COLLECTED APHORISMS and OBSERVATIONS of PASTOR PRIME [continually updated]: A NOTEBOOK

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1. “Anger with your father IS your father.” 

2. “It is notoriously difficult to convince people living in a modern police state that they’re living in a police state… especially when the police state provides cheap doughnuts and free porn.”

3. “The sensitive, the creative, are under prolonged assault from the materialist superculture of the workaday world; Art is a virtual refuge where the at-risk sensibility is protected, validated and rewarded with pleasure. Art is the little cathedral in the big abattoir. I have elected to live there.”

4 .”There is nothing to fear in Life but humiliation, theft, assault, insanity, rejection, boredom, depression, disease, incarceration, inadequacy, loneliness, endemic corruption, chronic pain, parasitism,  discrimination, debilitating injury, systemic injustice, isolation, poverty, hunger, wild animal attack, old age, catastrophic weather or nuclear war. Don’t let Fear hold you back!”

5. “It won’t be long before everything good is ‘pretentious’.”

6. “It’s pretty obvious that Morality doesn’t come to us from some Bearded, Vaguely-Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant but evolved from the very early needs of the first human communities. The stability of these communities would have been a Life or Death matter… surviving drought/ famine/ predators/competition for resources would have required community cooperation and harmony. Stealing anything from one’s “neighbor”, seriously wounding one’s “neighbor” in a fight, “stealing” a “neighbor’s ” mate and, of course, killing a “neighbor”… all of these fundamental breeches of decorum would have been frowned on as threatening the stability of the tribe… these proscriptions would have been the original “commandments” (others added as the community survived, prospered, expanded and developed sinister, top-down political sophistication).”

7. “Beckett’s Law: The convenience of communication increases in inverse proportion to the time people spend communicating.”

8. “Having self-confidence allows one to indulge in the luxury of being submissive from time to time. ”

9. “The gesture is not the shadow of the deed, it is the deed’s opposite.”

10. “Convention is the death of possibility; convenience is the death of passion. Modern life is both.”

11. “People love a parade. But how many ask where the parade is going?”

12. “Banned Books will live the  longest; please ban only the best.”

13. “We see a vague form taking shape in the fog and our first terrifying impression is of its vastness.”

14. “Knowing what to fear is useful; learning not to fear is often fatal. Contrary to all that Spartan Psychology we’ve been fed for decades.”

15. “The Important Questions of Sex are Not Who Did What to or with Whom but Who Did or Didn’t Enjoy it and Why.”

16. “When we are young we seek Artists for Inspiration; when we are not so young, it’s for Confirmation that we seek their Art. It isn’t until we are Old that our Artists provide for us what they always meant to:  Rejuvenation.”

17. “Marxism: an Oedipal fantasy of the Bourgeoisie! Marxists: your job is to advocate an impossible cure so that the sickness of things-as-they-are seems incurable!”

18. “Logic and Justice are inseparable. No Logic, no Justice.”

19. “He who makes the rules does not have to obey them.”

20. “Emotions are Involuntary Intellect.”

21. “The truth we can see with our own eyes; language is for lying.”

22. “Culture is a container, not a collection.”

23. “The CIA is a metaphor for everything we don’t want to admit is really happening.”

24. “Art is what you make with the tools you don’t have.”

25. “Who are the people you call the Left? They were birthed, nurtured and educated by the Right.”

26. “Science is not an exact science.”

27. “The best way to control the opposition is to hire it.”

28. “A Gifted Child is a child who hasn’t been crushed by his or her parents. Especially if the parents weren’t trying.”

29. “Americans seem, above all else, to lack time… which makes lacking in everything else inevitable.”

30. “There is no such thing as an intelligent mob.”

31. “Relativism is merely Nihilism without the courage of its convictions.”

32. “Describing things exactly as they are is the most devastating form of satire.”

33. “All brilliant books are ‘self-help’ books.”

34. “A living Artist is worth more than ten dead Revolutionaries.”

35. “Who controls your water? Who controls the electricity that powers your devices? Who built the machines that provides the electricity that powers your devices? Who controls who meters the water and the electricity and charges you for your use of both to a fraction of a unit of measure?  Who determines the architectural layout of your city? Who’s in charge of the zoning permits? Who’s in charge of the hundreds of thousands of laws and rules and codes governing your behaviour? Who’s in charge of the schools? Who’s in charge of the prisons? Who prints the money? Who collects the taxes? Who polices the streets and the schools and your bedrooms? Who polices the airwaves? Who writes the laws and monitors the standards and coordinates the integration of the thousands of official institutions in charge of every facet of your existence?  Who controls the economy?  Who’s in charge of War? You may call the answer to these questions “The System” and you may understand that The System is in charge of every single material and behavioural aspect of your Life and that it has been since long before your birth…  and yet you believe you are free.  You believe your beliefs and opinions are your own. As though your beliefs and opinions were the one aspect of your life The System somehow forgot to address with the same organizational complexity with which it controls how you eat, drink, play, work, worship, void your bowels, buy things, sell things, make love, use recreational drugs, seek medical attention and die. Amazing.”

36. “If a lie that’s repeated often enough becomes ‘true’, as a famous Nazi once put it, imagine how much truer the Truth becomes when you repeat it as often as you possibly can.”

37. “The Earth shall inherit the Meek.”

38. “Ageing is the process of growing less and less forgivable.”

39. “Rome burned down in a day.”

40. “Birds of a feather attack each other.”

41. “In the Endgame, there is no Us and Them; only Them.”

42. “The squeaky door gets replaced.”

43. “You attract more flies with shit than with sugar.”

44. “The stomach is more accepting than the heart, the heart is more accepting than the mind. Of the three, the stomach is most often happy.”

45. “There is more to say than there is to know.”

46. “A fool is an eccentric without money.”

47. “Rather a sweet-smelling devil than a foul-smelling saint.”

48. “Being right is no substitute for being loved.”

49. “Art is the Gods’ eye view. The famous ambiguity of Art is the ambiguity of the Gods, who created all sides of every situation, who created every point of view, who are as responsible for the existence of Evil as they are of Good. Every decent Human is required to pick a side, but, in the guise of the Artist, the Human assumes the required distance and comments not just on suffering or joy or greed or empathy but on Existence itself, which transcends the polarities. Art is technique plus the Gods’ eye view. Polemic is no less necessary than Art; Polemic is potatoes to Art’s absinthe. Humans require both but each in its time.”

50. “In the ongoing struggle between Good and Evil, Superior Intelligence, rather than greater kindness or nobility, will prevail. Raise brilliant children who are also good.”

51. “The difference between an Artist and a Hack is that an Artist knows the difference between an Artist and a Hack.”

52. “The only thing worse than being a slave is being a slave that nobody wants.”

53. “The cleverest guide is the one who keeps us lost.”

54. “Fate rarely opts for the strictly comic or the simply tragic when the tragicomic will do.”

55. “First you had books written by people who’d read a lot of books. Then you had television written by people who’d read a lot of books. Then you had television written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had books written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had television written by people who’d read a lot of books written by people who’d seen a lot of television. Then you had nothing but television.”

56. “Radical Thought is a very long and twisting road through strange and wild territory until you finally come to the point that you see that the bridge that would have taken you over the river is out. Do you turn back? Crossing that river was always the point. You must cross it.”

57. “Evil is Stupidity in its most concentrated form.”

58. “The easiest way to ‘succeed’  (all other things, including parental wealth, being equal) involves having an IQ roughly ten points higher than average. The more you diverge from that, in either direction, the ‘harder’ life gets. Having said that, the greater truth is that convenience is profoundly overrated, and the difficult paths are usually, by far, more interesting.”

59. “Life may be absurd but absurdity is only a human concept.”

60. “We need a non-mercantile equivalent for the word ‘career’. We need a word denoting a long-term pursuit of creative projects, or project, in which the quality of the ongoing results evolve with experience, but in which the effort is not motivated by the promise of money, or likewise judged by its monetary potential. We need a term like that and there is none; just the vaguely-insulting ‘avocation’ (which imputes, somehow, a touching childishness or eccentricity) or the explicitly insulting ‘hobby’ (for which ‘skill’ plays no necessary role).”

61. “Only total narcissists argue for the objective importance of the music they loved as teens.”

62. “Revolution? Or Renovation?”

63. “Capitalism always comes up with the version that works, but who does it hurt most when it works best?”

64. “Writing is a chess game between two teams: the conscious and subconscious minds. The one team is ready and willing to write a perfect book, the other will do its best to sabotage this effort. The end result is a compromise between the two objectives,  the quality of which will depend largely on which team won the game. A draw just means the book will never be completed. Oh: and which team is which? That depends on the writer.”

65. “The whole Truth is always Angry.”

66. “It’s called ‘the government,’ not ‘the servicement,’ please note.”

67. “I was always aware of that hackneyed axiom that “In order to be an Artist, one must suffer”. I assumed it meant one’s childhood should be bad or that someone close to one should die or that one should be hungry, and so forth, and I rejected this notion as a melodramatic,  middle class fantasy entertained, most of all, by non-Artists. But now I understand that the suffering one must do is as an Artist:  ignored, misunderstood, under attack from all corners… and I finally agree how necessary and inevitable the suffering is. What is Art? You’ll never even experience the comfort of knowing.”

68. “One of the characteristic developments of the 20th century was the invention of a nuanced synonym for fraud, called ‘advertizing’, and allowing it to shape, eventually, every moment of every Life. Until Life, itself, became a nuanced synonym for Advertizing.”

69. “Happiness exists in the long path of contiguous pleasures great and small. To go off piste means unhappiness, to rediscover the path means Joy.”

70.  “Every stomach-churning moment that our number is finally, dreadfully, inevitably called, in some unfriendly waiting room, for an appointed moment with an authority figure we are terrified of facing but can no longer put off…  is a dry run for death. Savor the rehearsals.”

71. “To talk sensibly about Sex you must separate the notion of Sex from the notion of People; to do so you must separate the notion of People from the notion of Humans. Humans are Animals whereas People are the Ideas that Humans have about themselves as something more than Animals (which are brought down to the Animal level by Sex).”

72. “Those in the habit of announcing the Death of The Novel had better have an alibi when the corpse is found.”

73. “Pretty girls are amoral and men are shallow and the world will make no sense to you if you are no degree of either.”

74.  “The only Life ‘not worth living’ is the Life in which one is living someone else’s idea of a Life.”

75. “One finally remembers how to write and everyone has forgotten how to read.”

76. “Isn’t it obvious that The Fuckers in Charge prefer that malleable mediocrities, without strong convictions,  be put in the spotlight and granted positions of influence? Why would TFIC grant revolution-minded geniuses access to platforms of cultural influence? It would make no sense. Look at the lists of those whom the “culture” assures us are “great” and think about it. The truly great in that list will be very few and twisted into symbols of futility, tragedy and defeat; the “inspiring” and triumphant  “greats” dominating the list will be, without exception, shits and dilettantes, elevated to “legendary” status with insultingly blatant propaganda. Until you notice this, you will understand nothing.”

77. “Academics may or may not generate texts that are helpful in the support of the dream of Revolution, but an Academic  Revolutionary  is like a Lutheran Pornographer:  while I’m sure it’s possible, what’s the possible advantage in it…?”

78. “The Fundamental Error of Ego is to think of one’s Self as Ground Zero (for anything).”

79. “Youth is for taking things seriously; old age is for taking taking things seriously seriously.”

80. “Youth is the impostor, finally unmasked with Age.”

81. “To be Stupid and live long nevertheless: The West’s seductive offer to its participants.”

82. “People who aren’t Creative are destructive to Creative People.”

83. “What is the average Bourgeois but a well-dressed Philistine? What is the average Philistine but a fool who would hug a pile of donkey shit if it were famous?”

84. “One of age’s consolations for one’s decreasing inability to vault a four-foot fence from a standing position is the accumulated knowledge of how the world really works, got from careful observation and bitter experience and which the hapless, wrinkle-free puppets we call “the young” are in no position to acquire… or even suspect the existence of. What a let-down, then, when an old person doesn’t have that; is just as credulous and clueless as the wrinkle-free puppet who, at least, can hop that fence and jog with his or her blank slate of a smile around the deceptively-placid lake (with its growing collection of skeletons) in a deeply ambitious coma.”

85. “If you think you’re free it’s only because you’re so well-trained that you never bump against the bars of the cage that they’ve put you in; you’re so obedient that you never test the limits, never say or do the forbidden things and so never incur the punishment. Secured by a five-foot chain to an iron stake in the center of your cage, the circles you trace and re-trace, endlessly, are never more than four feet, eleven inches in radius. And that is freedom, in your way… freedom in the form of a convenient misunderstanding; freedom in the form of a crippling lack of self-knowledge and a terrible trick. Freedom as the humiliating reward for never daring to be free.”

86. “The jump from fighting racial and/or sexual discrimination to espousing stridently anti-meritocratic principles is a jarring one and unlikely without the distorting intermediate step of well-meaning condescension.”

87. “Do people believe that emotions issue, literally, from an organ in the chest pumping blood? The so-called ‘Heart’ is usually just the Mind being stupid.”

88. “Andy Warhol was a virus. Perhaps some viruses are good. Was Andy Warhol a good virus?”

89. “No, there are not 7 Billion varieties of Truth: there is Truth and 7 Billion daily attempts to approximate or obscure it. The people who told you ‘there is no such thing as Objective Truth’ are liars. Isn’t that obvious?”

90. “Dogs make such loyal pets because of that keen sense of smell: they continue to recognize us even after we’ve changed our clothing. Not sure what cats… or parakeets… think is going on.”

91. “The sane, mature, Reform Capitalist version of the Communist Credo: ‘TO EACH ACCORDING TO THEIR EARNING ABILITY; FROM EACH ACCORDING TO THEIR CAPACITY TO PAY.'”

92. “Credo of the kinder, gentler lynching: give them enough rope…”

93. “I have a solution for Vegan Angst: only eat animals that eat other animals.  Call it Karma.”

94. “Most self-confidence is simple ignorance.”

95. “Coming Soon: the Soul-searching public apology as Rite of Passage. Then: as badge of honor; the Prussian dueling scar of the 20th century. The inevitable result of the encroaching ho-hum normalization of Public Falls from Grace.”

96. “Quite a few figures who are now described as important in the history of Art or Lit will turn out, I think, in time, to have been more important in the history of, say, New York.”

97. “An open mind is what you bring to a debate before all the evidence is in; a broken mind is what you bring to a debate when all the evidence is in, and it’s overwhelming, and either you still can’t make up your mind or your Beliefs run contrary to the evidence.”

98. “Academic English is a parody of German. German is a parody of communication.”

99. “Philosophizing about Existence is like eating about food: because there will always be more things to say than there are to know, word-games are neither the flavor nor the nutrition of the meal but the jaw-flapping babble that intrudes on the reality of eating. Systematized (metaphysical) Thinking on the subjects of the subject of Thinking are grandiose wastes of Time, but everyone, in Time, will find specific answers to problems meaningful, at a given time, to their Life, via accumulated thoughts that will be irrelevant,  in their accumulation, by definition, to others. There can be no “Philosophy” in a grand sense but there can be decently-paid jobs, and modicums of social approval , for otherwise unemployable children of the bourgeoisie who are good at word games (or can appear to be); if one of the word-gamers, by accident, from time to time, should come up with a persuasive rationale useful to The Regime, all the better: he or she will be taught in the universities.”

100. “Even the term ‘1%’ is a trick. It means, literally, ‘one out of every hundred’ but it refers, in truth, to the .00000001% who own and control everything. A much harsher number.”

101. “Marxism for the Third World! Because only the theories of a member of the 19th-Century European Bourgeois elite can save them!”

102. “So proud that we of the 21st Century are finally replacing Inappropriate Sexism and Racism with Appropriate Racism and Sexism!”

103. “The Creative Talents are not hardwired but I’m coming to the conclusion, lately, that the ruthless self-criticism required to develop such Talents may well be.”

104. “If Christ were real, there’d be no need for cathedrals.”

105. “Human language is inadequate to the task of scientific description in many cases;  the Philosopher’s traditional legerdemain (often resorting to pseudo-mathematical notation as a smoke screen) works to hide this fact; this fact must be hidden because it will tend to undermine the Philosopher’s case for his or her own usefulness. Regarding, for example,  Max Black’s “The Identity of Discernibles”:

“Black presents an objection to Leibniz’ Law [ “For any x and y, if x is identical to y, then x and y have all the same properties” ] by means of a hypothetical scenario in which he conceives two distinct spheres having exactly the same properties, thereby contradicting Leibniz’ second principle in his formulation of “The Identity of Indiscernibles”. By virtue of there being two objects, albeit with identical properties, the existence of two objects, even in a void, denies their identicality.”

Black misses the point that in his thought problem (two objects in a void), his imaginary creation of a case of two objects, alone together, in a hypothetical universe, intrinsically identical, yet each extrinsically unique (a being a, b being not-a and vice versa)… need only be amended by the imaginative stipulation that these two objects in a void are identical in every conceivable aspect (intrinsic and extrinsic), this stipulation being not more nor less possible (or real/ unreal) than Black’s original thought problem.

Word-games beget word-games with overwhelmingly greater frequency than they solve real-world problems.

106. “No open scheme for changing Things As They Are can possibly succeed.”

107. “Life is Stupid, but sometimes we are Smarter than it.”

108. “The two dominant genders… The Macho Male and the Manipulative Female… are the source of most of our troubles. Most of the rest of us are more nuanced and reasonable and eager to harmonize. It’s those two types we have to keep an eye on.”

109. “MUSIC and ENTERTAINMENT are two different things (despite the overlap). The latter includes ephemeral (if occasionally vicious) shit like juggling, log-rolling, trained cats,  the scaffold, the bloody games of the ancient Coliseum, Bingo and dwarf-tossing. The former, on the other hand, will include the finest, most spiritually-uplifting creations of the human mind/spirit. Learn to tell the difference and Life will always have access to Bliss.”

110. “In a conversation between a person of limited intelligence (A) and one of much greater intelligence (N), who comes out of the conversation better? While (N) understands everything (A) says, (A) finds many of (N)’s remarks oblique (and possible gibberish). Between the two, (A) has had the satisfaction of communicating. What of (N)? What could (N) possibly expect?”

111. “The credulity-straining sensation of wandering the stadium parking lot with a large open bucket of diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, you name it, and being jostled, almost trampled, by the throng lining up for give-away pennants and hats.”

112. “Never trust a Writer who trusts politicians.”

113. “There is a direct correlation between Intelligence and Race to the extent that every level of Intelligence is a Race. The White Moron and Black Moron and Asian Moron are sisters and brothers, precluded, by the criterion of racial membership,  from knowing it.”

114.Will a Writer’s work outlive the Writer? A question of Publicity more than a question of Talent.”

115. “A Liberal is a Conservative with a guilty conscience; an Anarchist is a Conservative with a Liberal parent.”

116. “Posing unanswerable questions is a game for children. The only properly philosophical questions are rhetorical.”

117. “What is Society’s notion of gender, after all, but the difference between preferring either the smell of a shoe store or a bicycle shop?”

118. “Racism is a subset of Lookism and although I am violently anti-Racist I am Lookist to my core: a terrible Truth I admit about myself (made all the more terrible by the fact that I seem to be fine with it). Given the mandatory choice to spend a day with either a fat poetess or a stunning  manicurist, my heart would incline to the manicurist. Unless, of course, the poetess were genuinely talented: that I could never, under any circumstance, resist.”

119. “I told my Daughter:  ‘Art is a wild red dog. It is a wonder. Few people have it. But if it isn’t controlled it will shit in your room and bite your friends and keep you awake all night, howling.'”

120. “Capitalism:  psychopaths lying to the vulnerable with new lies every minute.

Politics:  psychopaths lying to the vulnerable with the same lies every year.”

121. “Never boil rice, or leave a tub running, while writing.”

123. “There is no more emotion inherent in a given piece of writing than there is “red” in the skin of an apple: “emotion” is what the reader supplies to a text he/she feels persuaded by; this readerly contribution of “emotion” is the Good Faith quid quo pro of Literature. The “emotional vs unemotional” Shibboleth, in Lit,  is nonsense; an obvious artifact of the American style of Anti-Intellectualism ever-increasingly gripping The West. Any piece of Writing too clever for a critic/reader can be prosecuted as “cold” and dismissed. Any entry-level,  easy to read, pro-forma cliché-orgy can be lauded as “emotional”. The entire supposed issue represents a profound misunderstanding of both the mechanism of reading and the reach of Propaganda.”

124. “Be grateful for what you didn’t get.”

125. “The Internet is the second concrete version (after Mass Media) of the virtual space in which humans have been trapped since the advent of language; it is that virtual space made even more pervasively Real. The total transformation can only be fully realized when keyboards, screens and headphones become extraneous (wholly obsolete) to the Experience . Meatspace/ Headspace will  be seamlessly integrated for physical laborers: real levers, real ladders and real brooms in real hands… against immersive wallpapers and tunescapes. Heaven and Hell will be available on a punishment/ reward basis. Money will become meaningless as the Congenitally Wealthy stand outside the System,  enjoying the legacy lakes and sunsets, the trees and grass, the extremely short queues for fresh buttermilk.”

126. “Of the type who is foolish enough to bet with his own dentist about which of his teeth would never need pulling, the subcategory willing to do so, while in the dentist’s chair, directly before the gas goes on, is admittedly smallest. Though not negligible.”

127. “Art and Money mix like blood and water.”

128.  “To the shameless go the spoils.”

129. “You’ll never slay the Dragon of Indifference with an ‘okay’ sword.”

130. ” ‘America’ is a multi-cultural Matriarchy owned and controlled and held in contempt by old White Men. Enjoy the contradictions.”

131: “And that is how cranky old scriveners-of-the-fantastical reproduce: rhetorically.”  

132. “You can’t make good soup with tepid water.”

133. “So your email, Facebook, i-phone, general social media/ Internert presence and geo-location data are all connected and recorded by ‘the government’ (whoever that is) and that doesn’t worry you?”

“I have nothing to worry about because I’m not a criminal.”

“What if ‘the government’ is criminal?”

134. “If you think Life comes with a Point, you’re missing it.”

135. “What do you call the Early Bird who doesn’t like Worms? Free.”

136. “Reading is closer to eating than thinking;  thinking is closer to digging a shred of chicken from between your molars with your tongue.”

137. “Regarding Art regarding Size: On the human scale (ie, roughly drawing-sized; anything that would fit through a normal doorway) we anticipate a message. On an industrial scale we switch to a level of contemplation below the philosophical one we affix to the natural and titanic (clouds, mountains, rivers, stars) but above the human scale of “message”. And what level of contemplation is that, then, between the two scales, where Big Ticket Art and Architecture hover? I think we can call it Intimidation.”

138. “Congratulations on your purchase of DIMOCRISY, the ultra-real Meatspace MindGame™ designed to grant you the pleasure of total control over a population of gullible, docile and infinitely oblivious creatures called Duples™! You’ll watch your Duples™ birth, feed, fight, breed and die without the slightest clue as to the actual rules of the game they’re trapped in! You’ll use your Spirituality, Emotionality, Anti-Intellectuality and Consensus Keys to keep your Duples™ divorced from any edition of Reality not explicitly crafted and activated by our patented E-Z Reality Tool Bars! And don’t forget to use the Idendidy Funkshun to keep those Duples™ divided into easily-manageable, mutually-antagonistic Tribes or else… Ooops! GAME OVER! Centuries of guaranteed fun for the whole aristocracy!”

139. “Pain is Evolution’s way of keeping us from eating ourselves.”

140. “We are flecks of sentient nano-duration on the tip of a corollary curve of unfathomable (and unfathomably unintentional) processes… but that doesn’t mean we can’t be nice to each other or be happy. Embrace your Insignificance; discover Compassion; co-create Love: this is the Beginning of Time.”

141. “The Art knows more than the Artist does; the Art just is but the Artist was.”

142. “I don’t mind being on the losing side; what I hate is being on the losing side with a bunch of fucking retards.”

143. “Extraordinary Claims demand Irrefutable Evidence; how They turned you around was by re-defining your Refutation as a Claim and their Claims as Givens. Take back Logic, empower your Common Sense, re-acquaint yourself with the Plausible, the Probable, the Actual and the Obvious.”

144.  “I had an idea for a film script, called “Getting Away With It”, in which a Nazi doctor type, named, oh, Hubertus Strughold, gets up to all kinds of very naughty pseudo-medical nastiness in the name of “research” during the war, then wins a first class ticket to the US when the party’s over, starts working for the Yanks, ends up getting a street in Texas named after him! A Cinderella Story. Still waiting for all of Hubertus’ next of kin, former colleagues and close friends to die off before I start on it. Obviously.”

145. “So much of Life is utterly bearable Failure; so many tawdry fictions are grating accounts of Success.”

146. “The cornerstone of Institutional Power is Continuity (metaphorized in the notion, and rituals, of  “tradition”)… the consolidation of wealth and influence across decades or, even,  centuries. And the cornerstone tradition of our little communities and individual lives, now? Discontinuity. Think on it.”

147. “If I were a Ruling Cabal or tyrant who owned tens, or hundreds, of millions of Serfs, my primary concern would be to keep the explosive vigor of Youth away from the seasoned intelligence of Age, for what a dangerous combination that might be. In other words: without a head, even the most powerful body can be no threat to the tyrant who owns it.”

148. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to eliminate the pantomime of professional politicians (actors appointed to make inimical policy objectives palatable to the masses,  while cutting deals unethically advantageous to themselves) and establish a Citizen Liaison Committee, for directly petitioning the CIA for minor concessions,  in exchange for our national pledge not to go nihilistically apeshit and burn the plantation to the ground?”

149. “Because you are (un)trustworthy you think others are (not) worthy of trust.”

150. “Post-Net Definitions: 1)  Cloud: Fishbowl,  2) Content: Evidence, 3) Bill of Rights: TOS.

151. “Kurt Vonnegut always made me think of a Samuel Clemens softened, from outright scorn and disgust to tragic resignation, by ameliorating access to the modern sex life, penicillin, indoor plumbing and great appliances.”

152. “The differences between terrible, mediocre, and good, are very slight. Whereas the difference between good and great is astronomical. And yet: the difference between great and meaningless is non-existent.”

153. “The modern history of Anglo-American Poetry reveals a social activity,  like a naked conga line at a long-running orgy,  decorated with yips and shouts of incidental rhetorical brilliance… but mostly you notice the dicks.”

154. “Are you sure your so-called identity isn’t really just a complimentary pair of striped pyjamas?”

155. “A writer is an eccentric creature who lives under the paving stones of the page. Don’t ask it why it does this.”

156. “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR FAKE WOMEN, of course! But no Huxwellian definition-creep; no people with penises legally allowed in the public toilets my Daughter is liable to use. But do feel free to call people who are 5/8th white ‘white’ from now on. Or is it that the definition of ‘woman’ is less important/sacred than the racial definition for ‘white’?”

157. “Is this the first mass enslavement in history that could easily have been resisted if people had merely refused to purchase certain products?”

158. “Real Artists are subversive because Great Art is Inspiring and Inspired people are difficult to treat like cattle. Which is why Fake Artists and their Shitty Art are enthusiastically promoted.”

159. “ART is Permanent Lightning.”

160. “In the name of not horrifying ourselves for an instant (with the Truth) we subject ourselves to Horror in perpetuity  (in a Lie).”

161. “We tell ourselves stories about other people in order to live.” (with apologies to Joan Didion)

162. “Psychedelic drugs are not a portal to another world, they are a chemical distortion of one’s perceptions of the Real World; long-term so-called Psychenauts misinterpret their damaged perceptions and degraded logic-centers as a mystical experience, a very old mistake and a con. After millennia of drug use, who has “brought back” a single “answer”?  “Shaman” is just another word for “Interesting Druggie”. There is only one Reality and that’s the one you die in. Keep your “Doors of Perception” clean with a healthy diet, enough sleep and plenty of exercise so you may fully experience and ponder the mind-blowing qualities of being alive.”

 

 

 

 

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20 Comments

      1. Thought that might be the case-
        of course that’s what the post-title tells us.
        I have no idea who Pastor Prime really is, unless (s)he’s an alter- of your -ego. Which I strongly suspect is the case.
        Do I win a prize??

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        1. *ding ding ding ding ding!* We have a winner! Mlle Mimi, come on down and collect your all-expenses-paid vacation in sunny Imaginelandia! On the azure coast of the Cryptomanic Sea! (stirring chorus from Imaginelandia’s national anthem swells as all in attendance stand and place their favorite novels or short story collections over their respective faces and sway)

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          1. could not have hoped for a better prize
            (esp the “all-expenses-paid” part)

            becuz my usual Imaginelandia is not sunny and azure coast-ed, rather ~dark-ishly semi-lit, everyone-else-is-asleep-ian and flannel-y soft, my-side-of-the-bed-esque

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            1. That paints a cosy picture of softly-bejewelled grotto… a gallant stalagmite guarding mysterious inlet… clamouring shards of shattered moon on the water, Mlle Mimi

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    1. Thanks, Mlle Mimi! Yes, I took it with my first (primitive) digital cam (great lens, not many megapixels… 4, maybe?)

      [editor’s note: I have since exchanged the picture mentioned here for a more contemporary snap from a fancy camera]

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    1. Everybody should get into the Aphorism game, I think. Getting into the groove of putting your thoughts into a presentable form is a deeply constructive habit… the trick is not becoming Brian Eno and writing things like “cooking is a way of listening to the radio” (scraping the bottom of the aphoristic barrel there, eh, Bri?) because you’re so far up your own hairy exit that you mistake your private habits and practises for Universal Truths! Other than that easily-avoided pitfall, jotting down your own Aphorisms is a good thing to do and much easier to maintain than a diary

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  1. 1)with regard to #79 above –
    “Youth is for taking things seriously; old age is for taking taking things seriously seriously.”

    to me it resonates with Gurdjieff’s #33 –
    One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first you must learn how to keep it in mind.

    gurdjieff revisits this theme in the final words spoken by beelzebub in his very long and intentionally hard to read book ‘Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson: An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man’:

    “The sole means now for the saving of the beings of the planet Earth would be to implant again into their presences a new organ … of such properties that every one of these unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. Only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them.”

    gurdjieff’s prescription (assuming his fictional character is serving as his mouthpiece, which seems likely in this instance) is not just for the perfunctory intellectual awareness of our mortality and that of everyone we meet, but for actually FEELING it instead of running away from feeling it – it’s the difference between knowing by rote the words of the Lord’s Prayer, and living according to its principles

    2)another of the above aphorisms that struck me was #55, about television and books

    coincidentally, in the past few days missus charley and i have begun watching “Battlestar Galactica’ – the 21st century remake – on blu-ray discs, courtesy of our local public library – and this morning i came across the following abstract of an article from an academic journal about this tv show, analyzing how it deals with death – and also sex and birth and hybridity and the fulfillment of life’s meaning

    Death, sex and the Cylon: Living authentically on Battlestar Galactica
    Lewis Call
    Science Fiction Film and Television
    Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2012
    pp. 85-113

    The second half of Battlestar Galactica’s four-season narrative arc constitutes an extended, energetic and effective commentary on the philosophy of death initiated by Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time. The Cylons demonstrate the crucial links between death, sexuality and reproduction. At first, the Cylons are infinitely downloadable and thus effectively immortal. D’Anna pursues a radical experiment in being-towards-death, deliberately and repeatedly ‘killing’ herself in a perpetual quest to understand the nature of being. For her, death has the status of a sexual fetish. Season four concerns the quest by certain individual Cylons to overcome Cylon immortality, the fulfilment of which permits some Cylons to attain what Heidegger calls an authentic being-towards-death. The end of Cylon immortality radically foregrounds the importance of sexuality and biology. The Cylons become obsessed with discourses of reproduction and racial purity, but their story ends with a radical endorsement of difference. The child Hera, a human-Cylon hybrid whose parents are played by multi-ethnic actors, becomes the ancestral mother of humanity. The show thus concludes by rejecting decisively both the old fears of racial miscegenation, and the newer fears of the techno-organic cyborg. BSG argues for a future of hybridity in which species merge, nations intersect and the biological and the cybernetic come together, leading us to a place where death establishes the possibility of meaning, and the love of bodies permits the fulfilment of that meaning.

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    1. Mr Charley!

      The fact that there may be some overlap in aphorisms points to my contention that no famous and/or official philosopher knows anything more than any reasonably-intelligent 40-something, on Earth, who’s in the habit of thinking and reflecting on Her/His observations frankly. Which is why Philosophy, in my opinion, should be a term meaning an activity as idiosyncratically private as “meditation” (and not the trademarked version); a formalized, generally-applied system of practises and attitudes, for Living, strikes me as being as useful as generic dentures! I wouldn’t have minded having a time-traveling conversation with Gurdjieff when he was young and unknown, but *seeking no Gurus I need none* .

      Oh, and about the dread charlatan/windbag Heidegger: when he wasn’t being a Nazi-licking Nazi, he was merely being a carnival mystic (though he was often both). His vaunted concept of “Dasein” (a fancy version of “Being There”… the movie of the same title has veiled ironic references to him… designed to help distinguish between the supposed *Intensity of Presence of Certain Aryans* … and the not-quite-present-in-such-a-remarkable-way Lesser Races) is just too blatant. So many of his scribblings were nonsense! His presence (and prominence) undermines… or exposes… the whole of Continental Philosophy.

      “The show thus concludes by rejecting decisively both the old fears of racial miscegenation, and the newer fears of the techno-organic cyborg. BSG argues for a future of hybridity in which species merge, nations intersect and the biological and the cybernetic come together, leading us to a place where death establishes the possibility of meaning, and the love of bodies permits the fulfilment of that meaning.”

      I’m leery of hit TV shows and the memes they deliver. I’m leery regarding any cultural artifact that costs more than, say, 10,000 dollars/ Euro to create and disseminate, because Big Ticket Content is usually a vector for Propaganda.

      And, think about it: equating a well-founded, utterly Rational Skepticism towards Inevitable Cybernetic Abuses with racist fears of “miscegenation” is jaw-droppingly wrong/ inaccurate. All Humans are Humans and can freely interbreed (as they always have) with no problem (and quite a few bonuses: inbreeding is the euphemism for “racial purity” and we know how dangerous that is!). On the other hand, I have plenty to fear from a Social Engineering scheme to get Duh Masses to gallop blindly towards embracing horrors as diverse as subcutaneous chipping (early adopters are already doing it) and implant-assisted Mood Control.

      If I were living on another planet, I’d find it quite humorous that almost every Farfetched Dystopian Horror that Golden Age writers of Pulp Sci Fi warned us about is coming true during the late-middle of my Lifetime! As it is, I’m not terribly amused at all.

      I threw my last TV out the window c. 2000, so, now, whenever good friends urge me to check out this or that “masterpiece,” I have to have a look of it via YouTube. And every single time I checked (eg, “The Wire”, “True Detective” “Boardwalk Empire” and so forth), I was baffled to see the same old TV clichés in script/ camera work/ plot and “acting”. Dressed up, of course, with “cursing” and Full Frontal Eye Candy and contemporary music. It just all looks like shit, to me, and I *know* it has to be heavily LCD because, otherwise, disclaimers to the contrary, the sponsors/producers/ networks would lose their shirts.

      The least generic “masterpiece” I’ve ever been urged to check out was Louis CK’s “Horace and Pete,” and although it wasn’t riddled with clichés, it didn’t strike me as being so much Universal Truth as it was merely Louis CK’s nasty inner-ecology externalized for the screen; the deck was so stacked, from the very beginning… of course there’d be a “shocking” climax. Nothing that nasty Mamet doesn’t do rather more artfully and certainly not the “masterpiece” people kept calling it. At best: it didn’t suck.

      I prefer the original public TV production of “Between Time and Timbuktu” (based on Vonnegut’s work; c. 1971) or the original “The Singing Detective” (Michael Gambon does Dennis Potter)… or, of course, the original “Twilight Zone”. Back before TV was fully colonized by the Imperial Forces of Corporate Cat-Shit.

      Oh well!

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    2. (PS I’ve just read that comment thread in which you discuss “Death” and see, near the end, the reference to Bokononism, which ties directly to my mention of “Between Time and Timbuktu,” which, in part, dramatizes a passage or two from “Cat’s Cradle”… the bits dealing in Bokononism! Paging Carl Jung…

      (or perhaps it’s down to a distinct uniformity of cultural references for commenters of a certain age and philosophical persuasion? Laugh)

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  2. PPS Whether the Onion is a subtle vehicle for occasional Propaganda or not, this is a brilliant (rephrasing of a Carlin) riff:

    WASHINGTON—Noting that millions have already fallen victim to the long-running grift, the FBI warned Monday of the ‘American Dream’ scam. “Reports are coming in all across the country of Americans who were promised great prosperity and success in exchange for a lifetime of hard work, only to find themselves swindled and left with virtually nothing,” said agent Dean Winthrop, who explained that susceptible parties are made to believe that class mobility is possible simply through ability or achievement, despite the fact that innumerable social, economic, and racial barriers prevent the vast majority of U.S. citizens from attaining even marginal amounts of upward movement. “Many even travelled across the world to live in what they were calling ‘The Land Of Opportunity,’ a fictitious meritocratic society where any person can simply work their way up from the bottom. The victims, it appears, were drawn in by wild promises about equitable access to wealth, education, and home ownership, but before they knew it, they got played for suckers.” Winthrop added that they haven’t identified the scheme’s kingpin, but are investigating a number of upper-middle class white men who have suspiciously benefitted from the longtime scam.

    https://www.theonion.com/fbi-warns-of-american-dream-scam-1822834360?utm_source=TheOnion_Daily_RSS&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=&utm_term=

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  3. re heidegger – i am not a fan – haven’t even tried to read him – i was just amused that someone was applying his concepts to this sf tv show –

    re philosophers – i like erich fromm (if he counts as one) – see my comment at https://beingtowarddeath.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/emotional-rescue/

    re george carlin – as a young adult i thought he exaggerated for humorous effect – now i realize he was just doing his best to describe what he saw

    re “commenters of a certain age” – i haven’t read a lot of your memoirs here, but i gather you are somewhat younger than i – mid or late boomer, perhaps, instead of first-waver – my birthdate is the same as that of the actor/art historian peter weller, who portrayed a character in the tv series longmire (i bingewatched it – you don’t have to)

    re vonnegut –

    Go, and sin no more – Repentance as part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

    Kurt Vonnegut [who SHOULD have received the Nobel Prize in Literature] had personal experience of weapons of mass destruction – as a prisoner of war during World War II, he survived the mass murder of the inhabitants of Cologne (Koln) by terrorist bombs – bombs dropped from airplanes, as terrorists backed by prosperous states customarily do, as compared with ground-delivered bombs, the terrorist weapons of the less prosperous. At the end of his life, Vonnegut despaired that the U.S. would ever become the humane and reasonable nation that people of his generation imagined they were fighting for – too much power, too much corruption, too much addiction to oil and money and destruction.

    If the Christians are right, it might be possible to achieve rehumanization – but it would require repentance – and this would require a recognition of having done wrong, and a decision to reform – “go, then, and sin no more.” There is no trace of any such inclination in the propaganda emanating from those now in charge. We need to change our leaders – either provide transformative experiences to the people now in power, or put different people in power. Are the English-speaking “little people” big enough to do this? I wonder. I hope so, but I fear they themselves are too ignorant, too lazy, and too corrupt. In other words, we may already have the government we deserve. [written in 2009]

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    1. Born in ’59, I was!

      Re: KV in WWll: that was in Dresden (not super-far from where I write this); Cologne is a bit further West (they probably already had plans to inherit Cologne, so aimed more bombs in the East bit that Moscow would take over)

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        1. Here are my Tips for Robust Longevity:

          1. No booze, drugs, or margarine; no high-fructose corn syrup, no soft drinks, no salad dressing and no MacDonald’s (and its ilk) and DO drink well-filtered water (a serious water filter is a great investment)
          2. Olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin); dark chocolate (for fun)
          3. Some animal proteins (no vegan crash diets; crash diets kill lots of people in our age-range, especially ones with young new lovers… it isn’t the sex that triggers the heart attack, it’s the crash diet: I believe, eg, that getting in shape for her last movie appearance is what killed Carrie Fisher).
          4. Marry someone not more than 20 and no less than 15 years your junior (optional)
          5. Don’t stress; never stress; it’s best to make your own schedule (if possible); this should mean voiding your bowels a couple of times a day and having the freedom to cat-nap
          6. Long walks (2-3 hours) every couple of days
          7. Lots of Sex (without pharmaceutical interference, if at all possible): I fuck my Wife often and it keeps us… flexible! One look from her and I go BOING! SHE is my pill! You can’t go BOING and feel decrepit. If one must go to a sex professional, go to a sex professional! Non-optimal Sex is better than None! But use a Free Range Sex Professional and be gallant! [NB: to facilitate Great Sex at home: keep the ears and nostrils free of hairs! This is CRUCIAL. Oh: and wash the dishes, without being asked to: guaranteed results]
          8. Parallel long-term projects
          9. No jogging (unless you restrict your jogging to natural terrain in a temperate-to-cool climate)
          10. NO TV (it fucks with your will to live and causes blood and various other humors to pool in your posterior)

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