certainly extraordinary and his intelligence was formidable, but his philosophy is essentially evil, self-serving, and juvenile. Over the centuries, we have not only seen The Republic serve as philosophical justification for both tyranny and self-appointed elitism, but we must note that the behavior of his prize pupil, Alcibiades, is entirely in keeping with the principles Socrates taught. If one judges a philosopher by his fruits, Socrates fares very ill indeed.

I have not gone through the various dialogues with the same close attention that I paid to Euthyphro, but as I demonstrated in my critique of it, Socrates demonstrates an astonishingly dishonest willingness to apply a false equivalency in order to complete his structurally illogical argument. Despite my regular use of the Socratic method to discredit and humiliate overmatched critics, I have little regard for it as a method to determine truth because it often relies upon artificially simplifying multi-faceted concepts into a single binary question. The Socratic method is far from useless, but I see it as being a rhetorical weapon than a philosophical device. Which, naturally, raises the question of why Socrates made such heavy use of it and for what purpose.

In summary, I see Socrates as a fraudulent philosophical trickster whose false modesty and respect for the gods is no more convincing than his illegitimate logic in Euthyphro. And if there is one thing I despise more than intellectual frauds, it is false modesty. Genuine humility is a virtue, whereas false modesty is one of the crudest conceivable insults to the observer’s intelligence.

While we’re on the subject of email, HM5 responded to my post on crushing women’s dreams over at Alpha Game:

As a woman, I find this discussion very enlightening. I don’t know what sort of women you know, but you don’t appear to respect them very much. Women do, as a whole, have a deep need to be mothers; its in our dna. However, the fact that you discuss treating women like they have no clue what they want is really astonishing. Perhaps it is what most men are truly thinking. Perhaps your women respect you too much to believe that this is really the way you feel. Perhaps if they read your comments they would see some part truth and some complete misunderstandings that are so far off base as to be funny.

I responded at Alpha Game, but suffice it to say that I think women should think very carefully about their historical statements before they demand men treat their words with full equalitarian respect.