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 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:29 pm

Lillian Hellman

History is made by masses of people. One man, or ten men, don't start the earthquakes and don't stop them either. Only hero worshipers and ignorant historians think they do.


Of course no one believes that now.

You do too much. Go and do nothing for a while. Nothing.

On the other hand, you will have all of eternity to do nothing at all.

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

I guess that includes young philosophers.

How often the rich like to play at being poor. A rather nasty game, I've always thought.

And not just in the vicinity of the IRS.

Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge's chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view.

A baby carriage sure.

Nothing you write, if you hope to be good, will ever come out as you first hoped.

And, for some of us, nothing we read.
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 Oct 24, 2018 10:39 pm

Existential Comics

How to cure an existential crisis:
1. Reevaluate your reason to live.
2. Commit yourself fully to an ideal.
3. Quit your job and live the life of your dreams.
4. Eat a sandwich, your blood sugar is probably just low.


My guess: It's almost never number 4.

Banksy is a great artist for people who:
1. think the South Park guys are great intellectuals.
2. can't name a single other artist.


Let's decide if this is true.

That phrase "there is more than one way to skin a cat" is weird as hell. Where did it come from? At what point in human history were people skinning so many cats that everyone had multiple good techniques?

What's the lowdown here?

We think we have an open society because we can criticize our government, but the company we work for has far more impact on our lives, and if you criticize them publicly they will fire you. The private sphere is still run like a dictatorship, by thousands of petty tyrants.

I think they call this capitalism.

Beauty is:
Aristotle: order, symmetry, and definiteness.
Burke: stimulation of pleasure in the senses.
Schopenhauer: contemplation of the virtues of an object's form.
Camus: what I see when I look in the mirror.


Well, the chicks did dig him.

You don't become more conservative as you get older, you become more conservative when you inherit your parents' property.

Well, you would have more to conserve.
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 Oct 24, 2018 11:10 pm

Viet Thanh Nguyen

This was the problem with a walk down memory lane. It was almost always foggy, and one was likely to trip and fall.


And then, for some of us, not unlike our walks into the future.

in America it was all or nothing when it came to race. You were either white or you weren’t.

And [now] getting more like that all the time.

The tendency to separate war stories from immigrant stories means that most Americans don’t understand how many of the immigrants and refugees in the United States have fled from wars—many of which this country has had a hand in.

Yet another futile attempt to bring reality into the discussion.

Wars never die, I said. They just go to sleep.

Among others, the folks on Wall Street see to that.

His arrogance marked something new in the world, for this was the first war where the losers would write history instead of the victors, courtesy of the most efficient propaganda machine ever created (with all due respect to Joseph Goebbels and the Nazis, who never achieved global domination). Hollywood’s high priests understood innately the observation of Milton’s Satan, that it was better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven, better to be a villain, loser, or antihero than virtuous extra, so long as one commanded the bright lights of center stage. In this forthcoming Hollywood trompe l’oeil, all the Vietnamese of any side would come out poorly, herded into the roles of the poor, the innocent, the evil, or the corrupt. Our fate was not to be merely mute; we were to be struck dumb.

History is what the rich and powerful [winners or losers] say it is. At least that's my guess.
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 Oct 25, 2018 2:59 pm

Mario Vargas Llosa

One can't fight with oneself, for this battle has only one loser.


Maybe, but, so far, I'm still holding my own. Though plenty here have gone down for the count.

Memory is a snare, pure and simple; it alters, it subtly rearranges the past to fit the present.

Or, for some here no doubt, rather bluntly.

It's easy to know what you want to say, but not to say it.

Especially around assholes.

In my case, literature is a kind of revenge. It's something that gives me what real life can't give me - all the adventures, all the suffering. All the experiences I can only live in the imagination, literature completes.

Obviously: If only in your head.

Life is a shitstorm, in which art is our only umbrella.

Like the shit even notices.

The secret to happiness, at least to peace of mind, is knowing how to separate sex from love. And, if possible, eliminating romantic love from your life, which is the love that makes you suffer. That way, I assure you, you live with greater tranquility and enjoy things more.

Now all you have to do is get your lovers to go along.
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 Oct 26, 2018 12:24 am

Dave Eggers

...my feeling is that if you're not self-obsessed you're probably boring.


And what a better world that might be.

First of all, I know it’s all people like you. And that’s what’s so scary. Individually you don’t know what you’re doing collectively.

Pick one:
1] liberals seen by conservatives
2] conservatives seen by liberals


You see pictures of Buddha and he’s sitting, reclining, at peace. The Hindus have their twelve-armed elephant god, who also seems so content but not powerless. But leave it to Christians to have a dead and bloody man nailed to a cross.

Or Americans to sing The Star Spankled Banner.

Every time my brain parks the car neatly in the driveway, my mouth drives it through the back of the garage.

I think I get that.

I worry about exposing him to bands like Journey, the appreciation of which will surely bring him nothing but the opprobrium of his peers. Though he has often been resistant - children so seldom know what is good for them - I have taught him to appreciate all the groundbreaking musicmakers of our time - Big Country, Haircut 100, Loverboy - and he is lucky for it. His brain is my laboratory, my depository. Into it I can stuff the books I choose, the television shows, the movies, my opinion about elected officials, historical events, neighbors, passersby. He is my twenty-four-hour classroom, my captive audience, forced to ingest everything I deem worthwhile. He is a lucky, lucky boy! And no one can stop me.

This probably explains Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.

Every time a crime was committed by a Muslim, that person's faith was mentioned, regardless of its relevance. When a crime is committed by a Christian, do they mention his religion? ... When a crime is committed by a black man, it's mentioned in the first breath: 'An African American man was arrested today...' But what about German Americans? Anglo Americans? A white man robs a convenience store and do we hear he's of Scottish descent? In no other instance is the ancestry mentioned.

Simple enough for you?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:12 pm

Philip Larkin

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.


Not counting mine of course.

There is bad in all good authors: what a pity the converse isn't true!

Like anyone could ever possibly know this. Not that it isn't true though.

Saki says that youth is like hors d'oeuvres: you are so busy thinking of the next courses you don't notice it. When you've had them, you wish you'd had more hors d'oeuvres.

Sure, this sounds about not wrong.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


I sure fucked that up.

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


Hell, they may not even exist at all.

I came to the conclusion that an enormous amount of research was needed to form an opinion on anything, and therefore abandoned politics altogether as a topic of conversation.

Right, like the politicians will ever notice.
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 Oct 26, 2018 6:37 pm

so sad today

i miss when empathy wasn’t a corporate marketing ploy


Of course not much isn't a corporate marketing ploy these days.

taking my mental illness out for dinner

His treat.

Fuck.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Fuck fuck.
Fuck.


Though not necessarily in that order.

it's important to hate everything

Or, short of that, to not love anything.

life is what happens when i'm avoiding life

This will either dawn on you or it won't.

we both knew i wasn't enough

Though still twice as much as you are.
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 Oct 26, 2018 11:24 pm

David Hockney

All art is contemporary, if it's alive, and if it's not alive, what's the point of it?


Yep, sounds like something an artist would say.

Until cubism, all art, all pictures, could be 'read' by anybody. If this hadn't been so, the Christian message wouldn't have been seen by peasants and its importance would have been diminished.

Let's file this one under, "I was just about to ask you what it means."

Cubism was an attack on the perspective that had been known and used for 500 years. It was the first big, big change. It confused people: they said, 'Things don't look like that!'

They still don't.

In one gallery they actually had a notice which said, 'No Sketching.' How obnoxious! I said, How do you think these things got on the walls if there was no sketching?

Indeed, here's another complaint about that: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesig ... -draconian

Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.

On the other hand: thinking may or may not make you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your brain aches.

The only people who need degrees are dentists and brain surgeons.

You know, in a perfect 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 iambiguous » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:46 pm

William F. Buckley Jr.

I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.


A moral slob always being "one of them".

I believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level.

Obviously: What does he believe now?

The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in education as well as the arts, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies, and have nearly succeeded in doing so.

The liberal intellectual cliques for example.

For people who like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing they like.

It's hard to believe, I know.

What would happen if the Communists occupied the Sahara? Answer: Nothing—for 50 years. Then there would be a shortage of sand.

Let's run this by Phyllo.

Human progress is achieved by taking exact measurements.

Otherwise known as political prejudices.
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 Oct 27, 2018 11:25 pm

David Sedaris

Say what you will about the south, but in North Carolina a hot dog is free to swing anyway it wishes.


Anyone ever seen one do that down there?

Sallie Mae sounds like a naive and barefoot hillbilly girl but in fact they are a ruthless and aggressive conglomeration of bullies located in a tall brick building somewhere in Kansas. I picture it to be the tallest building in that state and I have decided they hire their employees straight out of prison.

Good to know if you're college bound.

I should be used to the way Americans dress when traveling, yet it still manages to amaze me. It’s as if the person next to you had been washing shoe polish off a pig, then suddenly threw down his sponge saying, “Fuck this. I’m going to Los Angeles!”

Actually, I never noticed that myself.

This was the consequence of seeing too much and understanding the horrible truth: No one is safe. The world is not manageable.

At least until Don Trump drains the swamp.

It was the look you get when facing a sudden and insurmountable danger: the errant truck, the shaky ladder, the crazy person who pins you to the linoleum and insists, with increasing urgency, that everything you know and love can be undone by a grape.

Let's just say you'll know it when you see it.

In the beginning, I was put off by the harshness of German. Someone would order a piece of cake, and it sounded as if it were an actual order, like, 'Cut the cake and lie facedown in that ditch between the cobbler and the little girl'.

Imagine then two Germans discoursing on Dasein.
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 Oct 27, 2018 11:54 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Words are loaded pistols.” Jean-Paul Sartre


Or, occasionally, mail-bombs.

"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." Robert Louis Stevenson

Let's keep it that way.

“No human thing is of serious importance.” Plato

At least so far.

“We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience.” John Dewey

Starting now, okay?

“A problem well put is half solved.” John Dewey

Except for this one: How ought one to live?

"Nothing in nature is by chance. Something appears to be chance only because of our lack of knowledge." Baruch Spinoza

You know where this might take us, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:14 pm

Arthur Rimbaud

Unhappiness was my god.


We all end up worshipping something, right?

I'm now making myself as scummy as I can. Why? I want to be a poet, and I'm working at turning myself into a seer. You won't understand any of this, and I'm almost incapable of explaining it to you. The idea is to reach the unknown by the derangement of all the senses. It involves enormous suffering, but one must be strong and be a born poet. It's really not my fault.

Let's just say that, fortunately, I never even came close.

My wisdom is as spurned as chaos.

I hear that!

I could never throw Love out of the window.

I just show it the door.

It began as research. I wrote of silences, of nights, I scribbled the indescribable. I tied down the vertigo.

Trust me, he thought: It ends that way too. But at least it does end.

What is my nothingness to the stupor that awaits you?

Unless of course it misses you completely.
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 Oct 28, 2018 9:44 pm

so sad today

that which does not kill you but makes you sleep all day


You know, in a perfect world.

i think you've mistaken my low self-esteem for kindness

Again in other words.

want to touch my anxiety?

Oh yeah!

i never know what the hell anyone is talking about

Same here. Why? Just lucky I guess.

feeling hopeless dot gov

Let's create the equivalent of that here.

come over and give up on me

Or, sure, vice versa.
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 Oct 28, 2018 11:19 pm

Barbara W. Tuchman

When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down.


And how much wider can it get here, right?

Books are humanity in print.

Not to be confused with Humanity in print.

in the midst of war and crisis nothing is as clear or as certain as it appears in hindsight.

In the midst of peace too.

When it comes to leaders we have, if anything, a superabundance—hundreds of Pied Pipers…ready and anxious to lead the population. They are scurrying around, collecting consensus, gathering as wide an acceptance as possible. But what they are not doing, very notably, is standing still and saying, ' This is what I believe. This I will do and that I will not do. This is my code of behavior and that is outside it. This is excellent and that is trash.

On the other hand, sometimes [with some leaders] that can actually be a good thing.

For belligerent purposes, the 14th century, like the 20th, commanded a technology more sophisticated than the mental and moral capacity that guided its use.

Of course the printing press was invented in the 15th century.

Theology being the work of males, original sin was traced to the female.

And lots of other terrible things since, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:53 pm

José Saramago

...we would understand much more about life’s complexities if we applied ourselves to an assiduous study of its contradictions, instead of wasting time on identities and coherences, seeing as these have a duty to provide their own explanations.


I know: Where to begin.

The day before is what we bring to the day we're actually living through, life is a matter of carrying along all those days-before just as someone might carry stones, and when we can no longer cope with the load, the work is done, the last day is the only one that is not the day before another day.

Unless of course you go to Heaven. Whatever that means.

...doubt is the privilege of those who have lived a long time...

More than a privilege it is [for some of us] practically mandatory.

...anyone who has been forced to rise early out of necessity finds it intolerable that others should go on sleeping soundly.

Few things are truer.

...our God, the creator of heaven and earth, is completely mad...

On the other hand, does He know that?

Not only does the universe have its own laws, all of them indifferent to the contradictory dreams and desires of humanity, and in the formulation of which we contribute not one iota, apart, that is, from the words by which we clumsily name them, but everything seems to indicate that it uses these laws for aims and objectives that transcend and always will transcend our understanding.

Let's file this one under, "what else is new?"
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 Oct 29, 2018 11:15 pm

Barbara Kingsolver

There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold--with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.


And how comforting is that?

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.

On the other hand, how wrong?

She kept swimming out into life because she hadn't yet found a rock to stand on.

Let alone an actual landmass.

Everything you're sure is right can be wrong in another place.

Or another time.

I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room.

Here, that's me, right? Unless of course it's you.

God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.

Not counting all the shit in nature He throws at us.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:11 pm

Martha Nussbaum

To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.


Some things are overthought. And this might be one of them.

As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves.

Complete hogwash, right, Mr. Objectivist?

You can’t really change the heart without telling a story.

Let's just say for better or worse.

Disgust relies on moral obtuseness. It is possible to view another human being as a slimy slug or a piece of revolting trash only if one has never made a serious good-faith attempt to see the world through that person’s eyes or to experience that person’s feelings. Disgust imputes to the other a subhuman nature. How, by contrast, do we ever become able to see one another as human? Only through the exercise of imagination.

Up in the clouds, in particular.

Knowledge is no guarantee of good behavior, but ignorance is a virtual guarantee of bad behavior.

Their ignorance, not ours.

Another problem with people who fail to examine themselves is that they often prove all too easily influenced.

Cue Trumpworld. For starters.
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 Oct 30, 2018 7:41 pm

Philosophy Tweets

"Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others." Otto von Bismarck


Actually, it's too close to call. If you learn anything at all.

"The death of dogma is the birth of morality." Immanuel Kant

For example, categorically and imperatively.

"The bad thing of war is that it makes more evil people than it can take away." Immanuel Kant

Whatever the hell that means. On Wall Street for example.

"Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself." John Locke

Cue, among others, Marx and Engels.

"Change has no constituency." Niccolo Machiavelli

Just the power to enforce it.

"Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity." Michel de Montaigne

Not counting you and I 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 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:16 pm

Lillian Hellman

I live in a room and I go to work and I play a game called getting through the day while you wait for the night.


With or without godot.

The past, with its pleasures, its rewards, its foolishness, its punishments, is there for each of us forever, and it should be.

Should has got nothing to do with it.

Drinking makes uninteresting people matter less and late at night, matter not at all.

Tell that to your liver.

Unjust. How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it. All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice.

Just abstract enough to probably be true.

Courtesy is breeding. Breeding is an excellent thing. Always remember that.

On the other hand, fuck all that.

Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in 19th-century France and England, or 20th-century Russia and America.

Indeed, we got a few of them 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 Oct 31, 2018 4:53 pm

John Fowles from The Collector

The ordinary man is the curse of civilization.


And, increasingly, the ordinary woman.

Alive. Alive in the way that death is alive.

And how might that be?

Just those three words, said and meant. I love you.
They were quite hopeless. He said it as he might have said, I have cancer.


Though perhaps no less sincerely.

You must make, always. You must act, if you believe something. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you're going to paint.

Again and again, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Depending on what they do instead of not do.

He is solid; immovable, iron-willed. He showed me one day his killing bottle. I'm imprisoned in it. Fluttering against the glass. Because I can see through it I still think I can escape. I have hope. But it's all an illusion. A thick round wall of glass.

Sometimes they do this to us, sometimes we do this to them. And sometimes we do this to ourselves.

Art's cruel. You can get away with murder with words. But a picture is like a window straight through to your inmost heart.

This sounds about as plausible as it doesn't.
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 Oct 31, 2018 8:18 pm

Nein

Remember, friends, it’s not too late now. That was decades ago.


Or at least going back to Don Trump's inauguration.

Hate. It would love to get your vote.

Their hate in particular.

Live. Laugh. Seize the means of production.

Or: Live. Laugh. Seize the means of production. Laugh some more.
Or, sure, cry.


A gentle reminder from the ethicists that, yes, most people are good. But, no, most people aren’t most people.

No getting around that, right?

Guns or butter. Sturm or Drang. Trick or treat.

Come on, he thought, why not both?

You buy our weapons. We’ll buy your excuses.

And not just in Riyadh.
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 Oct 31, 2018 11:23 pm

Colson Whitehead

Later he decided the specifics were not important, that the true lesson of accidents is not the how or the why, but the taken-for-granted world they exile you from.


That or finding out it wasn't an accident at all.

Tipple sold his success much more effectively than he did. How to get excited about, take pride in something that came so naturally? It was like being honored for breathing.

Still, he thought, in this world a buck's a buck.

No, Fulton was colored. She understands this luminous truth. Natchez did not lie about that: she has seen it in the man’s books, made plain by her new literacy. In the last few days she has learned how to read, like a slave does, one forbidden word at a time.

Some still being more forbidden than others.

The Declaration of Independence is like a map. You trust that it's right but you only know by going out and testing it yourself.

Then [as with Constitution] being or not being a strict constructionist.

Live every minute as if you are late for the last train.

Or, if you are particularly in a hurry, the last flight.

It was nigh impossible to understand Howard's speech under normal circumstances. He favored a pidgin of his lost African tongue and slave talk. In the old days, her mother had told her, that half language was the voice of the plantation. They had been stolen from villages all over Africa and spoke a multitude of tongues. The words from across the ocean were beaten out of them over time. For simplicity, to erase their identities, to smother uprisings. All the words except for the ones locked away by those who still remembered who they had been before. "They keep 'em hid like precious gold," Mabel said.

Not of much use now one suspects. But point taken.
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 Nov 01, 2018 5:51 pm

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Despite the chronic shortages of almost every good and commodity, there was no shortage of paper, since everyone in the neighborhood was required to write confessions on a periodic basis.


Imagine them reading mine!

...people who do not get the joke are dangerous people indeed...

My guess: It depends on the joke.

There is always something. That is confession’s nature.

Or, as I prefer to put it, "there's always never nothing."

Disarming an idealist was easy.

Next up: Arming one.

What was it like to live in a time when one's fate was not war, when one was not led by the craven and the corrupt, when one's country was not a basket case kept alive only through the intravenous drip of American aid?

Can someone here tell us?

This was what few people realize—it’s hard work to beat somebody. I have known many an interrogator who has strained a back, pulled a muscle, torn a tendon or a ligament, even broken fingers, toes, hands, and feet, not to mention going hoarse.

Of course it's almost certainly easier than getting the beating.
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 Nov 01, 2018 6:51 pm

Werner Twertzog

We must, of course, destigmatize nonexistence.


Like that will make it go away.

By 2024 U.S. political party membership will be determined by DNA testing. As we all know.

Gee, I wonder what mine will reveal? A party of one I suspect.

It is never an option to define someone as beyond the pale of humanity. Excepting Kinski.

Surely we can, uh, trump that.

The apocalypse is being crowdsourced.

God from our end, the Devil from theirs.

Toxic masculinity is the primary cause of climate change, as we all know.

As in, "fuck Mother Nature!"

Halloween is important, but let us not forget the potential, every day, for horror.

No problem. What's up for today?
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 Nov 01, 2018 11:45 pm

Mario Vargas Llosa

No matter how ephemeral it is, a novel is something, while despair is nothing.


How preposterous is that, he thought.

Science is still only a candle glimmering in a great pitch-dark cavern.

How preposterous is that, he thought.
Though, sure, maybe.


Revolution will free society of its afflictions, while science will free the individual of his.

Not that this has ever actually happened yet.

Death isn't enough. It doesn't remove the stain.

First, of course, show us the stain.

It is rare and almost impossible for a novel to have only one narrator.

Not unlike a life itself.

...writing fiction is the best thing there is because absolutely everything is possible!

Like getting paid 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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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