Monday, 28 June 2010

The Relatives, The Absolute, and some stuff about Apophaticism

oh dear. Not only did I miss our appointment last thursday, but once again I've left this late so I have had neither time to properly clean it up, nor to think of anything interesting to say, and as such, Being in particular looks a mess. Although in my defence, I was 'experimenting with a new style'....y'know, messy!

Anyway, the joke here is about confusing the relative with the absolute, but this is a silly philosophy pun, so instead I will talk about Apophatic Theology, in order to use long words and feel clever. Ready? Apophatic theology is a posh name for Negative Theology, that wot I mentioned in my last post, the idea that God is so awesome and infinite that language can't describe him, we just have to say what he's not like, in a gesture towards him. Sort of like saying, 'oh our language is so rubbish, but there is this thing beyond it that is not rubbish.' That's a direct from Julian of Norwich that is.

Also behold how I have put the three sections in three different parts! This is to build DRAMATIC TENSION, and not because it's too fiddly to put them altogether on photoshop...!!!! Let me know if you think it works, see you on thursday!     becca xo

Monday, 21 June 2010

A Pedantic Ripost to the Guru Josh Infinity Project

Hello there. Here's my post for this Monday, at a much more reasonable time than last week! I saw this video at the gym the other day. Apparently it's from 2008 but I hadn't heard it before although it is said to have 'taken the world by storm' or got 22 MILLION hits on youtube, which I guess is about the same thing. And yet, as so often happens in popular culture, the lyrics contain a ridiculous use of the word 'infinity.' (See the cartoon). Another example is in cult-classic movie Forbidden Planet, where the oh-so-super-intelligent scientist claims that the aliens managed to increase their energy supply: 'almost literally to the the power of infinity'. This latter example is made even more amusing by the use of the word 'almost' at the beginning!

Now I don't want to come across as a snob, if anything I'm just a pedant, but the philosophical and mathematical point of the term infinity is that it represents that which is beyond what we can describe or calculate, and as this can't have a conceivable upper limit then infinity cannot be said to be fixed point or a quantity! Rather it's a quality: so  you can't multiply by the power of infinity anymore than you can multiply by the power of blue. Also the question of how we can know that infinity really exists when it is precisely that which exceeds and resists knowledge is a question that has been pondered by many philosophers and theologians. I don't think any of these thinkers thought that the answer might be 'Guru Josh'...

Now I suppose Guru Josh is being a bit more ''poetic'' than the writers of Forbidden Planet, but nonetheless
this sort of hippy mumbo-jumbo just serves to distract from how exciting the notion of the Infinite is, whether in astronomy or the Negative Theologians for example: Pseudo-Dionysus, Rudolf Otto, Paul Tillich, and then in all the philosophers influenced by the latter, including Heidegger. Gordon Finlayson, a lecturer at my old uni thinks we can even find a type of Negative Theology in Adorno. He presents a persuasive argument in 'On not Being Silent in the Darkness: Adorno's Singular Apophaticism' Adorno and Religion, ed. M. Waggoner, Indiana University Presss (forthcoming 2009). (Check me out with my 'proper' citations and everything!)

Hum. This post started off as a joke but  I got a bit serious at the end there...In any case infinity is a serious issue, and cartoons like this need to be seen as the pathetic attempt for easy laughs that they are....

Join me in my quest for linguistic precision in popular culture!

becca xo

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Priority to the Question of Being

Right then. Well it's still technically thursday in the UK (16 minutes to go as I type!) and, as promised, here's another cartoon. I am too tired to write much, as I spent all evening photo-shopping Heidegger's face. He looks a bit camp, but then he seems to be a bit of a camp icon in this comic, as you may have guessed from the video I made back in March.

In a nutshell, Heidegger's project was precisely to give priority to the question of Being, i.e to explore what it means to actually be, the categories this involves and such. He explores this in Being & Time, the book that started this comic off in the first place! Hence Being's outrage....!

It's worth getting a closer look so you can peer deep into Heidegger's dark photo-shopped pupils, and try to see the ground of Being...
(finished at 23.53- a close call!)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Bricks & Sorrow

beep beep! Okay so it's a bit late today, and the image is a bit mussy, because I was rushing and didn't have time for the usual post-production routine!

According to my second year notes (!) the idea of bricks and sorrow being incommensurable is an example of non-cognitivism or emotivism. Moral statements can't really be said to be rational, because they're not statements of fact about the world but expressions of preference: in reality there is nothing by which we can compare them, just like there's no way to decide whether lasagne or chocolate is 'better'. Saying 'murder is bad' is like saying 'boo hiss to murder': saying 'courage is good' only says 'hooray for courage'. (Funnily enough, this is often referred to as the boo-hurrah theory!). The upshot is that we can't have a moral system, because there just isn't a way of systematising such statements. Instead we should just learn more about bricks I guess.

becca xo

Sunday, 13 June 2010


well, it's not a monday, but i have been doing a few little sketches, and got over-excited by my extra-curricular work and thought i'd show you, dearest internet users.

so over <-----there is a sketch of The Cat in the hat, which i will alter for copyright purposes in my upcoming Being & Tim 'Schrodinger's Cat in the Hat'! For those of you who follow my Twitter account, this is the quantum mechanics i've been attempting to get my head around! And it's trying to get it to rhyme which is the real kicker...still, keep you eyes on this page, I reckon it'll be ready sooooonish. Go here if you wish to prepare yourself!
And here ----> is another cartoon sketch of the two characters I hope you are familiar with now, Data Entry Pig and Becca Bumface. (They're going to get their own blog soon, called 'Friends on Benefits', one of those ''social satires'' of the world of work and the benefit system. Ho ho) Here Becca Bumface is attempting to simplify Nietzsche's notion of the Apollonian/Dionysiac. (That's the Birth Of Tragedy in front of her there...!) You can read more about this here, and make your own decision if Art Garfunkel really does represent the orgiastic and ecstatic elements of the Dionysian. So, just another sketch really, for my own amusement...and to mock my friend who said it...!
see you tomorrow kids! becca xo

Thursday, 10 June 2010

another one that needs very little explanation due to its exceptional silliness.... no time to chat i'm afraid, just off to play a gig with another band i is in. I play the glockenspiel!
have a good weekend! becca xo

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Questions of Being

I was gonna say ' a bit of a silly one today', but then I realised that, well, that's not really something particularly notable! But yeah, here's Being asking some questions of himself, in a philosophical way. We've got references to some of the most important names of the philosophical realm. Plato, Hegel, Heraclitus, Flowers.

You may remember the cartoons on the left from this post and this post, here they are recounting my meeting with Being & Tim's first celebrity fan!  NICK CAVE! Well, that's not really what happened at all, I did actually speak (or mumble) to him and then shoved my Being & Tim comic into his hand and ran away before he could say anything! He met my friend more recently, and said that Being & Tim was 'very moving'.

I think that means he doesn't understand it.

becca xo

Thursday, 3 June 2010


I have to be quick today, but here's a little cartoon that I did with Jimmy the ukulele wielding maniac from the other day. It's based on that old quotation often attributed to Sigmund Freud, but no one really knows who first said it, it appears. If you don't get the reference, you're just going to have to ask your mum this time... ;-)

See you Monday,

becca xo