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 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:08 pm

John Cage

So somebody has talent? So what? Dime a dozen. And we're overpopulated. Actually we have more food than we have people and more art. We've gotten to the point of burning food. When will we begin to burn our art?


Quite a jumble, isn't it?

It would be better to have no school at all than the schools we now have. Encouraged, instead of frightened, children could learn several languages before reaching age of four, at that age engaging in the invention of their own languages. Play'd be play instead of being, as now, release of repressed anger.

Quite a jumble, isn't it?

Whether I make them or not, there are always sounds to be heard and all of them are excellent.

Oh, sure they are.

Why is it that children, taught the names of the months and the fact that there are twelve of them, don't ask why the ninth is called the seventh (September), the tenth called the eight (October), the eleventh called the ninth (November), the twelfth called the tenth (December)?

Next up: the days of the week.

Nothing more then nothing can be said.
We make our lives by what we love.
Being American, having been trained to be sentimental, I fought for noises … when the war came along, I decided to use only quiet sounds. There seemed to me to be no truth, no good, in anything big.
Somebody asked Debussy how he wrote music. He said: I take all the tones there are, leave out he one’s I don’t want, and use all the others. Satie said: When I was young, people told me; you’ll see when you’re fifty years old. Now I’m fifty. I’ve seen nothing.
Slowly as the talk goes on, we are getting nowhere – and that is a pleasure.
It is not irritating to be where one is, it is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.
If anybody is sleepy, let him go to sleep.
All I know about method is that when I’m not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I’m working, it is quit clear I know nothing.


And that's all before breakfast.

Combine nursing homes with nursery schools. Bring very old and very young together: they interest one another.

Anyone else misunderstanding 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 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:20 am

August Strindberg

...if you are afraid of loneliness, don't get married...


Best to steer clear of everyone, he thought.

I, too, am beginning to feel an immense need to become a savage and create a new world.

Of course: feeling ain't doing.

Everything can happen, everything is possible and probable. Time and place do not exist; on a significant bases of reality, the imagination spins, weaving new patterns; a mixture of memories, experiences, free fancies, incongruities and improvisations.

In other words [as likely as not], way, way, way "in your head".

Those who won't accept evil never get anything good.

Let's just say that some take it too far.

He saw the cause of his unhappiness in the family--the family as a social institution, which does not permit the child to become an independent individual at the proper time.

More to the point [for some], if at all.

A man with a so-called character is often a simple piece of mechanism; he has often only one point of view for the extremely complicated relationships of life.

Well, at least he's civilized.
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 01, 2017 8:29 pm

Neil Gaiman

She's realized the real problem with stories -- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death.


Or the author does.

Human beings do not like being pushed about by gods. They may seem to, on the surface, but somewhere on the inside, underneath it all, they sense it, and they resent it.

Actually, at the time, I didn't.

I am not scared of bad people, of wicked evildoers, of monsters and creatures of the night. The people who scare me are the ones who are certain of their own rightness. The ones who know how to behave, and what their neighbors need to do to be on the side of the good.

If only this could go without saying.

There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life. These are wine, women and song.

Or, sure, three other things.

There are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.
They kill themselves, you mean? said Bod.
Indeed.
Does it work? Are they happier dead?
Sometimes. Mostly, no. It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.


And surely that includes here.

You'll think this is a bit silly, but I'm a bit--well, I have a thing about birds.
What, a phobia?
Sort of.
Well, that's the common term for an irrational fear of birds.
What do they call a rational fear of birds, then?


Are there rational reasons?
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 01, 2017 10:34 pm

God

You're all unimaginably fucked.


Some up the ass, I suspect.

Anybody have any theories why I'm allowing Trump to continue? I'm curious Myself.

Uh, You're not omnipotent?

Someone should do something maybe.

On the other hand, not everyone can do anything.

I’ve been doing fake news literally since Day One.

In other words, since the day He created Himself.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool Robert Mueller.

No, but you can fire him.
Well, God willing of course.


Well I, for one, am curious to see how this all turns out.

He means the tax vote no doubt.
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 02, 2017 12:20 am

André Malraux

I've been very near death. And you can't imagine the wild elation of those moments---it's the sudden glimpse of the absurdity of life that brings it---when one meets death face to face.


You know, in a perfect world.

The day may come when, contemplating a world given back to the primeval forest, a human survivor will have no means of even guessing how much intelligence Man once imposed upon the forms of the earth, when he set up the stones of Florence in the billowing expanse of the Tuscan olive-groves. No trace will be left then of the palaces that saw Michelangelo pass by, nursing his grievances against Raphael; and nothing of the little Paris cafes where Renoir once sat beside Cezanne, Van Gogh beside Gauguin. Solitude, vicegerent of Eternity, vanquishes men's dreams no less than armies, and men have known this ever since they came into being and realized that they must die.

On the other hand, that day may not come at all. So, whatever you do, don't count on it.

No one can endure his own solitude.

Trust me: Some would not have it any other way.

If a man is not ready to risk his life, where is his dignity?

For what one might ask.

The sons of torture victims make good terrorists.

A logic all its own as it were.

One cannot create an art that speaks to me when one has nothing to say.

Really, this works much the same way here 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

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:47 pm

Terry Pratchett

It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.


Of course this can mean practically anything.

People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn't need people.

Let's find the loophole.

Juliet's version of cleanliness was next to godliness, which was to say it was erratic, past all understanding and was seldom seen.

And, nowadays, quite normal.

I don't see what's so terrific about creating people as people and then gettin' upset cos' they act like people, said Adam severely. Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.

Let's file this one under, "uh-oh".

Heaven has no taste.
And not one single sushi restaurant.


Nothing but McDonalds.

There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.

In Hollywood, for example.
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 03, 2017 12:12 am

C.G. Jung

The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interests upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty. The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.


As opposed to, say, living out your entire existence in an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum. I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; I have no judgment about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions - not about anything, really. I know only that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation or something I do not know.

Okay, okay: He says this with considerably more sophistication than I do.

Words are animals, alive with a will of their own.

Indeed, and whether writing them or reading them.

When an inner situation is not made conscious it appears outside as fate.

And lucky for you, right?

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.

He means you, Mr. Objectivist.
Or I certainly do.


Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living.

I'll share mine if you'll share yours.
You know, if you'll go first.
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 03, 2017 8:21 pm

Joseph Heller

Be thankful you’re healthy.
Be bitter you’re not going to stay that way.
Be glad you’re even alive.
Be furious you’re going to die.


Repeat as necessary.

You know, that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail.

If nothing else, you catch them off guard.

He was like a man who had grown frozen with horror once and had never come completely unthawed.

I hear that.

And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways, Yossarian continued. There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?

You wonder if this will ever be resolved.

He woke up blinking with a slight pain in his head and opened his eyes upon a world boiling in chaos in which everything was in proper order.

Come on, admit it: It might be true.

Last night in the latrine. Didn't you whisper that we couldn't punish you to that other dirty son of a bitch we don't like? What's his name?
Yossarian, sir, Lieutenant Scheisskopf said.
Yes, Yossarian. That's right. Yossarian. Yossarian? Is that his name? Yossarian? What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his finger tips. It's Yossarian's name, sir, he explained.


No, this is not just a military 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 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:15 am

Gautama Buddha

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?


Perhaps, but the worry of others may well be that you do.

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

In other words, not at all unlike the absense of doubt.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Gee, that about covers everything, doesn't it?

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

Okay, but what "on earth" does that mean?

You only lose what you cling to.

Unless, of course, you don't let them take it.

Three things cannot hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth.

If only in the either/or 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 04, 2017 6:49 pm

Robin Wasserman

The world was full of weapons, when you cared to look.


Also, when you cared to look, there were folks to use them on.

Life is both a particle and a wave, Lacey taught me, and also it's neither. But only when no one is watching. Once you measure it, it has to choose. It was the act of witnessing that turned nothing into something, collapsed possibility clouds into concrete and irrevocable truth. I'd only pretended to understand before, but I understood now: When no one was watching, I was a cloud. I was all possibilities.

Or, as often as not, when you think that no one is watching.

Popularity gives you power only over people who care about being popular. Ostracism gives you power only over those who fear being ostracized.

Not counting all the times this makes no difference.

The world was so much more forgiving of strength when it took on the appearance of weakness.

Not to mention the other way around.

They were kids. Kids don't care about totalitarianism. For my parents, Prague is picnics on Petrin Hill and homemade knedliky. It's home. They didn't notice the tanks in the backyard, the blood in the streets.

Same with the kids in Trumpworld no doubt.

That was the strange thing about translation, speaking someone else's words in a voice that somehow was and wasn't your own. You could fool yourself into believing you understood the meaning behind the words, but---as my father had explained long before I was old enough to get it---words and meaning were inseparable. Language shapes thought; I speak, therefore I think, therefore I am.

And all that this either does or does not imply.
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 04, 2017 8:08 pm

Existential Comics

I'm a man of principles, and no matter what, I never compromise on my principles.
So what are your principles?
To make as much money as possible.


And then tote it into Heaven.

Ancient philosophy: strive to towards excellence.
Analytic philosophy: strive towards clarity.
Continental philosophy: strive towards at least 800 pages.


Of aphorisms.

Here's a spicy hot take for you: the Blade Runner movies are intellectual movies made by stupid people, for stupid people.

So, did that get a rise in you?

Optimist: the glass is half full.
Pessimist: the glass is half empty.
Schopenhauer: life isn't even worth living, who gives a fuck how full the glass is?


That's more like it.

It's weird when people say philosophy is useless, and all we need is science. I'd love to see the double blind study they did to figure that one out.

Maybe, but does that really make it less true?

The worst part about life is that eventually you figure out that you aren't the protagonist of the universe. You are just some random jackass.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: If 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 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:20 am

Maurice Blanchot

The authentic answer is always the question’s vitality. It can close in around the question, but it does so in order to preserve the question by keeping it open.


Wow, is this a brilliant insight or not?

At the moment everything was being destroyed she had created that which was most difficult: she had not drawn something out of nothing (a meaningless act), but given to nothing, in its form of nothing, the form of something.

Help me to understand this.

Thought, infinitesimal thought, calm thought, pain.
Later, he asked himself how he had entered the calm. He couldn’t talk about it with himself. Only joy at feeling he was in harmony with the words: “Later, he ...”


Probably true. Though almost certainly not of me.

What if what has been said one time not only does not cease to be said but always recommences, and not only recommences but also imposes upon us the idea that nothing has ever truly begun, having from the beginning begun by beginning again.

Say something, okay? We'll think this through.

Do not forgive. Forgiveness accuses before it forgives. By accusing, by stating the injury, it makes the wrong irredeemable. It carries the blow all the way to culpability. Thus, all becomes irrepairable; giving and forgiving cease to be possible.
For nothing saves innocence.
Forgive me for forgiving you.


Forgive for refusing to.

The feeling of the uselessness of what I am doing is linked to this other feeling that nothing is more serious.

No, really, think about 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 05, 2017 6:38 pm

Simon Singh

Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it. If you speak to him of a machine for peeling a potato, he will pronounce it impossible: if you peel a potato with it before his eyes, he will declare it useless, because it will not slice a pineapple.


Next up: the American mind.

Pascal was even convinced that he could use his theories to justify a belief in God. He stated that ‘the excitement that a gambler feels when making a bet is equal to the amount he might win multiplied by the probability of winning it’.

More to the point, what is Pascal stating now?

As a society, we rightly adore our great musicians and novelists, yet we seldom hear any mention of the humble mathematician. It is clear that mathematics is not considered part of our culture. Instead, mathematics is generally feared and mathematicians are often mocked.

Anyone here know why?

NSA employs more mathematicians, buys more computer hardware, and intercepts more messages than any other organization in the world. It is the world leader when it comes to snooping.

Anyone here know why?

What is the least number of weights that can be used on a set of scales to weigh any whole number of kilograms from 1 to 40?

Me, I'm not even sure if this is a trick question.

Major General Howard Conner: “without the Navajos, the marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”

Did Trump know 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 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:19 am

John dos Passos

We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.


Thank God then for Heaven.

I never see the dawn that I don't say to myself perhaps.

Or: I never see the dusk that I don't say to myself maybe next time.

While there is a lower class I am of it, while there is a criminal class I am of it, while there is a soul in prison I am not free.

Not many still around of this frame of mind. Or is that just me?

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.

Can this be trumped?

That's a very cynical remark, said the California woman. This isn't any time to be cynical.
This is a time, said Robbins, when if we weren't cynical we'd shoot ourselves.


Of course it's always that time for some of us.

Too goddam many lawyers mixed up in this. Run the sonsobitches out. If they resists shoot ’em, that’s what I says to the Governor, but they’re all these sonsobitches a lawyers fussin’ everythin’ up all the time with warrants and habeas corpus and longwinded rigmarole. My ass to habeas corpus.

Let's face it, some things never change.
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 06, 2017 6:03 pm

Jonathan Nolan

Time is an absurdity. An abstraction. The only thing that matters is this moment. This moment a million times over. You have to trust me. If this moment is repeated enough, if you keep trying — and you have to keep trying — eventually you will come across the next item on your list.


If, for example, you are afflicted with anterograde amnesia.

You're different. You're more perfect. Time is three things for most people, but for you, for us, just one. A singularity. One moment. This moment. Like you're the center of the clock, the axis on which the hands turn. Time moves about you but never moves you. It has lost its ability to affect you. What is it they say? That time is theft? But not for you. Close your eyes and you can start all over again. Conjure up that necessary emotion, fresh as roses.

If, for example, you are afflicted with anterograde amnesia.

Everybody is waiting for the end to come, but what if it already passed us by? What if the final joke of Judgment Day was that it had already come and gone and we were none the wiser?

Well, that would explain a lot about...this place?

Believing the lie that time will heal all wounds is just a nice way of saying that time deadens us.

Then [in a way] it's not a lie.

How can you forgive if you can’t remember to forget?

I forgot.

Here's the truth: People, even regular people, are never just any one person with one set of attributes. It's not that simple. We're all at the mercy of the limbic system, clouds of electricity drifting through the brain. Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then again within those twenty-four hours. It's a daily pantomime, one man yielding control to the next: a backstage crowded with old hacks clamoring for their turn in the spotlight. Every week, every day. The angry man hands the baton over to the sulking man, and in turn to the sex addict, the introvert, the conversationalist. Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots.

Or, perhaps, one possible truth? Though, sure, point taken.
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 06, 2017 7:55 pm

tiny nietzsche

I just say things under my breath now


can you hear him?

seize the means of destruction

You know, before the Kids do.

I guess those yolo people finally died

Any still around here?

I wish I could remember the future.

Or at the very least forget it.

me: I need a sword
7-eleven: how about a slurpee?
me: okay


Another one bites the dust.

in space, no one can hear you nut

Though, sure, they can still see you.
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 07, 2017 12:21 am

B.F. Skinner

Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.


We call them Mom and Dad.

Democracy is the spawn of despotism. And like father, like son. Democracy is power and rule. It's not the will of the people, remember; it's the will of the majority.

Ouch. But point taken.

In the world at large we seldom vote for a principle or a given state of affairs. We vote for a man who pretends to believe in that principle or promises to achieve that state. We don't want a man, we want a condition of peace and plenty-- or, it may be, war and want-- but we must vote for a man.

Remember when it was only a man? And white as likely as not.

We do not choose survival as a value, it chooses us.

More or less civilized.

Promising paradise or threatening hell-fire is, we assumed, generally admitted to be unproductive. It is based upon a fundamental fraud which, when discovered, turns the individual against society and nourishes the very thing it tries to stamp out. What Jesus offered in return of loving one's enemies was heaven on earth, better known as peace of mind.

In other words, your guess is as good as mine.

But restraint is only one sort of control, and absence of restraint isn't freedom. It's not control that's lacking when one feels 'free', but the objectionable control of force.

Give or take any particular context for example.
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 07, 2017 6:59 pm

Paul Valéry

Poems are never finished - just abandoned.


In other words, not unlike most everthing else.

Politeness is organized indifference.

Well, as long as they buy it.

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.

Has that ever worked for you?

God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.

Hell, sometimes that's all there is.

Sometime I think; and sometime I am.

Let's file this one under, "meeting them half way".

Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.

Like it or not, we're all about to find out.
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 07, 2017 9:36 pm

so sad today

i'm not emotionally dead but it sounds fucking amazing


Trust me: it's not.

looking for dopamine in all the wrong places

Anyone here know all the right places?

what should my next mistake be

Is this mine?

i'm becoming who i was always meant to be but shittier

In other words, wait until this happens to you.

i wish i was more not me

Right up to the point where I'm not you.

sorry my suffering isn't as good as your suffering

Not that it ever could be.
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 08, 2017 12:24 am

Celeste Ng

You never got what you wanted; you just learned to get by without it.


Let me guess: You haven't learned that yet.

One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.

Let me guess: You haven't learned that yet.

He pushed her in. And then he pulled her out. All her life, Lydia would remember one thing. All his life, Nath would remember another.

And never the twain shall meet.

Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.

Well, believe it or not, some don't.

It’s too late. He’s already learned how not to drown.

She thought: We'll see about that.

You could stop taking their phone calls, tear up their letters, pretend they'd never existed. Start over as a new person with a new life. Just a problem of geography, he thought, with the confidence of someone who had never yet tried to free himself of family.

Me? Mine? It was a snap.
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 08, 2017 7:47 pm

Mary Roach

If you try this yourself, I recommend doing so when no one is home. Otherwise, you will run the risk of someone walking in on you and having to witness a scene that includes a mirror, the husband’s Stanley Powerlock tape measure, and the half-undressed self, squatting.


Any guesses?

Not a single one was shipped to the field. Why? Because the National Defense Research Committee had been working on a far more lasting and penetrative weapon for use against the Japanese. Seventeen days before the second and final Final Report on Who, Me? was released, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Any guesses?

I guess I believe that not everything we humans encounter in our lives can be neatly and convincingly tucked away inside the orderly cabinetry of science. Certainly most things can--including the vast majority of what people ascribe to fate, ghosts, ESP, Jupiter rising--but not all.

Starting with the profound mystery that is Existence itself.

For the more you know about how dead bodies decay—the biological and chemical phases they go through, how long each phase lasts, how the environment affects these phases—the better equipped you are to figure out when any given body died: in other words, the day and even the approximate time of day it was murdered. The police are pretty good at pinpointing approximate time of death in recently dispatched bodies. The potassium level of the gel inside the eyes is helpful during the first twenty-four hours, as is algor mortis—the cooling of a dead body; barring temperature extremes, corpses lose about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit per hour until they reach the temperature of the air around them. Rigor mortis is more variable: It starts a few hours after death, usually in the head and neck, and continues, moving on down the body, finishing up and disappearing anywhere from ten to forty-eight hours after death.

Death. Technically speaking.

The Babylonians were the original liver guys, believing the organ to be the source of human emotion and spirit. The Mesopotamians played both sides of the argument, assigning emotion to the liver and intellect to the heart. These guys clearly marched to the beat of a freethinking drummer, for they assigned a further portion of the soul (cunning) to the stomach. Similar freethinkers throughout history have included Descartes, who wrote that the soul could be found in the walnut-sized pineal gland, and the Alexandrian anatomist Strato, who decided it lived “behind the eyebrows.

So, where's your soul?

Bacteria don’t have mouths or fingers or Wolf Ranges, but they eat.

Okay, but do they have souls?
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 09, 2017 12:38 am

John Cage

nothing is accomplished by writing a piece of music
nothing is accomplished by hearing a piece of music
nothing is accomplished by playing a piece of music
our ears are now in excellent condition.


Or:
nothing is accomplished by writing this
nothing is accomplished by posting this
nothing is accomplished by reading this
our minds are now in excellent condition


I want my writing to be as clear as water I can see through so that what I experienced is told without my being in any way in the way.

Let's decide if he accomplished it.

You can feel an emotion, just don't think that it's so important.

Though [of course] you may well feel that it is.

Computer mistake in grade-giving resulted in academic failure of several brilliant students. After some years the mistake was discovered. Letter was sent to each student inviting him to resume his studies. Each replied he was getting along very well without education.

Whether true or not I want it to be.

Syntax, like government, can only be obeyed. It is
therefore of no use except when you
have something particular to command
such as: Go buy me a bunch of carrots.


I know: Why carrots?

...the important questions are answered by not liking only but disliking and accepting equally what one likes and dislikes. Otherwise there is no access to the dark night of the soul.

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 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:57 pm

August Strindberg

I am a socialist, a nihilist, a republican, anything that is anti-reactionary!... I want to turn everything upside down to see what lies beneath; I believe we are so webbed, so horribly regimented, that no spring-cleaning is possible, everything must be burned, blown to bits, and then we can start afresh...


Sure, I could live with that.

One gets more and more humble the longer one lives, and in the shadow of death many things look different.

Maybe not humble but point taken.

Speaking at last becomes a vice, like drinking. And why speak, if words do not cloak thoughts ?

Better perhaps to not think at all.

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.

Or: I loathe people who keep cats. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to scratch people themselves.

When women grow old and cease being women, they get beards on their chins; I wonder what men get when they grow old and cease to be men?

Viagra.

But unfortunately, I am a man, and there is nothing for me to do but, like a Roman, fold my arms across my breast and hold my breath till I die.

Starting 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

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:22 am

Anatole France

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.


Loved lots of them. But nothing yet.

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.

You know, whatever that means.

We have never heard the devil's side of the story, God wrote all the book.

Or so we're told.

It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.

But not you, right Mr. Objectivist?

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

Tell them that.

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.

Trust me: Ask.
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 10, 2017 7:44 pm

Neil Gaiman

That's the trouble with you young people. You think because you ain't been here long, you know everything.


Ironically in other words.

I fell for her like a suicide from a bridge.

Did she know that?

Writers are liars my dear, surely you know that by now?

And, for some, not unlike their readers.

What should I believe? thought Shadow, and the voice came back to him from somewhere deep beneath the world, in a bass rumble: Believe everything.

I know that voice. It might even be mine.

'Nevermore,' said Shadow.
Fuck You, said the Raven.


Let's call it the alternative ending.

'Nearly' only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.

That's nearly 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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