For the hegelian sunbather
How can one speak about progress if one doesn’t know where everything’s going? To assert that humanity is or isn’t progressing, don’t we need to know for sure where we’re heading? And what if time is an infinite entity? Doesn’t it imply that progress is impossible since you’re not actually progressing towards anything definite?
For the obsessive dialectician
Since Heraclitus, opposites have been extremely engaging and operative things for us humans. In a way, we all came to believe every thing has an opposite: hot and cool, black and white, big and small, light and dark, male and female. But then there’s all this troublesome stuff to deal with. If some may say that French is the opposite of English, what’s the opposite of Polish? And the...
For the social networker
It starts with a like here and a comment there. Then there’s likes to the comments and comments to the likes. Invitations follow, then posts on each other’s walls. Suddenly they’re tending to each other’s pumpkins on Farmville and sharing Youtube videoclips from the 80s. Until you start believing that your lover is actually having an affair with someone else on Facebook....
For the superstitious semiotician
Having just talked or thought about something quite dreadful, you desperately want to knock on wood. Does it have to be real wood? Does a photograph of something more or less woody do the job? Does MDF or any other kind of engineered wood count? Would a picture of Pinocchio do? If you happened to be with someone with a wooden face, would it be acceptable to knock her/his forehead?
For the grandiloquent globetrotter
When you say “for you, I would go to the end of the world”, does it mean, the world being round and for that reason without an end, you’d go absolutely nowhere for that person?
For the neighbors of old ladies
You just moved to a new place. Your upstairs neighbor is a lovely old lady. Alas, her living room is right above your bedroom and, alas again, TV’s her only company, so she watches it until 2 or 3AM. To make it worse, she’s hearing impaired. Seriously so. So deaf she doesn’t even hear the doorbell whenever (around 1AM, in pajamas and a really bad mood) you go upstairs to complain...
For the bespectacled lover
If love is blind, how can there ever be love at first sight? Is it that love at first sight is never truly love? Or maybe love is merely shortsighted? And if it’s so, is there anything we can use as contacts? But then again, isn’t the lover’s irrepressible urge to touch and squeeze and taste and smell a very strong indication that love is indeed as blind as can be?
For the amateur cardiologist
If home is where the heart is, does it follow that we never really put our hearts in our work? Or that, on the contrary, work is where we feel most at home? Or is it that our hearts are ubiquitous? Do people who work at home have the question solved? And what if we’ve had a heart transplant - what kind of place would home be?
For the gluttonous friend
At the close of a birthday party, you and a friend are both secretly coveting the two lonely pastries left on the table. They’re the same kind, but one is clearly bigger than the other. When lights are turned on after singing Happy Birthday, the first thing you notice is that the bigger pastry is gone and your friend’s mouth is conspicuously full. Would you resent your friend’s selfishness? Would...
For the philosophical son-in-law
You love your girlfriend, you really do. And you know how much she wants her parents to like you, so you do everything in your power to please them. But then, one day, you enter the men’s room of a shopping mall, hear a toilet being flushed, and there he is, your father-in-law. With the broadest smile, offering you his hand - his too obviously unwashed hand. Do you shake it in the name of...
For the art lover
Imagine that, in a faustian kind of moment, the Devil comes to you. “Here’s the deal”, he’d say with the usual Jack Nicholson leer, “I’ll make sure you paint like a Picasso, design like a Paul Rand, write like a Shakespeare or play like a Beethoven - choose whatever makes you tick - but in exchange you’ll never be able to see a single picture, read a...
For the football fan
Your team is playing in the World Cup. You’re excited, you count the time to the next match. You’ve bought the beers, ironed the t-shirt. But then God shows up to you in a cloud of divine fumes and tells you: “Sorry, dude, but you have to choose: either you watch the game or your team wins - can’t have both!” What would you do?
For the sensitive nose
You’ve met at a party and end up at your place. It’s definitely the most gorgeous person you’ve ever met. The only problem: love’s not the only thing in the air. An acrid smell emanates from the beautiful armpit. What to do? Do you bluntly suggest the much needed ablutions? Or do you simply go for it, despite your nose’s protestations?
For the jealous father
Do you fervently wish your daughter to be the most beautiful girl in the world - knowing it may considerably increase her self-confidence and her chances of happiness - or would you rather have her not so beautiful - and perhaps not so happy - so she isn’t pestered by all the rapacious males?