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 d63 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:39 am

I refuse to be taken serious....
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:25 pm

Roland Barthes

I resist the world, I suffer from what it demands of me, from its demands. The world increases my sadness, my dryness, my confusion, my irritation, etc. The world depresses me.


And he did after all live in the same world that we do.

I live in my suffering and that makes me happy.
Anything that keeps me from living in my suffering is unbearable to me.


You wouldn't think so, would you?

I cannot classify the other, for the other is, precisely, Unique, the singular Image which has miraculously come to correspond to the speciality of my desire. The other is the figure of my truth, and cannot be imprisoned in any stereotype (which is the truth of others).

Trust me: "I" is in there somewhere.

What right does my present have to speak of my past? Has my present some advantage over my past? What "grace" might have enlightened me? except that of passing time, or of a good cause, encountered on my way?

On the other hand, you can't have one without the other.

The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body pursues its own ideas—for my body does not have the same ideas as I do.

Except, of course, in a wholly determined world.

Where there is meaning, there is paradigm, and where there is paradigm (opposition), there is meaning . . . elliptically put: meaning rests on conflict (the choice of one term against another), and all conflict is generative of meaning: to choose one and refuse the other is always a sacrifice made to meaning, to produce meaning, to offer it to be consumed.

Another "general description", isn't 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 Aug 22, 2017 4:27 pm

d63 wrote:I refuse to be taken serious....


Of course that's for others to decide.
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 Aug 23, 2017 12:10 am

Evelyn Waugh

I said to the doctor, who was with us daily. He's got a wonderful will to live, hasn't he?
Would you put it like that? I should say a great fear of death.
Is there a difference?
Oh dear, yes. He doesn't derive any strength from his fear, you know. It's wearing him out.


This can get tricky.

Charm is the great English blight. It does not exist outside these damp islands. It spots and kills anything it touches. It kills love; it kills art; I greatly fear, Charles, it has killed you.

Anyone here care to explain this?

No one will write books once they reach heaven, but there is an excellent library, containing all the books written up to date, including all the lost books and the ones that the authors burned when they came back from the last publisher.

Including two of my own then.

It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.

Let alone the vulgarians.

...it's a great thing in life to have a place you can't be moved from...

On the other hand, why do the Kids choose this one?

Do you want to change?
It's the only evidence of life.


Well, up to a point 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 Aug 23, 2017 5:39 pm

Mary Roach

Yes, the money could be better spent on Earth. But would it? Since when has money saved by government redlining been spent on education and cancer research? It is always squandered. Let's squander some on Mars. Let's go out and play.


In other words, fuck the starving children. Or so some argue.

The paper does not provide the exact number of penises eaten by ducks, but the author says there have been enough over the years to prompt the coining of a popular saying: 'I better get home or the ducks will have something to eat'.

Actually, googling this didn't really help.

In my experience, the most staunchly held views are based on ignorance or accepted dogma, not carefully considered accumulations of facts. The more you expose the intricacies and realtities of the situation, the less clear-cut things become.

What some of us call Kidstuff.

Many people will find this book disrespectful. There is nothing amusing about being dead, they will say. Ah, but there is.

Obviously: Some deaths more than others.

Sharing a room with a cadaver is only mildly different from being in a room alone.
They are the same sort of company as people across from you on subways or in airport lounges, there but not there. Your eyes keep going back to them, for lack of anything more interesting to look at, and then you feel bad for staring.


Nor counting necrophiliacs of course.

You do not question an author who appears on the title page as "T.V.N. Persaud, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.Path. (Lond.), F.F.Path. (R.C.P.I.), F.A.C.O.G."

Are we supposed to?
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 Aug 23, 2017 7:16 pm

Nein

My dangerously unstable leader is more dangerously unstable than your dangerously unstable leader.


We hear that a lot these days.

Fire and fury. Locked and loaded. Alliterated and obliterated.

It's good that we can be clever about it.

Remember last week? When our biggest concern was nuclear war?

Let's decide what's replaced it.

Have your Ishmael call my Ishmael.

So, how clever is this?

It was the best of end times. It was the worst of end times.

So, how clever is this?

First Rule: always historicize.
Second Rule: follow the money.
Third Rule: it is what it is.


Now all we need is a context.
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 Aug 23, 2017 11:24 pm

Jeanette Winterson

The stories we sit up late to hear are love stories. It seems that we cannot know enough about this riddle of our lives. We go back and back to the same scenes, the same words, trying to scrape out the meaning. Nothing could be more familiar than love. Nothing else eludes us so completely.


Anyone here finally solved it? Not seriously of course.

What I want does exist if I dare to find it.

Right, keep telling yourself that.

What worries me is that a load of shite has been talked about digitisation as being the new Gutenberg, but the fact is that Gutenberg led to books being put in shelves, and digitisation is taking books off shelves.

If you start taking books off shelves then you are only going to find what you are looking for, which does not help those who do not know what they are looking for.


Like me, you probably never thought of that.

To say exactly what one means, even to one's own private satisfaction, is difficult. To say exactly what one means and to involve another person is harder still. Communication between you and me relies on assumptions, associations, commonalities and a kind of agreed shorthand, which no-one could precisely define but which everyone would admit exists. That is one reason why it is an effort to have a proper conversation in a foreign language. Even if I am quite fluent, even if I understand the dictionary definitions of words and phrases, I cannot rely on a shorthand with the other party, whose habit of mind is subtly different from my own. Nevertheless, all of us know of times when we have not been able to communicate in words a deep emotion and yet we know we have been understood. This can happen in the most foreign of foreign parts and it can happen in our own homes. It would seem that for most of us, most of the time, communication depends on more than words.

Hmm. Perhaps that's our problem here. Or, rather, one of them.

In the library I felt better, words you could trust and look at until you understood them, they couldn't change halfway through a sentence like people, so it was easier to spot a lie.

Some words obviously more than others.

If everything I have become were not machine-made I might be able to take the risk of being human with you.

Clearly, the shoe either fits here or it doesn't.
If clearly is the right word.
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 Aug 24, 2017 6:17 pm

Ernest Hemingway

You know you’re writing well when you’re throwing good stuff into the wastebasket.


Actually, that has never happened to me.

Clearly I miss Him, having been brought up in religion. But now a man must be responsible to himself.

If only all the way to the grave.

Every one needs to talk to someone, the woman said. Before we had religion and other nonsense. Now for every one there should be some one to whom one can speak frankly, for all the valor that one could have one becomes very alone.

Maybe that's all we really need to explain us.

This was omitted on my new theory that you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood.

Obviously, he should have omitted this.

Something, or something awful or something wonderful was certain to happen on every day in this part of Africa.

Not many places you can say that about. Well, not counting all the places that you can.

I only like two other things; one is bad for my work and the other is over in half an hour or fifteen minutes. Sometimes less. Sometimes a good deal less.

You know, if it even happens at all.
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 Aug 24, 2017 11:19 pm

Philip Larkin

Originality is being different from oneself, not others.


Anyone here actually accomplished this?

I can't understand these chaps who go round American universities explaining how they write poems: It's like going round explaining how you sleep with your wife.

This can't possibly be true, right?

Something, like nothing, happens anywhere.

Yes, but that too shall pass.

In everyone there sleeps
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make
By loving others, but across most it sweeps,
As all they might have done had they been loved.
That nothing cures.


I have never loved. And [to the best of my knowledge] I have never been loved.
Though not much beyond that can I go.


Seriously, I think it is a grave fault in life that so much time is wasted in social matters, because it not only takes up time when you might be doing individual private things, but it prevents you storing up the psychic energy that can then be released to create art or whatever it is. It's terrible the way we scotch silence & solitude at every turn, quite suicidal. I can't see how to avoid it, without being very rich or very unpopular, & it does worry me, for time is slipping by, and nothing is done. It isn't as if anything was gained by this social frivolity, It isn't: it's just a waste.

I would like to believe that this is true.
Though not much beyond that can I go.


Uncontradicting solitude
Supports me on its giant palm;
And like a sea-anemone
Or simple snail, there cautiously
Unfolds, emerges, what I am.


I'll explain this if you want me to.
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 Aug 25, 2017 6:49 pm

Neil Gaiman

You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.


Just not when you die, right?

Normally, in anything I do, I'm fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce.

Yep, even for philosophers.

You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate... It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves...You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and...

...and, sure, all the other shit that has ever been said about it.

You know how is it when you love someone? And the hard part, the bad part, the Jerry Springer Show part is that you never stop loving someone. There's always a piece of them in your heart.

Does Springer know that?

This is a work of fiction. Still, given an infinite number of possible worlds, it must be true on one of them. And if a story set in an infinite number of possible worlds is true in one of them, then it must be true in all of them. So maybe, it's not as fictional as we think.

So, is this applicable to ILP?

I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.

You know, being optimistic.
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 Aug 25, 2017 8:26 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

A philosopher must appear to...
18: love Sartre
22: grasp Hegel
26: admire Quine
30: accept that it's fair banking pays better than philosophy


Anyone here actually in sync with this? Because I don't seem to be. At all.

Your childhood ends when you stop being paranoid that someone will read what you're writing and start praying that at least one person will.

You know, and then you become famous for it.

Aristotle: A = A
Fichte: I = I
Marx: C-M-C, M-C-M
Frege: ⊢∀x∃F[F(x)]
Russell: [p, ξ, N(ξ)]
Lacan: $<>a
Nietzsche: LOL
Beckett: LMAO


All the rest of us: ROFLMAO

In dark times put your faith in
Kant: reason
Hegel: dialectics
Schopenhauer: the certainty of doom
Nietzsche: a lockbox & throw away the key.


So, what is it today...don't forget to vote?

Philosophy is blind to its
Descartes: own premises
Kant: own premises
Hegel: own premises
Marx: own premises
Nietzsche: own non-existence


Still, there's no telling what any of them think about it now.

The human condition is shaped by
Sade: a death drive
Nietzsche: a death drive
Freud: a death drive
Žižek: a need for frequent flyer upgrades


Anyone here able to explain 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 Aug 25, 2017 11:22 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

What is suffering? I'm not sure what it is, but I know that suffering is the name we give to the origin of all the sighs, screams, and groans — small and large, crude and multifaceted — that concern us. The word defines our gaze even more than what we are looking at.


In other words, under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever is it ever morally appropriate to, among other things, consume animals. You know, coming from him.

You do not have to utter anything you do not want to utter, I told her, and she said, Then I would never utter another word again. You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do. Then I would never do anything again.

In a perfect world as it were.

As long as I am thinking, I am alive.

In other words [obviously], for better or for worse.

Brod discovered 613 sadnesses, each perfectly unique, each a singular emotion, no more similar to any other sadness than to anger, ecstasy, guilt, or frustration. Mirror Sadness. Sadness of Domesticated Birds. Sadness of Being Sad in front of One’s Parent. Humor Sadness. Sadness of Love Without Release.

Let's add a few hundred more.

Nine out of ten significant people have to do with money or war!

Like [for most of them] you can actually tell the two apart.

It hurts me when you do not want to hurt me.

It must be a sex thing, he thought.
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 Aug 26, 2017 6:59 pm

Terry Pratchett

Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.


Provided of course that this is actually true.

The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.

Especially the crowds here.

The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

And [one suspects] not just on this planet.

Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.

What then, Mr. Philosopher?

There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do.

Of course he's just paraphrasing me. Sort of.

In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.

And that's every fucking cat that has ever lived.
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 Aug 26, 2017 11:26 pm

George Bernard Shaw

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!


Actually, that's quite common.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

Actually, that's quite common.

Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

Of course no one really knows where to draw the line. Not even those who insist that they do.

The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.

Indeed, there was even a class struggle back then.

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.

Let's explain this.

England and America are two countries separated by the same language.

Let's explain 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 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:07 pm

Joseph Heller

I’m not running away from my responsibilities. I’m running to them. There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life.


Don't expect them to buy this though.

So many things were testing his faith. There was the Bible, of course, but the Bible was a book, and so were Bleak House, Treasure Island, Ethan Frome and The Last of the Mohicans. Did it then seem probable, as he had once overheard Dunbar ask, that the answers to riddles of creation would be supplied by people too ignorant to understand the mechanics of rainfall? Had Almighty God, in all His infinite wisdom, really been afraid that men six thousand years ago would succeed in building a tower to heaven?

Does anyone here know the right answer?

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.

Yes, that includes Kids too.

When I was a kid, Orr replied, I used to walk around all day with crab apples in my cheeks. One in each cheek.
A minute passed. Why? Yossarian found himself forced to ask finally.
Orr tittered triumphantly. Because they're better than horse chestnuts... When I couldn't get crab apples, Orr continued, I used horse chestnuts. Horse chestnuts are about the same size as crab apples and actually have a better shape, although the shape doesn't matter a bit.
Why did you walk around with crab apples in your cheeks? Yossarian asked again. That's what I asked.
Because they've got a better shape than horse chestnuts, Orr answered. I just told you that.
Why, swore Yossarian at him approvingly, you evil-eyed, mechanically aptituded, disaffiliated son of a bitch, did you walk around with anything in your cheeks?
I didn't, Orr said, walk around with anything in my cheeks. I walked around with crab applies in my cheeks. When I couldn't get crab apples I walked around with horse chestnuts. In my cheeks.


Sure, we have our fair share of Orrs here too.
In fact, let's actually name them.


I used to get a big kick out of saving people’s lives. Now I wonder what the hell’s the point, since they all have to die anyway.
Oh, there’s a point, all right, Dunbar assured him.
Is there? What’s the point?
The point is to keep them from dying as long as you can.
Yeah, but what’s the point, since they all have to die anyway?
The trick is not to think about that.
Never mind the trick. What the hell’s the point?
Dunbar pondered in silence for a few moments. Who the hell knows.


Truth be told, most things are like this, aren't they?

Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include tooth decay in His divine system of creation? Why in the world did He ever create pain?
Pain? Lieutenant Shiesskopf's wife pounced upon the word victoriously. Pain is a warning to us of bodily dangers.
And who created the dangers? Yossarian demanded. Why couldn't He have used a doorbell to notify us, or one of His celestial choirs? Or a system of blue-and-red neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead?
People would certainly look silly walking around with red neon tubes right in the middle of their foreheads.
They certainly look beautiful now writhing in agony, don't they?


Of course these things never do get settled.
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 Aug 27, 2017 8:39 pm

Existential Comics

Optimist: the glass is half full.
Pessimist: the glass is half empty.
Communist: the bourgeoisie robbed the noble worker of half his glass!


You know, if there are still any Communists around.

And then Jacques Derrida was like, "everything is just opinions and stuff", which created Postmodernism and destroyed society as we know it.

All that meme shit, right Satyr?

Freedom is:
Hume: acting according to the will.
Mill: the lack of constraints.
Kant: always following all the rules, surprisingly enough.


No, really, what is freedom?

Imagine a world where millions paid to watch the greatest intellectuals in a mental boxing match: rational debate.

In other words, Mr. Objectivist knocked out in the first round. A TKO probably.

Things that keep the existential dread at bay:
1. Love
2. Art
3. Friendship
4. Passionately arguing over the most pointless shit imaginable


And [admittedly] not just the Kids.

Epistemology in:
Germany: the thing-in-itself is unknowable
France: knowledge is socially constructed
America: the customer is always right


And even when he's wrong he can always be pardoned.
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 Aug 27, 2017 11:18 pm

Sarah Waters

I barely knew I had skin before I met you.


I wonder [of course] if anyone had ever thought that of me.

And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.

It never really works like that, does it?

Why is it we can never love the people we ought to?

And who the hell might they be, he thought.

Respect your characters, even the ­minor ones. In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story; it is worth thinking about what your minor characters' stories are, even though they may intersect only slightly with your protagonist's.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone do that here?

Some things are so frightful that a bit of madness is the only sane response. You know that, don’t you?

Oh, yeah. But it's always easier said than done. Or almost always.

Even ashes are a part of your freedom.

Not that you will know it at the time.
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 Aug 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Jasmine Warga

We're suicidal, not innumerate.


But, sure, it's possible to be both.

You’re like a gray sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.

For some though, gray is our favorite color.

Don’t you ever think about that? What if this isn’t the end and we just go on to a place even worse than this one?

I'll let you know if I do. You do the same, okay?

But just because it's cowardly doesn't guarantee it's going to be easy.

The part that is often overlooked.

Guidance counselors always love to say, 'Just think positively,' but that's impossible when you have this thing inside of you, strangling every ounce of happiness you can muster.

Like the faithful here telling you to "just believe". That way if you don't it's always your own damn fault.

I've been thinking a lot about the energy of the universe. And if energy can't ever be created or destroyed, only transferred, what do you think happens to people's energy once they die?

It goes into one of the other universes.
Maybe.
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 Aug 28, 2017 11:10 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

Character isn't what we think it is or, rather, what we want it to be. It isn't a stable, easily identifiable set of closely related traits, and it only seems that way because of a glitch in the way our brains are organized. Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.


Sounds [more or less] like an existential contraption to me.

You can’t concentrate on doing anything if you are thinking, “What’s gonna happen if it doesn’t go right?”

On the other hand, sometimes that is more or less beyond our control.

Our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way. I think that approach is a mistake, and if we are to learn to improve the quality of the decisions we make, we need to accept the mysterious nature of our snap judgements. We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that — sometimes — we’re better off that way.

I'll accept yours half way if you'll accept mine.

Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push—in just the right place—it can be tipped.

If not out and out toppled.

When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters—first and foremost—how they behave.

That and who they can pardon.

I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that's your responsibility as a person, as a human being – to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don't contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you're not thinking.

The sheer gall of suggesting that. Right, Mr. Objectivist?
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 Aug 29, 2017 4:31 pm

André Gide

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.


Depending on their options of course. And yours.

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
But point taken.


The color of truth is grey.

Dark grey as likely as not.

Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.

This sounds like it either may or may not be true. Anyone here care to cite an example.

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

Let's see if we can all agree that's a perfect description of Don Trump.

Everything's already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.

Oh, yeah, that'll work.
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 Aug 29, 2017 11:21 pm

Roland Barthes

Today, information: pulverized, nonhierarchized, dealing with everything: nothing is protected from information and at the same time nothing is open to reflection -> Encyclopedias are impossible -> I would say: the more information grows, the more knowledge retreats and therefore the more decision is partial (terroristic, dogmatic) -> “I don’t know,” “I refuse to judge”: as scandalous as an agrammatical sentence: doesn’t belong to the language of the discourse. Variations on the “I don’t know.” The obligation to “be interested” in everything that is imposed on you by the world: prohibition of noninterest, even if provisional . . . .


This may well be the mother of all "general assessments". In fact, I dare someone to explain it.

It is my desire I desire, and the loved being is no more than its tool.

True more often than not. But it's probably best to just keep it to yourself.

It must always be considered as though spoken by a character in a novel.

And a postmodern novel as likely as not.

There is no sadness and no cruelty in that gaze; it is a gaze without adjectives, it is only, completely, a gaze which neither judges you nor appeals to you; it posits you, implicates you; makes you exist. But this creative gesture is endless; you keep on being born, you are sustained, carried to the end of a movement which is one of infinite origin, source, and which appears in an eternal state of suspension.

Which character in which novel does this remind you of?

I pass lightly through the reactionary darkness.

Or, sure, the revolutionay darkness.

There is nothing in discourse that is not to be found in a sentence.

Just not in the sentences that we write.
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 Aug 30, 2017 6:02 pm

Evelyn Waugh

Never get mixed up in a Welsh wrangle. It doesn't end in blows like an Irish one, but goes on forever.


Just out of curiosity, why is this important to know? Oh, and is it actually true?

Oh, why did nobody warn me? cried Grimes in agony. I should have been told. They should have told me in so many words. They should have warned me about Flossie, not about the fires of hell. I've risked them, and I don't mind risking them again, but they should have told me about marriage. They should have told me that at the end of that gay journey and flower-strewn path were the hideous lights of home and the voices of children.

Obviously: You've either been there or you haven't.

I haven't been to sleep for over a year. That's why I go to bed early. One needs more rest if one doesn't sleep.

Trust me, for some, this is not in the least bit funny.

Comparisons are odious.

Compared to what?

I read the newspapers with lively interest. It is seldom that they are absolutely, point-blank wrong. That is the popular belief, but those who are in the know can usually discern an embryo of truth, a little grit of fact, like the core of a pearl, round which have been deposited the delicate layers of ornament.

I wonder if it is still that way today.

Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic.

Personally, I don't see it catching on.
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 Aug 30, 2017 8:19 pm

The Dead Author

Libertarian: someone who is too young to work.
Conservative: someone who is too old to work.
Neoliberal: someone who is too rich to work.


On the other hand, there can never be too many stereotypes.

Everybody is interested but nobody cares.

Not much [these days] that isn't applicable to.

Žižek, 2016: Trump will cause revolution in America.
Reality, 2017: Americans miss George W. Bush.


No, really.

What is fascism?
Freud: Death.
Benjamin: Art.
Arendt: Total.
Trotsky: Capitalist.
Hayek: Socialist.
Adorno: Heidegger.
Orwell: Unclear.


Surely, this can be trumped.

Someone drove his Dodge into group of people and Trump's response was to praise himself for bringing manufacturing back to America.

Yeah, it might be true.

Schrödinger's Nazi: claiming that they're laughable basement-dwelling losers while maintaining that they're a threat to public safety.

Or close enough?
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 Aug 30, 2017 11:23 pm

Mary Roach

One young woman's tribute describes unwrapping her cadaver's hands and being brought up short by the realization that the nails were painted pink. "The pictures in the anatomy atlas did not show nail polish", she wrote. "Did you choose the color? Did you think that I would see it? I wanted to tell you about the inside of your hands. I want you to know you are always there when I see patients. When I palpate an abdomen, yours are the organs I imagine. When I listen to a heart, I recall holding your heart".


Let's file this one under, "if you say so".

Sexual desire is a state not unlike hunger.

In other words, lots and lots of taboos.

The point is that no matter what you choose to do with your body when you die, it won't, ultimately, be very appealing. If you are inclined to donate yourself to science, you should not let images of dissection or dismemberment put you off. They are no more or less gruesome, in my opinion, than ordinary decay or the sewing shut of your jaws via your nostrils for a funeral viewing.

Thank God then for Immortality and Salvation.

I began thinking about my skeleton, this solid, beautiful thing inside me that I would never see.

Give or take the occasional compound fracture.

I am very much out of my element here. There are moments, listening to the conversations going on around me, when I feel I am going to lose my mind. Earlier today, I heard someone say the words, "I felt at one with the divine source of creation."

Not unlike the things that folks say here. And, yes, they too expect to be taken seriously.

In the words of the late Francis Crick...You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.

Including [one would assume] her writing it and you and I reading 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 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:11 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Atlas said, Must my future be so heavy?
Hera said, That is your present, Atlas. Your future hardens every day, but it is not fixed.
How can I escape my fate?
You must choose your destiny.


Either that or shrug.

Something as straightforward as a difference could lead to something as complex as a breakdown.

In other words, a normal day at the Oval Office.

Bigger questions, questions with more than one answer, questions without an answer are the hardest to cope with in silence. Once asked they do not evaporate and leave the mind to its serener musings. Once asked they gain dimension and texture, trip you on the stairs, wake you at night-time. A black hole sucks up its surroundings and even light never escapes. Better then to ask no questions? Better then to be a contented pig than an unhappy Socrates?

Obviously, yes. Clearly, no. Though, quite possibly, maybe.

Creative work bridges time because the energy of art is not time-bound. If it were we should have no interest in the art of the past, except as history or documentary. But our interest in art is our interest in ourselves both now and always. Here and forever. There is a sense of the human spirit as always existing. This makes our death bearable. Life + art is a boisterous communion/communication with the dead. It is a boxing match with time.

Otherwise summed up as "human-all-too-human" art.

It's the clichés that cause the trouble.

For example, "Don't forget to vote!"

Human beings often display emotions they do not feel. And they often feel emotions they do not display.

In other words, on purpose.
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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