Philosophy 102
The Philosophy Party

By Jesus Moses

The philosophy party was at a professor’s house. I drank four beers really fast while I was there alone and hidden in the kitchen. I was only a little drunk, so when I left, I went and got really drunk at a bar. After the bar, I was really drunk and suicidal somewhere. That’s what Samantha told me at least. I don’t remember calling her, but I don’t think she is lying. Because that would be a weird and crazy thing to lie about.

At philosophy parties we do really sophisticated things while getting drunk. At least I get drunk. Then I play a game where I keep thinking ‘who knows I’m drunk’ and act nervous around everyone. At this one, we looked at a slide show of landscape paintings. Hills and fields and rocks--inanimate things. Very sophisticated. The presentation was about the beauty of nature, and the presenter used landscape paintings to show us how nature is beautiful. I don’t understand why it had to be paintings and not photographs or something. Maybe he said at the beginning of his presentation, but I was late to the party, and also, I didn’t give a shit.

I don’t think nature is beautiful. Or even different than what people say is unnatural. Unnatural is like miracles. I think people are natural and even technology is nature. Cities are natural. To say ‘a city isn’t natural’ is dumb to me. It isn’t supernatural. Cities aren’t made out of ghosts or gods or, like, vampire bones or something.

A city isn’t unnatural. It’s what naturally happens when a bunch of people decide to live close to each other. Rooms get stacked on top of each other to save space. Very natural. Nature, on the other hand, is uncomfortable. It is humid and cold. Everything is hard and pointy. There’s gross bugs that I always think are trying to go in my ears to breed. Humans are the best part of nature. They destroy bugs.

I thought about my friend George. George is probably in trouble. He described his life to me as 'a methadone-hell' on the phone while I was at my other job delivering pizzas. He said “methadone-hell” in a careless and laidback tone. Even laughed afterward. Seems like hell wouldn’t be laidback but George has been in pain-hell for a while. It’s become routine for him. Methadone-hell is probably similar and for that reason easier to adapt to. I was late to the party because I was delivering pizzas, but I don’t care because I hate nature.

The presenter discussed how difficult it is to find paintings of just nature—paintings without human figures or structures. A lot of landscapes have ruins. An attempt to increase “nature”. Stones and columns torn apart by trees and bushes. As if the stones and columns aren’t what natural humans naturally do. But the idiot painter didn’t consider that ruins were probably more comfortable than the trees and bushes before they became ruins. Nature sucks.

“Order” was one of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues. He decided this when he was 20 years old. Order is what happens before things become ruins. We need to have a young Benjamin Franklin’s state of mind. I mean, do you really want nature?

After the landscape slide show, there was a Q & A session. We discussed landscape paintings. Like how some painters make up landscapes with their imagination—“composites”. Some just copy it down. I imagine a painter putting a giant sheet of tracing paper over a waterfall. The presenter thinks that copies of nature are more beautiful than “composites.” How can you even tell the difference? Nature all looks the same. Green shapes and liquid in holes. Brown dirt and animals. Landscapes are easy.

We discuss how difficult it is to find landscape paintings without human figures or structures again. Someone talks about ruins. Ruins suck. Nature sucks. I raise my hand and say “landscape paintings without human figures or structures are everywhere.” Because they are. “They are cheap paintings used to decorate restaurants and hospital waiting rooms.” I call them “K-mart art” and smile because I accidently rhymed. “K-mart art.” The presenter agreed, saying also they are in hotel rooms. He says he hadn’t thought of that. He marvels at it. ‘Haha’ we both think. He thinks it about a hotel painting. I think it about rhyming. Rhyming is nature. ‘Haha’ I am nature and I make rhymes sometimes. A city made out of rhymes. ‘Haha’. The best rappers in the country come from Rhyme City. A petition to rename Rhyme City as K-mart Art City. My name signed to it one thousand times.

The aesthetics teacher puts a look on her face that means she has a problem with this. She says, after a pause, that the K-mart Art landscapes are “kitsch.” Then she dismisses them. Like she found a good box for these kinds of landscapes. A good box that she’ll keep in her garage full of kitsch. A good box that she can bury in her yard. Like she found a good coffin for my idea. K-mart Art flubs and dies. The philosophers talk more abstractly, about things that are beyond my attention span.

Later we talk about TV. None of these people know how to talk about TV. I don’t really know how to talk about TV either.

At the bar after the philosophy party I think “Green Beard” would be a good name for a pirate that sells weed. Who has a beard that is made out of weed. The bartender is short and unnecessarily pretty. There is hardly anyone there. But there are four TVs playing the same thing. Commercials.


jesus moses lives in chicago