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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Speaking of things I absolutely love...

... why haven't I blogged about Kingsley Amis's (somewhat) forgotten classic mystery, THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE? Why, because I'm still working on it. But there's a fire under my butt, don't worry; I bought the only copy I currently have in order to give it to someone who needs it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What's nice about people, pt. 2: Curses are adaptive

People are inherently frustrating and annoying to each other. We've historically competed with each other, even within our own little goddamn tribes, for everything. Even when you don't need to fight to survive, the habit remains—and this may piss us off even more than necessary competition. When someone shoves in front of you to get the last slice of bread in a famine, you feel angry, but you immediately understand his actions; put the same guy in a nice suit, let him shove in front of you to get into the subway out of instinct and thoughtlessness, and he just makes you feel like the human universe is a completely retarded place.

But what are you going to do? Push him onto the third rail? If everyone behaved like that, in short order there would be no one left. Which would be great from one point of view, but it's a mutant point of view. Lord DNA tells us thou shalt not kill unless thou art killing a killer, so most of the time, unless we want "social censure" (usually jail, these days), most of us have to either settle for a pointless argument ("NO, fuck YOU, buddy!"—the catch-22 there being that pointing out someone's assness to his face makes you a rude ass too) or sucking it up. Which we can't quite handle. So we curse the guy under our breath. Personally, I tend to want to go one further and curse the guy's children, and his children's children, because I've read a lot of Greek plays.

I've been told cursing people's children isn't nice. But nor is survival, or having children; in fact, these two latter are less nice, since curses don't do jack shit. Curses DO make us feel better, however; and since life curses everyone, people will never lack for evidence that their curse actually worked. When I was 20, for example, I had my heart broken by someone whom I cursed, who promptly got in an accident, which made me feel much better. (No, no, he didn't die; Christ, I'm not that twisted.) I knew with most of my mind that my curse hadn't worked, that he would have gotten in the accident anyway; this was the part of my mind that was a. rational, and b. protecting me from guilt. But part of me was still satisfied; that was the part that wanted to personally punch a railroad spike through his throat. And so I harmlessly went about my day, and no more harm occurred than was going to happen anyway.

Point being, curses aren't just harmless... they're probably adaptive, population-wide. The ancient Mediterranean was littered with curse tablets, and there are still humans living in the area. There are humans living everywhere we can possibly stuff them, as a matter of fact. Way to go, curses.

P.S. Curses call upon demons. But the illusion of control isn't the only thing that soothes us; as to the illusion of explanation, Sister Y has begun a fascinating exploration of Lord DNA with a discussion of fairies, over here in suicideland...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You know what's nice about people?

Whenever they do something that makes you want to curse their children and their children's children, there's no way you can lose. They've already done it for you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Name that quote!

"That 'person,' that 'friend,' that patsy, whom you secretly hold to be there only for your ever-so-slightly sociopathic use: Has it ever occurred to you, S., that he or she may be a spy? Any given stupid pushover, who allows himself to be slighted at your snickering, hoggish will, may in fact be collecting the data that reveals exactly how statistically bad your human race is—statistically, yes, yet down to a woman, down to a man. 'Why would anyone do such a terrible thing to us?' you cry, S., the betrayer betrayed. Oh! But you already know the answer: there is no nobler calling. Or, to be blunt, there's nothing better to do."

Twenty USD to the person who guesses this. I'm serious, I'll Paypal it.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

From a Ligotti protagonist

"As I rose to go back to the teller's window and have all my money loaded into the shoe box I had brought with me, the gray-suited man added, 'We sincerely have enjoyed serving you and hope to do so again in the future.' It occurred to me that all civilization was structured so that such people could make snide remarks like that and get away with it. They had been getting away with it for thousands of years and would continue to get away with it until the end of time."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Psychology says this is a bad idea

But you know what? I love it.
The trouble with revenge, after all, is losing yourself in obsessive thoughts over it.


If you have the wisdom to accept the wrongs you can't get revenge for and the courage to avenge the ones you can, fuck it. (Thanks, Mr. Mean-Spirited!)