Ep. 18 Notes (“Orange Crush,” by R.E.M.)

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The New Top 40 Philosophy Playlist

The Song

“Orange Crush,” by R.E.M.

And here are the lyrics (supposedly).

Supporting Songs

“Speckled Bird,” by The Choir

“Closing Time,” by Semisonic

“Paradise City,” by Guns N’ Roses

“Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love),” by Cole Porter (sung by Alanis Morissette)


Information I drew on for this episode can be found at the following sites.


The Wikipedia article for the song.

The Song Facts article on the song.

The Billboard Alternative Songs charts for 1988 and 1989.

Billboard’s Alternative Chart 25th Anniversary: Top 100 Songs.

The Wikipedia article on MTV’s “Best Post-Modern Video” award.

Philosophical Sources

I don’t know of any extended philosophical discussions of mystery. No doubt someone has done it, but the theory I present in this episode is, as far as I know, of my own construction.

It draws strongly, however, on the work on Edmund Husserl (and perhaps also Martin Heidegger, since Heidegger discusses mystery somewhere).

The best introduction to Husserlian phenomenology is by Robert Sokolowski. (For people already invested in the work of philosophy, you also can’t do better than Sokolowski’s Husserlian Meditations.)

Comments, Corrections, and Feedback

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Featured image by chriscom. Provided under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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2 thoughts on “Ep. 18 Notes (“Orange Crush,” by R.E.M.)

  • Talking about mystery with the analogy of a thing showing the front, with the back naturally hid, makes me think about God revealing himself to Moses, where he tells Moses he will cover him with his hand as he passes in front of him, but will then allow Moses to see him from the back.

    • Oh, nice! Yeah, that is one of my favorite passages in Scripture because it is so weird. How can God have a front and back? Isn’t that just for us physical things? And what difference would it make whether you saw God from the front or back? God is God, so if you see God, you see God. I think God, as the source of all goodness and value and beauty must have a the same kind of mysterious revealed/hidden structure that shows up in goodness/value/beauty, so these are fun questions 😀

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