Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Apology

So, while driving to and from work, I'm listening to a book on tape of the works of Plato. Socrates' Apology is the first bit.

I read the Apology in high school and was duly impressed; man this guy can speechify. And all this stuff about how the truly wise know that they know nothing, well that is the kind of stuff that you know turns the chicks on.

I read it again in college and, though it was a philosophy class, what I got from it was a respect for the form, structure, and rythym of the speech. It is a brilliant piece of work.

Then, I started listening to the book on tape. Something seemed odd about it. It lacked the power and authority I remember it having. The reader did not match my expectations (I was thinking bass or bass baritone).

About 10 minutes into the reading it struck me: this guy is making Socrates sound like the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. My accusers say I am corrupting the youth, but I'm just a caveman. Your modern togas and methods of deductive reasoning frighten me. I don't know anything about making the worse appear the better cause but I do know this: he is wise who knows that he knows nothing.

All the over the top dramatics and verbal inflections are there. Seriously, this reading is so bad it risks turing one of the all time great stories into a sleazy lawyer biopic.

Congratulations Books on Tape Inc. I award you my Crappy Product of the Week award.


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