As promised, here are the noted Personal Philosophies of (i.e. for) Seth and Wes respectively. During the period of this fund-raiser thingy, we got maybe a half-dozen nice donations, including those you’ve seen written about in this series plus another couple. I’ve not totaled up the cash intake, but given our modest expenses, it will cover I believe more than half of 2011’s file hosting costs, so I want to say thanks again to all who participated and to shower the rest of you with a guilt that can only be assuaged by clicking the “Donate” button to your right.
I will still produce more of these personal philosophies with a donation; you can get one for yourself, aim it at a friend, enemy or celebrity of your choice, or suggest some new variation on the project that may amuse the readers here. As things stand, I wanted to briefly share a few insights I’ve gained from the process now that I have a bit of distance:
1. Not everybody sees the connection between humor, creativity, and philosophy. Reading Montaigne, my belief was reinforced that even by the time of ancient Rome, there is some intelligent figure associated with just about any crazy belief you could imagine. The array of possible positions is an aesthetic wonder in itself, and the obviously absurd fringes are still connected to the supposedly sensible moderate positions (“And then this bread! It turns to flesh! And we eat it! Awesome!”).
2. There is power in a name. As should be obvious, these philosophies have little or nothing to do with the actual people assigned to them, and even when some detail I know about the person inspires the write-up, it’s still about the joke or idea itself, not about them. Nonetheless, seeing your name up there attached to something silly takes some self-confidence to be OK with.
3. I don’t take criticism well. I already knew this, of course. I wonder how many works of any sort would actually have been brought to completion of the author had posted every element as it was created online for public ridicule.
That said, here are the two nuggets:
Seth’s Personal Philosophy*
Me believe in crush. Crush enemies, crush hurting things, crush metal hunks that make nice crushing noise when me crush.
Me friend asks “Why crush? Why no smash?” Me think me like crush because two countervailing forces from right hand and left hand work together to envelop world matter, appropriating rather than pushing away. Smash is act of violence, while crush is act of self-expansion. When crush, essence of world matter converted to own-ness, with only thin, empty, soulless shell remaining to be discarded (except when me eat). If me crush world, me am world, renewed and reborn with conversion of potential energy into living world force, i.e. me. Then me roar, declaring me master in ontological hierarchy.
Wes’s Personal Philosophy*
You can call me a racist, but I do think that there are fundamental differences between different kinds of “people,” and I put “people” in quotes, because some of the kinds of folks that talk shouldn’t rightly be called people. Dwarves, they have their strange ways, what with the metallurgy and the cave dwelling, but I’d call them people. Elves, though; I can’t rightly harken to folks that have been around before recorded human history, speaking to the trees and telling tales of the undying lands beyond the western sea. It’s downright unnatural to live for centuries, and them foreign words and runes and magic bread and all that makes a feller suspicious.
And don’t even get me started on orcs. This may be a backward view in this day and age, but I think this ancient corruption of the elven people by dark forces is just a scourge on the earth, and I will not have my tax dollars supporting heath care and education for these abominations, nor do I support the mixing of the races that resulted in the half-human, half-orc, fighting Uruk Hai, which to my mind are just more efficient killing machines with no humanity to ’em, whatever the geneticists may say. Any United Nations that is gonna supersede the rights of the U.S. government and send our money to troll country (which is just going to end up going to the balrogs anyway) is not something we should have anything to do with. Human power!
*This personal philosophy should not in any way be taken to reflect the actual, current views or predilections of this person, though, given that it was crafted JUST for him or her, he or she should really feel obliged to adopt this philosophy out of politeness if not actual gratitude.
Lest you ask why I haven’t done one of these in my own name, I already did.