Tuesday 28th of May 2024

philosophy, feminism and footballers...

Aphra BehnMrs Aphra Behn (1670)

Louise Florence Pétronille Tardieu d'Esclavelles d'Épinay (11 March 1726 – 17 April 1783), better known as Mme d'Épinay, was a French writer, a saloniste and a woman of fashion, well-known for her liaisons with Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm, and especially Jean-Jacques Rousseau who eventually gave unflattering reports of her in his Confessions. She was also known for acquaintance with Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, the Baron d'Holbach and other French men of letters during the Enlightenment. 

Louise Florence Pétronille was one of many women referenced in Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex as an example of noble expansion of women's rights during the 18th century.

Here we might all think of Jean-Jacques Rousseau as an avantgarde knight of Enlightenment about the human species, but Rousseau was a brutish chauvinist pig — like good old Winston Churchill who was also a racist and a misogynist. So much for the "Noble Savage"... See also: Rousseau's noble savage VS the rapists of the empire...

After a disastrous marriage to a rich cousin who inherited the post of grand collector of taxes, Louise Florence Pétronille got substantial assets from the separation and moved near Paris, in the countryside. There, on her estate, she intellectually entertained her distinguished visitors — mostly men. 

Developing a strong attachment for a financially struggling Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was 12 years older than her, she housed him in 1756 in a cottage which she named the Hermitage. Apparently, in this retreat Rousseau found, for a time, the quiet and natural rural pleasures he praised so highly. But Rousseau, in his Confessions, asserted that the "affair" if there had been one was all from her side. After she visited him in Geneva where Rousseau lived for a couple of years, he became her bitter enemy. One could guess that the man, a full-blown misogynist, did not like to be dependent of a female, especially a younger one at that — and one possibly intelligent enough to challenge him in his airy-fairy philosophical pursuits. Annoying.

It appears that Rousseau hated intelligent women, a bit like our Tony Abbott despite his protestations, though he does not mind strong women "at his service". Rousseau preferred dumb bosomy lasses to satisfy his basic instincts. We still know men like this, especially in politics and in business. Remember the DC Madam already mentioned on this site. This is why Rousseau viciously wrote about Louise Florence Pétronille Tardieu d'Esclavelles d'Épinay that "she was very thin, very pale, and had a bosom that resembled the back of her hand". Ouch. One of my aunties was like that.

So much for the "Noble Savage"...

Rousseau's sexual romp was with his own servant, an uneducated, unsophisticated lass — but well endowed...  She was the ideal mother nature that would not be out of place on the cover of the now defunct magazine "Zoo". Her name was Therese Levasseur. They had met in Paris in 1745. Levasseur was working as a laundress and chambermaid at the hotel where Rousseau took his meals. She was 24 years old at the time, he was 33. According to Rousseau, Thérèse bore him five children — all of whom were abandoned to the "Enfants-Trouvés" home, the first in 1746 and the others in 1747, 1748, 1751, and 1752. 

So much for the "Noble Savage"...

Rousseau and Levasseur eventually had an invalid marriage ceremony on August 29, 1768. 

Therese provided Rousseau with support and care, and when he died (1778), she was the sole inheritor of his belongings, including manuscripts and royalties. Not so stupid lass after all...

Gossip though has it, that "our friend" Boswell, already mentioned on this site as the companion of Dr Samuel Johnson, was once asked to accompany Therese Levasseur From France to England where Rousseau had taken refuge for whatever reason in 1765, under the protection of David Hume. Though Boswell was younger than Levasseur (she was already 44), he found her conversation very boring — which would have been something amazing considering Boswell's own legendary dullness. But she was still attractive, sexy and eager enough for them to have more than a dozen sessions of intercourse during that short journey to England. Savages.

One could stop at this anecdote in regard to Rousseau, the womaniser despite his Levasseur's unromantic "attachment" (she was only the "help"), general feminism and the noble savage... But there had been some other female inspiration in his work, some musing coming from a woman who had died 24 years before he was born.

Here we are talking of Mrs Aphra Behn (picture at top). Aphra (14 December 1640? – 16 April 1689) was a British playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer. She was one of the few English women to earn her living by solely writing. She smashed cultural barriers and served as a literary role model for later generations of women authors. She thus came to the notice of Charles II, who employed her as a spy in Antwerp. Was she an early Mata Hari — Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, who was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan, convicted of being a spy? Why Mrs Behn? Women can have their ways... They are still used in spy network these days for their intelligence and sex. The honey trap. That's the way Mossad captured Vanunu. Why not...

Unfortunately/fortunately, no-one took notice of Aphra when she warned the Kings' men that the Dutch were about to send an attacking fleet up the Medway river, in Kent. 

Do we know the rest? I don't really know but I could guess this may have been at the time Willem III was invited to become William III...

Upon her return to London and after a short stay in prison for debts, Aphra wrote plays. She belonged to a group of poets and famous libertines such as John Wilmot and Lord Rochester. She wrote under the pseudonym Astrea. She also wrote something that brought her in legal hot water during the turbulent times of the Exclusion Crisis which ran from 1679 through 1681 during the reign of King Charles II. The Exclusion Bill sought to exclude the King's brother and heir, James, Duke of York, from the throne because he was Roman Catholic... See previous notes...

A staunch supporter of the Stuart line, Aphra declined an invitation to write a welcoming poem to the new King William III (who was, or became a Stuart nonetheless by "marriage" while still being Dutch/French "royalty" and a Protestant). See, in 1685, Willem's Catholic father-in-law, James, had become king of England, Ireland and Scotland. James's reign was unpopular with the Protestant majority in Britain. William, a protestant like all good Dutchman, was supported by a group of influential British political and religious leaders. He invaded England in what became known as the "Glorious Revolution"... See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/32242

Most likely, no-one took notice of Aphra's warnings about the Kent invasion by the Dutch, because the plotters in Pommyland wanted Willem III to invade... and get rid of the "Catholic" king who was supported by the French Sun-Soleil himself. 

The things the royal savages do...

Aphra Behn is remembered in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own: "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." Her grave is not included in the Poets' Corner but lies in the East Cloister near the steps to the church.

Behn's style of writing was very risqué — using coarse language and stories designed to make nuns blush and princesses have budding princes on the side in the boudoirs. Apparently, her novel Oroonoko became the inspiration for Rousseau to develop his philosophy of the "noble savage"... Hum...


Oroonokoor the Royal Slave (a true history) is a short work of fiction, published in 1688. The hero is an African prince from Coramantien who is tricked into slavery and sold to British colonists in Surinam where he meets the narrator. Behn's text is a first person account of Oroonoko's life, love, rebellion and execution. Yes this was the "NOBLE" savage... A fictitious black prince... Meanwhile slavery of savages was doing a roaring trade in the 17th century, despite the massive death toll during the voyages to the West Indies. 


As much as Mrs Behn's work was generally bawdy and coarse, soon came the Protestant rectitude of Daniel Defoe's novels full of the ethics of work and the precise "miser-ing" of meagre resources, designed to help get salvaged by god's providence. Defoe was much older than Rousseau. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (published 1719) and Vendredi (Friday — the "help" on the deserted island) could have also influenced Rousseau (born 1712) in his noble savage pursuits of human idealism.

But fear not, the salacious side of human life was soon re-explored by a certain Samuel Richardson (older than Rousseau as well) whose unmentionable main work was described as an essay in vulgarity of sentiment and (im)morality — that has never been surpassed. 

He was soon surpassed nonetheless by Henry Fielding who wrote Tom Jones... and by Laurence Sterne who wrote comic and cheerfully erotic works. Sterne was described as a bawdy blockhead. Let's call him a footballer, had football been invented then — though ball games were dangerously vicious, at the time already.

All this glorious debauchery way before the middle of the 18th Century.

But apart from a few libertines like Mrs Behn, women struggled and to this day still struggle to be recognised as equal to men. 

For example Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), had to use a masculine author's name, George Sand, to publish. She was a French novelist and memoirist. She is far more well-known for her affairs with a number of artists, including Polish-French composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin and the writer Alfred de Musset, than for her writings.

Her work is mostly unknown to us, the plebs, though we might still remember the affairs of the heart and sex when listening to a Chopin waltz. Nothing changes in the magazines "for women" of today. It's all about 4-colour spreads of looks, cellulite and sex (in tasteful innuendo of course) while the fame is de-rigueur, though no-one knows what for, apart from marrying a good looking prince or being a second-rate movie star who once dated someone called Pitt...

All this helps sell entertainment.

Even deep thinkers like Simone de Beauvoir did not get the full recognition they deserve as they were thwarted by the fame of the men they lived, or did not have sex, with. That is why she wrote "The Second Sex", not the "First Sex", which women should deserve as a title on an Amazon book list. We all know that in Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of fierce woman warriors. 

On this note, we have to mention some incoming powerful women, especially Hillary Clinton — the Amazon in waiting. Hillary is one of the rare breed of liar and warrior in the female sociopath of the species. It could be possible that in the back of her mind, she harbours neat revenge and wishes to out-perform Billy who had been a popular prick, including with his unsavoury performances in the oval office.

With Hillary, the process of gaining power looks like an all-about deadly spinster-black-widow clowning powered by smart calculated deceit. It's pure Methodist sharpish warpath, contrarily to the idiotic Catholic "crusading" spirit for a simpletonian holy war of, say, a Rubio or a Cruz — and totally opposite to the "peaceful" loose cannons of a new-reborn hypocrite evangelical Christian like Trump. 

Boy! Aren't we in trouble !

In Australia, we have had our own female Prime Minister, who was savaged equally by the ruling Catholics and the Protestants, and beaten daily into a pulp by the mediocre media which hated being ruled by a woman — and a red-headed atheist one at that. She made mistakes of course but who does not when one is in power — especially with the machinations of men behind the scenes and shock-jocks trying to send you out to sea in a shaf-bag. As we are reminded of her brilliant misogyny speech, at the same time her government was reducing the support for single mothers. 

This of course was not so much her ideal desire, but had been a trade-off in order to maintain support from the rabid Catholic ultra-conservative nuts in the Labor Party, like the likes of Jo De Bryun, who hate gays, women, abortion and goats. Gillard had to compromise on a few issues to please these party men who resented her ability to get things done nonetheless. Because of her general political stand, she was also attacked for her arse, her clothes and her voice by a relentlessly aggressively negative media, including rabid commentariating women who hated her for being more powerful than they could ever be. Take that, feminism...

At this level, I cannot understand why Julia Gillard has provided some feminist support to Hillary Clinton. I guess she did it to lift Hillary's feminine profile, because most women in the US don't like Hillary for various reasons, including that some of these women believe the role of a woman is at home, cooking, barefoot and with kids, like it says in the bible or the q'ran. Others are in the rich conservative camp and believe that a woman should be kept quiet with gold and be a shiny trophy-wife to a powerful warrior. Other women know the dangerous warpath that Clinton is on, and it takes devious women to know a devious woman.

Elizabeth I still stands tall in front of the now longest serving monarch of the British Empire. A female. A shrinking shadow in golden palaces of past royals  — with more descendants than rabbits in a rabbit farm, waiting for the throne. But the price of Empire left Elizabeth I childless. Not an issue if you are an elected prime minister like Julia Gillard, or a president, but it is an issue if you are in charge of coughing up a dynasty as well.

There are few female philosophers around, though plenty of great female writers and producers. Some would say Germaine Greer is one, but I would dispute the term philosopher and replace it with "thinker". Here I can not blame some women for thinking that pure philosophy is really a mug's game for brain dead footballers and that most of our important human relationships reside in emotions and intuition. On this subject a lot of men's mind goes blank. Especially footballers'.

Feminism still has a long way to go to get women the equality of recognition it deserves, and most of this delay resides in the testosteroned brutes who only see tits and bums, in the resentful women who achieve a level of incompetence because of whom they shag, and in the archaic religious frameworks in which the male is the ruler of the family.

Aesthetics, liberty and justice are represented by women. Is ingrained misogyny preventing men to achieve these ideals? Is misogyny making them muck it up or are men afraid of emotions that would floor them on the football field? What proportion of brawn do women need to be equal to men?

Is equality of purpose, of pay and of recognition victim of convenient traditions — or is it because women don't have the balls to become philosophers? 

Who knows but in the end, philosophy rather is a useless pursuit like footballers trying to make sense of the shape of the ball...


Gus Leonisky

Former local footballer.

the histerical woman and the brain dead shock-jock...


WILKO.  Here’s one. In the first episode Holmes and Watson, in an open field, are laying in their sleeping bags looking up at the stars and Holmes asks Watson what seeing the stars says to him. Watson replies:


“The infinity of space. The insignificance of each individual. The natural wonder of life. The beauty of each star. The weaving systems and patterns that contain each life. What does it say to you Holmes?”

“That someone has stolen our tent, Watson.”

R.S.J. … Hysterical. Love it. Look forward to it. Thanks Wilko. Same time next week. After the break, social media commentator Vanessa Jones.


R.S.J.  Welcome Vanessa. How are you?

VANESSA  Not great. Lots of negative things happening around the world.


R.S.J.  No need to get all hysterical on me. 

VANESSA  Me?! Hysterical?!


R.S.J.  Yes. You. Hysterical.




R.S.J. ... Yes. I can’t stand it when people are hysterical. I’m cutting this interview now.


read more: https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/radio-shock-jock-and-the-hysterical-woman,9257


Women suffer from Gandhi's legacy...


January 2010...

by Michael Connellan

Mohandas Gandhi, whose death anniversary falls on (Saturday) [30 January 1948], was an amazing human being. He led his country to freedom and helped destroy the British Empire. Little wonder India worshipped him, and still worships him, as the Mahatma – "Great Soul". In the west he is viewed as a near-perfect combination of compassion, bravery and wisdom.

But Gandhi was also a puritan and a misogynist who helped ensure that India remains one of the most sexually repressed nations on earth – and, by and large, a dreadful place to be born female. George Orwell, in his 1949 essay Reflections on Gandhi, said that "saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent". If only.

Gandhi despised his own sexual desires, and despised sex in any context except for procreation. He preached that the failure to control carnal urges led to complaints including constipation. He believed that sex was bad for the health of an individual, and that sexual freedom would lead Indians to failure as a people. He sought to consign his nation to what Martin Luther called "the hell of celibacy". He took his own celibacy vow unilaterally, without consulting his wife.

Both Gandhi and his hagiographers claimed he viewed women as equal to men, pointing to his inclusion of women in India's independence struggle. He celebrated non-violent protest as a "feminine" principle, neutralising the masculine brutality of British rule. But his sexual hang-ups caused him to carry monstrously sexist views. His view of the female body was warped. As accounted by Rita Banerji, in her book Sex and Power, "he believed menstruation was a manifestation of the distortion of a woman's soul by her sexuality".

During Gandhi's time as a dissident in South Africa, he discovered a male youth had been harassing two of his female followers. Gandhi responded by personally cutting the girls' hair off, to ensure the "sinner's eye" was "sterilised". Gandhi boasted of the incident in his writings, pushing the message to all Indians that women should carry responsibility for sexual attacks upon them. Such a legacy still lingers. In the summer of 2009, colleges in north India reacted to a spate of sexual harassment cases by banning women from wearing jeans, as western-style dress was too "provocative" for the males on campus.

Gandhi believed Indian women who were raped lost their value as human beings. He argued that fathers could be justified in killing daughters who had been sexually assaulted for the sake of family and community honour. He moderated his views towards the end of his life. But the damage was done, and the legacy lingers in every present-day Indian press report of a rape victim who commits suicide out of "shame". Gandhi also waged a war against contraceptives, labelling Indian women who used them as whores.

Like all men who wage a doomed war with their own sexual desires, Gandhi's behaviour around females would eventually become very, very odd. He took to sleeping with naked young women, including his own great-niece, in order to "test" his commitment to celibacy. The habit caused shock and outrage among his supporters. God knows how his wife felt.

Gandhi cemented, for another generation, the attitude that women were simply creatures that could bring either pride or shame to the men who owned them. Again, the legacy lingers. India today, according to the World Economic Forum, finds itself towards the very bottom of the gender equality index. Indian social campaigners battle heroically against such patriarchy. They battle dowry deaths. They battle the honour killings of teenage lovers. They battle Aids. They battle female foeticide and the abandonment of new-born girls.

In the words of the Indian writer Khushwant Singh, "nine-tenths of the violence and unhappiness in this country derives from sexual repression". Gandhi isn't singularly to blame for India's deeply problematic attitudes to sex and female sexuality. But he fought, and succeeded, to ensure the country would never experience sexual freedom while his legend persevered. Gandhi's genius was to realise the great power of non-violent political revolution. But the violence of his thoughts towards women has contributed to countless honour killings and immeasurable suffering.

Remember, there's no such thing as a saint.



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when henry met catherine promised to arthur...


Henry VIII was a vile sociopathic misogynist who used religion as a means to rule and to get rid off his wife to marry another woman, while having affairs on the side. He killed 2 of his own wives. He had six. The fates of the wives can be remembered as "Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived."


Henry VIII's first wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, who had been contracted to Henry's brother Arthur before his death, gave him a daughter, who was to become Queen Mary I, also known as Bloody Mary, for the number of Protestant executions in her reign. While married to Catherine, the King fell in love with Anne Boleyn to the point of obsession, which resulted in his desire to obtain a divorce. The Pope and the Catholic Church would not grant it, which resulted in King Henry VIII breaking from the church of Rome — in one swoop England became a protestant country; it is due to this one factor that the Anglican church, or Church of England, exists. 

Henry VIII's second wife, 
Queen Anne Boleyn, gave birth to a daughter, who would later become Queen Elizabeth I, arguably the strongest and most successful monarch, King or Queen, in the history of Britain. The King still desired a male heir, a crown prince, and Anne Boleyn's contrary nature was wearing on the King. Anne Boleyn also had enemies at court, who helped bring about her downfall; accused of adultery and plotting to kill the king, and thus treason, there was no way for Anne to go, but to the headsman's block. The King had already begun to court one of the ladies of the court, Jane Seymour, whom he married shortly after.

Henry VIII's third wife, 
Queen Jane Seymour succeeded in giving birth to an heir to the crown — Prince Edward, who later succeeded his father to the English throne as King Edward VI. Unfortunately, the Queen died a few days after childbirth from an infection.


The King's advisors, mainly Thomas Cromwell, suggested a match for him with Anne of Cleves, but it appears Holbein's portrait of Anne was more flattering than the reality. Anne became Henry VIII's fourth wife, but the King was not attracted to her (and there are stories that one of the reasons was her pervasive body odour), and the marriage quickly resulted in divorce. Anne stayed in England, however, and remained in good relations with the King and all three of his children, as well as with his future queens.

King Henry VIII's fifth wife was 
Catherine Howard. An attractive young lady, she had been pushed into the marriage by her own ambition, as well as the pressure of her powerful family. King Henry VIII, however, was no longer a young man; he had become corpulent, and an old wound in his leg had never healed but remained an oozing sore — hardly the romantic ideal for a young woman. Further, the King had become irascible; long gone were the days of courtly love, when he wrote love letters to Anne Boleyn. Catherine soon started fooling around with young courtiers, and was eventually caught: chopping block for her. 

King Henry VIII's sixth and last wife was 
Queen Katherine Parr. A well-educated lady, an excellent writer with a keen intelligence and solid moral fiber, Katherine Parr was the Queen to outlast the intrigues of court, the bad temper of the King, and the general rigors of court life. She was a sweet-tempered, kind person, and the children of King Henry VIII loved her. 


tax on being a woman...

I’m sick of conversations about the tax on tampons being shut down by claims that there are more important issues to worry about. Of course there are. There are always more important “things” to worry about. But this is – despite what you’ve been told – an issue of vital importance. An issue that illustrates in lurid detail the lack of consideration given to women’s health and wellbeing.

It is, as New York governor Andrew Cuomo noted upon repealing the state sales tax on menstruation products last week, a “matter of social and economic justice”. It’s also a matter of equality.

Women already pay more for haircuts, clothes, razors, mortgages and car insurance, and pretty much any other product that can be feminised. And we pay the GST on most of those higher-priced products. The fact we are also charged a tax on what amounts to a medical product is an outrage.

It feels obscene to remind people that these are products women have to buy every month. It’s not a choice. We could, I suppose, choose not to buy menstrual products and use tree bark instead but the impacts on our health would be disastrous if we did (they’re called “sanitary” or “hygiene” products for a reason).

read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/25/the-tampon-tax-is-not-a-marginal-issue-its-the-force-of-structural-sexism-at-work

See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/30270

saving 8 dollars on tampons per year...

In a recent broadside in National Review against “ill-informed critics of Churchill,” Ben Shapiro mocks his opponents by reminding them that they “would be speaking German if he (Churchill) had not led the fight against Hitler.” If that’s the worse that would have happened had the Third Reich prevailed, it would have been an exceedingly small price to pay for such an outcome. 

I offer this comment as someone who grew up speaking German and who still regards it as his second mother tongue. According to Shapiro, those who dare criticize Churchill are mostly “a variety of groups ranging from Indians to Sudanese to Asian tribes.” These quibblers, he writes, are fixated on Churchill’s “racial comment” which “have taken out of context to slander his achievements.” Supposedly those who dwell on Churchill’s imperialist ideas or slurs about lesser breeds are uniformly on the left and mistakenly believe that “an ounce of sin washes away a lifetime of heroism.” 

But Shapiro never demonstrates that Churchill spent his entire life engaged in heroic action. He properly recognizes his heroism in standing up to Nazi Germany; and he notes that Churchill “successfully led Great Britain through the most dangerous time in her history.” But was this a more dangerous period than when Churchill’s ancestor the Duke of Marlborough opposed the expansive despotism of Louis XIV, which threatened both England and the European continent in the early 18th century? What about the heroism of William Pitt the Younger, Britain’s very young prime minister who kept his country fighting on against Napoleon and his empire after other countries had deserted the cause?

It’s also not clear in what way we attack the West “by savaging the civilizational history” that Churchill embodied. Are we not allowed to write critically about someone whom Shapiro, and presumably National Review, want us to admire for his presumed “lifetime of heroism”?

Unfortunately there was a lot in Churchill’s life that was not particularly heroic—it’s striking that our current conservative establishment is willing to “contextualize” away “bigoted” statements made by Churchill, while ranting against Churchill contemporary H.L. Mencken, when he made his own. But then Mencken supposedly took the wrong side in World War One, in which he was effusively pro-German, while Churchill did everything in his power to poison Anglo-German relations before that cataclysm, which he regarded as inevitable. This came after Churchill helped foment the Boer War in South Africa, which enabled the British Empire to swallow up the Transvaal and other parts of South Africa. Later as First Lord of the Admiralty, he imposed on Imperial Germany a starvation blockade that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. This blockade wasn’t lifted until several months after the hostilities had ended. In the Second World War Churchill supported the terror bombing of German cities, at a time when these population centers could no longer defend themselves and when the war was all but lost.


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the modern philosopher is an australian puppet...

The modern philosopher is not far from being a bit like Randy. Randy is a puppet. We could leave this deep thought at that, but our overseas readers may not be able to link to his profound ramblings...

Randy has been creating havoc on Australian screens (mostly the ABC) for a while now. He is quite badly stitched, but he always leaves us in stitches. Enjoy. And whatever is said by the blurb about his "gratuitous arm movements", they are quite restrained compared to our porkying polliticians — and Randy's arm are more expressive than those of a magician on Penn and Teller. 



Randy teams up with a typewriter in this hilarious new hour of spoken word and gratuitous arm movements. Watch as Randy reads excerpts from his unpublished novel while getting distracted by his own hate-filled ramblings.


See it all at:



Randy Feltface, commonly referred to as merely Randy, or on occasion Randy the Purple Puppet, is an Australian puppet comedian voiced and operated by Heath McIvor. Randy is a permanent fixture on the international stand-up circuit,[1] and makes regular guest appearances on Australian television.[2] He also performs as one half of the musical comedy duo "Sammy Jand Randy", who made their television sitcom debut in 2015 with Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane on ABC in Australia, for which Randy is credited as co-writer and lead actor.

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endless commonness of banality and sublimity...



What about baseball? Baseball is not widely played in Norway. In fact, it is not played in Norway at all. And of all the American sports, baseball turns out to be the one I remain utterly incapable of understanding. To give you an idea of my ignorance, I will confess that for a long time I thought the pitcher was on the same team as the guy with the bat. To me, then, the baseball connection simply signalled that there was something "American" about Cavell's book.

But there was more. For after mentioning music, baseball and vending, Cavell writes that the pitch of philosophy speaks "not darkly, of a determined but temporary habitation and of an unsettling motion that befit the state of philosophy as a cultural fact always somewhat at odds with philosophy on its institutional guard." To me, this suggests not just pitching a ball (the unsettling motion), but the pitching of a tent (the temporary habitation). Cavell was telling me that the kind of philosophy he cared about was on the move, looking to escape the institutional inertia that always threatened to pin it down. This was the kind of philosophy I ― who was not a philosopher at all ― could respond to.

Philosophy, identity and autobiography

So much for the pitch. But what got me hooked? On the first page of the book's "Overture" I read that philosophy and autobiography are dimensions of one another. That philosophers don't know anything others do not know; that an education in philosophy is one that prepares us to recognise that "we live lives simultaneously of absolute separateness and endless commonness, of banality and sublimity."


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Toril Moi is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies and Professor of English, Philosophy and Theatre Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual WomanHenrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophyand, most recently, Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin and Cavell

Note:  Duke University was created in 1924, an expansion of what was then Trinity College. Duke's primary religious affiliation is with the United Methodist Church, but the school officially is non-denominational.

aphra would be proud..

Tony McNamara is tipped to become the first Australian to win a best original screenplay Oscar for co-writing The Favourite — a period drama about English royalty that features some very colourful language.

McNamara has written a number of well-loved Australian television shows, including The Secret Life of Us, Puberty Blues, Doctor Doctor and Love My Way.

The Favourite is set in the early 18th century court of England's Queen Anne, who is enmeshed in a lesbian love tryst with her ladies-in-waiting.

It's a kingdom where public formalities contrast sharply with the Queen's inner sanctum, which is awash with hanky-panky and dirty words.

The Queen, played by Olivia Colman, and her courtiers, including actors Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, hurl around "c**t", "cock", "f**k" — even "vajayjay" gets an airing.

"[Period films] can be too polite, too bogged down in the history, the details," McNamara said. 

"We never wanted to view the characters as historical, we made a decision early on that we wanted them to be like contemporary characters.


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Read from top about Aphra Behn.

a lady's philosopher...


As a philosopher who is attuned to the poetic cadences and emotional ground of life, Landauer exults, Buber belongs to the spiritual family of the feminine.

Parenthetically, it was precisely this quality of Buber's thought that his philosophical and ideological adversaries held against him. Both Walter Benjamin and Yeshayahu Leibowitz derisively dismissed him as a "lady's philosopher." In a culture that cultivated in body and spirit a masculine ethos as the basis of the New Jew, a "feminine" thinker such as Buber was bound to be treated with suspicion, as alien to the perceived muscular imperatives of the Zionist cultural and political project. Yet, to paraphrase Landauer's depiction of the culture of his day, at least some contemporary Israelis find the masculine political culture of the country as dissipated and manifestly inappropriate to confront the exigent social and political challenges facing the State of Israel.

As inflected by a "feminine sensibility," dialogue is an act of compassion, rachmanut in Hebrew, which significantly is derived from the Hebrew term for womb (rechem). Rachmanut thus connotes the intense umbilical identification of a mother with the pain and sorrow of her child. Biblical Hebrew has yet another term for compassion, chemlah, which denotes feeling the actual pain and anguish of the other, what in German is called Mitleid. It also connotes identifying with the inner world of the other such that it becomes one's own. It thus enjoins one to action on behalf of the other (and not just feeling the other's pain). Chemlah accordingly has a dimension of love. This is what is implied by the prophet Isaiah, who relates that "in all [of Israel's] affliction [the Lord himself] was afflicted; [Hence] in His love and chemlah he redeemed them" (63:9). Buber himself was wont to cite the Hasidic master, Rabbi Moshe Leib: "To love one's fellow men means to feel their need and to bear their suffering."

As an act of promoting chemlah, dialogue — as indeed love — first and foremost requires learning how to listen to the other, to hear not only his or her words but the inner, muted voice behind the words. This foundational principle of Buber's teaching of dialogue is expressed with elegant simplicity in an anonymous graffiti I came across on a visit to Chania, Crete: "You should first understand the silence before you try to understand the words." Alas, Buber bemoaned, "real listening has become rare in our time."


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vale agnes... freedom fighter...



Rather than remain as dissidents, Heller and her husband the philosopher Ferenc Fehér, along with many other members of the core group of the School, chose exile in Australia in 1977.

Career abroad[edit]

Heller and Fehér encountered what they regarded as the sterility of local culture and lived in relative suburban obscurity close to La Trobe University in Melbourne, and they assisted in the transformation of Thesis Eleven from a labourist journal to a leading Australian journal of social theory before its subsequent conversion to "American civilization" (Tormey 4–18)(Grumley 5–15).

As described by Tormey, Heller's mature thought during this time period was based on the tenets that can be attributed to her personal history and experience as a member of the Budapest School, focusing on the stress on the individual as agent; the hostility to the justification of the state of affairs by reference to non-moral or non-ethical criteria; the belief in "human substance" as the origin of everything that is good or worthwhile; and the hostility to forms of theorizing and political practice that deny equality, rationality and self-determination in the name of "our" interests and needs, however defined.

Heller and Fehér left Australia in 1986 to take up positions in The New School in New York City, where Heller held the position of Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate Studies Program. Her contribution to the field of philosophy was recognized by the many awards that she received (such as the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Philosophy, Bremen, 1995) and the Szechenyi National Prize in Hungary, 1995[citation needed]and the various academic societies that she served on, including the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2006 she visited China for a week for the first time.

Heller researched and wrote prolifically on ethics, Shakespeareaesthetics, political theory, modernity, and the role of Central Europe in historical events. From 1990, Heller was more interested in the issues of aesthetics in The Concept of The Beautiful (1998), Time Is Out of Joint (2002), and Immortal Comedy (2005).

In 2006, she was the recipient of the Sonning Prize, in 2010 she received the Goethe Medal.[citation needed]

In 2010, Heller, with 26 other well known and successful Hungarian women, joined the campaign for a referendum for a female quota in the Hungarian legislature.[6]

Heller published internationally renowned works, including republications of her previous works in English, all of which are internationally revered by scholars such as Lydia Goehr (on Heller's The Concept of the Beautiful), Richard Wolin (on Heller's republication of A Theory of Feelings), Dmitri Nikulin (on comedy and ethics), John Grumley (whose own work focuses on Heller in Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History), John Rundell (on Heller's aesthetics and theory of modernity), Preben Kaarsholm (on Heller's A Short History of My Philosophy), among others.


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Agnes Heller died Died 19 July 2019 (aged 90)

Balatonalmádi, Hungary



about Hungary by Agnes Heller... (the disturbance of philosophy)


However, the government uses all kinds of reforms to rattle the nerves of intellectuals who are sensitive to the respect of rights. For example, by systematically eliminating institutional countervailing powers, by concentrating powers, by nationalizing contributions to private pension funds, by limiting the central bank's independence, introducing and enforcing laws with retroactive effect, and other measures. The "liberal" economists and political scientists become the allies of philosophers.

These are the motives that may underlie this anti-philosophical offensive. But to lead it, it was necessary to convince the Hungarian readership of "truths" that have no credibility. It was necessary to play on certain strings, to which a large number are sensitive. To arouse envy, resentment, anti-Semitism. Uneducated people are made to believe that "philosophers" are, by definition, useless individuals, waste money, for futile projects, that should have been their money in the first instance. On this, three photographs are published, "representing by the greatest of chances", three Jewish personalities.

There is still a reason for satisfaction in this sombre affair. The solidarity shown to us by philosophers around the world and by intellectuals, freethinkers in general, comforts us. The echo was wider than one could have imagined. Petitions and letters of protest flocked from all over the world, from all over Europe. Everywhere, the press has mobilized itself.


Finally, it seems that freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, freedom of thought are concepts that do not know borders. And that philosophy, finally, did not become an old toothless lion either.


Translated by Jules Letambour


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