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Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 02:24PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sawfish, your comment about how "the phenomenal
> collective wealth of the US allows the society to
> entertain as public policy such bizarre and
> obvious fallacies" is just the sort of remark I
> have often made when venting my dismay to my wife.
> But unfortunately it's not even simply America's
> actual wealth that's being spent; it's the
> presumed wealth of generations to come, who had no
> opportunity to vote as to whether they wanted to
> pay for our ridiculous national investment in
> social reconstruction.
>
> That is one reason that I have used Knygatin's
> word about "decadence" so often when "venting."
> We use that word "decadent" -- and the terrible
> thing is that it is really true; we are used to
> words being used for fleeting and illegitimate
> emotive value; but decadent is what our society
> truly is.

It is decadent beyond any conception of decadence to be found in any historical record because decadence, once the exclusive realm of the privileged elite, is democratized--Joe Sixpack in fishnet stockings and stiletto heels, heavy mascara.

UGH!!!

>
> We may forget that we have international enemies.
> How they must be loving our zany decadence.

Possibly.

I take s degree of consolation in the idea that I have only limited time left to me, realistically speaking, and so have a good chance of missing the ultimate degradation in living in a fallen superpower, like the UK is, and Spain before her.

So basically, besides reading and posting here, I'm refining our estate, such as it is, trying to make it the best package I can pass along to our daughter. Really, it's a lot like proverbially re-arranging the deck chairs...I catch myself thinking that, a lot...

Hell of a thing to have a *positive* view of, isn't it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23 Mar 21 | 02:26PM by Sawfish.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 03:01PM
Hespire wrote, "Although outrage as a fad is fairly global at this point, all of my online friends are from other countries (in Europe and Asia), and they snicker and laugh at the U. S. indeed! One common stereotype of Americans shared within all of my friends' countries is that we all like to file lawsuits over the littlest things! Stubbed your toe? Sue the owner or manufacturer of the damned table!!!"

So true!

Your tree casts a shadow in my back yard? I'll sue! -- That's an example I seem to remember from the Ashland, Oregon, Tidings newspaper some years ago.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 03:14PM
Sawfish wrote, "I came to see humans as basically driven by instinct, but because of sophistication in verbal expression, have come to convince each other that we're something more. But basically, we're not, and to think otherwise is a sort of "human exceptionalism" that is mostly misplaced when applied to ideas of moral and spiritual goals. In short, we can conceive that it would be "good" to be nice to each other--and it certainly is a pleasant and warm feeling of camaraderie--but we can only do this consistently so long as we have access to adequate physical resources. As resources become scarcer, the impetus toward adhering to ideas of moral and spiritual "goodness" deteriorate, almost in direct correlation, until at the end it's basically dog-eat-dog...every man for himself."

You might be right if you focus on "we," meaning thereby the human race as a whole.

But I'm with E. F. Schumacher (in A Guide for the Perplexed), in which he says it is the "exceptional" that defines the human species. It is us human beings from which, say, Leonardo comes. I'm nothing like so brilliant as he, but he represents the species, as do Bach, great humanitarians, etc. There are no beast "geniuses" so far as I know (and I might be in error), but there are human geniuses of art, mathematics, moral integrity, and so on. I don't suppose the most intelligent crow, dolphin, or elephant is a model for others of its species to live up to, but the great humans can inspire us. I think there is, even in our decadent and declining age, at least a token recognition of this dimension of possibility to which humans have access -- uniquely, so far as I know.

There's another matter here too, which I don't propose to go into, but that I should mention. There is the human capacity for self-improvement that I've just mentioned. There's also something that's a difference of kind, not of degree, namely that a human being may become a "new creature" in union with Christ, the Word, the incarnate Torah; which can be effected first of all by "birth from above" in baptism. But we may want to restrict discussion to the "dimension of possibility" as something to which humans as such have access (and the beasts do not). Thus the dog-eat-dog scenario you mention, Sawfish, is a falling short that relates (I believe) to sin, but that can be very meaningfully discussed apart from religious beliefs.

And sometimes groups and not only individuals are a credit to the species.

[www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23 Mar 21 | 03:32PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 03:42PM
Hespire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dale Nelson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > That is one reason that I have used Knygatin's
> > word about "decadence" so often when "venting."
>
> > We use that word "decadent" -- and the terrible
> > thing is that it is really true; we are used to
> > words being used for fleeting and illegitimate
> > emotive value; but decadent is what our society
> > truly is.
>
> As someone above the Millennial cut-off but
> younger than all active members here, I've seen a
> good deal of what's popular and I think "decadent"
> isn't too far off the mark. I suppose the U. S. as
> a whole has been on an intellectual and artistic
> decline for ages, but it's amazing what teens and
> young adults consider normal these days! Videos of
> people eating inedible objects, videos of
> millionaires showing off how much money they have
> by blowing it on outrageous things, videos of
> people who scream as their only form of dialogue,
> and not to mention the tendency to completely
> ignore an entire argument in favor of picking at
> one little detail, usually out of context.

Ah, the ever-reliable red herring!

You know, I see very little evidence that among the many shortcomings of the present empowered young adults, even a rudimentary knowledge of logical fallacies or elements of sophistry was ever a part of their education. Worse, I suspect many of them have never even heard the term in a meaningful context.

But worse still, I also intuitively feel that these same confident young sophisticates, if introduced to these concepts, and reaching a rudimentary grasp of them (this passes for expertise under current sensibilities), would not have the least idea of why they are important.


> And in
> spite of all that, I've seen people boast that
> their generation is intellectually and morally
> superior to all others!

Yo!

>
> Regarding "Zoomers", I think it's become a trend
> among them to criticize the "outraged" tendencies
> of the previous generation, which might be a step
> in a more balanced direction (one can hope). I
> have nephews and nieces in high school who
> complain to me about how their teachers and older
> peers are obnoxiously obsessed with social outrage
> and social justice. And these kids are fully
> Japanese! Well, fully Americanized Japanese kids
> who have never visited Japan, like myself. As
> someone who has always been a bit of a loner and
> never cared too deeply for my Asian heritage, a
> lot of complaints people make about this or that
> outrage strike me as pointless.

Wait until they go to college, Hespire: that's where it happens. The heady mix of being on one's own--hundreds or thousands of miles from home--day-to-day, with irresponsibly utopian professors in loco parentis encouraging them to utter the correct responses for approval and validation is what does it, I think.

Until fully inculcated, my daughter was bemused by a lot of what she saw. She spoke with wonder about how she, hapa girl that she is, was a used as a sort of rhetorical wildcard, being identified as a "person of color" in some class discussions, and as a privileged straight exploiter--the recipient and beneficiary of worst mix of Asian and European exploitative tendencies--in other contexts.

The irony really blew her away for quite a while. But eventually the social pressure to conform, if simply to be invited to social functions, won out.

I think she'll probably come back out of it in the workaday world, but there *is* such a thing as generational loyalty and being true to one's publicly stated woke commitments to gradually drop.

BTW, you want an example of an oxymoron in the current college atmosphere? Comedy shows... In the 60/70s, often there'd be a college-approved venue for comedic performance, with touring professionals coming sometimes, and these were viewed as s sort of high-point of school entertainment.

But in her freshman year she dropped this because there was no broad targeting of human tendencies, as is done in satiric routines, because these might be hurtful, somehow.

So simply put, at an east coast elite liberal arts college, *nothing* is funny, apparently.

Now, I ask you to consider that for a while--what it would have meant to you to have gone to college and not finding much to laugh about, or at. Or risk feeling *guilty* for laughing inappropriately...

>
> > We may forget that we have international
> enemies.
> > How they must be loving our zany decadence.
>
> Although outrage as a fad is fairly global at this
> point, all of my online friends are from other
> countries (in Europe and Asia), and they snicker
> and laugh at the U. S. indeed! One common
> stereotype of Americans shared within all of my
> friends' countries is that we all like to file
> lawsuits over the littlest things! Stubbed your
> toe? Sue the owner or manufacturer of the damned
> table!!!


No doubt, and it seems to be getting worse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 04:09PM
Quote:
DN:
But I'm with E. F. Schumacher (in A Guide for the Perplexed), in which he says it is the "exceptional" that defines the human species. It is us human beings from which, say, Leonardo comes. I'm nothing like so brilliant as he, but he represents the species, as do Bach, great humanitarians, etc. There are no beast "geniuses" so far as I know (and I might be in error), but there are human geniuses of art, mathematics, moral integrity, and so on. I don't suppose the most intelligent crow, dolphin, or elephant is a model for others of its species to live up to, but the great humans can inspire us. I think there is, even in our decadent and declining age, at least a token recognition of this dimension of possibility to which humans have access -- uniquely, so far as I know.
There's another matter here too, which I don't propose to go into, but that I should mention. There is the human capacity for self-improvement that I've just mentioned. There's also something that's a difference of kind, not of degree, namely that a human being may become a "new creature" in union with Christ, the Word, the incarnate Torah; which can be effected first of all by "birth from above" in baptism. But we may want to restrict discussion to the "dimension of possibility" as something to which humans as such have access (and the beasts do not). Thus the dog-eat-dog scenario you mention, Sawfish, is a falling short that relates (I believe) to sin, but that can be very meaningfully discussed apart from religious beliefs.

I am pretty much on the same page as you, Dale, as regards the existence of exceptionalism *in individuals* and the potentially beneficial broad cultural influences if this exceptionalism is recognized, but more importantly ***valued***, by the populace as a whole.

Too, I recognize and strive for self-improvement, always using, of course, my own set of criteria--which frankly is likely very similar to your own, with a few significant exceptions.

But I'm seeing that such attributes as dignity, and self-pride/self-reliance--which are very high on my own list of value--have comparatively little popular value in current sensibilities. Add "nobility" to this, as well, and you can see why it's easy to be pessimistic.

Now egotism, self-promotion, and narcissism are held in very high regard, whether under those terms or not, so it's possible to have negative exceptionalism as well as positive (as you and I would see it).

So where I am, by default, is that I see the existence of exceptionalism in humanity--noting wryly also that other species could also have individuals exceptional in ways meaningful to that species, but not recognizable to ours--as a worthy goal that will be only partly achieved by some few self-aware people of integrity, while ignored when inconvenient by many, many others.

But for those who recognize and esteem positive exceptionalism, have at it, by all means. I do my best, as much as I can, but don't expect undifferentiated others to share this, and find that this way I'm seldom disappointed, and always prepared.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 04:24PM
Pretty much I sympathize, Sawfish, with your comments on exceptionalism, and your earlier comments about the badness of the universities -- at least as regards the liberal arts. I wish everyone knew what betrayal goes on there. People think the universities hand on a great tradition. If they only knew......

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 09:11PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And the most frustrating part, for me, is that no
> consistency and precious little logic is ever
> applied in seeing outrage in any given situation.

This is what bothers me most. The lack of consistent logic. It's one thing to be outraged by certain things, but it's embarrassing when people are outraged by so many things inconsistently. A couple years ago I read this review of Nicholas Roerich's artwork, which turned out to be less of a review and more of a rant about how his paintings don't "properly represent" Asia (because his paintings have unrealistically saturated colors, too many mountains, and too many buddhas and nagas!). But a quick look at their profile revealed they had high praise for this awful flick called "Crazy Rich Asians", because it "properly" represented Asians even though it was more simplistic, shallow, and one-sided than anything of Roerich's! At least he painted cultural icons and scenery that he personally visited and felt touched by, not a cast of over-dramatic millionaires who can't possibly represent every Asian country, culture, or individual!

> It's like a self-confirming observation, if the a
> priori belief held by a person of this age is that
> there are moral outrages everywhere we look
> because society is itself rife with abuses and
> outrages, and they then find a confirming outrage
> in almost every situation. Nor do we want to apply
> such disciplines as logic, or muddle a completely
> fine example of an outrage with inconvenient
> facts, so we just ignore these aspects of how to
> evaluate what we see.
>
> That must be what's going on, mentally, for all
> those out there who find pleasure and satisfaction
> in finding a new outrage under every bed, like Joe
> McCarthy with his omni-present communists.

Ha! I was just reading some Pogo Possum, and McCarthy appeared as a bobcat who joined a bird watchers' society, accusing anyone he didn't like of being the wrong bird in the wrong region. And in response to their denial, he gave the handy old advice that with a little tar and feathering, you can make anybody any species of bird you want! Timeless, I tell ya.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 09:17PM
I must leave, but on the subject of universities I've never been to one myself, but I've heard some laughable stories about them. I'd certainly laugh off anyone's attempt at making an example of my mixed heritage, "positive" or "negative", as your daughter sadly went through Sawfish.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 23 March, 2021 09:21PM
Come back soon, Hespire, and tell us more about Roerich.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 March, 2021 09:10AM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... I hope not to offer
> offense, but frequently I'm driven to venting, ...
>
> Knygatin, just as there was the Age of Reason, the
> Age of Enlightenment, the Iron Age. the Golden
> Age, we are living in an identifiable "age": The
> Age of Outrage.
>
>

I am not outraged, ... I'm cool. Just a bit upset. ;)

Outrage has always been a part of human dissatisfaction in society. There have been much more dramatic expressions of that before, when the people walked out with their pitchforks, tangibly demanding change. Complaining and Whining, may be a better description of our age, the Wimp Age. But more essentially I think we live in The Age of Deception.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 26 March, 2021 07:25PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think we live in The Age of
> Deception.


I guess that is simply a too depressing thought to accept and take in. People want to feel good, and feel trust, and believe that things are alright.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 March, 2021 09:24PM
Maybe they do, Knygatin, but look around you: it's evident that a great many people, probably the majority, do not believe things are all right.

In fact there's an interesting essay by Arthur Machen in which he says that in the Middle Ages people suffered, went hungry, &c, all the pains that the human body and mind are heir to, but that they felt things were fundamentally all right; but that from, oh, maybe around the time of Shakespeare on, people have tended to feel that things are Not all right. He says the medieval people had merriment; modern people have humor -- two different things. I don't know if he's right, but I thought he was interesting and plausible.

But even aside from such a broad historical survey, I wonder about your statement. I do note that you say people want to believe that things are all right, not that people do believe they are all right. Well, wouldn't we all like to believe that things are all right? But look at the widespread distrust in the US of all the institutions (government, public education, military, law, etc.). Where is anyone who believe that things are "all right"?

I don't think the deception you write about is so much a function of the will-to-believe-things-are-all-right, but rather a function of the will to power and the will to a bogus ecstasy related to it. Deluded deluders delude. To a considerable degree, I actually think a lot of the social problem in this country is that too many people "want" things to be less all right than they are.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Mar 21 | 09:32PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 27 March, 2021 04:22AM
Dale, self-deception is one thing. The unwillingness to face reality, often in ones personal life, denial of unresolved issues, and inability to deal with it because one doesn't know how.

But when I say The Age of Deception, I mean something different. I am talking about the ruling elite's deception of the people. At the very top, by that elite who control the international money flow and corrupt everything else, including public institutions, media communication, and thereby enforcing tilted psychological/ethic universal value standards to make us easily herded global consumer slaves.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 27 March, 2021 05:07AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dale, self-deception is one thing. ...
>
> But when I say The Age of Deception, I mean
> something different. I am talking about the ruling
> elite's deception of the people.


And partly because of self-deception (the desire to feel good in spite of persisting problems) people are unable to see the Great Deception. But also because the Great Deception is so satanically well executed, that very few are able to untangle it.

Re: The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 27 March, 2021 08:53AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knygatin Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Dale, self-deception is one thing. ...
> >
> > But when I say The Age of Deception, I mean
> > something different. I am talking about the
> ruling
> > elite's deception of the people.
>
>
> And partly because of self-deception (the desire
> to feel good in spite of persisting problems)
> people are unable to see the Great Deception. But
> also because the Great Deception is so satanically
> well executed, that very few are able to untangle
> it.


K, I ask this with a great deal of trepidation, but do you see the Great Deception as a part of a long-term strategy or plan, or more as an ever-evolving multi-partner marriage of convenience?

I will promise you up-front that I'm not going to turn this into a sort of urinating contest between two young boys; I'll certainly reciprocate openly and honestly.

I'll also tip my hand, to let you know where I stand: I favor marriage of convenience, although promiscuous predatory orgy would also work.

See? No traps... ;^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

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