Facebook: Philosophers as Profile Month 2021

Philosophers as Profile Pictures Month is an annual event in which we get to show off all the useless knowledge we gained through our humanities education. It’s also a chance to introduce people to lesser known philosophers/quotes and spur discussion! Participate by changing your profile picture to a philosopher (and one of their quotes) you especially like and post the photo/quote here in the event. Feel free to change your philosopher as many times as you want for the month of December!”

For my first profile pick of December 2021, I have chosen Don Lavoie (1951-2001).

Don Lavoie

There are important lessons … to be learned from both the successes and the failures of the twentieth century’s revolutionary movements. The triumphs of these popular revolutions seem … to be evidence of the power of ideology, while the reversals are evidence of the weakness of most of the particular ideologies that have driven these revolutions. They have generally striven to drive the current oppressors out of power, only to replace them with new rulers. If an ideology is found … that can transcend this mere replacement of rulers, aiming instead at a society without need for rule of some of its members by others, but in which, in some sense, the people can democratically rule themselves, then the triumph might be secured.

— Don Lavoie, National Economic Planning: What is Left? (1985, pp. 233-34)

Song of the Day #1892

Song of the Day: You Rascal You was composed by Sam Theard in 1929, under the less diplomatic, original title, “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead“. It has been recorded by many artists throughout the years, including Louis Armstrong [YouTube link]. Today, however, I feature an equally hilarious version by the late Louis Prima, who was born on this day in 1910, long before it was “a date which will live in infamy.” Deeply influenced by Satchmo, Prima changes up the lyrics with Sicilian flair—with references to ravioli and meatballs! The track is a highlight of his album, “The Wildest!“, with its eclectic mix of early rock and roll, jump blues, jazz, and off-the-wall humor. Check out this swinging version here (see below), which features the birthday boy on trumpet, Sam Butera on tenor saxophone, and James Blount, Jr. on trombone.

Song of the Day #1891

Song of the Day: After All features the music of Elton John and the lyrics of Charlie Puth—who turns 30 years old today! The “Perfect Pitch” birthday boy wrote the lyrics in tribute to John’s nearly three-decade-long relationship with David Furnish, whom John legally married in 2014. Puth and John recorded this song for the latter’s October 2021 album, “The Lockdown Sessions.” Check out the album version, their appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, and their duet on Global Citizen Live (also below).

The “Omicron Delta Epsilon” Conspiracy?

When I got my BA at New York University (in history, politics, and economics), I was inducted into the International Honor Society for Economics: Omicron Delta Epsilon.

I couldn’t help but notice that the “Delta” variant of COVID-19 has now been followed by the “Omicron” variant. And for those who have a short memory, the first strain that originated in the United States was called the “Epsilon” variant.

So there you have it! “Omicron”, “Delta”, and “Epsilon”—all variants of SARS-CoV-2 … not necessarily proof positive that this is all a conspiracy of the economists, but anecdotal evidence that economics remains the dismal science! (Oh take it easy, my economics colleagues! Ever hear of gallows humor?)

Song of the Day #1890

Song of the Day: Not a Day Goes, words and music by Stephen Sondheim, is one of the highlights from the 1981 Broadway musical, “Merrily We Roll Along.” Today, Sondheim died at the age of 91. He leaves behind a vast musical legacy. This is only one of so many Sondheim songs I’ve featured through the years. In the original Broadway production, it was performed by Jim Walton [YouTube link]. But the song was recorded subsequently by singers as diverse as Carly Simon, Patti LuPone, Barbra Streisand, and Bernadette Peters (below) [YouTube links]. RIP, Sondheim.

Song of the Day #1889

Song of the Day: Morning Delight, words and music by Nerio Poggi, is performed by Papik (featuring Frankie Lovecchio). Hopefully, after a day and night of excess eating, you’ve got a little ‘morning delight‘ rather than a need for TUMS! From the 2014 album, “Sounds for the Open Road” [YouTube link], this one has a jazzy, soulful midtempo groove. Perfect for The Day After Thanksgiving. Enjoy the studio version and a live performance as well [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #1888

Song of the Day: Thankful features the words and music of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Harvey Mason, Jr., Damon Thomas, and Kelly Clarkson, who sings this song with a jolt of soul. It is the title track from Clarkson’s 2003 debut album. This song expresses the kind of thanks you feel when you’re blessed enough to have special people in your life—those who bring you joy, visibility, support, and love. Check out the album version below. And a Happy Thanksgiving to All!