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 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:21 pm

Terry Pratchett

Many people could say things in a cutting way, Nanny knew. But Granny Weatherwax could listen in a cutting way. She could make something sound stupid just by hearing it.


Here of course some read us in a cutting way.

There's a door.
Where does it go?
It stays where it is, I think.


How then [philosophically] is this more than just a joke?

Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It's where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more.

How then [philosophically] is this more than just a clever observation?

But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.

Not counting the revolutions that never really get started.

Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.

Or [if you can] just start a nuclear war.

You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world?... It's all the people who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it is they're really good at. It's all the sons who become blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. It's all the people who could be really fantastic flute players who grow old and die without ever seeing a musical instrument, so they become bad plowmen instead. It's all the people with talents who never even find out. Maybe they are never even born in a time when it's even possible to find out. It's all the people who never get to know what it is that they can really be. It's all the wasted chances.

True, but only for the vast majority 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

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:21 am

wrong thread
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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 Sep 11, 2017 4:31 am

wrong thread
Last edited by iambiguous on Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Sep 11, 2017 4:36 am

wrong thread
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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 Sep 11, 2017 4:41 am

e e cummings

One's not half of two; two are halves of one.


Surely depending on the context though.

She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still

And how comforting that must be.

And now you are and I am and we're a mystery which will never happen again.

And we'll let you know if it does.

Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.

Or ugly as the case may be.

Humanity I love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink.

Or, more often than not these days, dope.

We can never be born enough.

Or for some quite the opposite.
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 Sep 11, 2017 7:14 pm

Joseph Heller

Rise above principal and do what's right.


Instinctively as it were.

The enemy, retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on...

Wow, does that bring back memories.

While none of the work we do is very important, it is important that we do a great deal of it.

That and get paid for it.

Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective.

Next on the chopping block: nouns and verbs.

The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.

On the other hand, does anyone really know what "character" is? Aside perhaps from the obvious: being "one of us".[/i]

I'll bet I can name two things to be miserable about for every one you can name to be thankful for.

At least two.
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 Sep 11, 2017 8:51 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

How long can you be offline before crippling anxiety sets in?
2005: A week, no problem.
2010: A day. Maybe.
2017: "Offline"? What's that?


Clearly an exaggeration. Though clearly not by much.

2015: Download a pirated PDF because the book is 5 feet away on a shelf
2017: Re-download the PDF rather than find the file on your computer


Let's note the significance of this.

A successful philosophy
Aristotle: teaches the good life
Descartes: feeds off doubt
Benjamin: leaves thought in ruins
Tarski: is successful


"Leaves thoughts in ruins". Wow. I wish I had thought of that.

Logic: That's not true!
Epistemology: You can't be sure!
Aesthetics: I can't bear to look!
Politics: I'll make it all better. Trust me.


So, is the swamp drained yet?
I know, let's ask Don and Chuck and Nancy.


Nothing is more real than
Hegel: something from nothing
Nietzsche: nothing from something
Camus: nothing from nothing
Beckett: nothing


Actually, it's now less than zero.

The strength of your conviction that you have something important to tweet is inversely proportional to the likelihood that you do.

Or [obviously] here: The strength of your conviction that you have something important to post is inversely proportional to the likelihood that you 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 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:25 pm

Lionel Trilling

Literature is the human activity that takes the fullest and most precise account of variousness, possibility, complexity, and difficulty.


Even bad literature. Well, for some.

...we should consider an idea that once was salient in western culture: the idea of "making a life", by which was meant conceiving human existence, one's own or another's, as if it were a work of art upon which one might pass judgment....This desire to fashion, to shape, a self and a life has all but gone from a contemporary culture whose emphasis, paradoxically enough, is so much on self.

Now it's more akin to "making a buck". Selflessly if necessary.

We who are liberal and progressive know that the poor are our equals in every sense except that of being equal to us.

Except of course in theory.

At the behest of the criterion of authenticity, much that was once thought to make up the very fabric of culture has come to seem of little account, mere fantasy or ritual, or downright falsification. Conversely, much that culture traditionally condemned and sought to exclude is accorded a considerable moral authority by reason of the authenticity claimed for it, for example, disorder, violence, unreason.

And now look where we are: In the belly of the beast that is Trumpworld.

In the most secret heart of every intellectual ... there lies hidden ... the hope of power, the desire to bring his ideas to reality by imposing them on his fellow man.

Whatever could have given him that idea.

We live, understandably enough, with the sense of urgency; our clock, like Baudelaire’s, has had the hands removed and bears the legend, “It is later than you think.” But with us it is always a little too late for mind, yet never too late for honest stupidity; always a little too late for understanding, never too late for righteous, bewildered wrath; always too late for thought, never too late for naïve moralizing. We seem to like to condemn our finest but not our worst qualities by pitting them against the exigency of time.

Now there's a swamp worth draining. Unless of course I'm wrong.
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 Sep 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Jasmine Warga

We all want to believe that every day is different, that every day we change, but really, it seems that certain things are coded into us from the very beginning.


Well, until you get down to the specifics.

He's no longer the person I want to die with; he's the person I want to be alive with.

Nope, never found her.

At least in physics my classmates aren't desperately trying to make uncomplicated shit complicated. Nope, in physics, we're all trying to make complicated things uncomplicated.

Objectively, with any luck.

I'm like a grenade made of ceramic -- solid and dense and cold -- but still fragile.

Including the pin.

I know it’s all in my head, but some feelings are harder to shake than others.

And then [eventually] you get down to the ones that you never do.

Maybe it’s all relative, not just light and time like Einstein theorized, but everything. Like life can seem awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable.

Or less bearable 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 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:16 pm

Existential Comics

Most people are bad authors not because they are bad at writing, but because they have nothing interesting to say.


Or they just say the same interesting thing over and over and over again.You know, if it is interesting.

The true power of a philosophy education is being able to come up with really deep sounding tweets that are actually just stupid bullshit.

Tweets, posts...what's the difference?

Okay you guys, we had a pretty good run, but enough with being ironic. Irony is lame now, spread the word.

Never!!!

Human behavior makes a lot more sense once you realize that happiness is mostly a post hoc justification used to explain our motivations.

Not only this but most don't even know that's what they're doing.

Nietzsche: there are no facts, only interpretations.
Lou Salomé: just answer the question, Nietzsche, are you a virgin or not?


Just out of curiosity, was he?

I've found that people will generally believe anything that is formatted in bullet points.

What do you say Kids, make them mandatory 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 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:50 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

The scholars who research happiness suggest that more money stops making people happier at a family income of around seventy-five thousand dollars a year. After that, what economists call “diminishing marginal returns” sets in. If your family makes seventy-five thousand and your neighbor makes a hundred thousand, that extra twenty-five thousand a year means that your neighbor can drive a nicer car and go out to eat slightly more often. But it doesn’t make your neighbor happier than you, or better equipped to do the thousands of small and large things that make for being a good parent.


You know, all things considered.

Lesson Number One: The Importance of Being Jewish

You know, if it is.

Cultures of honor tend to take root in highlands and other marginally fertile areas, such as Sicily or the mountainous Basque regions of Spain. If you live on some rocky mountainside, the explanation goes, you can't farm. You probably raise goats or sheep, and the kind of culture that grows up around being a herdsman is very different from the culture that grows up around growing crops. The survival of a farmer depends on the cooperation of others in the community. But a herdsman is off by himself. Farmers also don't have to worry that their livelihood will be stolen in the night, because crops can't easily be stolen unless, of course, a thief wants to go to the trouble of harvesting an entire field on his own. But a herdsman does have to worry. He's under constant threat of ruin through the loss of his animals. So he has to be aggressive: he has to make it clear, through his words and deeds, that he is not weak.

In other words, that's how bizarre these "general descriptions" can be.

...general intelligence and practical intelligence are "orthogonal": the presence of one doesn't imply the presence of the other.

Uh, no shit?

Chris Langan told me not long ago. "I found if I go to bed with a question on my mind, all I have to do is concentrate on the question before I go to sleep and I virtually always have the answer in the morning. Sometimes I realize what the answer is because I dreamt the answer and I can remember it. Other times I just feel the answer, and I start typing and the answer emerges onto the page".

One suspects however that "in reality" this hardly ever works at all.

To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.

Not counting the outliers 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 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:22 pm

André Gide

We prefer to go deformed and distorted all our lives rather than not resemble the portrait of ourselves which we ourselves have first drawn. It’s absurd. We run the risk of warping what’s best in us.


Not only that, but, more often than not, it's the portrait of us that others have drawn.

What would a narrative of happiness be like? All that can be described is what prepares it, and then what destroys it.

Technically as it were.

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.

True, but there are others we can never fear enough.

Wisdom comes not from reason but from love.

Yes, but only if you are foolish enough to go there.

The most decisive actions of our life -- I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future -- are, more often than not, unconsidered.

Along the lines of, for example, "I never asked to be born".

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.

Though not literally more often than not.
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 Sep 13, 2017 11:23 pm

Roland Barthes

One of the marks of our world is perhaps this reversal: we live according to a generalized image-repertoire. Consider the United Sates, where everything is transformed into images: only images exist and are produced and are consumes ... Such a reversal necessarily raises the ethical question: not that the image is immoral, irreligious, or diabolic (as some have declared it, upon the advent of the Photograph), but because, when generalized, it completely de-realizes the human world of conflicts and desires, under cover of illustrating it.


So much more to the point: Who decides all this?

We know that to give writing its future, it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author.

Right, like this can actually be calculated.

Literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.

I know that mine is lost.

As a general rule, desire is always marketable: we don’t do anything but sell, buy, exchange desires. . . . And I think of Bloy’s words: “there is nothing perfectly beautiful except what is invisible and above all unbuyable".

Fortunately, as we all know, you can't buy love.
That is still true, right?


A creative writer is one for whom writing is a problem.

And, for some, that more or less revolves around getting paid for it.

Language is neither reactionary nor progressive; it is quite simply fascist; for fascism does not prevent speech, it compels speech.

In order to, for example, be "one of us".
And not be exterminated.
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 Sep 14, 2017 6:43 pm

Evelyn Waugh

What is a "canty day", Dennis?
I've never troubled to ask. Something like hogmanay, I expect.
What is that?
People being sick on the pavement in Glasgow.
Oh.


Oh works for me too.

What is adolescence without trash?

I know: Where to draw the line.

He delighted in writing, in the joinery and embellishment of his sentences, in the consciousness of high rare virtue when every word had been used in its purest and most precise sense, in the kitten games of syntax and rhetoric. Words could do anything except generate their own meaning.

So, is this technically correct?

They are all negros. And the Fascists won’t be called black because of their racial pride, so they are called White after the White Russians. And the Bolsheviks want to be called Black because of their racial pride. So when you say black you mean red, and when you mean red you say white and when the party who call themselves blacks say traitors they mean what we call blacks, but what we mean when we say traitors I really couldn’t tell you. But from your point of view it will be quite simple. Lord Copper only wants patriot victories and both sides call themselves patriots, and of course both sides will claim all the victories. But, of course, it’s really a war between Russia and Germany and Italy and Japan who are all against one another on the patriotic side. I hope I make myself plain?

Couldn't be plainer. Human nature as some say.

I can quite understand that many people may be depressed by the spectacle of naked humanity. Personally I cannot see that an ugly body is any more offensive than an ugly dress.

Clearly with exceptions.

There was a change in both of us. We had lost a sense of discovery which had infused the anarchy of our first year.

Ah, the first year!
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 Sep 15, 2017 12:27 am

Mary Roach

It's the reason we say "pork" and "beef" instead of "pig" and "cow." Dissection and surgical instruction, like meat-eating, require a carefully maintained set of illusions and denial.


What about chicken?

...the act of vomiting deserves your respect. It's an orchestral event of the gut.

Even if you're bulimic.

I challenge you to find a more innocuous sentence containing the words sperm, suction, swallow, and any homophone of seaman. And then call me up on the homophone and read it to me.

Shall we take her up on it?

He has a minor in explosives and the slightly bitter, misanthropic personality of someone who shouldn't.

Better that than a major.

Khoruts gave me a memorable example of how behavior can be covertly manipulated by microorganisms. The parasite Toxoplasma infects rats but needs to make its way into a cat’s gut to reproduce. The parasite’s strategy for achieving this goal is to alter the rat brain such that the rodent is now attracted to cat urine. Rat walks right up to cat, gets killed, eaten. If you saw the events unfold, Khoruts continued, you’d scratch your head and go, What is wrong with that rat?

In a wholly determined world of course.

As when astronaut Mike Mulhane was asked by a NASA psychiatrist what epitaph he'd like to have on his gravestone, Mulhane answered, "A loving husband and devoted father," though in reality, he jokes in Riding Rockets, "I would have sold my wife and children into slavery for a ride into space.

You know, if it was a joke.
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 Sep 15, 2017 2:39 am

The Dead Author

You don't have to be Vladimir Lenin to be a little bit unnerved every time someone calls a two millimeter wider iphone screen a "revolution".


Not to mention Mao Zedong.

Never forget 9/11. Theodor W. Adorno was born on this day in 1903.

The other reason of course.

Postmodernity: when you're not sure if you're bored of waiting for the apocalypse to happen, or bored of witnessing it every day.

Yeah, I like that.
So, which one ought we to be?


We've come to value authenticity so highly that people will lie about everything if it makes them seem more believable.

And it's not as easy as it sounds.

Dostoyevsky always sounds like he needs a lawyer. Kafka sounds like he shouldn't have become one.

Of course that's just common sense.

Happy 247th birthday, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. I got you nothing.

He won't miss 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 Sep 15, 2017 7:02 pm

Jeanette Winterson

You need a language in this world. People want words, they want to hear their situation in language, and find a way to talk about it. It allows you to find a language to talk about your own pain.


And then one day the words themselves become the world. For example, in your head.

If you give kids a language, they can use it. I think that’s what these educators fear. If you really educate these kids, they aren’t going to punch you in the face, they are going to challenge you with your own language.

I know that I do.

What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home.

The wild and the tame cock too.

I was sixteen and my mother was about to throw me out of the house forever, for breaking a very big rule, even bigger than the forbidden books. The rule was not just No Sex, but definitely No Sex With Your Own Sex.

Well, it is her house. And that's just one of the rules. But, sure, point taken.

Napoleon was in love with himself and France joined in.

Let's see if it works that way for Don Trump.

The heart is so easily mocked, believing that the sun can rise twice or that roses bloom because we want them to.

Or that money grows on trees.
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 Sep 15, 2017 11:31 pm

Ernest Hemingway

You will die like a dog for no good reason.


But not before you live like a dog for no good reason.

I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards. Like bridge you had to pretend you were playing for money or playing for some stakes. Nobody had mentioned what the stakes were. It was all right with me.

Of course you can take this too far.

I believe that all the people who stand to profit by a war and who help provoke it should be shot on the first day it starts by accredited representatives of the loyal citizens of their country who will fight it.

For starters, dream on.

Everything is on such a clear financial basis in France. It is the simplest country to live in. No one makes things complicated by becoming your friend for any obscure reason. If you want people to like you you have only to spend a little money.

I think that is more or less universal now.

None of it was important now. The wind blew it out of his head.

No, moron, not literally.

But I could tell thee of other things, Inglés, and do not doubt what thou simply cannot see nor cannot hear. Thou canst not hear what a dog hears. Nor canst thou smell what a dog smells. But already thou hast experienced a little of what can happen to man.

Thou meaning, among others, you and I.
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 Sep 16, 2017 7:04 pm

Philip Larkin

Heads in the Women's Ward

On pillow after pillow lies
The wild white hair and staring eyes;
Jaws stand open; necks are stretched
With every tendon sharply sketched;
A bearded mouth talks silently
To someone no one else can see.

Sixty years ago they smiled
At lover, husband, first-born child.

Smiles are for youth. For old age come
Death's terror and delirium.


Maybe you, maybe not you.

When I throw back my head and howl
People (women mostly) say
But you've always done what you want,
You always get your way
- A perfectly vile and foul
Inversion of all that's been.
What the old ratbags mean
Is I've never done what I don't.

So the shit in the shuttered chateau
Who does his five hundred words
Then parts out the rest of the day
Between bathing and booze and birds
Is far off as ever, but so
Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod
(Six kids, and the wife in pod,
And her parents coming to stay)...

Life is an immobile, locked,
Three-handed struggle between
Your wants, the world's for you, and (worse)
The unbeatable slow machine
That brings what you'll get. Blocked,
They strain round a hollow stasis
Of havings-to, fear, faces.
Days sift down it constantly. Years.


Maybe you, maybe not you.

Saki says that youth is like hors d'oeuvres: you are so busy thinking of the next courses you don't notice it. When you've had them, you wish you'd had more hors d'oeuvres.

If only all the way to the grave.

I'd like to think that people in pubs would talk about my poems.

Maybe even in a few bars.

I seem to walk on a transparent surface and see beneath me all the bones and wrecks and tentacles that will eventually claim me: in other words, old age, incapacity, loneliness, death of others & myself...

Just not anymore of course.

Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three...between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles' first LP.

Not many of us [left] can say that.
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 Sep 16, 2017 8:40 pm

tiny nietzsche

I remind me of someone I don't know.


More to the point, of someone I'd never want to know.

...cries in orwellian...

It started in 1984.

exercise: metal
driving: hip hop
cleaning: early 80s new wave


Or, sure, for some, early 80s new wave 24/7.

who am I to be selfless?

Of course no one ever goes there anymore.

my horoscope is avoiding eye contact

That can't be good.

bury me in the future

And then out of the blue [or not] the future is now.

fuck demands. I've got a list of examples.

Me, I've got an avalanche of groots.
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 Sep 16, 2017 10:59 pm

Neil Gaiman

If it's true that every seven years each cell in your body dies and is replaced, then I have truly inherited my life from a dead man; and the misdeeds of those times have been forgiven, and are buried with his bones.


Tell that to the judge and the jury.

Things bloosom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom and fade. Everything in its time.

So they keep telling us.

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.

Of course that all changes in Heaven. We just don't know how yet.

As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.

In other words, if you're paid enough for that to actually be an option.

It's like you said the other day, said Adam. You grow up readin' about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus' when you think the world's full of amazin' things, they tell you it's really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nucular waste hangin' about for millions of years.

He means the fucking liberals of course.

Along with the standard computer warranty agreement which said that if the machine 1) didn't work, 2) didn't do what the expensive advertisements said, 3) electrocuted the immediate neighborhood, 4) and in fact failed entirely to be inside the expensive box when you opened it, this was expressly, absolutely, implicitly and in no event the fault or responsibility of the manufacturer, that the purchaser should consider himself lucky to be allowed to give his money to the manufacturer, and that any attempt to treat what had just been paid for as the purchaser's own property would result in the attentions of serious men with menacing briefcases and very thin watches.

Not yet, perhaps, but heading in that general direction.
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 Sep 17, 2017 8:04 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?


Sometimes you're parked here and sometimes you're not.

We just stood there, facing each other, but nine floors apart.

At least nine if your're lucky.

I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.

He wondered: Anyone ever said that about me?

The room was filled with conversations we weren't having.

And, fortunately, didn't want to have.

He invented stories so fantastic she had to believe. Of course, she was only a child, still removing the dust from her first death. What else could she do? And he was already accumulating the dust of his second death. What else could he do?

Plenty of dust to go around though isn't there.

Think of the beginning of the story of the beginning of everything: Adam (without Eve and without divine guidance) names the animals. Continuing his work, we call stupid people bird-brained, cowardly people chickens, fools turkeys. Are these the best names we have to offer? If we can revise the notion of women coming from a rib, can’t we revise our categorizations of the animals that, draped with barbecue sauce, end up as the ribs on our dinner plates — or for that matter, the KFC in our hands?

They never let you forget, that's for sure.
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 Sep 17, 2017 11:20 pm

Terry Pratchett

Progress just means bad things happen faster.


Let's all agree at least that it can mean that.

A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him?

At least until Don Trump drains the swamp.

The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that's where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won't do if they don't know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.

No, seriously.

Of course I'm sane, when trees start talking to me, I don't talk back.

Let alone brick walls.

Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplow driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.

I know, let's invent another God.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

Where can we take this? Philosophically I mean.
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 Sep 18, 2017 4:52 pm

e e cummings

when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because


In other words, why not?

...remember one thing only: that it's you-nobody else-who determines your destiny and decides your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else.

Let's discuss why this is bullshit.

I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.

I call it my food stamps years.

may I be I is the only prayer--not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong

May I be I what though?

...nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands...

Cue Woody Allen.

...great men burn bridges before they come to them...

Either that or build them.
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 Sep 18, 2017 11:29 pm

Michael Parenti

People who think they're free in this world just haven't come to the end of their leash yet.


And then there are those who, for all practical purposes, never do.

Official Washington cannot tell the American people that the real purpose of its gargantuan military expenditures and belligerent interventions is to make the world safe for General Motors, General Electric, General Dynamics, and all the other generals.

No, really, political economy is an actual thing.

Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary.

Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history.

Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people.

At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies.

Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.


No, really, political economy is an actual thing.

Democrats—lily-livered, weasel-assed collaborators.

Most liberals he means.
Well, not counting the "value-voter" issues of course.


You dont know your wearing a leash if you sit by the peg all day.

How close to it are you?

As demonstrated in Russia and numerous other countries, when faced with a choice between democracy without capitalism or capitalism without democracy, Western elites unhesitatingly embrace the latter.

Throughout, for example, the entire Third 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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