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 Aug 03, 2017 4:20 am

wrong tread
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 03, 2017 4:44 am

wrong thread
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 03, 2017 6:04 pm

Terry Pratchett

Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.


Okay, Kids, is this true?

There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.

Trust me: I'll let you know when I find Him.

It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever, he said. Have you thought of going into teaching?

Not counting philosophy professors of course.

Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It's the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.

That and the hole you put it in.

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Take death for example...

She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.

Unless of course you show them the money.
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 03, 2017 11:19 pm

George Bernard Shaw

We cut the throat of a calf and hang it up by the heels to bleed to death so that our veal cutlet may be white; we nail geese to a board and cram them with food because we like the taste of liver disease; we tear birds to pieces to decorate our women's hats; we mutilate domestic animals for no reason at all except to follow an instinctively cruel fashion; and we connive at the most abominable tortures in the hope of discovering some magical cure for our own diseases by them.


In other words, maybe we shouldn't.

Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.

But only until Don Trump drains the swamp.

I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

That is one way to look at it.

You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you have lost something.

That is one way to look at it.

I have defined the hundred percent American as ninety-nine percent an idiot.

Hell, even I wouldn't go higher than ninety-five percent.

The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation, because occupation means pre-occupation; and the pre-occupied person is neither happy nor unhappy, but simply alive and active. That is why it is necessary to happiness that one should be tired.

Tell that to the wage slaves.
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 04, 2017 6:55 pm

Joseph Heller

When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don't see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.


Let's decide if it has gotten even worse.

Well, he died. You don't get any older than that.

Or is this more complex than it sounds.

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?

Not to worry: Someday He'll tell you.

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.

Must be millions of us by now.

Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.

One example:
Destiny: the Trump campaign
Injustice, treachery or simple bad luck: the Trump administration
You know, so far.


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.

Not only that but practice makes perfect.
Well, most of 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 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:39 pm

tiny nietzsche

nihilism is just another word for nothing left to lose


You know, from the cradle to the grave. After that, his guess is as good as ours.

cnn: grand jury
msnbc: grand jury
fox: are hotdogs tacos?


cnn: impeachment
msnbc: impeachment
fox: lock her up!


baby's first conspiracy theory

5 will get you 10 it involves Don Trump.

AP: trump tells boy scouts to work on their "fuck models" badge

And then to change their name to Trump Youth.

You know who else liked political rallies after gaining power?

Surely we can pin that down.

It's not the fall that kills you, it's winter.

You know, where they have winter.
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 04, 2017 11:22 pm

Zoë Heller

Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.


You can't help but wonder if anyone has ever managed to actually reconcile the two. Or, rather, I can't.

There are certain people in whom you can detect the seeds of madness - seeds that have remained dormant only because the people in question have lived relatively comfortable, middle class lives. They function perfectly well in the world, but you can imagine, given a nasty parent, or a prolonged bout of unemployment, how their potential for craziness might have been realized.

Oh, yeah, he thought, I can imagine it.

...what is romance, but a mutual pact of delusion?

Come on, we all know there must be exceptions.

But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin.

He wondered: How many here -- just here -- dare not to go there?

Always mind the distance between your dreams and your reality.

Just don't actually try to measure it.

...elegance loses its power in the presence of the properly stupid...

Let's file this one under, "lots of things do".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:00 pm

Jasmine Warga

You know, Zellie, there are enough broken things in the world. You shouldn't go around breaking things just for the fun of it.


For some however that's just not enough.

He was fucking sad. That's it. That's the point. He knows life is never going to get any different for him. That there's no fixing him. It's always going to be the same monotonous depressing bullshit. Boring, sad, boring, sad. He just wants it to be over.

Let's file this one on, "I''m working on it."

Maybe the sadness comes just before the insanity.

Sure, but only if you're lucky.

...because never in my life have I ever been picked when there was another alternative.

That will do it. Whatever that will do.

Something inside me clicks. It's like I've spent my whole life fiddling with a complicated combination only to discover I was toying with the wrong lock.

And what if that's philosophy?

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

Have you ever even come close?
Me neither.
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 05, 2017 11:05 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.


On the other hand, let's not get carried away here.

Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.

Gee, what do you think the implications of that might be?

There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.

Isn't that why we're here? Aside of course from the Kids.

A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble.

Anyone here then my friend? :wink: :lol: :wink:
Or, sure: :lol: :wink: :lol:

Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. Twenty percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer. When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.

Let's pin down what 20% of us here do.

The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.

Could this really be possible?!!
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 06, 2017 6:47 pm

Arthur Koestler

It was quiet in the cell. Rubashov heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer.

It was a mistake in the system; perhaps it lay in the precept which until now he had held to be uncontestable, in whose name he had sacrificed others and was himself being sacrificed: in the precept, that the end justifies the means. It was this sentence which had killed the great fraternity of the Revolution and made them run amuck. What had he once written in his diary? We have thrown overboard all conventions, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic; we are sailing without ethical ballast.


I know: This will be true of all the Revolutions but yours.

The fact is: I no longer believe in my own infallibility. That is why I am lost.

Believe it or not, this will not even occur to most of us.

The 'gallows' are not only a symbol of death, but also a symbol of cruelty, terror and irreverence for life; the common denominator of primitive savagery, medieval fanaticism and modern totalitarianism.

Unless of course it is a symbol of justice. And not just for Texans.

When one contemplates the streak of insanity running through human history, it appears highly probable that homo sapiens is a biological freak, the result of some remarkable mistake in the evolutionary process. The ancient doctrine of original sin, variants of which occur independently in the mythologies of diverse cultures, could be a reflection of man's awareness of his own inadequacy, of the intuitive hunch that somewhere along the line of his ascent something has gone wrong.

If not terribly wrong.

Some of the greatest discoveries...consist mainly in the clearing away of psychological roadblocks which obstruct the approach to reality; which is why, post factum they appear so obvious.

He means ours of course, not theirs. Even if he doesn't.

The greatest temptation for the like of us is: to renounce violence, to repent, to make peace with oneself. Most revolutionaries fell before this temptation, from Spartacus to Danton and Dostoevsky; they are the classical form of betrayal of the cause. The temptations of God were always more dangerous for mankind than those of Satan. As long as chaos dominates the world, God is an anachronism; and every compromise with one’s own conscience is perfidy. When the accursed inner voice speaks to you, hold your hands over your ears….

Hey, if the shoe fits.
Right, Kids?
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 06, 2017 8:50 pm

so sad today

it's like i always say: fuck


Or, if you're Lyssa, f**k.

is being alive a meme?

Sure, but with a few genes thrown in.

just ignore the abyss: the musical!

Let's think up a soundtrack.

shhh, listen...it's the sound of everything getting stupider

I know, I know: Is that even possible?

cause of death: got out of bed

And going all the way back to the fucking womb for most of us.

sorry to hear about your positive attitude

But only when you bring it here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:18 pm

Roland Barthes

It is as if the Photograph always carries its referent with itself, both affected by the same amorous or funereal immobility, at the very heart of the moving world: they are glued together, limb by limb, like the condemned man and the corpse in certain tortures; or even like those pairs of fish (sharks, I think, according to Michelet) which navigate in convoy, as though united by an eternal coitus.


On the other hand, sometimes a photograph of a cigar is just a photograph of a cigar.

We don’t forget, but something vacant settles in us.

Maybe, but is it vacant enough?

Henceforth I would have to cosent to combine two voices: the voice of banality (to say what everyone sees and knows) and the voice of singularity (to replenish such banality with all the élan of an emotion which belonged only to myself).

Of course they never actually provide us with examples of this.

Each photograph is read as the private appearance of its referent: the age of Photography corresponds precisely to the explosion of the private into the public, or rather into the creation of a new social value, which is the publicity of the private: the private is consumes as such, publicly.

Of course they never actually provide us with examples of this.

To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished.

It's a good thing then that we're philosophers.

If I had to create a god, I would lend him a “slow understanding: a kind of drip-by-drip understanding of problems. People who understand quickly frighten me.

How about those who never understand at all. You, 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 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:01 pm

Evelyn Waugh

He had no strength for any other war than his own solitary struggle to keep alive.


It either comes down to that and you know it, or it comes down to that and you don't.

She told me later that she had made a kind of note of me in her mind, as, scanning the shelf for a particular book, one will sometimes have one's attention caught by another, take it down, glance at the title page and saying I must read that, too, when I've the time," replace it and continue the search.

Let's be optimistic shall we?

...it's a rather pleasant change when all your life you've had people looking after you, to have someone to look after yourself. Only of course it has to be someone pretty hopeless to need looking after by me.

So, anyone here need looking after?

It would be a dull world if we all thought alike.

Yeah, you know what's coming: Tell that to the objectivists!!

Have you at any time been detained in a mental home or similar institution? If so, give particulars.
I was at Scone College, Oxford, for two years,' said Paul.


Plus he posted here.

The vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again.

And that's before the part about eternal recurrence.
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 07, 2017 11:25 pm

Marjane Satrapi

Life hangs from so slender a thread. Life is but a sigh...


Not counting those times it seems to weigh a ton.

It's not disgusting, that little skin that hangs?
The foreskin? No, it's okay. I think that generally speaking, a dick isn't really photogenic.
I quite agree.


Tell that to, among others, Robert Mapplethorpe.

To each his own way of calming down.

You know, if he can.

People don't know anymore why we've had eight years of war. Why their children have died...This entire war was just a big setup to destroy both the Iranian and the Iraqi armies. The former was the most powerful in the Middle East in 1980, and the latter represented a real danger to Israel. The West sold weapons to both camps and we, we were stupid enough to enter into this cynical game...eight years of war for nothing! So now the state names streets after martyrs to flatter the families of the victims. In this way, perhaps, they'll find some meaning in all this absurdity.

Allahu Akbar!!!

Men's pride is situated in their scrotums.

That and everything else.

They found records and video-cassettes at their place, a deck of cards, a chess set. In other words, everything that's banned.

Chess? Banned?
Yep: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... bling.html
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 08, 2017 4:22 pm

Jeanette Winterson

She said she’d often wondered why she wanted to do some things and not do other things at all. Well, it was obvious with some things, but for others, there was no reason there. She’d spent a long time puzzling it out, then she thought that what you’d done in a past life you didn’t need to do again, and what you had to do in the future, you wouldn’t be ready to do now.


And it doesn't get much clearer than that.

What is it that you contain?
The Dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia. The expanding universe opening in your gut. Are your twenty-three feet of intestines loaded with stars?


Technically, that's what they tell us.

My needlework teacher suffered from a problem of vision. She recognised things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, sea and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs. Jones and talk about fishcakes. But most likely, she's do what most people do when confronted with something they don't understand. Panic.

So, is there a pill for that yet?

The only selfish life is a timid one.

Right, as though it were that simple.

Happiness was still on the other side of a glass door, but at least she could see it through the glass...

On the other hand, wouldn't that make it even worse?

Academics love to make theories about a body of work, but each book consumes the writer and is the sum of his or her world.

Obviously: Some writers more than others.
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 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Nein

It's not you. It's your ruthless critique of all that exists.


Then it is me.

Eat. Pray. Ruthlessly critique all that exists.

Not necessarily in that order. Unless, of course, it is.

A gentle reminder that, yes, you can have your revolution. And eat it, too.

Anyone here ever done that?

Worry not. Your prayers will be answered. In the order received. Expected wait time: 500 million years.

Give or take a year.

Moochiavelli. Your time has come.

And gone.

Students across the nation preparing for that quiz on Monday: How a Tweet becomes a law.

How'd you do?

Reading Infinite Jest. The new not reading Infinite Jest.

I started to. Quite a few times in fact.
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 08, 2017 6:27 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire


Indeed, imagine if he were around today.
And, no, not just here.


"Why should things be easy to understand?” Thomas Pynchon

On the other hand [obviously] why should [other] things be unnecessarily difficult to understand?
And, no, not just here.


“Art is purposiveness without purpose.” Immanuel Kant

This is trickier than it sounds.

“Life is the sum of all your choices” Albert Camus

A life in particular.

“The uncertainty of the danger belongs to the essence of terrorism.” Jurgen Habermas

In other words, anytime, anywhere, and for any reason, it could happen to you.

“All human things hang on a slender thread, the strongest fall with a sudden crash.” Ovid

Either that or are impeached.
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 08, 2017 11:23 pm

Ernest Hemingway

It's a bore, he said out loud.
What is, my dear?
Anything you do too bloody long.


Living, for example.

Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slip-over jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy's. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht, and you missed none of it with that wool jersey.

Let's decide if this is politically correct.

I was trying to learn to write, commencing with the simplest things, and one of the simplest things of all and the most fundamental is violent death.

Sometimes men, sometimes beasts.

I suppose she only wanted what she couldn't have. Well, people were that way. To hell with people. The Catholic Church had an awfully good way of handling all that. Good advice, anyways. Not to think about it. Oh, it was swell advice. Try and take it sometime. Try and take it.

Not only that but the part about Hell. This works better for some.

I wonder if he has any plans or if he is just as desperate as I am?

Some you can ask, some you can't.

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.

So, by all means, be careful not to step in mine.
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 09, 2017 5:22 pm

Leo Strauss

One cannot refute what one has not thoroughly understood.


In other words, as thoroughly as he does.
For example:


Nihilism is the rejection of the principles of civilisation as such---I said civilisation, and not: culture. For I have noticed that many nihilists are great lovers of culture, as distinguished from, and opposed to, civilisation. Besides, the term culture leaves it undetermined what the thing is which is to be cultivated (blood and soil or the mind), whereas the term civilisation designates at once the process of making man a citizen, and not a slave; an inhabitant of cities, and not a rustic; a lover of peace, and not of war; a polite being, and not a ruffian.

And who has ever undertstood nihilsim as thoroughly as he did?
On the other hand, he has been dead now for nearly 45 years.


But what is the core of the political? Men killing men on the largest scale in broad daylight and with the greatest serenity.

Or with the greatest of rationalizations.

The Jewish people and their fate are the living witness for the absence of redemption. This, one could say, is the meaning of the chosen people; the Jews are chosen to prove the absence of redemption.

Comments anyone?

All human thought, including scientific thought, rests on premises which cannot be validated by human reason and which came from historical epoch to historical epoch.

Not counting your thoughts, Mr. Objectivist.

But dogmatism—or the inclination "to identify the goal of our thinking with the point at which we have become tired of thinking"—is so natural to man that it is not likely to be a preserve of the past.

Though some become tired of thinking sooner than others.
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 09, 2017 11:21 pm

Neil Gaiman

It is a small world. You do not have to live in it particularly long to learn that for yourself. There is a theory that, in the whole world, there are only five hundred real people (the cast, as it were; all the rest of the people in the world, the theory suggests, are extras) and what is more, they all know each other. And it's true, or true as far as it goes. In reality the world is made of thousands upon thousands of groups of about five hundred people, all of whom will spend their lives bumping into each other, trying to avoid each other, and discovering each other in the same unlikely teashop in Vancouver. There is an unavoidability to this process. It's not even coincidence. It's just the way the world works, with no regard for individuals or for propriety.


There must be hundreds of theories like this one. But point taken.

Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield. And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You've Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People travelled with them.

Who thinks like this? You know, besides him.

Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.

Or [out in the real world] what we call lives.

I don't think you should ever insult people unintentionally: if you're doing it, you ought to mean it.

That and get away with it.

I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating.

Maybe, but how far behind can all women be?

What do stars do? They shine.

But even then only the ones not already dead.
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 10, 2017 4:40 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

I kept thinking how they were all names of dead people, and how names are basically the only thing dead people keep.


And a lot of good it does them.

I spent my life learning to feel less.
Every day I felt less.
Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.


Don't expect this to ever be pinned down. For example, one way or the other.

Jacob wrestled with God for the blessing. He wrestled with Esau for the blessing. He wrestled with Isaac for the blessing, with Laban for the blessing, and in each case he eventually prevailed. He wrestled because he recognized that the blessings were worth the struggle. He knew that you only get to keep what you refuse to let go of.

Jacob who? Fixed Jacob?

Cruelty prefers abstraction. Some have tried to resolved this gap by hunting or butchering an animal themselves, as if those experiences might somehow legitimize the endeavor of eating animals. This is very silly. Murdering someone would surely prove that you are capable of killing, but it woudln't be the most reasonable way to understand why you should or shouldn't do it.

Tell that to, among others, the hunters and gatherers. While they're still around.

Life is scarier than death.

Well, not counting the times it's the other way around.

Suddenly Yankel was overcome with a fear of dying, stronger than he felt when his parents passed of natural causes, stronger than when his only brother was killed in the flour mill or when his children died, stronger even than when he was a child and it first occurred to him that he must try to understand what it could mean not to be alive -- to be not in darkness, not in unfeeling -- to be not being, not to be.

Me too. And not just from watching Woody Allen movies.
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 10, 2017 11:21 pm

Terry Pratchett

It's still magic even if you know how it's done.


No, as a matter of fact, it's not.

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.

Let's debate that, Mr. Objectivist.

His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink'.

Sure, I can live with that.

This book was written using 100% recycled words.

Or groots as some call them.

If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

Mine has never even come close. You know, believe it or not.

Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?

Does he 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 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:15 pm

George Bernard Shaw

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.


Uh-oh.

If any religion had a chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam.

Instead, it turned out to be capitalism.

Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time.

On the other hand, they could be playing checkers.

Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty.

Fiction for example. And autobiographies.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

Indeed, and how hard could it be to tell them apart? Right, Mr. Objectivist?

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

Right, Kids?
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 11, 2017 11:21 pm

Joseph Heller

He was never without misery, and never without hope.


In other words, it was a normal day.

What would they do to me, he asked in confidential tones, if I refused to fly them?
We'd probably shoot you, ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen replied.
We? Yossarian cried in surprise. What do you mean, we? Since when are you on their side?
If you're going to be shot, whose side do you expect me to be on? ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen retorted.


Only nowadays it's not just a military thing.

Who's they? He wanted to know. Who, specifically, do you think is trying to murder you?
Every one of them, Yossarian told him.
Every one of whom?
Every one of whom do you think?
I haven't any idea.
Then how do you know they aren't?


Only nowadays it's not just a military thing.

There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to.

Cue, among others, Robert Mueller.

Surely there can't be so many countries worth dying for.
Anything worth living for, said Nately, 'is worth dying for.
And anything worth dying for, answered the sacrilegious old man, is certainly worth living for.


Let's call it "catch-23".

Catch-22 did not exist, he was positive of that, but it made no difference. What did matter was that everyone thought it existed, and that was much worse, for there was no object or text to ridicule or refute, to accuse, criticize, attack, amend, hate, revile, spit at, rip to shreds, trample upon or burn up.

Much like, for example, common sense.
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 12, 2017 6:14 pm

Zoë Heller

When you live alone, your furnishings, your possessions, are always confronting you with the thinness of your existence.


Mine don't. Not even close.

It's similar to the way you feel cuddling an infant or a kitten, when you want to squeeze it so hard you'd kill it...

Of course we all know that feeling. Yes, even me.

It's always a disappointing business confronting my own reflection. My body isn't bad. It's a perfectly nice, serviceable body. It's just that the external me- the study, lightly wrinkled, handbagged me- does so little credit to the stuff that's inside.

Not only that but [for most of us] it never stops getting worse.

It is always difficult, the transition from noisy refusal to humble acceptance.

If [from time to time] not actually impossible.

The number of secrets I receive is in inverse proportion to the number of secrets anyone expects me to have of my own. And this is the real source of my dismay. Being told secrets is not - never has been - a sign that I belong or that I matter. It is quite the opposite: confirmation of my irrelevance.

Any secrets you'd like to share with me?

I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.

A daily reminder you might call 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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