Weekend Woundup 5

If Halloween were really about anything scary, people wouldn't be wishing each other a happy one. And if a collection of quotes amounted to an education...I still wouldn't have one.

Bare Faced Messiah - the classic biography of arch-fraudster L Ron Hubbard. Free to read and download.

"There's nothing like the lonely horror of realising you've made a really massive cock-up"
- Charlie Brooker

"Team sports are good for teaching kids how to feign enthusiasm and harbour resentment."
- Charlie Brooker

"When your skin is the only thing you feel truly proud of, it's become a prison in itself."
- Charlie Brooker

Crash Blossoms - Newspaper headlines which lead you up one syntactic path, while they go down another:

The horse raced past the barn fell
Proposed to by a lightning strike
Lou Gehrig's Victim: Kill me for my organs
BP caps ruptured well, but more hurdles remain
The spy who loved herself
May axes Labour police beat pledge
Ghost fishing lobster traps target of study

Odd how we think of achievement as something you've finished, more than as something you've worked towards.

One thing I'm very good at is doing all the things which need to be done before the thing I want to do.

If you're not sure that you want to do something, you don't want to do it.

If you're as young as the last time you changed your mind, and you're as successful as your last gig, are you as smart as the last time you made a fool of yourself?

"A culprit who isn't caught is a defeat for you -- it means still another folder in the unsolved cases file. But a culprit who doesn't exist, who never existed, that's something completely different, worse than all your records burning up, worse even than confused language in your official reports, it's the end of the world! For you the existence of the perpetrator of a crime has nothing to do with victory or defeat -- it's a matter of the sense or absurdity of your profession and your daily activities. And because catching him means peace of mind, salvation, and relief, you'll get him by hook or by crook, you'll get the bastard even if he doesn't exist!"
- Stanislaw Lem, Chain of Chance

"The irrational belongs to all of us."
- Johnathan Meades

"We don't elect the places that touch us."
- Johnathan Meades

- EBN, Hello

"A friend in need is a friend indeed.
A friend with weed it better."
- Placebo, Pure Morning

"If the belief did not make us happy, it would not be believed: how little must it then be worth!"
- Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

"A neurosis is a secret that you don't know you're keeping."
- Kenneth Tynan

"We shall be judged by what we do, not by how we felt while we were doing it."
- Kenneth Tynan

"When a society has doubts about its future, it tends to produce spokesmen whose main appeal is to the emotions, who argue from intuitions, and whose claim to be truth-bearers rests solely on intense personal feeling."
- Kenneth Tynan

"Any country that has sexual censorship will eventually have political censorship."
- Kenneth Tynan

"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
- HL Mencken

“History does not repeat itself. Historians repeat each other.”
- Arthur Balfour

When reading philosophers, there are two questions which you must ask to get anything meaningful out of their text - two questions which most histories of philosophy studiously ignore:

1) What questions are they trying to answer, or what problems are they trying to solve?

2) What previous answers or solutions to the same and previous questions and problems are they reacting against?

In short: What are they trying to do, and which errors are they avoiding?

A moralist is someone who doesn't grasp the difference between gluttony and starvation.

"Well, an idea is an idea. The present one may be right and it may be wrong. One thing is quite certain: that no progress will be made against it by denouncing it as merely immoral."
- HL Mencken, Preface to Nietzsche's The Antichrist

"The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It
soothes. It is easy to grasp. Above all, it fits more snugly than the truth into a universe of false appearances--of complex and irrational phenomena, defectively grasped."
- HL Mencken, Preface to Nietzsche's The Antichrist

"One never hears of a martyr in history whose notions are seriously disputed today. The forgotten ideas are those of the men who put them forward soberly and quietly, hoping fatuously that they would conquer by the force of their truth; these are the ideas that we now struggle to rediscover."
- HL Mencken, Preface to Nietzsche's The Antichrist

Twenty years ago homosexuals were misrepresented so they could be hated. Now they're misrepresented so they can be loved. Two ways to make group powerless - make everyone else hate them, or help them trivialise themselves.

Theology is the practice of trying to think precisely about ideas which are inherent imprecise, and dispassionately about ideas which only make sense as passions.

Reasoning about god fails for the same causes reasoning about prejudice, love and an LSD trip fails. You can't reason someone out of faith in the same way you can't reason them out of a crush.

"Sade, tell me. What is it that you seek? The rightness of wrong? The virtue of vice?"
Enigma, Sadeness Part 1

"If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point."
- Jon Stewart

"You cannot be reasonable with people who do not reason."
- Bryan Lambert

"The ink of scholars out-weighs the blood of martyrs."
- Muhammed

"It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing."
- Muhammed

"Religion is easy."
- Muhammed

"War is deceit."
- Muhammed

Educability is a matter of temperament, not intellect. If you don’t enjoy the frisson of suspecting you may have been wrong all your life, the most you can become is an imbecile with a head full of quotes you mistake for ideas.

Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% figuring out how to make a computer do the hard work for you.

"We are the sort of people our fathers warned us against."
- Augustus John

"Glory is a retrospective and sentimental adjustment of the actual. It's like dressing an accident victim for his coffin."
- Johnathan Meades

"Ritual is never without a purpose."
- Johnathan Meades

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