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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Philosophy Tweets

“I act with complete certainty. But this certainty is my own.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

And, if you know what's good for you, it will be your complete certainty too. Right, Mr. Objectiivist?

"The world is full of abandoned meanings." Don DeLillo

In the thousands now at least.

“There is no perfection, only life.” Milán Kundera.

Including death of course.

“Once life is finished it acquires a sense; up to that point it hasn’t got one; its sense is suspended and therefore ambiguous.” Pier Paolo Pasolini

"I" in other words.

“The revolution is now just a sentiment.” Pier Paolo Pasolini

...and a mawkish sentiment for some.

"In the past, people were born royal. Nowadays, royalty comes from what you do." Gianni Versace

And, nowadays, that can be practically anything.
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

Ernest Hemingway

I try not to borrow, first you borrow then you beg.

Well, to the best of my knowledge, I have borrowed but never begged.
So far.

Remember everything is right until it's wrong. You'll know when it's wrong.

On the other hand, it might not even occur to you.

What difference does it make if you live in a picturesque little outhouse surrounded by 300 feeble minded goats and your faithful dog? The question is: Can you write?

Yes, I can. But that's not really the question is it?

You’ll ache. And you’re going to love it. It will crush you. And you’re still going to love all of it. Doesn’t it sound lovely beyond belief?

Yes. And all the more so if it were actually true.

Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.

The thing that I was born for hasn't even been invented yet. Or discovered.

I don't want to be your friend, baby. I am your friend.

Not that we can actually tell them apart 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

Bernard Malamud

If the stories come, you get them written, you're on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.

Let's just say that, unlike most here, I'm still working on it.

A man is an island in the only sense that matters, not an easy way to be. We live in mystery, a cosmos of separate lonely bodies, men, insects, stars. It is all loneliness and men know it best.

True, if you count women too.

When I don't feel hurt, I hope they bury me.

Either that or, for some, hurting others.

Would you say you have a "philosophy" of your own? If so what is it?
If I have it's all skin and bones...If I have any philosophy...it's that life could be better than it is.

Let's file this one under, "don't get me started".

We're persecuted in the most civilized languages.

And then it's off again to the voting booth.

Nobody lived in Eden anymore.

Especially not literally.
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

David Byrne

Presuming that there is such a thing as "progress" when it comes to music, and that music is "better" now than it used to be, is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn't "improve.”

This may even possibly be true.

There are two conversations going on at the same time: the story and a conversation about how the story is being told.

Technically as it were.

With the advent of recorded music in 1878, the nature of the places in which music was heard changed.

Uh, no shit?

There is water at the bottom of the ocean.

He wrote a song about it.

In the early days, I might have gotten on stage and begun to sing as a desperate attempt to communicate, but now I found that singing was both a physical and emotional joy. It was sensuous, a pure pleasure, which didn't take away from the emotions being expressed—even if they were melancholic. Music can do that; you can enjoy singing about something sad.

If not downright devastating.

Psychology, the talking cure, linguistics, and semantics - they're all like dogs poking around and sniffing their own vomit. There might be some gems in there, you never know. For certain you will at the very least know what you had for lunch. And you can ascertain what not to eat again.

How far can that be from Scientology?
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

Alan Moore

I found it very difficult to feel easy around the guy, even once I'd got used to the shock of his presence. It's a strange feeling...the first time you meet him your brain wants to scream, blow a fuse and shut itself down immediately, refusing to accept that he exists. This lasts for a couple of minutes, at which time he's still there and hasn't gone away, and in the end you just accept him because he's standing there and talking to you and after a while it almost seems normal. Almost.

That was once said about me. Or, rather, it must have been.

It seems that every movie is a remake of something that was better when it was first released in a foreign language, as a 1960s TV show, or even as a comic book. Now you've got theme park rides as the source material of movies. The only things left are breakfast cereal mascots. In our lifetime, we will see Johnny Depp playing Captain Crunch.

In other words, fuck those celebrities turned corporate shills. Well, at least I think that's where's he headed.

I don't consider myself as a bad person, on the whole I consider myself a good person, I'm good to my parents. I treat my girl right ,,, take her out and buy her stuff. And I go to church every Sunday, But I've decided that just once I wanna do a really bad thing. I mean a really seriously bad thing. 'cause, ya know, like, we're put on this earth with free will. We can choose to do this or that. We can choose to be good or bad. But sometimes I think most people are good and not bad only because they're scared they might go to jail or hell or someplace. Some guy once said: "Anything done out of fear has no moral value." Well, I think that's right. I figure the only way you can be truly good is if you've tried being good, and you've tried being bad, and being good feels better.

So, what do you say...close enough?

As with most of the future worlds in the science fiction, you are not talking about the future. You are talking about the present. You are using the future as a way of giving a bit of room to move.

And, sure, getting away with it.

Invoke not reason. In the end it is too small a deity.

A lot smaller than God, right?

Don't tell me they didn't have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers and all of a sudden, nobody can think of anything to say.

Uh, don't forget to vote?
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

Jonathan Safran Foer

You can call your turkey organic and torture it daily.

That can't be good.

Grief and loss are probably the most fearful creatures that exist. But loss shouldn't be a fearful creature. It should be a creature of wisdom. It should teach us not to fear that tomorrow may never come, but live fully, as though the hours are melting away like seconds. Loss should teach us to cherish those we love, to never do anything that will result in regret, and to cheer on tomorrow with all of its promises of greatness. It's easy and un-extraordinary to be frightened of life. It's far more difficult to arm yourself with the good stuff despite all the bad and step foot into tomorrow as an everyday warrior.

On the other hand, you can overthink these things.

This brings me back to the image of Kafka standing before a fish in the Berlin aquarium, a fish on which his gaze fell in a newly found peace after he decided not to eat animals. Kafka recognized that fish as a member of his invisible family- not as his equal, of course, but as another being that was his concern.

And he sure as shit didn't eat bugs.

That’s all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there.

You know, when it actually is there.

Everything I did, I did because I thought it was the correct thing to do…

Wow, that sure takes me back some.

Only a few months into our marriage, writes the grandfather, we started marking off areas in the apartment as 'Nothing Places,' in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be nonexistent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist.

Clearly, we need something like that here, don't we?
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

Haruki Murakami

I wasn't particularly afraid of death itself. As Shakespeare said, die this year and you don't have to die the next.

Going all the way back I suppose to never having even been born.

I’ve never once thought about how I was going to die, she said. I can’t think about it. I don’t even know how I’m going to live.

Both at the same time is just overwhelming.

It was as if I were writing letters to hold together the pieces of my crumbling life.

And with any luck there will be no one to read them.

I am living in hell from one day to the next. But there is nothing I can do to escape. I don't know where I would go if I did. I feel utterly powerless, and that feeling is my prision. I entered of my own free will, I locked the door, and I threw away the key.

I know, I know: This could never possibly happen to you.

Your work should be an act of love, not a marriage of convenience.

Right, like that's actually an option for most of us.

When there's nothing to do, you do nothing slowly and intently.

Notice how he cites no examples of 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

Thornton Wilder

But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Will the love have been enough?
Yes.
No.
Maybe.

Being employed is like being loved: you know that somebody's thinking about you the whole time.

Unless of course you're an expendable wage slave.

Some say that we shall never know, and that to the gods we are like the flies that the boys kill on a summer's day, and some say, to the contrary, that the very sparrows do not lose a feather that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.

So, would you like to know what I say?

Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.

I know: Let's bring this to the attention of Don Trump.

Yes, now you know. Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those...of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know — that's the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.

Remember when that used to be the American Dream?

Dona Maria saw that the people of this world moved about in an armor of egotism, drunk with self-gazing, athirst for compliments, hearing little of what was said to them, unmoved by the accidents that befell their closest friends, in dread of all appeals that might interrupt their long communion with their own desires.

Probably in all the other worlds too.
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

Robert Penn Warren

Dirt's a funny thing,' the Boss said. 'Come to think of it, there ain't a thing but dirt on this green God's globe except what's under water, and that's dirt too. It's dirt makes the grass grow. A diamond ain't a thing in the world but a piece of dirt that got awful hot. And God-a-Mighty picked up a handful of dirt and blew on it and made you and me and George Washington and mankind blessed in faculty and apprehension. It all depends on what you do with the dirt.

I longed to know the world's name.

Really, imagine trying to sum it all up in one word.

The law is like a single-bed blanket on a double bed and three folks in the bed and a cold night. There ain’t ever enough blanket to cover the case, no matter how much pulling and hauling, and somebody is always going to nigh catch pneumonia. Hell, the law is like the pants you bought last year for a growing boy, but it is always this year and the seams are popped and the shankbone’s to the breeze. The law is always too short and too tight for growing humankind.

The law? You get what you pay for. On K Street for example..

Nobody had ever told me that anything could be like this.

Let alone that it only gets worse.

It all began, as I have said, when the Boss, sitting in the black Cadillac which sped through the night, said to me (to Me who was what Jack Burden, the student of history, had grown up to be) There is always something.
And I said, Maybe not on the Judge.
And he said, Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.

And that would certainly include Don Trump.

The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful.

If not always intelligibly.
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

Karl Popper

What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most — that we are all frail human beings.

On the other hand, you tell me: Where does Socrates end and Plato begin?

...if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

You might even say that this is applicable here too. You know, if it ever actually is.

But are there philosophical problems? The present position of English philosophy - my point of departure - originates, I believe, in the late Professor Ludwig Wittgenstein's doctrine that there are none; that all genuine problems are scientific problems; that the alleged propositions or theories of philosophy are pseudo-propositions or pseudo-theories; that they are not false (if they were false, their negations would be true propositions or theories) but strictly meaningless combinations of words, no more meaningful than the incoherent babbling of a child who has not yet learned to speak properly.

Imagine if, one day, we are able to resolve this.

It is often asserted that discussion is only possible between people who have a common language and accept common basic assumptions. I think that this is a mistake. All that is needed is a readiness to learn from one's partner in the discussion, which includes a genuine wish to understand what he intends to say. If this readiness is there, the discussion will be the more fruitful the more the partner's backgrounds differ.

Theoretically as it were.

...the paradox of tolerance: unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

If not the other way around.

It is wrong to think that belief in freedom always leads to victory; we must always be prepared for it to lead to defeat. If we choose freedom, then we must be prepared to perish along with it.

Like here for example. After all, the Kids are free to take over.
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

Charles Darwin

Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy.

Nope, not this time.

One day, on tearing off some old bark, I saw two rare beetles, and seized one in each hand. Then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to lose, so I popped the one which I held in my right hand into my mouth. Alas! it ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt my tongue so that I was forced to spit the beetle out, which was lost, as was the third one.

Sure, it might be a true story.

I think it inevitably follows, that as new species in the course of time are formed through natural selection, others will become rarer and rarer, and finally extinct. The forms which stand in closest competition with those undergoing modification and improvement will naturally suffer most.

You can't help but wonder if, some day, it will be our turn.

But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.

Just as God intended it to be.

One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.

In other words, whatever that means.

It is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature.

Up to and including us as. Well, some of us.
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

Cynicism: You can't change the world.
Skepticism: You can't change the world?
Sarcasm: You can change the world.

Nihilism: All of the above.
[mine anyway]

Those were the days when the most influential Russian nihilist was Bakunin and not Trump.

Hmm, so much for pinning that down.

What is love?
Ovid: Art.
Shakespeare: Blind.
Hegel: Unity.
Freud: Narcissism.
Kierkegaard: Good.
Žižek: Evil.
Nietzsche: Beyond good & evil.

No, really, what is love?

History usually repeats itself not because people don't remember the past, but because they can't forget it.

So, they just drag it along.

People are never as simple as they may seem and never as complex as they may think of themselves.

Unless, of course, they are.

Republicans are facing the tough choice of whether to be more afraid of Mexicans or of Russians.

On the other hand, perhaps it is all just...politics? I mean, that's possible, 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

Thomas Hobbes

Hell is truth seen too late.

Or [sometimes] when it is seen at all.

The condition of man . . . is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

Of course some things are better left unsaid.

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry... no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Well, until we all decided one day to become civilized.

Leisure is the mother of Philosophy.

Let's figure out who the father is.

Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.

And, as often as not, on both sides.

Words are the counters of wise men, and the money of fools.

Let's translate that into trumpspeak.

A great leap in the dark

Unfortunately, some land 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

Jean Baudrillard

We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.

Why? We're just lucky, I guess.

Smile and others will smile back. Smile to show how transparent, how candid you are. Smile if you have nothing to say. Most of all, do not hide the fact you have nothing to say nor your total indifference to others. Let this emptiness, this profound indifference shine out spontaneously in your smile.

Believe it or not, this takes practice. Unless that's just me.

Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth.

And the whiter the better.

The futility of everything that comes to us from the media is the inescapable consequence of the absolute inability of that particular stage to remain silent. Music, commercial breaks, news flashes, adverts, news broadcasts, movies, presenters—there is no alternative but to fill the screen; otherwise there would be an irremediable void.... That’s why the slightest technical hitch, the slightest slip on the part of the presenter becomes so exciting, for it reveals the depth of the emptiness squinting out at us through this little window.

Not including us of course.

The secret of theory is that truth does not exist.

Well, if only in theory.

There is nothing more mysterious than a TV set left on in an empty room. It is even stranger than a man talking to himself or a woman standing dreaming at her stove. It is as if another planet is communicating with you.

Unless, perhaps, you're just in the bathroom taking a piss.
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

Jan Mieszkowski

Greek tragedy: You tried but you're doomed
French tragedy: You mostly tried but you're doomed
German tragedy: You're doomed but it's funny

American tragedy: We're doomed but don't forget to vote!

French philosophy: I can
German philosophy: I can't
Russian philosophy: I can't even

American philosophy: I cant.

1) Inquiry is sacred
2) Knowledge is sacred
3) Relationships with other intellectuals are sacred
4) Nothing is sacred

See if you can spot the irony here.

A Brief History of Disappointing Ideals
1) Freedom
2) Economic justice
3) No-fault divorce
4) All-you-can-eat buffets

And that's before you get to immortality and everlasting salvation.

A Brief History of Poetry
1) Beauty
2) beauty
3) BEAUTY
4) "Beauty"
5) ytuaeb
6) b-e-a-u-t-y
7) \$

On the other hand, nowadays money is the root of all beauty. But it will cost you to find out why.

Time is
Aristotle: an ever-vanishing now
Kant: an a priori form of inner sense
Heidegger: the condition of possibility of care
Žižek: money

Of course it's money to everyone now.
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

Shirley Jackson

Far and away the greatest menace to the writer—any writer, beginning or otherwise—is the reader.

And here that would be me and you.

I disliked having a fork pointed at me and I disliked the sound of the voice never stopping; I wished he would put food on the fork and put it into his mouth and strangle himself.

Or, sure, you can help him along.

People who are all alone have every right to be friends with one another.

You know, like we are.

I was thinking, I could turn him into a fly and drop him into a spider's web and watch him tangled and helpless and struggling, shut into the body of a dying buzzing fly; I could wish him dead until he died. I could fasten him to a tree and keep him there until he grew into the trunk and bark grew over his mouth. if he was under the ground I could walk over him stamping my feet.

Clearly, we all have our own rendition of this.

We have grown to trust blindly in our senses of balance and reason, and I can see where the mind might fight wildly to preserve its own familiar stable patterns against all evidence that it was leaning sideways.

If not entirely upside down.

People, the doctor said sadly, are always so anxious to get things out into the open where they can put a name to them, even a meaningless name, so long as it has something of a scientific ring.

Or, if they're particularly desperate, a philosophical ring.
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

Salander was the woman who hated men who hate women.

Always retain the ability to walk away, without sentimentality, from a situation that felt unmanageable. That was a basic rule of survival. Don't lift a finger for a lost cause.

On the other hand, what if the cause can be won? Back again to taking or not taking a leap.

To exact revenge for yourself or your friends is not only a right, it's an absolute duty.

You know, if you can actually pull it off.

There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer.

Preferably one with a claw.

She had stared at him for a whole minute and decided that she did not have a grain of feeling left, because it would have been the same as bleeding to death. Fuck You.

Some have stared at me for a whole second.

We need to have a talk on the subject of what's yours and what's mine.

And then the next thing you know, they're fucking.
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

Stephen Fry

My real dissatisfaction is with my dissatisfaction. How dare I be so discontent? How dare I? Or being discontent why cannot I shut up about it?

Hell, he's only human, right?

Animals have this in common with one another: unlike humans they appear to spend every minute of every hour of every day of their lives being themselves.

Instinctively as it were.

Just as it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, it is the belief in shamefulness that is the root of all misery.

Let's pin down where they overlap, and where they don't.

Straight people are encouraged by culture and society to believe that their sexual impulses are the norm, and therefore when their affairs of the heart and loins go wrong (as they certainly will), when they are flummoxed, distraught and defeated by love, they are forced to believe that it must be their fault. We gay people at least have the advantage of being brought up to expect the world of love to be imponderably and unmanageably difficult, for we are perverted freaks and sick aberrations of nature. They - poor normal lambs - naturally find it harder to understand why, in Lysander's words, 'the course of true love never did run smooth'.

On the other hand, as I suspect, sexual orientation has got nothing to do with it.

You think homosexuality is disgusting? Then, it follows, it follows as the night the day, that you find sex disgusting, for there is nothing done between two men or two women that is, by any objective standard, different from that which is done between a man and a woman.

Holes, after all, are holes.

...people who can change and change again are so much more reliable and happier than those who can’t.

Let's just say there are clearly some exceptions.
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

Carson McCullers

To me it is the irony of fate, she said. The way they come here. Those moths could fly anywhere. Yet they keep hanging around the windows of this house.

On the other hand, they probably don't give it much thought.

You have a name and one thing after another happens to you, and you behave in various ways and do things, so that soon the name begins to have a meaning. Things have accumulated around your name.

More to the point, you only have so much control over it.

But say a man does know. He sees the world as it is and he looks back thousands of years to see how it all came about. He watches the slow agglutination of capital and power and he sees its pinnacle today. He sees America as a crazy house. He sees how men have to rob their brothers in order to live. He sees children starving and women working sixty hours a week to get to eat. He sees a whole damn army of unemployed and billions of dollars and thousands of miles of land wasted. He sees war coming. He sees when people suffer just so much they get mean and ugly and something dies in them. But the main thing he sees is that the whole system of the world is built on a lie. And although it's as plain as the shining sun - the don't-knows have lived with that lie so long they just can't see it.

And now they've done gone and elected Don Trump.

It was almost three o'clock, the most stagnant hour in the day or night.

Actually, anywhere between 2 and 4.

They start at the wrong end of love. They begin at the climax. Can you wonder why it is so miserable?

Modern love: for better or for better still.

I expect he done read more books than any white man in this town. He done read more books and he done worried about more things. He full of books and worrying. He done lost God and turned his back to religion. All his troubles come down just to that.

Of course we'll need to hear his side too.
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

Liane Moriarty

If she packaged the perfect Facebook life, maybe she would start to believe it herself.

More to the point, who cares, as long as everyone else does.

They could fall in love with fresh, new people, or they could have the courage and humility to tear off some essential layer of themselves and reveal to each other a whole new level of otherness, a level far beyond what sort of music they liked. It seemed to her everyone had too much self-protective pride to truly strip down to their souls in front of their long-term partners. It was easier to pretend there was nothing more to know, to fall into an easygoing companionship.

Probably, but then there are people like me.

But every time she tried yoga she found herself silently chanting her own mantra: I’m so boooored, I’m so boooored.

She neglected the "spiritual" part, didn't she?

Her goodness had limits. She could have easily gone her whole life without knowing those limits, but now she knew exactly where they lay.

But not you, right?

Bonnie and her mum are both members of Amnesty International, said Abigail.

Of course, that was then, wasn't it?

When someone you loved was depending on your lie, it was perfectly easy.

In other words, fuck Kant.
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

Nikos Kazantzakis

How could I, who loved life so intensely, have let myself be entangled for so long in that balderdash of books and paper blackened with ink!

If the shoe fits, right? And I suspect it fits quite comfortably here.

The human soul is heavy, clumsy, held in the mud of the flesh. Its perceptions are still coarse and brutish. It can divine nothing clearly, nothing with certainty.

Well, aside from this perhaps.

Is he good? Or is he bad? That's the only thing I ask nowadays. And as I grow older—I'd swear this on the last crust I eat—I feel I shan't even go on asking that! Whether a man's good or bad, I'm sorry for him, for all of 'em. The sight of a man just rends my insides, even if I act as though I don't care a damn! There he is, poor devil, I think, he also eats and drinks and makes love and is frightened, whoever he is: he has his God and his devil just the same, and he'll peg out and lie as stiff as a board beneath the ground and be food for worms, just the same. Poor devil! We're all brothers! All worm-meat!

Of course nowadays the worms never make it into the coffins. But point taken.

You were saying you wanted to open the people's eyes. All right, you just go and open old uncle Anagnosti's eyes for him! You saw how his wife had to behave before him, waiting for his orders, like a dog begging. Just go now and teach them that women have equal rights with men, and that it's cruel to eat a piece of the pig while the pig's still raw and groaning in front of you, and that it's simple lunacy to give thanks to God because he's got everything while you're starving to death!...Let people be, boss: don't open their eyes. And supposing you did, what'd they see? Their misery! Leave their eyes closed, boss, and let them go on dreaming!

And then one day it dawns on you: he's right.
Not that he actually is, of course.

Once, I saw a bee drown in honey, and I understood.

More to the point, how is this applicable to us?

Life's true face is the skull.

One at a time 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

Nein

If you need me, I'll be pivoting. From impotent rage to quiet desperation.

Unless they actually do impeach him.

It's not you. It's your moral relativism. Which, yes, is just as bad as mine.

Of course I wrote the book on that. Or, rather, I was intending to.

Signifying nothing. It's harder than it looks.

Really? Then try signifying less than nothing.

Theory. Still my favorite conspiracy.

If not for all practical purposes.

1. Understand world.
2. Change world.
3. Try hitting undo.

Repeat as necessary.

Sorry. I don't do Praxis.

Not even theoretically?
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

Jeanette Winterson

A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers—a language powerful enough to say how it is.

Sure, as long as it's stuff that we like.

By betrayal, I mean promising to be on your side, then being on somebody else's.

That'll do it.

...every moment you steal from the present is a moment you have lost for ever. There's only now.

Right, like knowing this helps.

Thinking about time is to acknowledge two contradictory certainties: that our outward lives are governed by the seasons and the clock; that our inward lives are governed by something much less regular-an imaginative impulse cutting through the dictates of daily time, and leaving us free to ignore the boundaries of here and now and pass like lightning along the coil of pure time, that is, the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain.

I know: If only this could actually make sense.

No. Take the heart first. Then you don't feel the cold so much. The pain so much. With the heart gone, there's no reason to stay your hand. Your eyes can look on death and not tremble. It's the heart that betrays us, makes us weep, makes us bury our friends when we should be marching ahead. It's the heart that sickens us at night and makes us hate who we are. It's the heart that sings old songs and brings memories of warm days.

True. Or false. If you don't take it literally.

Words are the part of silence that can be spoken.

Let's file this one [obviously] under, "deep, man".
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

Ernest Hemingway

Religion is the opium of the poor.

In other words, them especially.

Now I am depressed myself, I said. That's why I never think about these things. I never think and yet when I begin to talk I say the things I have found out in my mind without thinking.

Don't try to pin this down.

Once in camp I put a log on a fire and it was full of ants. As it commenced to burn, the ants swarmed out and went first toward the center where the fire was; then turned back and ran toward the end. When there were enough on the end they fell off into the fire. Some got out, their bodies burnt and flattened, and went off not knowing where they were going. But most of them went toward the fire and then back toward the end and swarmed on the cool end and finally fell off into the fire. I remember thinking at the time that it was the end of the world and a splendid chance to be a messiah and lift the log off the fire and throw it out where the ants could get off onto the ground. But I did not do anything but throw a tin cup of water on the log, so that I would have the cup empty to put whiskey in before I added water to it. I think the cup of water on the burning log only steamed the ants.

I'm trying to imagine PETA's reaction.

For him it was a dark passage which led to nowhere, then to nowhere, then again to nowhere, once again to nowhere, always and forever to nowhere, heavy on the elbows in the earth to nowhere, dark, never any end to nowhere, hung on all time always to unknowing nowhere, this time and again for always to nowhere, now not to be borne once again always and to nowhere, now beyond all bearing up, up, up and into nowhere, suddenly, scaldingly, holdingly all nowhere gone and time absolutely still and they were both there, time having stopped and he felt the earth move out and away from under them.

On the other hand, what does nowhere lead to? Here, perhaps?

Do not think about sin, he thought.

Let's just say he's not off to a good start.

And another thing. Don’t ever kid yourself about loving some one. It is just that most people are not lucky enough ever to have it. You never had it before and now you have it. What you have with Maria, whether it lasts just through today and a part of tomorrow, or whether it lasts for a long life is the most important thing that can happen to a human being. There will always be people who say it does not exist because they cannot have it. But I tell you it is true and that you have it and that you are lucky even if you die tomorrow.

I know this is true, of course, but I just don't 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

Existential Comics

History of Enlightenment philosophy: Things were going generally fine, then Immanuel Kant came along and fucked everything up for everyone.

Really? I thought that was Nietzsche.

one thing that I like about dogs is that they are dogs

True objectively one suspects.

Things were never good. Where did people get this idea that things were good?

Well, believe it or not, for some folks, things really were good. Or, at any rate, a hell of a lot better than they are now.

How to be a philosopher: say how things that don't seem like social constructs are actually, in fact, social constructs.

Hmm, let's run this one by Satyr...

Self help book: become an übermensch in these five easy steps.

Or just start packin'.

After all, no one has to know but you.

What Hegel didn't realize is that in the future ideas won't move towards the truth, but towards whatever has the biggest advertising budget.

Or anything embedded in the military industrial complex.
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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