Archive for February 12th, 2020


What is an obituary: it is a composition of achievements written for the profit of the publication it it sold in. As you would expect, before academia began professionalizing itself, the history of the deceased here offered is threadbare and has an unpleasant otherworldly charm about it. The death of H.E.Bird can be found here in the 1908 version of The British Championships.

Why do we repost obituaries? Sentimentality? Yep, I played 1. f4 for most my life and even played Bird’s line in the Lopez. That man means more to my own opening repertoire than any other player, and most certainly more than whoever wrote that archaic trollop which says almost nothing about his life and character as a human being, as the magazine’s readership requested.

Henry Edward Bird. Born July 14th 1829, died April 11th 1908…so it is claimed.

‘Jürgen Habermas’ (and his) obituary to friend and philosopher, Richard Rorty

One small autobiographical piece by Rorty bears the title ‘Wild Orchids and Trotsky.’ In it, Rorty describes how as a youth he ambled around the blooming hillside in north-west New Jersey, and breathed in the stunning odour of the orchids. Around the same time he discovered a fascinating book at the home of his leftist parents, defending Leon Trotsky against Stalin. This was the origin of the vision that the young Rorty took with him to college: philosophy is there to reconcile the celestial beauty of orchids with Trotsky’s dream of justice on earth. Nothing is sacred to Rorty the ironist. Asked at the end of his life about the ‘holy’, the strict atheist answered with words reminiscent of the young Hegel: ‘My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.
― Jürgen Habermas


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“Parenthood…It’s about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last.”
― Peter Krause (Parenthood)

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