Dream of Herr K., Student, Age 27
Myself, Pica, my sister and a friend go to see Donald Davidson give a talk at Stanford. In the dream he looks like Donald Sutherland and is giving a rock concert instead of a philosophy lecture. That makes sense; at this point my dream-knowledge has him confused with Nick Lowe and Brian Eno. He plays a few songs and soon they don’t seem familiar any more. I realize that he is neither Nick Lowe nor Brian Eno, and that his songs are really bad. Pica and I look at each other with displeasure; at least we didn’t pay for this. Davidson now seems like a goofy old man, a brilliant philosopher who has no call to be pursuing this vanity rock career. He is giving the audience hopeful smiles; the whole thing has become sanitized adult-contemporary rock. The band starts up with “Sing, Sing, Sing” and a bunch of old people come onto stage and start swing dancing. “What about the qualia problem?” I call to Pica. “I bet he has interesting things to say about the qualia problem.” I look down at a printed program and see that the concert isn’t even a third over; still to come is a kitschy “Musical Trip ‘Round the World,” a multi-part concept piece called “Aria,” and lengthy tributes to all of Davidson’s family and friends. We decide to bail.