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Old 07-07-2008   #141
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"He lifted his fingers to his cheeks and felt the blood that still, in a ghostly, sourceless profusion, streamed down his face. What an example, what an inspiration, what a warning if his dear readers could have seen him now. He would hang a pathetically ill-lettered sign from his neck:

Here stands One
Who refused the Gift of Light.
Now for his Sin of Suicide
He's plunged into Eternal Night."
Thomas M. Disch - The Businessman

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 07-07-2008   #142
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Wow GSC. I wonder what Thomas Disch was thinking when he wrote this. It sure makes you wonder with his recent passing. His passing in a similar manner makes you wonder if he had been contemplating this for some time. I think the world will miss this great writer. I know I will.

"What did you bring for Candy?"
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Old 07-10-2008   #143
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"I remember waking up eleven days after Georges Perec died and realizing that I was turning the remembrance of his death into the conviction that every day is ruined before it begins -- a convenient 'waking anguish' that I had given up seven years before."

-- Harry Mathews, The Orchard: A Remembrance of Georges Perec
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Old 07-11-2008   #144
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"Here I go, then. As I am nothing, so I shall be nothing. A thought in the void without a thinker."
Barrington J. Bayley - The Soul of the Robot

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 07-13-2008   #145
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"This is the morning everyone has waited for, when at last the robot cardinal is to be elected Pope. There can no longer be any doubt of the outcome. The conclave has been deadlocked for many days between the obstinate advocates of Cardinal Asciuga of Milan and Cardinal Carciofo of Genoa, and word has gone out that a compromise is in the making. All factions now are agreed on the selection of the robot. This morning I read in Observatore Romano that the Vatican computer itself has taken a hand in the deliberations. The computer has been strongly urging the candidacy of the robot. I suppose we should not be surprised by this loyalty among machines. Nor should we let it distress us. We absolutely must not let it distress us."
Robert Silverberg - "Good News from the Vatican"

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 07-13-2008   #146
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Quotations from Paul Valery's Analects (trans. Stuart Gilbert)

Sincerity
The will to sincerity leads to reflection, which leads to doubt -- which leads nowhere.

Life is only a trifle older than death.

I fear the known more than the unknown.

Death: a trick played by the inconceivable on the conceivable.

"Anyhow," said the fairy as she left, "I needn't worry. Man can't make any wish that isn't stupid."

Death is the union of soul and body -- whose consciousness, waking state, and suffering are disunion.

Thoughts one keeps to oneself get lost; forgetfulness proves that one's "self," one's "I," is -- nobody.

Optimists write badly.

"To be oneself," you say, is all-important. But is one's self really worth the effort?

Youth is a way of making mistakes that changes all too rapidly into a way of not even being able to make mistakes.

Thorough-going, calculated egoism is not within the range of the average man, who falls short in this too, as in all else.

We are always betting without knowing it. And much annoyed, in the event, at having staked and lost.

The able man is the one who makes mistakes according to the rules.

People who don't know how to say, or dislike saying, vague things are often silent, and always unhappy.
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Old 07-14-2008   #147
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"His monologue, continued.

'It's just as well that God is dead at last. He was such a prig. Some scholars have professed to find it odd that Milton's sympathies were with his fiend and not with God, but there's nothing remarkable in that. Even the Evangelist more often purloins his fires from hell than heaven. He certainly gives it much closer attention. It's simply so much more interesting, not to say relevant. Hell is closer to the facts that we know.

'Let's carry our honesty even a little further. Hell is not merely preferable to heaven - it's the only clear notion of an afterlife (that is to say, of a goal worth striving towards) that human imagination has been able to devise. The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans originated our civilization, populated it with their gods, and formed, in their chthonic wisdom, a heaven underfoot. Some heretical Jews inherited that civilization, changed its gods to demons, and called heaven hell. Oh, they tried to pretend there was a new heaven somewhere up in the attic, but it was a most unconvincing deceit. Now that we've found the stairs to the attic, now that we can zoom about anywhere we choose in that unpopulated and infinite void, the game is up, absolutely, for that heaven. I doubt the Vatican will survive to the end of the century, though one should never underestimate the power of ignorance. Oh, not the Vatican's ignorance, for heaven's sake! They've always known which way the deck was stacked.

'Enough of heaven, enough of God! They neither exist. What we want to hear of now is hell and devils. Not Power, Knowledge and Love - but Impotence, Ignorance and Hate, the three faces of Satan. You're surprised at my candour? You think I betray my hand? Not at all. All values melt imperceptibly into their opposites. Any good Hegelian knows that. War is peace, ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery. Add to that, that love is hate, as Freud has so exhaustively demonstrated. As for knowledge, it's the scandal of our age that philosophy has been whittled away to a barebones epistemology, and thence to an even barer agnoiology. Have I found a word you don't know, Louis? Agnoiology is the philosophy of ignorance, a philosophy for philosophers.

'As for Impotence, why don't I allow you, Cheeta, to speak of that? Ah, look at him blushing. How he hates me, and how helpless he is to express his hatred. Impotent in hatred as in love. Don't fret, Cheeta - it is, at root, our common condition. At last, at the end of all things, each atom is by itself - cold, immobile, isolate, touching no other particle, imparting no momentum, caput.

'And is that such a terrible fate, really? Come that great day, the universe will be much more orderly, to say the least. All things homogenized, equidistant, calm. It reminds me of death, and I like it.

'Now there's a value I forgot to include on my list: Death. There's something to help us break out of that weary old quotidian. There's an afterlife that's not hard to believe in.

'That's the value that I offer you, Cheeta, and to you too, Sacchetti, if you have the guts to accept it. Death! Not just your own individual and possibly insignificant death, but a death of universal dimensions. Oh, perhaps not the Heat-Death at the end of time, that would be asking too much, but a death that would advance that cause almost perceptibly.

'An end, Sacchetti, to the whole ####ty human race. What do you say, my boy - will you buy that.

'Or is my proposition too sudden? You hadn't considered buying an entire set of encyclopaedias, is that it? Well, give it time, let it sink in. I can come back in a week, after you've talked it over with your wife.

'But let me say, in closing, that anyone with so much as a grain of self-knowledge knows that he wishes for nothing so much as to be out of it. To be well out of it. We wish, in Freud's eloquent words, to be dead.

'Or to quote yourself: O puppet of ill, annihilate. Annihilate all, and us.'"
Thomas M. Disch - Camp Concentration

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 07-16-2008   #148
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

Various cheery thoughts from U. G., anti-guru:

Anything I do to help you would be adding to your misery--that's all. You add one more misery to those you already have by listening to me.

Every time a Godman appears on the stage he is adding momentum to all the chaos that already exists, and we are slowly moving in the direction of destroying ourselves.

What you call 'yourself' is fear. The 'you' is born out of fear; it lives in fear, functions in fear and dies in fear.

The fact is that we don't want to be free. What is responsible for our problems is the fear of losing what we have and what we know. All these therapies, all these techniques, religious or otherwise, are only perpetuating the agony of man.

The United Nations is the biggest joke of this century. If each one is trying to assert his own rights there, how can there be a United Nations?

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 07-16-2008   #149
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

-- William Blake
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Old 07-20-2008   #150
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Re: Pessimistic Passage of the Day...

"As long as they have the wish to kill, they will not lose the lust to procreate"

- Guido Ceronetti
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