Perugino Coffee House, Eugene Oregon

The walk over was wonderful. I had gotten home at 7:00 am from the club. I wasn’t able to fall asleep until well after 9 and I woke up at 4. During sunset I looked out of my eastern facing windows and watched the colors of night deepen in the clear sky. The violets and purples and lavenders, all a watercolor of beauty. After it had grown dark I gathered myself together, a bag of books, and left. When I turned the corner of my apartment and headed east, toward the coffee house, I was stopped dead in my tracks. The full moon was at a 40 degree angle in the sky, the clear navy blue sky was brilliant, and the light of the moon gave a beautiful lining to the silver fir tree standing to the bare branches of the maple. It was stunning. As my breath escaped my lips into wisps of vapor, I soaked up the sight before me. I was fortunate that my walk to the coffee shop was easterly, for I took it slowly and enjoyed very much the beauty of the night.

In the coffee house I ordered a cup of mocha, masterfully created and befitting of an upscale coffee house as Perugino is, and took a seat near the wall with books and notepad.

I ended my term in The Philosophy Cafe. The owner of the on-line club enlists the aide of others, belittles people in his “like for like” arguments while espousing that rationality is the way to make a good society and lift humans up from animals, and has yet to offer me anything of any substance for my questions, many of which were not of a debative nature but of an openess to learn.

From: Eddie Sent: 1/18/2003 6:28 PM
Friedrich said:
whatever takes place is not a chess game. It ceases to have any meaning in terms of chess. In the chess game of life

Well, not good enough. I suppose this should be the end of the discussion because we are getting nowhere. I do not like being equated to some dumb college kid. I was a bit nasty in my last post because I wanted to see the Friedrich who “replies like with like”, which seemed to me to go against the rules of reason, and more like “an eye for an eye” which sound pretty reasonable to those who practice it. I wasn’t entirely disappointed, for the remark for Biggie to go back to the Vet’s hospital, that was poor, showed me the nasty underbelly where high minded philosophers are still the animal humans they wish they could forget. And what does the remark say about the Veteran’s hospital or those who must go there?

Chess was created by people. It might have as easily have involved an extra two of squares with an extra piece with an equally unique move. Perhaps there were several regional forms of chess and over time they changed, evolved, and we finally get what we have today. Can we not sit down and say to ourselves, “hey, we can improve on this game”… sure. Will it be the Chess as definied in the dictionary of the year 1988? No. But in this chess/player analogy, your Truth that you tell about is the game of chess, and to which I say that the greater truth is the players playing the game. They might play chess, they might get mad and fight, they might instead go and shoot some hoops.

But you continue to attack and belittle people and I have lost my patience with you. I do not doubt your intelligence, I do not doubt your history, I do not doubt your capability for reason, but I do very seriously doubt your integrity to the spirit of inquisitiveness. My desire to go into ideas is real, my desire to put up with people who have no true reason for opening up to the possibility that they are full of it is not.

My time is important to me. I get enough thick skulls to have to deal with while at work. A club like this should be fun, not another round of the same thing. And since this is your club and you want to sit over judgment of everyone, leaving any room for anyone of differing opinions, I’m taking my ball and going.

I hope for a growing success in this club.


From: Friedrich Sent: 1/18/2003 11:03 PM

Re: #122.

One of the saddest aspects of a club like this is encountering the sort of people like you, Eddie, who have the curiosity, the interest, but lack the willingness to be taught, You recognize someone who knows more than you do about a subject, whom you are not quite ready to debate, but you are afraid of really confronting the emptyness, shallowness, and cliche quality of your ideas. You are nice guy. You mean well. But I think you lack “a true commitment to the spirit of inquiry.”

As for acting like some college kid, take a look at your request to have me explain all of this so some “red neck can understand it.” Please.

To be sure chess was created by people, but human societies had a lot to do with creating people in turn. I mean in the sense that civilisation shapes the sensibilities and perceptions of people and, because human beings are social animals, they cannot avoid groupings, societies, tribes. These in turn have a rationality of their own, a logic, that dictates its own rules. Once persons are playing chess, it’s only a matter of time before they discern the wisdom of the Sicilian defense, dragon variation. And when persons live in societies, it will soon dawn on them that the logic of their situation also requires a certain ethic of fairness and cooperation. This logic is not subjective or relative; it is quite objective — like the diagnosis in a veteran’s hospital.

Think about it.

Good luck with your group. Please feel free to take Biggie (with his medication) along with you.


I could care less what this guy thinks. He is a horse’s ass and not worth my time. However, the one thing that does stick wrongly with me is the same feeling that a former bartender of mine expressed when discussing that bloated tub of humanity, Phil, when she answered my telling her that he didnt’ matter… “yeah, but I don’t like people like that thinking that they can go around getting their way”. But in the end, it isn’t worth it. So I created another online club and hopefully I can get some bright people there of differing philosophies and we can all get along.

Friedrich has failed to meet me on one particular point, and perhaps it is this rebellion of me to his all too smug systems, which makes me an existentialist. On the wall of the cafe there are photos of Italy. Not the usual ones of the Vatican or Roman ruins, but of real people. One photo shows three elderly people in the square. One lady is expressing surprise as pigeon flies by her, an old man is grinning (without teeth) with amusing jubilant alarm at a pigeon perched upon his head. His face stares straight into the camera and the viewer of the photo, after taking in the scene, is sucked into the man’s face, bringing an intimate awareness of his emotions, and then into his eyes. Eyes are said to be the windows of the soul (a topic which can lead to a night’s worth of discussion). And in staring into the eyes of this man, one feels one’s own happiness and fears, the great paradox of life, enlivened within our now intimate feeling for the man as his Self. He becomes real and thoughts of what his day must be like swirl around in one’s mind. This is what Friedrich forgets and tries to subject to the narrow confines of reason. As a club, The Philosophy Cafe is no longer enjoyable. The atmosphere is too much like bickering and politcal maneuvering. Ideas take back seating to battles to be right, or seen as right, in the eyes of others. Yet it is strange that I, who expect nothing less, am leaving the club, and the chief instigator of such feelings, Friedrich, says that the depravity of human existence can end if we apply reason to construct an orderly way. I find it highly amusing and ironic that the existentialist who claims that such is a pipe dream is leaving, and the Kantian who says that reason is king has given me a bad taste with his base behavior. The humor of this causes me to chuckle.

Joe Federigo’s

I left the coffee house and treated myself to a nice dinner. I went to Joe Fed’s and dined on black coffee, a glass of wine, french bread, a delicous carrot ginger cream soup, and a salmon goat cheese pasta dish. All in all it cost me about $30, but it was very very very good. The last time I went “out” to eat was perhaps a year ago, the same restaurant, the table next to me, with Christine.

After dinner I went downstairs to the jazz club. I paid my cover and sat at the bar and ordered a cup of black coffee. The bartender was John Davis and he is perhaps the best bartender I’ve ever seen anywhere. I should make it mandatory for all bartenders who work for me to go and sit at his bar for a night and absorb some of the memes of his movements. I felt good about my un-used bartending ability as I watched him make drink after drink and I was easily able to name the drink before he was half done making it. On the wall was a picture of Louis Armstrong, a large laughing smile on his face. It occured to me that one rarely sees a picture of Louis without a smile, while one rarely sees a picture of Christ with a smile. Given the choice between the two I’ll pick Louis every time. I read some of a new book I had bought, a collection of existentialist writings, specifically the short story “The Wall” by Sartre. Between pages and sips of coffee, I was mesmerized by the jazz trio, a stand up bass, a pianist, and a drummer. The bassist was the leader and he was phenomenal. He would go from slap bass to softer to sliding to using a bow (as in classical music) and would rip out the most amazing melodies. Yes Kant was incomplete… Kant cannot approach the bassist lost in his music! I understood, and felt myself saying the same, when Sal was shouting YES YES YES, MAN THATS IT while watching a trumpetist in a Denver nightclub in the book On the Road.

Now I am home. I have tomorrow off. I feel I want to read (lots of books are calling my name) to write, to journal, to do all sorts of things. What I really felt like after such a wonderful dinner, of great food, music, wine, coffee, and ideas, the walk over, was to make love to a beautiful woman, have conversation with her on something, and then start all over again.


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