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Nocturne Aeterna

[everything. constantly. temporary.]

12/20/13 03:28 pm

It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
just as phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make-believe
if you believed in me

12/10/13 09:44 pm

You're only a generous, honourable, well-meaning & selfless individual right up until the time comes that you have to make a decision that benefits yourself.

11/11/13 05:31 pm - read aloud for best results, part 1

I've almost finished reading most of this back catalogue, and to celebrate n firm affirmation of Irvine Welsh's superiority in fiction I'm grabbing a few snippets that inspire me whenever I'm gnashing through one of his books and I'm near my laptop.

Daniel 'Spud' Murphy in Porno:

"June's shakin n ah offer her a fag and light it for her. She pits oan the kettle n cannae find any clean cups. She tries tae rinse one, tries tae squeeze oot some Squeezy in at it, but aw that comes oot is a fart sound. She goes tae one ay the bags and gits a fresh bottle, but she cannae git the toap off wi her shakin hands. She bursts intae tears, no jist sobbin, proper wailin this time. -- Ah'm sorry, it's ma nerves, everything's gone wrong here ... look at the place. It's the bairns ... thir such a handful ... ah git nae support, ah mean Frank's back oot but eh's only been doon once tae see thum, never even took them oot! Oot ay jail fir ten minutes n wearin fancy new shirts n clathes n jewellery ... they sovereign rings ... ah cannae cope, Spud ... ah cannae cope ...

Ah look at the pile ay dishes. -- Tell ye what, ah'll gie ye a hand wi thaime, let's just blitz the kitchen here. It'll make ye feel better, man, when they aw go, cause that's it, when ye feel like shite, like drained ay yir energy, n ye see a big pile ay washin in the sink; that is the worst, man, the ultimate worst, it's like aw the energy jist sortay goes doon the plughole, man, jist doon. So a problem shared is a problem halved n aw that, June, man.'
-- Naw it's okay ...
-- Hey! C'moan! Ah stick oan an apron. -- Lit's blitz, man, lit'z blitz!

June's protestin as ah fire intae the dishes, but it's half-hearted, n se picks up a bit when wi start making headway, and in nae time at aw, it's gone man, the problem is gone and everything is clear and possible again. Jist clear the heid and do it, man, just dae it. Ken? Like me wi the writin, man, jist git in thaire n dae it!

That's me done good, man, simple practical good. Ah'm buzzin, man, buzzin like ah'm oan the strongest speed known tae man. It's goat tae be said thit the June lassie is in better mental shape thin whin ah found her, man, too right."

10/22/13 09:24 am - back to you, Ovid

Suppressus dolor suffocat; furit intus in pectore, et vires multiplicare cogitur.

10/13/13 02:31 am

It's just that tragedy is tragedy; we don't gain anything by comparing whose is worse. Though I know precisely zero people who will claim that the average white person has experienced more discrimination than the average black person, that doesn't mean that their discrimination doesn't exist, that it doesn't suck, and that we shouldn't be trying to get rid of it along with every other type of discrimination. There are lots of ways to be discriminated against in this beautiful, infinite world, and being a "visible minority" is just one ticket into the Discrimination Palace. Try ordering MacDonald's when you're obese, or using the women's washroom when you're trans, or being in a Spec-Ed class for five years, and then come back and tell me that just by virtue of being white you're immune to discrimination.

Nobody can "understand" anyone else, one-hundred percent. We're too different for that. But we can try, and we can come close. If we limit the dialogue to those who have experienced the exact same form of discrimination, we're losing out on a lot of diversity. Let people into the conversation if they feel that they have something to offer and who knows, maybe when we present a united front against discrimination instead of setting a minimum bar of shittiness experienced prior to being able to use the R-word we'll be able to make some real progress against bigotry.

9/15/13 10:53 pm

I really need to revisit that list of Don'ts.

8/29/13 12:00 pm

8 days, 8 hours, 53 minutes, 46 seconds.

I think that's long enough to certifiably smash an old record. 

8/23/13 07:36 am

Spelling errors, I hate 'em.

8/17/13 02:05 pm - sophrosyne

After 0033232 I understood that the highest state of being had nothing to do with spiritual or mental enlightenment and practically everything to do with stoicism: the development of self-control and individual fortitude as a means to surpass and overcome destructive emotions. The theory was, if I could accurately emulate that level of disconnection, I could save myself a lot of impending grief in the years ahead.

To learn more I turned to my professor Ken Dorter, a brilliantly humble man who could fill me in on the history behind the Hellenistic philosophy, it's tenets, practitioners and practical applications in today's world. Dorter seemed skeptical; the Stoics' belief in the connection between human nature and cosmic determinism was problematic for him, and the belief that one's will must be in tune with nature in order to be considered virtuous seemed too vague for his world view. Dorter did not discount the relationship between stoicism and virtue, however. As the school became more refined it taught that living virtuously was the minimum requirement for happiness, and extends to one's interpersonal relationships, declaring that a life of virtue (defined as a person's will being "in agreement" with nature) is to free yourself from anger, envy or jealousy, and to accept all other individuals as equals.

Wisdom, courage, justice, temperance.

In the end Dorter, whose wise words and Woody Allen-esque bearing taught me the mysteries of Taoism, uncovered the origins of Buddhism, and revealed the stunning beauty of the Bhagavad Gita and Vedic texts, pointed to the second highest shelf above my head to pass him a copy of Epictetus' Discourses where a passage had been marked against a worn and crinkled spine:

"Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of the statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person's own life."

If one's own life were a constant work in progress in that craft analogy it has to follow that a constant review, or checking up on of one's progress, is essential. The examination of one's own judgments and behaviour in order to determine where they diverge from universal reason. Dorter didn't mention it but the Stoics also held the belief that suicide was permissible in situations that barred an individual from living a virtuous life. But they probably had dire circumstances in mind at the time. Living passively under tyranny would've been one.

I don't suppose the Greeks would have considered living under the tyranny of one's own heart and mind to be acceptable grounds for offing yourself.

8/6/13 02:14 pm

Even if I wasn't holding my breath -- which I am -- I'd still feel like I was suffocating. 
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