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 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:53 pm

Philip Plait

If a little kid ever asks you just why the sky is blue, you look him or her right in the eye and say, "It's because of quantum effects involving Rayleigh scattering combined with a lack of violet photon receptors in our retinae.”


Of course that's just common sense.

I’m tired of ignorance held up as inspiration, where vicious anti-intellectualism is considered a positive trait, and where uninformed opinion is displayed as fact.

In other words, not just in the White House.

I am using the word theory as a scientist means it: a set of ideas so well established by observations and physical models that it is essentially indistinguishable from fact. That is different from the colloquial use that means "guess." To a scientist, you can bet your life on a theory. Remember, gravity is "just a theory" too.

Let's move on then to the "theory of everything".

Science asymptotically approaches reality.

For example, all the way up to infinity.

Sure, black holes can kill us, and in a variety of interesting and gruesome ways. But, all in all, we may owe our very existence to them.

Let's find the one that may or may not have created us.

They say that even the brightest star won’t shine forever. But in fact, the brightest star would live the shortest amount of time. Feel free to extract whatever life lesson you want from that.

How about this: Sooner or latter, one way or another, we all die.
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 Apr 14, 2017 8:41 pm

Existential Comics

Humans are:
Aristotle: the animal that thinks.
Marx: the animal that works.
Kierkegaard: the animal that is sad all the time for no reason.


Pick three of them.

If I'm perfectly honest, I don't really believe that I'm going to die. It just doesn't seem like the sort of thing that would ever happen.

He said in despair.

What people were looking for:
3000 BC: food.
200 AD: glory.
800 AD: salvation.
1600 AD: freedom.
2017 AD: a place to charge your phone.


Is that post-modern enough for you?

New rule in philosophy: if you don't solve a problem in a couple thousand years, move on to something else.

Not much this doesn't cover, right?

Hope may be for fools, but cynicism is for the lazy.

Even if that were true it wouldn't apply to me. Well, unless of course it does.

Metaphysics: what exists?
Ethics: what should we do?
Epistemology: how do we know?
Existentialism: why even fucking care?


Well, perhaps because we'll have all of eternity not 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 Apr 14, 2017 11:18 pm

Thomas Aquinas

Beware the man of a single book.


The Bible comes to mind. That or Atlas Shrugged.

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

And this explains...what exactly?

The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is.

Actually, of course, it's the study of what men thought the truth was. And then every once in a while a woman.

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.

First person subjunctive as it were.

How is it they live in such harmony, the billions of stars, when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds?

Of course now we know that harmony can be anything but.

I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it.

How deep is that?
No, really, how deep is 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 Apr 15, 2017 7:18 pm

Jean Baudrillard

Democracy is the menopause of Western society, the Grand Climacteric of the body social. Fascism is its middle-aged lust.


So, Mr. Trump, where do you fit in here?

But what if God himself can be simulated, that is to say can be reduced to signs that constitute faith? Then the whole system becomes weightless, it is no longer anything but a gigantic simulacrum - not unreal, but simulacrum, that is to say never exchanged for the real, but exchanged for itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference.

God: The Simulation. Coming to a universe near you.

Whence the possibility of an ideological analysis of Disneyland...digest of the American way of life, panegyric of American values, idealized transposition of a contradictory reality. Certainly. But this masks something else and this "ideological" blanket functions as a cover for a simulation of the third order: Disneyland exists in order to hide that it is the "real" country, all of "real" America that is Disneyland (a bit like prisons are there to hide that it is the social in its entirety, in its banal omnipresence, that is carceral). Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology) but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real, and thus of saving the reality principle.

Did Walt know this?

We will live in this world, which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of capital has made of us—because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand—the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forests—the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature—only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries value—leaving a virgin, sacred space without pathways, continuous as Bataille wished it, where only the wind lifts the sand, where only the wind watches over the sand.

I know: Sounds like something that Satyr might profess.

One has never said better how much "humanism", "normality", "quality of life" were nothing but the vicissitudes of profitability.

And [obviously] not just in theory.

Power floats like money, like language, like theory.

In other words, when it's not sinking.
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 Apr 15, 2017 11:34 pm

Shirley Jackson

Fear is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns.


Not counting all the fears that aren't of course.

The gap between the poetry she wrote and the poetry she contained was, for Natalie, something unsolvable.

Or [of course]: The gap between the philosophy she wrote and the philosophy she contained was, for Natalie, something unsolvable. At least I suspect as much.

Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her.
It isn't fair, she said.
A stone hit her on the side of the head.


Lots of villages like that, aren't there?

Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.

Of course most pointless violence isn't really the point at all, is it?

Margaret stood all alone at her first witch-burning. She had on her new blue cap and her sister's shawl, and she stood by herself, waiting. She had long ago given up on finding her sister and brother-in-law in the crowd, and was now content to watch alone. She felt a very pleasant fear and a crying excitement over the burning; she had lived all her life in the country and now, staying with her sister in the city, she was being introduced to the customs of society.

Custom. The first objectivism we might call it.

He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education.

So, who does this remind you of, Satyr?
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 Apr 16, 2017 8:25 pm

Joyce Maynard

There was a way of looking at the world where practically every single thing that happened had some kind of double meaning.


Either that or no meaning at all.

It’s like life: sometimes the littlest thing turns out to be the most important.

It's mostly still the biggest thing though.

There is something about the act of studying an unclothed body, as an artist does, that allows a person to appreciate it as pure form, regardless of the kinds of traits traditionally regarded as imperfections. In a figure drawing class, an obese woman's folds of flesh take on a kind of beauty. You can look at a man's shrunken chest or legs or buttocks with tenderness. Age is not ugly, just poignant.

He thought: That'll never catch on.

Daughters, he told her as they dug. Nothing better than a good daughter.

Unless of course she's a son.

My mother didn’t believe in germs but I did. Germs are something they made up to distract people from what they should really be worried about, she said. Germs are natural. It’s the things people do you have to worry about.

Right, like they both don't have a point.

I love him, Patty said. But our dad is a loser.

Of course we haven't heard his side.
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 Apr 16, 2017 11:19 pm

Han Kang

Why, is it such a bad thing to die?


My guess: It depends on who you ask.

Is it true that human beings are fundamentally cruel? Is the experience of cruelty the only thing we share as a species? Is the dignity that we cling to nothing but self-delusion, masking from ourselves the single truth: that each one of us is capable of being reduced to an insect, a ravening beast, a lump of meat? To be degraded, slaughtered - is this the essential of humankind, one which history has confirmed as inevitable?

Why don't we just keep this our own little secret.

Time was a wave, almost cruel in its relentlessness.

On the other hand, we will -- someday -- have all of eternity not to think about it.

Or perhaps it was simply that things were happening inside her, terrible things, which no one else could even guess at, and thus it was impossible for her to engage with everyday life at the same time.

That's how it can work alright.

She's a good woman, he thought. The kind of woman whose goodness is oppressive.

Meaning yours better be hers.

She was no longer able to cope with all that her sister reminded her of. She'd been unable to forgive her for soaring alone over a boundary she herself could never bring herself to cross, unable to forgive that magnificent irresponsibility that had enabled Yeong-hye to shuck off social constraints and leave her behind, still a prisoner. And before Yeong-hye had broken those bars, she'd never even known they were there.

Wow, how many of us can say we never even knew the bars were there?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:41 pm

Stieg Larsson

It was troubling that one of the few people she trusted was a man she spent so much time avoiding.


Of course we all know how that turned out.

When this is all over I'm going to found an association called 'The Knights of the Idiotic Table' and its purpose will be to arrange an annual dinner where we tell stories about Lisbeth Salander. You're all members.

Of course we all know how that turned out.

When their love was not reciprocated, it could quickly turn to violent hatred.

Then they all end up on Dateline or 48 Hours.

Isn't it fascinating that Nazis always manage to adopt the word freedom?

Hell, everyone wraps that one around them.

As a girl, she was a legal prey, especially if she was dressed in a worn black leather jacket and had pierced eyebrows, tattoos, and zero social status.

So, among other things, she learned to push back.

Salander leaned back against the pillow and followed the conversation with a smile. She wondered why she, who had such difficulty talking about herself with people of flesh and blood, could blithely reveal her most intimate secrets to a bunch of completely unknown freaks on the Internet.

Of course we might ask ourselves the same thing. Including the ones that really ought to.
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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 Apr 17, 2017 11:47 pm

Stephen Fry

There are times when I'm doing QI and I'm going, 'Ha ha, yeah, yeah,' and inside I'm going 'I want to fucking die. I … want … to … fucking … die.'


Me too. Or, rather, me too if I ever actually do it.

I hope you forgive the unedifying sight of my struggle to express some of the truths of my inner self and to measure the distance between the mask of security, ease, confidence and assurance I wear (so easily that its features often lift into a smirk that looks like complacency and smugness) and the real condition of anxiety, self-doubt, self-disgust and fear in which much of my life then and now is lived.

If I didn't know better I'd say he got that from me.

His favourite word, one for which I have a great deal of time myself as a matter of fact, was "arse." Everyone was more or less an arse most of the time, but I was arsier than just about everyone else in the school. In fact, in my case he would often go further — I was on many occasions a bumptious arse. Before I learned what bumptious actually meant I assumed that it derived from "bum" and believed therefore with great pride that as a bumptious arse I was doubly arsey — twice the arse of ordinary arses.

Some things are just harder to pin down than others.

A true thing, poorly expressed, is a lie.

I know, he thought, let's make it a crime too.

LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to every one of these essences of existence, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry "Wow!" all the time, which is one of LSD's most distressing and least endearing side-effects.

Let's decide if this is close enough.

Religionists from pulpits and evangelical TV stations announced that this [AIDS] was all God’s punishment for the perverted vice of homosexuality, quite failing to explain why this vengeful deity had no interest in visiting plagues and agonized death upon child rapists, torturers, murderers, those who beat up old women for their pension money (or indeed those cheating, thieving, adulterous and hypocritical clerics and preachers who pop up on the news from time to time weeping their repentance), reserving this uniquely foul pestilence only for men who choose to go to bed with each other and addicts careless in the use of their syringes. What a strange divinity. Later he was to take his pleasure, as he still does, on horrifying numbers of women and very young girls raped in sub-Saharan Africa while transmitting his avenging wrath on the unborn children in their wombs. I should be interested to hear from the religious zealots why he is doing this and what kind of a kick he gets out of it.

Wow, doesn't he know yet that God works in mysterious ways?
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 Apr 18, 2017 5:09 pm

Liane Moriarty

It drove her to distraction the way women wanted to bond over self-hatred.


He wondered: What sort of distractions? And how do they differ from the ones that men deploy?

It was interesting how you could say things when you where walking that you might not otherwise have said with the pressure of eye contact across a table.

On the other hand, don't expect this to work all the time. If it ever does.

I'd be at work where people respected my opinions, said Nick. And then, I'd come home and it was like I was the village idiot.

Not countng all the times it's the other way around.

Shut up said Madeline.
I thought we didn’t say ‘shut up’ in our house.
Fuck off, then, said Madeline.


Means about the same thing, right?

You could try as hard as you could to imagine someone else's tragedy - but nothing truly hurts until it happens to you.

There's probably a good reason for that.

Bonnie is so ‘calm,’ you see. The opposite of me. She speaks in one of those soft . . . low . . . melodious voices that make you want to punch a wall.

In other words, not only when she's 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 Apr 18, 2017 5:31 pm

Sad Socrates

Maybe one day you can fail like a philosopher.


Clearly, some more than others. Though even then only scholastically.

I have waited so long to run out of ideas.

On the other hand, a lot longer than you.

Stupidity never goes out of fashion.

And that's before we get to all the places where it actually flourishes.

I want to know but I don't want to care.

Been there, done that.

Don't solve problems. Eliminate solutions.

Hmm, is this as easy [or as hard] as it sounds?

The cup is half-awful.

And half awfuller.
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 Apr 18, 2017 11:16 pm

Nikos Kazantzakis

...in order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.


Unless of course you inherit your success from Mom and Pop.

I was once more struck by the truth of the ancient saying: Man's heart is a ditch full of blood. The loved ones who have died throw themselves down on the bank of this ditch to drink the blood and so come to life again; the dearer they are to you, the more of your blood they drink.

Is that as ominous as I think it is?

I hope you don't mind my saying so, boss, but I don't think your brain is quite formed yet. How old are you?
Thirty-five.
Then it never will be.


Of course we know who is really the boss here, don't we?

Who knows, perhaps God is simply the search for God.

Uh-oh.

Never in my life had I felt so tangibly and with such astonishment that hate, by passing successively through comprehension, mercy, and sympathy, can be transformed into love.

That ever happen to anyone here?

Oh, how crafty of religion, I cried out indignantly, to transplant rewards and punishments into a future life in order to comfort cowards and the enslaved and aggrieved, enabling them to bow their necks patiently before their masters, and to endure this earthly life without groaning (the only life of which we can be sure)!

Not even counting the part where some cash in on 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 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:20 pm

Jeanette Winterson

I choose this story above all others because it's a story I'm struggling to end.


And it invariably starts on the day you were born. Though maybe not.

Where did love begin? What human being looked at another and saw in their face the forests and the sea? Was there a day, exhausted and weary, dragging home food, arms cut and scarred, that you saw yellow flowers and, not knowing what you did, picked them because I love you? In the fossil record of our existence, there is no trace of love. You cannot find it held in the earth's crust, waiting to be discovered. The long bones of our ancestors show nothing of their hearts.

For some, it's a serious question, for others, it's not.

We're here, there, not here, not there, swirling like specks of dust, claiming for ourselves the rights of the universe. Being important, being nothing, being caught in lives of our own making that we never wanted. Breaking out, trying again, wondering why the past comes with us, wondering how to talk about the past at all.

And that may well be the point of it all.

I realised something important: whatever is on the outside can be taken away at any time. Only what is inside you is safe.

Oh, yeah, sure!
[or something like that]


The key to happiness, she said, is tolerance of those who do not do as you do.
What if those who do not do as you do are gunning you down? I said.
Alaska frowned. Guns are intolerant. Guns are a failure of communication.


True, but that still doesn't answer the question.

I can't catch her by copying her, I can't draw her with a borrowed stencil. She is all the things a lover should be and quite a few a lover should not. Pin her down? She's not a butterfly. I'm not a wrestler. She's not a target. I'm not a gun. Tell you what she is? She's not Lot no. 27 and I'm not one to brag.

And then you move on to the next one. Just as they move on from 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 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:36 pm

Ernest Hemingway

It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people.


I understand this completely. If only in my own way.

Never, never tell them. Try and remember that. Never tell anyone anything ever. Never tell anyone anything again.

And then, with any luck, they'll treat you exactly the same.

What is the best early training for a writer?
An unhappy childhood.


I thought about it and then concluded, "it either explains a lot or nothing at all".

But in the meantime all the life you have or ever will have is today, tonight, tomorrow, today, tonight, tomorrow, over and over again.

And then [sometimes out of the blue] never ever again.

We have very primitive emotions. It's impossible not to be competitive. Spoils everything, though.

You know, if you're one of the losers.

Oh, now, now, now, the only now, and above all now, and there is no other now but thou now and now is thy prophet.

Until of course you run out of 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 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:53 pm

Michael Lewis

Success was individual achievement; failure was a social problem.


Of course everyone knows that.

When you’re a conservative Republican, you never think people are making money by ripping other people off, he said. His mind was now fully open to the possibility. I now realized there was an entire industry, called consumer finance, that basically existed to rip people off.

Still, lots of Democrats know about this too. Just follow the money, right Bill?.

What happens when we acknowledge the sovereignty and power of God without trusting in His goodness and faithfulness? A pitcher who saw God's power behind his extremely unlikely rise to the big leagues wondered if, at any difficulty he encountered there, God might be taking his ability away.

That's how it works all right. Just as God [if He does in fact exist] intended.

There was but one question he left unasked, and it vibrated between his lines: if gross miscalculations of a person's value could occur on a baseball field, before a live audience of thirty thousand, and a television audience of millions more, what did that say about the measurement of performance in other lines of work? If professional baseball players could be over- or under valued, who couldn't?”

Cue the part about teachers and cops and firemen.

What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions—if they can get rich making dumb decisions?

Or have cronies in Washington.

He suggested a new definition of the nerd: a person who knows his own mind well enough to mistrust it.

I prefer the original definition. There is one, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:17 pm

Alan Moore

History, unendingly revised and reinterpreted, is seen upon examination as merely a different class of fiction; becomes hazardous if viewed as having any innate truth beyond this. Still, it is a function that we must inhabit. Lacking any territory that is not subjective, we can only live upon the map. All that remains in question is whose map we choose, whether we live within the world's insistent texts or else replace them with a stronger language of our own.


Then you go out looking for the true believers.

Outside an ambulance begins to scream as if overwhelmed by the suffering it must forever carry in its belly.

In fact I hear one now.

My mind's like a dance hall fire, a crowd of terrified voices all screaming instructions at once.

And all stampeding for an exist that isn't even there.

I'm not questioning your powers of observation. I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.

And that's only the mask you can see.

And I'm thinking about the old man. He'll be pounding on the glass right about now... or maybe not now. Maybe in a while. But he'll be pounding and... will there be blood? I like to imagine so. Yes, I rather think there will be blood. Lots of blood. Blood in extraordinary quantities.

Of course the only thing that really counts is how much of it is yours.

Orwell was almost exactly wrong in a strange way. He thought the world would end with Big Brother watching us, but it ended with us watching Big Brother.

No, not that one. Unless of course it is.
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 Apr 21, 2017 8:56 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

In the end, everyone loses everyone.


And that always starts right at the very beginning.

What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit. Sick animals are more profitable...Factory farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying. We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood.

True, industries figure out lots of things like that.

It’s the tragedy of loving, you can’t love anything more than something you miss.

Well, he thought, that's one more thing I'm doing wrong.

I'm not better than anyone, and I'm not trying to convince people to live by my standards of what's right. I'm trying to convince them to live by their own.

Among other things: How utterly ridiculous. Right, Kids?

Imagine being served a plate of sushi. But this plate also holds all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. The plate might have to be five feet across.

Who actually calculates these things? You know, if it's even true.

A map such as that one is worth many hundreds, and as luck will have it, thousands of dollars. But more than this, it is a remembrance of that time before our planet was so small. When this map was made, I thought, you could live without knowing where you were not living.

Let alone which universe you were not living 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 Apr 21, 2017 11:20 pm

Haruki Murakami

Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else. I'd move to Casablanca, open a bar, and I'd meet Ingrid Bergman. Or more realistically - whether actually more realistic or not - I'd tune in on a better life, something more suited to my true self. Toward that end, I had to undergo training. I read The Greening of America, and I saw Easy Rider three times. But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place. I wasn't anywhere. I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return.


Exactly!!
But not you, right?


What the hell kind of revolution have you got just tossing out big words that working-class people can't understand?

Cue Don Trump. And [of course] Fox News.

Artists are those who can evade the verbose.

Cue these guys: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimalis ... visual_art
Unless, of course, their own approach to art is even worse.


I don't think jealousy has much of a connection with real, objective conditions. Like if you're fortunate you're not jealous, but if life hasn't blessed you, you are jealous. Jealousy doesn't work that way. It's more like a tumor secretly growing inside us that gets bigger and bigger, beyond all reason. Even if you find out it's there, there's nothing you can do to stop it.

Just out of curiosity: Anyone here jealous of me?

Everybody feels safe belonging not to the excluded minority but to the excluding majority. You think, Oh, I’m glad that’s not me. It’s basically the same in all periods in all societies. If you belong to the majority, you can avoid thinking about lots of troubling things.

Let's figure out how that is applicable here.

So once you're dead there's just nothing?
Basically...
I get so scared when I start thinking about this stuff. I can hardly breathe, and my whole body wants to shrink into a corner. It's so much easier to just believe in reincarnation.


Anyone here know how to do it? Just believe in something.
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 Apr 22, 2017 8:01 pm

Thornton Wilder

Let us at least say of religion that it means that every part of the body is infused with mind, not that the mind is overwhelmed and drowned in body. For the principal attribute of the Gods, without or within us, is mind.


Mind [like God] is in there somewhere. If not, well, the other way around.

They had been brought up to think that the domestic virtues were self-evident and universal; they had been starved of the knowledge that most attracts the young mind: that the crown of life is the exercise of choice.

Of course that's where I come in, isn't it?

Style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world.

Or, as others put it, "the masses".

Love as education is one of the great powers of the world, but it hangs in a delicate suspension; it achieves its harmony as seldom as does love by the senses. Frustrated, it creates even greater havoc, for like all love it is a madness.

Remember back when love was just never having to say that you were sorry?

There is not a single untruth, no---but after ten lines Truth shrieks, she runs distraught and disheveled through her temple's corridors; she does not know herself. 'I can endure lies,' she cries. 'I cannot survive this stifling verisimilitude'.

Or for that matter -- here for example -- even the appearance of it.

Love is its own eternity.

Not unlike hate.
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 Some Guy in History » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:08 pm

Image

I learned that it was fun to learn.
Image

A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man. Death is a distant rumor to the young. Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:21 pm

Robert Penn Warren

There was the bulge and the glitter, and there was the cold grip way down in the stomach as though somebody had laid hold of something in there, in the dark which is you, with a cold hand in a cold rubber glove. It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don't open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel there's an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little fetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what's in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know, too. But the clammy, sad little fetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn't want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing.


The dreaded telegram. So, are they actually still around?

No, the Boss corrected, I'm not a lawyer. I know some law...but I'm not a lawyer. That's why I can see what the law is like. It's like a single-bed blanket on a double bed and three folks in the bed and a cold night. There ain't ever enough blanket to cover the case, no matter how much pulling and hauling, and somebody is always going to nigh catch pneumonia. Hell, the law is like the pants you bought last year for a growing boy, but it is always this year and the seams are popped and the shankbone's to the breeze. The law is always too short and too tight for growing humankind. The best you can do is do something and then make up some law to fit and by the time that law gets on the books you would have done something different.

Let's decide if the Boss right.

You are dehydrated, I said. The result of alcohol taken in excess. But that is the only way to take it. It is the only way to do a man any good.

In other words, what we have come to call a conundrum.

And he said, 'Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.'

In other words there is always never nothing.

You don't write poems sitting at a typewriter...

Or [it would seem] on a laptop computer.

But I knew how the play would come out. This was like a dress rehearsal after the show has closed down.

You don't see that very often. Even when it happens all 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 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:20 pm

Martin Buber

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.


It starts with a D.

The atheist staring from his attic window is often nearer to God than the believer caught up in his own false image of God.

Does God know that?

I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man's life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.

In other words, let God be the one who finally fits everything together.

We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.

Okay, and if you see yourself as a Nazi?

The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda.

Or, as often as not, one becoming the other.

Everyone must come out of his Exile in his own way.

Meaning what exactly?
Go ahead, try to pin this down for 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 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:04 pm

tiny nietzsche

Why do I keep happening to me?


On the other hand, better to me than to you.
Well, to most of you.


a time traveler that minds their own fucking business

Is that even possible?

put your postmodernism on my shoulder, whisper in my ear, "irony"

Well, sure, that goes without saying.

Have scientists figured out why I'm like this?

More to the point: Have philosophers confirmed it?

"what happened to men leading lives of quiet desperation?" Sarah Nicole

How about that, Kids?

Did it hurt when you found out there is no Heaven?

Nope, back then I was invincible.
Like you, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:27 pm

Thomas Aquinas

The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.


Well put.
It is, isn't it?


There must be must be a first mover existing above all – and this we call God.

In other words, that settles it.

Man has free choice, or otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards and punishments would be in vain.

In other words, that settles it.

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.

You know, if you are to be accepted as "one of us".

It is not theft, properly speaking, to take secretly and use another's property in a case of extreme need: because that which he takes for the support of his life becomes his own property by reason of that need.

Sounds like something a Commie would say.

God is never angry for His sake, only for ours.

Let's file this one under, "Duck!"
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 Apr 24, 2017 5:58 pm

Jean Baudrillard

History that repeats itself turns to farce. Farce that repeats itself turns to history.


In other words, and now we live in Trumpworld.

Human rights, dissidence, antiracism, SOS-this, SOS-that: these are soft, easy, post coitum historicum ideologies, 'after-the-orgy' ideologies for an easy-going generation which has known neither hard ideologies nor radical philosophies. The ideology of a generation which is neo-sentimental in its politics too, which has rediscovered altruism, conviviality, international charity and the individual bleeding heart. Emotional outpourings, solidarity, cosmopolitan emotiveness, multi-media pathos: all soft values harshly condemned by the Nietzschean, Marxo-Freudian age... A new generation, that of the spoilt children of the crisis, whereas the preceding one was that of the accursed children of history.

Let's figure out what that makes us then.

Travel was once a means of being elsewhere, or of being nowhere. Today it is the only way we have of feeling that we are somewhere. At home, surrounded by information, by screens, I am no longer anywhere, but rather everywhere in the world at once, in the midst of a universal banality - a banality that is the same in every country. To arrive in a new city, or in a new language, is suddenly to find oneself here and nowhere else. The body rediscovers how to look. Delivered from images, it rediscovers the imagination.

Psychobabble. Yes or no?

This false distance is present everywhere: in spy films, in Godard, in modern advertising, which uses it continually as a cultural allusion. It is not really clear in the end whether this 'cool' smile is the smile of humour or that of commercial complicity. This is also the case with pop, and its smile ultimately encapsulates all its ambiguity: it is not the smile of critical distance, but the smile of collusion.

And now we have these: :wink:

Hell of simulation, which is no longer one of torture, but of subtle, maleficent, elusive twisting of meaning...

In other words, hell on earth. For example, here and now.

Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.

This may well be carved on his tombstone.
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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