a thread for mundane ironists

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:28 pm

Michael Lewis

On Wall Street, the lawyers play the same role as medics in war: They come in after the shooting is over to clean up the mess.


Not unlike in the Oval Office.
Again, in other words.


Analyzing baseball yields many numbers of interest and value. Yet far and away -- far, far and away -- the most critical number in all of baseball is 3: the three outs that define an inning. Until the third out, anything is possible; after it, nothing is.

Times 9 [or more]. Then times 162.

I have a job to do. Make money for my clients. Period. But boy it gets morbid when you start making investments that work out extra great if a tragedy occurs.

You know, for the "little guy".

People with Asperger’s couldn’t control what they were interested in. It was a stroke of luck that his special interest was financial markets and not, say, collecting lawn mower catalogues.

Or posting here.

It was as if he had been assigned to take apart a fiendishly complicated alarm clock to see why it wasn’t working, only to discover that an important part of the clock was inside his own mind.

No, I don't get it either.

Textbooks in economics, which explain the economic purpose of money (a unit of account, a store of value, and a means of exchange), usually neglect to mention the chief role of money in America: a source of entertainment.

You know, if you can afford 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 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:16 pm

Neil Gaiman

Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.


My own ideas are dead on arrival.
Among other things, too scary...


Honestly, if you're given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don't say 'what kind of tea?'

Let alone ask for coffee.

You can't trust other people. If it's important, you have to do it yourself.

On the other hand, if you do that, you can't blame other people.

You don't have to stay anywhere forever.

Tell that to those who do.

Different people remember things differently, and you'll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.

For example, Trump colluding with the Russkies.

It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.

Fortunately, I sleep in a recliner. True story.
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 Jul 25, 2017 8:25 pm

Elena Epaneshnik

Deadline is when you have a whole eternity to finish your work, but no time whatsoever.


No deadlines here though, right?

Hell is not other people, hell is that one other person.

Sure, him too.

I've come up with a new subculture: be yourself.

"I" can go along with that.

While we work, someone else is making money.

Maybe, but not after Trump and Putin drain the swamp.

If it sounds beautiful in your head don't tweet it.

That's what Facebook is for.

And while we're all still waiting for Godot, he's probably in love.

With that Black Jew Witch no doubt.
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 Jul 25, 2017 11:20 pm

Peter Sloterdijk

How much truth is contained in something can be best determined by making it thoroughly laughable and then watching to see how much joking around it can take. For truth is a matter that can withstand mockery, that is freshened by any ironic gesture directed at it. Whatever cannot withstand satire is false.


Five will get you ten it is always his truth.

We can trace the communitarian fantasy that lies at the root of all humanism back to the model of a literary society, in which participation through reading the canon reveals a common love of inspiring messages. At the heart of humanism so understood we discover a cult or club fantasy: the dream of the portentous solidarity of those who have been chosen to be allowed to read.

Five will get you ten it is always his humanism. But, sure, point taken.

In truth, the crossing from nature to culture and vice versa has always stood wide open. It leads across an easily accessible bridge: the practising life.

Actually [of course] the crossing will only ever be as wide as you make it.

The biggest and, outwardly, most trustful banker in history is God, the administrator delegated to eternity. And his credit institute is Paradise. Billions of faithfuls, for centuries, have invested in the hope of God, expecting redemption in eternal life. And since the celestial agency is going bankrupt, nothing is left of its capital, on which the hopes of six billion faithful consumers rely. Capitalism is a project of universal anthropology. Humans primarily are beings who desire. Not in an hedonistic, but in a materialistic sense: in the modern period, Westerners have looked for felicity through the possession of objects and the consumption of commodities.

I've probably said this better myself. But, sure, maybe not.

There is no 'eugenics' in Nietzsche - despite occasional references to 'breeding'- at least no more than is implicit in the recommendation to choose a partner under decent lightning conditions and with one's self-respect intact. Everything else falls under training, discipline, education and self-design - the Übermensch implies not a biological but an artistic, not to say an acrobatic programme.

All this while still acknowledging that the question "Why?" finds no answer.

As long as no more than a small minority are capable of reading and writing, universal alphabetization seems like a messianic project. Only once everyone has this ability does one notice the catastrophe that almost no one can do it properly.

Unless, of course, you are "one 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 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:16 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

We aren’t exactly emptying the oceans; it’s more like clear-cutting a forest with thousands of species to create massive fields with one type of soybean.


In other words, business as usual.

We are breeding creatures incapable of surviving in any place other than the most artificial settings. We have focused the awesome power of modern genetic knowledge to bring into being animals that suffer more.

In other words, business as usual.

The world is a big place, he said, but so is the inside of an apartment!

Big being, among other thing, relative.

Was his death an essential stage in the continuation of his life?

God knows. Just not, perhaps, literally.

Or maybe what he fears is just the opposite: that nobody is looking; that his death, like his life, is without purpose; that there is neither greater good nor evil -- only people living and dying because their bodies function and then do not; that the universe is a rip.

Let's face it, few things disturb people more than in acknowledging that this might be true.
Rip? Let's start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip


Maybe I'll try to be more patient with morons.

Unless, of course, they're 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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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:17 pm

Terry Pratchett

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.


What have you got to say about that, Mr. Hawking?

Don't think of it as dying, said Death. Just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush.

Yeah, sure, there are days I might fall for that.

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.

That and all capital letters.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

Ready to ante up?

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

No, he means it.

No! Please! I'll tell you whatever you want to know! the man yelled.
Really? said Vimes. What's the orbital velocity of the moon?
What?
Oh, you'd like something simpler?


By the way, it's 2,288 miles per hour.
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 Jul 27, 2017 4:19 pm

George Bernard Shaw

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.


Mine was a torch once too. Or, sure, maybe not.

In heaven an angel is no one in particular.

Well, theoretically.
But point taken.


No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

Imagine then the implicatinons of that!

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?

Of course for others that is the ideal condition. You know, just a reminder.

If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.

Right, like that is always an option.

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.

And that's in the book.
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 Jul 27, 2017 7:57 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

The greatest threat to our future is
Marx: the past
Beckett: the present
Derrida: the present perfect
Nietzsche: the future


Oviously: All of the above.
And then some.


Twitter: Inviting you to rethink your decision to learn how to read since 2006.

Noted on [of course] Twitter.

A Brief History of Justice
1) An eye for an eye
2) Due process
3) The social contract
4) Respect for the individual
5) An eye for an eye


Let's file this one [obviously] under, "what goes around comes around".

A good tweet
Hegel: unfolds dialectically
Kant: augments the free play of the mind
Camus: screams "Delete me!" with every fiber of its being


That was before Don Trump of course.

Philosophy's problem is that it's too
Schelling: Hegelian
Kierkegaard: Hegelian
Marx: Hegelian
Schopenhauer: Hegelian
Nietzsche: Nietzschean


Which one doesn't belong?

What do reason and capitalism have in common? They're both religions that masquerade as the foundation of atheism.

Not counting 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 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Joseph Heller

Why are they going to disappear him?
I don't know.
It doesn't make sense. It isn't even good grammar.


Of course that gets less and less important all the time.

Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window, and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all.

That and being in the right place at the right time.

You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you're at war and might get your head blown off any second.
I more than resent it, sir. I'm absolutely incensed.
You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs, or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate.
Consciously, sir, consciously, Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. I hate them consciously.
You're antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated, or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you. Violence depresses you. Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you're a manic-depressive!
Yes, sir. Perhaps I am.
Don't try to deny it.
I'm not denying it, sir, said Yossarian, pleased with the miraculous rapport that finally existed between them. I agree with all you've said.


Rapport!
With someone!!
With anyone at all!!!
[just not so far]


From now on I'm thinking only of me.
Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.
Then, said Yossarian, I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?


You can never be too reasonable.

Every writer I know has trouble writing.

Trust me: Some considerably more than others. And not just here.

There is no disappointment so numbing as someone no better than you achieving more.

Worse, being famous for 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 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:34 pm

Gloria Steinem

...hate generalizes, love specifies...


Or, more specifically, in general they do.

But why didn't you leave? Why didn't you take my sister and go to New York? she would say it didn't matter, that she was lucky to have my sister and me. If I pressed hard enough, she would add, If I'd left, you never would have been born. I never had the courage to say: But you would have been born instead.

One is born, the other isn't. What then is the lesson learned?

In truth, we don't know which of our acts in the present will shape the future. But we have to behave as if everything we do matters. Because it might.

Indeed. I'm sure that's why we're all here. Not counting me of course.

Surrealism is the triumph of form over content.

Let's run that by Anthony Scaramucci.

Only women could bleed without injury or death; only they rose from the gore each month like a phoenix; only their bodies were in tune with the ululations of the universe and the timing of the tides. Without this innate lunar cycle, how could men have a sense of time, tides, space, seasons, movement of the universe, or the ability to measure anything at all? How could men mistress the skills of measurement necessary for mathematics, engineering, architecture, surveying—and so many other professions? In Christian churches, how could males, lacking monthly evidence of Her death and resurrection, serve the Daughter of the Goddess? In Judaism, how could they honor the Matriarch without the symbol of Her sacrifices recorded in the Old Ovariment? Thus insensible to the movements of the planets and the turning of the universe, how could men become astronomers, naturalists, scientists—or much of anything at all?

Is she missing the point or are men?

Like the spider spinning its web, we create much of the outer world from within ourselves. The universe is a joint product of the observer and the observed.

"I" and "we" out in a particular world. She has her version, I have mine.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:17 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?


Let's make this applicable to, among others, Nietzsche's Ubermen.

Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.

Anyone here been thinking instinctively of late?

In the act of tearing something apart, you lose its meaning.

Either that or reconfigure it into your own.

Emotion is contagious.

Let's file this one under, "for better or for worse". And, occasionally, then some.

Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.

Or your husband as the case may be. And, increasingly [of late], your partner.

The first task of Blink is to convince you of a simple fact: decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.

On the other hand, good for whom?
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 Jul 29, 2017 7:32 pm

Arthur Koestler

Our Press and our schools cultivate Chauvinism, militarism, dogmatism, conformism and ignorance. The arbitrary power of the Government is unlimited, and unexampled in history; freedom of the Press, of opinion and of movement are as thoroughly exterminated as though the proclamation of the Rights of Man had never been. We have built up the most gigantic police apparatus, with informers made a national institution, and the most refined scientific system of political and mental torture. We whip the groaning masses of the country towards a theoretical future happiness, which only we can.


Don Trump is working on the sequel right now. Or so some say.

I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water, and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and the corpses of the drowned.

Some objectivists make it this far, some don't.

The Party denied the free will of the individual - and at the same time it exacted his willing self-sacrifice. It denied his capacity to choose between two alternatives - and at the same time it demanded that he should constantly choose the right one. It denied his power to distinguish good and evil - and at the same time spoke pathetically of guilt and treachery. The individual stood under the sign of economic fatality, a wheel in a clockwork which had been wound up for all eternity and could not be stopped or influenced - and the Party demanded that the wheel should revolt against the clockwork and change its course. There was somewhere an error in the calculation; the equation did not work out.

Some objectivists take it this far, some don't. Though not all of them have a Party.

The principle that the end justifies the means is and remains the only rule of political ethics; anything else is just a vague chatter and melts away between one’s fingers.

And not just in the Oval Office.

The hangman is a disgrace to any civilized country.

Trust me: Not everyone agrees.

Honor is decency without vanity.

You know, theoretically.
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 Jul 29, 2017 11:17 pm

Thucydides

Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.


It still is. You know, thousands of years later.

People are inclined to accept all stories of ancient times in an uncritical way -even when those stories concern their own native counties...Most people, in fact, will not take trouble in finding out the truth, but are more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

They still are. You know, thousands of years later.

I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usaully goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.

Among others, Black Jew Witch is now able to confirm that.

To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defence. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect.

Again, some things never change.

A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.

A woman too. Or so some will insist.

The way that most men deal with traditions, even traditions of their own country, is to receive them all alike as they are delivered, without applying any critical test whatever.

Some will even reconfigure this into philosophy.
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 Jul 30, 2017 7:29 pm

Jasmine Warga

Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.


Let's file this one under, "no maybe about it".

You're like a grey sky. You're beautiful, even though you don't want to be.

Unless of course grey is your favorite color.

Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.

Not even God?

Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.

That's a start anyway.

I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention. Maybe that's what love really boils down to--having someone who cares enough to pay attention so that you're encouraged to travel and transfer, to make your potential energy spark into kinetic energy.

Or, sure, maybe not.

Life can seem awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable.

I'll let you know if -- when -- that ever happens to me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:49 pm

Existential Comics

Philosophy is great because since they all disagree with each other about everything, you can just pick out whoever backs your own opinions.


Cue the part about dasein. Or, sure, I'll do it for you.

What they don't teach you in science class is that reality is shitty, and you are going to have to deal with its shit your whole damn life.

Not to mention philosophy class. And, yes, even serious philosophy class.

The fact that all the top philosophers are huge assholes does make me think the entire discipline has all been a fantastic waste of time.

So, anyone here know who the "top philosophers" actually are?

The fact that we think that if AI gets too smart it will destroy humanity says more about humanity than it does AI.

This seems true of course but not always.

Aristotle's concept of "essential" and "accidental" properties is a dirty lie invented to make us think hotdogs don't count as sandwiches.

I know: Do hot dogs go that far back?

Reasons to drink:
1. You are sad.
2. You are happy.
3. You are bored.
4. It is Friday.
5. It is Monday.
6. There is beer in the fridge.


Oh, and hundreds and hundreds more.
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 Jul 30, 2017 11:09 pm

Roland Barthes

To whom can I put this question (with any hopes of an answer)? Does being able to live without someone you loved mean you loved her less than you thought...?


On the other hand, what are the odds of actually figuring this out?

Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.

He pondered [though not glumly]: What if that is true of philosophy too?

All those young photographers who are at work in the world, determined upon the capture of actuality, do not know that they are agents of Death.

Lots of old photographers too.

Suicide.
How would I know I don’t suffer any more, if I’m dead?


If you suffer enough on this side of the grave, questions like that will never even come up.

I cannot write myself. What, after all, is this "I" who would write himself? Even as he would enter into the writing, the writing would take the wind out of his sails, would render him null and void -- futile...

Go ahead, try it and see. Then let us know how futile.

“I can't get to know you" means "I shall never know what you really think of me." I cannot decipher you because I do not know how you decipher me.

So, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
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 Jul 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Evelyn Waugh

My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned. Now I despise all my seven children equally.


He'll just leave it to our imagination.

Evelyn Waugh: How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William?
Sir William Beveridge: I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it.
Waugh: I get mine spreading alarm and despondency and I get more satisfaction than you do.


Let's choose sides.

The human soul enjoys these rare, classical periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves - the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleepwalker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outside eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, outdistance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.

Yep, that's how it works alright. And whether you know it or not.

Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.

On the other hand, what's pretty next to beautiful?

Of course those that have charm don't really need brains.

On the other hand, what's charm next to beauty?

Pray always for all the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be quite forgotten at the throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom.

Hordes and hordes of them no doubt. Just like down 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 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:24 pm

Marjane Satrapi

In any case, it's the cowardice of people like you who give dictators the chance to install themselves!


That and sheer stupidity.

I was a Westerner in Iran, an Iranian in the West. I had no identity. I didn't even know anymore why I was living.

Not many familiar with that, are there?

Listen. I don't like to preach, but here's some advice. You'll meet a lot of jerks in life. If they hurt you, remember it's because they're stupid. Don't react to their cruelty. There's nothing worse than bitterness and revenge.

Some no doubt will beg to differ. In other words, not just me.

The revolution is like a bicycle. When the wheels don't turn, it falls.

Pick one:
1] fortunately
2] unfortunately


To be the mistress of a married man is to have the better role. Do you realize? His dirty shirt, his disgusting underwear, his daily ironing, his bad breath, his hemorrhoid attacks, his fuss, not to mention his bad moods, and his tantrums. Well all that is for his wife.

You know, if she puts up with it.

War always takes you by surprise.

The one I was in did.
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 Aug 01, 2017 5:47 pm

Sam Shepard

When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.


In other words [now] from the cradle to the grave.

I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing and endings are a disaster. … The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius.

Not counting the end of course.

Those are the most monotonous fuckin' crickets I ever heard in my life.

On the other hand, it's not like they have much choice.

She refers to her past as the time before she was "blown away.”

Not only that, but it can come from almost any direction.

When you consider all the writers who never even had a machine. Who would have given an eyeball for a good typewriter. Any typewriter. All the ones who wrote on a matchbook covers. Paper bags. Toilet paper. Who had their writing destroyed by their jailers. Who persisted beyond all odds.

That's how I started out alright. And look at me now.

....and in that wink I understood there might be grown men in this world who actually get a spark out of life.

He [meaning me] wondered: When's the last time I winked?
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 Aug 01, 2017 8:03 pm

The Dead Author

Existentialism 101
1. Kierkegaard: fear.
2. Nietzsche: pain.
3. Kafka: despair.
4. Heidegger: angst.
5. Sartre: nausea.
6. Camus: Sartre.


More shit from Dead White Guys?

Is there hope?
Schopenhauer: No.
Nietzsche: No.
Cioran: No.
Camus: No.
Spengler: No.
Adorno: No.
Kafka: Yes, but not for us.


See if you can spot the outlier.

As hard it is to live without hope, as easy it is to mistake despair for it.

I'll get back to you on this.

What should we become?
Adorno: Mature.
Nietzsche: Kids.
Heidegger: Ourselves.
Arendt: Thoughtful.
Wittgenstein: Anything but philosophers.


No, Nietzsche doesn't mean our Kids.

The irony of American history is that most of what presidents did that was within the law was worse than what they did to break it.

Cue the military industrial complex.

Pop philosophy: What's the meaning of life?
Analytic philosophy: What meaning?
Continental philosophy: What life?


Let's put them in the proper order.
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 Aug 01, 2017 11:17 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Quoting her mother: The trouble with a book is you never know what's in it until it's too late!


In other words, by then you are already corrupted.

That walls should fall is the consequence of blowing your own trumpet.

Or, better still, your own tuba.

Reading things that are relevant to the facts of your life is of limited value. The facts are, after all, only the facts, and the yearning passionate part of you will not be met there. That is why reading ourselves as a fiction as well as fact is so liberating.

Including the parts that really are fiction.

Wallowing is sex for depressives.

Man does that take me back!

I looked out across the Ocean, and determined to drown myself. I was up to my chin when the shout came, and I will never forget it. Never. For it seems to me that any hope in life is such a shout; a voice that answers the silent place of despair. It is silence that most needs an answering — when I can no longer speak, hear me.

Nope, no shout yet this week month year.

The baby explodes into an unknown world that is only knowable through some kind of a story -- of course that is how we all live, it's the narrative of our lives...

Not to fret, there's still hope you'll actually understand this some day.
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 Aug 02, 2017 5:26 pm

Ernest Hemingway

Some other places were not so good but maybe we were not so good when we were in them.


There's always that to consider. Here, for example.

...that every day should be a fiesta seemed to me a marvelous discovery...

Well, not counting the folks who can't afford it.

Some writers are only born to help another writer write one sentence.

Leading eventually [for some] to a paragraph or two.

I try not to borrow.
First you borrow. Then you beg.


Or first you beg.

Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.

Works for me. You know, whatever it means. Nothing probably.

She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying. But outside it kept on raining.

In other words, in this world, it's always never 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

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:20 pm

Peter Sloterdijk

Above all: only grant the suspicion that sport is a pastime for the most stupid as much space as it deserves, do not misuse it as a pretext to drift further in your customary state of self-neglect, distrust the philistine in yourself who thinks you are just fine as you are!


So, you tell me: Does the shoe fit?

As in the days of the first Merovingian, who pledged allegiance to the cross because of a victorious battle, today's children of the banalized Enlightenment are likewise meant to burn what they worshipped and worship what they burned.

That was before postmodernism. You know, obviously.

Consequently, immune systems at this level can be defined a priori as embodied expectations of injury and the corresponding programmes of protection and repair.

I'll bet that, like me, this never once occured to you.

Give up your attachment to comfortable ways of living - show yourself in the gymnasium...prove that you are not indifferent to the difference between perfect and imperfect, demonstrate to us that achievement - excellence, arete, virtu - has not remained a foreign word to you, admit that you have motives for new endeavours!

In other words, do exactly as he does.

In truth, philosophy is the mode of thought shaped by the most radical form of prejudice: the passion of being-in-the-world.

On the other hand, what he ever embodies is being-in-the-word.
For example:


Something is indeed returning today - but the conventional wisdom that this is religion making its reappearance is insufficient to satisfy critical inquiries. Nor is it the return of a factor that had vanished, but, rather a shift of emphasis in a continuum that was never interrupted. The genuinely recurring element that would merit our full intellectual attention is more anthropological than 'religious' in its implications - it is, in a nutshell, the recognition of the immunitary constitution of human beings.

Go ahead, you tell me how "being-in-the-world" is encompassed 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 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 am

Neil Gaiman

Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.


You can imagine my problem with that. Or, I suppose, maybe not.

He had heard about talking to plants in the early seventies, on Radio Four, and thought it was an excellent idea. Although talking is perhaps the wrong word for what Crowley did.
What he did was put the fear of God into them.
More precisely, the fear of Crowley.
In addition to which, every couple of months Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly, or succumbing to leaf-wilt or browning, or just didn't look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants. Say goodbye to your friend, he'd say to them. He just couldn't cut it. . .
Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant, and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flower pot, which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat.
The plants were the most luxurious, verdant, and beautiful in London. Also the most terrified.


For some, no doubt, a true story.

Not only are there no happy endings, she told him, there aren't even any endings.

Well, not counting that one of course.

You don't have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right.

Anyone here ever actually done that?

You musn’t be afraid of the dark.
I’m not, said Shadow. I’m afraid of the people in the dark.


Them and the monsters. When for example, you can tell them apart.

We often confuse what we wish for with what is.

And not just the faithful.
Last edited by iambiguous on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Aug 03, 2017 4:17 am

wrong thread
Last edited by iambiguous on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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