I think I should totally exploit this having boobs thing

I’ve heard so many times in life, to be truly happy, you gotta do what you love. I love philosophy. NO joke. I do. I love thinking about things and studying the ideas behind everything we do and believe. I love philosophy so much that I wrote a book about it. It’s called Mindless Philosopher: How Philosophy Taught Me Everything I Needed To Know About Popular Culture.

This is what the cover of my book looks like

 Like every other philosopher out there, I also share the single-minded belief that philosophy is not only still relevant in our pop-driven culture, but that I’m just the philosopher to bring philosophy back to the intellectual discourse-starved masses.

Lofty ideals, I know.

I know that I love philosophy (as much as any person can “love” an abstract, anyway). I know that I want to spread the word of critical thinking to the people (a particularly relevant goal given the Texas GOP’s opposition to “critical thinking skills”*). But here’s my problem: my goal isn’t quite working out the way I want it to. I know this might be difficult to believe, but I haven’t exactly succeeded in bringing philosophy back to the masses.

One problem might be that I insist on calling people “the masses”.

I blame that on Marx.

* by the way, if you think I’m either joking or lying about the Texas GOP, I’m not. Check this out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/texas-gop-rejects-critical-thinking-skills-really/2012/07/08/gJQAHNpFXW_blog.html

Anyone who has a dollar in their wallet (right now I have two. At least I’m making money like a philosopher) knows that the key to success is popularity. And the key to popularity is marketing. If  I want to make philosophy, specifically philosophy written by me, popular, I have to market it correctly. That means I have to make philosophy interesting to people who aren’t inclined to read philosophy.

I think the professionals call that knowing your audience.

Wait — hold up. I’m hearing Karl Marx screaming in my ear. He’s saying something about bourgeois property and the victory of the proletariat.

Obviously Marx knows nothing about selling a book.

Did I mention that I’ve written a book?

I did, you know.

Anyway, we all know that philosophers are a dime a dozen (probably not even worth that much these days), and everybody’s got something to say about everything.

 … even Dr. drew’s got a night-time show.

If everybody out there thinks they got some kind of philosophy that everybody needs to know, marketability is a not-too-unimportant thing. So, I ask, what makes me marketable? What things about me can I exploit to my philosophical advantage? I gotta admit, that up until now my unsuccessful tactic has to be neutral — that is, I use my initials instead of my real name. I use a picture of Nietzsche, dressed in a Superman outfit, wearing a cape instead of using a picture of the real me. When I write philosophy, I’ve decided to make sure not to reveal that I am neither male nor white (you see, most philosophers are male and white). I’m beginning to think this wasn’t a wise move.

It seems my attempt at neutrality might have neutralized my philosophy career.

Although pretty much everybody in one way or another does philosophy, among professional philosophers, women — especially minority women — are pretty rare. I want to be a philosopher, but I know if I write from a “female perspective”, I’ll end with a BIG OL’  NAME TAG that says feminist philosopher.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate feminism and I appreciate feminist philosophers. But when people think of an image of what happens when feminism meets philosophy, this is sometimes what they think:

this lady probably reads a lot of Kate Millet

If I tell people what I am a black (yes, I still use the word “black”) feminist philosopher, people might think this:

this is not me. it’s close, but it’s not me.

 

I would be expected to wear this shirt everywhere I go

Being a philosopher is all about truth, and truth be told, this may be my most pressing philosophical dilemma.

I think Sartre said our most pressing philosophical dilemma is deciding if should or shouldn’t commit suicide.

I have no idea why Sartre would say something like that.

Maybe it was because he didn’t feel his philosophy was very marketable.

He should have written a book.

I know if I want to get my name up there with the philosophy big kids I got to make myself marketable…

Hmmm… Kim Kardashian got popular with a sex tape.

I don’t think that’ll go over with the philosophy crowd, though.

*by the way, if anyone knows of a sex tape with a philosopher, email me at girlwithrox@hotmail.com

… I’ll write a book about you.

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6 thoughts on “I think I should totally exploit this having boobs thing

  1. Marx wasn’t anti Capitalism, actually it was Engels’ family money made in the industrial north of England that facilitated Marx’s writing. Karl Marx yearned for commercial success and was in a sense capitalism’s greatest defender and advocate, he certainly was Adam Smith’s greatest cheerleader and proposed many ideas for reforming and improving market based systems. The concept of ‘Just in Time’ stock control is routed in Marx.

    You identify the problem with Marx very well, Marx uses a language that fails to have meaning, the ‘masses’ are something straight out of the Dickensian workhouse and by the turn of the 19th century a phrase devoid of meaning. Oddly the last place Marx thought suitable for collectivist state would’ve been the place where it happened first, Russia, an uneducated, principly agrarian economy was the absolute opposite of what Marx called for in Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels advocated through greater education the workers taking control of the means of production, educated workers running a cooperative system for the benefit of those that work in that system rather than for the benefit of a few individuals, this is little more than a development on Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’, Smith himself advocated the creations of coops so that workers might benefit from their labours. The great Marxist experiment failed, it had to fail any system that places the rights of a system before the rights of citizens is doomed to fail.

    Jean Paul Satre sold a lot of books, I have no idea why? Satre’s Existentialism is born out of the failure of Marxism, his defense of Marxism is real the only successful things in terms of consistency Satre wrote, I’m not even sure that Existentialism is philosophy, it seems to me to be a rather vague nihilist and Marxist approached to literary and social criticism. When I was student some 20 odd years ago if you weren’t a Marxist you were considered ‘of the right’. Marxism and to some extent Existentialism can be critiqued in much the same way as Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, something closer to a belief system or a religion than philosophy, if I’m not going to believe in supernatural truth or divine authority then I’ll be damned if I’m going to accept any human system philosophy as the absolute truth, especially ones proven to be fundementally flawed.

    This rather nicely brings me to our friends in the Texas GOP, these great minds that are so anti communism, socialism and fascism (Totalitarianism) are by definition behaving like complete and utter totalitarians. The great triumph of western liberalism (small l) is that we attempt to learn both sides of an argument and form a rational opininion, the very nature of critical thinking. When we seek to silence debate, when we seek to have an authorised version of the truth we are on a slippery slope to an Orwellian nightmare, someone needs to send those people a definition of Liberty, because I’m getting sick of them banging on about things they don’t even try to understand.

    On a lighter note is there a single philosopher who’s sex tape you’d actually want to watch? I have this image of William Lane Craig getting spit roasted running through my brain. Thanks for that D.

    🙂

  2. I confess that I had only one course that covered any Marx or Marxist/Communist?Socialist philosophy. I mentioned Marx more or less as a kind of private joke. Throwing out catch-phrases like “the masses” and “victory of the proletariat” is just that — I misused Marx and pretended ignorance of Sartre (even suggesting that he should write books when I full well know that he was a very accomplished author, philosopher, and playwright) to show how in the popular culture, philosophers have been reduced to catch phrases and misinterpretation — people quoting Marx without actually ever having read Marx and Engle’s Communist Manifesto.

    Although I am mystified why Sartre thought that suicide was a philosophical dilemma.

    I hadn’t really thought of what philosopher I’d want to see in a sex tape. Certainly, I think, none that are currently living. Perhaps Rousseau or Kierkegaard
    …but certainly not Ayn Rand.

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