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  • By April Jacobs
    Apr 1, 2010
    "PART 3" We are shown powerful examples of our unquestioning obedience to abstract symbols, and how we have no choice but to accept the absurdity of signs. And then, immediately after showing that our answers to rhetorical questions will change with context; he uses rhetorical questions to convey our limited understanding of the universe. The book comes with a bonus—what I’ve come to call cigarette porn. Smoking may not be sexy, but Azrienoch uses a bit of playful double entendre that arouses the hidden smoker in all of us. Pucker up, and wrap your lips around his smoking hot... Okay, it’s really not that bad. This somewhat out-of-place exhibition segues nicely to one of the most regretful parts of Az’s life—leaving home at a young age in complete defiance of his parents’ authority. In much the same way as he feels we need to move on from our current way of practicing philosophy, this is his way of moving on from his past, and yet he still clings to his pride and his... More > cigarettes... The book ends with a promise of sorts, to follow Wittgenstein’s advice and give up philosophy altogether. Az contrasts the styles of Wittgenstein and Camus and cites Mark Twain to show that philosophy has gotten too clinical and lacks excitement. He cleverly compares it to our unhealthy obsession with cosmetic surgery. Without Azrienoch, I might never have realized that we are prisoners to our signs, yet we don’t really lean to follow rules; that science conforms to human senses that don’t have the capacity to understand the universe; that philosophy is fanciful a waste of time; or that smoking cigarettes in the proper way could be so orgasmic. The book forces you to grip the edge of your understanding while your brain cobbles together fresh perspectives alongside the old. Releasing your grip is the only way to continue building, and just as you consider letting go, Azrienoch taps you on the shoulder. Azrienoch is, in a word, inspiring. But words can’t begin to describe him. His arguments are meticulously thought out and precisely conveyed. He is supposedly leaving philosophy behind for the greener grass of fiction (as if there is really much difference). I have my doubts about the leaving philosophy behind part, but only time will tell. I have no doubt, however, that such a truly astonishing mind will continue to weave perceptions even more dexterously, spinning vibrant tapestries from a seemingly endless spool. If philosophy is his hobby, storytelling is his gift. And I haven’t even gotten to his YouTube videos yet!< Less
  • By Joanne Barber
    Feb 26, 2010
    The title may be misleading upon those first encountering this book; the term "absurdity" is a reference to Albert Camus' Absurdist philosophy. Once you get past that, though, you have a darkly humorous romp through a very unique mind. Jeff Smith-Luedke (Or "Azrienoch" within the online world) is probably best known as one of the few Atheist members of YouTube who is able to lend an intelligent voice to what would otherwise be a clique of anarchistic punks. However, this work is one of many examples of what sets him apart from those who merely hate religion because it represents authority. In "The Absurdity of Philosophy" we get a long, Neo-beatnik philosophical rant going from Jeff Smith-Luedke's personal life, to theories of great philosophers, and back again. It reminds one of the kinds of things that William S. Burroughs would put into his novels without rhyme or reason; a Dadaist jumble that somehow makes more sense than our own conformist society.... More > And yet it serves equally well as a memoir spliced in with each thought and theory that goes along with activities as simple as taking a shower or as morbid as contemplating suicide. A true portrait of a renegade intellectual, this is a testament from an artist and writer you might want to follow throughout the rest of this century as its own civilization unfolds.< Less
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Product Details

Jeff Smith-Luedke
August 6, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.8 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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