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flac  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018x 7

Engaged.

Quatrarius  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Wired | Sam Harris and the Myth of Perfectly Rational Thought

i was thinking a few seconds ago and i'm going to call these people "thought daddies"

a thought daddy is some guy (they're almost always guys) aged >30 with a college education, generally white (or off-brand white) - they can be gay, but they aren't normally, and the crucial part is that they're all writers or scientists. if they're a scientist, their specialization basically doesn't matter at all

because all thought daddies have big thoughts about the whole world, and they write so many books, and they know why everything sucks so much (there are no optimist thought daddies)

and science fetishists cluster around these people because they're just opinionated turbonerds with power, as opposed to them (the powerless ones)

i don't understand why cynicism means you have to take people at face value when they say they have all the answers - when somebody tells you "i'm the rational, right one and the people that disagree aren't logical," doesn't that set off some alarms? why are these people exempt from questioning? just because they say they're right? because they confirm the beliefs you already have? i'll never understand that

was freud right all along? is it a father figure thing - they fit the dad mold so well, they're so comforting with the answers, sometimes they have beards

i guess it doesn't matter too much in the end

kleinbl00  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas: At least 8 killed, sheriff says - CNN

"Hey, live feed. Active shooter in Texas."

"Where?"

"Santa Fe."

"Isn't that outside Dallas?"

"I dunno."

"Just another example of the government not doing their job."

And then we called attendance.

________________________________________________________________

When I went to college 20 years ago, there were signs up about what to do in the event of a fire. This time? There is no room, hallway or bathroom without an 11x17 placard telling me what to do in case some fucking nutbag with an AR-15 decides to kill me.

We keep hearing "it'll never happen here" and statistically they're right but fuckin' hell, a buddy's daughter lost a friend in a school shooting so statistics or no, that is FAR too few degrees of separation between a statistical fluke and me and my loved ones. You know what I grew up with? I grew up with a constant back-of-the-mind fear that the Russians would get itchy and we'd end up as mohawk-wearing dogfood eaters on the edge of the Great Nuclear Desert.

Forty years. Strangelove, Failsafe, Wargames, Day After, Threads, Road Warrior, the Russians would eventually blow us up. It left an indelible mark on culture and fuckin' hell if the 'boomers didn't wallow in that shit like it was sausage gravy. If you were a kid? You just knew that between AIDS and Andropov there was no fuckin' point in planning for the future.

"I've always felt like eventually it was going to happen here too."

By the time I graduated high school most of the fallout shelter signs had come down because it had just been accepted that there was fuckall that could be done. It feels like we're getting there with school shootings. But while the 'boomers made sure the whole fucking culture understood that death was coming from Ivan the Terrible, everyone is fucking ignoring the fact that we've raised an entire generation to expect one of their classmates to turn an assault rifle on them sometime.

Friend visiting from Fresno. She's talking about the junior soccer league there. Apparently there was a barbecue and one parent got into a fight with another parent and pulled a gun on him. AT A BARBECUE. Which meant there had to be a meeting. About whether concealed carry was okay at soccer league functions. One faction argued - in all seriousness - "that it just isn't a party until the guns come out." And we have to humor that. Because that's the culture. But if anybody said "it just isn't a party until the tits come out" it'd be national fucking news and someone would be required counseling before they were allowed to work in an occupation around children ever again.

I'd rather my kid be around tits.

When I was in high school I had ready access to weapons. Went plinkin' multiple times a week sometimes. Friends of mine got in an armed standoff because someone made someone else mad. Nobody died. I used to fantasize about walking into a classroom with an AR-15 loaded with blanks to shoot at the ceiling. Never did. (1) I knew there would be dire consequences (2) I cared.

I think the caring part has decreased. When the Russians were going to kill us all, it was about fearing a natural disaster, basically. Nothing we could do. Active shooter shit? If you're at the end of your goddamn rope, and you have no real concept of mortality because you're seven-fucking-teen years old, the choice between popper and poppee is a moral one. And in these here United States, you aren't allowed to say "If you have a fatalistic attraction to tools designed to kill multiple people at once and minimal affinity for socialization and thriving, you are sick and we need to help you." Because if you love guns, you're a True American and if you think there should be not just access controls but oh, I dunno, maybe a concerted effort to disrupt a culture that values the tools of military aggression in the hands of civilian sportsmen... well, you don't understand, you're wrong, and I'm a responsible gun owner why are you punishing me?

It was just as easy to get guns 20 years ago as it is now. By any measure, the murder rate has gone down while the gun ownership rate has gone up. You are much less likely to die by gunfire now than you were then.

But back then, you were a lot less likely to die out of the goddamn blue, for no goddamn reason, by gunfire.

The NRA aren't terrorists. Gun owners aren't terrorists. Gun rights advocates aren't terrorists. But every mass shooter is a terrorist and our country has a hobby that is the proximate cause of terrorism.

Most people will never face a mass shooting. But every school student in America has to prepare for them as if they are, and they have to face the reality that we'd rather they memorize "run, hide, fight" instead of "stop, drop & roll" because a splinter fraction of the populace is concerned that if they give an inch, we'll take a mile and the next thing they know they'll be in fucking FEMA camps.

She was Serbian. She'd lost two houses in the war. Her neighbors had firebombed her house in the country and burned it to the ground. Then NATO had bombed her city and leveled her condo. I asked her which was worse. "The country," she said. "Carpet bombing you don't have to take personally."

The entire country arranged its culture around eventual, impersonal armageddon at the hands of unseen Soviet aggressors. Yet that same generation is perfectly okay with kids wondering which one of their classmates might shoot them in the face some day.

When the Run-Fight-Hide generation is tasked with taking care of the Duck'n'Cover generation, I wonder what they'll do.

I wonder if despite all their triumphs, they'll end up eating alpo on the edge of the desert.

And it takes every inch of my generosity to not wish for it earnestly.

Quatrarius  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas: At least 8 killed, sheriff says - CNN

"don't report on it, it encourages them" is the "just ignore it and they'll stop bullying you" of the gun control world, and it's a reddit comments section-tier analysis of the situation

i wish i could spit on an opinion

OftenBen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 16, 2018

No update of substance with regard to health. More testing has been scheduled after the treadmill stress test I took showed a drastic decrease in exercise capacity. Essentially as soon as I start moving I become anaerobic because blood isn't getting to all the bits it should. Another neck-needling cardiac procedure sometime soon, inner ear testing to check for/rule out true vertigo, a few other things.

I have a long time friend and mentor who got a heart transplant last year after almost fifty years of living with a condition almost identical to mine. Last week she found out her donors name, Brandy, and some more information about her. She left behind a sister and a teenage daughter, and they have tentatively begun to get to know one another. There is no standard model for contact between a donor family and an organ recipient, everyone seems to do things their own way, for better or worse. My friend is a strong, kind and deeply affectionate person. I hope that Brandy's family will take some comfort in knowing that their mother's, sister's passing accomplished some good, and allowed my friend to continue her work improving cardiac care across the country, across the globe.

Barring some massive development in artificial hearts in the next few years, this is the path I will be on. If you had asked me a year-ish ago if I would accept a donor organ, I would have told you no. I would have told you that there is a high demand for organs, and I have lived my life without much regret. I would have told you that someone younger than me deserved a chance at more years. I would have told you that someone older than me has obligations to dependents, and it would be unfair of me to take a heart when someone's parent might need it. I would have told you lots of things, most of it true-ish. But the real reason I didn't want one is because I truly didn't think that I was worth keeping around.

I have since been convinced otherwise.

    He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

In less dire news, my request to terminate my lease early because of foundation leaks/water damage was approved. We have a cute little house to move into at the end of the month, after it's had it's carpets cleaned, a few other odds and ends. For the first time in three years, I'm going to have a yard, a garden, and nobody smoking cigarettes outside my windows at all hours of the day and night.

Cheers Hubski.

dublinben  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas: At least 8 killed, sheriff says - CNN

    Is there another way to report on mass murder that doesn't seem like glorifying to you?

Maybe we just shouldn't be reporting on this in the national media. These are always given multiple days of wall-to-wall coverage on cable news. This is known to encourage copycats and attract others to outdo the carnage in previous incidents.

_refugee_  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 9, 2018x 2

UNEXPECTED STORY SEQUELS

I was getting ready for work this morning, and I had all the way gotten dressed, accessorized, and even did my hair braided, in two french braids tied off at the nape of my neck, when by that point all the looking in the mirror which that entailed started getting to me. I started second-guessing my outfit (even despite my never-before-failed orderly-life strategy of picking out my work clothes every night beforehand). I started second-guessing how I looked. I started thinking about Instagram models and the bodies of the people I work with (typical Bank Ass office bodies, generally) and I started trying to think about female friends I have who are my age and how they looked, and how they looked compared to high school, and so on and so forth. I started to stare at the mirror and ask myself, "What do other people see when they look at me? What must I look like through the eyes of other people? Do I have a big ass? I don't think I do, but my last kind-of-boyfriend keeps vague-posting about me on facebook and one thing he shared was about how he's an ass man and the girl he likes has a huge one...I never thought I have a big ass, really, but do I?"

I go through this whole exercise in pissing away thought and time into mirrors in exchange for racheting higher and higher levels of crippling gross feelings often enough. Pretty often. Maybe a lot. Depends on the week.

So anyway I kept looking in the full body mirror in my room at myself and asking, “Is this how normal people think and feel and think and feel about their bodies?” Then I’d go to the bathroom for some other reason and find myself looking in the mirror there. I’d ask, “How do normal people feel about their bodies? Is the way I feel about my body normal? I don’t think so, I mean, what normal person does this in the morning, especially a morning when they took care and time to look a little more-than-average nice in ways that require a little more-than-average self-care and you’d think self-care meant doing so was good for one, wouldn’t it?”

And then I’d walk through the kitchen to put something in my work bag or whatever and I’d pass the full body mirror on the way and at some point between all my askings about normal people I realized something. Maybe I had a breakthrough. I think it might be one, anyway. It feels like that, in my mind, honestly it feels like a literal break in the pattern and color of the thoughts I'd been weaving just as I'm using to weaving them all the time, and yes it feels like maybe now I can see through them. And there's light coming through over there.

To explain what happened I need to talk about something else for a minute. I’m working on a 5-year plan. Early on, mid-January or earlier, while I was just starting the entire project and fleshing it out, I stopped at some point. I thought, you’re making all these plans for 1, 2, 5 years out, refugee, but why? And I stopped all my tasking and goal-orienting and sometimes-you-can-get-too-caught-up-on-projects-and-progress-and-miss-the-big-green-point-all-around you. I took a trusty notebook and I wrote down, What kind of person do you want to be?

I gave it care and thought and came up with eleven words in the next hour or so. I didn’t let myself just rush to write down popular good virtues or etc; I asked myself, what kind of person is it important, to me, for me to be? and i weighed what i came up with until I decided I agreed with it.

I didn’t tie any major life goals back to those words, not specifically, not concretely, only maybe if you stretch the meaning and squint your eyes a bit. So they didn't actually drive my goals or my 5 year plan in any visceral way. However, taking that inventory did really seem to help ground me as I went through making my goals and breaking them into smaller goals and basically wiring up my 5-year-plan process/binder. Mentally, I think it gave me the ground I needed to stand upon and solidly create my plan of attack for getting what I want out of life. I think doing that gave me the fortitude to see the 5 year plan through, and commit to it, and work at it. And keep working at it, day by day.

So this morning, looking into mirrors and agonizing and asking myself all these questions which hinged on this strange word, normal, this word which usually frankly I disdain -- I thought, hey hang on just one minute. Normal, normal, normal, why do you keep saying that? Why are you fixating there? Put aside the question of “Am I normal or not?” because frankly, that answer doesn’t matter to the true issue at hand. The true issue at hand is that I don't feel very comfortable with my body and haven't since I was 12— what the fuck is any normal person going to know or be able to tell me about how to change that? Scratch everything about this line of tearing-your-hair-out making-yourself-madder-not-saner-by-following-it line of questioning and KILL the underlying train of faux-logic that’s driving it.

Forget everybody else, and what everybody else does.

And I sat down, and I opened my trusty notebook, and I wrote, “What’s the kind of relationship I want with my body?”

You know what I think now? I think me and my body? I think we might be going somewhere. At last. I think, starting from here — what do I want with what I have — and seeing it as a relationship, as a “Let me take care of you and you take care of me,” sort of deal — I don’t know, in my notebook I titled it caps-lock BREAKTHROUGH. and then I gave it an underline.

OftenBen

______

Before that happened this morning I was going to share with Pubski an old poem I dug up this week, 2011 sort of old, which you know what? Has stood up to time and is, surprisingly, still intellectually decent. A little morsel. It has a tone I think mk will recognize and like. Remember when we talked about a little detachment? I think I feel it here.

_____

Happy hump day guys, on with the self-actualizing, good energy all around.

ref

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Paralyzed.

I'll totally pretend to give you answers.

    What is killing me this time - compared to all the other challenges I faced in life - is that this one; first, is not in my hand and I am simply sitting there and suffering, and second, it affects more than just myself.

know the difference between FEELING helpless and BEING helpless.

So okay. You went on a trip and met a girl and felt titillated and infatuated for the first time in a while. Happens to literally every person in a long-term relationship. I flirt recklessly. My wife knows I do. She also knows I come home to her because a lot of it is situational. Infatuation is exploring the possibilities. Love is cherishing the realities. You may not be in love with Sarah but she's also not surprising you much anymore. Novelty is a hell of a drug.

And okay. Sarah accepted that she cares more about you than you care about her, and you, for some dumb goddamn reason, decided to keep her around as a fuckbuddy until AUGUST or some shit.

This is the only thing I'm going to give you a ration of shit for. You're in a shitty place. It sucks. I'm sorry. I'ma give you some pathways I promise but for a minute, sit there and feel bad for this. Because it's a shitty thing to do to another human being. "I don't feel that we have a future together but... let's keep rubbing our genitals together for another four months because we have nothing better to do." It's one thing if you're both at "eh" in the relationship but if you're already acknowledging that she's way more into you than you are into her, keeping her on the leash is fuckin' cruel, dude. And it's going to cause things to cascade one of three ways:

(1) She's going to muster up her self-esteem and drop you like a hot rock because who the fuck are you to string her along like that after you've both acknowledged that she's got feelings you can't reciprocate.

(2) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking HONESTLY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to win a guy in 120 days. And, as a bonus, she gets to bump uglies.

(3) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to land your man in one easy step. And, as a bonus, you already had a pregnancy scare 5 weeks ago.

If I understand correctly, you have not been present at any doctor's appointments. You have her word that she's pregnant. If you believe her, that's plenty evidence enough. If you don't believe her, she wouldn't be the first person to fake a pregnancy in order to push a guy into marriage. It's happened to three of my friends, in fact. But don't focus on that. In the end it doesn't matter. Those three pathways are independent of pregnancy, real or feigned; the pregnancy is a complication but it does not affect the fundamental core of your relationship with Sarah.

Your relationship with your father is coloring your current situation way too much. Makes sense. Entirely natural. By all means analyze it, reflect on it, react to it, but then set it aside because the relationship that matters now is between you, your potential child, and the mother of that potential child. That's where a lot of the helplessness is coming from: you had no power over your father yet he still holds power over you. You have no power over this child yet this child holds power over you. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

Your current reaction to Sarah has a lot to do with the fact that you thought you killed all responsibility to the relationship yet still managed to reap the benefits. Yet here she is, drowning you in responsibility and threatening to cut you off entirely from any benefits. She's making it clear that you are unnecessary to her future plans, much like you made it clear that she was unnecessary to yours. What was the word? "Paralyzed." All right. You're frozen. You can't move, you can't breathe, and you're freaking out. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

NOW

You're all about abortion which leads me to believe that divorce doesn't offend your religious sensibilities. You're freaking out about your family's reaction to a kid out of wedlock. And you're fixated on this child's future alienation because you're going to have no input into their life. Yet the obvious solution - marry the girl - has been ruled out, out of hand, with no discussion whatsoever. Why is that?

Marry the girl. Now you've got a say in the kid's upbringing. Commit to not being a stranger. Get to know her family and friends. Commit to three more years in Germany, three more years of trying to see what kind of life you can build with Sarah. It's the first two years of a child's life that govern so much of their future and having two parents that love them under one roof where they feel safe and loved makes all the difference in the world.

If you're not into it within three years, part amicably. Support your child. Be a part of their life. Be anchored in her family. Be a relative that doesn't vanish. Be a father. You can be travel dad no problem. After you've front-loaded the commitment it'll be nearly impossible to shrug you off, particularly if you comport yourself like a gentleman. And fuckin' hell, you may discover that having something in common with Sarah, who is about to give over her body and time for the next two years to the life and well-being of your firstborn, makes her someone you can love more.

You might be surprised what happens when you extend the girl some trust and empathy. You might find she warms up into more of a person you want her to be. And, you might discover that she miscarries and you didn't have to blow up your life. Maybe you go through with the wedding, maybe you drop her like a hot rock and learn to never again string along a girl who likes you more than you like her.

Either way, your best move is to commit to a wedding and let it play out for better or worse. All the bullshit above aside, saying I'm going to do this means you're DOING something which breaks you free from paralysis. You're making a move, you're making a decision, you're acting towards your own future, and you're forcing the probability cascade to break down in your favor.

- You propose to the girl. She turns you down. You say you want to help. She turns you down. You try to be in the kid's life. She turns you down. You've done all you can, your father can't resent you completely, and the door is open to be a part later.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You get married, have a kid, stick it out as long as you can, and end up being Foreign Dad. By then you're more settled financially, you have a better idea what your future holds and you've influenced your child's future in an immeasurably positive way.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You walk away unscathed.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You find your feelings towards Sarah have changed. To be continued, for better or worse.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You have a family and live happily ever after.

Either way, when you've decided you no longer care for someone as much as they care for you, stop fucking them for both your sakes.

kleinbl00  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

There's a girl in The Horrible Art Class. We'll call her Rebecca. In the first of four "allow me to memorize your names" segments The Horrible Teacher said "Rabak? Rebech? Arbitch?" at which point Rebecca, blushing, said "Rebecca. My first name doesn't fit on the attendance records for some reason." She was embarrassed by this.

Rebecca's hair is too long and her clothes are frumpy. But her eyes are alive under too much makeup. She's one of the Annoyed Ones in That Horrible Art Class; or, at least she's one of the ones who jets as quickly as she can.

Monday she was wearing a too-large sweatshirt. It said "In Case of (mid-life) Emergency Dial (Porsche) 9-1-1" and had a crude representation of a red RUF turbo on it. I asked her "So who saddled you with the shirt? Who has the disease?" and she said "My dad had a 911" and I plowed straight through "I just got one they're great everyone should have one" without touching on "what happened to it" "what happened to your dad" "why are you wearing your dad's sweatshirt." But you can see it. Whatever the circumstances there's a good possibility she's going through life minus a parent.

I just want to tell her she looks nice. I want to tell her to be brave enough to cut her hair, to stop hiding. I want to make everything be all right. I think when you're a teenager you're too busy being consumed by your own fragility to notice that you're all standing around like scared deer waiting for the tigers to come.

I've surrounded myself with children in the virtual world for fifteen years now. When surrounded by real ones my instincts are the same. Protect, inform, advise. I think I've realized that my overwhelmingly paternal instincts are an overreaction to my fundamentally feral upbringing.

My wife got back from a conference a couple weeks ago. They were talking about ACE scores and how many in the midwifery community tend to score higher than baseline. My wife and her new employee remarked that they were "zero" and "one" respectively but the argument was that if you have a non-zero score and your patient has a non-zero score your relationship has a cumulative score and in a traumatic birth your interactions are going to be a product of the cumulative, not the individuals. Curious, I took the test and scored a six.

It bugs the shit out of me that my altruism is motivated by the shadow effects of 30-year-old bullshit. It's disempowering. It makes it feel fake. It means I became Reddit's Father Confessor not because I wanted to do good but because I was flailing to fill the hole dug there decades earlier.

Now all I can notice is how stinky teenagers are. I wonder if they always were and now I sound like David Fucking Brooks.

flac  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

I wasn't really prepared for the emotional toll that leaving all these preschoolers was going to have on me. I still have a few more days teaching, but I've told the kids I'm leaving and they are... not pleased, to say the least.

The hardest one has been a 3 year old kid named Ian, who's been at the school since it opened. I babysit him sometimes, because his family's a mess. His parents just finalized a divorce, his brother bullies him all the time, etc. When I was babysitting him yesterday, I told him that I'm leaving soon, but we still have time to play at the school a few more times.

His exact response was:

big tears

"BUT YOU'RE MY BEST GROWN UP"

Starts running away from me in the Fred Meyers food court

Once I caught him, which thankfully didn't take long, he told me that it's okay I'm moving, because soon he's just going to get a jet, and use that jet to bring me and my family to live at his house.

So, there's that.

tacocat  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 11, 2018

I'm alternately living in hotels, my car and one night in an Air B&B that was a violation of several county ordinances. I detoxed myself off of alcohol which is not easy or a particularly good idea.

AND I'M STILL WORKING ON MY GRAD SCHOOL APPLICATION BECAUSE FUCK YOU LIFE! I'M TOUGHER THAN YOUR SHIT!

kleinbl00  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 18, 2018

Something I didn't say last time about that one app that I should have:

You're an exceptionally talented, exceptionally interesting young man. But you reveal nothing about yourself until you've been directly questioned. Then you're cautiously enthusiastic about the stuff you're, like, really good at.

You know what's sexy as all hell? Enthusiasm. The unbridled confidence to not just believe but to know that the stuff you think is cool IS cool and that anybody would be delighted to get a glimpse into this awesome world you live in. Passion and enthusiasm is what makes things interesting; being the vessel of that passion and enthusiasm is what makes you interesting.

You're a great communicator. Every interaction you have with a girl should take the form of "you're going to think this is cool because X." If you can make someone feel the awesome you do they will view you as awesome through simple transference.

OftenBen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Kleinbl00's Red Pill Reading List: Geopolitic

    You can't just leave it there, man!

Aight -

    What annoyed you?

Mostly how goddamn correct you ended up being. Our original discussion was around the difference between rebellion and mature subversion with regard to making a tangible difference in world events at historical scale. You made the point that with education in the practical history if the last century or so comes the knowledge that democratic processes didn't ever really amount to bupkis with regard to the course of events. Based on the reading list, that appears to be true. Decisions that mobilize troops, actors that conduct the covert and "covert" operations of international relations before, during and after wars are simply not affected by democratic processes. There simply isn't enough time to make decisions that way. I can't tell you how many times I have read and watched Charlie Wilson's War. It drives me to liquor almost every time.

    What surprised you?

How deeply personal history can be. To use the example of Charlie Wilson's War, who the fuck has ever heard of Gust Avrokatos or Mike Vickers? How did a few guys with grudges and bad personnel reviews and a coke-n-strippers habit basically bring about the end of the USSR and change all of global politics forever? How did they defeat the monster that Churchill warned about? I was surprised how divided every nation-state's government's seem to be with regard to international policy. It highlights the damage done to the state department by 45, because it takes decades to cultivate even shitty international relations, to say nothing of developing workable, non shitty, professional and respected ones.

    What made you think?

As much as I talk about the personal nature of history writ large, it's also deeply impersonal. The Russians don't really care about the average American, they want to not be the butt of dumb/poor/drunk/low-life-expectancy jokes. They want a strong domestic economy and they have a history of not playing nice which makes people not want to play nice with them. But Nobody who considers the US an enemy gives a damn about John and Jane Doe. They either have a legitimate grievance about something done without our knowledge or approval or they have a world philosophy that precludes peaceful coexistence.

    What made you want to not think?

How goddamn correct you ended up being. I, as an individual who has no intention of pursuing international politics or covert operations will have exactly zero impact on who decides to bomb who. The best i can hope for is to be a nonviolent actor personally and vote for an anti-war candidate if one ever comes along. Otherwise better to not think about such things except to study history and try to better whatever community I can find or scratch out of the dirt for myself. Bombs will fall or they won't, either way, I'm not a part of the process. Much as I want to take all human failing on my own shoulders, Mattis didn't check in with me before he launched several billion dollars worth of whoop ass at Syria.

    What changed about your worldview?

I take these things significantly less personally. I try to take Dan Carlin's 'Martian' perspective on world events. I'm more interested in the politics of my state and city than national and global events simply because they are more likely to affect me and my opinion of them has a snowball's chance of actually causing some change that might be helpful to the next generation. Hopefully we michiganders can get our asses in gear and save the great lakes from NESTLE and the petrochemical companies running leaky pipe under the Mackinac bridge. Think global act local has never made more sense to me.

    What stayed the same?

I'm still not gonna vote blue team just because. Lesser evilism is no more appealing to me now than in the past. Maybe the blue team will have its house in order the next time national elections roll around. I am not hopeful in this regard. I am reminded of Obama's analogy of the US and national policy as an ocean liner, and of the colossal force needed consistently to bring about a minor course correction. The whole business reinforces the little house on the prairie fantasies we have discussed and you have derided in the past. I don't get to opt out. In some clockwork orange ish way, I get to watch the whole thing unfold and I don't get to look away.

In short, I need to read more. For some reason, no matter how much I listen I still can't seem to get through Durant, even at 1.25x speed. I think I have 17 hours left on the first volume, we're currently discussing the origins and structure of Hinduism.

kleinbl00  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Judging A Book By Its Sobriety

Writing is fun. Being a writer is bullshit. This dichotomy is one of the things writers don't talk about, don't write books about, don't tell students about.

Somewhere on here there's an article about the dirty little secret that every writer you've ever read had/has a spouse or a parent that allows them to eat so they can spend fuckin' forever grinding away at that magnum opus that nobody gives a shit about. If you're a "writer", odds are good you're also wasting your time from an economics standpoint. Stephen King will tell you that Tabby basically underwrote his career through Carrie. Anne LaMott will mention in passing that her dad's agent read eight of her books and oh by the way she's divorced from the guy who put food on the table while she did it. It's the dirty little secret: the people who don't have a benefactor are competing with the people who do but nobody mentions the benefactors. The two successful screenwriters I came up with were both in a position where they could live in $3k/mo apartments for two fucking years without having to earn a penny so they could sit there and write. Must be nice.

The other dichotomy is nobody gets into writing because they want to perform in front of an audience. Nobody sits down to write a book so they can carry it around under their figurative or literal arm to dozens of trained professionals all intent on saying no. Nobody sets out to prove themselves over and over and over again only to be sent a "not for us - sent from my iPad" email on Thanksgiving evening (true story). But once you get accepted by an agent you're a god. But once you get rejected by a publisher you're scum. But once you get published you're a god. But once the book gets panned you're scum.

And it's all so goddamned capricious.

If you ever want to see into the soul of any performer, ask them what work they're most proud of. It won't be one you've heard of. It'll be that thing they believed in, that they put their heart and soul into, that the marketplace crushed. And maybe they'll have rationalized why it got crushed, and maybe they won't, but it's still the central fable of their lives, be it written or a work-in-progress. It's the thing that allows them to make peace with the capriciousness.

Some people don't make peace with the capriciousness.

Hemingway was absolutely at the top of his game. Pithy mutherfucker. "There's nothing to writing. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed." Said the guy who tried on 47 endings and 18 titles for Farewell to Arms. David Foster Wallace? The closer he got to death, the more personal his writing became, the less interested his audience was in what he had to say.

The stories I write for me? Nobody wants to read them. The stories I shit out because someone throws a buck at me? ZOMGBUSINESS. That'll fuck with a mind: You're auditioning for genius but for some reason what they love the most is derivative crap. You'll notice nobody ever calls Danielle Steel or Dan Brown tortured geniuses. You may not think Amy Winehouse would have been different 20 years sober, but you don't care if David Lee Roth is different 20 years sober. Amy Winehouse was "serious." Diamond Dave is not.

So if you're a serious artiste you're left grappling with the cognitive dissonance that if you get paid you're a sell-out but if you don't get paid you starve (unless you're one of the lucky dilettantes we don't talk about but we all know and us serious artistes all know they aren't serious anyway, just lucky). And if you're a serious artiste you know that validation is nothing but validation is everything but validation is illogical but if it matters it MUST be logical and somehow

if you let yourself go

and turn off for a while

and give it to the bottle, give it to the powder, give it to the needle, give it to whatever

it doesn't

matter

so much.

Writers, as a species, are sensitive. Writers, as a species, are introverts. Writers, as a profession, must have nerves of steel and an endless appetite for rejection and writers, as a profession, are chronically, criminally underpaid and undervalued. And if that writer has a tendency towards dependency, that dependency is what allows them to power through that cognitive dissonance. It's the thing that allows them to write for an audience.

Would Amy Winehouse's material be different if she were sober? Who knows. King's certainly is.

Inebriation allows writers to plow through the bullshit of being writers. Lots of writers can do it without substance abuse. Some can't. For those who can't, the proximate cause of their substance abuse is the bullshit of being a writer, and the bullshit of being a writer definitely colors their writing (lookin' at you, Charlie Kaufman).

    who wants to be a great writer if you are only a great writer when you're fucked up? what an awful fucking curse you know?

Said every writing drunk in the history of writing, ever.

And then they poured another shot.

user-inactivated  ·  60 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 28, 2018

To the new users of Hubski, welcome! To the old users who've started commenting again, welcome back! To the lurkers, we know you're there and we appreciate you! To everyone who's switched to user-inactivated, you'll be missed, please consider coming back.

To every person reading this, I think you're awesome.