1. i’ve been searching online for flats in Ultima Thule. Amusing line from one description, the translation courtesy of Google:

In my apartment lived a cat and I have a part-time dog, which is usually a week during the day for me.

i’m not sure exactly what a part-time dog is but it sounds all right. i was going to apply, take a look at this part-time dog, but she says she wants someone her age (mid 40s) and though i look all beat up and scarred, and my hair is falling out, i have the demonic rage of the young.

2. Listening to a podcast by Mary Warnock. i Googled her and found some heartening hostility between her and Elizabeth Anscombe. Warnock claims that Wittgenstein’s love of violent westerns was actually an affectation, a deliberate pose. This is an example of how, looking from the outside, people see a complex, changing human being and as it were take a snapshot from just one angle, and decide that is the real man, the true self. So if she saw Wittgenstein as this cold and brutal philosophical thinking machine, then obviously he couldn’t have liked westerns (or Betty Hutton), so it must have been a pose.

Warnock has an incredibly toffee-nosed voice and i’ve been taking great pleasure in mimicking her with suitably cruel facial contortions. However, i like the cut of her jib, especially her evident loathing for modern academia, e.g.:

And if you publish you’ve got to publish according to the American style with the whole apparatus, references to your colleagues, the endless, tedious reference to what other people who’ve been working in the same field, because if you don’t you won’t get published by the professional journals. And it just makes, to me, the whole task of philosophy quite pointless, so if you refer to me as a philosopher you probably, you have to put in a little caveat that I’m not an academic philosopher.

Bravo. Yesterday a friend emailed me from a university in England:

Did I tell you I had my sabbatical refused by one of  the Dean’s minions — apparently I hadn’t made a sufficient case for my research contributing to the department’s ‘research strategy’…

Naturally, she’s also a more interesting thinker and a truer scholar than the big stars of “the Department”, she just lacks the instinct for self-advancement and bullshit one needs, to get on in academia. She wrote a very good book on Milton which her publisher mutilated beyond redemption – the editors hacking a good 20,000 words out; i would say “at random” but it seems the editors were guided by a revulsion for anything interesting, expansive, profound. i witnessed its transformation from the best book i’ve read about Milton, to a confused hotch-potch of dead fragments, with every important passage either removed or merely maimed by an academic editor.

So much for academia.

3. Another flat advert by a Krautette – again, translation courtesy of Google:

You should spontaneously open and be cheerful, our WG should be no end-WG. Very much I would take with you cooking or something. I look forward to joint evenings, happy with friends or a beautiful DVD. A garden is also available in the summer I would be delighted to be able to grill with you.

i really don’t want her to grill with me.