It is easy to be a philosopher in academia...

...but it is very difficult to be a philosopher in life...


  1. And bars have been known to have a philosopher or two.

    Why, here in the US of America, the local saloon is often the final redoubt for philosophers. Who should be distinguished from purveyers of hot air. Hot air fills all our nation's airwaves, space, television, advertising, best sellers, etc. ad nauseum.

    Have I myself ever dispensed hot air?

    Am I a philosopher?

    It depends upon the time of day, my mood, and the nature of those quiet moments which creep up on us all when our minds turn to inner things, the mysteries and questions of life.

    But then I've seen this sign in some taverns:

    "The cow may come and the cow may go but here the bull stays on forever."


  2. Roy Blount Jr. has pointed out the problem with being a philosopher in America is that you have to sit and think. When you do that, you're quiet and have a distant, unattached look on your face. We don't like that here. We want people to be DOING something all the time. You can't just sit around the house staring off into space. People think there's something wrong with you. The wife sees you're not doing anything and directs you out to clean the henhouse. It's very hard, maybe impossible, to clean a henhouse and think about philosophy at the same time.

    However, there is one place where you can just sit and stare off into space...and that is in a saloon. In fact, such behavior is expected in there. Not only that, the saloon is a place where you can think and do something else at the same time! You can drink.

    And the philosopher on the next stool can turn to you suddenly and pose a question---like, "In every Texas Playboys record at some point, ol' Bob Wills would just go 'Hee Hawww.' Why did he do that?"---and it's OK. You can just ask cosmos questions like that in a bar. Saloons are the only refuge for philosophers in this country.

  3. Sitting and thinking?

    Yes. Sounds unAmerican to me.

    Now as for visiting a saloon to think, and sit, and stare into space, I must admit, I especially like the part about drinking. For it reguiers great energy to stare into space and booze provides it.

    I once tried to just sit and think in a saloon, without buying a drink. The bartender kicked me out. So there may be a merely crass material aspect about philosophizing in bars.

    So this just proves nothing is pure. Not even being drunk as a skunk. But one can try.

    The odor of a henhouse has been known to sober up the most dedicated of philosophers in a bar. Producing a different kind of philosphy, the kind Sartre never heard of before. Not even Plato and Aristotle knew about that kind of philosophy. All the more reason to get out of there and hurry back to the bar.