1 June 2013

First thing workout at 6:00 AM: 20 minutes supine dance, 100 supine pull-ups, 63 steps (again, weaker leg bails at 13 steps, but it is strengthening).

Dark chunky congee and an egg. No drama about the egg. Getting double meals, applesauce to add weight. Unrestricted chocolate: usually get through a Snickers, small M & Ms and a metal box of Hershey’s Special Dark every night and will do so until weight is up to at least 150 lbs. (68 kg). Fascinated by the history and production of chocolate. It is on balance a healthy food but if I continue this level of use my weight will soon be the average American male’s at 6’2″ (188 cm): 230 lbs (104 cm).

[Sorry, this is repetition of something I say elsewhere: I wanted to get the metric and Imperial figures side by side.]

Grinding for the fourth time through the Analytic of Concepts without yet feeling I have made much progress. The ontological claptrap certainly seems to be justified, notably, the central role of “apperception”: the awareness, let’s say as experienced by a baby for the first time, that it’s a ME who sees the funny clown.

Do babies who have failed to thrive intellectually have a different ontology? is there for them just a funny clown and no “I”? It is important to give Recognition to children, Hegelian or otherwise, to glower at them solemnly and say hullo, you young brute, how is it hanging? My kids certainly had a lot of verbal input thus never any learning disorders. I read to them every night and had Meaningful Conversation as we solemnly examined what Peter called “jungle trees” in California and workmen pouring cement in Chicago.

Boredom with bad teaching isn’t a learning disorder. Nor is laziness and disorganization on the part of the child which in the case of a man child can be eradicated if the father can take the time to set a good example, and constantly inspect his child’s kit for proper storage of the right equipment. I regret that this last thing, this daily getting on my kids’ case like a Drill Instructor, was not an option.

Over the generations in my branch of our family, it has become hard save for my surviving son to keep our s*t wired together. Which means only that it was hard for my father, harder for me, and even harder for my dead son (I can hardly write that). My father developed tics and intolerance but (over) paid his taxes on time. I was constantly paying late fees. I had to pay my son’s library fines months after they were due. As a socialist, he said, he didn’t believe in library fines which, he said, were charged because the rich didn’t like libraries. I said that I felt that this was bullshit: in a socialist society, we should expect, at least in the (socialist) transition to full communism while money exists, to pay duties, taxes and fines.

Progressive politics simply cannot focus on stuff that you don’t like. Until socialism repeals scarcity, a socialist society could be a lot tougher than our free market society. We simple have to learn how to consume less.

I should probably not take my son’s moral inventory here of all places, and, he actually imposed upon himself a severe “austerity” in his late teens, not eating enough, and not dressing warmly, as I had done at an earlier age.

I said, you’re always getting sick, and winding up back with Mom because your flat has no heat, and you look like Wee Wullie (the collier’s dyin’ child) because unlike me you don’t wear a hat. He did start imitating my dress: OD sweaters and long military coats from this great military surplus urban clothing store on Belmont near the El. But military wear is usually to tight fitting save in the case of special designs to breath properly and circulate warm air properly, I said.

He minimally cost anyone anything. He conformed to his Mom’s rules when living at home as an adult, yet constantly tried to live independently. I tried to tell him that today isn’t like 1970, when I could move out to a studio renting at 75 per month, and today that many successful kids live with their parents. I lived with my parents briefly after my divorce and before moving to California and it was great, because Mom was happy working for Dad at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

I just miss my son and mourn him a lot as does his Mom. Returning to Catholic practice allows me to pray for my son, probably one of the “poor souls in Purgatory” that the nuns used to tell us about. Heck, Kant liberates me to through faith think of my son’s soul as a thing in itself in a nominal world suffering pain, and to pray for him.


Edward G. Nilges, “The Meeting of Theodore Adorno with Gretel Karplus”, pencil, pen, and computer modification on an A4 size surface, 2011.

“They” hate and “they” destroy the educated middle class: I felt the glower of a certain sort of hatred on me and my former wife when we were young and in love on public transportation as here are Adorno and his Gretel. In my son’s repeated efforts to have a meaningful relationship, did he? He tweeted a certain joy in 2007 about having a girlfriend and how guys in SUVs would glare at him.


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