The Philosopher Red is on my computer again. He’s learning to surf.
I don’t think much of this development, but he has no concerns for what I think. I have to come up with a subtly tactical method of getting him off, and me on, my laptop so I can let the world know what he’s up too. It is not easy. I can feel my Pooh-osity levels lowering. Again, I am forced into an unfamiliar role, the voice of reason. The Philosopher Red is scrolling through the top “news” feeds of the past week, and he doesn’t seem pleased. (This is not a picture of him – he never allows himself to be photographed. But, it is a fairly good likeness, so I use it to give readers an idea of what I’m dealing with here).
The Philosopher Red: Look at this. “Michelle Obama‘s eye rolls at John Boehner ignites internet firestorm.” Are they serious? Is this news? Do any of these philosophical Neanderthals know what a firestorm is? I’ve heard John Boehner speak and my eyes are still rolling…my vision has gone blurry because of it. But no one seem to care about their intellectual health any more, or the health of philosophers. (The Philosopher Red is from Cleveland – a city he decries as an abomination to Cartesian rationalism – in the state of Ohio – which he refers to as a state of non-being).
The Voice of Reason: What does that have to do with you? Besides, the opinions of philosophers have gone so far out of style in this –
PR: And, look at this. “Ohio woman sues over alleged 9/11 strip search”… “Burger King drops firm which supplied horse meat” … “Shaggy not dead” … “Country singer pregnant with identical twins”. What nonsensical pap. I enjoy strip searches. Horse meat is probably the healthiest thing on the menu at Burger King. Who is Shaggy? And, unless that country western singer is a man, how can that be news? If I was the type to make New Year resolutions some of these might be on my list.
I sense an opening and nudge Red over so I can get at the computer keyboard. I key in a word search for the most popular New Year resolutions.
TVR: There…something for you to contemplate. The most popular resolution – lose weight. You could –
PR: Forget it. I’d never find a smaller red philosopher’s robe in this sand pit you call a town.
TVR: Number two on the list – stop smoking. That would improve your –
PR: Not a chance. (He shakes a cigarette out of my almost empty pack and lights up…I buy them, he smokes them).
TVR: Alright, number three – stick to a budget…number four – save more money…number five – get a better job…number six –
PR: No, why bother, and, are you kidding? What would I do for a living?
TVR: Being a philosopher is no occupation for a grown man, and you live off me and my –
PR: This is a world of corrupt values and no true appreciation for stimulating thought. This is a world that needs radical change.
TVR: Become more organized…exercise more…eat better…become a better person…help my community. That’s the top ten.
PR: I could start a movement…a revolution. That’s what you people do down here, isn’t it? I could organize workers and arm them with guns and the teachings of Kant. I’d get more exercise if I had to take to the hills – and I’d have to live off insects, bugs, grubs and tree leaves.
TVR: You already live off insects, and I think you’re a bit bitter to inspire any community to –
PR: Action ! That’s what this community needs, and if I don’t become a better person no one will notice – I’ll keep them busy printing pamphlets that will never be read, and erecting barricades that will be blown apart by helicopter gunships. They’ll have to reprint…they’ll have to rebuild…they’ll have meaningful lives – I’ll have a meaningful life. Occupy Costa Rica !
The Philosopher Red moves to the window and spreads his arms wide, looking too much like the statue of Christ the Redeemer above Rio de Janeiro. He closes his eyes and starts to hum until his whole body is vibrating. Then he turns on me suddenly.
PR: The revolution will not be televised. I’ll write the world out of its cruel, inhumane state. I’ll call myself…Commander Read !
Personally, I like the idea. I’m getting tired of writing his name as The Philosopher Red…too long…too awkward to key in, and it would force him to move out of my condo and off my couch. But, some people insist on reality, and occasionally I’m one of them.
TVR: Commander Read, there is no chance of a revolution happening in a country like Costa Rica, or any country that has credit and debit cards – countries that allow their citizens to live beyond their means. Taking to the hills would ruin their credit rating.
PR: My movement will help the common man rise above this tawdry state of affairs. The motto of my revolution will be “Gravity is Boring.”
I bury my face in my hands. I don’t see any possibility of The Philosopher Red – or Commander Read – ever leaving my condo, my couch, my life, or not monopolizing my computer. Time to sign of sign off so another newly energized revolutionary can check the availability of weapons and ammunition on the internet.