If you append a capital B to your first name and that first name is Jo, then the people around you are most probably in for some drama. What could I do? It is the only really entertaining biblical story and my surname happens to begin with a B. At least I left it capitalized, after all it is not like I am going to repent or something. I may be old but not as old as that (story).
I started out with a lot of luck. I was born in the West in a middle class family. This was followed with more luck. My brain turned out to work above average allowing me to graduate into a ‘top job’. After that came, well, more luck. A beautiful girl asked me out (or as we say in Flemish: on). It soon turned out most of her beauty actually was on the inside. Enter the drama, you think, but no, unless you call three adorable children drama. The first two were boy and girl so everybody in Spain called them a ‘king’s couple’ which was kind of on the mark as I certainly behaved a lot like a drama queen.
Rich, check. Smart, check. Happily married, check. Healthy and brainy children with lots of swag, check. If God were still alive, I’d be in for some real trouble. Fortunately Nietzsche checked his pulse for us, and found nothing. As it stands the only trouble I’ll be in is with the kids, associating them in such a non-swag way to being swag. They’ll forgive me because as corny as I may be, their parents stuck together and not just for them which is a double exception to their friends’ parents.
So here we went on our merry way making not one career but two, Continue reading
“I was glad when you hit me,” Mack went on. “I thought to myself – ‘Maybe this will teach me. Maybe I’ll remember this.’ But, hell, I won’t remember nothin’. I won’t learn nothin’. Doc,” (..)
J. Steinbeck, The Short Novels of John Steinbeck, Penguin Books 2009, Cannery Row, p. 496.
But he did learn. He was made to learn. Somehow learning is a sad thing because learning is leaving something behind and speeding away from it and that is why it is so common not to want to learn. Learning is picking up speed without knowing where you are getting to faster. There is a deep universal melancholy for a state of innocence which is a state of non-learning: the status quo.
“Whoever denies authority and fights against it is an anarchist.”
Sébastien Faure as quoted on p. 11 of ‘Anarchism’, by George Woodcock, broadview encore editions, 2004.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 31-03-2010.]
Since this is at the moment degenerating into a ‘what am I reading’-diary, and I was anyway looking to do a ‘Pop Culture’ entry (it being long ago and all), why not do an anarchist quote?
It’s not like the reader – if any – has a choice in the matter 😉
So I’m an anarchist. That means I have a problem. Because to a real anarchist I will be an example of le nouveau bourgeois. Continue reading
“Bleib nicht auf ebnem Feld!
Steig nicht zu hoch hinaus!
Am schönsten sieht die Welt
Von halber Höhe aus.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, Reclam, 2000, p. 16.
[Amateuristic English translation: “Don’t stay on the flat lands!Don’t climb too high!The most beautiful view of the world, can be seen from half-height.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 08-11-2009. I think I’m getting bored with this, but I’ll finish the re-posting because I’m getting close to finishing it. At least it makes me see how pitiful I am (although the end is better than the start.]
I am running a serious risk of not taking myself seriously enough. It’s a risk that is well less known because the average person is well to the overly serious side. Still, one can go too far in the other direction, as Nietzsche probably did round about the time he wrote the book from which this quote is taken. Maybe, with rising average levels of learning, it will become the standard to be more like Wilde than like the village preacher (or village nut, if you prefer).
This would be good but in naming the Great One with Anal Preferences, you get my point or at least so I hope: you can only laugh so much with yourself, before it gets to points where it becomes really laughable. Continue reading
“And as for the relationship of the subject to the truth when he comes to know it, the assumption is that if only the truth is brought to light, its appropriation is a relatively unimportant matter, something which follows as a matter of course. And in any case, what happens to the individual is in the last analysis a matter of indifference. Herein lies the lofty equanimity of the scholar, and the comic thoughtlessness of his parrot-like echo.”
S. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Princeton 1968, p. 24.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 28-10-2009, oddly enough one of just a few Kierkegaard quotes (and a really bad quought)! I must already have been getting old ;-]
A friend of mine put my mind again on Kierkegaard. Although I won’t praise the lord for it, I’m thankful for reading him early on in my life. He cured me of many things (one of them trying to be too serious about anything for too long a time). Most notably he cured me of religious group-think (and, consequently but with quite a significant delay, of all and any religious – or with more modern terms: deep, sincere, authentic – sentiment (although not of sentiment as such, see later)). He also cured me of feeling compelled to what is commonly preferred sentence-wise: i.e. short sentences. And of the need to avoid starting sentences with the word “And”.
So I dug in. Continue reading
Bleed for me
We’ll strap you to a pipe
Electrodes on your balls
Face down in a pool of piss
Bleed for me
In the name of world peace
In the name of world profits
America pumps up our secret police
America wants fuel
To get it, it needs puppets
So what’s ten million dead?
If it’s keeping out the Russians
Dead Kennedys, 1982, any of many lyrics sites.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 14-10-2009. No comment]
Indulge me (meaning: I’ll indulge myself anyway, thank you very much!). It’s been busy. I haven’t had a chance to take things in new directions. And I feel this need to be outspoken. That means I will here take the liberty to be brief and all mystical-like as behooves one who is convinced the populace needs it short and simple (peace, love, climate change and stuff).
In other words: awaiting the time to find a good quote, I will for this once try my best not to be myself. Continue reading
“But tho’ education be disclaim’d by philosophy, as a fallacious ground of assent to any opinion, it prevails nevertheless in the world, and is the cause why all systems are apt to be rejected at first as new and unusual.”
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, p. 167, Penguin Books, 1969.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 13-08-2009. Sounds promising, it’s at any rate actual.]
I do not exist! Or more accurately (and more boringly non-provocative): the ‘I’ does not exist. This claim would come closest to summing up my system, if such a thing as philosophical ‘systems’ would remain after Hume and Kant. As one was tempted to sum up Hume’s system in Hume’s day as “This world does not exist” in preparation of a smug chuckle with which to discard the details of what was said by him; I’m sure one would be tempted to Laugh Out Loud reading how I sum up my thoroughly individualist thought.
“Je lui disais que c’était bien quelque chose, notamment à ceux comme lui d’éminente qualité sur lesquels chacun a les yeux, de se présenter au monde toujours bien tempéré, mais que le principal était de pourvoir au-dedans et à soi-même; et que ce n’était, à mon gré, bien ménager ses affaires que de se ronger intérieurement: ce que je craignais qu’il fit pour mantenir ce masque et cette réglée apparence par le dehors.” Montaigne, Essais Livre II, Chapitre XXXI, folio classique, editions Gallimard, p; 488.
[Amateuristic English translation below: “I told him that it was quite something, certainly in those – like him – of eminent quality on whom everybody has their eyes, to present oneself to the world as always well tempered – but that the important thing was to provide for oneself internally; and that it was – to my taste – not a good way to manage one’s affairs to be eating oneself from the inside: which was what I feared he did to maintain that mask and that temperate appearance on the outside.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site original dd. 14-07-2009. Finally Montaigne again, I’m not so sure about my translation so don’t rely on it. I should look for a quote on impatience, I really should.]
Let me be clear: I’m fed up with all this excitement and passion and live fast stuff – even if I wouldn’t mind the ‘die young’ bit. Continue reading
“To boldly go where no man has ever gone before.”
G. Roddenberry, Star Trek, anywhere.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 02-05-2009. Surprisingly good one, à propos of this as well. ]
I never cared too much for most of this series. Among my many weaknesses there is a certain immunity to being radically ‘into’ anything. Still, that line and the general gist of it mean a lot to me and should mean a lot to you. Continue reading
” (..) Warum wurde mir nicht die Körperkraft, die Sünde dieses Planeten mit einem Axthieb umzulegen? Warum wurde mir nicht die Gedankenkraft, die geschändete Menschheit zu einem Aufschrei zu zwingen? Warum ist mein Gegenruf nicht stärker als dieses blecherne Kommando, das Macht hatte über die Seelen eines Erdenrunds? Ich bewahre Dokumente für eine Zeit, die sich nicht mehr fassen wird oder so weit vom Heute lebt, dass sie sagen wird, ich sei ein Fälscher gewesen. Doch nein, die Zeit wird nicht kommen, das zu sagen. Denn sie wird nicht sein. (..)”
Karl Kraus, Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, suhrkamp taschenbuch, 1986, p. 671.
[Amateuristic English translation: The grumbler at his writing desk: “(..) Why didn’t I get the bodily strength, to slay with one blow of the axe all the sins of this planet? Why didn’t I get the strength of thought, to force this defiled mankind to an outcry? Why is my voice of opposition not stronger than these hollow commands, that have in their power the souls of this globe? I keep documents for a time, no longer capable of grasping them or so far from now, that it will say, I am a manipulator. But no, the time will not come to say this. Because it will never be. (..)“
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 30-03-2009. As these posts get more recent I would hope they get better. Hope is always misguiding. It is what it is.]
I am an optimist. But, being an optimist, I don’t get it; I don’t get why, despite Kraus, we wound up in another world war; simply don’t get it why, for all the advances we did make, we still see words used in service of this, that or the other pet belief of one or another set of ‘in’-people domesticating us to pets. Continue reading