a thread for mundane ironists

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:24 pm

Robert Cormier

It would be nice to avoid the world, to leave it and all its threats and unhappiness. Not to die or anything like that, but to find a place of solitude and solace.


On the other hand, dying is basically a sure thing.

You see Carter, people are two things: greedy and cruel. So we have a perfect set-up here. The greed part - a kid pays a buck for a chance to win a hundred. Plus fifty boxes of chocolates. The cruel part - watching two guys hitting each other, maybe hurting each other, while they're safe in the bleachers. That's why it works, Carter, because we're all bastards.

That and bitches.

You bring up your children to be self-reliant and independent and they double-cross you and become self-reliant and independent.

Meanwhile, they've dumped you in a nursing home.

...pain reaches a certain point and does not get worse but remains in all its intensity and you can survive it.

Although you might wish you were dead.

Do I dare disturb the universe? Yes I do, I do.

My guess: The universe never feels disturbed.

Mr. Sinclair once asked the class to make a list of the ten most beautiful words in the English language, and the only word that really seemed beautiful to me was tenderness.

That and antidisestablishmentarianism.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:16 am

Yuval Noah Harari

Biology enables, Culture forbids.


Though not necessarily in that order.

This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.

Imagine then what that makes the Industrial Revolution.

Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.

Let's put a stop to that!

We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.

He means corn of course. That or rice.

So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief.

Unless of course the more likely explanation is this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Bad_ ... ood_People

The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’ The capitalist–consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.

I know: What if this is really true?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:37 am

Philosophy Tweets

"The question is not 'To be or not to be,' it is what we should be until we are not. Soren Kierkegaard


Let's run that by, among others, Albert Camus.

"People settle for a level of despair they can tolerate and call it happiness." Soren Kierkegaard

Imagine if that was actually true.

"Our problem is not that we aim too high and miss, but that we aim too low and hit." Aristotle

Unless, of course, you're a slave.

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." Aristotle

We know where some folks will take that.

"You have to know how to look even if you don't know what you're looking for." Roberto Bolaño

I'll let you know if I find it.

“If you but knew the flames that burn in me which I attempt to beat down with my reason.” Alexander Pushkin

Good luck with that, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:04 pm

Russell Banks

Mourning can be very selfish. When someone you love has died, you tend to recall best those few moments and incidents that helped clarify your sense, not of the person who has died, but of your own self.


And then one day it's their turn with you.

I’ve got nothing against outsiders, per se, you understand. It’s just that you have to love a town before you can live in it right, and you have to live in it before you can love it right. Otherwise, you’re a parasite of sorts.

Obviously: Some towns more than others.

The metabolic rate of history is too fast for us to observe it. It's as if, attending to the day-long life cycle of a single mayfly, we lose sight of the species and its fate. At the same time, the metabolic rate of geology is too slow for us to perceive it, so that, from birth to death, it seems to us who are caught in the beat of our own individual human hearts that everything happening on this planet is what happens to us, personally, privately, secretly. We can stand at night on a high, cold plain and look out toward the scrabbled, snow-covered mountains in the west, the same in a suburb of Denver as outside a village in Baluchistan in Pakistan, and even though beneath our feet continent-sized chunks of earth grind inexorably against one another, go on driving one or the other continent down so as to rise up and over it, as if desiring to replace it on the map, we poke with our tongue for a piece of meat caught between two back teeth and think of sarcastic remarks we should have made to our brother-in-law at dinner.

That's close enough, right?

Our sins describe us, and our prohibitions describe our sins.

You know, if you've got any.

It's hard to know more about a person's life than what that person wants you to know.

And even then you never really know what's true.

He can’t quite picture God except as a huge ball of light with an old man’s deep voice like in the pickup truck ads on TV coming out of the ball of light dictating the way everything in Eden is supposed to work.

And then explaining why the shit hit the fan.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Nein

For a war to end all wars, press 1.
For a past to end all pasts, press 2.
For a present to end all presents, please stay on the line.


Indefinitely as it were.

Remember, friends: true Nihilists have nothing to be thankful for.

So don't ask them to be.

Yes, perhaps we’d be happier if we didn’t follow the news. But it’s nice to know how it all ends.

It's Mueller time!

Marx: the father of all dialectical materialism.
Nietzsche: the mother of all mustaches.
Freud: the mother of all fathers.


And now we're all their progeny.

December. The seasonal affective disorders are in bloom.

Worse: Just getting started.

Live. Laugh. Hail Satan.

You know, if that's your thing.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:26 am

David Sedaris

States vote to take away my marriage rights, and even though I don’t want to get married, it tends to hurt my feelings. I guess what bugs me is that it was put to a vote in the first place. If you don’t want to marry a homosexual, then don’t. But what gives you the right to weigh in on your neighbor’s options? It’s like voting on whether or not redheads should be allowed to celebrate Christmas.


Well, he thought, I wouldn't go that far.

If a person who constantly reads is labeled a bookworm, then I was quickly becoming what might be called a tapeworm.

Let's not go there, okay?

I hated leaving a hole in the smoking world, and so I recruited someone to take my place. People have given me a lot of grief, but I'm pretty sure that after high school, this girl would have started anyway, especially if she chose the army over community college.

Besides, he could have been smoking crack cocain. Or shooting smack into his veins.

The landscape is best described as 'pedestrian hostile.' It's pointless to try to take a walk, so I generally just stay in the room and think about shooting myself in the head.

At least that's an option.

They were Jesuits, she told me. That means they believe in God but not in terlet paper. You should have seen their underwear. Disgusting.

Any truth to this?

If nothing else, life in the suburbs promised that you might go from day to day without finding shit in your hair.

Any truth to this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:52 pm

Elena Ferrante

Unlike stories, real life, when it has passed, inclines toward obscurity, not clarity.


Unlike philosophy too.

There are people who leave and people who know how to be left.

By all means, leave.

I was going through one of those moments that you read about in books, when a character reacts in an unexpectedly extreme way to the normal discontents of living.

Trust me, it's only a matter of time.

Nowhere is it written that you can’t do it.

No, but that doesn't mean you can.

Leave, instead. Get away for good, far from the life we’ve lived since birth. Settle in well-organized lands where everything really is possible. I had fled, in fact. Only to discover, in the decades to come, that I had been wrong, that it was a chain with larger and larger links: the neighborhood was connected to the city, the city to Italy, Italy to Europe, Europe to the whole planet. And this is how I see it today: it’s not the neighborhood that’s sick, it’s not Naples, it’s the entire earth, it’s the universe, or universes. And shrewdness means hiding and hiding from oneself the true state of things.

Good luck with that of course.

There was something unbearable in the things, in the people, in the buildings, in the streets that, only if you reinvented it all, as in a game, became acceptable. The essential, however, was to know how to play, and she and I, only she and I, knew how to do it.

Well, that makes three of us then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:14 pm

Werner Twertzog

I know little about Lena Dunham. But I would like to know even less.


Why her one might ask.

Dear America: I see pallets of bottled water in your future, then pallet fires, then cannibalism.

If only [so far] in the movies.

Good intentions pave the road to hell.
Bad intentions do so also.
Intend nothing.


That may well be harder than it sounds.

Big football drains university budgets and creates endless scandals, but at least it undermines the mission of higher education.

Jocks. They come right after Kids.

Avoid dating people who collect human skulls.

Any skull collectors here?

My heart disease will kill my cancer, I am told.

Thank God?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:17 am

Garry Kasparov

If you're already in a fight, you want the first blow to be the last and you had better be the one to throw it.


Tell that to Vladimir Putin.

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

Tell that to Vladimir Putin. He'll pass it on to Don Trump.

Somehow, people always forget that it's much easier to install a dictator than to remove one.

Let alone to vote one out.

Communism is like an autoimmune disorder; it doesn’t do the killing itself, but it weakens the system so much that the victim is left helpless and unable to fight off anything else. It destroys the human spirit on an individual level, perverting the values of a successful free society.

Not unlike [for many] capitalism.

Typically, however, the winner is just the player who made the next-to-last mistake.

How consoling, he thought.

To become good at anything you have to know how to apply basic principles. To become great at it, you have to know when to violate those principles.

Then, to become the greatest of all, knowing how to get away with it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:27 pm

José Saramago

Put less respectfully, these men and women, standing before the mirror of their life, spit every day in the face of what they were with the sputum of what they are.


Time to get a new mirror. However futile that might be.

...human beings are known universally as the only animals capable of lying, and while it is true that they sometimes lie out of fear and sometimes out of self-interest, they also occasionally lie because they realize, just in time, that this is the only means available to them of defending the truth.

We'll need some examples of course.

Virtue, should there be anyone who still ignores the fact, always finds pitfalls on the extremely difficult path of perfection, but sin and vice are so favoured by fortune...

Let's just say that here it depends on how broadly or narrowly you define them.

Perhaps it is the language that chooses the writers it needs, making use of them so that each might express a tiny part of what it is.

Perhaps not still seems more likely.

Dignity has no price, when someone starts making small concessions, in the end, life loses all meaning.

And what meaning might that be, he asked?

It just isn't possible for you to ask me all the questions, or for me to give you all the answers.

Pertaining to, say, what's behind the existence of existence itself? :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:43 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

Read Schopenhauer to understand Nietzsche.
Read Hegel to understand Schopenhauer.
Read Kant to understand Hegel.
Then read Spinoza to understand that you don't understand anything.


Oh, and why is that?

Would have taken Twitter by storm:
Pascal
Hume
Wittgenstein
Adorno
Lacan

Would do well to stick to Facebook:
Plato
Descartes
Kant
Heidegger
Derrida


Let's entirely clear this up.

Who gave philosophy such a bad name?
Plato: Sophistry
Aristotle: Plato
Leibniz: Aristotle
Hume: Leibniz
Kant: Hume
Hegel: Kant
Schopenhauer: Hegel
Nietzsche: philosophers


Let's entirely clear this up.

Bacon: Knowledge is power
Foucault: Power shapes interpretation
Nietzsche: Interpretation destroys knowledge
Hegel: The destruction of knowledge is knowledge
Bacon: Knowledge is power


Hey, what goes around comes around, right?

Idealism: You've got all the answers for all the right reasons
Realism: You've got all the answers for all the wrong reasons
Materialism: You don't have any answers for all the right reasons
Existentialism: You don't have any answers for all the wrong reasons


Thank god for nihilism, he thought.

A Brief History of Philosophy
1) Know the void
2) Accept the void
3) Embrace the void
4) Fill the void
5) Null and void


Who cares, as long as there's a void there.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:21 am

Barbara Kingsolver

Morning always comes.


Among other things, define "always".

Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history. Even the child Ruth May touched history. Everyone is complicit. The okapi complied by living, and the spider by dying. It would have lived if it could. Listen: being dead is not worse than being alive. It is different, though. You could say the view is larger.

Not only that but with no end in sight.

Last time I talked to her she didn't sound like herself. She's depressed. It's awful what happens when people run out of money. They start thinking they're no good.

And for all practical purposes [in this world] they aren't.

I've about decided that's the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you're a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.

And look how useful we are here.

Oh, mercy. If it catches you in the wrong frame of mind, the King James Bible can make you want to drink poison in no uncertain terms.

Though not unlike any other Scripture.

Sadness is more or less like a head cold - with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.

Brain cancer as it were.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:53 pm

Rebecca Wells

It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride.


And, then, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.

Smoke, drink and never think.

Or, sure, just drink and never think.

Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time.

Either that or every other every time.

I want to lay up like that, to float unstructured, without ambition or anxiety. I want to inhabit my life like a porch.

Screened in all the way around.

There is the truth of history, and there is the truth of what a person remembers.

Or, as likely as not, what he claims to remember.

Sometimes you just have to reach out and grab what you want, even when they tell you not to. This is something that I've struggled with my whole life long.

Sounds trite of course. Until you actually know what it means.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:13 pm

Existential Comics

I wonder how many times they will manage to reboot Spiderman before we destroy the planet


Hundreds at least.

1930: comics made us dumb!
1950: TV made us dumb!
1990: the internet made us dumb!
2018: you know what, maybe we are just naturally dumb.


Well, the Kids anyway.

It's important to read broadly to understand just how much there is to know, and it's important to read deeply to understand just how hard it is to know even a single thing.

My guess: Going all the way back to explaining the existence of existence itself. :wink:

Existentialism is:
Sartre: freedom.
Kierkegaard: despair.
Nietzsche: will.
Dostoevsky: axing an old lady in the head for no reason.


All of the above?

The seven deadly sins for an existentialist:
1. Inauthenticity
2. Denying your freedom
3. Acting in bad faith
4. Following the herd
5. Believing in absolutes
6. Denying responsibility
7. Not setting your profile pic to a black and white photo of you gazing deeply into the horizon


Spot the outlier here?

Nihilism: nothing matters.
Existentialism: life is despair.
Absurdism: there is no meaning.
Stoicism: chill the fuck out.


Spot the outlier here?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:26 am

Pat Conroy

You get a little moody sometimes but I think that's because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.


I know that I've always been.

Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.

Still, you might not think so at the time.

American men are allotted just as many tears as American women. But because we are forbidden to shed them, we die long before women do, with our hearts exploding or our blood pressure rising or our livers eaten away by alcohol because that lake of grief inside us has no outlet. We, men, die because our faces were not watered enough.

Actually, I think he means men in general.

A story untold could be the one that kills you.

I know some that might have killed me.

I’ve never had anyone’s approval, so I’ve learned to live without it.

Me? Well, let's just say I've tried to.

I do not have any other way of saying it. I think it happens but once and only to the very young when it feels like your skin could ignite at the mere touch of another person. You get to love like that but once.

So they tell me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:53 pm

John Fowles from The Collector

I've been sitting here and thinking about God. I don't think I believe in God any more. It is not only me, I think of all the millions who must have lived like this in the war. The Anne Franks. And back through history. What I feel I know now is that God doesn't intervene. He lets us suffer. If you pray for liberty then you may get relief just because you pray, or because things happen anyhow which bring you liberty. But God can't hear. There's nothing human like hearing or seeing or pitying or helping about him. I mean perhaps God has created the world and the fundamental laws of matter and evolution. But he can't care about the individuals. He's planned it so some individuals are happy, some sad, some lucky, some not. Who is sad, who is not, he doesn't know, and he doesn't care. So he doesn't exist, really.


Think of it like this: https://youtu.be/zOusKPeH7nU

You despise the real bourgeois classes for all their snobbishness and their snobbish voices and ways. You do, don't you? Yet all you put in their place is a horrid little refusal to have nasty thoughts or do nasty things or be nasty in any way. Do you know that every great thing in the story of art and every beautiful thing in life is actually what you call nasty or has been caused by feelings that you would call nasty? By passion, by love, by hatred, by truth. Do you know that?

Nasty. As good a word as any.

The two of us in that room. No past, no future...A feeling that everything must end, the music, ourselves, the moon, everything. That if you get to the heart of things you find sadness for ever and ever, everywhere; but a beautiful silver sadness, like a Christ face.

Or a big fat Buddha.

This pain, this terrible seeing-through that is in me now. It wasn't necessary. It is all pain, and it buys nothing. Gives birth to nothing.
All in vain. All wasted.
The older the world becomes, the more obvious it is. The bomb and the tortures in Algeria and the starving babies in the Congo. It gets bigger and darker.
More and more suffering for more and more. And more and more in vain.


For some their own existence being the least of it.

But forgetting's not something you do, it happens to you. Only it didn't happen to me.

It only sort of happens to most of us.

Not that I will paint in my own way, live in my own way, speak in my own way—they don’t mind that. It even excites them. But what they can’t stand is that I hate them when they don’t behave in their own way.

For some of course we hope that they never do.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:13 pm

tiny nietzsche

you're nobody until somebody kills you


That almost doesn't make sense.

me: it hurts when I think
doktor: you should try and let things go
me: I've thought about it


How about you?

It's a Blood Clot, Charlie Brown

Let's run this by Lucy.

every day is "take your abyss to work" day

Work and [of course] everywhere else.

hell means never having to say you're sartre

Now that's clever.

me: it's december
doktor: yes?
me: well, can't you fucking fix it?


Next up: January.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:33 am

Colson Whitehead

Did you know that smiling politely burns up the same amount of calories as speaking your mind.


You know, if you're on a diet.

Spoiler: I didn't win the Main Event. You had suspicions, you say? For one thing, the subtitle of this book would be "The Amazing Life-Affirming Story of an Unremarkable Jerk Who Won the World Series of Poker!" instead of having the word "Death" in it. For another, do these sound like the words of a motherfucker who won a million goddamn dollars?

Nope, didn't spoil it for me.

Why should anyone else have it easy. Spoken like a true New Yorker.

Or: Spoken like a true Earthling.

I prefer the American spirit, the one that called us from the Old World to the New, to conquer and build and civilize. And destroy that what needs to be destroyed. To lift up the lesser races. If not lift up, subjugate. And if not subjugate, exterminate. Our destiny by divine prescription – the American imperative.

Rhymes with Trump.

Was it counterintuitive to apply lessons from a women's self-defense book to the World Series of Poker? Yes. But if modernity has taught us anything, it's that you don't fuck with Oprah.

Let's try to understand this.

Suck it, Entropy. We have an appointment, my old friend, but not today.

Of course [as we all know] entropy has all the time in the world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Disarming an idealist was easy. One only needed to ask why the idealist was not on the front line of the particular battle he had chosen.


Of course, up in the clouds, there is no actual front line.

This was what few people realize—it’s hard work to beat somebody. I have known many an interrogator who has strained a back, pulled a muscle, torn a tendon or a ligament, even broken fingers, toes, hands, and feet, not to mention going hoarse.

On the other hand, there's always waterboarding.

Quoting Nguyen Du --- "Talent and destiny are apt to feud."

Still, destiny would seem to have the edge.

I always assume a man is at least a latent homosexual until proven otherwise.

Perhaps even deeply latent.

Let’s just hope history forgets the snafus.

If only our own.

Our proper mode in situations where demand was high and supply low was to elbow, jostle, crowd, and hustle, and, if all that failed, to bribe, flatter, exaggerate, and lie.

And then call it "the virtue of selfishness".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:19 am

Mario Vargas Llosa

Borges's world is as grounded in the changing nature of existence, that common predicament of the human species, as any literary world that has lasted. How could it be otherwise? No work of fiction that turns its back on life or that is incapable of illuminating life has ever attained durability. What is singular about Borges is that in his world the existential, the historical, sex, psychology, feelings, instincts, and so forth, have been dissolved and reduced to an exclusively intellectual dimension; and life, that boiling, chaotic turmoil, reaches the reader sublimated and conceptualized, transformed into literary myth through the filter of Borges, a filter of such perfect logic that it sometimes appears not to distill life to its essence but to suppress it altogether.


Let's file file this one under, "it had to be said."

Don't be afraid Mr. Onaka, we need you because none of us drives.
Can you imagine anything as dumb as that? They were going to make a revolution and they didn't even know how to drive a car.


Let alone a tank.

I discovered that the predisposition for languages is as mysterious as the inclination of certain people for mathematics or music and has nothing to do with intelligence or knowledge. It is something separate, a gift that some possess and others don’t.

For a few, mysterious and then some.

There were so many problems; the hydra had so many heads, iniquity raised its head everywhere one looked.

If only since the dawn of history.

Memory is a snare, pure and simple: it alters, it subtly rearranges the past to fit the present.

And then the present to fit the future.

Probably there are no longer any societies in which the best people are attracted to civic duties.

Anyone disagree?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:33 am

so sad today

being born is a lot of pressure


And it's not as though we asked to be.

one thing i don't like is the way things are

Worse: the way things are going to be.

i was born not ready

On the other hand, hardly anyone ever actually is.

whispers during sex 'am i problematic'?

Okay, but before or after coming?

because i could not stop for death he kindly waited outside whole foods

On the other hand, it could have been a McDonalds.

talent: believing my own bullshit

A greater talent still: getting others to believe it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:35 pm

Dave Eggers

No. There is no balance, and no retribution, and no rules. The rules and balances you blather about are hopeful creations of a man fearing death.


Anyone here not realize that yet?

We were fools and now we were driving to our deaths in a rental car. Janet Jackson was tinkling from the speakers, asking what we had done for her as of late.

Don't you just hate that?

The world, every day, is New. Only for those born in, say, 1870 or so, can there be a meaningful use of the term postmodernism, because for the rest of us we are born and we see and from what we see and digest we remake our world.

This really is an important insight, he thought.

Stasis is itself criminal for those with the means to move.

Not counting all the times it's the move instead.

People say I talk slowly. I talk in a way sometimes called laconic. The phone rings, I answer, and people ask if they’ve woken me up. I lose my way in the middle of sentences, leaving people hanging for minutes. I have no control over it. I’ll be talking, and will be interested in what I’m saying, but then someone—I’m convinced this what happens—someone—and I wish I knew who, because I would have words for this person—for a short time, borrows my head. Like a battery is borrowed from a calculator to power a remote control, someone, always, is borrowing my head.

No, this is actually a real thing.

The idea we came up with, well before we left, was something we coined Performance Literature. Excuse the use of that second word, because I realize it's presumptuous. Also, excuse the first word, and the term in general.

Lots of things like that are thought up here of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:26 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.” Alexander Pushkin


Let's note some of late.

"Leisure is the mother of philosophy” Thomas Hobbes

No, really, think about that.

“We see that humans are formed by the same things as the other animals.” Bernardino Telesio

My guess: evolution.

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” William Faulkner

If only to trample on the freedom of others.

"The problem is that the child is a sponge and absorbs indiscriminately everything that is seen on TV and the Internet ” Giovanni Sartori

The Kids too.

“Wake from death and return to life.” Japanese Proverb

If, of course, that's actually an option.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:13 am

Robert Cormier

Sometimes I wake up at night in a panic. Wondering: What will my life be like? And sometimes I even wonder: Who am I? What am I doing here, on this planet, in this city, in this house? And it gives me the shivers, makes me panic.


They have an expression for that, don't they? And it's the same as ours.

Eric Poole began with cats. Or, to be more exact, kittens.

We know where this is going.

I wonder if it's a special sin to lie to a nun.

Or, he thought, to fuck one.

I have always pondered a tragic law of adolescence. (On second thought, the law probably applies to all ages to some extent). That law: People fall in love at the same time—often at the same stunning moment—but they fall out of love at different times. One is left sadly juggling the pieces of a fractured heart while the other has danced away.

That's how it works alright. You're either one or the other.

Happiness is a way of traveling and not a destination.

If you know what he means. And I think that I do.

At some point in life, we learn our limitations, the distances we can we can travel and the boarders we will never cross. And we go from there.

Right, like we need yet another reminder.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:12 pm

Yuval Noah Harari

...money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.


That and mutual distrust.

This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.

How much better some might ask.

...happiness does not really depend on objective conditions of either wealth, health or even community. Rather, it depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations.

Thanks for reminding us.

As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.

Thanks for reminding us.

Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.

Does God know that?

The most common reaction of the human mind to achievement is not satisfaction, but craving for more.

Not only that but more still.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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