a thread for mundane ironists

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:22 pm

Ernest Hemingway

I am trying to make, before I get through, a picture of the whole world--or as much of it as I have seen. Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it out too thin.


Boiling it all down to dasein. But that's just me.

I don't know who made the laws; But I know there ain't no law that you got to go hungry.

On the other hand, there are laws against stealing.

No, he thought, when everything you do, you do too long, and do too late, you can't expect to find the people still there. The people all are gone. The party's over and you are with your hostess now.
I'm getting as bored with dying as with everything else, he thought.


He wrote the book, sure; but then walked the talk.

Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Then he added, Blessed Virgin, pray for the death of this fish wonderful though he is.

Just out of curiosity, if you were God, what would you do?

In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.

Never once in my entire life have I felt like this. You know, so far.

There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows.

In other words, not just icebergs.
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 Sep 01, 2017 6:31 pm

Philip Larkin

I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It's very strange how often strong feelings don't seem to carry any message of action.


You know, if you're lucky.

I'm terrified of the thought of time passing (or whatever is meant by that phrase) whether I 'do' anything or not. In a way I may believe, deep down, that doing nothing acts as a brake on 'time's - it doesn't of course. It merely adds the torment of having done nothing, when the time comes when it really doesn't matter if you've done anything or not.

Let's be charitable and call it a mood.

Since the majority of me
Rejects the majority of you,
Debating ends forthwith, and we
Divide.


In other words, fuck you.

Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.

And that's right around the corner from desperation.
But don't get me started.


Everyone should be forcibly transplanted to another continent from their family at the age of three.

And then every three years after. Excluding Antarctica of course. Well, for most of them.

You have to distinguish between things that seemed odd when they were new but are now quite familiar, such as Ibsen and Wagner, and things that seemed crazy when they were new and seem crazy now, like 'Finnegans Wake' and Picasso.

Let's continue in the same vein. Or, sure, go even farther.
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 Sep 01, 2017 11:23 pm

Neil Gaiman

For love is no part of the dreamworld. Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel.


Though not just in the Capital Letter World.

It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.

Or: It is a fool's prerogative to believe truths that no one else will utter.

Hell may have all the best composers, but heaven has all the best choreographers.

Among other things, let's examine the implications of that. You know, for all practical purposes.

It occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkable difficult to kill.

Of course that takes some of us to this: the human spirit.
Whatever that might possibly be.


Liberty, boomed Wednesday, as they walked to the car, is a bitch who must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.

And even then, he boomed louder, only in the best of all possible worlds.

His name is Marcus: he is four and a half and possesses that deep gravity and seriousness that only small children and mountain gorillas have ever been able to master.

An uberboy in the making.
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 Sep 02, 2017 6:35 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

Given that eating animals is in absolutely no way necessary for my family — unlike some in the world, we have easy access to a wide variety of other foods — should we eat animals?


Like there's only one "right answer" here. Or is he acknowledging that, in fact, there isn't one?

Everything else happened - why not the things that could have?

Next up: All the things that should have.

Of course, consumers might notice that their chickens don’t taste quite right — how good could a drug-stuffed, disease-ridden, shit-contaminated animal possibly taste? — but the birds will be injected (or otherwise pumped up) with “broths” and salty solutions to give them what we have come to think of as the chicken look, smell, and taste.

Not counting the chicken that I eat of course.

Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.

Well, mine did try.

Death is the only thing in life that you absolutely have to be aware of as it's happening.

That reminds me, do people really die in their sleep?

When I got off the plane, after eleven hours of travel and forty years away, the man took my passport and asked me the purpose of my visit, I wrote in my daybook, "To mourn," and then, "To mourn try to live," he gave me a look and asked if I would consider that business or pleasure, I wrote, "Neither." "For how long do you plan to mourn and try to live?" "For as long as I can." "Are we talking about a weekend or a year?" I didn't write anything. The man said, "Next.”

There are just some things you can't pin down.
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 Sep 02, 2017 11:24 pm

Terry Pratchett

Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that's a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events -- the oil spilled just there, the safety fence broken just there -- that must also be a miracle. Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.


Why do assholes always have to spoil things like this?
Right?


I do note with interest that old women in my books become young women on the covers...this is discrimination against the chronologically gifted.

I'll bet they have big tits too.

The enemy isn't men, or women, it's bloody stupid people and no one has the right to be stupid.

But we do have the right to point them out. Or at least I do.

Anyway, if you stop tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.

They'll do that anyway.

Even if it's not your fault, it's your responsibility.

And, of course, vice versa.

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...

Right, like your still around to note 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 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:00 am

Sad Socrates

90% of life is terrible and the other 10% you're too busy to enjoy.


You know, generally.

Is this a waste of time or a time of waste?

Unequivocally, yes.
Well, maybe.


I don't believe in past lives because thinking about living more than this existence depresses me.

And then there's Nietzsche's rendition of the future.
Let's deduce which is worse.


Free to do whatever we want and this is where we find ourselves.

Free to be whatever we want...
So, anyone here ever even come close?


The only rule of Existential Club is lower your expectations.

I challenge yours to be lower than mine.

I spy something impossible.

If only theoretically.
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 Sep 03, 2017 6:29 pm

George Bernard Shaw

Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.


You know, being optimistic.

I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.

Of course now we know for sure, don't we?

But to admire a strong person and to live under that strong person’s thumb are two different things.

With the possible exception of Trump under Putin's.

Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity, and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.

Given, for example, the history of our own species.

Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.

Let's pin down what this says about him.

I like flowers, I also like children, but I do not chop their heads off and keep them in bowls of water around the house.

For some though it's not the same thing.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:27 pm

e e cummings

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.


Not that anyone really knows what that means.

To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.


Not that anyone really knows what that means.

Unbeing dead isn't being alive.

True, but let's decide who among us comes closest.

Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.

Right, like there's a clear distinction to be made between one stopping and the other starting.

listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go


Unless of course that's what they're saying about ours.

life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis


Well, he knows now. You know, if he does know 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 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Joseph Heller

That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left.


Some may well say that about me here. Not that I'd disagree.

I wouldn't want to live without strong misgivings.

Not to worry: No one ever does.

Nately had a bad start. He came from a good family.

In other words, define "good".

Hasn't it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?
Yes, sir, it has.
Then why do you do it?
To assuage my fears of sexual impotence.


For philosophers of course it is intellectual impotence. Though it has little or nothing to do with women.

You're an intelligent person of great moral character who has taken a very courageous stand. I'm an intelligent person with no moral character at all, so I'm in an ideal position to appreciate it.

You be one, I'll be the other.

What the hell are you getting so upset about?' he asked her bewilderedly in a tone of amusement. I thought you didn't believe in God.
I don't, she sobbed, bursting violently into tears. But the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make Him to be.
Yossarian laughed and turned her arms loose. Let's have a little more religious freedom between us, he proposed obligingly. You don't believe in the God you want to, and I won't believe in the God I want to . Is that a deal?


Not many bases this doesn't cover. Assuming of course I understand 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 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:32 pm

tiny nietzsche

I enjoy nothing


Let's be charitable and assume this is a double enntendre.

I am binge watching a tree.

Starting with the acorn no doubt.

if you're a postmodernist and you know it, shake your head

Vigorously, goddamn it!

we can figure out what we mean later

And even then only after they do.

remember not to wear late stage capitalism after labor day

Unless of course you're white, making minimum wage and voted for Trump.

AP: trump donates 1 million to hurricane relief; says russia will pay for it

I heard it was North Korea.
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 Sep 04, 2017 11:24 pm

Sarah Waters

She supposed that houses, after all - like the lives that were lived in them - were mostly made of space. It was the spaces, in fact, which counted, rather than the bricks.


Spaces and the stuff inside them.

I suppose I really seemed mad, then; but it was only through the awfulness of having said nothing but the truth, and being thought to be deluded.

Not discounting the possibility that you really are.

...life is crap but every day is an experience...

You know, just to put the crap in perspective.

Words, hmm? They seduce us in darkness, and the mind clothes and fashions them to fashions of its own.

Tell me about it, he thought.

Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I've got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish–they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.

Here are a thousand words:

words words words words words words words words words words.
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There is no patience so terrible as that of the deranged.

Anyone here able to confirm this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:21 pm

Jasmine Warga

Everything is subjective in the human mind. Our emotions, our opinions, they're all relative. It all depends on perspective.


That's what you think that I think, isn't it?

Sadness is only ugly, and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t get it.

Not counting the times you wallow in it.

Maybe he’s the type of person who turns his lies into truths in his head.

In other words, just like the rest of us.

I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention.

Just not our own, one suspects.

I wonder what it will feel like when all the lights go off and everything is quiet forever. I don't know if it will be painful, if in those last moments I'll be scared, but all I can hope is that it will be over fast. That it will be peaceful. That it will be permanent.

Unless of course you wake up in Heaven. Or that other place.

I don't understand how someone who's not in your life anymore can make all the difference.

Well, you can try not to remember 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 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:30 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

The conventional explanation for Jewish success, of course, is that Jews come from a literate, intellectual culture. They are famously "the people of the book." There is surely something to that. But it wasn't just the children of rabbis who went to law school. It was the children of garment workers. And their critical advantage in climbing the professional ladder wasn't the intellectual rigor you get from studying the Talmud. It was the practical intelligence and savvy you get from watching your father sell aprons on Hester Street.


Sounds more like memes than genes to me, Mr. Goatman.

You don't manage a social wrong. You should be ending it.

First of course we have to manage to end the debate over what they are.

What does it say about a society that it devotes more care and patience to the selection of those who handle its money than of those who handle its children?

Okay, let's manage to end that.

The ethics of plagiarism have turned into the narcissism of small differences: because journalism cannot own up to its heavily derivative nature, it must enforce originality on the level of the sentence.

Feel free to steal anything you want of mine.

The real me isn't the person I describe, no the real me is the me revealed by my actions.

Unless [of course] the whole point of that is to deceive.

Re-reading is much underrated. I've read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold once every five years since I was 15. I only started to understand it the third time.

For most of course it's The Art Of the Deal.
You know, if that's true.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:24 pm

André Gide

I do not love men: I love what devours them.


Time, for example.

Please do not understand me too quickly.

Not that you ever will.

Envying another man's happiness is madness; you wouldn't know what to do with it if you had it.

I'll think of something.

You have to let other people be right' was his answer to their insults. 'It consoles them for not being anything else.

Let's discuss this, Kids.

Fear of ridicule begets the worst cowardice.

And, for some, for good reason.

Profound optimism is always on the side of the tortured.

Trust me: Not all 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 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:05 pm

so sad today

depression is like "i'm always here for you baby"


And it's not as though you can tell it to go to hell.

honk if you're sick of your own bullshit

Or, sure, you can honk for me.

we regret to inform you that you'll be this person forever

Anyone know who they are?

me: stop pretending it's not fucking weird that we exist, ok?!

Actually, it's somewhere between weird and utterly inexplicable.

i don't think we get the dick we think we deserve

And not just the homosexuals.

worried about death and my hair at the same time

Like that old tee-shirt: "can't decide whether to commit suicide or go bowling"
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 Sep 06, 2017 11:13 pm

Roland Barthes

To be engulfed: outburst of annihilation which affects the amorous subject in despair or fulfillment. At its best, when it’s fulfillment, it’s a kind of disappearance at will. An easeful death. Death liberated from dying.


Here though [assuredly] one size does not fit all.

In the sentence “She’s no longer suffering,” to what, to whom does “she” refer? What does that present tense mean?

Well, of course, we could just ask her.

The text you write must prove to me that it desires me.

Or [here] that it doesn't despise me.

I ask for nothing but to live in my suffering.

That and [one suspects] to contribute to ours.

We often hear it said that it is the task of art to express the inexpressible: it is contrary which must be said (with no intention of paradox): the whole task of art is to unexpress the expressible, to kidnap from the world's language, which is the poor and powerful language of the passion, another speech, an exact speech.

Imagine then his take on the task of philosophy.

To see someone who does not see is the best way to be intensely aware of what he does not see.

Go ahead try to get around dasein 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 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:11 pm

Evelyn Waugh

Literature is the right use of language irrespective of the subject or reason of utterance.


Is this more or less ridicuous than I think it is?

Faster... Faster... it'll stop all right when the time comes.

In reality of course this is hardly ever true.

Julia used to say, 'Poor Sebastian. It's something chemical in him.' That was the cant phrase of the time, derived from heaven knows what misconception of popular science. 'There's something chemical between them' was used to explain the overmastering hate or love of any two people. It was the old concept of determinism in a new form. I do not believe there was anything chemical in my friend.

Unless of course this is all chemical too.

Money is only useful when you get rid of it. It is like the odd card in Old Maid; the player who is finally with it has lost.

Really, imagine arguing that today!

When the waterholes were dry, people sought to drink at the mirage.

Let's file this one under, "to no avail".

Instruction would be wasted on me. Just give me the form and I'll sign on the dotted line.

And just like that, his soul was bought.
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 Sep 07, 2017 11:14 pm

Mary Roach

In 1998, a woman in Saline, Michigan received a patent for a Decorative Penile Wrap...The patent included three pages of drawings, including a penis wearing a ghost outfit, another in the robes of the Grim Reaper, and one dressed up to look like a snowman.


No, really: https://www.google.com/patents/US6145506

Space doesn't just encompass the sublime and the ridiculous. It erases the line between.

Some spaces more than others one suspects

A bright light at the end of a tunnel can seem warm and inviting, or it can seem mysterious and terrifying.

Yes, but which one ought it to be?

Here's the other thing I think about. It makes little sense to try to control what happens to your remains when you are no longer around to reap the joys or benefits of that control. People who make elaborate requests concerning disposition of their bodies are probably people who have trouble with the concept of not existing....I imagine it is a symptom of the fear, the dread, of being gone, of the refusal to accept that you no longer control, or even participate in, anything that happens on earth. I spoke about this with funeral director Kevin McCabe, who believes that decisions concerning the disposition of a body should be made by the survivors, not the dead. "It's none of their business what happens to them when they die," he said to me. While I wouldn't go that far, I do understand what he was getting at: that the survivors shouldn't have to do something they're uncomfortable with or ethically opposed to. Mourning and moving on are hard enough. Why add to the burden? If someone wants to arrange a balloon launch of the deceased's ashes into inner space, that's fine. But if it is burdensome or troubling for any reason, then perhaps they shouldn't have to.

Clearly, there may well be no one right answer here.

People are messy, unpredictable things.

Yes, but only from the cradle to the grave.

People can't anticipate how much they'll miss the natural world until they are deprived of it. I have read about submarine crewmen who haunt the sonar room, listening to whale songs and colonies of snapping shrimp. Submarine captains dispense 'periscope liberty'- a chance to gaze at clouds and birds and coastlines and remind themselves that the natural world still exists. I once met a man who told me that after landing in Christchurch, New Zealand, after a winter at the South Pole research station, he and his companions spent a couple days just wandering around staring in awe at flowers and trees. At one point, one of them spotted a woman pushing a stroller. 'A baby!' he shouted, and they all rushed across the street to see. The woman turned the stroller and ran.

Let's pin down why this matters.
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 Sep 08, 2017 1:33 am

Philosophy Tweets

“If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.” Voltaire


Welcome to Trumpworld, for example.

"Those who cannot understand how to put their thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of debate.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Let's nail down what this really means.

“Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.” Jeremy Bentham

In theory for example.

“It doesn't matter how slowly you go---so long as you do not stop." Confucius

Not counting all the times when, having gotten there, it was too late.

“There is another world, but it is in this one.” W.B. Yeats

Just our luck, isn't it?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” W.B. Yeats

Less the catastrophic infernos of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:02 pm

Jeanette Winterson

You said, Why do I frighten you?
Frighten me? Yes you do frighten me. You act as though we will be together for ever. You act as though there is infinite pleasure and time without end. How can I know that? My experience has been that time always ends. In theory you are right, the quantum physicists are right, the romantics and the religious are right.


Everybody's right, nobody's wrong. Just ask them.

Why did I walk so purposefully in a straight line? Where would it take me? He went round and round and we got there all the same.

To the abyss for example.

They believed that if a mouse found your hair clippings and built a nest with them you got a headache. If the nest was big enough, you might go mad.

They believed lots of shit like that though.

And what is enlightenment anyway but delusions we can live with?

And others if they know what's good for them.

Every word written is a net to catch the word that has escaped.

Does this take us closer to me or to you?

The world is surely wide enough to walk without fear.

Apparently not.
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 Sep 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Ernest Hemingway

I wish I did not think about it so much, he thought.


Of course that is often easier said than done.

The two kinds of fools we have in Russia, karkov grinned and began. First there is the winter fool. The winter fool comes to the door of your house and he knocks loudly. You go to the door and you see him there and you have never seen him before. He is an impressive sight. He is a very big man and he has on high boots and a fur coat and a fur hat and he is all covered with snow. First he stamps his boots and snow falls from them. Then he takes off his fur coat and shakes it and more snow falls from them, Then he takes off his fur hat and knocks it against the door. More snow falls from his fur hat. Then he stamps his boots again and advances into the room. Then you look at him and you see he is a fool. That is the winter fool."

Now in the summer you see a fool going down the street and he is waving his arms and jerking his head from side to side and everybody from two hundred yards away can tell he is a fool. that is a summer fool.


Okay, which one is Putin, and which one is Trump?

I was a little crazy. But I wasn't crazy in any complicated manner.

So, does that leave room for hope?

Pain does not matter to a man.

On the other hand, it matters a lot to men.
Or, rather, it does around here.


For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

I suggest we not go there.

If people bring so much courage to the world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them.

Eventually, 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 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:49 pm

Philip Larkin

I wouldn't mind seeing China if I could come back the same day.


Some might say the same thing about Hell.

Most things may never happen: this one will.

Unless of course it won't.

When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide


On the other hand, you can take it too far.

Depression hangs over me as if I were Iceland.

Does that mean what I think it does? And, knowing me, what do you think that is?

It becomes still more difficult to find
Words at once true and kind,
Or not untrue and not unkind.


Let's grapple with the distinction.

The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.


Before the second day in other words.
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 Sep 09, 2017 11:33 pm

Neil Gaiman

Nothing’s changed. You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, really listen to you. You’re too clever and too quiet for them to understand. They don’t even get your name right.


Sure, we all want to believe that's the explanation. But, really, for me, it is.

When the first living thing existed, I was there waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave.

Not counting all of the other universes of course. Well, if that's true.

It's still National Library Week. You should be especially nice to a librarian today, or tomorrow. Sometime this week, anyway. Probably the librarians would like tea. Or chocolates. Or a reliable source of funding.

That reminds me: Can you even imagine Don Trump in a library?

This isn't about what is . . . it's about what people think is.

We're fucked in other words.

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But a half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.

Trump naked in the Oval Office?
Well, maybe Ivanka, he thought.


Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

I know: You're the exception.
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 Sep 10, 2017 7:06 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

I think about all of the things I've done, Oskar. And all of the things I didn't do. The mistakes I've made are dead to me. But I can't take back the things I never did.


Of course that's probably a good thing.

In the end, everyone loses everyone. There was no invention to get around that, and so I felt, that night, like the turtle that everything else in the universe was on top of.

Even with oblivion then it's turtles all the way down.

Let's go to bed. Those four words differentiate a marriage from every other kind of relationship. We aren't going to find a way to agree, but let's go to bed. Not because we want to, but because we have to. We hate each other right now, but let's go to bed. It's the only one we have. Let's go to our sides, but the sides of the same bed. Let's retreat into ourselves, but together. How many conversations had ended with those four words? How many fights?

Not counting those who who end up on the living room couch.

If I'd been somone else in a different world I'd've done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.

That's why God [one of them] created parallel universes.

It feels like a moment I've lived a thousand times before, as if everything is familiar, right up to the moment of my death, that it will happen again an infinite number of times, that we will meet, marry, have our children, succeed in the ways we have, fail in the ways we have, all exactly the same, always unable to change a thing. I am again at the bottom of an unstoppable wheel, and when I feel my eyes close for death, as they have and will a thousand times, I awake.

Of course he's just paraphrasing that other guy.

'Deep down, the young are lonelier than the old.' I read that in a book somewhere and it's stuck in my head. Maybe it's true. Maybe it's not true. More likely, the young and the old are lonely in different ways, in their own ways...

Deep down [one suspects] no one really knows.
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 Sep 10, 2017 8:23 pm

Nein

The question, friends, is not if you'll die alone. It's what're you doing this weekend.


Let's grope in despair for the right answer.

A gentle reminder, friends, never to seize the day. Simply meet it for a beer. Have a few laughs. And let it go along its merry way.

Most days, sure. But today especially.

In other news: Donald has strengthened to a Category 5 authoritarian despot. Residents are being warned to evacuate.

Unless of course he's your Category 5 Uberman.

Anything is possible. And, yes, that's the bad news.

Or, if nothing seems possible, the good news.

Heidegger walks into a bar.
What'll it be?
How much time you got?


But then [eventually] gets around to being.

Kant walks into a bar. Writes his first Yelp critique.

So, any Yelp critiques of ILP?
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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