"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.

Since this is degenerating at the moment 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. A real anarchist will undoubtedly tell me an enormous amount of things that I will have to give up in order to be a real anarchist (plus probably some things I need to pierce through some selected body parts).

There you have my problem: I'm very bad with authority. So, I wouldn't listen to any well meant advise; certainly if that advise basically consists in telling me what needs to be done to enter a certain group of non-individuals. Nope, I am a bourgeois, and I am proud to be. I want my luxury and I feel no inclination whatsoever to fight, and revolutionize things by waving my arms about and chanting stuff in street choirs. No, I won't get involved in any of this marching and sacrificing and denouncing ...

And I certainly don't feel like using the word 'propaganda' as if it was a normal word that did not carry the connotation of brainwashing.

Nor do I particularly care for secret gatherings where people conspire to great things, smoking some stuff & ultimately going home drunk and/or stoned (mostly without a real prospect for having sex).

No, I like my luxury. I like my laziness. I like having the wealth of aristocrats & sons of craftsmen in the XIXth century that had both time & resources to concentrate on a life of thought and action and boozing with like minded souls.

Still I'm also an anarchist because I like my lifestyle and independence so very very much that I'd very much like everybody to be as bourgeois as I am. Some would be very harsh on me for wishing universal laziness. Many of them would say: it is a very decadent thing to convince everybody that they should be as decadent as I am.

They would be right! I am a decadent. This is the decadence movement. Without an exclamation mark ;-)

Whilst writing this I was listening to The Ramones, Weird Tales of The Ramones.

22:12 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (4) | Tags: intention, imagination, pop culture, decadence, boldness |  Facebook |


The Objective Problem (concerning The Truth of Christianity)

"(..) 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.

A friend of mine put my mind again on Kierkegaard. Although I won't praise the lord for it, I am 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) and most notably of religious group-think (and, consequently but with quite a significant delay, of all & any religious - or with more modern terms: deep, sincere, authentic - sentiment, but 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. At random, as I read Kierkegaard well before I started with this habit of dog-ear'ing (Dutch speaking visitors will maybe not recognize the term as an English translation of "ezelsoor"; dogs turn into donkeys in the area of language, no sweat) and unfortunately also before I started reading in German. I came across lots of the type of funny thing that makes somebody like me cringe in the realization that they may, after all, not be as good as they think they are at this business of writing. And I came across a section on old virgins that waited and waited for the moment just to realize when they thought they got to it that nobody was interested anymore - not in sharing it with them, that is, at least.

I laughed, then settled for the above dry 'n sober quote. Risking, in so doing, to be scaring of one or two visitors here for the atheistic joy of reading somebody that is - unashamedly - religious. Christian even, and - for him - not by co-incidence.

Oughtn't I get around to the point?

To my defense: I did get around it - which was, more or less, the point.

'Dawkins' he said and 'agnosticism'. I like Dawkins, mostly. I dislike agnosticism, all of the time (that is a bit harsh, really, but the way the former appears to understand the latter: true enough). It hit me: I hated the link between the both. 'Why that?', I thought (I'm making things simple here, so please thank me for it while I shift gear from 'banging-the-same-nail' status I got into in the last posts). Well - I will tell you why! Because the guy really should pay his dues to Kierkegaard - to the man whose first name my keyboard won't allow me to type. It's not a mere historical accident of not knowing everything that has been written. Kierkegaard's essential to anything in the field of criticizing religion, ANYTHING. Leaving him out can only be negligence, or foul play; I leave it up to Dawkins which it is, as I have not the least interest in what is on his mind. But I can imagine it is awkward to recognize that the stupidity of any proof of God's existence was demonstrated in the 1st half of the 19th century by an avowed Christian (regardless of the disproof of the provability of God).

Which brings me back to the things I was cured of by a really great Dane: scientism, or the belief that science in and of itself can be the solution ('Solution of what?', is a sufficiently à propos retort to it, by the way). It can't and I am not saying Dawkins is saying it can, but he is at least neglecting to say it can't. No - correction needed: I'll need to be prudent here as I didn't read most of what Dawkins had to say lately (as I thought he said what was to be said in his first two books). More prudently then: I, sincerely, believe that the evidence points in the direction of Dawkins (et al) making his (their) life(s) easier for themselves (in converting the converted) by neglecting a challenge which is quite to the heart of their point. If so they are as far as the critical attitude goes, far inferior to Kierkegaard who started from the opponent's angle and point of view; who started from the worst possible place, for what he thought was the intuitively correct position. Because in the end (but that's for other posts elsewhere & here) what science cannot be, the scientific spirit maybe can be, and the critical mind surely is. It's at least discomforting to give the impression to loose out on the home qualities to the away team, isn't it.

There is not enough time now or place here to go in the real detail but let me say - and one of these days I'll get the old virgins in this bed and come back to it - that: the omission (if it is there) is non-trivial also from the content point of view. It is of the type exposed by Bergson and more mathematically attacked by a Chruchland - or was it Alonzo Church?, I really have to find that paper back: in the real world and the world of real numbers, there is no straightforward transformation of facts and of matters of fact. There is a subject there that makes the relations 'dirty' - maybe in Davidson's anomalous monism case. This dirtiness needs to be faced; for if not - it will, once again, be confused for 'something' higher, deeper, more authentic, super- or supra-human .. and the misery of human inhumanity - in the name of - can start all over again.

To close: look at the end of the quote above: "parrot-like echo". It's dead on, as is clear from the above. Exaggerating in science leads not only to mysticism - and late converts - but also leads to a destruction of creativity. There is just no point in being right, right?

My only difference here with Kierkegaard is that I don't see where that's funny.


Whilst writing this I was listening to the jazz program on klara.be, called, aptly, "Jazz".

(but, more interestingly, whilst thinking about it I was listening to Valentin Silvestrov, The Seven Verses of Alexander Blok, by the Gryphon Trio)

21:42 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: kierkegaard, scientism, decadence, boldness, intention |  Facebook |


The Marriage

"Maar doodslaan deed hij niet, want tusschen droom en daad
staan wetten in de weg en praktische bezwaren,
en ook weemoedigheid, die niemand kan verklaren,
en die des avonds komt, wanneer men slapen gaat."

Willem Elsschot, 'Het Huwelijk', Verzameld Werk, Van Kampen en Zoon NV, 1957, p. 737.

(amateuristic English translation below)

Something in the above will forever bug me, so let me respond in kind (alas not - at all - in quality).


Sometimes, between going-to and falling-a sleep,
there is that instant
(lying horizontally)
when you, elsewhere, are tall and the world so small;
a giant but far from a tyrant.

That is the moment
(rising vertically)
you only just succeed
in fighting of the sleep,
barely awake but havin' a ball,
fucking fuzzlessly brilliant.

The moment all's perfect, all's silent
Day-dream at night, no struggle, fright or fight,
All is explanation, 18 carats imagination.

Unfelt then, the figment felt at dawn
of having felt, if only faintly, god damned fantastic.

Then it dawned, indeed it dawned.
Nobody damned, not even to brilliance.
The epiphany an anomaly, a black hole,
computing error, divide by zero & you: no hero.

Romance is rotten, melancholy mental masturbation!

Left to your own devices
you produce your worst advises.
You were sound asleep
now back to everyday's upkeep.
Uphill again, not necessarily steep;
of no use to heed that instant
of being a born-again infant.

Not close and certainly no cigar: a bit of prose to say 'but still:'

But still one needs to take every moment of inspiration. The problem is only there if one makes it into a mystery (& 'weemoed' isn't quite melancholy). When intention & action get separated, this becomes a problem for any marriage & not in the least for the marriage between your passion and your reason (The marriage that you call 'I').

But that is all in the quoted poem and it is not in the quoting poem so you'd do well to get familiar with Elsschot - he did not die a bitter man because he considered it & dismissed the case because he could imagine it without only imagining himself.

"But slaying her he did not do, for between dream and deed
laws stand in the way and practical concerns,
and a melancholy, whose explanation no-one ever learns,
which comes at night, when one goes to sleep."

Whilst writing this I was listening to: Davie Allan & The Arrwos, Cycle Breed & Fred Lane, 'from the one that cut you'.

13:19 Gepost door Guido Nius in Liefde | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: elsschot, self, intention, imagination, tones |  Facebook |