The real thing

Proudly presenting this raging masterpiece from everyone’s fave guitar rampager of Dutch band The Stilettos, trust me I’ve seen this guy’s smoking of passion just like this piece..enjoy coz I did and still do and who knows, he might just return..


The real thing

Tonight I will be attending the dance performance ‘One man without a cause’ of the company ICK Amsterdam. The show is inspired by the famous novel ‘The Stranger’ from the French existentialist philosopher Albert Camus. I am pretty sure that it is going to be a nice night. But at the same time I suspect it is not going to be an easy ride all along. For probably, at one time or another during the evening, good old Plato will be haunting me again. It is always the same: whether it be an exhibition in the field of the visual arts, a dirty and (preferably) sweaty rock ‘n roll-show, or indeed a dance-performance, every now and then I am stalked by that grumpy old Greek, whispering in my ear that this is not the real thing! Visiting the theatre (he will be mumbling again) I am locking myself up in a cave, just like everybody else. Now of course (as The Kinks rightly stressed) I am not like everbody else! So the following thought will doubtlessly creep up tonight, as it always does:

I am up for the real thing!

So what the fuck am I doing here?

Plato thinks he has some very good reasons for haunting me, as he is convinced of the fact that artists – poets, dancers, painters, musicians, the whole lot – necessarily provide third-hand knowledge. That is: as artists in their work make copies of things that are known through sense-experience, and as sense-experience according to Plato does not generate knowledge of real things but only communicates copies of real things, artists in their work merely produce copies of copies of real things.

Art (or any other sensuous experience) lures you away from the real thing.


The only real things (Plato claims) are the Ideas of these things, that operate in some sort of eternal realm behind our proverbial backs. This eternal realm of Ideas may be ultimately attainable to human beings (that is, according to Plato, by philosophers only), but sure as hell not by attending dance-performances in gritty theatres. Now, Plato of course is a pretentious bastard for trying to spoil my night with some ancient philosophical dogma. So no worries: I will be going anyway. There seem to be at least two good reasons for that. First and foremost I want to avoid a severe quarrel with my girlfriend – she can be pretty nasty at times. Secondly, I think Plato actually only tells part of the story. For I think that the division between the realm of sense and the realm of non-sense (or to state it in a more technical way, between the realm of physics and metaphysics) is not as absolute and impermeable as Plato would have it. As a matter of fact, as opposed to that beardy Greek geek I think that visiting a performance, a concert, or a museum (let alone creating a piece of art oneself!) in fact offers a way to reach the realm of non-sense by way of the senses. It is precisely this thought that I would like to develop in my ensuing contributions to this blog.

For now I have to quit writing, though: my girlfriend is luring me in her cave. That sensuous bitch seems to be up for the real thing.

Henk-Jan Hoekjen

City: Epe
Country: The Netherlands
Profession: Philosopher/Journalist/Musician

A short biography: Currently working as a philosopher on an investigation into Spinoza’s Ethics I profit tremendously from the often very sensual experiences I collected as a guitar player in the European garage rock ‘n roll-underground. Playing for some fifteen years in some of the dirtiest places imaginable in front of some of the most beautiful women ever seen, one easily gets mixed up about the senses: is the ability to sense the greatest gift or the greatest curse? As I said: this question that helps me tremendously in everyday life. For what good is a philosopher when he is not totally mixed up?

This piece is something very different from garage rock ‘n roll, but to me it actually says a lot, as the song in a certain way is about transcending the limits of the senses and entering the realm of non-sense.

Another one (of the infinite examples) that does that particular trick for me:

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