Monday, May 24, 2004

Club Kabul - What Would Plato Shoot?

I think most political bloggers (including myself) fancy themselves as armchair philosophers. Most philosophy seems grounded in some form of outrage, so I suppose, then, that bloggers as philosophers should come as no surprise. What political bloggers need to keep in mind is that many of the "old school" philosophers took the hemlock route out of this metaphysical existance.

Yeah, waxing philosophical all day can drive you to drink. Or maybe it's the other way around - drinking all day can drive you to wax philosophically. Either way, I got to thinking. The sport of golf can be a mind clearing exercise (note that I emphasized "can"). Which got me to googling. Golf and philosophy. I found the following (trust me, stick around to the end of this post for the punch line):

Have you ever wondered why no one wants to join you, a philosopher, for a round of golf? The fact of the matter is that, on the golf course, philosophers are a truly tedious lot--always have been!!

No one ever wanted to play with Kant since he was such a stickler about following the rules. He claimed that it was Imperative to do so. Kropotkin, on the other hand, never adhered to any rule. Stories abound about how he teed off from the seventh green, taking aim toward the fourteenth hole. Most golfers considered Kropotkin positively dangerous.

Hearing Thales lament about his lastest round was tiresome. One would think that every hole was nothing but water. Admittedly, Hegel had a more positive frame of mind, but that was no better. He kept claiming that everybodys game was constantly improving, approaching an Absolute Ideal. Marx got so tired of hearing this that he turned Hegel on his head.

Sartre was positively annoying . He would pontificate about how a person is only a bad golfer because that is what he chooses to be. That never sat well with anyone who had just finished a bad round. Berkeley was a bit more subtle, but just as damning. He would claim that the game was entirely mental. That sent Malebranch into despair. He felt that it would take an act of God for your mind to be able to control your body. dHolbach, on the other hand, would attribute his bad rounds on the pre-existing conditions in the universe; he swore that there was nothing one could do to change the outcome.

Philosophers have also managed to take the fun out of any tournament. Hume was skeptical about any reported score. He wanted proof, but would never accept any of the presented evidence as sufficient. Diogenes was just as Cynical, claiming that he had scoured the world looking for an honest golfer. Meanwhile Paley would go around showing everybody this watch he found.

One had to wait endlessly in the clubhouse for Zeno to get started; it seemed like he could never reach the first hole. Abelard was the only one who didn't seem to mind; he was content to sit in the bar and moon over Heloise.

Strangely, though, the philosopher everyone hated the most was Plato. It is not that he ever did anything wrong. In fact, he had perfect Form. People just couldnt stand the fact that he never shot anything but Par.

Which brings us to the punch line.

No Grass, no Greens, But Golf Is Back in Kabul

Philosophically speaking, wouldn't playing golf at Club Kabul be kind of like teeing off in a parking lot? The greens must be damn fast, too. And are Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods ready for the Greater Afghan Open?