a thread for mundane ironists

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:16 am

Tristan Tzara

Dada is not modern at all, it is rather a return to a quasi-Buddhist religion of indifference. Dada puts an artificial sweetness onto things, a snow of butterflies coming out of a conjurer's skull. Dada is stillness and does not understand the passions.


No, really, he wondered, what is Dada?

But let's speak of art for a moment. Yes, art. I know a gentleman who makes excellent portraits. This gentleman is a camera.

Well, with a little help from his friends.

Any work of art that can be understood is the product of journalism. The rest, called literature, is a dossier of human imbecility for the guidance of future professors.

And, if you are lucky, you will never understand this.

Not the old, not the new, but the necessary.

Anyone here know what that is?

I write a manifesto and I want nothing, yet I say certain things, and in principle I am against manifestoes, as I am also against principles.

Among other things, gibberish propounded.

Thought is made in the mouth.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:58 am

Jan Mieszkowski

I think therefore
1650: I am
1800: I create
1848: I revolt
1920: I dread
1995: I code
2015: I tweet
2019: I shouldn't


Let's pin down what's next.

Greek tragedy: You tried really hard, but you're doomed
French tragedy: You sort of tried, but you're doomed
German tragedy: You didn't try at all, you're doomed, and it's funny


Okay, so what would that make American tragedy?

Ancient Ethics: I must respect the golden mean
Enlightenment Ethics: I must respect the moral law
Modern Ethics: I can do anything as long as no one is watching
Postmodern Ethics: I can do anything as long as everyone is watching


No quibbles here from me.

How do I pay?
Kierkegaard: With your unlimited reserves of dread
Nietzsche: With your immortal soul
Beckett: $5 should cover it, no?


Pay for what?

Plato: You're blind!
Aristotle: Get over it.
Oedipus: I'm blind!
Freud: Get over it.
Facebook: I can see!
Twitter: Get over it.


Hmm. Where do we fit in here?

Schopenhauer: Kill your ideas
Nietzsche: Kill your idols
Bataille: Kill your ideologies
Beckett: Stop pretending you know how to kill anything


With the possible exception of time, of course. Here for example.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:09 pm

Hans Arp

While guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might. We were seeking an art based on fundamentals, to cure the madness of the age, and find a new order of things that would restore the balance between heaven and hell.


And look at us now.

Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the natural and unreasonable order.

Fortunately for them [and still for us] that can mean practically anything.

Often the hands grasp more quickly than the head.

Still, imagine one without the other.

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.

Sounds like "cha ching".

The essence of a sculpture must enter on tip-toe, as light as animal footprints on snow.

Okay, but is that light enough?

To be full of joy when looking at an oeuvre is not a little thing.

Though it still manages to be most 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 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 pm

Existential Comics

Once you read enough philosophy you start to question every ordinary thing. For example, the other day I woke up and I was feeling really energized and refreshed and I was like "this can't be right."


It certainly wouldn't be with me.

Economists: "okay, first of all assume society is made up of rational actors."
Dostoyevsky, as he drives an axe through the economist's skull in a convoluted plan to become like Napoleon: "okay then what."


Exactly. Then what?

Yes, billion dollar corporations own all of our media, but they are surely kept honest by their billion dollar corporate advertisers.

You gotta love democracy.

Philosophical skepticism is important to learn because then whenever you have a problem you can be like "yeah but philosophically speaking this problem probably doesn't even exist."

Not counting conflicting goods of course.

How to be popular in:
Elementary school: be nice to people.
Middle School: own a game console.
High school: brutally enforce a ridged social hierarchy via cruel mockery of those beneath you and deferential tribute to those above you.
College: be nice to people.


Let's figure out why.

Imagine a society that cared as much about intellectuals as they do athletes, and every year millions tuned into the PHILOSOPHY bowl, where our greatest thinkers debated ideas.
Yeah I know…that would be boring as shit, right? Good thing it isn't the case.


Unfortunately [as it were] he has a 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

Postby iambiguous » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:12 am

Margaret Atwood from The Handmaid's Tale

You can think clearly only with your clothes on.


Either that or off.

I feel like the word shatter.

So, what word do you feel like?

It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.

And that's just in the either/or world.

If it's a story I'm telling, then I have control over the ending...
But if it's a story, even in my head, I must be telling it to someone.
You don't tell a story only to yourself. There's always someone else. Even when there is no one.


Of course that's a story in and of itself.

Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.

And what might they be here?

All you have to do, I tell myself, is keep your mouth shut and look stupid. It shouldn't be that hard.

Fortunately, for some, they already 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 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:56 pm

Andre Breton

I am the soul in limbo.


Aren't they all?

The simplest act of surrealism is to walk out into the street, gun in hand, and shoot at random.

Either that or putting Trump in the White House.

I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak.

One may so speak of many things.

The art of Frida Kahlo is a ribbon around a bomb.

That explains something I suppose.

Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions.

Everything but the only thing that really matters: demonstrating it.

At the outset, it is only liking, not understanding, that matters.

Some never understand at all of course.
He thought bitterly.
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 Feb 12, 2019 8:40 pm

tiny nietzsche

Let's get this postmodernism


Like, if we're lucky, once and for all.

too busy to care is the new everybody is going to die

You know, for better or for worse.

I dreamt I was the last void on earth

That is until I bumped into you.

you can live in a t-shirt for three days. that's it. after that, everyone around you is uncomfortable with what you've become

Anyone here actually try that?

bert needed ernie for the rent

Oh, and one other thing.
It's rumored.


death by radiation in space seems fair. death by radiation on earth is fucked up

Well, obviously.
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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And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:18 am

Lenny Bruce

There's a lot of money in wars, except in the war on poverty. Can't make any bread helping the poor.


You know, back when there actually was a war on poverty.

It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.

Here we can start with dasein.

Freedom of speech is a two way street, man. You have the right to say whatever you want and the Boss has a right to tell the police to arrest you.

Is that still going on?

Anyone who has two shirts when someone has none is not a christian.

Of course he's only paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Every group, every system has a set of values and morals and when you get outside those, then the alarms ring. I was politically incorrect to 95% of the country; luckily my 5% had the bread to come see me.

By bread he means dough.

Faith is to the human what sand is to the ostrich.

That's probably true. But only 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 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:06 pm

David Foster Wallace from Infinite Jest

The man who knows his limitations, has none.


If not out in the real world.

...loneliness is not a function of solitude.

Though, sure, for some, it can be.

...perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it.

Let's think of examples.

I'll say God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I'm not crazy about. I'm pretty much anti-death. God looks by all accounts to be pro-death. I'm not seeing how we can get together on this issue, he and I.

Now that's ironic.

I'm so scared of dying without ever being really seen. Can you understand?

Among other things, no.

When people call it that I always get pissed off because I always think depression sounds like you just get like really sad, you get quiet and melancholy and just like sit quietly by the window sighing or just lying around. A state of not caring about anything. A kind of blue kind of peaceful state.

What should it be called then?
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 Feb 14, 2019 12:10 am

Dave Eggers

He did a terrible thing and eliminating him would have left the world tidier. Or so goes the logic of the last fifty years of American justice. We throw away flawed people, people who have made terrible mistakes, with regularity and great alacrity. We jail drug dealers for decades, and we execute killers. We want them away. Out of sight.


Of course we don't exactly live in the best of all possible worlds.

Eliminate lobbyists. Eliminate polls. It might even eliminate Congress. If we can know the will of the people at any time, without filter, without misinterpretation or bastardization, wouldn’t it eliminate much of Washington?

The will of the people. Now that's a scary thought.

The easiest way to witness the stupidity and misplaced hopes of humanity is to watch, for twenty minutes, a human using a leaf blower. With this machine, the man was saying, I will murder all quiet. I will destroy the aural plane. And I will do so with a machine that performs a task far less efficiently than I could with a rake.

Another sad reminder of the way things are.

Did children want sports cars for parents? No. They wanted Hondas. They wanted to know that the car would start in all seasons.

My guess? Not all children.

And the only thing worse than the silencing of a martyr, a real martyr – someone with dangerous ideas – is silencing someone who has nothing at all to say.

We'll need a context of course.

You sit at a desk twelve hours a day and you have nothing to show for it except for some numbers that won’t exist or be remembered in a week. You’re leaving no evidence that you lived. There’s no proof.

You being who exactly?
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 Feb 14, 2019 5:29 pm

Timothy Snyder

Like Hitler, the President used the word lies to mean statements of fact not to his liking and presented journalism as a campaign against himself.


And he all but owns "fake news".

For tyrants, the lesson of the Reichstag fire is that one moment of shock enables an eternity of submission.

Here of course it's 9/11.

It turned out that the Germans were not, in fact, a master race. Hitler had accepted this possibility when he invaded the Soviet Union: “If the German people is not strong enough and devoted enough to give its blood for its existence, let it go and be destroyed by another, stronger man. I shall not shed tears for the German people.” Over the course of the war, Hitler changed his attitude towards the Soviet Union and the Russians: Stalin was not a tool of the Jews but their enemy, the USSR was not or was no longer Jewish, and its population turned out, upon investigation, not to be subhuman. In the end, Hitler decided, the future belongs entirely to the stronger people of the east.

And now they're in cahoots with Don Trump.

When exactly was the “again” in the president’s slogan “Make America great again”? Hint: It is the same “again” that we find in “Never again.”

Let's deconstruct this.

No major war or act of mass killing in the twentieth century began without the aggressors or perpetrators first claiming innocence and victimhood.

So, is this actually true?

We allowed ourselves to accept the politics of inevitability, the sense that history could move in only one direction: toward liberal democracy...We imbibed the myth of an "end of history". In doing so, we lowered our defenses, constrained our imagination, and opened the way for precisely the kinds of regimes we told ourselves could never return.

And so together let's weep for the future.
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 Feb 15, 2019 12:10 am

James D. Watson

Biology has at least 50 more interesting years.


Anyone know when he predicted this?
Anyone now what it means?


The biggest advantage to believing in God is you don't have to understand anything, no physics, no biology. I wanted to understand.

Then one day you're dead and gone. And, No God, forever and ever and ever.

I think the reason people are dealing with science less well now than 50 years ago is that it has become so complicated.

I hear that, he winced.

I wish there would be more movies about scientists.

Let's run this by Hollywood.

The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father didn't believe in God, and so he had no hang-ups about souls.

And lots of folks here still are. And so, one supposes, will their children be.

One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:46 am

so sad today

i was fine till you gave me hope


Me? Don't even think about it.

i came, i saw, i hid in the bathroom

Sitting on the toilet to boot.

you need to learn how to be fake better

In this world absolutely.

i’d rather get an unsolicited dick pic than an unsolicited piece of writing

Dick pics apparently are all the rage. Unsolicited or not.

i thought you were deep but you were just hot and quiet: a love story

And not only in Hollywood these days.

i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by not getting texted back

For starters, define "best".
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 Feb 15, 2019 8:01 pm

Francis Crick

There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.


Mystery matter on steroids as it were.

Avoid the temptation to work so hard that there is no time left for serious thinking.

Or, if you're like most folks, you avoid both.

The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he'll fight and die for it.

Especially yours, right, Mr Objectivist?

My own prejudices are exactly the opposite of the functionalists': "If you want to understand function, study structure".

And then there's Ayn Rand: "form follows function"
Of course we'll need a context.


A good scientist values criticism almost higher than friendship: no, in science criticism is the height and measure of friendship.

In theory as it were.

Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice.

Providing of course that any of us do.
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 Feb 16, 2019 12:05 am

David Sedaris

People in trailers were canned and labeled much like the apple juice down at the plant, stamped with ingredients for all the world to see: chicken fried steak, overcooked vegetables, no working knowledge of any major Italian movie directors--the list went on and on.


Or "trailer trash" to some.

The thing to remember is that more than anything in this world, these colored people wish they were white.

He insisted in the tanning salon.

Her expression changed then, becoming fearful rather than merely pained. It was the look you get when facing a sudden and insurmountable danger: the errant truck, the shakey 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.

I know what he means. But so far I've been lucky.

In the role of Mary, six-year-old Shannon Burke just barely manages to pass herself off as a virgin.

Is it even possible to explain this?

It was the artist’s duty to find the appropriate objects, and the audience’s job to decipher meaning. If the piece failed to work, it was their fault, not yours.

Same with your posts here, right?

Leeches are singing in my asshole.

That can't be good.
If it's actually true 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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