Sunday, January 3, 2010

Me and ol' Jay Gatsby

I attended St.Olaf College in Far Hinterlands, Minnesota. This was generally a fool's errand, because at the time as I was trying to deal with a brooding depression which made even opening a book a chore. In spite of this, Dr. Howard Hong managed to cram me full of the philosophy of a bunch of European dead men. Very little of which stuck. Mostly I was in his classes because of his pretty daughter, and his neighbor's bulldog (another story).

“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion… while truth again reverts to a new minority.”

–Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855

4 comments:

Old Toad said...

So then ... what would Soren have to say about your favorite Ms. Bachmann and her "minority?"

Guess I missed Mr. Hong's class when I was hopping around St. Olaf with you. Slow toads sometimes skipped classes because they were too far across campus to get to in time from the dorm.

Gunnar Berg said...

Ms. Bachman operates under the illusion of being a majority. I'm not certain what the dead Dane would think, but I'd wager it would not be good.

I think you missed all of the philosophy classes.

Old Toad said...

You're probably right about me missing all of Mr. Hong's philosophy classes. I was probably spending my time hopping down the hill to hitch a ride up Cedar Ave. to the Cities.

As for Ms. Bachmann's illusory "majority," I suspect the dead Dane would have done his best to run her out of office (or have your favorite governor pick her to run as VP on his ticket for Pres. in 2012! Suppose they could run as the "Minnesota Twins" ... and lose to the Blue State Yankees!).

Justine Valinotti said...

I think of something the German poet Friedrich Holderlin wrote:

I hate the great horde of rulers
But I despise even more
The genius who takes their side.