A headline you would never see about the US:

or, really, any other country…

Russian shot in quarrel over Kant’s philosophy

A police spokeswoman in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, said two men in their 20s were discussing Kant as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday. The discussion deteriorated into a fistfight and one participant pulled out a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.

It was not clear which of Kant’s ideas may have triggered the violence.

Well, he was a real pissant…

This is exactly why I never tell jokes in dialect.

From the article.


Bang! Bang! Bang!

What the hell is a “nonlethal pistol”?

Something like an Airsoft, from the description.

I think the song describes him as a “pissed ant”. The song as a whole is about philosophers being drunks, and the word “pissant” has nothing to do with drunkenness, but simply means a worthless, contemptible person. However, in Britain (as many Americans probably do not know, even if American Dopers do), “pissed” is a common slang word for drunk. Furthermore, I believe “pissant” is primarily an American word, with relatively little currency in Britain. (Collins Dictionary flags it as a US word, and my Firefox spellchecker does not recognize it as a word at all.)

The fact that many internet lyric sites say “pissant” probably just reflect the fact that they are based on transcriptions by Americans, who can make no sense of “pissed ant” and so substitute something similar sounding that makes a sort of sense to them, despite being at odds with the theme of the song.

I admit I can’t very satisfactorily explain why he is referred to as an ant (apart from the fact that they needed a rhyme). I am prepared to entertain the hypothesis that the Pythons themselves (or Eric Idle in particular) were somewhat confused, perhaps having heard the word “pissant” somewhere, and having misunderstood it to be an idiomatic expression, “pissed ant”, used to describe a drunken person.

Does it show that Russians are actually capable of discussing intellectual things in a recreational manner? Yes. Yes, it does.

It probably wasn’t one of his ideas at all. They thought they were physically more fit. They were a real Kant lapper.

This is disappointing. Russians should only pull out pistols when arguing about important stuff, like chess.

One thing we can say for sure: No one should resort to violence in any argument over philosophy, at least as long as it takes place in a convenience store environment, although it may possibly apply to all philosophical discussions regardless of place. However, some reject this by you can fight back against Nazis if they come to your convenience store to argue philosophy.

(See, that would make it categorical imperat- Oh, never mind.)

In Russia, philosophy shoots holes in you!

This has the Ludovic seal of approval.

And I say, England’s greatest prime minister was Lord Palmerston!

Not sure I’d classify fist-fights and shooting each other a “discussion”, though I guess in Russia it might be considered recreation.

If it was the categorical imperative, I assume the dead guy was on the “pro” side.

And now I have that song stuck in my head. Fortunately, this thread also made me think of Dungeons and Discourse. Which was fun to re-read.

The discussion came before the violent bits. Evidently, people actually cared about what they were talking about. :wink:

Obligatory Pearls Before Swine comic:

"Rat: Do you think each of us has free will?

Pig: No. Only some of us.

Rat: Why do you say that?

Pig: Because not everyone bought the DVD

Rat: Free Will, not Free Willy!
Pig:** Oh, great. Is that some boring re-make?"