Sunday, January 31, 2010

only the incarnations

I do not like "philosophy": but I love C. S. Lewis.

I do not like "fiction": but I love Dashiell Hammett.

I do not like "poetry": but I love T. S. Eliot.

I do not like "classic film": but I love Film Noir.

I've said this several times before, but it is never wrong to say it again. What makes a writer or a book, an artist or a work of art, worthwhile is not merely it's value as entertainment of transitory usefulness. What makes it worthwhile is its underlying Weltanschauung. More than that; what lies behind every work is the mind of a man. If I cannot tolerate a man's book, it is very likely I cannot tolerate the man either. I don't care about acquiring a general view of human nature. I care immensely about acquiring an intensive understanding of a few core truths. Diamonds aren't made by being out in the open air: they are made by being smothered.

Friday, January 15, 2010

the slut & the assassin

For some reason I can almost understand, I can almost rationalize, in my own mind, a life of crime in tandem with devout church-going, but not a life of promiscuity. If a woman sold narcotics for a living, it's like I'd see no problem with her; but if she's a slut or a call-girl, I feel she shouldn't receive communion.

Now in reality (though it is better to be neither), the second cannot be as bad as the first (I think), but my own mind rebels at such an arrangement.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do Not Likes

Before I begin this list, I want to make as clear as possible that, in doing so:

1) I am not "dumping" on anyone. If what I say offends you or is in some God only knows what way felt to be an insult to you in particular, I can only guess that you find the fact that anyone would hold such a notion "insulting."

2) I am not saying that my dislikes are objectively right or wrong across the board. Many of them are, in fact, wrong -- but just as many are right. E.g., it may be "right" that I like fruits but "wrong" that I do not like vegetables. I am not thereby saying that vegetables are objectively bad: I am merely saying that I have no taste for them.

3) I am not saying that anyone who holds my dislikes to be likes are contemptible or wrong or even necessarily mistaken; as per #1 I am only saying that I do not like them.

4) By saying I do not like something I am in no way suggesting that I am better because of it, nor do my dislikes indicate that I think someone with opposite taste is "inferior" to me in any way. As per the example in #2, the not-liking of vegetables may be simply a defect in my make-up.

5) The fact that I even made up such a list is no indication of "misery." I am simply bored, and it is simply easier to make a list of what one does not like than to make a list of things I do like. And in my case, the things I do like are so specific that many wouldn't understand my liking of them until I provided very scrupulous and very detailed accounts of them -- whereas my dislikes can be painted with much broader strokes.

Do not like...

- Weddings or anything to do with them

- Between the ages of 13 and 35

- Parties

- The Olympics

- Reunions, high-school, family, or otherwise

- The premise, the very idea, of the movie Garden State

- Pharmacists

- Weather above forty degrees

- The sun

- Cops

- Postmodern theater

- Academia

- Liberalism, in any of its incarnations, in any of its forms, or eras

- Holidays

- "Goals"

- Family functions

- Marijuana

- Nightclubs

- People who cannot understand, "Declare, or shut the fuck up!"

- Telling people my real name

- People who think "reproductive rights" actually means something

- People who talk about their jobs

- Birthdays and "New Years" (a few numbers change and people go bonkers)

- People who think it's okay to be a liar, provided you're "nice"; I've always said, e.g., I would rather someone speak their beef right to my face and settle it right away than spare "my feelings" by lying to me, and/or talking about their beef with me with other people who have absolutely nothing to do with it!

....more to come.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I discussed some "Rituals" a while back (see: and, as Stark's The Score has turned out to be not at all as durable as I'd hoped, I thought I'd make a revised list of Rituals:

Surprised by Joy;
Mere Christianity;
The Abolition of Man;
The Problem of Pain; and
Miracles: A Preliminary Study by C. S. Lewis
The Continental Op;
The Big Knockover;
Red Harvest;
The Maltese Falcon; and
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock";
"Portrait of a Lady";
"Rhapsody on a Windy Night";
"Morning at the Window";
"Gerontion"; and
"The Waste Land" by T. S. Eliot

But generally speaking, any works by either C. S. Lewis or Dashiell Hammett can be read, at different times, as either Rituals or Leisures. The same goes with Eliot's early poetry; viz. "The Waste Land", "Gerontion", and the first five poems of Prufrock and Other Observations. As a general rule one might consider Eliot's later work (and some of his prose) as Leisures, but that in the strictest sense, as Eliot's post-1922 work just doesn't do it for me. Furthermore, the other poems within Prufrock and Poems (1920), i.e., poems unlisted above but published with them, may be counted as Leisures, not Rituals.