June 7th, 2007

The Not-So-Weirdness

Well, my memely mood persists, much to the chagrin of certain meme-malevolents in my midst. I liked this one because it required no work at all on my part, which is good, since I'm busy with other matters:
So, cbertsch, your LiveJournal reveals...

You are... 0% unique and 7% herdlike (partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy sunsets). When it comes to friends you are popular. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are keen to please. Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is intellectual.

Your overall weirdness is: 32

(The average level of weirdness is: 27.
You are weirder than 71% of other LJers.)

Find out what your weirdness level is!
I'm actually a little depressed to see how much less weird I am than danthered and other LJers who have preceded me into the laboratory. It's certainly true that I'm "keen to please," though I'm not sure how the meme engine arrived at that conclusion. But I'm at a loss to imagine which of my recent entries led me to earn the damning reputation for having a writing style that is "intellectual." Haven't my fart jokes been crass enough?

The Buzz Remains Mere Buzzing

Sitting in my office just now, The Question Concerning Technology caught my eye. I pulled it from the shelf and started paging through it, flush with the conviction that today might be the perfect day to clamber over my Heidegger hurdle. But then I started getting bogged down in the near-randomness of the translator's decisions, which no quantity of explanatory footnotes can compensate for. So I walked over to the shelf on which I presently have several volumes in his complete works that I not-so-recently checked out of the library and began looking through them, on the assumption that my mood might be sustained in the absence of English. One after another I coursed through the books, my frustration mounting. While better in German than in English, the aspects of Heidegger's prose that annoy me most are still readily apparent in the original. And then there are the antiquated spellings with which he makes Heu, such as Seyn for Sein: they bother me almost as much as English coinings like "enframing."
Ten minutes later, then, I'm sitting here composing this entry, my momentary enthusiasm for Mr. Schwarzwald once more extinguished. I'm starting to wonder, despite my fondness for some of his devotees, especially Giorgio Agamben, and the parallels I've been discerning between the sensibility of Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters and the nostalgia for rustic German life that informs Heidegger's writings on modern technology, whether I will ever experience that, "A-ha!," moment in which I finally feel -- rather than contemplate -- what makes so many thinkers think highly of him. Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that I could achieve the same insights I derive from dabbling in his work by going over to the Goodwill on First and poring over the overpriced Hummels they have for sale in the display case by the cash register. If I'm lucky, I might even see one that continues to lip honey after being sliced in half.