An Enforced Holiday

Computer dead. New one arrives in a month. So all my little projects are suspended for a while.

Deep Dump 2

Passports exist to restrict travel.

All entertainment is also propaganda.

A sociopath is not one to be feared because they manipulate. It's one who's to be feared because they're hard to manipulate.

The great pretence of dance music is that when people dance to it they don't also listen to it.

The pretence of comedy is that when people are laughing they're not also thinking.

The least interesting thing about a belief is its content.

Offence is never without a purpose.

The better you have to dress to do your job, the less important your job is.

You can't be deeply religious if you're not deep. Though you might be highly religious if you're high.

Polite society is where people are incredibly rude about each other in subtle ways.

Syncretism entails disharmonisation. The price of assimilation is incoherence.

If you want your child to grow into a stupid adult, treat them as one.

To harmonise the gospels is exactly like splicing the four stories of Rashomon into a fifth.

All stories are parables, including true ones, and all parables function by audience interpretation.

Middle age is when nothing is new anymore, so everything is boring.

Pleasure is an emotion, not a sensation.

Facts are distinct from values in the same way that grammar is distinct from semantics. We never find one without the other, and each is impossible without the other, but neither would be possible if they were not distinct.

Scripture is written as revelation, but can only be understood - as opposed to believed - as literature. Literature is written as entertainment, but can only be understood - as opposed to enjoyed - as philosophy.

An action must be performed more than once to become a ritual, but any repeated action can do this.

Repetition is the heart of significance, which is easily confused with signification. Thus ritual has meaning, but can in principle be meaningless. However, in practice all ritual has a purpose. Even when the purpose is outdated, the outdatedness is part of the purpose.

Deconstruction is political close reading.

Every opposed pair is a hierarchy.

A good horror movie offers you something even if you're not scared by it - plot, characters, effects etc. A good pop video can be fun to watch, even if you don't like the music. Could the same in principle be said about a good porn movie?

The truth is often hard to find, and often hard to grasp, but usually simple. Complexity can be obscurantism.

The viewpoint of the moralist is that of the victim. But the notion of "Victim" presupposes moralism.

When you're bored, everything is boring.

The notion of responsibility rests on the notion of blame, which rests on guilt, which rests on revenge. Which is a childish metaphysical notion that hurting the hurter undoes the hurt by somehow counterbalancing.

Revenge doesn't even work on the level of making people feel better.

Depression is when pleasure doesn't make you happy.

It's impossible to be a snob without being oblivious to it.

Some people don't like jokes. They tend to be the same people who don't enjoy having new experiences or learning new ideas.

Men think they want a wife, when what they really want is a family.

When people stop believing the doctrines of a cult, it's usually not because they discover them to by counter-empirical, vaccuous or incoherent. They stop believing the doctrines because they stop believing in the leadership.

Loyalty to leaders generates credence to their preachings. When leaders violate the morals of members, followers stop following, and disbelief - discrediting - is a result.

Faith is trust. Trust is personal.

There are few sights more pitiful than a sycophant immitating a fraud.

People use more brainpower in justifying stupidity than they ever use in being smart.

Spirituality comes from ritual and community. Theology comes from belief and rationalisation. People need spirituality, but get stuck with theology.

When meeting a person, ask yourself "Can I be honest with this person without offending them?". If the answer is no, don't waste your time with them.

The reasons why people join a movement predict what they will do when they leave it.

The motivation for most violence is revenge. This includes muder, and violence against inanimate objects. Justice is a euphemism.

The metaphysics of revenge are "two wrongs make a right" - a rebalancing image. But this presupposes that violence is considered a wrong.

Revenge may be motivated by one of three delusions:
1) It will make me feel better
2) It will rebalance the world
3) It will succeed in stopping the bad thing

A few love to lie, but many love to be lied to.

A nuanced theory is simply one packaged with its own belt of auxiliary handwaving. There is no nuance in F=MA.

Procrastian Bed

John Lydon was wrong. Anger is not an energy. It's a pleasure. Any strong emotion is a pleasure, and any pleasure can become an addiction.

The occult is bullshit, but it's fascinating bullshit. Hermeticism, gnosticism, christianity, lullism, spiritualism, mesmerism, kabala, masonic magic and cosmic codes. Whether you practice it, or rail against it, or disprove it in youtube videos with a fake animated whiteboard - these are all forms of fascination.

But I can't read about Hegel, Eckhart, or Bruno without getting furious and resentful that I wasted a decade of my life trying to understand their mystical shit with a bit of left politics tacked on - what we call marxism.

Feeling like a surly teenager about your own mistakes is its own reward. Yes, ranting about the past, even if only to yourself, is its own pleasure, and it keeps you from acting in the present. Perhaps that's a bonus pleasure.

I've seen people spend forty years of their lives obsessing over what they did wrong in the first twenty. I've met a woman in her 80s who can't get over messing up a love affair with a man who's been dead ten years. They were twenty.

Humiliating creationists on the internet is easy, and fun. Flat earthers, hollow earthers, white supremacists, gun fetishists, bible bashers obsessed with buttsex and scientific illiterates obsessed with spirits - the pond life of the internet, they love to cry persecution because it makes them feel noble, but they dissolve into spitting, foaming puddles when they're not "respected".

But it really is an indulgent waste of time. If you find yourself crushing cockroaches for the power rush, you're probably missing some self awareness. Plus explaining the obvious to the oblivious could be the definition of pointless.

So, it's not difficult to stop wasting time. Disable youtube comments, read science instead of pseudoscience, choose a project to work on, and work on it.

Darqroom Composite

I was in a band.

In 2011, a local charity was trying to offer a counselling service to gay teenagers. And someone had the bright idea of a fundraiser gig in the student's union. For which they needed some amenable bands to play.

So someone asked someone else if they could quickly form a band to be ready in two weeks. And the someone else asked me to do the technical stuff involving synths, computers, composition etc. while they did the vocals and rock guitar and everything else that needed musical talent.

So, in two weeks we had seven songs...and another booking for another gig which was also short of anyone to play. Which we played. No one having mentioned that it was supposed to be an acoustic rock gig, and not a synthpop/goth thing like we were.

We played the fundraiser, severely messing up one of the songs - not that anyone noticed, as we were on last, by which time the audience were passed out from the bad cheap beer.

I'm not sure any charity-directed money was made, and the only other act I remember was a girl with a guitar who squeezed her 20 minute set of off-key ballads into 45 minutes.

Oh, there was a lesbian stand-up comedian, and a lady making leftish political speeches between acts, both performing to glassy-eyed silence.

So what am I to do four years later with with seven backing tracks and a load of short connecting soundbytes? How about: edit them down to instrumental synthpop doodles, arrange them in a row, and put them on youtube?

We were called Darqroom, and this is our composite.

The Opposite of Dysfunctional

Three years ago, my aunt was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She started Chemotherapy.

One year ago, the cancer metastatised to her liver.

One week ago, she decided to stop the chemo, because it was having little effect, and the side effects were making life unlivable. She booked into a care home for the elderly.

This morning, she died.

A cremation has been arranged, and in a week there will be an ash-scattering ceremony. My father has just got off the phone, arranging the catering.

My role will be to sit at home and look after the dogs while my parents attend. In about an hour, I will be asked to do this.

This is how families function.