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Geoff W
Geoff W
1 month ago

Don’t think I’d seen this writer before. I’ll know to avoid him in future.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 day ago
Reply to  Geoff W

All I know is the guy in the buffalo horn head dress capering around Capitol Hill as a shaman will end up pushing stuff for brass on whatever passes for TV soon enough.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago

This was (sur)really hard to get through. The click-me title seemed to promise an analysis of the American Weird. Instead we got a full submersion, to the point where a general reader like me could barely breathe, just to keep it unreal.
In reference the late Tom Petty: To acknowledge no limits of morality or sanity–whether external or self-imposed–is not freedom, but freefallin’.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

What did I just read?

Courtney Maloney
Courtney Maloney
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

What did I just give up reading?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 month ago

The author is certainly right that ‘science’ has become much more than an investigatory approach to the natural world and turned into a totalizing worldview that is totally blind to its own limitations. However, he fails to explain why “weird” is the right response to this widely discussed problem. There are many people worried about science’s inability to see its own limits, and they have been talking about this for many decades – thinkers as diverse as Heidegger and C.S. Lewis come to mind. Surrealism must do more than trumpet its anti-scientism to earn its corner of the stage.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Well put. I agree that for many hyper-rationalism became a dogma that continues to stomp too many things down with a “flat-footed realism that stupidly and incuriously denies the strangeness of our existence by deferring to the authority of science”. That doesn’t mean we need to celebrate weird for weird’s sake, or pretend the untethered, purposeless imagination holds the highest truth. I was raised among and am surrounded by plenty of “West Cost freakdom” myself. I see some upside and more pitfalls in those proportion-bending rainbow goggles, man. Surrealism may deserve one seat at a very large table, but no one should be expected to partake of its misshapen dishes.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
1 month ago

More like, Unherd has gone weird with all its strange and unreadable articles.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

A man can’t blame all his weirdness on America, nor some transmigration of Frenchman Andre Breton’s Reno-shed spirit.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 month ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

There is certainly plenty of weirdness is America, though I am uncertain how it relates to this article.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 month ago

Fantastical article. Probably fair to say global society as a whole may be catching up with Breton’s way of thinking. Freud’s nonsenensical, reductive view of dreams has been widely discredited for decades now. “Dreams are messages from the deep” , as it says at the start of Dune part 2. We’ve some way to go to returning to the view that the mad often have a hot line to the Divine (mainstream view in many parts of the world, up to about the late middle ages) but the materialist “Biomedical” aproach to the mentally ill has been slowly giving ground since the famous Engel paper in 1977. Not to say smooth progress is a given, things may return to getting worse before they get lastingly better.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

The universe is weird enough without having to distort it via the human desire for seeking ‘alternative’ ways to perceive the world.
Our senses are, of course, channelled via evolution and just to take one example – the light spectrum – we perceive only part of it. Instruments developed by scientists to perceive other parts of the spectrum provide an almost infinite field for further exploration and discovery.
Those who use “the science” as a political weapon are the most short-sighted of all. In addition, those in the grip of a religious worldview often throw the term ‘rationalist’ at those who aren’t, as if it were an epithet. Neither position is useful and can be avoided; indeed, should be.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Does intuition or inspiration carry any weight in the world as you observe and perceive it?
I’m genuinely curious as to whether you assign any reality (so to speak) or possible value to things that are not empirically verifiable and are immeasurable by our limited instruments. Perhaps forever so to remain, seeing through a glass darkly, with more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophy & science and all that.
*I like or appreciate most of your comments, including the one above, so I hope you’ll forgive me if my question does a disservice to what I perceive as your humane and sensible atheism/agnosticism. We know that the limitless color spectrum and immense universe existed prior to their discovery, but I do wonder if you estimate we are likely to ever know the full scope of the world or even our own minds.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago

On this reading, surrrealism seems easily summed up as a load of bollocks.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago

He must be really smart.

Y Chromosome
Y Chromosome
24 days ago

“poĂŻesis” Not sure what language this is supposed to be, but it does have an English counterpart that does not use an umlaut. Somebody is trying very hard to look smart.