Saturday, May 05, 2007
A Calendar Powerhouse
Today is notable in that it is the birth date of both Karl Marx and Soren Kierkegaarde, two giants of philosophy and original thought. Kierkegaard, who noted as his primary influences the names of Socrates and Christ, said famously that "Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth," but also pessimistically noted that one should
"Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth --look at the dying man's struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment."
Karl Marx wanted the proletariat to rise up and confront the bourgeousie. In his famous Communist Manifesto he wrote " The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable." Marx saw the workers as manipulated by the rich to achieve their own ends.
I find myself relating to young Karl Marx, not only because I sometimes feel like a struggling prole, but because Marx was often broke and had difficulties finding funding for his writing. Hmmmm . . .
So why the photo of Monty Python game card with Terry Jones pretending to be Karl Marx? Why, because it is ALSO the birthday of Michael Palin, the Pythoner who is famous for such lines as "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" and "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and I work all day." Palin is known as the "nice one" in the Python troupe, and now makes his living traveling the world for a tv series currently called "New Europe with Michael Palin."
I love Palin for a little-known series called "Ripping Yarns," which I found quite funny.
One more thing: it's also the birthday of Tammy Wynette. So stand by your man in her honor.