Monday, May 5, 2008

Johannes de Silentio

Today is the fifth day of May, which is also known as "Cinco de Mayo" in some circles. A nineteenth-century Mexican victory over a colonial power provides the pretext for much celebration and consumption of Mexican beer in America.

There are other causes for celebration today as well. Both Karl Marx and Søren Kierkegaard were born today.

Mr. Kierkegaard preceded Mr. Marx by five years, causing his mother to shriek like a dying man in 1813. He left just 42 years later, in 1855. He doubted whether the time between ingress and egress was something to be enjoyed.

Mr. Marx did not trouble himself as much with the same question. Rather, he sought to describe the larger societal causes of the unhappiness of the mass of people. He was finally divested of materialism in 1883.

A party in honor of all three points of this happy confluence would not be unwelcome.

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