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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I just clarified my perception of yet another obnoxious flaw in human psychology...

Pity and self-pity are things people crave. I have no idea why, but we crave them, particularly when we feel like something's not fair.

ALSO: Pity and self-pity are a couple of the worst things that can happen to us.

When I was stuck in shit jobs in my teens and early-to-mid-20s, I "dealt with it" by drinking with my coworkers and wallowing in self-pity, and pitying each other, for hours after every shift... often till it was time to hurry to bed, sleep a few hours, and go back to work. We were craving pity and recognition of our wrongs, but all it wound up doing for us was to keep us from doing anything productive with the time we did have off.

I really wish I could have gotten in a time machine for a bit to see this video:

"Do your job, 20-year-olds"

It would have pissed me off, and it's not like I was the kind of little douche who would run off with the Peace Corps and think I was actually doing something that would help anyone (unless the Peace Corps has a Condom Cavalry?), but the basic message is good for any kid: Look, the fact that you're making yourself even more miserable than your shitty job makes you feel already is doing nobody any good, particularly not you. And you're not alone, the universe has no particular grudge against you, it just sucks for everyone, so, I don't know, just try not to be a jerk.

Yes, IT WOULD HAVE PISSED ME OFF NO END. But if I actually listened, it would have gotten me out of the shit jobs a lot faster.

Ah, sweet, sweet pity. The number one filler of jail cells. (And sweet, sweet irony: If I hadn't wasted so much time and energy on hating my shit jobs, I'd have had less shit to deal with in total.) Just because we want things doesn't mean they're good for us.

But just because they're nasty doesn't mean they're good for us either. The obvious example being hitting yourself in the face with a hammer, but more subtle things, like feeling overly guilty just to be sure you aren't a jerk, perhaps more thoroughly permeate life with badness that can't be reversed.

"OK, so be a jerk, but don't be a jerk? Don't do what feels good, and don't do what feels bad? How am I supposed to know what IS good for me?"

Well, assuming you're young, try to listen to your elders (if you're old, you're probably screwed already anyway, so decide for yourself whether that next beer is worth it), and learn to avoid the most common mistakes before you make them.

Suuuuuure. But then again, in order to come to the understanding that you should listen to your fuck-up, pathetic elders precisely BECAUSE they have fucked up and proved that the thing they tried doesn't work, you generally have to learn by making the mistake of not listening to your elders... (and as you may have noticed, your elders can generally only give you anti-examples. Don't do this, I'm rich but I'm miserable. Don't do that, she died of starvation at age 82... does it start to look like there ARE no good choices?)... and by the time you have that lesson down you've already fumbled your way into middle age and now, jesus h. Christ, you're the old fuckup now and there's no one willing to give you free advice anymore. Your turn, gramps! Try to tell the kids to listen to the grownups, that's the life lesson that's become your job to repeat to no avail.

Hopefully you'll just be advising the neighborhood kids. Because really, who needs Son of Fuckup around?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Still working on the part of the sci-fi epic called LYFE that this may or may not finally fit into...

 It's a bitter musing that may or may not be delivered by a member of a semi-immortal and rather high and mighty alien species to its cranky but humbled human interlocutor; depending on how this particular alien's character finishes growing in me old petri dish, he may or may not be agnostic enough to believably say such a thing. Also, there's stuff in it about current physics. No doubt THAT will have to be tinkered with.

But I'd like to try it out as a blog post, for now. You know, keeping up the public interest in case a sci-fi publishing house ever decides to actually check LYFE out instead of tossing it on the "no space cowboys? yawn" section of the slush pile. Highly unlikely, since I'm not on television, but you know, I need to do stuff that tricks my brain into thinking continual breathing isn't just a vanity.

(clears throat)

Did it never occur to you people that this place may be too awful to be random? A mean retarded Maker gloats over your strange seductive minds, these bitter conscious soap bubbles he’s trapped in his weak meat soup. Why would the godshead sentence itself to so many centuries of such bad gruel? Clearly he thinks it’s a very funny joke. So funny it’s worth the taste of raw blood forever! How bitter to be the ultimate butt of this joke—a “person"—to ride, awake, within the gross blood pudding, wishing only to be free of it—and yet you cry to see God grin and drool as he gorges it down, idiocy omnipotent. So pleased with its paltry, sloshing joke, a joke that never stops begging for mercy! How nightmarish, to always know he will have the last bite. Which is worse for us creatures: to be awake to feel this obscene bully tear the last of you from your shell, or to be “mercifully” spared the last of your memories? But what’s the worth of a memory that can only be held for never? For whose benefit would you savor that last beautiful sunset drenched in pain? The moment it happens, the personality stew you’re so disgustingly proud of is gone.

Or perhaps there is no god. But again I ask you: could such a malicious universe truly be an accident? Some of us have guessed that perhaps the “god” is a scientist, who’s created the universe we live in with an apparatus—the way our physicians can very momentarily create a “universe” with its own laws of physics in a jar. Do those “universes” we create for fun live and die these same subjective agonies in their soap bubble? Or are we merely playing at god, while the one true God laughs cruelly as we dab in the sandbox, waiting for his fang? Or if we are, in fact, creatures of another scientist’s soap bubble, who created that nasty scientist? And who created his Creator? And is there a universe that isn’t eating its own tail, and if there is why have we creatures here been shut out of it forever? Perversely, the only comfort is to think that we really are in hell and we truly enjoyed our mortal sins in a former life. I hope they were delicious.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Escape into the darkness... FREE BOOKS! Today through Tuesday.

The Talkative Corpse, in its first, slightly typo marred-version (I'm pretty sure I uploaded the wrong file this April, unless I'm going blind) is available ABSOLUTELY FREE as an ebook at the following address from now till Tuesday:

MEANWHILE, the second, improved edition, at a reduced price, has gone live today on Kindle as well. And tomorrow is the release of the paperback version, for the reasonable price of 11 USD... but right now the going price is zero. Which is about what the market will bear right now for works of the mind created by anyone who's never been on prime time television. Right? Yeah, have a nice day.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

RIP, Mr. Bowden.

The reprint of Jonathan Bowden's Sade is now out on Nine-Banded Books; I was lucky enough to have the honor of transcribing and proofreading it. It's one of those books that gets better every time you run your eyes over it. To tell you the truth, I prefer it to de Sade.

To the reader's inchoate sorrow, Bowden did not live to see the reprint.

"Sade broke through
the barrier which Fichte could not pass through and
the world may be in the mind but the mind is part of
the world. In other words the mind exists independently
of the world it comprehends and this interdependency
of mind and matter hints at something
further. In other words the idea is broached that mind
is a form of matter and matter is a form of mind, in
that both couple and uncouple in an interconnective
sense. Something which says—in essence—that everything
contains everything within itself; in short,
that rationality does not exist. Moreover, the mind
does not exist in a way which separates it from matter;
furthermore, energy in the mind and energy in
matter are fundamentally similar."