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 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:22 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Image



Aside from being a cartoon character, Calvin is really no different from anyone else. I'd have to ask him, "What particular behaviors unfolding in what particular context construed as good [or bad] from what particular point of view?"


All I do here is to take "general descriptions" of this sort and [in the is/ought realm] bring them down to earth.


To, among other things, note the gaps between a world of words and a world in which words either convey that which is true for all of us or that which is believed to be true by any particular one of us "in our head".

It's just that this thread revolves more around the irony of it all.

Whatever that means.
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 Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:28 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Image



Aside from being a cartoon character, Calvin is really no different from anyone else. I'd have to ask him, "What particular behaviors unfolding in what particular context construed as good [or bad] from what particular point of view?"
I don't know why you'd ask him that, he's clearly a nihilist in that comic.
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:07 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't know why you'd ask him that, he's clearly a nihilist in that comic.


Only when a general description of nihilism is brought down out of the scholastic and/or comic strip clouds can folks begin to grasp why their own moral and political values may well in turn just be existential contraptions rooted in dasein.

And, to the best of my recollection, even Bill Watterson steers clear of the fucking "hole" that "I" am in.

Though, sure, I might be wrong.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:15 pm

Nikolai A. Berdyaev

Every single human soul has more meaning and value than the whole of history.


He wondered about those who, even today, think these ridiculous things.

The question of bread for myself is a material question, but the question of bread for my neighbor is a spiritual question.

He should meet my neighbors.

There is a tragic clash between truth and the world. Pure undistorted truth burns up the world.

When the world even notices it all.

The Russian yearning for the meaning of life is the major theme of our literature, and this is the real point of our intelligentsia's existence.

Right, and look where that got them.

The distinction between the things of Caesar and the things of God is constantly being erased in our fallen world, and this always indicates that the Kingdom of Caesar is attempting to swallow up the Kingdom of God.

You know, in a Marxist sense.

It is noteworthy that at a time when every religious sanction of authority has vanished, we live in a very authoritarian epoch.

Doesn't surprise me, Mr. Objectivist.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:18 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't know why you'd ask him that, he's clearly a nihilist in that comic.


Only when a general description of nihilism is brought down out of the scholastic and/or comic strip clouds can folks begin to grasp why their own moral and political values may well in turn just be existential contraptions rooted in dasein.

And, to the best of my recollection, even Bill Watterson steers clear of the fucking "hole" that "I" am in.

Though, sure, I might be wrong.
I am beginning to wonder if you can read. His characters are not him. His characters may express different views at different times. In what I posted, Calvin is expressing nihilist views. You then say you would have to ask him your usual question, which does not fit, given what he says. When I point this out you shfit the subject to the comic strip writer.

It's not even possible to support your intentions without experiencing you treating it like 'a stimuli that I must challenge with my questions and disagreement.'

But fine, no one has been able to face the hole you are in. All the nihilists in the world are cowards, who really don't quite get it. It's practically a Christ complex in someone who has no identity.

I'll take Calvin out of here. A child, even a fictional one, should be respected.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=179454&p=2702414#p2702414

Please remove him from your response post also.
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:38 pm

Neil Gaiman

I must confess, I have always wondered what lay beyond life, my dear. Yeah, everybody wonders. And sooner or later everybody gets to find out.


Not really though, right?

To say that Richard Mayhew was not very good at heights would be perfectly accurate, but would fail to give the full picture; it would be like describing the planet Jupiter as bigger than a duck. Richard hated clifftops, and high buildings; somewhere not far inside of him was the fear – the start, utter, silently screaming terror – that if he got too close to the edge, then something would take over, and he would find himself walking to the edge of a clifftop and then he would just step off into space. It was as if he could not entirely trust himself, and that scared Richard more than the simple fear of falling ever could.

Wow, he thought, do I know how that feels!!

I think there are several aspects of our marriage we're going to have to work on.
Babes, he told her, You're dead.
That's one of those aspects, obviously.


Let's hope it doesn't go that far for you.

There was nowhere they could have gone and they went there anyway.

You can't help but wonder where that might have been.

How would you feel about life if Death was your older sister?

Anyone ever ask you that?

You don’t pass or fail at being a human, dear.

Of course most settle for an incomplete.
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 Jun 06, 2018 6:21 pm

First, of course, I'm curious. You seem to have abandoned our exchanges here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=193663&start=400

And here:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=186929&start=1375

And yet on a thread in which I generally convey my own philosophical ruminations with a tongue in cheek approach to the "human condition", you decide to show up in order to...to what exactly?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am beginning to wonder if you can read. His characters are not him. His characters may express different views at different times. In what I posted, Calvin is expressing nihilist views. You then say you would have to ask him your usual question, which does not fit, given what he says. When I point this out you shfit the subject to the comic strip writer.


Right, let's pin this down objectively. Let's examine and then describe/encompass the precise relationship between Watterson and Calvin. And, sure, why not, Hobbes. Let's determine [epistemologically] the extent to which the nihilism embodied by either of them is or is not in sync with the manner in which I construe moral nihilism "here and now" myself.

And what of Miss Wormwood, Susie, Dad, Mom, Uncle Max, the school bully Moe and Rosalyn? How are they conveyed in coping with and/or challenging Calvin's nihilistic bent?

Instead, you go back to huffing and puffing, to making me the issue:

Karpel Tunnel wrote: But fine, no one has been able to face the hole you are in. All the nihilists in the world are cowards, who really don't quite get it. It's practically a Christ complex in someone who has no identity.


I have already addressed this on the threads above. The two you seem to have skedaddled from of late.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I'll take Calvin out of here. A child, even a fictional one, should be respected.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=179454&p=2702414#p2702414

Please remove him from your response post also.


Are you fucking kidding me?!!

In my view, you really need to ask yourself what it is about me that propels this sort of reaction.

I already have my own suspicions. :wink:
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 Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm

Nein

God is
A. dead
B. distracted
C. data


You know, if He ever even existed at all.

I once knew an optimist. Drowned in a glass half full of water.

Or: I once knew an pessimist. Drowned in a glass that was empty.

When I feel down, I just think of Kurt Vonnegut. Lighting a cigarette. Taking a drag. And laughing at us.

Pall Malls I believe.

Datenschutzgrundverordnung. German for unsubscribe.

Go ahead, Google it.

I suggest taking a week off of Twitter. Realizing what your life has become. Then never doing so again.

So, what do you say, Don?

Please, don’t mind me. I’m just matter.

And, for the time being, alive and kicking.
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 Jun 06, 2018 11:26 pm

Edgar Allan Poe

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.


We all have one of those, right? Let's exchange them.

In the deepest slumber-no! In delirium-no! In a swoon-no! In death-no! even in the grave all is not lost.

Never even once thought that. Well, to the best of my recollection.

Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not?

I'll tally up mine if you'll tally up yours.

A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

Among other things, where to draw the fucking line.

Marking a book is literally an experience of your differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.

Or, sure [sometimes], tear out the page and set it on fire.

I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without the power to comprehend as men, at time, find themselves upon the brink of rememberance, without being able, in the end, to remember.

The theory of relativity 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 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:16 pm

Jeff VanderMeer

...when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.


It's out there pounding on my door right now.

He drank deeply from his orange juice --- really drank to savor it so that for a minute or two nothing existed in the house but his enjoyment.

And, for some of us, not just orange juice.

The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower.

Well, not my abyss.

There, scuttling across the floor, blind and querulous, is the old cell phone—scrabbling and bulky, trying to get away from you.

Unless of course you skuttled it yourself.

During the day I would go to my work worn and tired, cursing the bewitching night and her empty dreams, but as night came my daily life with its bonds and shackles of work would appear a petty, false, ludicrous vanity.

The bottom of the fucking barrel?

“The fish rots from the head.” Fish rotted all over, cell corruption being nonhierarchical and not caste-driven, but point taken.

What point might that be?
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 Jun 07, 2018 6:45 pm

God

Retweet this and you'll go to heaven. (Yes, the standards are now that low.)


Doesn't surprise you, does it?

I should do something, but I won't, because I never do.

Doesn't surprise you, does it?

Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, intersex: you are all equally, gloriously smiteable in My eyes.

Intersex? I had to Google that one.

Never before have so many people prayed for a single heart attack.

Not yours, I pray. You know, if you'll pray that it's not mine.
But point taken.


DRUG-TO-SOCIAL-ILL CONVERSION CHART
Ambien Racism
Prozac Sexual Harassment
Xanax Climate Change
Atavin Income Inequality
Nexium Crumbling Infrastructure
Lipitor Third World Debt
Meth Meth


Of course all that goes away in Heaven.

I was on Ambien when I created mankind.

Not only that but Nietzsche was on Ambien when he killed 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 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:24 pm

Tom Wolfe

Without mentioning Darwin by name, he said the “doctrine that there is no cardinal distinction between man and animal” will demoralize humanity throughout the West; it will lead to the rise of “barbaric nationalistic brotherhoods”—he all but called them by name: Nazism, Communism, and Fascism—and result within one generation in “wars such as never have been fought before".


So, how close did he come?

Darwin’s notion that language had somehow evolved from imitation of animal sounds…Müller called that the bow-wow theory.

Not to be confused with the meow-meow theory. Of course, who would?

The power of the human brain was so far beyond the boundaries of natural selection that the term became meaningless in explaining the origins of man.

I know: your guess is as good as mine.

In this respect, Darwinism was typical of the more primitive cosmogonies. They avoided the question of how the world developed ex nihilo.

Sooner or later, it does come down to that.
Right?


The difference in Darwin’s case was that he put together his story in an increasingly rational age.

Or, for some, an increasingly less rational age.

In the Navajo cosmogony the agent of change (as distinct from the creator) was alive. It was Locust. In Darwin’s cosmogony it had to be scientifically inanimate. Locust was renamed Evolution.

You decide: http://navajopeople.org/blog/navajo-cre ... ite-world/
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 Karpel Tunnel » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:07 am

Please remove the Calvin comic from your response above.
Apparantly it does not fit the intention of the thread: to present example of mundane irony/nihilism, using the works of others.
I thought it was a humorous example,
but you seem unable to see this or are correct.
Either way it does not fit, so please remove it.
IOW edit your response and remove the post. It is besmirching the context.
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:37 pm

Anthony Powell

Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed.


More to the point [mine] it never stops getting worse and worse.

It is not what happens to people that is significant, but what they think happens to them.

This time I want you to actually think that through.

I was impressed for the ten thousandth time by the fact that literature illuminates life only for those to whom books are a necessity. Books are unconvertible assets, to be passed on only to those who possess them already.

Or, in this day and age, links.

The latter's boast that he had never read a book for pleasure in his life did not predispose me in his favour.

Like that might actually matter to him.

Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.

The thinking part for example.

One passes through the world knowing few, if any, of the important things about even the people with whom one has been from time to time in the closest intimacy.

So, what do you want to know about 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 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:00 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Please remove the Calvin comic from your response above.


Sorry, no can do.

Meaning I don't have the capacity to do so. But, sure, it's okay by me if those that do remove it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Apparantly it does not fit the intention of the thread: to present example of mundane irony/nihilism, using the works of others.


Just to be clear. The quotes I use from others on this thread are not meant to be construed as examples of mundane irony/nihilism -- only [from time to time] my own reaction to them.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I thought it was a humorous example, but you seem unable to see this or are correct.


Sure, there was always the possibility that your own frame of mind here was in turn tongue in cheek. That gets tricky as hell sometimes. Even including my own contributions. But editing the above posts is not something that I am able to do.

Note to MagsJ:

It is perfectly okay with me if all posts relating to Calvin are excised from this 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 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:37 pm

Elena Epaneshnik

Can you say something that's not related to philosophy?
Yes, why?


Let's ponder this in depth.

You are so direct that one might need an intricate map to get lost in you.

Let's ponder this in depth.

I love you.
I love you too.
Can I be completely honest with you?
Don't push it.


There's always that, right?

The future is something that's easy to predict, hard to imagine.

Let's exchange examples.

You're an adult when nothing makes you panic more than tranquility.

Anyone here actually know what that is?

Life is a fleeting moment. And then you fall in love.

With her, for instance.
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 Jun 08, 2018 11:20 pm

C.G. Jung

Man as we realize if we reflect for a moment, never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely. He can see, hear, touch, and taste; but how far he sees, how well he hears, what his touch tells him, and what he tastes depend upon the number and quality of his senses. These limit his perception of the world around him. By using scientific instruments he can partly compensate for the deficiencies of his senses. For example, he can extend the range of his vision by binoculars or of his hearing by electrical amplification. But the most elaborate apparatus cannot do more than bring distant or small objects within range of his eyes, or make faint sounds more audible. No matter what instruments he uses, at some point he reaches the edge of certainty beyond which conscious knowledge cannot pass.


What do you think, is he on to something here? Something, say, important?

The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.

I can live with that.

We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from him the need for mythology.

Not that some of us don't give it our best shot.

Even a scientist is a human being. So it is natural for him, like others, to hate the things he cannot explain. It is a common illusion to believe that what we know today is all we ever can know. Nothing is more vulnerable than scientific theory, which is an ephemeral attempt to explain facts and not an everlasting truth in itself.

Indeed, and going back to, for example, an explanation for existence itself.

I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time.

That's what we No God folks have left to cling to. When, for instance, we come face to face with the fucking abyss.

Apart from the agglomeration of huge masses in which the individual disappears anyway, one of the chief factors responsible for psychological mass-mindedness is scientific rationalism, which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity. As a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics. He can only play the role of an interchangeable unit of infinitesimal importance. Looked at rationally and from outside, that is exactly what he is, and from this point of view it seems positively absurd to go on talking about the value or meaning of the individual.

The modern industrial state. In other words, the best [or the least worst] of all possible worlds.
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 Jun 09, 2018 7:23 pm

Edward St. Aubyn

No, he mustn't think about it, or indeed about anything, and especially not about heroin, because heroin was the one thing that really worked, the only thing that stopped him scampering around in a hamster's wheel of unanswerable questions. Heroin was the cavalry. Heroin was the missing chair leg, made with such precision that it matched every splinter of the break. Heroin landed purring at the base of his skull, and wrapped itself darkly around his nervous system, like a black cat curling up on its favourite cushion. It was as soft and rich as the throat of a wood pigeon, or the splash of sealing wax onto a page, or a handful of gems slipping from palm to palm.


On the other hand, he could just say no.

The measure of a work of art is how much art it has in it, not how much ‘relevance’. Relevant to whom? Relevant to what?

On the other hand, how much art is enough?

If you were madly in love, you’d want me to win, said Katherine.
I’m not sure that’s true, said Sam. I think love is about equality: both of us equally happy with either result. One-sided self-sacrifice is only enabling someone else’s egoism. Altruists always end up riddled with resentment, or if they make that last superhuman effort, with spiritual pride.
Oh, said Katherine, you mean you’re not going to enable my egoism.
Okay, okay, said Sam you’re right – love is doing everything you want all the time.


Nobody ever really wins these things.

Could one have a time-release epiphany, an epiphany without realizing it had happened? Or were they always trumpeted by angels and preceded by temporary blindness, Patrick wondered, as he walked down the corridor in the wrong direction.

Mine is still sinking in.

Rome wasn’t deconstructed in a day.

Let alone the Vatican.

Just as a novelist may sometimes wonder why he invents characters who do not exist and makes them do things which do not matter, so a philosopher may wonder why he invents cases that cannot occur in order to determine what must be the case.

Not counting thought experiments 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 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:27 pm

Jan Mieszowski

By age 35 you should no longer remember that you're lying when you claim to have read Proust, Tolstoy, and Mann.


Do folks still do that?

By age 35 you should no longer be able to remember which Foucault books you have and haven’t read.

Me? It's somewhere between none and one.

Greek ethics: Be true to yourself
French ethics: Be true to the other
German ethics: Be true to the true
American ethics: Be true to the fraud you call truth


And, no, not just in the Oval Office.

Jan: Heidegger is in the Self-Esteem section of the bookstore?
Store Clerk: Dasein finds itself thrown into self-loathing.


Probably not based on a true story.

Final Exam Question: It's preferable to shop at a bookstore that
a) believes Kafka's works to be Kafkaesque
b) doesn't believe Kafka's works to be Kafkaesque
c) doesn't dare sell Kafka


You know, if you can still actually find a bookstore.

Arthur Schopenhauer's exhaustive list of all the reasons you should be happy to be alive: There aren't any.

That's still more than 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 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:36 pm

Meg Wolitzer

People are always saying these things about how there's no need to read literature anymore-that it won't help the world. Everyone should apparently learn to speak Mandarin, and learn how to write code for computers. More young people should go into STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. And that all sounds to be true and reasonable. But you can't say that what you learn in English class doesn't matter. That great writing doesn't make a difference. I'm different. It's hard to put into words, but it's true. Words matter.


And they always will. If only less and less.

From this day forward, because we are clearly the most interesting people who ever fucking lived, said Ethan, because we are just so fucking compelling, our brains swollen with intellectual thoughts, let us be known as the Interestings. And let everyone who meets us fall down dead in our path from just how fucking interesting we are.

Though not just us I suspect.

Jealousy was essentially "I want what you have," while envy was "I want what you have, but I also want to take it away so you can't have it.”

Wow, that's finally been pinned down!

I’ve always had a fear of being small and ordinary. How can I just have this one life?

Of course you are going to Heaven, aren't you?

No, of course not. I just feel content, she said carefully.
That’s an old person’s word, said Ethan.


Right, being old is all about contentment.

Then it wouldn't be long before they all found themselves shocked and sad to be fully grown into their thicker, finalized adult selves with almost no chance for reinvention.

Not counting the few lucky bastards who don't 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 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:08 pm

Ambrose Bierce

The covers of this book are too far apart.


Lots of books like that, right?

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

Fortunately though that's not always true.

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

Here? Let's name names.

Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

The gall!

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.

Let me get back to you on that one.

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

More or less blind as it were.
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 Jun 10, 2018 9:35 pm

Existential Comics

A nihilist is just an egoist who has convinced themselves that not caring about stuff makes them better than other people.


I must be the other kind then. Or, sure, maybe not.

At least under feudalism the Lords would read Geothe and discussed philosophy and stuff. Today's capitalists overlords are a bunch of petty crooks and scammers who sleazed their way to the top, and will sell out the planet itself for a bit of extra cash.

The guy just hates capitalists.

Thesis: twitter is terrible.
Antithesis: twitter is good.
Synthesis: never stop posting my dudes.


There are of course other syntheses.

Do not call yourself an existentialist unless you've been a relation which relates itself to its own self, or that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; not the relation but that the relation relating itself to its own self.

Okay, I'm not then.

The hard truth that Communists don't want to face is that no matter how much theory they read, they will still have to look up how to spell "bourgeoisie" every time.

Or you can just call them "the fucking pigs".

It's important to read Hegel to remind yourself how stupid you are.

Well, that did work for me. Or, rather, it used to.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:16 pm

Tom Stoppard

I extract significance from melodrama, a significance which it does not in fact contain; but occasionally, from out of this matter, there escapes a thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality.


Or at least put a dent in it?

Death is the ultimate negative.

Or, for some, life.

...the natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Strangely enough it all works out in the end...it's a mystery.

Unless, strangely enough, it's not.

An artist is the magician put among men to gratify--capriciously--their urge for immortality. The temples are built and brought down around him, continuously and contiguously, from Troy to the fields of Flanders. If there is any meaning in any of it, it is in what survives as art, yes even in the celebration of tyrants, yes even in the celebration of nonentities. What now of the Trojan War if it had been passed over by the artist's touch? Dust. A forgotten expedition prompted by Greek merchants looking for new markets. A minor redistribution of broken pots. But it is we who stand enriched, by a tale of heroes, of a golden apple, a wooden horse, a face that launched a thousand ships--and above all, of Ulysses, the wanderer, the most human, the most complete of all heroes--husband, father, son, lover, farmer, soldier, pacifist, politician, inventor and adventurer...

You know, if that matters to you.

We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again.

You know, if that matters to you.

It is better to be quotable than to be honest.

Indeed, in this day and age, it's all but mandatory.
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 Jun 11, 2018 6:08 pm

D.H. Lawrence

All the great words, it seemed to Connie were cancelled, for her generation: love, joy, happiness, home, mother, father, husband, all these great, dynamic words were half dead now and dying from day to day.


And then there's all the great words that we no longer use here.

The optimist builds himself safe inside a cell and paints the inside walls sky-blue and blocks up the door and says he's in heaven.

Well, some do.

Because you want to have everything in your own volition, your deliberate voluntary consciousness. You want it all in that loathsome little skull of yours, that ought to be cracked like a nut. For you'll be the same till it is cracked, like an insect in its skin. If one cracked your skull perhaps one might get a spontaneous, passionate woman out of you, with real sensuality. As it is, what you want is pornography--looking at yourself in mirrors, watching your naked animal actions in mirrors, so that you can have it all in your consciousness, make it all mental.

Is this something that's important to know?

Ideal mankind would abolish death, multiply itself million upon million, rear up city upon city, save every parasite alive, until the accumulation of mere existence is swollen to a horror.

Well, maybe his ideal.

If only you could tell them that living and spending isn't the same thing.

Of course it's only gotten much, much worse.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Tell that to G.I. Jane.
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 Jun 11, 2018 7:50 pm

The Dead Author

If you're gonna obsess over it, be compulsive about it.


Over what you might ask?

God is dead but I still don't believe in myself.

For me of course that's not even possible.

Nietzsche is popular because he lets you take credit for your successes. Kafka is popular because he lets you blame the world for your failures.

Does this even make sense?

Please love me, it's for an experiment.

Never tried that before.

Knowing Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's first names in the right order counts as philosophical expertise even in Germany.

And then there's this one:
Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia
Of course he's just a cartoon character.


Depression teaches you that just because you don't care about anything doesn't mean you can't worry about everything.

No getting around your responsibilities is there?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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