Sadly a number of important scholars have recently passed away and remarkably Gordon seems to have been in close personal contact with all of them (Gordon was also close personal friends with Robert Nozick and Murray Rothbard). Because of this, he has written some joyous tributes to these men, recounting jokes they have told in the presence of Gordon that provide a good sense of their wit and wisdom.
Oh, to die and have David Gordon comment on the passing.
There are now a few people, who I suspect are in contact with Gordon, whose passing I am now somewhat looking forward to, so that I can read Gordon's account of the best jokes they told during their lives.
Most recently, Gordon has beautifully commented on the passing of
Father James A. Sadowsky
and my favorite, his comments on
BTW, sometimes these guys are telling jokes that are way over my head.
In the Sadowsky commentary, Gordon writes:
I knew I would get along with him at that conference when he said to a small group of people, "I may not look like a cup of coffee, but I certainly feel like one." I was the only one who laughed, and he said to me, "You have a discerning sense of humor."Now, keep in mind that Gordon instantly laughed at this joke, which means he is certainly thinking on levels that I'm not. After spending time attempting to understand the joke, I still didn't get it and emailed David to explain. He wrote back:
Many people don't find the coffee joke funny. The point of it is that we have expressions like, "This doesn't look like silk, but it feels like silk." We also can say, "I feel like a cup of coffee", but this means, "I want a cup of coffee". Sadowsky's remark," I may not look like a cup of coffee, but I certainly feel like one" deliberately mixes up these senses of "feel(s) like".But I can't leave this post on such a complex joke. Here's a David Gordon joke that I got right away.
During a phone conversation with him just after my interview with Gary Johnson, he teased me by saying he would never come on my show.
I replied that I already had my tough question ready for him when he did come on the show. Now, David is one of the few people who has lived in Los Angeles his entire life but who has never learned to drive, so I thought, he's never going to know the answer to the question about how far away from a hydrant you must park.
So I said to him, thinking I would get him stopping and stuttering, "I am going to ask you how far away from a fire hydrant you must park a car?"
Without missing a beat, he replied, "Far enough away so a dog can pee comfortably."