Friday, July 09, 2010


There’s a puzzle in the field of philosophy of mind about the metaphysics of physical sensations; the thought experiment that illustrates it is to imagine what’s referred to as a “super Stoic,” someone who claims to be feeling something—intense physical pain, for example—but who doesn’t show any outward signs of it; the question then is whether we can really say that the person is having a bona fide sensation.

Conversely, we might also wonder whether exhibiting the relevant behaviors means that the person is feeling the feeling—and that’s what it was for me, at first, in this year’s edition of the Running of the Bulls, the now traditional dress-up clusterfuck bike ride and generalized shenanigans sometime in mid-July.

Visually, it was stunning: Westlake Center taken over with about fifty idiots in white pants and shirts with red sashes along with a handful of bulls, including Mr. Leggohead.

“What is this?” asked all the pedestrians as we rode by, ululating and singing. But how do you answer when you have no idea yourself? “Running of the bulls!” someone would shout back matter-of-factly.

But what amazed me most was how the fun just gets inside you after you act like it for a while and by the time I was reminded never to pass up an opportunity to jump in the lake on a hot night there was no doubting either the internal reality nor outward expression of this bliss. The endless sunset alone would have been worth the price of admission.

Even the frat-boy bar hell had moments of pure poetry, in particular, the most lugubriously delicious exhibition of mechanical bull-riding you’ve ever seen and street-dancing, within and al fresco.

And then, because the bulls were still running, the prey kept on riding, for singing and French fries where all you had to do was just open your eyes and look around and you’d know for certain that fun was being felt inside and out.


Blogger jimmythefly said...

Lego space man is stoic. Not sure about super.

It seems like how I act now will shortly be my reality. Why act bored (even if that's what's inside), when 10 minutes from now you want to be having fun?

3:31 PM  

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