Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wittgenstein, Mahler, Detroit

Farsighted readers will recall that my old friend "Red", who lives in Detroit near Wayne State, had an issue with a shotgun a couple of years back. He cranked off a few rounds in an empty house to celebrate Easter and, long story short, was let off with a warning by LE. 

Red's House

Now he's taken to listening to Mahler at the DSO and posting things like, "Mahler 3. Gonna try not to weep like a baby."

Wittgenstein Hated Mahler

Wittgenstein had this to say about Mahler.

If it is true that Mahler's music is worthless, as I believe to be the case, then the question is what I think he ought to have done with his talent. For quite obviously it took a set of very rare talents to produce this bad music. Should he have written his symphonies and then burnt them? Or should he have done violence to himself and not written them?
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value (67)

Detroit's population has declined from a peak of 2 million in 1950 to less than 700,000 today. Some 25% of its houses are derelict and awaiting demolition. Wild dogs roam its streets and empty highways.

I will visit the Motor City in August.



jenny said...

"Philosophical problems are not solved by experience, for what we talk about in philosophy are not facts but things for which facts are useful. Philosophical trouble arises through seeing a system of rules and seeing that things do not fit it. It is like advancing and retreating from a tree stump and seeing different things. We go nearer, remember the rules, and feel satisfied, then retreat and feel dissatisfied."
- Wittgenstein

Detroit's a bit of a tree stump...

LSP said...

Good quote.

Detroit's like the hollowed out, decaying stump of a once great tree. And for sure, the Motorway City lends itself to perspective building.

Let's hope it isn't a portent of greater doom to come.

Should Texas secede?

jenny said...

but of course. Otherwise the death of a once great tree is all for naught. No point to persistent, morbid analysis of a tree stump if one doesn't learn to value and guard other fine trees. Of which, naturally, Texas is the mightiest and finest. :)
We would be remiss to not do whatever we can to apply the lessons learned. So. You keep collecting guns and get started on that fort-looking building. And perhaps I can entice the Austin hippies with Detroit relocation packages… sounds like a good place for Equinox festivities. (The police down here are too overbearing these days anyway.)
The question is what to do with Dallas. I think they would fuss at seceding. They're just fussy in general. So they should all leave. Except the hunting ones, they should stay; we'll need them.

(Admittedly an insufficient plan, but one has to start somewhere, even if it's simply an outright refusal to become Detroit. God bless 'em, though.)

LL said...

Detroit is the progressive left's wet dream of what they'd like to see everything turn into. It's a species of Sci-Fi movie - but really more surreal than that.

Bring a lot of holy water with you from Texas. I suspect that Detroit River water won't give in to consecration.

Think about what the French trappers found when they first transited the area when they named the river Rivière du Détroit, (River of the Straight) and what it and its area has become.

LSP said...

Maybe Dallas should become its own City State. Or is it already? Terrifying prospect...

All for Texas.

LSP said...

I've often thought of the trappers on the Detroit. Not a happy thought.

Good call on the Holy Water. Hesitate to use the river, but maybe, by way of adventure, I'll see if I can catch anything.

Don't worry, I'll wear a hazmat suit and kevlar...

jenny said...

Terrifying indeed.

No, no, a house divided will never stand. We have no choice but to deport all Dallasites to whichever country manufactured their favorite pair of nightclubbing shoes.

(Family may stay, of course. I'd miss my siblings too much. They can be in charge of getting Dallas back in line and recruiting a new population of Texans who have not had their brain power depleted by inhaling too many pedicure fumes.)

Frank Sauer said...


here are some google street pictures going back 4 or 5 years. It is astonishing how quickly the neighborhoods go feral.
Take care in Motor City

LSP said...

That's a great link, Frank.

I've been half-amazed at the way big parts of the city have gone down in the last decade.

To me, it seems as though the pace is accelerating, but maybe I'm wrong?

Last time I was there, 3 years ago, it was eerily empty...

Let's hope it's not a nationwide portent.

God bless.