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The Ruminations and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher

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Not for me 😔

Don't be fooled by the synopsis: nothing about this felt humorous, just endlessly sad. Poetry is difficult to review but this was not for me

Synopsis

The goal of this book is to encourage the reader to think and laugh. Utilizing common sense, humor and wit this book follows in a long tradition of Armchair Philosophy, written specifically for the general public. Thomas More’s “Utopia,” is a fine example of Armchair Philosophy. More tried to envision a nation in the New World built on common sense and common courtesy. In English the prose is pure poetry, and the humor is magical. Bertrand Russell published “The History of Western Philosophy” out of a concern that Western Philosophy had become too arcane and intellectual to be relevant to the general public. While academic, Russel’s book is full of profound insights and humor. Armchair Philosophy is another approach to this challenge. This book less than 100 pages long because in an era of sound bites and tweets, very few of us have the time or patience for a book that is longer. To create a book that has a 21st century look and feel, this book uses a large book format and a type size that is easy read. Finally this book explores the nature of being safe using wit, humor and common sense.

As a Philosophy Major, I have to be honest, I haven’t touched a philosophy text since university. Education ruined what I once loved about philosophy, but reading Kelly’s synopsis, I was ready to find that joy again with The Rumination’s and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher (but I was a little concerned when I noticed the title had an apostrophe…).


This book was (unexpectedly) poetry & prose. Maybe that’s my fault: is this what Armchair Philosophy consists of? In the case of Kelly’s poetry, many of them relate to his daily life, his trips, his experiences with cars, or as a business analyst, and yes, there are some deep thoughts woven in but I find it difficult to feel moved.


Some poetry was a bit bizarre with lines like, “Welcome to “Clinical Psychology 101” I am retired Colonel Blah-de-blah-blah-blah” but it’s difficult to “rate poetry” - though, quite honestly, this compilation was a whole bunch of strange to me.


The entire book felt very much like a mid-life crisis in PDF form. That reads harsh, but I don’t intend it to; I mean it’s someone desperate to know their life purpose and voice before time runs out. It was actually quite sad to read through these poems. It was advertised as humorous and I thought that meant it would be a pick-me-up text, but I read a sad man. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but that’s how it read. Many poems in the latter half read like a man who left a therapist’s appointment feeling vulnerable and disrespected.


It ends with essays written in prose and stream-of-consciousness writing (my least favourite type of writing) and… I’m not sure what to think of these. They made me even sadder. This entire book made me feel the energy of “sad”. The author writes that humor is intended with the poems from the book, but… I didn’t laugh, and didn’t feel joy.


Did I like this book? Not really. Will some people like this book? Probably. Did this book make me feel good, made me feel immersed in the humor and wit that the synopsis stated? Not at all. Did I understand it? Probably not. Was it well written? Well, the poetry was well written if the content is your cup-of-tea, but the prose essays were not in a style I enjoy. 


If anyone is interested, my favourite poem was: Bewildered.

This took me 40 minutes to read (which fit with the intent of the author - he emphasized that we live in a “tweet” generation, and didn’t want his book to be too long).

Reviewed by

I am a lifelong writer and business owner. I am a content manager and a professional editor. I have a history working in education and am a graduate of a Masters in Library and Information Studies. I can be a harsh reviewer, but that's only because I'm passionate.

Synopsis

The goal of this book is to encourage the reader to think and laugh. Utilizing common sense, humor and wit this book follows in a long tradition of Armchair Philosophy, written specifically for the general public. Thomas More’s “Utopia,” is a fine example of Armchair Philosophy. More tried to envision a nation in the New World built on common sense and common courtesy. In English the prose is pure poetry, and the humor is magical. Bertrand Russell published “The History of Western Philosophy” out of a concern that Western Philosophy had become too arcane and intellectual to be relevant to the general public. While academic, Russel’s book is full of profound insights and humor. Armchair Philosophy is another approach to this challenge. This book less than 100 pages long because in an era of sound bites and tweets, very few of us have the time or patience for a book that is longer. To create a book that has a 21st century look and feel, this book uses a large book format and a type size that is easy read. Finally this book explores the nature of being safe using wit, humor and common sense.

Selections

Below are four selections from my book “The Ruminations and Reflections of an Armchair Philosopher”. If you find humor, wit or beauty in these selections then I believe you will enjoy my book. 

Thank you!

Sincerely yours,

       - Peter H. Kelly

 

Wild Monkeys

The Oberoi Bangalore, India

Monkeys are an occasional problem in Bangalore. 

For the safety of your belongings,

Please close the balcony doors and windows,

When you are absent, 

From your room.

A thought, an impulse, a mad flash of desire, 

Are these the true Monkeys of Bangalore India?

Without a care, they chatter away, all those wild Monkeys of Bangalore India.

Impressive joy and excessive exuberance,

Are these the wild Monkeys of Bangalore India?

The sub-continent is rich in a long tradition,

Of living in harmony with all these wild Monkeys.

A wild Monkey may be a close friend or a relative, 

Beware of wild Monkeys for they do not despair!

But what would life be, without the wild and the free?

Beware of wild Monkeys, they are everywhere!

Wisdom

I heard a rumor,

It might just be an urban legend,

That common sense is not common.

But God help the common man,

Should he ever be exposed to common sense,

For it is usually mistaken for wisdom.

Amazing Grace

Where are you?

You seem to be everywhere I look.

Dazzling, scintillating, and ever present.

You delight and amaze everyone you meet,

But not me!

Oh my God,

Why not ME?

I can’t get a glance,

Or see your face,

But your presence appears to be everywhere I look.

Why won’t you look at me?

Let me see your face?

Oh my God of amazing grace.

That Dude, dude!

Enemies are like wrinkles,

The older you get, the more you got!

You can spend a lot of money to buy love and remove wrinkles,

But when the money runs out,

The worse things get!

“So, dude, how many enemies do you have?”

“Enough . . . because God always provides enough!”

“Gawd!”

“Yeah, dude, that Dude!”

“The Dude that never shows his face, that doesn’t like to talk to us,

That works in strange and mysterious ways.

That Dude.

The Dude that put the Higgs boson right in the middle of nowhere,

Assuring us that there is not a chance in hell that we will ever know,

Anything about everything!

That Dude,

The Dude that keeps trying to teach us,

To be humble,

That Dude, dude!” 

About the author

Peter Kelly grew up in Newport News Virginia. Peter helped establish the Lyra Baroque Orchestra after moving to the Twin Cities in 1985. He was the principal baroque oboist with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra for six years. He recently retired as a Senior Systems Business Analyst. view profile

Published on November 16, 2020

9000 words

Genre: Philosophy

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