Philosophy rocks

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Usually I don’t read anything more complex than the back of a cereal box, but this week — perhaps it was fate, perhaps it was indigestion — I found an essay on Latin America.

In it was a sentence like “it was more of an Argentinization of Brazil than a Brazilianization of Argentina. Though one can argue the Brazilianization of Argentina is really the Brazilianization of Brazil.”

The essay led me to make a deep, meaningful conclusion. It wasn’t about Brazil. It was about life.

I should become a philosopher.

Instead of taking the trouble to explain an idea, I could hide it behind a big word. Then no one would be able to tell if I thought anything important.

Thinking is exercise for the brain, say some writers. That’s why you must run a mental obstacle course through words with lots of syllables. If it was easy, it’d ruin the point.

I believe the small word used in these circumstances is “duh.”

I think there’s a better reason for why people Brazilianize. Interpret that how you will, since I’m too lazy or confused to define it.

That’s the reason.

It isn’t limited to philosophy, but I only have enough space here to make fun of one thing at a time.

Presumably philosophers are paid by the letter. I’m paid by the nothing, so joining them would be a step up. And it’s not like they’ve ever accomplished anything useful, so I’d fit right in.

Of course, I am joking. Some philosophers have made life better for mankind. Think of Bacon. Not only did he think up the English legal system, he invented a delicious crispy food.

But just because I haven’t invented anything delicious doesn’t mean I can’t become a great thinker. You know how diamonds are valuable because there are so few of them?

By the same logic, I could be a valuable philosopher because I have two, maybe three ideas a year.

Since a diamond is hidden deep underground, one could conclude that if an idea is valuable, it must be preserved under layers of verbosificationary.

I thought up that word all by myself. That was my first idea for the year.

Clearly I’m working toward a valuable point, because we all know that the bigger an idea is, the bigger the word we need to express it.

“So,” you say, though I wish you’d use a longer word, “what is the point, O humble philosopher?”

It must have been Descartes — probably Descartes, possibly Aristotle — who said I think, therefore… think, and you can’t get thunked again.

I’ve been thunked many times, usually after I reach up to snag a dictionary. That’s because I’ve gone to the trouble of looking up words like Argentinization.

Now I realize my mistake. I shouldn’t have bothered to look it up. No one, not even the person who wrote the dictionary, could explain it to me.

Two thoughts presented themselves. They may be the last ones I have all year.

Argentina doesn’t exist. Argentina is anything I want it to be.

In conclusion, this may be a contradiction, but it’s impossible to determine.

See what I did? I didn’t answer your question. I danced around it and answered an entirely different one. Ha!

“Very funny, Al,” you say (though I ask you to call me Paskhaver, because it is longer), “but I’d like to know what the point is.”

The point? The point of a pencil? The point of life? Remember philosophers have many escape tactics, one of which is to fan in a fog of questions and flee while you’re confused.

Plus if I use abstractions, I won’t actually tell you where I’m heading. You can’t catch me! I’m going to Argentina!

Copyright 2024 Alexandra Paskhaver, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Alexandra Paskhaver is a software engineer and writer. Both jobs require knowing where to stick semicolons, but she’s never quite; figured; it; out. For more information, check out her website at https://apaskhaver.github.io.

Alexandra Paskhaver is a software engineer and writer. Both jobs require knowing where to stick semicolons, but she’s never quite; figured; it; out. For more information, check out her website at https://apaskhaver.github.io.