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

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:16 am

Tara Westover

First find out what you are capable of, then decide who you are.


Though [as often as not] not necessarily in that order.

My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.

And, for some, not just as a kid.

We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell.

Tell them that. Or just say fuck it and move on.

The decisions I made after that moment were not the ones she would have made. They were the choices of a changed person, a new self. You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education.

You know what I call it.

The skill I was learning was a crucial one, the patience to read things I could not yet understand.

I tried that a few times myself.

I carried the books to my room and read through the night. I loved the fiery pages of Mary Wollstonecraft, but there was a single line written by John Stuart Mill that, when I read it, moved the world: “It is a subject on which nothing final can be known.” The subject Mill had in mind was the nature of women. Mill claimed that women have been coaxed, cajoled, shoved and squashed into a series of feminine contortions for so many centuries, that it is now quite impossible to define their natural abilities or aspirations.

A few assholes here might consider that.
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 Jan 17, 2019 3:37 am

Philosophy Tweets

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle


Okay, but why do some repeatedly do things that others repeatedly insist they should not do?

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." Picasso

So, is that something to be proud of? You know, whatever it's supposed to mean.

"War remains the decisive human failure." John Kenneth Galbraith

Tell that to the folks who own and operate the military industrial complex.

"The creature born is the creature dying." Zhuangzi

I think that means all of us.

“What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational” G. W. F. Hegel

Though sometimes it's the other way around.

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F Scott Fitzgerald

Though not always.
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 Jan 17, 2019 6:29 pm

Barbara Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.


Hoped for it long, long, long ago. Nothing yet though.

The arrogance of the able-bodied is staggering. Yes, maybe we'd like to be able to get places quickly, and carry things in both hands, but only because we have to keep up with the rest of you. We would rather be just like us, and have that be all right.

Especially able-bodied ubermen. You know the ones.

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'.

Don't expect this to actually work.

Maybe he's been in Africa so long he has forgotten that we Christians have our own system of marriage, and it is called Monotony.

If only until death do they part.

Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behaviour in children, and medicate it in adults?

Tradition?

I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I'd written.

Yeah, I tried that too.
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 Jan 18, 2019 12:14 am

Pat Conroy

It's impossible to explain to a Yankee what `tacky' is. They simply have no word for it up north, but my God, do they ever need one.


Why, he wondered.

Here's what I love: when a great writer turns me into a Jew from Chicago, a lesbian out of South Carolina, or a black woman moving into a subway entrance in Harlem. Turn me into something else, writers of the world. Make me Muslim, heretic, hermaphrodite. Put me into a crusader's armor, a cardinal's vestments. Let me feel the pygmy's heartbeat, the queen's breast, the torturer's pleasure, the Nile's taste, or the nomad's thirst.

Fortunately, there appear to be no great writers here.

I was the only person in the world who thought it was a military duty to appear to be in a good mood.

They don't call them the lords of discipline for nothing.

The human soul can always use a new tradition.

Let's start one here.

I realized early that unless you're willing to kill the innocent, you can't win.

He must mean something else, she thought.

I would always be a better hater of things and institutions than a lover of them.

That makes [at least] two of 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 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:44 am

Nein

A gentle reminder that social media has not destroyed civilization. But I’d like to think there’s still time.


Unless of course you die first.

For best results: never remove the plastic wrap.

Better still, never take it out of the box.

A gentle reminder that it’s not your Wednesday that feels like a Monday. It’s your 2019.

Not unlike all the other years.

The good news: the year is ending. The bad news: I’m told there will be another.

With any luck though, your last.

Monday. The cruelest month.

And then every once in a while the cruelest year.

It was the casual Friday. Of our discontent.

If only 52 times a years. Or 365 if you count the other days.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:26 pm

John Fowles from The French Lieutenant's Woman

You do not even think of your own past as quite real; you dress it up, you gild it or blacken it, censor it, tinker with it ... fictionalize it, in a word, and put it away on a shelf - your book, your romanced autobiography. We are all in flight from the real reality. That is a basic definition of Homo sapiens.


The real reality? Right.

I think he was a little like the lizard that changes color with its surroundings. He appeared far more a gentleman in a gentleman's house. In that inn, I saw him for what he was. And I knew his color there was far more natural than the other.

You tell me your real color and I'll tell you mine.

He had not the benefit of existentialist terminology; but what he felt was a very clear case of the anxiety of freedom -- that is, the realization that one is free and the realization that being free is a situation of terror.

Talk about an intellectual contraption!!

Death is not in the nature of things; it is the nature of things.

Let's elaborate. You know, if that's even possible.

But though one may keep the wolves from one’s door, they still howl out there in the darkness.

And not just wolves for most of us.

When he returned to London he fingered and skimmed his way through a dozen religious theories of the time, but emerged in the clear a healthy agnostic. What little God he managed to derive from existence, he found in nature, not the Bible; a hundred years earlier he would've been a deist, perhaps even a pantheist.

And a hundred years later...?
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 Jan 18, 2019 8:34 pm

Werner Twertzog

The 5-second rule is not applicable to foods that are sopping wet.


Unless, of course, you are starving.

Vacations are important for relearning that you will never be happy.

That's why I never took them.

Be the corpse at every wedding and the bride at every funeral.

Indeed, rub their faces in it.

When people show you who they really are, run like hell.

Here, of course, we just log out.

Postmodernism will be appropriated by reactionary conservatives to destabilize commonly-held notions of evidence.

When Trump is impeached for example.

Dance like you are being surreptitiously recorded, and the video will be posted to YouTube, so that you will be publicly humiliated, daily, for the rest of your life. Even your great-grandchildren will speak of you with shame.

Or, if you're Jacob, philosophize. :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 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:12 am

Zhuangzi

The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?


No one like that here, right?

Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

Is this profound or not?

A path is made by walking on it.

Not counting where it takes you.

Rewards and punishment is the lowest form of education.

Tell that to Skinner's behaviorists.

The wise man knows that it is better to sit on the banks of a remote mountain stream than to be emperor of the whole world.

Maybe back then, right?

Happiness is the abscence of the striving for happiness.

Maybe back then, 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 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:13 pm

Bernhard Schlink

To me it was obvious that experimental literature was experimenting on the reader, and Hanna didn't need that and neither did I.


I'm with them here.

The value of being brave, working hard, saving money keeping order depends on what it's for.

On the other hand, isn't everything?

I wanted reality to drive out the clichés.

Or at last come up with new ones.

All survivor literature talks about this numbness, in which life's functions are reduced to minimum, behavior becomes completely selfish and indifferent to others, and gassing and burning are everyday occurences. In the rare accounts by perpetrators , too, the gas chambers and ovens become ordinary scenary, the perpetrators reduced to their few functions and exhibiting a mental paralysis and indifference, a dullness that makes them seem drugged or drunk.

Fortunately, I can't even imagine it.

I did not know that children think the hard questions they ask are easy and thus expect easy answers to them, and that they are disappointed when they get cautious, complex answers.

And then some grow up to be Kids.
Don't they?


When an airplane's engines fail, it is not the end of the flight.

If you know what he 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 iambiguous » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:41 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

Early capitalism: Be all you can produce
Middle capitalism: Be all you can borrow
Late capitalism: Sorry, you’ve been sold for scrap


And that's not even counting the Third World.

Philosophy 101: Why?
Philosophy 201: Why why?
Philosophy 301: Why oh why did I study philosophy?


Let's pin down Philosophy 401.

Philosophy 101: Everything you believe is false
Philosophy 201: Everything you believe is true and false
Philosophy 301: Truth and falsity don't believe in anything, especially you


Let's pin down Philosophy 401.

A Typology of Philosophy Tweets
1) Something about knowing nothing
2) Void, Abyss, Void, Abyss
3) Kant pun
4) Nietzsche quotation with a picture of a cute baby ferret


Let's just say it will be true eventually.

Your childhood ends when you stop pretending to have finished The Brothers Karamazov and start pretending to have finished War and Peace.

Unless of course it's the other way around. Like it is for most of us.

The Metamorphosis: Kafka's famous short story about the abject humiliation of a family that learns that their son
a) can't land a TED Talk
b) has only 9 followers on Twitter
c) applied to work for Trump but didn't get the job


d] posts 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 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:51 pm

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Americans on the average do not trust intellectuals, but they are cowed by power and stunned by celebrity.


None of us though, right?

Japanese American, she corrected me. Not Japanese. And Vietnamese American, not Vietnamese. You must claim America, she said. America will not give itself to you. If you do not claim America, if America is not in your heart, America will throw you into a concentration camp or a reservation or a plantation.

I'm just a regular American, he thought.

I sipped my scotch. It was smoky and smooth, tasting of peat and aged oak, underscored by licorice and the intangible essence of Scottish masculinity. I liked my scotch undiluted, like I liked my truth.

Single malt truths, anyone?

And yet at Yan’an, Mao said that art and literature were crucial to revolution. Conversely, he warned, art and literature could also be tools of domination.

The key here is to become "one of us".

Before I only wanted to change the world. I still want that, but it was ironic how I never wanted to change myself.

You know, whatever that means.

All this time I kept my gaze fixed on hers, an enormously difficult task given the gravitational pull exerted by her cleavage. While I was critical of many things when it came to so-called Western civilization, cleavage was not one of them. The Chinese might have invented gunpowder and the noodle, but the West had invented cleavage, with profound if underappreciated implications.

What could be or not be more natural?
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 Jan 20, 2019 6:27 pm

David Foster Wallace from Infinite Jest

Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it/


I know: what if that was really true?

...it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak.

That and a damn good reason.

We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately - the object seemed incidental to this will to give ourselves away, utterly.

And haven't I been saying that here for years? It's not what you believe so much as that you believe it. Objectively for example.

Yes, I'm paranoid — but am I paranoid enough?

Like that's even possible.

He suddenly felt nothing, or rather Nothing, a pre-tornadic stillness of zero sensation, as if he were the very space he occupied.

That makes two of us. At least.

My bones are ringing the way sometimes people say their ears are ringing, I'm so tired.

Just not anymore.
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 Jan 20, 2019 9:23 pm

Existential Comics

Analytic philosopher: let's simplify this to the point it has no relation to the problem.
Continental philosopher: let's complicate this to the point no one understands it.


All of the above?

Harry Potter, and the Purging of the Socialist Wing of the Party.

Maybe on another planet.

The thing they don't tell you about channeling your despair into art is that you have to be good at art or you just end up with shitty despair.

Let alone channeling your despair into philosophy?

Philosophy is important because it teaches you to not understand things.

Or, if you are really lucky, not to want to.

It's weird when people thank military members for their "service to the country." As if we got any benefit out of invading Iraq. If you want to thank someone for their service, thank your garbage man.

Or, more realistically, your mailman.

The reason for morality being defined as "the greatest happiness for the greatest number" took thousands of years to formulate is because you have to write huge volumes of philosophy first in order to get anyone into a confused enough state of mind to actually believe it.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:03 am

Dave Eggers

Secrets are the enablers of antisocial, immoral and destructive behavior.


And not just from the deep state.

Don’t you think if someone like me, someone who invented most of this shit, is scared, don’t you think you should be scared, too?

Who said that I wasn't?

People are strange, but more than that, they're good. They're good first, then strange.

On the other hand...

Now, you and I both know that if you can control the flow of information, you can control everything.

So, who controls that here?

Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth. But here, all had been perfected. The best people had made the best systems and the best systems had reaped funds, unlimited funds.

Okay, but where exactly is this Circle?

Then why are you talking about exhibitionism? It's a ridiculous term. Someone wants to celebrate their existence and you call it exhibitionism. It's niggardly. If you don't want anyone to know about your existence, you might as well kill yourself.

Right, like you can't take that too far.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:26 pm

Timothy Snyder

This is pluralism: not a synonym of relativism, but rather an antonym. Pluralism accepts the moral reality of different kinds of truth, but rejects the idea that they can all be placed on a single scale, measured by a single value.


That works for me. Sort of.

Between July 1942 and June 1943, only 4,705 Jews were admitted to the United States—fewer than the number of Warsaw Jews who were killed on a given day at Treblinka in summer 1942.

Okay, what does that really mean?

Western journalists are also taught to report various interpretations of the facts. The adage that there are two sides to a story makes sense when those who represent each side accept the factuality of the world and interpret the same set of facts. Putin’s strategy of implausible deniability exploited this convention while destroying its basis. He positioned himself as a side of the story while mocking factuality. “I am lying to you openly and we both know it” is not a side of the story. It is a trap.

Has Don already trumped this?

A common American error is to believe that freedom is the absence of state authority.

While swallowing one or another religion hook, line and sinker.

A Nazi leader outmaneuvers his opponents by manufacturing a general conviction that the present moment is exceptional, and then transforming that state of exception into a permanent emergency.

Like for example the war on terror.

Authoritarianism begins when we can no longer tell the difference between the true and the appealing. At the same time, the cynic who decides that there is no truth at all is the citizen who welcomes the tyrant.

Now hold on 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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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:07 am

James D. Watson

The way to do great science is to stay away from subjects that are overpopulated, and go to the frontiers.


Are there any of those left?

A clone of Einstein wouldn't be stupid, but he wouldn't necessarily be any genius, either.

Really, what if there was one?

I turned against the left wing because they don't like genetics, because genetics implies that sometimes in life we fail because we have bad genes. They want all failure in life to be due to the evil system.

Let's connect the dots between this and...Hitler?

I don't think we are here for anything. We're just products of evolution. You can say, "Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose." But I'm anticipating a good lunch.

This is actually quite profound, he thought.

Nothing new that is really interesting comes without collaboration .

Anyone here care to collaborate with me?

If scientists don't play God, who will?

Let's make a list.
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 Jan 22, 2019 2:23 am

The Dead Author

It's 2019 and we still haven't given up on linear history.


Define "we".

Raindrops are just dead snowflakes.

And God wouldn't have it any other way.

It's never too late to start writing but always too early.

That can't be good.

Why did Narcissus go to a nude beach when he can't swim.

Why would anyone not go?

The name of your Kafka character is the job your father wanted you to have + the first name of the last person you ghosted + K.

He means the other Kafka, of course.

If you're feeling empty, at least you still have space inside.

And if that doesn't console 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 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:02 pm

David Sedaris

When it happens to you it's a national tragedy—Why aren't the papers reporting this? you wonder. Only when it happens to someone else do you realize what a dull story it really is.


What do you think, human nature?

Dad followed his I’m-So-Disappointed speech with a lecture on career opportunities.
You’re going to study literature and get a job doing what? he asked. Literaturizing?


Then he steered him to Wall Street.

Today a child told Santa that he wanted his dead father back and a complete set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone wants those Turtles.

Of course I never did.

I felt betrayed, the way you do when you discover that your cat has a secret secondary life and is being fed by neighbors who call him something stupid like Calypso. Worse is that he loves them as much as he loves you, which is to say not at all, really. The entire relationship has been your own invention.

Of course that would never happen with your dog.

...that’s what fantasies are for: they allow you to skip the degradation and head straight to the top.

You know, IN the fantasy.

I attributed their behavior to the fact that they didn't have a TV, but television didn't teach you everything. Asking for candy on Halloween was called trick-or-treating, but asking for candy on November first was called begging, and it made people uncomfortable. This was one of the things you were supposed to learn simply by being alive, and it angered me that the Tomkeys did not understand it.

Imagine then not having a computer.
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 Jan 23, 2019 12:17 am

David Bowie

All art is unstable. Its meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author. There is no authoritative voice. There are only multiple readings.


Of course all philosophy is stable.

Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.

Feel free to confront mine.

There's a terror in knowing what the world is about.

And it's not just that it's meaningless and absurd.

I'm not sure whether it is me changing my mind, or whether I lie a lot.

Or whether you're changing your lies.

The name Bowie just appealed to me when I was younger. I was into a kind of heavy philosophy thing when I was 16 years old, and I wanted a truism about cutting through the lies and all that.

And Bowie does that?

Look up here, I'm in heaven.

I know: When did he say that?
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 Jan 23, 2019 4:22 am

tiny nietzsche

AP: trump denounces canadian prog rock "we must protect our borders from concept albums"


He means Rush of course. If you'd call them progressive.

it was a dark and stormy nihilist

Is there any other kind?

sartre don't surf

And imagine how he felt about napalm.

I dreamt the trees had teeth

Who hasn't?

buzzfeed: trump drinks his own piss
trump: fake news
mueller: accurate


In a parallel universe say.

you're living in your own private isotope

In Idaho 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 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:40 pm

Dashiell Hammett

I haven't laughed so much over anything since the hogs ate my kid brother.


Actually he fed him to them.

The people who lie the most are nearly always the clumsiest at it, and they're easier to fool with lies than most people, too. You'd think they'd be on the look-out for lies, but they seem to be the very ones that will believe almost anything at all.

Not only that but no one knows why.

He felt like somebody had taken the lid off life and let him see the works.

And isn't that pretty much what I do here, Mr. Objectivist?

He felt like somebody had taken the lid off life and let him see the works.

Yeah, but he's Sam Spade.

The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

Or, here: The dumber the philosopher....

I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, its possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon.

And, after all, it is a material 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 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:46 pm

so sad today

sexually transmitted anxiety


I'll take my chances, he thought.

take my feelings out with the trash

You know, along with the thoughts.

can’t tell if people know they are full of shit or have no clue

Like [for all practical purposes] it makes any difference.

we're going to spend the rest of our lives together in my head

Better mine than yours.

why does everyone have to make everything so stupid

My guess: they're stupid.

wish i could retire from thinking about big beautiful dicks

Let's help her.
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 Jan 24, 2019 12:16 am

Tara Westover

I began to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money.


And how many can say that?

There was a pause, then more words appeared—words I hadn’t known I needed to hear, but once I saw them, I realized I’d been searching my whole life for them.

Would that this might happen to me.

To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both. It is a frailty, but in this frailty there is a strength: the conviction to live in your own mind, and not in someone else’s.

Right, like this makes my points go away.

Choices, numberless as grains of sand, had layered and compressed, coalescing into sediment, then into rock, until all was set in stone.

Of course that's perfectly normal. Right, Mr. Objectivist?

I had discerned the ways in which we had been sculpted by a tradition given to us by others, a tradition of which we were either willfully or accidentally ignorant. I had begun to understand that we had lent our voices to a discourse whose sole purpose was to dehumanize and brutalize others—because nurturing that discourse was easier, because retaining power always feels like the way forward.

Then you go on to discern other things.

Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.

Could anything be more absurd? 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 Jan 24, 2019 6:00 pm

Barbara Kingsolver

I thought: this is how life is, ridiculous beyond comprehension.


Okay, but who can actually afford to believe it?

Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.

Is this an actual thing?

...the conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners.

Well, it is after all the new religion.

Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.

In fact, in the world today, figure out both.

Science doesn't tell us what we should do. It only tells us what is.

Let's keep it that way.

What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us.

Sure, but look at all the fantastic things that we've gained. Let's list them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:09 am

Pat Conroy

Time moves funny and it's hard to pin down. Occasionally, time offers you a hundred opportunities to do the right thing. Sometimes, it gives you only one chance.


Time: Don't forget to seize it.

. . . I have come to revere words like "democracy" and "freedom," the right to vote, the incomprehensibly beautiful origins of my country, and the grandeur of the extraordinary vision of the founding fathers. Do I not see America's flaws? Of course I do. But I now can honor her basic, incorruptible virtues, the ones that let me walk the streets screaming my ass off that my country had no idea what it was doing in South Vietnam. . . . I have come to a conclusion about my country that I knew then in my bones, but lacked the courage to act on: America is a good enough country to die for even when she is wrong.

Among other things, he thought, fuck that.

...I realize words are never enough; they stutter and cleave to the roof of my mouth.

And then the equivalent of that when we post them here.

I was trying to unravel the complicated trigonometry of the radical thought that silence could make up the greatest lie ever told.

In other words, you can forget arithmetic here.

In Charleston, more than elsewhere, you get the feeling that the twentieth century is a vast, unconscionable mistake.

The whole fucking South for that matter.

My mother's voice and my father's fists are two bookends of my childhood, and they form the basis of my art.

One way or another we've all got a slice of that.
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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