Why didn’t Binx participate in the Krewes?


Josef Pieper may not have the total answer (although a total answer is perhaps found elsewhere in the same book), but this passage is too interesting not to share:

“Festivity is impossible to the naysayer. The more money he has, and above all the more leisure, the more desperate is this impossiblity to him.

“This is also true of the man who refuses to approve the fact of his own existence – having fallen into that mysterious, ineffable ‘despair from weakness’ of which Soren Kierkegaard has spoken and which in the old moral philosophy went by the name of acedia, ‘slothfulness of the heart.’ At issue is a refusal regarding the very heart and fountainhead of existence itself, because of the ‘despair of not willing to be oneself’ which makes man unable to live with himself. He is driven out of his own house – into a hurly-burly of work-and-nothing-else, into the fine-spun exhausting game of sophistical phrase-mongering, into incessant ‘entertainment’ by empty stimulants – in short, into a no man’s land which may be quite comfortably furnished, but which has no place for the serenity of intrinsically meaningful activity, for contemplation, and certainly not for festivity” [Emphasis mine].  – from In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity, pp.27-28 (1999, St. Augustine Press, South Bend, Ind.).



  1. Plus, you can’t really get your groove on when you are aware of yourself getting your groove on.

  2. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OPL says

    Selfconsciousness may be inimical to getting one’s GROOVE on, but (if one may generalize from one’s particular experiences) it usually enhances — sometimes considerably — the getting-on of one’s FREAK.

    • Sounds like someone finally found the topic for his New Orleans presentation.

      In other news, Freakengrooven is the German word for “that spiritual state which acts on a man at a party in the manner of alcohol, as described by the Porter in Macbeth: making him stand to and not stand to.”

      • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OPL says

        New Orleans? If only! God willing, those who weren’t able to present Festschriften in New Orleans this time around will get a second chance in nineteen years, when Tulane opens a John Kennedy Toole Center for Writing and Posthumous Publishing.

        Re Freikengrüven – Are you sure the Porter was describing a /spiritual/ state? Though maybe it is spiritual, for Germans. Reckon that’s the real subject of ‘Road Movie to Berlin’?

        Speaking of which, Tom Waits might make a good Porter, if he gave his Renfield act a little more ‘edge’. Perhaps someone should start a Twitter campaign or Facebook petition.

  3. The little I remember of Kierkegaard makes me think he is relevant to my own thinking about how some of us come to construct or find a morality: rebelliousness, followed by conventional moral thinking, followed by a personal morality. I hope to come back to him some time, but have other things to read meanwhile. Was he an influence on Nietzsche?

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OPL says

      Here’s a possible starting-point toward an answer:


      Journal of the History of Philosophy
      Volume 41, Number 2, April 2003

      E-ISSN: 1538-4586 Print ISSN: 0022-5053

      DOI: 10.1353/hph.2003.0004

      Brobjer, Thomas H.
      Notes and Discussions: Nietzsche’s Knowledge of Kierkegaard
      Journal of the History of Philosophy – Volume 41, Number 2, April 2003, pp. 251-263

      [I]t is generally assumed that Nietzsche, apart from the name, had no knowledge of Kierkegaard’s thinking. What makes it particularly tempting to discuss Nietzsche’s relation to Kierkegaard, apart from their inherent similarities and differences and the fact that they are often discussed together, is that Nietzsche, in a letter to Georg Brandes from February 19, 1888, claims that he intended to study Kierkegaard: Ich habe mir für meine nächste […].

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