Tuesday, October 23, 2007


While driving to the soccer tourney at which I dislocated my shoulder (doing this, kind of) this weekend, I was privileged/forced to sit with a bunch of white kids from New Jersey and the DC area sing along with and praise 50 Cent's new album Curtis.

It's a good album, no doubt. But I'd point to the Washington Post's review and their realization that the album is "an empty pleasure now." The kids in the car were going on about raw 50 was but I just couldn't get over the fact that we were listening to a clown. And I'm not afraid of clowns, they just look weird.

I actually managed to piss off the driver--a real 50 lover, knew all the words I swear--by mumbling under my breath during "Fully Loaded Clip," like this:

50: Jay and Beyonce was hmm hmm kissing
I was cookin' one thousand grams in my kitchen

: No you were not.

: Nas just tellin' Kelis I love you boo
I was shinin' my nine, you know how I do

Ben: No you were not.

: I got a fully loaded clip, I be on that s*it
I got, I got a fully loaded clip

Ben: No you do not.

50: I got a fully loaded clip, I be on that s*it (yeah)
I got, I got a fully loaded clip

Ben: Whatever man. (Then, looking around the car) How can you take this guy seriously? (Hangs his head when no one responds.)

I mean I enjoyed listening to the song--it pumped us up before our game--because the beat is good and I'm used to simply ignoring the lyrics of most rap songs anyway (the MUSIC is in the beat), but it fails to entertain me on any other level.

I refuse to support this category of gangsta rap anymore. I refuse because while gangsta rap was originally used as a sociological response to political disenfranchisement, this stuff is sell-your-soul-to-the-business moneymaking. I have no problem with making money, do your thing, but I'm not impressed by the gun toting bs anymore--I'm sorry.

The falseness reflects poorly on the industry and worse, it makes 50 look a damn fool. How does he sleep at night? How does he talk to his family? How can he look himself in the mirror--what's there to see?


Arsenal won today again in convincing fashion. If Lehmann doesn't eff up against Blackburn (can't find a youtube link, sorry) Arsenal is 100% this season. As it is, they haven't lost.

I only wonder how long Lehamnn continues to draw attention to himself--instead of the brilliance of the squad--before Wenger lets him go; what the deal is with Gilberto; when Cesc will collapse of exhaustion; and what happens to the squad against Lpool and Mansuckster.


I've been reading Robert Nozick's famous tome on libertarianism, "Anarchy, State, and Utopia."

Libertarianism bothers me beyond comprehension. I feel like its followers just miss the point of government, of life. Is that a totally unfair accusation? To use LaWa's new favorite phrase: "It all comes down to privilege." I couldn't help but feel lucky this past weekend when I got an x-ray and had insurance to give the ER. Would I have gone to get it checked out if I couldn't afford insurance? (Nozick doesn't believe in redistribution--so no social security and DEFINITELY no universal health care or education--because he finds it unjust to take someone's money that they worked for).

If you agree with me, look up John Rawls. His "Theory of Justice" is more along the liberal lines of wealth distribution.

Nozick and Rawls were the two primary Ethics and Justice philosophers of the 20th century. Both of them debunked Utilitarianism, which is great because we all feel something wrong with that heartless outlook, but few are able to express a potent argument against it.

They each have students disseminating their works all over the place. Rawls especially is known for the tree of backers he as on campuses all over the world--he reminds me of Don Shula. Last year I had a professor who studied with one of Rawls's most famous students and he was such a sycophant it was almost embarrassing. But it worked, I too love Rawls now.

What's really cool to think about is that they both taught at Harvard at the same time. Apparently their offices were on the same floor, leading me to think (1) I wish I was a philosophy major at Harvard in 1974, and (2) it doesn't matter, philosophy is still less useful than epicurean.