Sunday, September 2, 2007

Renaissance Man Gets Hip To Cyberspace

Three Hundred Years Too Late

If you ignore Johann Wolfgang Goethe (as many people do, especially now he's dead), the era of the "renaissance man" ended three hundred years ago. This may explain why it's difficult to generate a buzz about proposing an original philosophic basis for the meaning of life while composing intellectually challenging songs at the pianoforte. It's just too seventeenth century. I'm all like: The principle of persistence is inherent in the structure of space time and gives us life's meaning, and they're all like: Dude, can't you see I'm reading US Weekly?

It can be a lonely life. One doesn't run into fellow renaissance men down at the local bar. The guy at the next stool isn't interested in how the cultural evolution of baseball as a recreational pastime can be linked to the origin of life on earth. Or in the philosophical basis of art as a representation of abstract concepts. Fortunately, us renaissance men like to drink, so that's a useful fallback.

People think I'm odd. Hell, I think I'm odd. I have a genius level IQ, a degree in physics from Oxford University, and a penchant for alternative music. Just to give the reader a more concrete feel for the matter, here's a quote from my book ("LIFE! Why We Exist... And What We Must Do to Survive"), immediately followed by a quote from one of my songs:

"The various processes of thermonuclear fusion, combustion, gravitational and electromagnetic attraction, and chemical combination led to the formation of all of the material structures in the universe. These processes give rise to the relative abundances of atomic matter that we see around us according two very simple parameters—the chance that the process will happen, producing a particular form of material, and the chance that this material will remain in existence."

"Well I never told you this / that I was scared when you were depressed.
I was afraid that you might do / what a part of me hoped you might do."

Get the picture?

I have to think that from time to time even Leonardo Da Vinci must have been asked to give it a break. By the way, I was recently struck anew by Da Vinci's all-roundedness by learning that he could, apparently, perform amazing athletic feats, like leapfrogging over another man's head. (But maybe I dreamt that. In any case, I'm not able to perform such feats.)

You may be wondering how it was that Lady and Fluff Girl came to invite me to be a guest blogger. They are, after all, so thoroughly with-it, and I am not. But these days even a renaissance man needs a myspace account, and so I came to Lady and Fluff Girl's page and was quite taken by their wit and off-kilter charm. And since I'm always pursuing some new angle by which to generate interest in and therefore funds with which to support my intellectual and artistic pursuits, I fired them off a suggestion that we somehow join forces. Which leads me to think that perhaps the renaissance man's demise was inevitable after the onset of the industrial revolution --- no more generous patrons steeped in the arts, no more cribs visited by the wings of a hawk. (Look that one up.)

If you've read this far you probably want to know where you can find my book (Amazon) and my music (Amazon). But if you're as smart as you seem, you'll visit me on myspace and get them more cheaply - and Thanks for reading.

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