REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Muffins, Socrates and whips

By on February 11, 2014

JACKSON, WYO – Alice, my Republican lover and sponsored ambassador for CollarNcuffs whips, as well as creator of an online newsletter for lash aficionados she calls The Flogger Blogger, has been out of a job since her tenure ended as vice chair of Image Promotion and Perception Awareness for the Liz Cheney campaign.

“I got a new job,” she told me. “I’m teaching at The Pioneer Classical School. We offer students a classical education, teaching them what is beautiful, good and true and what is not so they can think for themselves.”

“What did you teach today?” I asked, assuming that, as classical means ancient history, her class involved an illustrated history of galley slave whips, their appropriate usage, care and maintenance.

“Today we studied Zeno’s arrow paradox,” Alice said. “It states that an arrow shot from a bow must have continuous motion, but as no time lapses in an instant, then at any given instant the arrow is motionless. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is composed of instants, then motion is impossible.”

“Sounds like grammar class,” I said. “All the rules have exceptions, all the exceptions have rules and none of them make sense.”

“That’s the point,” she exclaimed. “We examine the impossibility of physical experience and debate the reality of our existence. It’s highly educational for those wishing to enter a life of philosophical reflection or become surrealist painters.”

“We also teach the Socratic method of rhetoric,” Alice continued. “Ask me a question pertaining to anything under the cosmos.”

Since Shades closed, there’s only one question worth asking. “Where can I get free day-old muffins?”

“Is muffin substance in and of itself, or is it a composite of other substances?” Alice asked.

“It’s a composite,” I answered.

“And as flour and baking soda are by themselves unpalatable, is not then the muffin larger than the sum of its parts?”

“I dare say.”

“And does not each muffin depend not only on the quality of the ingredients, but on the skill of the baker as well as the oven temperature?”

“So it would seem.”

“So the idea of muffin is an abstraction, an ideal form, unchanging and absolute in truth while the muffin we experience is imperfect in form and texture, as if a shadow in a cave.”

“That depends if it’s a cream-filled muffin or a worthless bran muffin,” I replied. “And what does that have to do with free day-olds?”

“If we call justice that which is just, and call injustice that which is unjust, then is it just to receive muffins for free?” Alice parried.

I replied: “If a perfect muffin is an abstraction, then should not an imperfect muffin be free? And if no time lapses in an instant, and time is composed of instants, at any given instant does not the muffin remain uneaten? And if we accept the impossibility of physical experience and even of our own existence, is not the muffin’s existence also impossible, thereby making the idea of a free muffin being unjust an absurd contradiction?”

“Look,” she said. “I will buy you a muffin from Persephone if you will let me try out my new Pipedreams Fetish Fantasy Cat-O’-Nine-Tails Whip on you.”

I cringed. “Make it two muffins.”


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