Earthquakes, philosophy and the Tambourine Girl

Check out the Gary Leupp enjoyable article about Meaning and Meaninglessness of Earthquakes and Tsunamis on counterpunch. He offers a very interesting summary of the theological and philosophical debates stirred by the Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami of November 1, 1755.

I have been reading Woody Allen and Philosophy: You mean my whole Fallacy is Wrong? So I was already having all sorts of internal debates (I am a libra after all) about meaning and nihilism. Some days I wake up and the World feels better with Kant (that's when I believe that being a libra matters, and this blog is more Zen;-), sometimes I am all mechanistic reason (and this blog gets all clinical). If only I could wake up like Charlotte -- I would never leave home (for more reasons than one)!

Of course I agree with Gary Leupp that we should respond with reason and compassion. But just for a few hours today I need some hedonist escapism. Is that so bad? I haven't seen the Sun since I left Lisbon a week ago. It's been raining in Bloomington for 7 straight days!

I remember one such week in New York circa 1995, when my friend Tabea Linhard and I reached the deep conclusion that all problems of meaninglessness could only be solved with unadulterated naivete. Our motto became: "The World Needs a Tambourine Girl!". This sentence alone transported us from the upstate New York Winter Gloom to places like Santa Barbara, the Caribbean, Mussulo, etc. And so we wrote the lyrics and demo for a song that we would present at that altar to ABBA that the Eurovision Song Contest is. No, we never took our tambourine girl to the Eurovision, but I still play the crappy demo when I am in serious need of escapist Zen.

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