“If you believed … Then nothing is cool”

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon

If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve, then nothing is cool

Can’t think why those lines from REM occur to me whenever I think of the depressing data from the NYTimes:

The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago, according to an updated study by the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.

The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax.

The figures underscore that even after the recession the country remains in a new Gilded Age, with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Depression of the 1930s, if not more so.

NOTHING IS COOL.

SPRINGSTEEN AND REM

Could anyone not know who Andy Kaufman was?  Look him up and see this:

In Praise of Ceremonial Gratitude

 

Several years ago I was conversing with some other philosophers about philosophy presentations.  One of them described his frustration at having attended an interdisciplinary conference where the question and answer periods following the talks were unproductive.  His complaint specifically focused on the fact that each person who asked a question first thanked the speaker and expressed appreciation for the talk.  This time-wasting insincerity and empty formalism, he concluded, owed to the conference including participants from other disciplines, disciplines that, he implied, lack philosophy’s capacity to cut through vain cant.  A basic, free-floating appreciation for the talk should go without saying – after all, the audience had sat through it.  Anything more just wasted time better spent in critique of the work.

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