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PBS falls on hard times
July 27, 2008 10:17 AM   Subscribe

'Llectuals. The fresh new PBS show about honor students learning love at Heidegger High School.
posted by plexi (48 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh, jesus.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:21 AM on July 27, 2008


Eerily similar to my high school experience.
posted by The White Hat at 10:25 AM on July 27, 2008


"Let's cross this Rubicon." AWESOME.
posted by scody at 10:29 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


PBS seems a bit desperate these days. I hope this is better than Click and Clack.
posted by drmarcj at 10:30 AM on July 27, 2008


Oddly, women never seem interested when I tell them that Sartre contradicts himself thirty times in one chapter of Being and Nothingness. Nor when I point out the irony of a woman who "believes in" the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who were both profoundly misogynistic. How do you "believe in" a philosophy, anyway?

Man, she was cute. Maybe I should've just shut up and kissed her.

Nah. She was intellectually muddled.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:48 AM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


PBS seems a bit desperate these days.
Well... it's not exactly PBS.
posted by carsonb at 10:49 AM on July 27, 2008


This would have been a better idea if they just went with the traditional: The fresh new PBS show about honor students love learning at Heidegger High School.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:53 AM on July 27, 2008


It's like the sick and twisted lovechild of PBS and FOX.
posted by tommasz at 10:54 AM on July 27, 2008


Metafilter: Let's cross this Rubicon

If I was a TV executive and someone pitched a show with that line, it would get the best time slot on my network. Maybe that's why I'm not a TV executive.
posted by saraswati at 10:59 AM on July 27, 2008


NAILED IT.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:08 AM on July 27, 2008


Oh dear god.
posted by orthogonality at 11:13 AM on July 27, 2008


I tell them that Sartre contradicts himself thirty times in one chapter of Being and Nothingness.

And which chapter is that?
posted by ageispolis at 11:25 AM on July 27, 2008


I tell them that Sartre contradicts himself thirty times in one chapter of Being and Nothingness.

And which chapter is that?


may god have mercy on your soul, ageispolis
posted by yonation at 11:31 AM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Funny, yes, but I would watch this show.
posted by empath at 11:44 AM on July 27, 2008


Sartre contradicts himself thirty times in one chapter of Being and Nothingness

Sartre contains multitudes.s
posted by empath at 11:47 AM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and

Metafilter: Stop being pedantic. Well, stop being pejorative. Well.. I will when you cease your pedantry.
posted by empath at 11:49 AM on July 27, 2008


As a 'llectual, I am not amused.
posted by nasreddin at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2008


As a 'llectual, I am getting a kick out of these replies.
posted by sebas at 11:53 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking they might use this approach for an even younger audience: they could do a parody of "Home Alone" called "Noam Alone," in which Noam Chomsky outwits the burglars with his intellectual prowess; or a parody of the "Where's Waldo?" books called "Where's Ralph Waldo?"
posted by ornate insect at 11:54 AM on July 27, 2008 [10 favorites]


I actually thought this might be real.

On a somewhat related note, I am looking forward to American Teen.
posted by LoriFLA at 11:56 AM on July 27, 2008


Girls gone Wilde? Hilarious.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:00 PM on July 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


ageispolis, I actually don't recall; it's been several years since I read Being and Nothingness and Being and Time. I got in an argument with my professor in Existentialism class about it, in which I actually counted times in a twenty page span where he said something that was directly opposed to something he'd said earlier.

It was a dark time.

The best example I can think of off-hand, though, is his speech entitled "Existentialism is a Humanism," which contradicts all Humanist thought that I've seen in an effort to make the despairing and misanthropic doctrine of his existentialism palatable. Remember that one of Sartre's most famous quotes is "Hell is other people." This is short and pithy—it seems almost silly—and is fundamentally what existentialism is about: the struggle of the fundamental human existence to act on its will and the opposition of the Other.

Sartre says all of that in a nearly impenetrable six-hundred-page brick, and trusts (I suppose) that nobody sensible will read it. When sensible people read it, they say "this is repugnant," and Sartre backpedals over the ground he so eagerly walked before.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:04 PM on July 27, 2008


The best example I can think of off-hand, though, is his speech entitled "Existentialism is a Humanism," which contradicts all Humanist thought that I've seen in an effort to make the despairing and misanthropic doctrine of his existentialism palatable. Remember that one of Sartre's most famous quotes is "Hell is other people." This is short and pithy—it seems almost silly—and is fundamentally what existentialism is about: the struggle of the fundamental human existence to act on its will and the opposition of the Other.

Sartre says all of that in a nearly impenetrable six-hundred-page brick, and trusts (I suppose) that nobody sensible will read it. When sensible people read it, they say "this is repugnant," and Sartre backpedals over the ground he so eagerly walked before.


While I agree with you that B&N was a ponderous, awful piece of crap (forcing myself to finish it was one of the worst experiences of my life), it's not about the horribleness of the They nearly as much as Being and Time is. But I like Being and Time much better. If you have a preconceived notion of life where everyone wants to be happy and love each other and hug puppies and send money to Africa, this kind of thought won't appeal to you anyway. For some people, though, framing their lives in terms of a project of authenticity is the only way to deal with existing. Read the first couple of chapters of John Barth's The End of the Road for an illustration of this.
posted by nasreddin at 12:13 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Burn in hell.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:14 PM on July 27, 2008


Scooby Doo can doo-doo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


nareddin--not to derail to much, but with regards to your comment up-thread, "a project of authenticity" is a most unconvincing phrase. Indeed, the whole concept of authenticity seems circumspect, wooly, nebulous and arbitrary: in what sense is any human artifact, language, culture or custom "authentic" or "inauthentic"? I doubt that authenticity, whatever it is, matters so much; it certainly won't rid the world of sentimentality or intellectual fashions. The Third Reich conceived of themselves as the authentic inheritors of some mythical racial genealogy; lacking an ethical dimension, the cult of authenticity can easily turn into the brute, reflexive, and unthinking arm of a repressive ideology.
posted by ornate insect at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2008


I vaguely recall that Sartre gave an interview late in his life where someone asked him to explain Being and Nothingness. His response, and I'm paraphrasing, was something like "I was really whacked out on mescaline for most of the 1950s. I wrote that, people thought it was cool, so I ran with it."

Still makes decent flirting material, though.
posted by generichuman at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2008


not to derail too much, but with regards to your comment up-thread, "a project of authenticity" is a most unconvincing phrase. Indeed, the whole concept of authenticity seems circumspect, wooly, nebulous and arbitrary: in what sense is any human artifact, language, culture or custom "authentic" or "inauthentic"? I doubt that authenticity, whatever it is, matters so much; it certainly won't rid the world of sentimentality or intellectual fashions. The Third Reich conceived of themselves as the authentic inheritors of some mythical racial genealogy; lacking an ethical dimension, the cult of authenticity can easily turn into the brute, reflexive, and unthinking arm of a repressive ideology.

You're right, of course. "Authenticity" is deeply problematic, and Heidegger's little extrapolation of his work to the political level certainly showed how it can be morally complicit with all kinds of nasty stuff. But whether or not the existentialists are correct in their presuppositions, the quest for authenticity is what motivates their work--and it's something that continues to appeal to me on a gut level despite the fact that intellectually I know that the appeal to authenticity is a bunch of hooey. Maybe it would be best to frame it in Nietzsche's terms--how do you "become what you are"?
posted by nasreddin at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2008


I'll stop derailing this thread now, sorry.
posted by nasreddin at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2008


Some days I just want to rush up to Metafilter and cover it with little kisses.
posted by jokeefe at 12:42 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Still makes decent flirting material, though.

You know that this makes you like one of those people who take up guitar so they can impress girls? It's kind of insulting, actually.
posted by nasreddin at 12:45 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Upon watching this, I have to say... yes. That's it, exactly.
posted by Clay201 at 1:31 PM on July 27, 2008


Human beings behaving...humanly...BBrrrilliant!
posted by Student of Man at 1:35 PM on July 27, 2008


You know that this makes you like one of those people who take up guitar so they can impress girls? It's kind of insulting, actually.

I was actually kidding. I guess it didn't come across like that. I certainly didn't devote several years of education to that stuff for the flirting potential.
posted by generichuman at 1:41 PM on July 27, 2008


I was actually kidding. I guess it didn't come across like that. I certainly didn't devote several years of education to that stuff for the flirting potential.

Sorry. I would have assumed you were kidding if I didn't know people who actually do this.
posted by nasreddin at 1:51 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it pedantic to point out that they mispronounced "Wittgenstein"? Yeah, I guess that would be the height of pedantry, wouldn't it? Yet I shall do so, ostentatiously, insouciantly, and... REALLY LOUD!!

When I was in grad school, we kept joking about pitching a pilot like this about a philosophy deaprtment like this. (Being phil grad students, we needed both humor and wild, unrealistic moneymaking schemes to keep hope alive.) We despaired when we realized that every fourth or fifth episode would have to involve the drama of someone going up for tenure, but we all perked up when someone pointed out that the general public doesn't know that you don't go up for tenure multiple times. We were hoping we could get Salma Hayek to play the Chair.

"a project of authenticity"

Oh, lordy. I suddenly had a flashback and remembered why I became a pragmatist.
posted by el_lupino at 2:01 PM on July 27, 2008


Is it pedantic to point out that they mispronounced "Wittgenstein"?

Yeah, well, in their language game "Wittgenstein" is just a token that means "pretentious" and has no necessary reference to any given masturbation-addicted German.

When I was in grad school, we kept joking about pitching a pilot like this about a philosophy deaprtment like this.

In the pilot, Rudolf accidentally mixes up Heidegger and Habermas, which makes for an awkward moment in the graduate seminar. Meanwhile, Fleur summons the ghost of Derrida via Ouija board.
posted by nasreddin at 2:18 PM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sign me up to write the inevitable slash fic!
posted by jokeefe at 2:49 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I got in an argument with my professor in Existentialism class about it

"Wrong, sir!"
"Nope, you're wrong!"
"Uh-uh! You're wrong!"
"No. You. Are. Wrong!"
"Why am I even here?!? This is pointless!!!"
"Precisely! So you do agree with me!"
"No, I meant- dammit!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:06 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


The primary problem, Alvy, is that someone who is a professor of philosophy has made his living studying the text.

That doesn't mean that he can't be wrong about it... but it does mean that he won't admit it. Ever.

I had quotes. With citations. Bastard. Glad I took it pass/fail...
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:57 PM on July 27, 2008


Eerily similar to my high school experience.

Strangely, mine too, except the girls were a lot less attractive and they weren't making out with me.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:00 PM on July 27, 2008


Like Juno, but realistic.

Previously by P0ykpak: Hipster Olympics and Mario: Game Over.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:38 PM on July 27, 2008


Some days I just want to rush up to Metafilter and cover it with little kisses put it in a potato sack with a large brick and thrown it into a swift moving river.

That looks better.
posted by chillmost at 1:49 AM on July 28, 2008


I'd watch this.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:32 AM on July 28, 2008


If this thread were a person, I'd hit it.

Also, I too would watch this show. Probably religiously.
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:52 AM on July 28, 2008


they could do a parody of "Home Alone" called "Noam Alone," in which Noam Chomsky outwits the burglars with his intellectual prowess

More realistic: instead of outwitting the burglars he would just talk so much that they'd get sick of listening to him and leave.
posted by Shebear at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2008


I want this show to be real so much.
posted by Arturus at 5:20 PM on July 28, 2008


WidgetAlley writes "If this thread were a person, I'd hit it."

I never would have thought a thread on PBS would reset the counter.
posted by Mitheral at 7:58 PM on August 8, 2008


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