Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Strenges!

Found a fun site that takes daily comics and translates the dialog into Middle English, and also offer some insight. Take this family circus for example.

This is their analyis, pretty good for pop philosophy,
Meditations on Transcendence: The Importance of The Family Circus in Medieval Philosophical Thought
I know this is my third time back on The Family Circus, even though I have really barely begun to plumb the depths of Bad Newspaper Comicdom...but damn, it's a useful comic.* Bil and Jeff Keane seem to have an inherent, effortless grasp of a medieval philosophical mindset. Sure, you could claim that their comic was an idiotic waste of time that had been around for far too long (since 1960, for crying out bleeding loud) and now stole at least half its jokes from those infuriating chain e-mails your "friends" keep sending you under the mistaken impression that you find the concept of one-liners from the 1890s, updated clumsily to accommodate the existence of the telephone, automobile, radio, television, Internet, speed dating, Nigerian e-mail scams, and George W. Bush amusing (damn it, Cecilia,** stop sending me that stuff! And stop with the long meditations on friendship and happiness! And stop with the missives that try to convince me to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour! And if you absolutely must impose this garbage on me, stop just forwarding the damn e-mails without removing the names of the thirty billion previous recipients from the top!)......what was I saying?Er. You could, in fact, claim that the Keanes' comic was all these things, but if you look at it more closely, you realise that
these gentlemen are merely writing several centuries too late. Take today's comic, for instance. My God, says little Billy to Dolly, his disciple...those guitar strings aren't strings. This observation constitutes a major philosophical and theological revelation. If the strings are not strings, then human perception is faulty; we are not simply stuck at the back of Plato's cave but quite happy to remain there, secure in our approach to the world through the flawed medium of language. Little Billy is here experiencing a major spiritual awakening. The strings are not strings; the physical is not the ultimate. In the "strings" of the guitar resides music, which goes beyond the essentially "stringness" of the physical property but has to be teased from the instrument by a human hand guided by a human brain. Are the guitar strings not equivalent to us? Are we not played upon by the metaphorical hand of the Creator? Are we not imbued with souls so that we become more than the mere physical? If we learn to see beyond our own "stringness," we can leave both the philosophical and the theological aspects of the cave behind us and emerge into an understanding of our relationship to our universe and the Lord of All.Revelatory in the twenty-first century? Not at all. Revelatory in the fourteenth century? You bet. The Keanes, in embracing an archaic understanding of the philosophy of religion, have courageously declared themselves immune to the ravages of both time and common sense. They are not afraid to get medieval. They are true artists of a previous age.
Check the site, Middle English Comics, out.

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