More From The Problem Page

Written by Erskin Quint

Thursday, 1 March 2012

image for More From The Problem Page
"Such Chutzpeh he had!" A Photograph of Adolf Hitler, yesterday.

With This Week's Guest Editor:
20th Century Philosopher Of Being
Martin Heidegger
(James Corden says: "Top man! Being all over the media like a rash is so stressing. Jack Black introduced me to Heidegger's 'Überwindung der Metaphysik' on the set of Gulliver's Travels: it's the perfect way to touch base after a hard day feeding my already-bloated ego."

Dear Martin,

as a mature man, it is embarrassing for me to admit that I am sexually attracted to trees. Not that it was easy to admit it when I was immature. I have never admitted it, in fact, until now. For me, this is a very big thing, to be revealing this to "the world". I am particularly attracted to the more slender tree. A silver birch would be my ideal mate, were it not for the way their bark peels. This reminds me of an uncle I once had (sadly long ago rent in twain by baboons in Guinea), but their shapely limbs still arouse me. I await any advice you can help me with.

Yours faithfully,

Ken Neptune,
W Yorks.

Martin Heidegger writes: We ask: in what soil do the roots of the tree of philosophy have their hold? What is the basis and element of metaphysics? That metaphysics represents only beings as beings, neglecting to recall Being itself, this is our thesis, and the necessity for overcoming a metaphysics which never considers its ground. That Hannah Arendt, now that was a Tsatskeh to ruin a marriage over! What kind of schmuck makes love to a tree?

Dear Herr Heidegger,

though I work behind the Post Office counter in Lewes, I am more than that. I dream at night of running my own Alpaca Farm on the Isle of Skye. I have never been beyond the boundaries of Sussex, and yet my ambition is kindled. I am thinking of borrowing a book from Lewes library about alpacas, and another about Skye (I know the Bonnie Prince Charlie song but that is all). Though I have never been a member of the library (I used to go to the library at Hassocks with my Auntie Thora when I stayed there as a child). Do you think I should take this step? They say the librarians are very abrupt. I imagine they would look askance at a person on their own.


Olivia Fyngerbowle
2 Bileduct Sidings

Martin Heidegger writes: We come to the ultimate question of metaphysics: why is there any being at all, instead of Nothing? May we then proceed to this: why do beings everywhere enjoy precedence, and everywhere stake their claim to every "is", while that which is not a being is regarded as Nothing? Which is the greater mystery: that beings are, or that Being is? Nothing takes us nearer to the enigma of the Being of beings. Don't be a Klutz all your life. Whadda we want for schnooks with library books that we should have a Nebbish in the Post Office when we go to post a letter? Hitler, he was made for these schmendriks already.

Dear Mr Heidegger,

I live in Smethwick, in the Midlands, and I am becoming more and more afraid to go out these days. As a retired florist and greengrocer from Stroud, I inherited my house in Smethwick from a deceased great-Uncle. I have tried to make the most of city life but these days, I hardly dare set foot beyond the threshold. It is like Calcutta or downtown Kingston round here, and the streets are full of wandering Australians looking for jobs in the bars. What is more, it has been weeks since I passed the time of day with an English person with an honest white face, and he was Welsh and was looking for Rolfe Street railway station so he could get away. My property will never sell, being as how it is hemmed in by an Indian laundrette and a Turkish kebab-shop. I long for the days in Stroud. Have you any advice on how to cope without going mad?

Yours sincerely,

Stanley Ectoplasm
234 Anaximander Gardens
W Midlands

Martin Heidegger writes: The Being that exists, is man. God is, but he does not exist. Instandigkeit is the word that most beautifully describes "existence" viewed in this light. Being being experienced properly only in its ecstatic essence, "standing it" is the essence of the ekstasis which thought must grasp. Oi, gevald! Such drek on the streets! It is like Hitler never has lived. Such Chutzpeh he had! Such a Shtik! What uniforms, with all that marching. Oi, vai, we won't see the like again, and they wonder at their kebab shops and the Indian laundry. This Enoch Powell, there was a mentsch already, with the moustache and the slicked-back hair.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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