Mark Hoppus — The Real Father of Philosophy

Mark Hoppus

Athens native, Socrates, often credited as being one of the fathers of Western philosophy, was a greek thinker, philosopher, and teacher. Socrates is credited for the creation of Socratic irony and the Socratic method. Socrates, possibly out of his irrational hatred of books or maybe out of laziness, refused to document his own life or teachings. Therefore, nearly everything we know of Socrates comes from outside sources, most notably, Plato, his famed student. To this day, questions and uncertainty linger about Plato’s documentation of Socrates and the difference between reality’s Socrates vs. Plato’s Socrates. Historians and experts acknowledge potential differences between the real Socrates and the Socrates as recorded by Plato, but Plato’s records remain the most thorough. Having such a deep and profound impact on philosophy makes Socrates one of the most widely recognized figures in the Western philosophical tradition and philosophy in general. In addition to his famed thinking, he was also a revered teacher. He taught Plato, who, in turn, taught Aristotle, who was then a tutor for Alexander the Great. An extremely tremendous resume for an equally larger-than-life figure. But with such an outsized reputation that precedes him, is Socrates really as impressive as he appears to be?

Soscrates, alleged plagiarizer

Well known for his wisdom, philosophy, and widespread influence, Socrates has built a legacy for himself that has lasted well over 15 years. However, it is certainly possible, and has indeed recently come under scrutiny, that Socrates was merely plagiarizing punk rock legend and host of Apple Music’s After School Radio, Mark Hoppus, the entire time. Establishment media and investigative journalists have so far chosen to ignore this possibility for reasons unknown. Even without mainstream coverage, however, the evidence is intriguing. While it is still largely unknown to what extent, if any, Socrates was stealing from Mark Hoppus, there is, in fact considerable evidence that at the very least, history has been far too generous in its treatment of Socrates and that Mark Hoppus is, in fact, far wiser than Socrates. Additionally, it may prove true that the legend that we have assigned to Socrates may have been assigned prematurely, and rightfully belongs to Mark Hoppus.

One of the more obvious instances of plagiarism happened when Socrates shamelessly lifted ideas from the 1999 hit “What’s My Age Again?” In this teaching Mark explores the laboriousness and adversity of the obstacle course we call youth. Mark lands on the conclusion that the side effects of youth make one detested and scorned saying “nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three.” Socrates agreed with this deduction so much so that he took the principles found in this chart topping teaching and twisted them into his own. Of course, his would never reach the charts at all. Socrates’ version states that “Children are tyrants.” Socrates lamented, “Children are now tyrants, not the servant of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” In his grumbling complaint, Socrates highlights the unruliness and the adversities of immaturity and coming-of-age that were much more expansively taken on by Hoppus in his “Whats my age again?” lesson.

Mark’s teaching was originally entitled “Peter Pan Complex,” which, as a side-note, inspired the J. M. Barrie novel Peter and Wendy, which, in turn inspired countless novels and motion pictures about the character. Later, the Peter Pan Complex, or Peter Pan Syndrome, became a phycology subject as psychologists and professors began to study serious cases of the phenomenon described in this 1999 hit. This teaching takes a much more encyclopedic and comprehensive approach to childhood than Socrates’ whining observations. Mark meticulously describes what’s like for an adolescent by laying out scenarios of dating, distraction, prank calls, and police impersonation. Going even further, Hoppus describes the heartbreaking potential falling apart of relationships as one is pressured to act their age. This is a far more impressive and original take than Socrates merely complaining that young people disobey their parents.

Although one of the more notable examples, Socrates is only one of a great many titans of Philosophy to derive his own ideas from the ideas of Mark Hoppus. Take, for example, the theory of historic recurrence. A common theme discussed by many, but none so eloquently as Mark Hoppus. What is possibly the original statement on historic recurrence, which belongs to Hoppus, states, “The past is only the future with the lights on.” This is a much more comprehensive take on a stale adage that “history repeats itself.” As with many, if not most, proverbs like this one, historians can’t agree on the exact origin. So did this idea originate with Mark Hoppus? It’s hard to say. It is certainly possible. With so little historical data on the subject, we just don’t know for certain. What we do know, however, is that Mark Hoppus was speaking about his idea as early as 2006. His lesson, entitled “Baby Come On” was found on a compilation of lessons called When Your Heart Stops Beating which, sold over 66,000 copies in only its first week, debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at the number 2 spot on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums. Not Twain’s nor Machiavelli’s nor especially Socrates’ teachings ever even reached Billboard at all. It’s inarguable then, that Mark Hoppus’ teachings were at least much more critically acclaimed if not also more widely accepted in general. In fact, comparing the commercial success and the critical acclamation of the work of Mark Hoppus to the work of others, it would be safer to assume that other philosophers are familiar with Hoppus’ work rather than the other way around. Socrates, for all his fame, has never been featured on iTunes or Billboards charts, has never gone on tour, has never filmed a music video, and could never shred the bass the way Mark does.

In another dispensation of knowledge, Hoppus warns of the dangers of peer pressure. To present this lesson, he quotes an unidentified female saying, “and she says, all my best friends will be the death of me.” Although not a direct product of Hoppus himself, Hoppus is sharing wisdom that he has learned from another. It is clear, then, that he had made a strong effort to surround himself with other intellectuals and obviously made a point to learn from them. In fact, on 17 different occasion, other than this one, Mark has quoted this very same or another unidentified female in his teachings to provide wisdom and understanding from another perspective. This lesson from Hoppus was brought to light in 2006 on the same critically acclaimed teaching, “Baby Come On.”

Furthermore, in the teaching entitled “NVM” Mark Hoppus comes up with the basis of what later became the widely known tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” A powerful allegory teaching the importance of telling truth. The story, most notably stolen and told by Aesop, tells the tell of a young shepherd boy tasked with watching over the village’s sheep. Out of boredom, he sounds the alarm, crying wolf, which alerts his village, enlisting their assistance. The villagers, of course, come running to help the boy only to realize there was no wolf. Finding this funny, the boy repeats this antic and continues to do so several times. Finally, a the boy sees a real wolf approaching the flock. Unable to fend off the wolf alone, he, as he is supposed to in such a situation, sounds the alarm, once again crying wolf, expecting the villagers to rush to his assistance as they had before. However, having been lied to so many times before, the villagers had learned not to trust the boy’s cries for help so, assuming it is yet another joke, they ignore him, leaving him alone with the wolf. Hoppus’ idea, the obvious predecessor to this story came in the form of the line “I’ve been crying wolf for so long it’s hard to believe me anymore.” The tale that ensued is hardly a subtle reference to that line from Mark.

The morale of this tale is similar enough to be assumed to be the inspiration another proverb “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” Many notable individuals have borrowed this idea from Mark Hoppus and taken it into their own work. Individuals such as J. Cole when he said “Fool me one time, shame on you, fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you, fool me three times, f**k the peace sign, load the chopper, let it rain on you.” And even the 43rd president of the United States of America, George W. Bush when he quoted a version of this Mark Hoppus’ teaching saying that it had become a common adage in the Lone Star State “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

Similarly, in that same teaching, Mark also conceives the idea of a dear John note which could have served as the basis for Dear John, the best selling book by Nicholas Sparks and the 2010 feature film of the same name, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried directed by Lasse Hallstroum. Later that year, Taylor Swift would also release a song entitled “Dear John”. Although it remains unconfirmed, it is likely that Mark Hoppus heavily influenced these other works of art.

Love is a popular subject for artists and philosophers alike, but none describe it as well as Mark Hoppus who teaches about love on numerous occasions. One one such occasion, Mark Hoppus teaches that “love is dangerous” in a power sermon of that title. Mark painstakingly chronicles the dangers of love only to have his ideas shamelessly ripped off by Socrates who states “love is a madness.” Although danger and madness are not direct synonyms they do have extremely similar connotations, especially within this context, and it is blatantly obvious that Socrates was plagiarizing Mark Hoppus’ work, changing it in only small and inconsequential ways.

Known to be a humble gentleman, and one not too proud to have co-teachers alongside him, Mark has been known to work in teams. He took part in +44, Simple Creatures, and most famously, blink-182. Throughout his illustrious career with multiple bands, Mark has had some notable and spectacular colleagues such as, Tom DeLonge, Alex Gaskarth, Travis Barker, and Matt Skiba. The majority of his career was spend alongside Tom DeLonge performing primarily in blink-182 and once in Box Car Racer, a project of Tom’s. Like Mark, Tom has had himself an enormously successful career has well, finding success not only with blink-182 but in other groups too. Often, back when they were both performing in blink-182, Mark would selflessly take a backseat and allow Tom to take a lead role in teaching. One instance of this was in “Always” a lesson in which DeLonge professes his own humility as well a willingness to change his mind, saying, “I’ll admit I’m wrong if you tell me” despite this line not coming from his usual target, Socrates wasted no time in hijacking it. As one often does in attempting to cover traces of plagiarism, he perverts the sanctity and meaning of the line, making it much less personal, stating, “it is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.” In changing Tom’s line he also inadvertently gave Tom a congratulatory statement. Not that Tom needs one from an alleged pirate like Socrates. Tom DeLonge has 70 million to dollars to Socrates’ zero, he owns his own space exploration and research company with a beach-front office in Encinitas, he has 816k follower on Instagram, and rides a motorcycle. There is a good chance that he’s above wanting approval from socrates.

“Built This Pool” by blink-182

By far one of the most famous and well-known quote from Socrates is “I know that I know nothing” this line, now known as the Socratic Paradox, has come to define Socratic thinking and even Socrates himself. Socrates’ admission of knowing nothing is said to be the key to unlocking true wisdom. This line from Socrates has somehow garnered acclaim from scholars, professors, and philosophers alike. In really however, this pretentious display of self-deprecation is just an overly flamboyant, braggadocios, and histrionic version yet another concept that originated with Mark Hoppus. In “Kings of the Weekend” Mark states quite cleanly and simply “I feel dumb.”

The irony of overcomplicating a declaration of stupidity is overwhelming. The lyric “I feel dumb” is clearly meant to be short and simple, even dumb. Socrates not only allegedly stole this line, he pompously and arrogantly destroyed it by taking away what made it so powerful. If indeed Socrates did plagiarize this, his most famous proverb, it could be truly the most gauche and tasteless move of entire his career. Getting famous off the work of another is deeply abhorrent, but receiving undeserved fame, and presumably fortune, after grotesquely diluting someone else’s work is another level of turpitude. Socrates not only sat idly by watching his prominence grow, he basked in it, as the public taste and renown grew for his meager and decrepit offshoot. Intensifying this act of vileness, is the simple fact that this is widely considered to be Socrates’ most successful, acclaimed, and influential work. And it could be stolen. This proverb could be the pinnacle of his career, yet could come from the depths of his corruption. Tragic really, is the fact Socrates, revered and respected as he is, could have build his career on theft and lies. Not just parts of his career, but they very heights of it.

Whether or not Socrates was indeed plagiarizing Mark Hoppus remains unknown and unproven and will probably remain so forever. The overwhelming lack of evidence from either side clouds the truth and haunts the truth seekers. Socrates’ refusal to record anything makes it extremely difficult to compare timelines, meaning it is nearly impossible to determine whose works came first. Socrates is also brutally inactive on social media and has not yet taken any interviews further reducing any paper trail. Staying out of the limelight has added to the difficulty of tracking down the truth. If Socrates finds himself having his entire legacy defamed, he has no one to blame but himself and his reticent and guileful approach to defending himself from accusation. Eventually Socrates will have to address the mounting scorn. Until that happens or we find more evidence, we may never know if Socrates really has been copying Mark Hoppus for his entire career and we may never know who should be regarded and esteemed as the true father of philosophy.

At the time of publication Socrates has not made himself available for comment.

Mark Hoppus, Father Of Philosohy



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Parker Ballantyne

Parker Ballantyne

Kind of a nerd. Very observant and overly analytical. Romantic about baseball.