A Thread for Posting Brutally Pessimistic Quotes by Anguished Philosophers

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could fill a thread with beckett, but that's good

even blue cows get the girls (darraghmac), Saturday, 3 September 2011 00:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you." -- Gandhi

"Give me death." -- Patrick Henry

"The world is more dangerous than sincere." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did." -- Maya Angelou

"To err is human." -- Alexander Pope

http://kottke.org/11/09/not-so-inspirational-quotes

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 12 September 2011 18:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

"The Sweater"

I will lose you. It is written
into this poem the way
the fisherman's wife knits
his death into the sweater.

-Gregory Orr

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 15 September 2011 04:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." - the homie big ludwig w.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

i like that one

markers, Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

"In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. . . . My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known- no wonder, then, that I return the love." yay, Kirkegaard

jel --, Thursday, 15 September 2011 10:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

"How perfectly goddamned delightful it is, to be sure" -- Charles Crumb.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 September 2011 11:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

“In 1965, in his studio in Warsaw, Roman Opałka began painting a process of counting – from one to infinity. The process was endless, but measured against its goal – infinity – it is as naught: ‘the problem is that we are, and are about not to be’.”

http://neversleep2.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/the-problem-is-that-we-are-and-are-about-not-to-be/

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 17 September 2011 02:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

^ awesome

"I had rather be an oyster than a man, the most stupid and senseless of animals" - George Berkeley

"Perhaps the day may come when we shall remember these sufferings with joy" - Virgil

antiautodefenestrationism (ledge), Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

just because there isn't a thread for 'wry quotes by pessimistic poets'

“your poems about the girls will still be around 50 years from now when the girls are gone,” my editor phones me.

dear editor:
the girls appear to be gone already.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 8 January 2012 11:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Love is giving something you don't have to someone who doesn't exist - Lacan

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 8 January 2012 15:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

im pretty sure the people i love exist. that quote was to prove the eternal irrelevance of Lacan, right?

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

bang

bob loblaw people (dayo), Sunday, 8 January 2012 15:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wow, that's the sort of smug bullshit that you say to seem smart when in fact it just proves you're a complete imbecile incapable of critical thought. Well done.

emil.y, Sunday, 8 January 2012 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well, I wouldn't have put it like that but I guess, yeah, it is. No point saying well done to him though, he died in 1981.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

*slow handclap*

emil.y, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

To be fair, I like the first part of the quote. It's the second part which confirms what i feel about the hideousness of Lacanian solipsism. But ok, yeah, I spoke out of prejudice.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

But then you did the same when you assumed my post was some kind of anti-intellectual screed when it was just express dislike for one dude.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

No, I didn't assume that. I assumed that it was a lazy zing instead of addressing the philosophical ramifications of the quote. Which it was.

emil.y, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

No need to address non-existent ramifications of a quote from someone who's clearly started out from false premises. But that's ok, dude was a poet.
Also lazy zing =/= 'the sort of smug bullshit that you say to seem smart'.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

That quote's a real firecracker!

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

How are the premises false? What proof (logical or real-world) do you have of the falsehood of the premises? Why are they 'clearly' false?

I actually don't have a stake in whether Lacan is correct or not, or even if he's worthwhile, I just have a stake in people discussing philosophy properly.

And: lazy zings are always smug, always bullshit. The 'seeming smart' element comes from a pretence at being familiar with the subject yet clearly not enough to actually be able to handle a real conversation about it.

emil.y, Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

when Lacan says "someone who doesn't exist" he's not being solipsistic, he's saying that the loved object doesn't correspond to the human subject it resembles

Poppy Newgod and the Phantom Banned (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry if that wasn't totally obvious btw

Poppy Newgod and the Phantom Banned (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

it was totally obvious to me who has never read Lacan

nah (crüt), Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

why are we fighting

carpy deems (darraghmac), Sunday, 8 January 2012 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

To post smug bullshit is human...

Frobisher (Viceroy), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

has anyone here read any of the bruce fink books on lacan and if so which one should i read first thx

markers, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well that was the first thing I thought about the Lacan quote, but I don't know him well enough to say if that's the case. I took it at face value. And from what little else I know about him and his work that seemed a possibility.
Funnily enough, Im currently halfway through Shakespeare's sonnets where this theme - of the loved one being a creation of the lover and any virtues imputed to them being illusions - figures large.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess it wd be fairer to say that to Lacan, desire is solipsistic, but in psychoanalysis that's hardly an exclusively Lacanian idea

Poppy Newgod and the Phantom Banned (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Some questions: if love is something you don't have, how can you give it? If you don't have it, who does? Is he denying the existence of love or simply that it can't be owned? If it can't be owned then where does it exist, if he posits that it does exist?

If we attempt to give something to someone who doesn't exist, why are we doing it? I'm guessing a highly solipsistic answer is the result.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

And: lazy zings are always smug, always bullshit. The 'seeming smart' element comes from a pretence at being familiar with the subject yet clearly not enough to actually be able to handle a real conversation about it.

Well, this is ilx etc. I don't think I am pretending to be familiar with the subject (in the sense you are meaning 'familiar'), I'm expressing a prejudice. Considering the thread which involves quotes expressive of their authors digust, ennui, and prejudice about the world and humankind, I think that's fair enough.

Ok i get you want people to 'discuss philosophy properly', but I clearly wasn't doing that. Emotional feeling about philosophers is acceptable, i think.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

my reading: "love" - maybe specifically romantic or sexual love but perhaps not - is an expression of a desire centred on absence, but this absence doesn't exist outside of the lover and therefore can't be filled by the loved one. the loved one that the lover desires is a projection of the lover's own sense of absence, which can't be said to ever be the "real" person loved because their status as loved one is only a projection of the lover's desire.

he's playing on conventional uses of romantic language and psychoanalytic interpretations of desire - the lover thinks they can give love but since love is really an expression of absence they have nothing to give (except maybe the belief that they're giving)

we attempt to give something to someone who doesn't exist because we mistake them for somebody who certainly does exist, so this isn't solipsism, it's mistaken identity.

Poppy Newgod and the Phantom Banned (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thanks. Your reading is convincing as an explanation of what he means, and it's what I assumed in the first place. I think it's unsophisticated and romantic - in the brutally anguished late 18c/early 19c meaning of the word.
Wertherism, really. I would hope a psychoanalyst of the 20c would have a more subtle and nuanced perception of love and relationships between persons. Maybe he wasn't very good at his job. The angle he considers it is certainly solipsistic I think, it takes no consideration of what the other person involved in an exchange of love is giving, getting, or thinking.

Hey this is all decontextualised I know...it's only one quote. Just shooting the shit.

glumdalclitch, Sunday, 8 January 2012 19:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

on a message board? how very dare you

carpy deems (darraghmac), Sunday, 8 January 2012 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

has anyone here read any of the bruce fink books on lacan and if so which one should i read first thx

― markers, Sunday, 8 January 2012 17:05 (5 hours ago)

'The Lacanian Subject' is good, doesn't skimp on the details but still manages to be pretty readable.

sunn :o))) (Merdeyeux), Sunday, 8 January 2012 23:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

ty merdeyeux!

markers, Sunday, 8 January 2012 23:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

No weight could be heavier to bear than the possibility that everything we want is possible. If that is true, then there really are things at stake in this life, things to be truly won or lost.

If we could bring ourselves to believe, to really feel, the possibility that we are invincible and can accomplish whatever we want in this world, it wouldn't seem out of our reach at all to correct such absurdities. What I am begging you to do here is not to put faith in the impossible, but have the courage to face that terrible possibility that our lives really are in our own hands, and to act accordingly: to not settle for every misery fate and humanity have heaped upon us, but to push back, to see which ones can be shaken off. Nothing could be more tragic, and more ridiculous, than to live out a whole life in reach of heaven without ever stretching out your arms.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

"Humans must again be destroyed." A sentence of Goethe's, which would be worthy of the harshest sentence by St. Augustine about Predestination. How easily this sentence forms in the spirit of a man, when he says the names Napoleon and Mozart in the same breath." - Elias Canetti

tanuki, Sunday, 8 April 2012 03:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

doesnt quite fit here but this quote of beckett's i just read in a piece about him in el pais is hilariously negative: "i have a clear memory of my fetal existence. it was an existence in which no voice, no movement could free me from the agony and darkness that i was subjected to".

zverotic discourse (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 15 May 2012 02:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's awesome. i have never seen it before.

Mordy, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 03:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

I always had a soft spot for Cioran's "I wish I were a cannibal – less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him"

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 07:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

Such despairing pessimism had, as is often the case, profound roots in childhood. The prosperous country town of Rasinari in Saxon Transylvania seemed like an earthly paradise to the little boy. His father was the orthodox priest of the place, and Cioran loved the cemetery where he made friends with the gravedigger who would give him skulls to play football with.

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 20:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

is there a correlation between paradisiacal childhoods and adult-onset extreme pessimism?

乒乓, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 20:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

The capital phenomenon, the most catastrophic disaster, is uninterrupted sleeplessness, that nothingness without release. For hours and hours I would walk the night’s deserted streets, or, sometimes, those haunted by my fellow-insomniacs, the prostitutes, the ideal companions in moments of supreme distress. Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture . . . It was during those infernal nights that I came to understand the inanity of all philosophy. The hours without sleep are at bottom an interminable rejection of thought by thought itself . . . an infernal ultimatum of the mind delivered to the mind.

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 20:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...

乒乓, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 06:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol @ cruel shoes in the corner

BIG HOOS aka the denigrated boogeyman (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 17:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

is that as close as we'll ever get to a nilmar honorato da silva wdyll

mundane peaceable username (darraghmac), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 17:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

God, I need to read a Cioran book!

― Tape Store, Sunday, August 26, 2007 6:29 AM (5 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 17:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

I have been merely oppressed by the weariness and tedium and vanity of things lately: nothing stirs me, nothing seems worth doing or worth having done: the only thing that I strongly feel worth while would be to murder as many people as possible so as to diminish the amount of consciousness in the world. These times have to be lived through: there is nothing to be done with them.

Bertand Russell

click here to start exploding (ledge), Tuesday, 30 July 2013 13:21 (1 year ago) Permalink


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