An APP-sympathizer attended a philosophy conference in the South recently, and was equally amazed and dismayed by the public performance of a well-known woman philosopher, who….
Well, I’ll let my APP-sympathizer friend tell it in her own words, minimally edited for anonymity’s sake:
“Speaking of ‘professional philosophy’, the conference I attended in WWW a couple weeks ago was really great overall. However, the ‘presidential’ keynote address (delivered by the president of the XXX Society for YYY) was really a once in a lifetime experience. Seriously one of those things I never thought I’d see. This woman either was drunk, or on drugs, or mentally ill, or possibly all three. She definitely made a fool out of herself, and it seemed like all the people there were unsure about whether to laugh or cringe. The performance included slurred speech, random tangents, semi-inappropriate jokes, and what seemed like drunken laughter. She also wore a backpack during her entire talk, and was seen finishing up a beer just moments before she took the stage. I really wish there was a video of it on youtube or something so that others could see this. I cannot do it justice and it truly was unbelievable. Part of the talk centered around ‘food tongue’, which apparently is a made-up language in which food names stand in for other words. She went on and on about it being a secret language, and how she learned it, and so on….. just one of several odd and funny stories she told…. I don’t think I’ve ever read ZZZ’s work, but the name did seem familiar when I saw it on the conference program. After the keynote, she hung out at the reception talking to just one person. Everyone else seemed to be avoiding her. I sooooo wish there was a video….”
The title of this diary post says it all, almost.
Actually, I’m neither particularly amazed nor particularly dismayed by what happened, but instead amused and tolerant. Shit happens to people, often as the unintended result of their own choices, and that’s the human condition.
What amazes and dismays me is that the title and content of this post probably seemed shocking to you. Why should we think that women philosophers are likely to be any more prudent, virtuous, or unfucked-up than men philosophers?
Correspondingly, and as a coda, I can’t resist linking you to the YouTube version one of my favorite songs by Thom Yorke, “Black Swan.”
As I see it, we’re all black swans. But possibly only real philosophers have the guts to admit it, both to themselves and publicly.
Do you, Ms President of the XXX Society for YYY?