Empty Days

Saturday, February 21, 2004



Found a long-abandonned predecessor of my blog here - apparently those other Empty Days were really really empty :-0

Predictably enough we seem to share the same color palette - which is gray, of course.

***

Another defunct blog (don't ask me how I find this outdated stuff - I forget) from a porn-prone Catholic. Guess what it's called - A failure of logic.




Aha! Here's a valuable list of the so-called "St-Blogs" (a cluster of catholic blogs all linked into a sort of underground internet conspiracy to overthrow the current atheistic regimes of the earth). No links are provided but no matter - they can be found. The list is valuable in that it is organized in Oscar-like categories defined from an insider's perspective. So use your judgement, just like you do when watching the Oscars (i.e. if a film is nominated in 12 categories you know there is a problem with it:)




The saving power of wasting one's time on computer matters.

Here's one smart logo that says it all.

In other news. After all, there is a simple way to defragment RAM, as opposed to "boosting" it with cute little apps, and this is how it's done (shockingly easy). To flush RAM and get back 30MB let's say, write:
FreeMem = Space(30000000)
The value should never be more than the half of your RAM installed and still less if your motherboard is a combo.Then save this nonsense with an extension .VBS, preferably on your desktop. Then click on it whenever things are getting low and slow.
Warning: 100% cpu usage during script execute, so do not over-indulge.

Friday, February 20, 2004



Trackback bonanza

As you can see I went ahead and implemented this novelty into the blog - just for the heck of it mostly. But there are some things that need clarifying.

1. For instance, there is a certain redundancy between PermaLink and TrackBack - the only difference is that when somebody refers to your post's ID through a PermaLink URL you will likely never know about it (unless Technorati spiders the offending blog for you).

2. Unlike Movable Type and other trackback-enabled systems, your Haloscan TrackBack has a haloscan.com URL with your haloscan user-name as the only identifier that a certain post ID comes from your particular blog. Under these circumstances it probably makes sense to update your haloscan Settings with a full URL of your blog displayed in the Title field. Referring to the PermaLink URL is still less confusing - since it clearly shows where the post came from.

3. If you want to notify the author of a post that you're bitching about it on your own blog, "the post that you're interested in writing about needs to be TrackBack-enabled" (from MT tb faq). Which means that it's a very selected group of bloggers. So join the club.

4. Since you're not on MT, you have to do the "notify" part manually - by logging in into haloscan's trackback manager and typing in a lot of infos. Is that a drag of what?

In the end, I can safely say that I don't really need to have a trackback feature on this blogspot thing of mine. But figuring out how this works was pretty amusing :)




Blogmatrix, an rss scrapper/reader service I've been using, is being discontinued:
Our apologies to our clients: BlogMatrix.com is going away. The hosting machine is dying slowly and painfully and the economic reality of a non-money making service means it's not going to be replaced any time soon.
You bet. I've always wondered how free internet services are able to survive at all. Advertisement - does it really pay?

***

Meantime Haloscan, the commenting system for orphaned blogs, is picking up speed. Now trackbacking is available for free users. And they recently acquired another commenting system (yaccs). Once again I am wondering - how the hell do you do it...
Q: Should I use trackback if I already have commenting installed?
A: Absolutely. Most webloggers use both commenting and trackback on their blogs. With HaloScan, you can choose to use both or just use commenting or trackback by itself.





All aboard

I've oft been tempted to blog some on subjects of rabidly sexual nature and given the mess this venting place of mine has become lately I don't see why I wouldn't.

This may induce severe confusion in some readers, but after all - what do I care, really.

Here is something I just found and I must say - it describes so amply what I might have said myself that I'd rather cite it as is:
50 Things That Made Me What I Am

[...]The very second I saw a drawing by Tom of Finland I was riveted and electrified --- and awakened. From the very first instant my eyes fell on it, I recognized that it connected with and expressed an elementary part of my sexual personality. I wonder how many other gay men have had the same experience - hundreds of thousands, I would guess. For many immersion in Tom's fantasies of exaggerated masculinity (with physiques equally impossible and arousing) represents the extent to which they enter the world of leather sex; for others they are a first step to their real-life enactment. Either way, for me there was no element of incomprehension, no gradual corruption by insidious sadomasochistic seduction --- as much as anything was already there, waiting in the dark of my psyche to be illuminated, this was. Some years later I came across the ideas that particular "circuits" in the brain are already connected -- genetically or in the earliest period of life -- and spring into life when the switch is thrown. It was a description I immediately connected with my experience of Tom of Finland.
...
Indeed, it has always been a mark of Tom's impact on me (and a comment on those processes of adoption and elaboration) that the erotic charge of Tom's drawings has neither dimmed over the years, nor lost its edge with repeated viewings and autoerotic utilisations. I remember very well the first Tom drawing I saw, and it excites me as much now as on that day back in 1975 (even though much of the Tom's most intense work had not yet been produced then). What a reassurance (albeit of the most ironic description) of the endurance without diminution of those internalised images that speak most completely to our sexual drives, and so keep love alive.[...]
This articulate tribute comes from a gay blog. I am neither gay nor a man. Nevertheless this reflects me so exactly I have to wonder who the hell I might have been in that hypothetical "previous life" of mine. Not that I spend too much time getting all puzzled and perplexed over it - whatever comes to you naturally gotta be the real thing.

Pity this blogger forgot Marquis de Sade though - that other towering icon of hardcore. Personally I discovered Sade way before I ran into ToF and his bikes and boots and severe gay obsessions. The truth is - the pure-gay part is really without importance. It's a construct. Sade shows you how this is nothing but - where it all comes from, and where it all goes. To and from hell, of course, as we imagine it.

Stephen King (yes, I've never read one book of his but I saw an interview with the guy and found him perfectly fascinating) once said that the sexual subconscious is like a boiler-room full of big burly guys tossing and punching about. Not that it's a verbatim quote but that was the gist of it - and it couldn't be truer. There are untold reserves of violence concealed deep inside most of us, nice decent people. And it does sip through in the most surreptitious ways sometimes. The sexual outlet for this is perhaps the least harmful - so you may love your children instead of fucking them, or trying to dominate them, or being a bitch or a sod with strangers.

In other words, it's not what you get to see that does you in, it's what you want to be because you already are - just that.




Da genre controversy

Some more thoughts on comments. There's this funny phenomenon - I go to politico blogs to vent my social laundry, then I get people coming here for more - and what do they find? Horribile dictu :)

***

"Blog" is a word with a rapidly evolving meaning, it seems. There is even something like a militant movement towards re-defining the whole bloody concept. Apparently, blogs are supposed to be radically different from something as banal as a diary. Well, I can see how this may be important for those in the politico line. But the fact remains: 80% of all blogs are in fact mere diaries - not always so "mere" perhaps, but well - a genre is a genre.

***

There was a big fad in the early 1900's for diary-writing. Among published writers, I mean. Some of those were witty and amusing, others plain boring. One good thing about the internet is that it's such a volatile media. I mean - all those millions of blogs that are currently being "published", where will they be tomorrow? Ten years of uptime for a webpage is like 100 years for a book in-print. For blogs the ratio is probably three times that. On the fading side, of course.

So my statement-of-purpose is: blog on and fade away.




Happened on this site by a now defunct human being. He had problems. People do. This was one intelligent guy with a lucid take on things. Excerpt:
life is pointless.. i'm becoming apathetic to everything. all i care about now is my family, kris, music, and pyrrhonism. pyrrhonism keeps me depressed... music keeps me from killing everyone in a bloody rampage... my family and kris keep me alive.
The server his site is archived on is very slow sometimes, to the point of non-response. So I took the liberty of reproducing some of his stuff elsewhere. "130 Reasons Why Either Myself or Life Sucks" is an informal verdict - meticulously detailed and without appeal. The very pinnacle of self-hate.

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina begins with the famous statement: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Perhaps there is some truth to this. Or maybe not - some forms of suffering are endlessly familiar.

By a happy coincidence, Anna Karenina is also one of the better known examples of suicide in world literature. Why do they always say that women prefer pills to gore? How very misguided.




Yesterday was not the worst day of my life perhaps but it was pretty gut-wrenching and it's not over yet. A day can extend way beyond the 24 nominal hours assigned to it.

***

Let's say a human being is like a layered pastry - there are all these layers and they're all happening at the same time but you can only exist in one layer at a time. By "exist" I probably mean something like "thinking of". You can't think in multiple layers at once (multitasking got nothing to do with this).

So what happens is that you're cruising on some particular selected plane (or layer) of yours, and then suddenly there's a switch and you fall right through the mushy pastry and find yourself somewhere very different, where you can't quite "cruise" at all - it's more like "struggling in the marshmallow" then. Obviously, there are layers you don't want to go to - and you don't, not of your own volition. You fall in rather, or get dragged in.

***

I suppose "mental balance" means cruising on the same plane, always. Being a uniform, non-layered pastry. Is this realistic? Obviously it is - people scramble for it frantically and it is instinctive.




Re-read previous post. Hmm. Am I being naive or does "Jew" sound insulting in English? Am I to conclude that it's like blurting out "nigger"? That was not my intention. What would be the proper common-language non-insulting word then - Hebrew? No, too literary. "Jewish" used as a noun? Doesn't work out that way. But I am not going to launch into lengthy paraphrases like "Jewish folks" and other verbose formulae.

So, once again, screw this - "Jew" is alright and there's no shame in it. In my usage at least.




Retro g(r)ay

Watched "North by Northwest" which, as you know, is in Technicolor and looks like "Man in the gray flannel suit" multiplied by a hundred. So this put me in a very retro mood and I went looking and found these elegant flashbacks to a world long gone (and I am not sorry).

***

Also, my brother recently informed me that Cary Grant was gay. Jesus. I am not very much into hollywood celebrities, but after Rock Hudson this is starting to look ominous. In my dim vision of the 50's film industry, Grant-Hudson-Stewart-Peck-Cooper form something like a 5-star nucleus of the Hollywood establishment in that era (on the male side at least). So if Grant and Hudson are homo then we have a 2/5 ratio right at the top of the sex-hero chain. Does this mess up America's hollywood gene or what?

My bro tells me he got it from an A&E program on Grant. Well. Looking round the net I can see this is far from a settled matter. And it's a good opportunity to do some well-deserved gay-bashing here (yep, it's not like they're all angels, right) on account of massive and relentless obsession these guys have with "seeing gay" literally everywhere - and loudly claiming that what they see is the ultimate truth.

More often than not though, not only it's not the truth, it's the most misguided sensationalist disinformation you could think of. Which does remind me very much of something I know of Jews (and other similarly obsessed folks) who have this comic tendency to claim that "oh, he's really smart - he's gotta be Jewish". As absurd and silly as this might be, it's still rather common - and should not be believed, because, well, most of the time it's plain bulls.

I know this doesn't sound very p.c. but, frankly, I couldn't care less - ca creve les yeux in any case. And as a result I still don't know what to think of Grant: was he gay/bisexual or wasn't he, and wtf is this all about? :-0

The question "what does it matter?" is really too facetious*. Of course it does - or the 50's never happened.

* (it's not the right word but I can't remember the right one)

Thursday, February 19, 2004



That was a bit heavy. The one good thing is that it's all just so much water under the bridge. So screw this - and blogging on.
_______________________________________________________________________




Confession II

Now is the time for my second unpalatable confession. Long belated - the puter burned down on me minutes after the first one. So I don't know what will happen to the machine I am using now - hopefully it will be spared.

***

I am partly responsible for the death of another person. Partly - because it was going down-hill for her anyway. Partly - because I was put in her path and through my stupidity did not think twice before jumping in and lending a hand. But my hand was not enough - all of me was required. I got scared and opted out. Without looking back, without mercy. I felt guilty for a while. Now I can't even feel guilt - it's beyond my grasp in many ways.

***

The rational point of view is always the same: in any case I couldn't do anything. The irrational pov is always the same: of course I could.

My confession does not concern the fate of that other person directly - because I understand very little of that fate. It concerns the fact that I cannot resolve the two contradictory points of view - both are right to an extent I can't appreciate.

The rational take removes guilt and lays down familiar boundaries. The irrational one opens up the sort of perspective that is truly frightening - I can't accept that it should be true, yet I know it is true. Why must I know it?

***

To speak another language. I would like to say that my worst sin against all life, including my own, is neither pride nor vanity nor arrogance - it is fear.

I can't resolve that contradiction because of fear.

No matter how far away from life I tried to pull myself, still I managed to cause another's hatred and death. This is beyond my grasp at the moment - I think of myself as harmless. Indeed I am. Except for the fact that I live.

It was demonstrated to me, clearly and decisively, that the truth is with the second proposition. It has nothing to do with being morally responsible. It requires fearlessness. I refuse to know it.

***

The fear of another's suffering is greater than the fear of one's own suffering. The true good does not consist in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It consists in fearlessness. I refuse to know it.
Guilt is unforgiving. It is an extension of fear.

***

Parable from real life, harder than my own. This happened in Bosnia, during the Balkan wars. A man was working as a translator with the UN forces there. When the enemy came, the UN base had to be moved in earnest. They had to abandon the local population to their fate. A selected few were given the right to leave with the UN forces. Among them the translator. In the last moments his family (father, mother and young sister) came to the gates of the UN base - the translator begged the UN commander to take them in. But the commander refused adamantly, on the grounds that they were not accredited at the base. The translator left with the UN forces. He never saw his family again - most likely they were murdered with the others.

Moral of the parable as known by the translator in the depths of his heart: I didn't try hard enough.




I know from my own experience that suicide (or willful seeking of death) is a taboo - once this taboo is transgressed a whole new perspective opens up. Not so much on suicide as on life and death.

Just like in war the taboo on killing is transgressed, so it is with suicide. The consciousness of the taboo-aspect remains - but you look at it from the other side, as it were. Once you've killed, you get to know something that others, who haven't, think impossible. So it is with suicide.

Self-killing is a form of murder.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004



Drug-trials for sudden death

So I went on the net looking for that "Suicide in history" book. Didn't find one yet. Instead I ran into something close to my heart - how drug-trials really work.

I participated in a drug-trial once and I wasn't impressed. If this is how they evaluate antibiotics, wait until you see what they do to those anti-depressants they like you to eat. The antibiotics they fed me at the drug-trial depressed my kidneys to an unbelievable extent, for months after - but this was not reflected in the trial results since they stop monitoring patients after they've pomped all that blood out of you and let you go home. All of which takes about a day-and-a-half. Poor unsuspecting folks who are going to be prescribed that shit... they'll have to find out for themselves, I guess.

But here's the real deal:
MEDICAL RESEARCH TO DIE FOR
(Insight on the News - National, Oct.12, 2002)

Step right up, little lady, and get your serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat anything and everything that ails the mind and body - social phobias, eating disorders, insomnia, headaches and depression, to name but a few. This "medication," guar-an-teed safe and efficacious by the phantasmagoria of federal science, is prescribed to reduce the symptoms of whatever ails you and to assure healthy and happier lives.

Ah, but caveat emptor, my friend! A recent study conducted by Arif Khan, medical director of the Northwest Clinical Research Center in Bellevue, Wash., and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, has revealed startling numbers of suicides committed and suicides attempted in the clinical trials for the new SSRI antidepressants - numbers that for years had been hidden from both prescribing physicians and the public.[...]
I am not sure this is a great example of investigative journalism (the style is kind of phoney) but, unfortunately, the gist of the "news" is probably spot on.

***

For absolutely gory stories of modern psychiatry in action see Clinical Psychiatry News. It's for the professionals - who are not afraid of death in their patients :)

***

For all that other deathly stuff, visit the most effective suicide forum in the english-speaking world - alt.suicide.holiday (affectionately known as ash) and its harsher brother alt.suicide.methods. Typical random quote from "ash" (it's mostly whining and fighting, if that's what you'd like to do in your last worthless days):
why are you accusing? when you first came to ash you didnt know anyone either, people have died, or left because their life got something new in it, their life got better, or they were disgusted to the point of leaving with the trolls and whiny bitches like me.
How true :)))




I finally figured out a way to have a reliable search engine for my blog (because sometimes I really need to go back to a link or a post). Sure enough I have to re-index the blog manually but it's done in a blink-of-an-eye and thereafter I can find exactly anything I might be looking for.

Pico Search engine - free of course.




It can't be good for the puter when there's a sudden power outage. This one lasted exactly three hours and affected the whole area - for some reason this neighbourhood is abnormally prone to blackouts, we get those at least 4-5 times a year. Some are really short, others are really long. Go figure.

Of course it's nice to have that cozy candle-light type of darkness from time to time. No street-lights, very country-side, just cars with their glaring white eyes plodding along in the dark.

I thought what it would be like to live without electricity. Early evenings, forget tv, no puter, hard to read. Basically - nothing much to do. Solitude unmitigated. I think I might hang myself (for some reason this is the method that first comes to mind when imagining such a setting - harking back to the XIX c, no doubt).

***

Which reminds me: there must be some book out there called History of suicide through the ages or something like that. A purely historiographical overview. Because, you see, every age has its own modality of suicide - both methods and reasons. It would make for a fascinating read, especially if it's not infected with the pro & contra rhetoric.




Actually, this reflection on the difficulties of commenting was spurred by an informative comment-thread I lost track of and just rediscovered now. It's about something I would call "uniform media effect" I decided to bitch about on Locus Solus and got this wizened reply from a PR insider:
It's worse than you think. We have databases on how to pitch members of the media so as to best influence them. Media Map is the primary vendor of such information, though Bacon's is coming up strong.

I was never so cynical about the role PR plays in the media until I saw it in action.
Right. Information is a good thing but for some reason it's always the same infos everywhere. Now I know why. Under which conditions it is the wiser policy never to consider yourself "informed" - because you're not.




Comments from hell

One thing I can't seem to manage is how to deal with comments I leave on other blogs. Here is the problem: I leave an x number of comments in x numbers of posts on x number of blogs - let's multiply all this, and what do we get: a holy mess. How am I supposed to track all this down not to miss out on whatever thoughtful replies might occur? Bookmarks? Create a temp bookmark-folder for post-IDs? Forget all about it and never worry? :-0

That's what happens in any case but it's not because I am bad and spiteful - it's because I actually lose track. Blogs are updated daily. Posts disappear from main-page into archives. I can't remember dates (man, I can barely remember my own birthday), I can't remember titles, I can't search blogs because they're indexed in such a haphazard way you just can't count on it, I have no rss tools I can truly rely on... I mean, this *is* complicated.

So I'll try the bookmark-strategy for a while and if this doesn't work I don't see what else I could do. Maybe this is a helpful memory-exercise and I really should practice?

***

Another factor is that it is not at all easy to read other blogs assiduously - anything over 2-3 is already something of an overload; I guess return-visits time should be managed too... I hope I can make it without a scheduler :-0




Something is going on in the building - they're repairing the fire-exit staircase. I definitely like hearing those coarse jokes in loud voices over hammer thuds, bolts rolling down the steel steps. Working men - perennial blue-collar cheer.

My father worked as a painter for the past few years. He's an odd bird in that environment and in any case it's the solitude of the empty rooms he likes best. On the other hand, one ever-present feature in a contractor's life are rabid fights with the foreman over that weekly paycheck. For some reason it's never clear how much one is supposed to get and when. So you need serious guts to fight for what you think you deserve. Not a peaceful line of work.




Decided to try out this meta-search engine I never really heard about before (Vivissimo) and it has strange results, really. I mean - the order of results is also odd, and one glaring thing about it is that it doesn't seem to poll from google. So whenever you get upset with google (it does happen to me - 3 billion pages is really too much sometimes), you can relieve the tension by using this vivissimo thing instead.

***

Via which found out that TSO of Video Meliora just decided to adopt me into his immediate family. OMG :-0




Internet as a torture rack

Woe on me with those online chats. Not that I indulge in these all that often but when I do it knocks me over - plain exhausting. I am sure it was invented by and for teenagers, with all that energy wanting out - purpose or no purpose. Jesus it's hard. I am trying to figure out why. Perhaps it's multitasking and exceeding demand on concentration - you gotta read/think/type (as fast as possible) all at the same time. On top of which (and that's the hardest part, really) you gotta figure out what's going on on the other end - whether the chap is upset, amused, bored, indignant, hurt, cracked up...

I mean, good God! In a face-to-face conversation these little imbroglios are solved in the blink of an eye - precisely because you can indeed blink and wince and observe all those facial expressions that tell you in an instant how your output is affecting the "other party". But that's not how it happens online. You're blindfolded - the reaction may come 10 posts later, to something you said "ages ago". Too late - all that is written is written (or typed) forever.

I'd say the problem with online conversations is that you're always behind the typed output. You are forced to react prematurely - otherwise the rhythm is broken. Once again, this doesn't occur in face-to-face talks - since you don't need to waste 3/4 of your energy on typing.

So I guess I will take it easy next time - put a time limit on it or something. Three hours is the most I can handle without falling off my chair from "battle-fatigue". Yesterday it was 5 hours. I am still recovering.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004



Random memory knot: Yar's revenge has some verbal punch, in a colorful Whoopy Goldberg kind of way. It's not the truth. I never asked for truth.


How to write down dreams

Excellent resource-book for dream-writers. F.Kafka's Amerika, last chapter:
DAS NATURTHEATER VON OKLAHOMA

Karl sah an einer Straßenecke ein Plakat mit folgender Aufschrift: »Auf dem Rennplatz in Clayton wird heute von sechs Uhr früh bis Mitternacht Personal für das Theater in Oklahoma aufgenommen! Das große Theater von Oklahoma ruft euch! Es ruft nur heute, nur einmal! Wer jetzt die Gelegenheit versäumt, versäumt sie für immer! Wer an seine Zukunft denkt, gehört zu uns! Jeder ist willkommen! Wer Künstler werden will, melde sich! Wir sind das Theater, das jeden brauchen kann, jeden an seinem Ort! Wer sich für uns entschieden hat, den beglückwünschen wir gleich hier! Aber beeilt euch, damit ihr bis Mitternacht vorgelassen werdet! Um zwölf Uhr wird alles geschlossen und nicht mehr geöffnet! Verflucht sei, wer uns nicht glaubt! Auf nach Clayton!« [...]





From the Bookcrossing statement-of-purpose:
Do you like free books? How about free book clubs?. Well, the books our members leave in the wild are free... but it's the act of freeing books that points to the heart of BookCrossing. Book trading has never been more exciting, more serendipitous, than with BookCrossing. Our goal, simply, is to make the whole world a library.
Right - "the whole world", where every household has internet access... It's a world alright, though I wouldn't call it "whole" :-0




"He was challenged in Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot..."

What a gorgeous appellation :)

***

From the news. A wife of an american soldier was stopped at the Canadian border as a grenade was found in the glove-compartment of her car:
"According to her, she was intending to drive toward Vancouver, Wash., not Vancouver, British Columbia,'' Shields said. Vancouver, Wash., is on the state's border with Oregon, some 250 miles south of the Canadian city.

"She was apparently new to the area,'' he said.





Wonderfully painful dream. A lost friend I once loved - found again. A corporation in the form of a circus installation, with different departments conducting ultra-scientific research into destructive materials - presented as so many side-shows. A chubby nun in long garnment and the CEO of the said corporation fearlessly attempting to climb down a 10-storey steel structure as if it were a tree. A green cosy end-alley with a retro cinema suddenly found in an empty industrial landscape...

As always, all this made a lot of sense - despite the absurdity.

***

Some people can't do it on their own. If they don't perish right away it is mostly because of luck intervening at the last moment. They could never describe how they made it so far - their luck is too subtle to reveal itself plainly.

Come to think of it, being able to do it on your own is also a form of luck. Even subtler - because you're convinced you're doing it yourself.




So I tried to use Opera 7.23 for a few days and finally went back to version 6.05 - like I said, "improved" browsers are for people with "improved" systems. Translation: if you haven't got enough body-fat, don't try to fit into those big new pants.

Those running Windows XP on a P233 - be gone.

[ Overwhelming argument: with the lighter 6.05 version I can easily have as many as 20 pages open at a time without running low on memory - unthinkable with later-generation browsers. ]




Pretty awful days and nights. Went to my parents' place yesterday, stayed over, left at 4am - couldn't sleep there, nightmarish thoughts all over the place. Tremendously cold ride back home at -30C with wind-chill. My home is not really a home. I can't make a home, that's the problem. Metaphorically speaking "I can never make it home" - that's what you say after you've been to Mars or something similar. Stanislaw Lem has some of those other-worldly stories where inhospitable distant planets become your grave - because something's broken and you can't go back. And they say it's "science-fiction". Fiddle sticks - it's not.

Sunday, February 15, 2004



Take 5

There are people so terminally fucked-up nothing can be done for or about them. An optimist view has it that no soul is ever lost while it's alive. Sure - it's alive, that's the only thing that is not lost, all the rest is screwed forever.

Lord knows I detest those endless hollywood movies with impossible happy-endings. And this trash is supposed to raise your spirits and faith in humanity. Take a look around - that's not what you gonna see, you poor trusting sods. The Disneyland mock-ups we are raised on are gonna back-fire one fine day. Or not - depending on how your luck will have it.

There is an invisible wall separating those who are still living their Disneyland dream, and those others - not sure how to call them. Fuck-ups. Victims of the shattered house-of-cards. Violent rebuke of the industrial society. A collection of odd destinies. Exceptions. Scandalous sights.

Basically - the hell with them. That's the law of the world and it won't change no matter how many charities and sugar-smiles you gonna muster to stave off these monstruous demonstrations of natural futility.

***

Sometimes events take a bad turn and suddenly you're the helpless actor of some overwhelmingly lethal drama. How extremely amusing. How very instructive. What can you do? "Learn from past mistakes" perhaps?

Instructions in case of a suicide-bomber blowing himself up next to you on the bus: don't panick, you're dead already.

Or: you develop schizophrenia and all your pretty little life goes to pieces. Poor baby - why were you even born?

***

To be continued.




Leopards in the temple

A parable by Franz Kafka:
Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the ceremony.





Who needs porn, I ask you?

Ouch!

Gustav Klimt. Goldfish (fragment).





I love Jesus - pass the ice-cream

I do wonder sometimes what it is people mean when they say things like "I love God", "I love Jesus" etc. And they're not faking it - they really seem to mean exactly what they're saying (I only mean those who come across as such: skip the hypocrite thing).

From an outside perspective this is incomprehensible. In wondering about this, I am not concerned with religious dogmata and various a la philosophical or pseudo-psychological explications that are supposed to describe this - both from religious and atheist perspectives.

In other words - I couldn't give a flying fuck about why it should or should not be.

***

The problem is obviously this - who do you mean? God is a word - to most people. Jesus might be a historical character. These two overlap somehow. I strongly suspect that in the present case "Jesus" turns out even more abstract than "God".

***

The people I trust the least are those who come up with explanations as to why "God" should be loved. That would be most of the religious advocates. It's very entertaining to listen to them debate their reasons, but in the end it's like saying: "I am in love with George, therefore you should be too".

That's natural in a way, but in another way it's not really how this happens. Sure, you can advertise things you love - but the problem here is always the same: it's entirely unclear what that "thing" is.

The "who" of the story remains evasive. Those that say otherwise overstate themselves - which is a form of lying. The "what" is another matter altogether.

***

I am looking at this from my own corner - where "God" is only a word, a nebulous concept. On the other hand I've experienced things in my life that do indeed show the possibility of incomprehensible things being entirely real. Which doesn't make them any less incomprehensible - no explanations attached.

There should be a footnote here. Incomprehensible realities induce fear. To stave off fear there is a tendency to invent laws that are supposedly based on these realities. These laws are fake, because the underlying realities remain incomprehensible. Most of the religious dogmas are of this kind.

***

But realities themselves are not fake. Somebody who's never known anything beyond the very obvious cannot really accept this as a possibility. What's more - personal experience of *some* of these realities does not make one any more accepting of other possibilities. There's no unifying "body of knowledge" in these matters - there can't be any.

Strife between various religions is the grossest example of this - but very often religion has little to do with the realities it purports to promote, so it's not a good example really.

***

So far my closest approximation of what is meant by "I love God" is my personal experience with inner life. There are times where reason suddenly gives way and certain "unreasonable" realizations come up to the surface - those are the times when I truly understand the strange (and not at all well-founded) appeal to love one's neighbour and forgive against all odds. It is not a diktat and it actually feels entirely counter-intuitive. There is no way in the world I could convince myself (let alone someone else) to act and feel this way through reason only.

Like I said - it doesn't make sense.

Humanism, and its latter-day bastard - political correctness - is a pale shadow of that strange impulse and, to be entirely frank, I don't think it does a very good job of mimicking it. Basically I discover two measures of good: one is reasonable and essentially utilitarian (a la Kant), and then there is this other visceral one, which makes no sense at all.

Whether Jesus was what he was or something else still - I can't say. But he spoke of things that are hard to come by, today or yesterday, nothing has ever changed in that respect (despite 2k years of Christianity, which very early on evolved into something like a giant hoax).

***

It is never clear what God people are talking about. Who it is. Most have no clue what they're talking about and are all the more ready to offer their views. Others - far fewer - really know but can't explain. The blathering goes on without end, in all the corners of the earth, in all times - incessant blathering, blathering about the Unknown. Mountains upon mountains of fake laws - claiming the Unknown as their foundation. While all the true laws are already hidden inside yourself, the visceral laws that need no explanations.

***

Is God possible without religion? Absolutely.

Do we have anything to say as to what is understood by that word? Nops. Nothing at all - except a lot of awkward trash.

What do they mean when they say "I love God"? Who knows.

Should I argue the existence of God if I know for sure it's not just a word? No, not really. In any case you don't even understand what you know, let alone be able to explain.

Should we get rid of religions? Sure not! Try to get rid of all the fools - that's 3/4 of humanity.

What then? Listen to all you can hear.




This is a very nice place to go to if you want to see some astoundind-looking blogs (content is definitely not a concern though:) - Well-Designed Weblogs Volume 2 (via Popdex).

***

Which demonstrated something else about Opera 7.23 - it has an image-management feature that makes it possible to download pages with a huge load of graphics in almost no time at all :-0

This too is astounding.




Tried out Opera 7.23 (without Java). It's heavier than Opera 6.05 of course, but nowhere near as heavy as Mozilla's Firefox.

For the poor folks who can't have it registered to get rid of the fat advertisement banner upstairs it is probably still better to use Mozilla. But those with less ram and older puters have to know where to look for cracks - because Opera 7.23 is really a breeze in terms of page-loading time.

I didn't expect this. I thought it'd be heavier (like any "improved" version usually is), with more features, but not faster. Pleasant surprise.

What disappointed me no end though is that it still has those problems with web-design rendering. Fuck. Actually, in certain cases it's even worse than in previous versions. What are they trying to do? Screw the whole world and make it better?

The problems are the same: layout and font size in CSS. You still can't use this new version without IE for backup. Is this going to improve, ever? I am starting to doubt it :-0




I wonder what it means that the AOL app suddenly exits on me... Happened twice already - if I were paranoid, I'd say a hacker were closing my apps remotely :-0





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