## 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.

### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Werner Twertzog

What if God speaks to us through the bullets of madmen, and we hear nothing?

It is, of course, not your fault Stan Lee that American "cinema" is a global laughingstock.

The hell it's not.

Finally, a holiday nihilists can support: Black Friday.

This part in particular: https://youtu.be/Wks1pLR7Mzo

Thanksgiving is important for relearning that most of your older American relatives are racists, and that their younger relatives are sanctimonious idiots who would have been Nazis.

And not just in the Heartland.

As a boy, I climbed the great oak tree, to speak with God. At the top of that tree were other boys, and also many girls, who would fail in their quests. One by one, they climbed down dejected, while I remained, until the sky darkened, the stars ascended, and I received an answer.

Okay, what was it?

He who does self-checkout has a fool for a grocer.

I've never been tempted myself.
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

David Hockney

The 'how' has a great effect on what we see. To say that 'what we see' is more important than 'how we see it' is to think that 'how' has been settled and fixed. When you realize this is not the case, you realize that 'how' often affects 'what' we see.

Does anyone really know what stuff like this means?

The way we see things is constantly changing. At the moment the way we see things has been left a lot to the camera. That shouldn't necessarily be.

I've never let it.

How difficult it is to learn not to see like cameras, which has had such an effect on us. The camera sees everything at once. We don't.

I actually think I understand this.

You must plan to be spontaneous.

We'll need some examples of course.

Teaching people to draw is teaching people to look.

For example, by opening your eyes.

When conventions are old, there's quite a good reason. It's not arbitrary.

But only the good conventions 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

tiny nietzsche

fucking interpersonal relationships, how do they work?

When they work at all in other words.

if wolves want to kill me, they know where I'm at

Dragons too.

I lost my will to power

In a Walmart of all places.

I tried to take a selfie earlier and forgot who I was

I should be so lucky.

ready to put tomorrow behind me

Actually, it's not as easy as it sounds.

my favorite part of the holiday season is when the drugs kick in

Any day 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

Yuval Noah Harari

You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

I've never tried to.

How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.

Including the parts that actually aren't.

Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.

Someone explain this to, among others, Satyr.

Consistency is the playground of dull minds.

And no one is more consistent here than me, right?

History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.

Let's decide if that is still true.

The romantic contrast between modern industry that “destroys nature” and our ancestors who “lived in harmony with nature” is groundless. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of life.

Well, God did give us dominion over all the animals.
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

Russell Banks

I was afraid of the consequences of my acts in the right way, beyond guilt, but it was too late. I'd already become the person I should have been afraid of becoming.

Don't you just hate that?

It's like a crime is an act that when you've committed one the act is over and you haven't changed inside. But when you commit a sin it's like you create a condition that you have to live in.

You know, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Of all the animals on this planet, we are surely the nastiest, the most deceitful, the most murderous and vile. Despite our God, or because of him. Both.

I agree: Both.

...he believes in God the way he believes in politicians---he knows He exists but doesn't count on Him for anything.

Politicians exist alright. For example, down on the border with Mexico.

It was like a dream, a beautiful, soothing dream of late autumn: low, gray skies, smell of woodsmoke, fallen leaves crackling beneath my feet, and somewhere out there, in the farmsteads and plantations ahead of me, swift retribution! Freedom! The bloody work of the Lord!

Either Him or [nowadays] the terrorists.

Father argued that society as a whole must come to be organized on a different basis than greed, for while material interests gained somewhat by the institutionalized deification of pure selfishness, ordinary men and women lost everything by it.

Of a certain class in particular.
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

Philosophy Tweets

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” George Eliot

He means me, right?
Or, sure, you.

“To what purpose should I trouble myself about the secrets of the stars, having death or slavery continually before my eyes?” Anaximenes

Still, there is really no getting around it, is there?

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.” Jean-Paul Sartre

So, assuming actual human autonomy, how am I doing here?

“Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death.” Simone de Beauvoir

And look where that got her.

"There is nothing without a reason." Gottfried Leibniz

Uh-oh.

"Philosophy consists mostly of kicking up a lot of dust and then complaining that you can't see anything." Gottfried Leibniz

Wow, what if that is actually 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

David Sedaris

If you stepped out of the shower and saw a leprechaun standing at the base of your toilet, would you scream, or would you innately understand that he meant you no harm?

Unless of course he does mean you harm.

Well, that's a hell of a reason to poison yourself.

Though some no doubt will poison themselves for less.

The Greeks had invented democracy, built the Acropolis and called it a day.

Thank God then for the Renaissance .

Cover your glass in France or Germany -- even worse, in England -- and in the voice of someone who has personally affronted, your host will ask why you're not drinking.
'Oh, I just don't feel like it this morning.'
'Why not?'
'I guess I'm not in the mood?'
'Well, this'll put you in the mood. Here. Drink up.'
'No, really, I'm OK.'
'Just taste it.'
'Actually, I'm sort of...well, I sort of have a problem with it.'
'Then how about half a glass?'

I forget how it works in America.

Across town, over in the East Village, the graffiti was calling for the rich to be eaten, imprisoned, or taxed out of existence. Though it sometimes seemed like a nice idea, I hoped the revolution would not take place during my lifetime. I didn't want the rich to go away until I could at least briefly join their ranks.

The new pragmatism.

Watch, hell, Walt said. This is strip poker. What kind of homo wants to sit around and watch four guys get naked?

Gay or straight, when it comes to strip poker, that's a pretty good point.
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

Elena Ferrante

In what disorder we lived, how many fragments of ourselves were scattered, as if to live were to explode into splinters.

Existence is this, I thought, a start of joy, a stab of pain, an intense pleasure, veins that pulse under the skin, there is no other truth to tell.

Not that we don't all have one of our own.

Everything in the world was in precarious balance, pure risk, and those who didn’t agree to take the risk wasted away in a corner, without getting to know life.

You know, if they're lucky.

They were more severely infected than the men, because while men were always getting furious, they calmed down in the end; women, who appeared to be silent, acquiescent, when they were angry flew into a rage that had no end.

On average as it were.

Things without meaning are the most beautiful ones.

Let's give them one anyway.

You see? In the fairy tales one does as one wants, and in reality one does what one can.

If only all the way to the grave.
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

Dylan Thomas

And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt, Miss Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, Would you like anything to read?

I guess we'll never know if they did.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

Or: https://youtu.be/8-sYXvFenDA
Of course in the end death always does.

I do not need any friends. I prefer enemies. They are better company and their feelings towards you are always genuine.

Fortunately, I have any number of enemies here.

And books which told me everything about the wasp, except why.

For that matter, wasps and everything else.

I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . .

We'll have to run this by Ben Sanderson.

This poem has been called obscure. I refuse to believe that it is obscurer than pity, violence, or suffering. But being a poem, not a lifetime, it is more compressed.

And how more or less obscure is 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

God

How does anyone still believe in Me at this point?

Well, there's still the part about tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion.

The worst natural disaster by far is all of you.

On the other hand, none of us are omnipotent.

152,000 people will die today but not the one you want.

And we know who that is, don't we?

America is the greatest country in the world at saying it is the greatest country in the world.

Come on, he thought, it's not altogether out of the question. Well, once Trump is gone.

In honor of the season all masturbation will be sin-free through Christmas.

Or, if you're an atheist, through Easter.

Trump: "God plays a big role in my life"
I won't be playing one in your afterlife, I can tell you that.

Seriously though, is that just one more Trump lie?
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

José Saramago

...we confidently say that it's not worth trying to reach any conclusions merely because we decide to stop halfway along the path that would lead us straight to them.

Not counting the times when there may well not be any conclusions that one can reach.

We have deemed all these words necessary in order to explain that we have been traveling more slowly than was predicted, concision is not a definitive virtue, on occasion one loses out by talking too much, it is true, but how much has also been gained by saying more than was strictly necessary.

Cue, among other things "the golden mean".

God does not forgive the sins He makes us commit.

Can it even be put better than that?

Put less respectfully, these men and women, standing before the mirror of their life, spit every day in the face of what they were with the sputum of what they are.

Can it even be put better than that?
You know, if the shoe fits.

Nothing so tires a person as having to struggle, not with himself, but with an abstraction.

Or as I like to call them, "general descriptions".

Are dreams perhaps the soul’s memories of the body?

The soul again. Though, sure, why not, 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

Jan Mieszkowski

A used copy of Wittgenstein's Tractatus: $5 A latte:$5
The ability to feign knowledge of Wittgenstein's picture theory of meaning: priceless

And getting more priceless all the time.

The philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to
Marx: change it
Schopenhauer: demonstrate that it has no redeeming value whatsoever
Nietzsche: break it up and sell it for parts

Definitely not Marx of course.

American philosophy: Free your debt ceiling

While in the drive-thru line at McDonalds.

Don't stare too long into the void of
18th century: the absolute
19th century: the arbitrary
20th century: the undecidable

Lit Crit 101: Death of the author
Lit Crit 201: Death of the reader
Lit Crit 301: Death of death
Lit Crit 401: What's on Netflix?

Let's pin down Lit Crit 501.

What is the good?
Plato: the true
Hegel: the inexorable march of negation
Nietzsche: I'm going to have to go with glam rock

Me too: https://youtu.be/FRY9K78uDRs
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

Barbara Kingsolver

A human being can be good or bad or right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal? You just can't. That's all there is to it.

Come on, you are either in a country legally or you're not. But point taken.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I'm living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.

Remember when that actually made sense? Nope, me neither.

Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up.

On the other hand, novelists write what they know. And lots of real people are embedded in that.

If we can't, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.

Among other things, describe "improved".

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.

As though that were even possible. The strength of fatherhood too.

The truth needs so little rehearsal.

But why take chances?
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

Lidia Yuknavitch

I 'passed' in every sphere of regular life I entered, but I entered those spheres less and less, and spent more and more time under the overpass.

Either that or on the recliner.

If the family you came from sucked, make up a new one. Look at all the people there are to choose from. If the family you are in hurts, get on the bus. Like now.

Of course our family is right here.

Where does repressed pain and rage go in a body? Does the wound of daughter turn to something else if left unattended? Does it bloom in the belly like an anti-child, like an organic mass made of emotions that didn’t have anywhere to go? How do we name the pain of rage in a woman?

Not counting the testosterone, the same as men.

People are forever thinking that the unthinkable can't happen.

Either that or thinking up ways to bring it about.

When they own languages, she thought, we are terrorists. When we own them, we are revolutionaries.

And then around and around we go: genes more or less than memes?

How did she get here, I mean how did she really get here, what were the choices, what’s a past---she takes a long drink---what is psychological development? Is it as fucking Freudian as it sounds? She sighs the big sigh of twenty-six, wondering if we are all trapped inside identity, genetics, and narrative–some whacked-out Kafka god handwriting our unbearable little life stories. Then she thinks the American-artist thought, the rough-and-tumble kind: how can I use this?

Exactly: "I", the pragmatist: Whatever works.
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

Existential Comics

The fact that the word "postmodernism" has become almost totally meaningless because it is attached to an almost infinite number of different things is probably the best burn on postmodernism that could have happened.

Of course what could possibly be more postmodern than that?

If I could go back in time I would have the German FBI investigate Hitler for electoral ethics violations, thus preventing the rise of the Nazis.

My guess: Don Trump fits in here somewhere.

Humans are amazingly adaptable, and are capable of being depressed in almost any environment.

Or, most depressing of all, happy.

In order to not appear biased, we should give both the truth and lies equal time on the news.

In other words, nothing would change.

It's weird when people see drug companies jacking up the price of insulin to make their shareholders more money while poor people die because they can't afford it, and say it is capitalism getting corrupted, instead of capitalism getting more pure.

Or maybe we shouldn't go there.

Decoding phrases used by employers when describing what they want:
"Believes in the company's mission" = "willing to take less money."
"Has great work ethic" = "willing to work longer hours."
"Has a passion for this work" = "willing to take less money while working longer hours."

Corrupted or pure capitalism?
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

Vanessa Redgrave

One must never comment as an actor, never show that a character is shallow or vindictive, but let that be conveyed. I mean, none of us thinks of ourselves as being vindictive or shallow - perhaps we should.

I know: Let's start here!

I was surprised when I was asked to play Miss Daisy and wondered if I could - only in part because she was Jewish but, also because she was a Southern woman who has hardly opened her mouth before she declares she's not prejudiced, and yet everything she does shows how totally prejudiced she is.

Like most things of this sort, there's the shallow and the deep end of the pool.

Theater helps people keep sane.

On the stage more or less than off?

A deeper truth the camera can see can be more surprising than even the director imagined it could be. That's a wonderful thing that grows and happens in films.

Trust me: more so in some than in others.

The society Shakespeare knew was heading for tremendous change, and he seems to have recognized that and written about it in a coded way. I understand those codes, I think.

Anyone here understand them?

An awful lot of filmmaking and playmaking is taken over by marketers and publicists, who set about to tell people what to think. And people feel safer that way. But it's not safe, and the whole wonderful thing that cinema and filmmakers can contribute is to go into the not-safe land of real life.

Well, they don't call them "the masses" for nothing.
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

Elizabeth Hardwick

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.

You know, instead of actually going there.

They had created themselves together, and they always saw themselves, their youth, their love, their lost youth and lost love, their failures and memories, as a sort of living fiction.

That's certainly as close as I ever came.

While you are living, part of you has slipped away to the cemetery.

Not much left now, he thought.

All of her news was bad and so her talk was punctuated with "of course" and "naturally.”

Sometimes though all of the news can be good.

Now, my novel begins. No, now I begin my novel—and yet I cannot decide whether to call myself I or she.

Why not just switch on and off? Like in real life.

Books give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.

Or here: posts give not wisdom where none was before. But where some is, there reading makes it more.
Though not just yours.
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

tiny nietzsche

the best part of waking up is avoiding getting murdered

Clearly harder for some than for others.

my horoscope says abandon all hope ye who enter

Not many that isn't applicable to. Eventually anyway.

there are two kinds of people in the world: those who kill spiders, and those that don't

Or: there are two kinds of spiders in the world: those who kill people, and those that don't

I dreamt I needed to get some sleep

Who doesn't?

by age 30 you should have:
rode a horse
killed a rival in a duel
eaten ten thousand tacos
painted something you can live with
sampled many drugs
told your abyss to fuck off
given up

Seems rather arbitrary to me. But, sure, maybe not.

I was in a postmodernist coffee shop this morning surrounded by young nihilists taking a break from rejecting all religious and moral principles. a group of them next to me were whispering about how grateful they are that god is dead and life is meaningless

I'll need the location 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

John Fowles from The Collector

It's despair at the lack of feeling, of love, of reason in the world. It's despair that anyone can even contemplate the idea of dropping a bomb or ordering that it should be dropped. It's despair that so few of us care. It's despair that there's so much brutality and callousness in the world.

It's despair, true. But all the more [or less] in an essentially meaningless world.

Look, Miranda, he said, those twenty long years that lie between you and me. I've more knowledge of life than you, I've lived more and betrayed more and seen more betrayed. At your age one is bursting with ideals. You think that because I can sometimes see what's trivial and what's important in art that I ought to be more virtuous. But I don't want to be virtuous. My charm for you is simply frankness. And experience. Not goodness. I'm not a good man. Perhaps morally I'm younger even than you are. Can you understand that?

Let's be honest: Can anyone?

People won't admit it, they're too busy grabbing to see that the lights have fused. They can't see the darkness and the spider-face beyond and the great web of it all. That there's always this if you scratch at the surface of happiness and goodness. The black and the black and the black.

Great, he thought, another matrix.

People who teach you cram old ideas, old views, old ways, into you. Like covering plants with layer after layer of old earth; it’s no wonder the poor things so rarely come up fresh and green.

Any fresh and green ideas here?

They pay thousands and thousands for the Van Goghs and Modiglianis they'd have spat on at the time they were painted. Guffawed at. Made coarse jokes about.

Of course today it's millions and millions.

He's a collector. That's the great dead thing in him.

Here the great dead things that are collected by many here: definitions.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Here's a tip for new parents: Start lowering those expectations early, it's going to pay off later.

And how bleak is that.

The masks had been made in Korea, delivering back to the West the faces they had given the rest of the globe: presidents, screen stars, and mass murderers. The rubber filament inevitably snapped from the staple after five minutes. The graft wouldn't take.

We know where this is going.

And America, too, is a delusion, the grandest one of all. The white race believes—believes with all its heart—that it is their right to take the land. To kill Indians. Make war. Enslave their brothers. This nation shouldn’t exist, if there is any justice in the world, for its foundations are murder, theft, and cruelty. Yet here we are.

No getting around that, right?

One day a pickaninny was happy and the next the light was gone from them; in between they had been introduced to a new reality of bondage.

No getting around that, right?

To see chains on another person and be glad they are not your own—such was the good fortune permitted colored people, defined by how much worse it could be any moment.

Of course there's a version of that for all of us. But point taken.

You go on about reasons, Cora said. Call things by other names as if it changes what they are. But that don’t make them true.

Calling things. Just around the corner from defining things 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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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

sanctimonious bullshit: the musical

I hear a few folks here are in it.

I think I only like people when I'm not with them

Is there any other way?

i was okay and then i wasn’t

And not for the first time.

sometimes it's like "how are people so content?" and then i'm like oh yeah i'm mentally ill

On the other hand, you don't have to be.

would love to make new mistakes instead of the old ones

Like there isn't always room for both.

by happy i mean moderately depressed

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

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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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

It's not called the war economy for nothing.

Love is being able to talk to someone else without effort, without hiding, and at the same time to feel absolutely comfortable not saying a word.

Sure, I tried that once.

Here was one representative example of Richard Hedd’s highly esteemed Asian Communism and the Oriental Mode of Destruction: The Vietnamese peasant will not object to the use of airpower, for he is apolitical, interested only in feeding himself and his family. Bombing his village will of course upset him, but the cost is outweighed ultimately by how airpower will persuade him that he is on the wrong side if he chooses communism, which cannot protect him.

Next up: the postmodern rendition.

Some might say I was seeing things, but the true optical illusion was in seeing others and oneself as undivided and whole, as if being in focus was more real than being out of focus. We thought our reflection in the mirror was who we truly were, when how we saw ourselves and how others saw us was often not the same.

Needless to say, that's only the start of it for me.

This feat I also had no idea how to accomplish, but ignorance had never stopped me from taking action before.

After all, how many times is this really the only option?

As Hegel said, tragedy was not the conflict between right and wrong but right and right, a dilemma none of us who wanted to participate in history could escape. The major had the right to live, and I was right to kill him.

I know, Mr. Objectivist: You still don't get 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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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Mario Vargas Llosa

When you start looking for purity in politics, you eventually get to unreality.

Come on, what could possibly be more dangerous in politics than purity?

The disappearance of any minimal consensus about aesthetic value means that in this field confusion reigns and will continue to reign for a long time, since it is now not possible to discern with any degree of objectivity what it is to have talent or to lack talent, what is beautiful and what is ugly, what work represents something new and durable and what is just a will-o’-the-wisp.

Believe it or not, that's the good news.

Why did you spend your whole life working in an insurance company? You should have been a painter, a musician, well, I don't know. Why didn't you follow your calling?
Don Rigoberto nodded and reflected a moment before answering.
Because I was a coward, son, he finally murmured. Because I lacked faith in myself. I never believed I had the talent to be a real artist. But maybe that was an excuse for not trying. I decided not to be a creator but only a consumer of art, a dilettante of culture. Because I was a coward is the sad truth. So now you know. Don't follow my example. Whatever your calling is, follow it as far as you can and don't do what I did, don't betray it.

Another smugly contemptuous dig at the working class, he thought. Like the world even needs artists!

A writer is not always conscious of the influences he has received.

Not unlike all the rest of us.

Writing is a compensatory activity, and literature abounds in cases like his. Borges's pages teem with knives, crimes, and scenes of torture, but the cruelty is kept at a distance by his fine sense of irony and by the cool rationalism of his prose, which never falls into sensationalism or the purely emotional. This lends a statuesque quality to the physical horror, giving it the nature of a work of art set in an unreal world.

A "statuesque quality". Right. Like the real world isn't everywhere here.

The houses are ugly, imitations of imitations.

Boy, does that take me back.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Ricky Jay

The book says we may be through with the past but the past ain't through with us.

And there's more of it all the time.

I love amazing people. I love dazzling them. That's why I think performing magic is one of the greatest things a person can do.

That and posting here.

Not only do I lie, I take real pleasure in lying, in the transmission of magic effects.

Lies you can love.

It probably is harder to fool people when they know they're going to be fooled.

Hell, here, I do it all the time.

I like being fooled. When I watch someone who does sleight-of-hand and fools me, it's a great feeling.

It helps though to be on both sides.

The pain is bad magicians ripping off good ones, doing magic badly, and making a mockery of the art.

Or: The pain is bad philosophers ripping off good ones, doing philosophy badly, and making a mockery of the art.
And, no, not just the Kids.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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### Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Dave Eggers

When we pass by another person without telling them we love them it’s cruel and wrong and we all know this.

Not counting complete strangers one hopes.

You’re like part human, part rainbow.

You meaning not me.

If your hand doesn't work for it, your heart doesn't feel sorry for it.

Need a little help with this one.

That the volume of information, of data, of judgements, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all of it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable--it was too much.

Right, like that will make it stop.

And it’s eliminated my ability to just talk to you. He was still talking. I mean, I can’t send you emails, because you immediately forward them to someone else. I can’t send you a photo, because you post it on your own profile. And meanwhile, your company is scanning all of our messages for information they can monetize. Don’t you think this is insane?

Either that or business as usual.

Under the guise of having every voice heard, you create mob rule, a filterless society where secrets are crimes.

Is that where you're heading more or less than that's what you're leaving behind?
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
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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