I’m feeling rusty & restless. Even the words bounce around now as if they have their own little kids will and just don’t want to be quieted down.
Cool, I’m not.
I know how I’m supposed to be. Not quite cool but not quite uncool either, a golden middle of sorts. Fuck Horace for that by the way. Fuck him with a stick. Probably he’ll like it. Most probably the stick won’t mind either. Sure beats lying around waiting to be given a beating with.
What I wanted to do was talk about death.
I’ll give her a capital even. Come on, Death, leave these other fuckers alone. They seem so busy and all bouncing around like they have nothing more than their little kids will to lead them around. What do I hear them whispering about? Pension, pension, pension. Oddball concept that. I looked into it, Mrs. D., it is healthy time you invest now in order to get a lot of unhealthy time back later. You don’t get it, D.? Me neither, but let’s explore it given you got time with everybody pushing you out indefinitely. Has to be hard on you as well; but, oh no, nobody thinks about the D-man’s point of view. Well I do, D., I do think about your point of view all the time even if those suckers tell me it’s a mad-hat thing to do.
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
‘Ausserdem lehrt die Zoologie dass aus einer Summe von reduzierten Individuen sehr wohl ein geniales Ganzes bestehen kann.‘
Robert Musil, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften, Band I, p. 32, Rowholt (rororo), 1978.
[Amateuristic English translation below: “Besides, Zoology teaches us that out of the sum of reduced individuals may well emerge a brilliant whole.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 18-03-2010. Ah, my Musil period ;-]
I’m tired. I could just go with the irony of this & make it easy on myself. Heroism is, after all, the easiest interpretation of human value. Heroism combined with some praise of the supporting sheepishness, insofar as it supports the survival of the heroic queen bee. This is after all the classical conservative worldview of the many that are merely the fuel for the engine of greatness that, from time to time, delivers a prophet or a sage or an enlightened philosopher or a paradigm-shifting artist.
But I won’t make it that easy on myself. 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
“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.
“J’en faisoy un secret; et moy, qui ose tant dire de moy, ne parloy de mon argent qu’en mensonge, comme font les autres, qui s’appauvrissent riches, s’enrichissent pauvres, et dispensent leur conscience de jamais tesmoigner sincerement de ce qu’ils ont. Ridicule et honteuse prudence.” M. De Montaigne, Essais, Livre 1, Flammarion 1969, Chapitre XIV, p. 105.
(amateuristic English translation: “I made it a secret; and I, who dare say so much about myself, did not speak about my monery except in lies, as do the others, who make seem they are poor when they are rich, or make seem they are rich when they are poor, and discharge their conscience of ever saying truthfully what they own. Ridiculous and shameful prudence.”)
I am rich. Worse than merely being rich, I became rich by complying to the social pressure towards a profession which was almost sure to make me rich; and abandoning what hope I had from achieving something meaningful in the line of things that were of real interest to me.
Shame on me?
“So that I may say at all times, even when you do not answer and perhaps hear nothing, something of this is being heard, I am not merely talking to myself, that is in the wilderness, a thing I could never bear to do – for any length of time. [Pause] That is what enables me to go on, go on talking that is.”
“Ah well what a joy in any case to know you are there, as usual, and perhaps awake, and perhaps taking all this in, some of all this, what a happy day for me … it will have been. [Pause] So far.”
Samuel Beckett, The Complete Dramatic Works, faber and faber, 1968, p. 145 & p. 152.
Maybe some day I can say more. For now only this:
No quote today. Just an announcement: I stopped reading. Obviously not quite, nobody can actually stop reading, nor do I have the intention to try to do something that is not quite possible. What I want to say is that I stopped reading for the purpose of being better at being well-read. Or shorter: I stopped reading for a purpose. Is this a big fucking deal? It isn’t, I suppose. What is?
I started out as a doubting atheist looking for a ‘clean’ solution. Looking for ‘the’ clean solution, in fact. A solution that would settle things once and for all. I have ended up a convinced atheist who knows that his first hunches were correct all along. More on that later, more on why those hunches were non-coincidental, below the fold. ‘Nothing is true, some things are false’ is the summary of my hunches. But how to sell that? How to make that catchy? How to win the charity of readers necessary for them to hear me out? I don’t know. What I do know is that something will need to come after modernism and post-modernism (and that it is unlikely to feature the term ‘modernism’). My proposal is the following: after post-modernism came perfectionism and the right term for the post-60’s up to now is that: perfectionism. We are a generation that wants things to be perfect or ‘as perfect as can be’. Error is to be minimized and, where possible, to be eliminated. An essential feature of progress is in fact seen to be the possibility of identifying areas where errors can be eliminated instead of just being minimized.
My proposal after having stopped reading is this: our next step is to move on to a view that can be best labeled as post-perfectionism.
Posted in Gadamer, myself
Tagged convergence, cultural optimism, decadence, post-perfectionism, progressive insight, quadrialectics, self, The Hilliard Ensemble, Un PoCo PoMo, universals