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Afternoon Tea, State, and Dystopia

With a nod to Robert Nozick, this post’s title announces UD‘s decision to shift her attention away – temporarily – somewhat – from the public political world (she’ll still write about poems, universities, sports, pharma scandals, burqas, FGM, crooked business school professors, etc.) and tend her own tea garden.

That is, she will revisit the much-neglected University Diaries category TEA, writing about all aspects of the phenomenon of tea’s incredible popularity in the world. Fine tearooms, complex new brews, the Japanese tea aesthetic and philosophy (Kakuzo Okakura was telling us long ago that the tearoom is where you go to get away from Donald Trump), poems about tea, high-end tea tourism, and even the graphics of tea – all interest UD. By graphics, she means all visual aspects of tea, from the shape of pots to the interiors of tearooms.

Does tea, as Okakura believes,
have a meaning? Although both
drinks have caffeine, coffee
seems to be about rush, tea
about calm.


UD will explore all of
this in a series of posts.

Margaret Soltan, November 10, 2016 2:09PM
Posted in: tea

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4 Responses to “Afternoon Tea, State, and Dystopia”

  1. Greg Says:

    I realize that this is about tea and not Nozick. But for those who have not and are tempted to read him — I read two of his books in reading groups including a few professional philosophers. AUS is a disappointing question-begging book.He essentially starts with a barely concealed premise of strong entitlement to property and at the end essentially pulls it again out of the hat as if it were a surprise rabbit.

    Philosophical Explanations is one of the most enjoyable and playful books I have ever read, tackling issues such as what does it mean to say that an object, e.g. a person, is the same one over time. His idea of the closest continuer is really interesting. And who would not love a book that explores — as I remember it — at least two versions of the
    movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. When he wasn’t being a libertarian ideologue he was great.

    Enjoy the tea, And I hope everyone finds something to enjoy soon.

  2. adam Says:

    Tea for two and two for tea,
    What comes now for Hillary?
    Picture her upon Bill’s knee,
    Just tea for two, two for tea.

  3. Greg Says:

    In the right hands, the conversations and separate thoughts of the Clintons in their old age would — I suspect will — make a brilliant play.

  4. Greg Says:

    Their intelligence, their love for each other – which I am sure is real – maybe also some hatred on her part, certainly carloads of resentment, his, possibly her shame too, about some things, loads of pride and regrets for themselves and for the people they tried to serve, tied together also by love of child their and grand child. What a challenge to do this with poetic compression.

    Shakespeare would find this a worthy subject — or these days Michael Frayn might do it well — I’m thinking of his “Democracy” about Willy Brandt.

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