Thursday, June 12, 2014

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 12: A Song That Reminds You Of Your Best Friend

That couch-full of awesome to your left is my best friend, Dr. Adriel Trott, mugging like a boss at one of my favorite local nightlife hangouts Mollie Fontaine's. I met her for the first time more than a decade ago in March 2001, when I visited Villanova University as a prospective graduate student.  Due in part to her excellent impression, I accepted the offer from 'Nova and moved back to Philly in August of that same year, into a quaint little row-house on Taney Street as Trott's new roommate. We've been friends ever since.

It may seem hard to believe, but Trott and I have never had a real fight in our entire almost-15-years of friendship.  Now, just to be clear, that is NOT to say we haven't "argued."  In fact, the very best part of our friendship has always been our ability to argue-- nay, our absolute, unbridled delight in arguing-- intensely, passionately and very, very loudly with one another.  (I could name at least a hundred people who could testify to that fact, and there are probably a thousand other unknown innocent bystanders who would testify to the same.)  I think Trott and I were cut from the same cloth in that sense; we both love a good fight and we're constitutionally disinclined to pull punches.  But we're also constitutionally committed to fair fights, either the kind that take place between what Nietzsche would call "worthy opponents" or the kind that are governed by the fundamentally liberal laws of war. In either case, we do not abide supplementing a victor's victory with any superadded moral credit, nor do we abide disallowing the vanquished a graceful exit from the field of battle.

You'd be surprised how many people hate that about us.

Anyway, my pick for today (a song that reminds me of Trott) is more or less an anthemic tribute to exactly the kind of spirit that has animated our friendship for all these years.  It's Katy Perry's "Roar."



Both Trott and I have found ourselves in a discipline, professional Philosophy, that is-- and this is not a hyperbole-- viciously unkind to strong, opinionated, smart and [insert whatever the antonym of demure is here] women.  I could not be more grateful that whoever orders the Universe (and who, in his or her highly-questionable wisdom, found it appropriate make to philosophers out of Trott and me) put us in the same orbit of influence.  Trott has been nothing short of a life- and sanity-saver for me on many occasions, and hers is the very first counsel I seek when I suspect, as I frequently do, that something is awry in the Order of Things.

Trott and I made a promise to one another, many years ago now, that whenever the going got rough for one of us, the other would offer the reminder: "you are brilliant and beautiful."  We've said that a lot to each other in the past 15 years and I'm confident in saying that, at least from my end, it's been true every time.  Trott is an Aristotle scholar, so I hope she'll appreciate that when I think of her I am often reminded of Aristotle's insight in the Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII: "when people are friends, they have no need of justice, but when they are just, they need friendship in addition."

I'm very glad to need her most when I am just, and never when I am avoiding justice.  She'd only read me the riot act in the latter case, anyway.

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Here's your quick-access link to the entire 30 Day Song Challenge 2014 prompt-list and my picks for each day.

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