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Soon - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Soon
The dew point is rising, folks. As soon as we hit the third consecutive day of it averaging 54 degrees Fahrenheit or above, the Monsoon will have officially begun. Since the start date is determined retroactively, being the first of those three consecutive days, it is extremely likely that we'll have a June Monsoon on our hands. And that will be something the Nicolini-Bertsches have never experienced before. Strangely, years ending in "6" have had June start dates for many decades. That's a pretty strange statistical aberration, if you ask me. I'm delighted at the prospect of spending all of July in the bliss of humidity that is mild by Midwestern or East Coast standards, but worlds better for me than the parching desiccation of much of the Sonoran year. Did I mention how awesome this place smells after a summer thuderstorm? If a smell can be sublime -- Kant didn't discuss olfactory matters much, alas -- than it assuredly is.

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Current Location: 85704
Mode: waiting

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Comments
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: June 30th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i love seeing the sky fill with clouds.

i don't love the metric ton of bugs that the rain brings. so many crickets, etc. crickets are scary.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm not scared by crickets. But we also have cats who love to play with them, so they disappear rapidly.
commonalgebra From: commonalgebra Date: June 30th, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm so torn. I am happy for the early rains (which Kiyomi said may be part of a ten year cycle)...but they're ruining an experiment of hers... It's odd to feel a little sad about it raining in the desert! Very bizarre indeed.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's unfortunate. It really is true that every year ending in "6" for decades has seen an early Monsoon. Odd. We should see you guys sometimes when things settle down for you.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: June 30th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm so hoping for early monsoons. Jet and I got out of town the 9th-15th and we historically go right about that time (because it's going back east and I want to a) try to get there before the worst of the humidity and b) lightening bug season) and almost every time we miss the best of the monsoons because of it.

Last year I put off the trip until August so we would not miss the monsoons but then, chicago in August absolutely sucked.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
We're going to Baltimore for nearly a week on the 15th, so I too am hoping for early wetness. As well as lightning bugs when we visit my parents' house in Maryland. I do so love a lightning bug.
From: bobo_amargo Date: June 30th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Critique of the Power of Smell

Kant usually cites the sense of smell as a negative instance. It does not fundamentally inform a judgment concerning either something's beauty or its sublimity. Put otherwise, judgments based on it are judgments of sense, not of taste. Their agreeableness is a form of subjectivity that cannot be universalized. E.g., if the smell of the monsoon season inspires you with awe, that feeling may or may not be communicable; thus, it is not, by Kantian definition, sublime. Of course, you're free to use the word in ways different from the Kantian. ;)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Critique of the Power of Smell

Well, I can't ultimately buy the Kantian take on aesthetics, though I find it provocative. I think it would be interesting to critique his critique on the basis of its privileging of some sensory experiences over others. Why is a smell less communicable than a sight? And I don't ask that to hear Kant's response, but because I really want to know.
From: bobo_amargo Date: July 2nd, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Two Scents Worth

I'm as much of a Humean on these matters as I am a Kantian. So I'd say, with Hume, that the burden of making things olfactory seem communicable (hence, universalizable) is the critic's. Not based on reading Kant et al., but corroborated by it, my prima facie experience has been that sight, sound, and touch have about them an air of communicability, the universalizability of which I am, in particular instances, prepared to argue for, that taste (the sense, not the judgment) and smell lack. For instance, it's not the taste of the madeleine itself that Proust is urging the reader to experience as his narrator does. Rather, he's counting on our having had a similar experience, the particulars of which are most likely different (if they're not, i.e., if a madeleine were to have roughly the same effect on us, it would be a contingent affinity).

What do we say when? We don't say that this cookie tastes beautiful (though somewhat archly we might say that it tastes sublime), but we might agree, at a second-order level that particular, unshared tastes can evoke experiences of sublime or beautiful moment. Then the question, your question, becomes, To what extent is what we ordinarily say built of ideological prejudice? Why do taste and smell suffer so aggravated a repression? I would of course agree that a good way to read Kant well is to read him through a deconstructive (in the broad critical theory sense of that term) lens, but as you know I also value the impulse to resist the counterintuitive long enough to see whether long-held intuitions carry any philosophical water.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 2nd, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Two Scents Worth

This is really productive forr me, so thanks. I don't want to sound like a total post-structuralist here, but isn't the communicability you describe something that still requires a translation into words, regardless of sense? I'm also curious why touch gets grouped with sight and hearing in your account. I can see why the latter two sense at least seem more easy to communicate, but not touch. But maybe that's because I'm of German provenance and was rarely hugged until I'd reached voting age. . . :-)
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