Posts from ‘February, 2012’

Oblivion

The path to oblivion lurks behind every step we take and each moment of any day. As in life itself, we can choose at any time to make an act of self-destruction: throw ourselves in front of the oncoming train, drink the turpentine, or pull that convenient plastic bag over our faces. Each moment can…

Consequentialism

The worst aspect of mass politics is that none of the basic terms are defined. “Conservative” is a loose grouping of likes/dislikes, and liberal is a social identity. From that, each person tries to abstract out some heuristics in order to make an educated guess as to any issue. Since appearance is separated by reality…

The Map and the Territory, by Michel Houellebecq

The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq 269 pages, Alfred A. Knopf, $16 In The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje uses the map as a postmodern device, a type of meta-plot to a novel that then contorts the character-related plot around its metaphor. This is what distinguishes postmodern novels: the metaphor leads the characters, instead…

Behave

When a society collapses, the ideas on the periphery are the first to be subverted. They transmit the infection to the fundamentals, such that after some time “common sense” is lost. In the modern West we are at the stage where we cannot assume much in common with others. They do not share the same…

Living for the Herd

Modern psychology is in its infancy. It has so far busied itself with the easiest confusions of the human mind, and not looked deeply at all into the day-to-day mundane insanity that infests us and moves easily among us. In another 200 years, psychologists will have made extensive study of the herding (sometimes called group-think,…

Legalize lying

Modern society has made itself so legalistic and granular that often it cannot see the forest for the trees. It specializes in deconstruction, or separating details from the bigger picture, much like our machines chew up forests and spit out paper, on which we then write miles of law. Among our many subterfuges is the…

Souls of the Living

No term sounds less “political” in politics than talk of the human soul. It embarrasses us, like looking at toys from our childhoods. We view it now as a starter concept, the first fumblings of awareness in an attempt to understand our world, and we push it aside with mortification. And yet the concept persists,…

Infantilizer

We are fond of thinking of Natural Selection as a time long, long ago on a planet far, far away. We will acknowledge it as our origin, and then change the topic. The reason for this is that Darwinism is a binary state. Either it existed then only, or it exists now and much as…

Paralyzed

I’m p-paralyzed with happiness. – Daisy Buchanan Western governments are paralyzed by popularity. The 50% or more of our budgets that involve payouts to our citizens are addictingly popular. People simply love these freebies. As a result, our society — which long ago made the choice to become pluralistic, eliminating all values except commerce, in…

Mishima: A Vision of the Void, by Marguerite Yourcenar

Mishima: A Vision of the Void by Marguerite Yourcenar 151 pages, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, $18 As a friend once noted, humanity has excelled in one thing over the past thousand years: producing alienated geniuses who articulate elaborate visions of our path as a steady walk to soulless doom. Yukio Mishima was one such person….

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