Hollywood Philosophers - NOT

I once thought it would be “real cool” to be a philosopher. I told my father of my interest and that I also thought that I would try
becoming a “beatnik non-conformist.” He had a couple of questions for me. “What was I going to do to become a “beatnik non-
conformist” and how did I plan to make a living as a philosopher?”

As I was want to do in those days, I quickly fired back an answer to his first question so that he would know that I was really up
on the subject. Says I ...“I’m going to grow a little goatee, wear batik shirts and read poetry at St. Michael’s Alley coffee house
like all my schoolmates.” He didn't respond verbally but just gave me that cocked head, raised eyebrow thing that he did when
he detected that my larynx had raced ahead of my frontal lobes. Regarding the making a living at philosophy, I told him that I
was still studying on that and that I’d have to get back to him when I figured it out. His expression remained the same.

I took away from that encounter one of the most valuable lessons of my life; that words have meaning and words attest to the
maturity and intelligence of the speaker or writer. From that day forward, I worked hard to advance to at least one level above
mental midget.

Some, in the populace of America, never advance above that level. A small group seems to remain in a perpetual state of
exuberant adolescence seeking the next wave of perceived nonconformity on which to surf. They are, I think, wannabe
philosophers too, but most of us just call them Hollywood Actors. They and their supporting cast of producers, directors, and the
like have deluded themselves into thinking that bashing America is “kewl” (sic) and they do not understand why most Americans
don’t agree with them.

Hollywood Psychiatrists, just in case, get prepared for some heavy-duty overtime counseling of your flock because the truth is:
most Americans grew up and attained mental maturity several levels above midget. At least some sixty million souls, I believe. If
this fact should happen to sink into the Hollywood psyche, your couches are going to be busy.

I would not be surprised if certain groups, who consider themselves to be the intellectual elite of America, try very hard to
disavow this.
Nor, to tell you the truth, would it surprise me to find an emporium on Rodeo Drive that catered to goatee trimming, batik shirts,
and avant-garde books of poetry.

M Sharq