Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » August 2005 » Reactions to the revelation, "I'm a philosopher...."

[« Gem o'the Day:] [Not a surprise to me.... »]

08/08/2005: Reactions to the revelation, "I'm a philosopher...."

Over at Thoughts, Arguments and Rants, Brian Weatherson has a most amusing thread on laypersons' reactions to learning that one is a professional philosopher (or graduate student in philosophy).

Profuse apologies to co-blogger Brock Sides, who has a contribution to that thread (follow the link, then search in your browser for Brock's name), but given my previous profession, this is, hands down, my favorite story in the thread:

Five or so years ago I was on a panel of prospective jurors being questioned by an attorney for the defendant:

Attorney: What is your profession?

Me: I am a philosopher

Attorney: Philosophy? Is that a "helping profession"

Me: Its more like a helpless profession

Judge (laughing): This is no place for jokes..your out.
However, this one comes in almost tied:
This is a story from Chris Lubbers at the University of Florida:

Prosecuting attorney during voir dire: It says here that you are a graduate student in philosophy, Mr. Lubbers. What does a graduate student in philosophy do?

Chris Lubbers: We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.

He was immediately rejected as a juror.
Unfortunately, the person telling this story doesn't tell us whether it was the prosecutor or defense counsel who exercised the motion to strike Chris as a juror.


Along the same lines of thought, one of my two nominees for "Most Realistic Scene Ever Filmed In A Major Motion Picture" is the "first date" scene from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. In that scene Bruce Lee (who was, in fact, a philosophy major at the University of Washington before making it big as a martial arts teacher and actor) is on his first date with his soon-to-be wife, Linda. They are sitting at a restaurant bar engaging in small talk:
Linda Emery: A philosophy major? Now, what can you do with a philosophy major?
Bruce Lee: You can think deep thoughts about being unemployed.
While I know that there are many scenes in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story which did not actually happen, I know in my heart of hearts that Linda and Bruce had that exchange. I know it because, in the few dates I had in college, I had that very same exchange with my date. In each and every one of those dates.

Since I know that a few of you are going to wonder, my other nominee for "Most Realistic Scene Ever Filmed In A Major Motion Picture" is a scene from A Few Good Men. In that scene, LTJG Dan Kaffee (Tom "I'm nuts" Cruise, wearing PT gear) is conducting fielding practice with his softball team while LT Dave Spradling (a Navy prosecutor, in uniform, played by Matt Craven) is standing near Kaffee; the two are negotiating a plea agreement as Kaffee hits ground balls at his infielders. You may remember the scene for containing this scintillating bit of dialogue:
Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave, it was a dime bag of oregano.
Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Yeah, well, your client thought it was marijuana.
Kaffee: My client's a moron, that's not against the law.
I know that this scene is Absolutely Realistic, because in my Navy career I've actually been one of the participants in this scene. The Dave Spradling character, though, because I'm a lousy softball player.

Len on 08.08.05 @ 12:04 PM CST

[ | ]

August 2005

Archives of Blogger site
Archives: May '04-Feb '05
Archives: Feb-March '05

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
George Dubya Bush Blows
asshat.org (be sure to refresh your window for more "wit and wisdom" from Our Beloved Leader)
Taking the Fight to Karl
Kraftwerk: Chicago, 6/4/2005
My Chicago: Part One
My Chicago, Part Two
Millennium Park
Miscellaneous Chicago
Busch Stadium Tour and BoSox/Cards Game: 6/6/2005
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum
Len's All-Busch Stadium Team
BP's Postseason Odds (Monte Carlo Simulations)

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
The Agitator
Armchair Capitalists
Boing Boing
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
The Decembrist
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Flypaper Theory
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Orin Kerr
Political Animal
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Moonbat Icon

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

A New Memphis Mafia

The Old Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Len supports:
Operation Yellow Elephant:

"Because ranting is safer than enlisting"
Operation Yellow Elephant Blog

The Rebel Alliance of Yankee Haters
Blue Squadron (NL)
Babalu (Marlins)
Leaning Toward the Dark Side (Mets)
Ramblings' Journal (Cubs)
Mediocre Fred (Brewers)
Len Cleavelin (Cardinals)
Red Squadron (AL)
Obscurorama (Red Sox)
Frinklin Speaks (Mariners)
Steve Silver (Twins)
Steve the Llama Butcher (Red Sox)
Rob the Llama Butcher (Rangers)
MoatesArt (Red Sox)
Rammer (Tigers)
JawsBlog (Indians)
Ubi Libertas (Blue Jays)
Oldsmoblogger (Indians)
Mass Backwards (Red Sox)
Industrial Blog
Cry Freedom

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
template by linear