Wednesday, June 26, 2013

30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel), Day 26: A Song By a Band/Artist You'd Like To Have Dinner With

I'm going to assume that today's prompt means for me to pick among living artists/bands, partly because it would be really creepy to have dinner with a dead person, but more so because the idea of choosing a dinner guest from all the living and dead artists ever is far too daunting a project for a music lover like me. 

What makes for a good dinner guest?  Funny enough, one of my favorite philosophers, the typically un-funny Immanuel Kant, had a lot of advice about this.  In his 1798 Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, Kant details the necessary conditions for an excellent dinner party, including (but not limited to) how many guests should be invited, what the topic, tone and order of conversation should be, how much silence is allowed, and other matters large and small.  Kant even gives an example of a good joke to tell at the dinner table.  All in all, his is a pretty decent guide, to be honest.  But, like most of Kant's advice, his recommendations come in the form of universalizable principles and not concrete directives, so it's still up to you to figure out exactly who could merit an invitation to your perfectly-executed soiree.

Here are my criteria: I want someone who is smart, who is old, who probably has a lot of good life stories to tell, whose philosophical acumen is above-average, whose politics are commensurable with mine and, most importantly, who might be convinced to pick up a guitar and serenade us when the dinner is over.  There are very few living artists who can tick off every element of that list as assuredly as Leonard Cohen can.  It's hard to pass up other contenders like Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Beyonce or Brian Wilson-- actually, Wilson would probably be a terrible dinner guest-- but Leonard Cohen has the whole package.  In fact, might as well give it a shot....

Leonard Cohen, would you like to come have dinner at my place?

There isn't a single bad song to choose from when it comes to Leonard Cohen, but in honor of the incredible (and incredibly historic) string of events that have happened over the last 48 hours, I'm picking this one. 

I love Leonard Cohen and that's about all I will say about him for now.  However, I will say more about democracy, which has both shone off and shown its ass in the last couple of days.  That means there will be a short interruption in the 30 Day Song Challenge (The Sequel) coming up, so that I might offer a few remarks about SCOTUS, the demise of the Voting Rights Act, DOMA and Prop 8, the incredible filibuster of Wendy Brown and the absolute circus that is the Texas Senate.  Stay tuned for that.

Nostalgic? Check out my entry for Day 26 of the 2011 version of the 30 Day Song Challenge

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