The Grandfather Paradox – “I’m My Own Grandpaw!”

The grandfather paradox is quite straightforward, and has many varieties. In the simplest version: if you were to build a time machine and use it to travel back in time and kill your grandfather before your parents (usually one of them) were consummated, you wouldn’t have been born in order to build a time machine – and thus travel back in time in order to kill…. Now for the less straightforward version, and for this […]

Leopardi – To the Moon

Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) is considered a pessimist by most, if not all, his readers. Most of his poems are not only sad, they reek of depression. His readers remember him as someone who had poor eyesight, mostly due to his vigilant reading in a dark room with only one candle. Some claim he was poor, though that is most likely a misconception. And in addition to that, his reading was probably a cause for him […]

Psych paradox – It goes without saying….

In an early episode of Psych (Season 3, episode 5 – Disco didn’t die. It was murdered!), the protagonist Shawn (James Roday) observes an interesting paradox: “Why people always say, ‘it goes without saying’, yet still feel compelled to say the thing supposed to go without saying”. That certainly is something to think about, especially seeing how often I use this expression (in serious writing as well as in the less serious manner of speech) – and […]

Pinocchio’s nose paradox

When Collodi wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio (original at Amazon), his intentions must have been to point out the link between truth and reality. It is in this sense that Pinocchio wants to be a real boy (as Disney aptly reminds us more often than it should have), but it is his numerous acts of deceit that prevent him (it?) from becoming one. This relation between truth and reality remains pertinent in much of 20th […]

Phil Ochs – Changes (+ guitar chords)

In an interview in 1967, Phil Ochs is introduced in a peculiar way. The hostess of ‘Come, read to me a poem’ summarizes Ochs by saying: “Much of the poetry written today, is the poetry written as music … much of that music has beautiful words to it too”. And isn’t that the case with this particular ‘poem’. Phil Ochs was more than just a musician, he was a 68’er. This is not recognized by Anglo-Saxons […]

Sean Hannity, Russell Brand, and the meaning of violence

This is probably not the last thoughts on violence that will pour out, and some passion is always involved when speaking of such issues. I have recently been sent a video about a ‘powerful’ response by Russell Brand to Sean Hannity from the Fox News. Certainly most people don’t even watch Fox News, and rightly so if Hannity is to be taken as a representative. Yet, there has been an interesting development that is troubling […]

A poor attempt at a joke

A philosopher walks into a bar and asks for the bill. The bartender looks at him in some surprise and say, “but you haven’t ordered yet.” To which the philosopher replies, “you are all blind in not seeing our existence is but a mere debt.” He walks out in regret that it wasn’t that easy.   Not really a paradox, not really funny either, but this philosopher is certainly Christian. [Ok, this was my first […]