Closing of the American Mind

Nobody ever talks about how Bloom blames rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students because it is too "sexy." What a fricking weirdo.

Also, the part about "rational loyalty" is downright disgusting. There is nothing rational about loyalty because you can't serve two masters. What's next? Rational grace? Lmao.

This is your mind on spiritual Judaism.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Nobody ever talks about how Bloom blames rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students because it is too "sexy."
    It is a very unimportant part of the book.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It's a very weird part of the book and my philosophy professor brought it up in class all the time, especially when we were talking about Plato's Republic. It's one of those things that makes you question the soundness of the author's mind.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      yeah it's funny how people always latch onto the smallest thing as if it discredits everything

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      yeah it's funny how people always latch onto the smallest thing as if it discredits everything

      t. seething Freudian Straussoids

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Not everything needs to be a "gotcha" moment.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You're just avoiding trying to make any sense of it. He goes on about it for several pages and it's part of his "indictment" of the student body of his time. This is not how a Straussian would treat any subject matter that they take seriously, by the way.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Honestly it just felt like windowdressing, similar to the part where he b***hes about affirmative action.
            >This is not how a Straussian would treat any subject matter that they take seriously, by the way
            What are you getting at here?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Honestly it just felt like windowdressing, similar to the part where he b***hes about affirmative action.
            Why? Do you think he's wrong? It's worth noting that he reaches back towards Plato to bolster his argument and is willing to embarrass his own amateur understanding of music to make a point about what is being lost.
            >What are you getting at here?
            The Straussian method considers the work as a whole. You don't get to pick what is important and what is not. You treat the work with the utmost charity and see what unfolds.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Why? Do you think he's wrong?
            I can see where he's coming from, but since I'm a musical amateur myself I won't push the argument too far.
            >The Straussian method considers the work as a whole. You don't get to pick what is important and what is not. You treat the work with the utmost charity and see what unfolds.
            I'll keep that in mind if I ever read Strauss.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I'm moronic and didn't realize you were talking about the way Bloom approached the matter, and not the way I approached it. I apologize.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I was talking about the way you approached Bloom's work. Obviously, Bloom was trained to do the same as a student of Strauss. I'm not sure what you are referring to by "Bloom approaching the matter" since I wasn't referring to any text (except maybe Plato's Republic) but at that point Bloom isn't inquiring about what Plato meant but simply taking it as a given.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            As a Straussian, Bloom was deliberately introducing elements to confuse and mystify to ensure that his work would be misunderstood by the general public. Not everybody can handle the kind of knowledge he was spittin

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            where does a lesser man start with Strauss my dear fellow?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Persecution and the Art of Writing

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Decades late to that party and Straussianly glosses over the root cause (FDR/ism).

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >smirks quite Straussianly

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >rational loyalty

    Who carpetbags the Carpetbaggers? Good question. Donna Tartt's Secret History? This guy's literally Julian.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Nobody ever talks about how William F. Buckley engaged in polymorphic perversions

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Where is this from? It doesn't sound like Gore Vidal.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It sounds like something Lyndon Larouche would write

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Nobody ever went broke by claiming the youngsters these days am I right?

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students because it is too "sexy."
    This is correct though

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    When are you morons going to stop letting israelites tell you what you think? For frick's sake. How do people still not know this

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Conservatives owe so much to homosexual intellectuals like Allan Bloom

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You're welcome to misunderstand his point entirely, but it's a repetition of Plato's Republic books 2-3, and closer attention shows that he's not b***hing like a Tipper Gore, but observing the extent to which people who are supposedly obsessed with music culture deny the surface appeal it readily has, namely, to sex and violence.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Nobody ever talks about how Bloom blames rock and roll
    It comes up on this board all the time. It's the first thing someone brings up pretty much every single time someone mentions this book.

    And honestly I'm surprised every time at how quick people are to shit on him for suggesting that the type of art produced and consumed has an effect on culture and the people in that culture.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      OP here. That's just me bringing it up and it never gets a serious look so I just keep mentioning it until it does. Almost everybody believes that culture has an affect on people. But to mechanistically complain that rock and roll music is the reason why philosophy isn't done well anymore is insane.

      You're welcome to misunderstand his point entirely, but it's a repetition of Plato's Republic books 2-3, and closer attention shows that he's not b***hing like a Tipper Gore, but observing the extent to which people who are supposedly obsessed with music culture deny the surface appeal it readily has, namely, to sex and violence.

      >but observing the extent to which people who are supposedly obsessed with music culture deny the surface appeal it readily has, namely, to sex and violence.
      It has sex appeal. But it isn't sex. It would be foolish to conflate the two. And then to draw a link to the (lack of) practice of philosophy is downright absurd.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It has sex appeal. But it isn't sex. It would be foolish to conflate the two.
        He doesn't conflate them, in the first place. What you're downplaying is the connection between how art can inform desire and act as a teacher to it.

        >And then to draw a link to the (lack of) practice of philosophy is downright absurd.
        This is not Bloom's argument. In the dozen or so pages of the chapter, philosophy, philosopher, philosophic, etc. are used seven times. He's talking broadly about liberally educated students (!= philosophy students or philosophers) just taking the surrounding culture for granted, i.e., being convinced that music has a revolutionary importance (60s and 70s counterculture music) while hiding behind the position that music is just innocently made up of songs one likes that never say anything about the appreciator and that are beyond reproach w/r/t values.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          It’s hard to believe that you’re not just being dishonest and evasive now. In that very chapter, he also makes references to philosophy being the highest pleasure (another reference to Republic) and laments the fact that potential students “pop their cherry” too early because of music and no longer have the drive nor the wonder necessary to pursue philosophy with the same zeal that they would have in the past. Why? Because they consume other kinds of pleasure that soften their horizons, so to speak. This is not a mere critique of whiggish history nor an admonishment of superficial cultural analysis. He’s claiming that, in this specific culture, there’s a Freudian-like mechanism that serves as an obstacle to philosophy.

          Go back and read the chapter if your memory is hazy. I’ll accept that as an excuse for you failing to sufficiently address what was written in the text.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            No, wrong.

            All references to philosophy in that chapter:

            Pg. 70:
            >They hardly paid attention to the discussion of music itself and, to the extent that they even thought about it, were really puzzled by Plato's devoting time to rhythm and melody in a serious
            treatise on political philosophy.

            Pg. 71:
            >Yet if a student can —and this is most difficult and unusual—draw back, get a critical distance on what he clings to, come to doubt the ultimate value of what he loves, he has taken the first and most difficult step toward the philosophic
            conversion. Indignation is the soul's defense against the wound of doubt about its own; it reorders the cosmos to support the justice of its cause. It justifies putting Socrates to death. Recognizing indignation for what it is constitutes knowledge of the soul, and is thus an experience more philosophic than the study of mathematics. It is Plato's teaching that music, by its nature, encompasses all that is today most resistent to philosophy.

            Pg. 73:
            >Classical philosophy did not censor the singers. It persuaded them. And it gave them a goal, one that was understood by them, until only yesterday. But those who do not notice the role of music in Aristotle and despise it in Plato went to school with Hobbes, Locke and Smith, where such considerations have become unnecessary. The triumphant Enlightenment rationalism thought that it had discovered other ways to deal with the irrational part of the soul, and that reason needed less support from it. Only in those great critics of Enlightenment
            and rationalism, Rousseau and Nietzsche, does music return, and they were the most musical of philosophers.

            Pg. 75:
            >He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying.

            (Cont.)

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            [...]
            These are all of the references to philosophy in the whole chapter. What you miss is any passage like the following on page 70:

            >The music that had been designed to produce, as well as to please, such exquisite sensibilities had a very tenuous relation to American lives of any kind. So romantic musical culture in America had had for a long time the character of a
            veneer, as easily susceptible to ridicule as were Margaret Dumont's displays of coquettish chasteness, so aptly exploited by Groucho Marx in A Night At The Opera. I noticed this when I first started teaching and lived in a house for gifted students. The "good" ones studied their physics and then listened to classical music. The students who did not fit so easily into
            the groove, some of them just vulgar and restive under the cultural tyranny, but some of them also serious, were looking for things that really responded to their needs. Almost always they responded to the beat of the newly emerging rock music. They were a bit ashamed of their taste, for it was not respectable. But I instinctively sided with this second group, with real, if coarse, feelings as opposed to artificial and dead ones.

            The passage that you allude to on page 71 does not say that the whole aim concerns philosophy, but rather that such a questioning as described there constitutes a philosophic first step, and that recognition of something like indignation is more philosophic than mathematical study. This chapter would only be the kind of screed you suppose you see it as if Bloom thought universal enlightenment were possible, and there were impediments in the way; he does not see universal enlightenment as possible. That he's doing something more descriptive and diagnostical rather than in setting forth a program is unseen by you. And, in fact, I know the student of his who helped him with that chapter (a professor of mine), and who belonged to the second group of rock-loving students that Bloom positions himself among. You would have to more adequately see why he positions himself with those who are vulgar but self-reflective and not, on the one hand, those who listen to classical music and are unreflective, and, on the other hand, those who are vulgar and unreflective. This attitude of delight toward those who question is echoed in the second preface to his Republic translation:

            >When non-philosophers begin their acquaintance with philosophers, they frequently say, "This is nonsense." But sometimes they say, "This is outrageous
            nonsense," and at such moments their passions really become involved with the philosophers, frequently culminating in hatred or in love.

            His qualm is with those who consume and never think about it, not those who reflect and happen to conclude differently from him. Bloom, who also translated and wrote on Plato's Ion, didn't miss how much Plato and Socrates adored Homer and the poets, just as he was a frequent consumer of music himself. You missed the point.

            All you're doing is trying to force a reading while (now I believe intentionally ) ignoring the other claims that he is making. Obviously, Bloom wants people to critique the culture in which they live in, and he wants them to do so more than superficially, without taking anything for granted. But what exactly is motivating him in this chapter? Think about it in terms of remote and proximate causes, of surface and depth. You've managed to quote everything *except* the lede, which to me is activating every alarm possible that you are not arguing in good faith.
            Pg. 73:
            >Nietzsche, particularly, sought to tap again the irrational sources of vitality, to replenish our dried-up stream from barbaric sources, and thus encouraged the Dionysian and the music derivative from it.
            Pg. 73:
            >This is the significance of rock music. I do not suggest that it has any high intellectual sources. But it has risen to its current heights in the education of the young on the ashes of classical music, and in an atmosphere in which there is no intellectual resistance to attempts to tap the rawest passions. Modern-day rationalists, such as economists, are indifferent to it and what it represents. The irrationalists are all for it. There is no need to fear that "the blond beasts" are going to come forth from the bland souls of our adolescents. But rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire—not love, not ems, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored. It acknowledges the first emanations of children's emerging sensuality and addresses them seriously, eliciting them and legitimating them, not as little sprouts that must be carefully tended in order to grow into gorgeous flowers, but as the real thing. Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later.
            Pg. 74-75:
            >Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.

            (1/2)

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            [...]
            And especially Pg 79-81:
            >The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of liberal education.
            >Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces the exaltation naturally attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors—victory in a just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religious devotion and discovery of the truth. Without effort, without talent, without virtue, without exercise of the faculties, anyone and everyone is accorded the equal right to the enjoyment of their fruits. In my experience, students who have had a serious fling with drugs—and gotten over it—find it difficult to have enthusiasms or great expectations. It is as though the color has been drained out of their lives and they see everything in black and white. The pleasure they experienced in the beginning was so intense that they no longer look for it at the end, or as the end. They may function perfectly well, but dryly, routinely. Their energy has been sapped, and they do not expect their life's activity to produce anything but a living, whereas liberal education is supposed to encourage the belief THAT THE GOOD LIFE is the PLEASANT LIFE and that the BEST LIFE is the MOST PLEASANT LIFE.
            It seems like you got so caught up in CTRL-Fing "philosophy" that you forgot to look into the subtler implications of what the philosophical life entails. Students have lost the ability not only to critique the surrounding culture (which you point out they cling to with everything they have), but they've lost passion for the best things in life themselves thanks to surrendering to something more animalistic. And Bloom, being a translator of the Republic who cites said book's education program regarding the cultivation of the guardians, obviously must have been aware that Plato thought that the most pleasant life is the philosophical life. This is the subtext that you are completely missing.

            [...]
            [...]
            [...]
            Forgot to put in (2/2), and apparently you can't delete a post after only a minute anymore. Oh well. Bloom believes that the music reverberating throughout modern society creates a significant obstacle towards cultivating new philosophers. And it has to do with the nature of eros. It's very, very difficult to not take this away from the chapter, especially when you consider how explicitly Bloom ties Plato's work into his critique of music and its effects on the soul.
            (2/2)

            This slip and slide is stupid and aimless. You started off asserting an argument on Bloom's part that's not there, namely, that he blames rock music for preventing people from getting into philosophy, and once shown that that's not the case, you conflate students in general with philosophers, a stupid belief Bloom never had, namely, that every student was a potential philosopher.

            I'm going turn your dumb little accusation back on yourself, since you're such a flatfooted reader, you didn't notice that you quoted something that, far from supporting your specific point about philosophy and music, instead supports my broader point about liberal education and music, namely:
            >The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of *liberal education.*

            Keep talking about burying the lead, homosexual. Every few months some jackass posts this same exact topic, and gets exactly as far as you do in OP: nowhere. Bloom's not interested in making everyone philosophers, he's interested in moderating the passions of the many and the non-philosophic few so that they don't impede on philosophers. This is his take-away of the Republic and the Emile. It's not the same. For someone ready to b***h about willful and distorted readings, that's all you've offered.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >and once shown that that's not the case
            Bullshit, you never shown me that it wasn't the case. If anybody is guilty of the slip and slide, it's you because you struggle to explain why Bloom would even care about critiquing culture if it isn't impacting his project. How do the passionate masses impede on philosophers if they can conceal themselves? The answer is, they don't have to. But if the profession itself is starved for the lack of fresh blood, then philosophy is in dire straits. Again, you have to try very hard to ignore tying all the pieces together and the implications of what is considered "the good life", "the most pleasurable life", etc., especially when Bloom can't help himself but reference Plato's Republic and what Plato says about education, the soul, pleasure, etc., there.
            >you conflate students in general with philosophers, a stupid belief Bloom never had, namely, that every student was a potential philosopher.
            I never said such a thing. Not all students are potential philosophy students. However, it is exceedingly unlikely for a potential philosopher to become one on their own (and thus must be a student). You keep missing this point entirely. A corruption to the *entire* body spoils both the body and the few gems within the body. Obviously as a university professor, speaking for other professors like him, Bloom is going to be deeply concerned about the future of the profession if such an avenue is destroyed.
            >The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of *liberal education.*
            It's so funny that you think this is such a slam dunk. What do you think the liberal education even is, numskull? And again, THE GOOD LIFE, THE MOST PLEASURABLE LIFE, etc., what is it according to Plato?
            >Bloom's not interested in making everyone philosophers, he's interested in moderating the passions of the many and the non-philosophic few so that they don't impede on philosophers.
            Who the FRICK is claiming this? The answer: NOBODY. Just because there is an effect on the general populace doesn't mean that Bloom is concerned about the general populace. Rather, he's concerned that the precious few will be effectively "ruined" thanks to this blanket general effect before they even get the chance to become students of philosophy.

            Stop with the straw man arguments, and address the elephant in the room (Republic Book IX, where the tyrant indulges in pleasures in his youth and is spoiled, where supposedly has the better pleasure in orders of magnitude, where "tuning" of and the "music" in one's soul is mentioned, and even subtle reference to Pythagorean tuning to be gleaned). You're better than this.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            where supposedly the philosopher has the better pleasure*

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Bullshit, you never shown me that it wasn't the case.
            Horseshit, I showed it was the case straightaway. A just over ten page chapter has seven mentions of philosophy within the first half, and not at all past that, the only argument being you overweighting one passage without justification and having frickall to say about the rest of the chapter. "It's totally an argument about philosophy! Bloom's stupid enough to look at every problematic nail sticking out as needing a philosophy shaped hammer to fix!" Wrong.

            >I never said such a thing.
            It's literally in your OP:
            >Bloom blames rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students
            No recognition that a professor of *political science* (not philosophy) teaches a broad audience of non-philosophers, not even the recognition that there's a distinction between liberal education and philosophy, let alone liberal education in 20th century America and liberal education in Greece and Rome, just lazy conflation.

            >It's so funny that you think this is such a slam dunk. What do you think the liberal education even is, numskull? And again, THE GOOD LIFE, THE MOST PLEASURABLE LIFE, etc., what is it according to Plato?
            Flatfooted again, by what justification do you get to assume that liberal education in TCotAM = philosophy? Because Bloom obviously has a preference, he only speaks to that preference, and not at different levels of understanding? You've assumed the thing to be demonstrated, because you're being lazy and demanding to have a thread where you can shrug and laugh about what a moron Bloom is for doing what you wish to think he's doing.

            >Who the FRICK is claiming this? The answer: NOBODY.
            *YOU* did. How about you stop bullshitting like that wasn't the first line of your OP? If you don't want to be held to a stupid attention-grabbing OP, then don't fricking write a stupid attention-grabbing OP.

            You don't know how to read Bloom, because every modern author you've otherwise read only writes meaning what they say. Bloom isn't even half as bothered as you want him to be. But you'll come on back with another dumb rejoinder, hootin and hollerin and conveniently distracting from your dumb starting statements and pretending you never said none of that nohow. Go frick yourself.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Horseshit, I showed it was the case straightaway.
            All you did was show a parallel issue that Bloom was concerned with. I contextualized it in terms of remote and proximate causes. Obviously, Bloom wants to critique culture and wants to rouse people out of their blind defense of it. This is the proximate cause. But for what purpose? The sustenance of philosophy. This is the remote cause.
            >the only argument being you overweighting one passage without justification and having frickall to say about the rest of the chapter.
            I think anything that deals with the good, especially when he makes a claim as bold as education should be centered on the good life, deserves to be raised on a pedestal. Again, we're talking about a Plato scholar here. How is this such a repugnant thing to talk about? It is the issue that ties everything together.
            >It's literally in your OP:
            >Bloom blames rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students
            Yeah, and are all university students students of philosophy? No. Boom, now your straw argument vanishes into thin air. Now we can move on to the potential of having a productive conversation.
            >Because Bloom obviously has a preference, he only speaks to that preference
            You said it himself that he was worried about the relationship between the masses and philosophy. You're allowing for my interpretation to exist side-by-side with yours. The broad argument speaks to liberal education as a whole. The narrow argument speaks to the apex of liberal education, which Bloom outright states is:
            >is supposed to encourage the belief that the good life is the pleasant life and that the best life is the most pleasant life.
            What do you think Bloom thinks is the good life? Riddle me that.

            And again, you haven't said anything about the rhyming between Bloom's chapter on music and the references to not only the early Republic, but also Book IX (the tyrant indulges in pleasures in his youth and is spoiled, where supposedly has the better pleasure in orders of magnitude, where "tuning" of and the "music" in one's soul is mentioned, and even subtle reference to Pythagorean tuning to be gleaned). Are you trying to convince me that a reader as careful as Bloom simply dropped all these coincidences between the youth being spoiled by pleasure (in music) and the tyrant being spoiled by pleasure and having a musically discordant soul by accident? I'm not convinced.

            All you have is the idea that Bloom was outright lying, wasn't trying to make sense, and somehow had completely different intentions from anything that could be possibly gleaned from the text.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >All you have is the idea that Bloom was outright lying, wasn't trying to make sense, and somehow had completely different intentions from anything that could be possibly gleaned from the text.
            Ding ding ding, this is why when Harry Jaffa reviewed his book, he did everything except outright call him a hypocritical homosexual lol. Sorry man, but Straussians exist to do two things:
            1) create noise to diffuse signals (since there is no signal but noise)
            2) perpetuate themselves so they can keep living in the pleasure of their own company
            Even the accusations that Straussians are Zionists or neoconservatives are bogus for this reason. They attribute motives that are far too grand for the Epicurean mindset that these folks have. They just like reading philosophy as scholars. The only thing israeli about them is their winded, Talmud-like commentaries. Thankfully, they're basically dying out because Epicureanism is a self-defeating philosophy.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            uh oh, the Zionist elite wannabe is cursing now, you really set him off

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            kek, that last quote sounds like the Black person-Hispanic cycle copypasta

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            [...]
            These are all of the references to philosophy in the whole chapter. What you miss is any passage like the following on page 70:

            >The music that had been designed to produce, as well as to please, such exquisite sensibilities had a very tenuous relation to American lives of any kind. So romantic musical culture in America had had for a long time the character of a
            veneer, as easily susceptible to ridicule as were Margaret Dumont's displays of coquettish chasteness, so aptly exploited by Groucho Marx in A Night At The Opera. I noticed this when I first started teaching and lived in a house for gifted students. The "good" ones studied their physics and then listened to classical music. The students who did not fit so easily into
            the groove, some of them just vulgar and restive under the cultural tyranny, but some of them also serious, were looking for things that really responded to their needs. Almost always they responded to the beat of the newly emerging rock music. They were a bit ashamed of their taste, for it was not respectable. But I instinctively sided with this second group, with real, if coarse, feelings as opposed to artificial and dead ones.

            The passage that you allude to on page 71 does not say that the whole aim concerns philosophy, but rather that such a questioning as described there constitutes a philosophic first step, and that recognition of something like indignation is more philosophic than mathematical study. This chapter would only be the kind of screed you suppose you see it as if Bloom thought universal enlightenment were possible, and there were impediments in the way; he does not see universal enlightenment as possible. That he's doing something more descriptive and diagnostical rather than in setting forth a program is unseen by you. And, in fact, I know the student of his who helped him with that chapter (a professor of mine), and who belonged to the second group of rock-loving students that Bloom positions himself among. You would have to more adequately see why he positions himself with those who are vulgar but self-reflective and not, on the one hand, those who listen to classical music and are unreflective, and, on the other hand, those who are vulgar and unreflective. This attitude of delight toward those who question is echoed in the second preface to his Republic translation:

            >When non-philosophers begin their acquaintance with philosophers, they frequently say, "This is nonsense." But sometimes they say, "This is outrageous
            nonsense," and at such moments their passions really become involved with the philosophers, frequently culminating in hatred or in love.

            His qualm is with those who consume and never think about it, not those who reflect and happen to conclude differently from him. Bloom, who also translated and wrote on Plato's Ion, didn't miss how much Plato and Socrates adored Homer and the poets, just as he was a frequent consumer of music himself. You missed the point.

            [...]
            All you're doing is trying to force a reading while (now I believe intentionally ) ignoring the other claims that he is making. Obviously, Bloom wants people to critique the culture in which they live in, and he wants them to do so more than superficially, without taking anything for granted. But what exactly is motivating him in this chapter? Think about it in terms of remote and proximate causes, of surface and depth. You've managed to quote everything *except* the lede, which to me is activating every alarm possible that you are not arguing in good faith.
            Pg. 73:
            >Nietzsche, particularly, sought to tap again the irrational sources of vitality, to replenish our dried-up stream from barbaric sources, and thus encouraged the Dionysian and the music derivative from it.
            Pg. 73:
            >This is the significance of rock music. I do not suggest that it has any high intellectual sources. But it has risen to its current heights in the education of the young on the ashes of classical music, and in an atmosphere in which there is no intellectual resistance to attempts to tap the rawest passions. Modern-day rationalists, such as economists, are indifferent to it and what it represents. The irrationalists are all for it. There is no need to fear that "the blond beasts" are going to come forth from the bland souls of our adolescents. But rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire—not love, not ems, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored. It acknowledges the first emanations of children's emerging sensuality and addresses them seriously, eliciting them and legitimating them, not as little sprouts that must be carefully tended in order to grow into gorgeous flowers, but as the real thing. Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later.
            Pg. 74-75:
            >Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.

            (1/2)

            [...]
            And especially Pg 79-81:
            >The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of liberal education.
            >Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces the exaltation naturally attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors—victory in a just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religious devotion and discovery of the truth. Without effort, without talent, without virtue, without exercise of the faculties, anyone and everyone is accorded the equal right to the enjoyment of their fruits. In my experience, students who have had a serious fling with drugs—and gotten over it—find it difficult to have enthusiasms or great expectations. It is as though the color has been drained out of their lives and they see everything in black and white. The pleasure they experienced in the beginning was so intense that they no longer look for it at the end, or as the end. They may function perfectly well, but dryly, routinely. Their energy has been sapped, and they do not expect their life's activity to produce anything but a living, whereas liberal education is supposed to encourage the belief THAT THE GOOD LIFE is the PLEASANT LIFE and that the BEST LIFE is the MOST PLEASANT LIFE.
            It seems like you got so caught up in CTRL-Fing "philosophy" that you forgot to look into the subtler implications of what the philosophical life entails. Students have lost the ability not only to critique the surrounding culture (which you point out they cling to with everything they have), but they've lost passion for the best things in life themselves thanks to surrendering to something more animalistic. And Bloom, being a translator of the Republic who cites said book's education program regarding the cultivation of the guardians, obviously must have been aware that Plato thought that the most pleasant life is the philosophical life. This is the subtext that you are completely missing.

            Forgot to put in (2/2), and apparently you can't delete a post after only a minute anymore. Oh well. Bloom believes that the music reverberating throughout modern society creates a significant obstacle towards cultivating new philosophers. And it has to do with the nature of eros. It's very, very difficult to not take this away from the chapter, especially when you consider how explicitly Bloom ties Plato's work into his critique of music and its effects on the soul.
            (2/2)

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            No, wrong.

            All references to philosophy in that chapter:

            Pg. 70:
            >They hardly paid attention to the discussion of music itself and, to the extent that they even thought about it, were really puzzled by Plato's devoting time to rhythm and melody in a serious
            treatise on political philosophy.

            Pg. 71:
            >Yet if a student can —and this is most difficult and unusual—draw back, get a critical distance on what he clings to, come to doubt the ultimate value of what he loves, he has taken the first and most difficult step toward the philosophic
            conversion. Indignation is the soul's defense against the wound of doubt about its own; it reorders the cosmos to support the justice of its cause. It justifies putting Socrates to death. Recognizing indignation for what it is constitutes knowledge of the soul, and is thus an experience more philosophic than the study of mathematics. It is Plato's teaching that music, by its nature, encompasses all that is today most resistent to philosophy.

            Pg. 73:
            >Classical philosophy did not censor the singers. It persuaded them. And it gave them a goal, one that was understood by them, until only yesterday. But those who do not notice the role of music in Aristotle and despise it in Plato went to school with Hobbes, Locke and Smith, where such considerations have become unnecessary. The triumphant Enlightenment rationalism thought that it had discovered other ways to deal with the irrational part of the soul, and that reason needed less support from it. Only in those great critics of Enlightenment
            and rationalism, Rousseau and Nietzsche, does music return, and they were the most musical of philosophers.

            Pg. 75:
            >He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying.

            (Cont.)

            These are all of the references to philosophy in the whole chapter. What you miss is any passage like the following on page 70:

            >The music that had been designed to produce, as well as to please, such exquisite sensibilities had a very tenuous relation to American lives of any kind. So romantic musical culture in America had had for a long time the character of a
            veneer, as easily susceptible to ridicule as were Margaret Dumont's displays of coquettish chasteness, so aptly exploited by Groucho Marx in A Night At The Opera. I noticed this when I first started teaching and lived in a house for gifted students. The "good" ones studied their physics and then listened to classical music. The students who did not fit so easily into
            the groove, some of them just vulgar and restive under the cultural tyranny, but some of them also serious, were looking for things that really responded to their needs. Almost always they responded to the beat of the newly emerging rock music. They were a bit ashamed of their taste, for it was not respectable. But I instinctively sided with this second group, with real, if coarse, feelings as opposed to artificial and dead ones.

            The passage that you allude to on page 71 does not say that the whole aim concerns philosophy, but rather that such a questioning as described there constitutes a philosophic first step, and that recognition of something like indignation is more philosophic than mathematical study. This chapter would only be the kind of screed you suppose you see it as if Bloom thought universal enlightenment were possible, and there were impediments in the way; he does not see universal enlightenment as possible. That he's doing something more descriptive and diagnostical rather than in setting forth a program is unseen by you. And, in fact, I know the student of his who helped him with that chapter (a professor of mine), and who belonged to the second group of rock-loving students that Bloom positions himself among. You would have to more adequately see why he positions himself with those who are vulgar but self-reflective and not, on the one hand, those who listen to classical music and are unreflective, and, on the other hand, those who are vulgar and unreflective. This attitude of delight toward those who question is echoed in the second preface to his Republic translation:

            >When non-philosophers begin their acquaintance with philosophers, they frequently say, "This is nonsense." But sometimes they say, "This is outrageous
            nonsense," and at such moments their passions really become involved with the philosophers, frequently culminating in hatred or in love.

            His qualm is with those who consume and never think about it, not those who reflect and happen to conclude differently from him. Bloom, who also translated and wrote on Plato's Ion, didn't miss how much Plato and Socrates adored Homer and the poets, just as he was a frequent consumer of music himself. You missed the point.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            [...]
            All you're doing is trying to force a reading while (now I believe intentionally ) ignoring the other claims that he is making. Obviously, Bloom wants people to critique the culture in which they live in, and he wants them to do so more than superficially, without taking anything for granted. But what exactly is motivating him in this chapter? Think about it in terms of remote and proximate causes, of surface and depth. You've managed to quote everything *except* the lede, which to me is activating every alarm possible that you are not arguing in good faith.
            Pg. 73:
            >Nietzsche, particularly, sought to tap again the irrational sources of vitality, to replenish our dried-up stream from barbaric sources, and thus encouraged the Dionysian and the music derivative from it.
            Pg. 73:
            >This is the significance of rock music. I do not suggest that it has any high intellectual sources. But it has risen to its current heights in the education of the young on the ashes of classical music, and in an atmosphere in which there is no intellectual resistance to attempts to tap the rawest passions. Modern-day rationalists, such as economists, are indifferent to it and what it represents. The irrationalists are all for it. There is no need to fear that "the blond beasts" are going to come forth from the bland souls of our adolescents. But rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire—not love, not ems, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored. It acknowledges the first emanations of children's emerging sensuality and addresses them seriously, eliciting them and legitimating them, not as little sprouts that must be carefully tended in order to grow into gorgeous flowers, but as the real thing. Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later.
            Pg. 74-75:
            >Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.

            (1/2)

            And especially Pg 79-81:
            >The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of liberal education.
            >Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied. It artificially induces the exaltation naturally attached to the completion of the greatest endeavors—victory in a just war, consummated love, artistic creation, religious devotion and discovery of the truth. Without effort, without talent, without virtue, without exercise of the faculties, anyone and everyone is accorded the equal right to the enjoyment of their fruits. In my experience, students who have had a serious fling with drugs—and gotten over it—find it difficult to have enthusiasms or great expectations. It is as though the color has been drained out of their lives and they see everything in black and white. The pleasure they experienced in the beginning was so intense that they no longer look for it at the end, or as the end. They may function perfectly well, but dryly, routinely. Their energy has been sapped, and they do not expect their life's activity to produce anything but a living, whereas liberal education is supposed to encourage the belief THAT THE GOOD LIFE is the PLEASANT LIFE and that the BEST LIFE is the MOST PLEASANT LIFE.
            It seems like you got so caught up in CTRL-Fing "philosophy" that you forgot to look into the subtler implications of what the philosophical life entails. Students have lost the ability not only to critique the surrounding culture (which you point out they cling to with everything they have), but they've lost passion for the best things in life themselves thanks to surrendering to something more animalistic. And Bloom, being a translator of the Republic who cites said book's education program regarding the cultivation of the guardians, obviously must have been aware that Plato thought that the most pleasant life is the philosophical life. This is the subtext that you are completely missing.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It has sex appeal. But it isn't sex. It would be foolish to conflate the two. And then to draw a link to the (lack of) practice of philosophy is downright absurd.
        It has sexual inherent to its musical structure, and it communicates those qualities to the listener in a way which encourages sexual behavior. The name "Rock & Roll" is meant to denote its sexual quality as the term was a euphemism for having sex.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What's sexual about rock and roll, except for the songs which are explicitly about sex? Does sex has a rhythm? All kinds of sex are possible. Fast and rough sex. Slow and tender sex. And who the frick is "rolling" when you're having sex? That sounds like a great way to break your dick.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >All kinds of sex are possible. Fast and rough sex. Slow and tender sex.
            Sure sex may have varieties, but there is a generalized conception of it that allows things like rock music to immediately trigger the sex drive within the listener. There being different varieties of phalli doesn't change our ability to interpret something as a phallic symbol when we see it.
            >And who the frick is "rolling" when you're having sex? That sounds like a great way to break your dick.
            Black people in the 40s and 50s, I guess. But in all seriousness, being so literal is a great way to always miss the point.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Sure sex may have varieties, but there is a generalized conception of it that allows things like rock music to immediately trigger the sex drive within the listener. There being different varieties of phalli doesn't change our ability to interpret something as a phallic symbol when we see it.
            Does it? Is it? There are so many different kinds of rock that it is strange to consider that 1) there is a "general" rock; and 2) it is innately libidinous above everything else. You need to go deeper into the essence and speak clearly or else you're just playing around with vague nonsense. Where, when, and how is the sex drive being triggered?
            >Black people in the 40s and 50s, I guess. But in all seriousness, being so literal is a great way to always miss the point.
            I'm pointing out the ridiculousness of your backdated etymology. Sometimes you need a literal lens to bring lofty ideas back to the ground where they belong.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >rock music to immediately trigger the sex drive within the listener

            maybe you need to seek help

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Nobody ever talks about how Bloom blames rock and roll music for ruining philosophy students because it is too "sexy."
    He was right about this. The blame should be put on jazz, but rock music superseded jazz as the major influence in this regard, just as hip hop has done the same with rock.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    All you have to do is check early life and refuse to waste your time.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He's right. How much worse the grotesque rap kids listen to now

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He's right. Culture doesn't skip straight from Beethoven to Wet Ass Pussy by Cardi B. There's a downward line connecting them and rock was an essential stepping stone in getting us here. Boomers thought of rock the same way the average IQfy user thinks of rap. The fact that most people now think rock is great art compared to rap only shows how far we've fallen.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >from Beethoven to Wet Ass Pussy by Cardi B

      Clearly doesn't have shit on Lick Me In My Arse

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You can dance erotically to Wet Ass Pussy. It's not a downward step at all.
      Besides, haven't we all heard Beethoven enough? Does anyone really enjoy the 5th or the 9th anymore? So tired at this point, it's laughable when the 9th comes up in that Tarkovsky film - he wanted le big emotional moment but it falls flat because he picked the most hackneyed piece imaginable

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >haven't we all heard Beethoven enough?

        no.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Besides, haven't we all heard Beethoven enough?
        No.
        > Does anyone really enjoy the 5th or the 9th anymore?
        Yes

        >he wanted le big emotional moment
        Your ironic detachment is characteristic of the modern individual. It's not your fault. It's the dominate form of engaging with the world now. It is why art fails to reach the heights it once did. I hope one day you will climb out of your irony-poisoned mindset and learn to engage sincerely with beautiful art.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Who said anything about irony? Beethoven's 9th is boring because we've all heard it a million times. It was beautiful the first hundred times, but now it's as tedious as any other overused trope.

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