a thread for mundane ironists

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:24 pm

Han Kang

When a person undergoes such a drastic transformation, there's simply nothing anyone else can do but sit back and let them get on with it.


That or not let them.

Conscience, the most terrifying thing in the world.

Fortunately [or unfortunately] I have lost mine.

I still remember the moment when my gaze fell upon the mutilated face of a young woman, her features slashed through with a bayonet. Soundlessly, and without fuss, some tender thing deep inside me broke. Something that, until then, I hadn't realised was there.

How about you? Do you realize it's there?

This was the body of a beautiful young woman, conventionally an object of desire, and yet it was a body from which all desire had been eliminated. But this was nothing so crass as carnal desire, not for her—rather, or so it seemed, what she had renounced was the very life that her body represented.

On the other hand, how will others see her? No getting around that, is there?

Yells and howls, threaded together layer upon layer, are enmeshed to form that lump. Because of meat. I ate too much meat. The lives of the animals I ate have all lodged there. Blood and flesh, all those butchered bodies are scattered in every nook and cranny, and though the physical remnants were excreted, their lives still stick stubbornly to my insides.

Really, what if that was actually true.

Perhaps the only things he truly loved were his images—those he’d filmed, or then again, perhaps only those he had yet to film.

We can start of course by asking him.
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 25, 2017 6:57 pm

Stieg Larsson

When I find the motherfucker who tortured an innocent cat to death just to send us a warning, I'm going to clobber him with a baseball bat.


I hear that.

Salander was afraid of no-one and nothing. She realized that she lacked the necessary imagination - and that was evidence enough that there was something wrong with her brain.

Of course it's easier to be fearless when it's all being scripted. Or harder.

An introverted person obviously affected by her past. Lived alone, had no sex life, had difficulty getting close to people. Kept her distance, and when she let loose there was no restraint. She chose a stranger for a lover.

Cue eharmony.
Or not maybe.


There's always someone willing to believe malicious rumours.

More to the point there's always someone willing to make them up. And even more to spread them.

It did no good to cry, she had learned that early on.

Or, for that matter, to laugh.

Salander in love. What a fucking joke.

Maybe, but I'd be the punch line.
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 25, 2017 11:24 pm

Stephen Fry

It is simply a question of fulfilment. You feel perfectly alive and magnificently perfected by the knowledge that you are doing what you were put on earth to do.


No, really, some do have actual thoughts like this.

The object of love should feel honoured or flattered, responsible in some way. Instead he felt insulted, degraded and revolted. More than that, he felt put upon.

Love coming, love going.

...he and his kind having been almost entirely eclipsed by the Parisian post-structuralists and their caravanserai of prolix and impenetrable evangels and dogmatically zealous acolytes.

I'd like to think that I am his kind. Though, sure, you may well not agree.

I know that money, power, prestige and fame do not bring happiness. If history teaches us anything it teaches us that. You know it. Everybody agrees this to be a manifest truth so self-evident as to need to repetition. What is strange to me is that, despite the fact that the world knows this, it does not want to know it and it chooses almost always to behave as if it were not true. It does not suit the world to hear that people who are leading the high life, an enviable life, a privileged life are as miserable most days as anybody else, despite the fact that it must be obvious they would be - given that we are all agreed that money and fame do not bring happiness. Instead the world would prefer to enjoy the idea, against what it knows to be true, that wealth and fame do in fact insulate and protect against misery and it would rather we shut up if we are planning to indicate otherwise.

Of course it may well depend on, among the things, the individual.

It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.

That's the part where clichés [some of them] segue into irony.

The desire to be famous is infantile, and humanity has never lived in an age when infantilism was more sanctioned and encouraged than now.

Indeed, it's now even possible it will only get worse.
Of course some of us are only really famous 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 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:18 pm

Liane Moriarty

She found it soothing to get caught up in a brightly colored, plastic world where all that mattered was how much you ate and exercised, where pain and anguish were suffered over no greater tragedy than push-ups, where people spoke intensely about calories and sobbed joyfully over lost kilos. And then they all lived happily, skinnily ever after.


Actually, they gain it all back and then some. And then try to live happily ever after.

Why did they all have to tread so very delicately around Celeste's money? It was like wealth was an embarrassing medical condition. It was the same with Celeste's beauty. Strangers gave Celeste the same furtive looks they gave to people with missing limbs, and if Madeline ever mentioned Celeste's looks, Celeste responded with something like shame. "Shhh," she'd say, looking around fearfully in case someone overheard. Everyone wanted to be rich and beautiful, but the truly rich and beautiful had to pretend they were just the same as everyone else. Oh, it was a funny old world.

Of course that has absolutely nothing to do with folks like us, does it?

They both went to opposite sides of the bed, snapped on their bedside lamps and pulled back the cover in a smooth, practiced, synchronized move that proved, depending on Madeline's mood, that they either had the perfect marriage or that they were stuck in a middle-class suburban rut and they needed to sell the house and go traveling around India.

Ah, the "Lost In America" syndrome.

Did one act define who you were forever? Did one evil act as a teenager counteract twenty years of marriage, of good marriage, twenty years of being a good husband and a good father? Murder and you are a murderer.

He thought: Well, first they have to find out.
No, seriously.


Life would go back to being unendurable, except – and this was the worst part – she would in fact endure it, it wouldn’t kill her, she’d keep on living day after day after day...

Also, night after night after night...

It occurred to her that there were so many levels of evil in the world. Small evils like her own malicious words. Like not inviting a child to a party. Bigger evils like walking out on your wife and newborn baby or sleeping with your child's nanny. And then there was the sort of evil which Madeline had no experience: cruelty in hotel rooms and violence in suburban homes and little girls sold like merchandise, shattering innocent hearts.

And then there's all the stuff that you see on the news.
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 26, 2017 7:12 pm

so sad today

what i lack in self-esteem i make up for in self-obsession


Yes, there is a difference. Though not for everyone.

when people are nice to me i feel guilty: a love story

My advice: Don't try that on me.

a beautiful day to hide in my room

More to the point: my recliner.

mental illness police: you have depression stop laughing

Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't.

trust the universe (to eventually kill you)

With absolutely no regret. Probably.

what should I wear to never leaving my room?

Nothing at all always works for me.
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 26, 2017 11:27 pm

Nikos Kazantzakis

The great difference between us is this: you believe you have found salvation, and believing this, you are saved; I believe that salvation doesn’t exist, and believing this, I am saved.


He thought: What am I missing here?
[he being me]


We have but a single moment at our disposal. Let us transform that moment into eternity. No other form of immortality exists.

Let's file this one under, "sounds good, doesn't it?"

You know all about love, but that is not enough. You must also learn that hate comes from God as well, that it too is in the Lord's service. And in times like these, with the world fallen to the state it has, hate serves God more than love.

And not just the terrorists.
For example, if that's actually true.


Confucius says: 'Many seek happiness higher than man; others beneath him. But happiness is the same height as man.' That is true. So there must be a happiness to suit every man's stature.

If that means what I think it does feel free to, among other things, disregard it.

But then I was young, and to be young means to undertake to demolish the world and to have the gall to wish to erect a new and better one in its place.

Is there really any chance that this is not true?

The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone, together with the longing for reconciliation. Most often this struggle is unconscious and short-lived. A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long. It grows heavy, becomes flesh itself, and the contest ends. But among responsible men, men who keep their eyes riveted day and night upon the Supreme Duty, the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death.

Let's just say that I am holding my own with Him. Even pinned Him to the mat once or twice.
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 27, 2017 6:46 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Like all familiar objects, it had become invisible.


Not counting all those familiar objects that [unfortunately] don't.

What a strange world it is where you can have as much sex as you like but love is taboo. I'm talking about the real thing, the grand passion, which may not allow affection or convenience or happiness. The truth is that love smashes into your life like an ice floe, and even if your heart is built like the Titanic you go down. That's the size of it, the immensity of it. It's not proper, it's not clean, it's not containable.

So, is this the final truth about love?

You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?

I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you?

Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours.

The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.


Unlike most of us, he filed this one under, "yada, yada, yada".

I dream of flight, not to be as the angels are, but to rise above the smallness of it all. The smallnesss that I am. Against the daily death the iconography of wings.

On the other hand, small down here, small up there? But point taken.

I have set off and found that there is no end to even the simplest journey of the mind. I begin, and straight away a hundred alternative routes present themselves. I choose one, no sooner begin, than a hundred more appear. Every time I try to narrow down my intent I expand it, and yet those straits and canals still lead me to the open sea, and then I realize how vast it all is, this matter of the mind. I am confounded by the shining water and the size of the world.

How true. Though some of us can't help but to rub it in.

Life has never been All or Nothing---it's All and Nothing.

Mostly though it's all the shit in between.
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 27, 2017 8:04 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.” Aeschylus


Or sometimes [in this world] to actually be foolish.

“I shall seize fate by the throat.” Ludwig van Beethoven

Let's decide if this is actually possible.
For example, of our own volition.


“We have in fact only two certainties in this world -- that we are not everything and that we will die.” Georges Bataille

And then, after we die, that we are not nothing?

"You perhaps now know that desire reduces us to pulp.” Georges Bataille

You know, for starters.

"Everything you can imagine is real.” Pablo Picasso

Or, rather, as real as you need it to be.

“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football.” Albert Camus

Not our football obviously.
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 27, 2017 11:02 pm

Ernest Hemingway

I did not say anything. I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and had read them on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stock yards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it.


Words: Can't live with them, can't live without them.

By "guts" I mean, grace under pressure.

I know: Let's decide what it really means.

I'd like to destroy you a few times in bed.

Although [obviously] that can be taken in different ways.

There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

You know, in a fair fight.
Or, sure, maybe not.


Have faith in the Yankees my son. Think of the great DiMaggio.

From [of all things] The Old Man And The Sea.

You never kill anyone you want to kill in a war, he said to himself.

In my war that was called "fragging".
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 28, 2017 7:49 pm

Michael Lewis

The Piranha didn’t talk like a person. He said things like “If you fuckin’ buy this bond in a fuckin’ trade, you’re fuckin’ fucked.” And “If you don’t pay fuckin’ attention to the fuckin’ two-year, you get your fuckin’ face ripped off.” Noun, verb, adjective: fucker, fuck, fucking. No part of speech was spared. His world was filled with copulating inanimate objects and people getting their faces ripped off.


No, not the fucking fish.

What baseball managers did do, on occasion, beginning in the early 1980s, was hire some guy who knew how to switch on the computer. But they did this less with honest curiosity than in the spirit of a beleaguered visitor to Morocco hiring a tour guide: pay off one so that the seventy-five others will stop trying to trade you their camels for your wife. Which one you pay off is largely irrelevant.

Of course it goes without saying: Not just baseball.

The author refers to a player's affected nonchalance and comments he is, "too young to realize you are what you pretend to be".

Which then begs the question: Are you too young here, Kids?

What Gutfreund said has become a legend at Salomon Brothers and a visceral part of its corporate identity. He said: “One hand, one million dollars, no tears".

Or, in short, "fuck 'em".

It is the nature of being the general manager of a baseball team that you have to remain on familiar terms with people you are continually trying to screw.

Not unlike the general managers in all the other fields.

A credit default swap was confusing mainly because it wasn’t really a swap at all. It was an insurance policy, typically on a corporate bond, with semiannual premium payments and a fixed term. For instance, you might pay $200,000 a year to buy a ten-year credit default swap on $100 million in General Electric bonds. The most you could lose was $2 million: $200,000 a year for ten years. The most you could make was $100 million, if General Electric defaulted on its debt any time in the next ten years and bondholders recovered nothing. It was a zero-sum bet: If you made $100 million, the guy who had sold you the credit default swap lost $100 million. It was also an asymmetric bet, like laying down money on a number in roulette. The most you could lose were the chips you put on the table; but if your number came up you made thirty, forty, even fifty times your money.

He thought: Indeed, that's always been my own experience. Or would have been if it could have been.
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 28, 2017 11:38 pm

Alan Moore

...But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.


But only the parts between birth and death.

You asked for Knowledge, Evey, and that is what I shall pass on to you. Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.
Oh, V, come on. You've always kept thinks mysterious: yourself, this place, your plans...If knowledge is like air, you've been suffocating me.
Not at all. I've been teaching you to breathe.


In other words, to breathe [think] like he does. Another fucking objectivist as it were.

Let me show you the firmness of my belief.

Lots of way to take that, right?

He plans to use every low-down technique he knows to loosen up the suspect, everything from good cop/bad cop to a four-pound bag of oranges that damage the internal organs but don’t leave a mark upon the skin. Or, failing that, he’ll Google him.

Or log on to Facebook.
Plus all that other stuff of course.


The Shakers also have one golden rule – back to William Morris: Do not make that which is not useful. And so it was their interpretation that all useful things should also be beautiful.

Not counting philosophy of course. Or, rather, serious philosophy.

Labor at your work until people cannot imagine what you have designed existing any other way.

So, how am I doing so far?
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 29, 2017 6:59 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

You only get to keep what you refuse to let go of.


Not counting, among other things, life itself.

It is said that the Messiah will come at the end of the world.
But it was not the end of the world, Grandfather said.
It was. He just did not come.
Why did he not come?
This was the lesson we learned from everything that happened - there is no God. It took all of the hidden faces for Him to prove this to us.
What if it was a challenge of your faith? I said.
I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.
What if it was not in his power?
I could not believe in a God that could not stop what happened.
What if it was man and not God that did all of this?I do not believe in man, either.


Let's file this one under, "and then it's 'what ifs' all the way down".

I know a lot about birds and bees, but I don't know very much about the birds and the bees. Everything I do know I had to teach myself on the Internet, because I don't have anyone to ask. For example, I know that you give someone a blowjob by putting your penis in their mouth.

Unless, of course, it's the other way around. And not just on the internet.

Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don't mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.

We all think this way of course. Even those who don't.

I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.

There's a lesson here. Let's figure it out.

I flipped back through the pad of paper while I thought about what Stephen Hawking would do next.

Of course there's not much that he can do these days. But he gets by.
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 29, 2017 11:30 pm

Haruki Murakami

No matter how long you stand there examining yourself naked before a mirror, you'll never see reflected what's inside.


One possible solution: ignore all that.
For some anyway.


Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life and it’d lose even its imperfection.

Anyone here actually try that?

Does G get angry because it follows F in the alphabet? Does page 68 in a book start a revolution because it follows 67?

Let's file this under, among other things, "who gives a fuck?"
But, sure, point taken.


Once she was out of the car and gone, my world was suddenly hollow and meaningless.

Or: Once she was in the car and with me, my world was suddenly hollow and meaningless. Just not as often.

The whole terrible fight occurred in the area of imagination. That is the precise location of our battlefield. It is there, that we experience our victories and defeats.

Is it just me, or is that pathetic?

I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all.

Not only that but he doesn't go out of his way to keep them either.
Or is that just me?
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 30, 2017 7:05 pm

Sophocles

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.


Perhaps, but only if it's true.

One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Not counting all the days you just wake up knowing that it isn't.

There's nothing in the world so demoralizing as money.

We've certainly learned that lesson, haven't we?

I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect.

Tell that to your brain.

Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day.

I've tried that. It doesn't work.

You can kill a man but you can't kill a idea.

Really? Take it to Room 101.
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 30, 2017 10:58 pm

Martin Buber

We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.


Or, for that matter, hate powerfully.

Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said "In the coming world, they will not ask me: 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask me: 'Why were you not Zusya?'"

So, anyone here know what they did ask him?

There are three principles in a man's being and life: The principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say.

Generally speaking as it were.

When I confront a human being as my Thou and speak the basic word I-Thou to him, then he is no thing among things nor does he consist of things. He is no longer He or She, a dot in the world grid of space and time, nor a condition to be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. Neighborless and seamless, he is Thou and fills the firmament. Not as if there were nothing but he; but everything else lives in his light.

He thought: I still don't get it.

Solitude is the place of purification.

Maybe, but it's also the place of other things.

Every person born into the world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique....If there had been someone like her in the world, there would have been no need for her to be born.

True, but we're still just one of billions.
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 May 01, 2017 6:30 pm

Thomas Aquinas

It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.


Imagine someone still believing that now. Though sure there must be millions of them.

Nothing which implies contradiction falls under the omnipotence of God.

A = A. Just as Ayn Rand [a champion of Aquinas] assured us.

Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need.

Let's run this by Leonard Peikoff and the ARI.

While injustice is the worst of sins, despair is the most dangerous; because when you are in despair you care neither about yourself nor about others.

Does God know that?

...our manner of knowing is so weak that no philosopher could perfectly investigate the nature of even one little fly.

Does God know that?

By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.

You can't help but wonder how that might be applicable in Heaven.
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 May 01, 2017 11:47 pm

Jean Baudrillard

It is a world completely rotten with wealth, power, senility, indifference, puritanism and mental hygiene, poverty and waste, technological futility and aimless violence, and yet I cannot help but feel it has about it something of the dawning of the universe. Perhaps because the entire world continues to dream of New York, even as New York dominates and exploits it.


You know, in conjunction with Washington. The capital not the state.

And so art is everywhere, since artifice is at the very heart of reality. And so art is dead, not only because its critical transcendence is gone, but because reality itself, entirely impregnated by an aesthetic which is inseparable from its own structure, has been confused with its own image. Reality no longer has the time to take on the appearance of reality. It no longer even surpasses fiction: it captures every dream even before it takes on the appearance of a dream.

So, don't forget to vote!
And to paint!


I am a terrorist and nihilist in theory as the others are with their weapons. Theoretical violence, not truth, is the only resource left us.

In other words, what's left of the class struggle.

We need a visible past, a visible continuum, a visible myth of origin to reassure us as to our ends, since ultimately we have never believed in them.

Trust me: It's an intellectual thing.

One of life's primal situations; the game of hide and seek. Oh, the delicious thrill of hiding while the others come looking for you, the delicious terror of being discovered, but what panic when, after a long search, the others abandon you! You mustn't hide too well. You mustn't be too good at the game. The player must never be bigger than the game itself.

So, does this include philosophers more or less than it excludes everyone else?

Every set of phenomena, whether cultural totality or sequence of events, has to be fragmented, disjointed, so that it can be sent down the circuits; every kind of language has to be resolved into a binary formulation so that it can circulate not, any longer, in our memories, but in the luminous, electronic memory of the computers. No human language can withstand the speed of light. No event can withstand being beamed across the whole planet. No meaning can withstand acceleration. No history can withstand the centrifugation of facts or their being short-circuited in real time.

What this lacks in perspicuity it more than makes up for in pedantry.
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 May 02, 2017 7:11 pm

Sarah Ruhl

A wedding is for daughters and fathers. The mothers all dress up, trying to look like young women. But a wedding is for a father and daughter. They stop being married to each other on that day.


Is that true, Ivanka? :wink:

Orpheus never liked words. He had his music. He would get a funny look on his face and I would say what are you thinking about and he would always be thinking about music.

If we were in a restaurant sometimes Orpheus would look sullen and wouldn't talk to me and I thought people felt sorry for me. I should have realized that women envied me. Their husbands talked too much.

But I wanted to talk to him about my notions. I was working on a new philosophical system. It involved hats.

This is what it is to love an artist: The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head there is always something more beautiful.

Orpheus said the mind is a slide ruler. It can fit around anything. Show me your body, he said. It only means one thing.


Let's all weep for their future together.

I always thought there would be more interesting people at my wedding.

Well, there's always your funeral.

I found that life intruding on writing was, in fact, life. And that, tempting as it may be for a writer who is a parent, one must not think of life as an intrusion. At the end of the day, writing has very little to do with writing, and much to do with life. And life, by definition, is not an intrusion.

Sounds clever enough, sure, but, come on, is it really true?

I think a person has to believe in something, or search out some kind of faith;
otherwise life is empty, nothing. How can you live not knowing why the cranes fly, why children are born, why there are stars in the sky...Either you know why you live, or it's all small, unnecessary bits.


What she means of course is small and essentially meaningless bits.

There were times when it felt as though my children were annihilating me (truly you have not lived until you have changed one baby’s diaper while another baby quietly vomits on your shin) and finally I came to the thought: all right, then, annihilate me, that other self was a fiction anyhow.

He pondered: thank god I only had one?
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 May 02, 2017 11:19 pm

Stieg Larsson

Wennerström was devoting himself to fraud that was so extensive it was no longer merely criminal–--it was business.


More to the point, business as usual.

You walk around feeling like a teenager and immortal your whole life, and suddenly there isn't much time left.

Not only that but it may or may not happen in the blink of an eye.

From a purely physical standpoint she didn't have a chance, but her attitude was that death was better than capitulation.

Another moron dies for the cause.
Though not always a moron of course.


I don't want any inheritance from my father. Do whatever the hell you want with it.
Wrong. You can do what you want with the inheritance. My job is to see to it that you have the opportunity to do so.
I don't want a single ore from that pig.
Then give the money to the Greenpeace or something.
I don't give a shit about whales.


Then give it to me. That's what I would have said.

She had been sharing a house with him for a week, and he had not once flirted with her. He had worked with her, asked her opinion, slapped her on the knuckles figuratively speaking when she was on the wrong track, and acknowledged that she was right when she corrected him. Dammit, he had treated her like a human being.

In other words, the other side of the coin.

She saw him drenched with gasoline. She could actually feel the box of matches in her hand.

Oh boy!
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 May 03, 2017 3:06 pm

Stephen Fry

The English language is an arsenal of weapons; if you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or no they are loaded you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.


Lesson learned, Kids?
No, I didn't think so.


He's your enemy, Donald!
He most certainly is not,' said Trefusis. Not unless I say so. He may dearly want to be my enemy, he may beg on bended knee for open hostility of the most violent kind, but it takes two to tangle. I choose my own enemies.


Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Intuition he did not reject. He knew that it is part of our equipment, and the sensitiveness he valued in himself and in others is connected with it. But he also knew that it can make dancing dervishes of us all, and that the man who believes a thing is true because he feels it in his bones, is not really very far removed from the man who believes it on the authority of a policeman’s truncheon.

To intuit or not to intuit, sometimes that is the question.

That’s why I love talking and teaching: the act of reproducing ideas out loud reinforces them in the head. If, every time you read a complex book or idea, you had to explain it to someone else, you’d never forget it.

Unless of course you fuck the whole thing up.

I have always disbelieved that Sicilian saying about revenge being a dish best served cold. I feel that – don’t you? – when I see blinking, quivering octogenarian Nazi war criminals being led away in chains. Why not then? It’s too late now. I want to see them taken back in time and punished then.

Up to and including the T word, he thought.

The puzzle that besets me is best expressed by the following statements. a: None of what follows ever happened b: All of what follows is entirely true.

In other words, at the same 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 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:32 pm

Liane Moriarty

It was unfortunate the way adults had to repress their true feelings.


You know, when it isn't really, really fortunate instead.

...the world, right this very moment people were suffering unimaginable atrocities and you couldn’t close your heart completely, but you couldn’t leave it wide open either, because otherwise how could you possibly live your life, when through pure, random luck you got to live in paradise? You had to register the existence of evil, do the little that you could, and then close your mind and think about new shoes.

Let's make a list of all the things we think about.

She’d once been appalled to hear of women claiming PMS as a defense for murder. Now she understood.

Nothing much in the way of an equivalent for men. There isn't, is there?

It was just so very surprising that the good-looking, worried man who had just offered her a cup of tea, and was right now working at his computer down the hallway, and who would come running if she called him, and who loved her with all of his strange heart, would in all probability one day kill her.

You can't help but wonder if that might surprise him even more.

Cecilia didn’t care what the fine print said about free will and God’s mysterious ways and blahdy-blah. If God had a supervisor, she would have sent off one of her famous letters of complaint a long time ago. “You have lost me as a customer.”

Right, that will show Him.

...about six months ago, after my fortieth, I started to feel so...the only word I can think of is 'bland.' Or 'flat' might be a better word.

He thought: Trust me, you'll pine for those days.
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 May 04, 2017 6:15 pm

Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy.


Well, the right music of course.

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.

Or, in any event, what some call the divine.

Applaud, my friends, the comedy is over.

Said to have been uttered on his deathbed.
So, just out of curiosity, what will you utter on yours?


Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.

False. True.

I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.

Let's decide if that is going too far.

Nothing is more intolerable than to have admit to yourself your own errors.

Sure, he thought, I suppose that could happen.
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 May 04, 2017 11:20 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Sometimes you have to live in precarious and temporary places. Unsuitable places. Wrong places. Sometimes the safe place won't help you.


Sometimes. Notice how vague that is. Almost like it has to be.

And so, from the first, we separated our pleasure. She lay on the rug and I lay at right angles to her so that only our lips might meet. Kissing in this way is the strangest of distractions. The greedy body that clamors for satisfaction is forced to content itself with a single sensation and, just as the blind hear more acutely and the deaf can feel the grass grow, so the mouth becomes the focus of love and all things pass through it and are re-defined. It is a sweet and precise torture.

On the other hand, to each his own.

You have a dress with a décolletage to emphasise your breasts. I suppose the cleavage is the proper focus but what I wanted to do was to fasten my index finger and thumb at the bolts of your collar bone, push out, spreading the web of my hand until it caught against your throat. You asked me if I wanted to strangle you. No, I wanted to fit you, not just in the obvious ways but in so many indentations.

Or maybe a few less words to describe it.

We are told not to privilege one story above another. All the stories must be told. Well, maybe that's true, maybe all stories are worth hearing, but not all stories are worth telling.

We'll have hear the stories first, of course.

If I let them take away my demons, I'll have to give up what I've found.

Not to worry. You can always find more.

What sex are you?
Doesn’t matter does it? After all that’s your problem.
If I keep you, what will happen?
You’ll have a difficult, different time.
Is it worth it?
That’s up to you.


Besides, you can always change your mind.
You know, if that's an option.
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 May 05, 2017 5:52 pm

Ernest Hemingway

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you feel that it all happened to you and after which it all belongs to you.


Among other things, define good. But point taken.

I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. . . . Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. . . . There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers.

To fish or not to fish, that is the question.

When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I had ever loved anyone but her.

Can you say the same of your spouse?

You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad.

You know, if you can tell the difference.

The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.

Let's run that by William Somerset: https://youtu.be/Ylu0O0_rTMI

I am one of those who like to stay late at the cafe, the older waiter said. With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.
I want to go home and into bed.
We are of two different kinds, the older waiter said. He was now dressed to go home. It is not only a question of youth and confidence although those things are very beautiful. Each night. I am reluctant to close up because there may be someone who needs the cafe.


I'm in there now.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 05, 2017 11:28 pm

Michael Lewis

The desire to avoid loss ran deep, and expressed itself most clearly when the gamble came with the possibility of both loss and gain. That is, when it was like most gambles in life. To get most people to flip a coin for a hundred bucks, you had to offer them far better than even odds. If they were going to lose $100 if the coin landed on heads, they would need to win $200 if it landed on tails. To get them to flip a coin for ten thousand bucks, you had to offer them even better odds than you offered them for flipping it for a hundred. The greater sensitivity to negative rather than positive changes is not specific to monetary outcomes, wrote Amos and Danny. It reflects a general property of the human organism as a pleasure machine. For most people, the happiness involved in receiving a desirable object is smaller than the unhappiness involved in losing the same object. It wasn’t hard to imagine why this might be—a heightened sensitivity to pain was helpful to survival. Happy species endowed with infinite appreciation of pleasures and low sensitivity to pain would probably not survive the evolutionary battle, they wrote.


Another "general description" of human interaction? Sure, but considerably more substantive. You know, if it actually is.

Those who say don't know, those who know don't say.

Not counting when it's the other way around.

Dark pools were another rogue spawn of the new financial marketplace. Private stock exchanges, run by the big brokers, they were not required to reveal to the public what happened inside them. They reported any trade they executed, but they did so with sufficient delay that it was impossible to know exactly what was happening in the broader market at the moment the trade occurred.

Probably invented at Axe Capital.

But everyone wanted to be a Big Swinging Dick, even the women.

Or, sad to say, especially the women.

Charlie and Jamie had always sort of assumed that there was some grown-up in charge of the financial system whom they had never met; now, they saw there was not.

Though even if they were, they're still behind the curtain.

For a lot of the players it was their first exposure to the Southern female - the most flagrant cheater in the mutual disarmament pact known as feminism. Lipstick! Hairdos! Submissiveness!

Let's decide if that's a good think. Starting [of course] with Mr Reasonable. :lol:
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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