My friend Pete Olen is both an accomplished philosopher and a 24-7-hustle concert booker for a number of venues in southern Florida. Via a post about a show he recently booked and is currently promoting, I was reminded of 80s Welsh goth rockers Gene Loves Jezebel. To my surprise they still exist. And I do mean “they.”
The post led me to read a little on the history of GLJ, whom I vaguely remembered from high school. The band was started by two identical twins who came to despise each other by the late 90s and refused to ever work together again. But both wanted to keep playing, and each thought he was the rightful inheritor of the “Gene Loves Jezebel” name.
And then there were lawyers.
Presently, there’s a version featuring one brother based in the US and another based in the UK. Each gets to call themselves “Gene Loves Jezebel” in their respective country, and has to use their own name as part of the billed name in the other country.
Consider the causal-historical-ontological-semantic madness in play here. Some time in late 1960s, inside a Welsh woman’s uterus, an embryo spontaneously divides. Two genetically – sorry, Genelovesjezebeletically – identical embryos result, eventually leading to two genetically identical teenagers who form a band and wear a lot of eye makeup. Band started by two identical twins splits, two versions continue with a variety of continuing and distinct members, each band using the same name except when lawyers make them use another in different regions. It’s a fission case, which then develops into a further Ship of Theseus case, and a rigid designation thought experiment all at the same time. Checking my philosophical punch card, I think we all now get a free sandwich.
“Are you gonna write a paper about this?” my wife asked.
No, no. This seems more like blog post material.Continue reading A superposition of philosophical crises involving Gene Loves Jezebel