Guaranteed Returns

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Warped Insanity of Guaranteed Returns On Investment
by Nudge
[originally posted June 28th]

      Only in the bizarre cauldron of Reagan-era supply-side thinking, and the Bush cabal’s continuation of the same, could you see such an obscenity as guaranteed growth and guaranteed returns. Anyone familiar with even the most basic aspects of biology will of course know that things that grow without being constrained or affected in any way by their host environments are generally classed as cancers.

      The “guaranteed return” mentality is on display everywhere in our society. You can see it in the people who buy the largest SUVs for personal protection, thinking that the sheer size of the vehicle will protect them from needing to care about where they’re going or how slippery the road is or how fast they should drive under the circumstances. You can see it in the people who leave their high beams on all the time, not caring that they’re blinding the drivers going the opposite way. You can see it in the fools who bought multiple “investment properties” thinking they’d magically appreciate and thus fund their personal dreams of extravagant retirement options. You can see it in the form of people leaving the AC on all summer long (even when it’s cooled down to the 60s outside) just to save themselves from the “trauma” (gosh) of having to worry about monitoring the outside temperatures. (Why, if they failed to notice a sudden spike in outdoor temps, they might find it warmer than wanted indoors. The horror! Can’t have that!)

      As we see, the dangerous myth of guaranteed returns does whacky things to the risk/reward calculations of people. The fact that so many would seek such obviously flawed solutions is just more evidence of Jiminy Cricket thinking at play.

      During the supply-side era, which has thankfully come to a shuddering sputtering halt, the economy was turned inside-out as the government created what can be loosely called “artificial prosperity” by taxing less and spending more, with the difference being borrowed from the future and showing up on the ledger as enormous and growing deficits. Thus the economy appeared to grow in numerical terms even as it was shrinking in real terms.

      The illusion of growth is quite simple. It’s like living on the outside of a giant balloon and marking off your plot o’ land by marching 10 paces ahead, marking the corner, then taking a right turn and repeating the process three more times until you’ve marked off a place to call your own. As the balloon slowly fills with helium and stretches out, your yard appears to grow in size. First it’s 10×10, then it’s 12×12, then it’s 15×15, and the hapless home moaner is sitting there thinking how “rich” he’s gotten just by sitting there doing nothing on his “appreciating” asset.

      Now that the balloon is deflating, these assets are slowly returning to their normal (uninflated) values. Had the growth been real all along, the balloon would have increased in size without any change of the interior pressure and without everyones’ asset values being artificially stretched as they were.

      This “guaranteed returns” fallacy exists in the political world as well. Where previous generations may have shuddered at the thought of one nation wantonly invading another (under false pretenses, mind you) just to remove a government not sufficiently appreciated by the invaders and to impose a politcal system modeled on that of the invading nation (hint: we’ve gone to war with other nations for doing just that), ours jumped into it wholeheartedly, with the naysayers & doubters being shouted down and hustled out in the worst possible way.

      It was as if we were fed a bad rumor that cockroaches had infested a neighborhood on the other side of the world and then we reacted by collectively deciding to send a fleet of bombers to pulverize not just the neighborhood but the surrounding area as well, “just so we could make sure this distant threat was contained.”

      Feh. Not only was it none of our business, but we have no business enforcing our laws on those outside our nation’s borders.

      This bizarre-o mentality continues to the present day in the form of the UPL justice department thinking in can charge OPEC member nations with violating UPL laws. As if Kuwait and Saudi Arabia stood next to us in grade school and did the pledge of allegiance too! Duh! One can only hope that OPEC responds to this nuisance by dumping the UPL dollar entirely for oil transactions. They should have long since switched to the Euro and the Yuan anyway. Who needs garbage currencies like those of Zimbabwe and the UPL anyway?

 

[Note from JR – I did not plan this, Nudge emailed this to me about 10 seconds after I posted the previous thing from Shiller, a gift from the Great Electron, I guess.]

This entry was posted by JR.

174 thoughts on “Guaranteed Returns

  1. “Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought which emphasizes the “supply” part of supply and demand. The central concept of supply-side economics is Say’s Law: “supply creates its own demand,” the idea that one must sell before one can afford to buy. Therefore good economic policy encourages increased production, versus attempts to stimulate demand” this is the fundamental dispute between classical, supply-side economics and Keynesian economics or demand side economics. Supply-side economics is often conflated with trickle down economics.”

    Thanks for the light, Remus. Nudge usually goes to bed early since she needs to give us the early report. And I don’t expect many immediate responses on this one. But I will fan any flames.

  2. The Laffer Curve, by the way, was not invented by me. For example, Ibn Khaldun, a 14th century Muslim philosopher, wrote in his work The Muqaddimah: “It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.”

    “[E]nd of the dynasty” indeed.

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1765.cfm

  3. I was hoping not to bring Ibn Khaldun into the conversation until later, but that’s okay. Actually … not a bad call. Wanna see what Doom has to say.

  4. Nudge-

    You’re starting to sound like my heroine, Hazel Henderson. I posted the whole comment over at CFN earlier this week or last week, but nobody seemed to notice (or perhaps care).

    HH has been saying this stuff for thirty years or more. Another woman with a head for figures.

    Here’s a link:
    http://www.ethicalmarkets.com/?p=709#more-709

    and a sample….

    “The flaws of laissez-faire economics are again evident in the latest set of financial debacles, with $100 billion written down from faulty risk models and collapsed hedge funds to speculation in oil and commodities. Despite the efforts of socially-responsible investors and asset managers to impose transparency, better corporate governance and true-cost pricing, little progress has been made to internalize social and environmental costs into risk-analyses, company balance sheets and national GDP accounting. These huge, mounting costs: from pollution to global climate change, ignored for decades by financiers, accountants and most official statistics, now feed the suspicions of millions that global finance is indeed a casino with rules rigged by the insiders.”

    Don’t fool with Mother Nature!

  5. “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. ” Plutarch

  6. “internalize social and environmental costs into risk-analyses, company balance sheets and national GDP accounting.”

    Politicalization of economics. Just what are “social and environmental costs”? What’s the definition of “socially-responsible investors and asset managers”? Can they believe in the right to bear arms? Do they have to listen to U2? Are any of them Scientologists?

  7. “Politicalization of economics.”

    Did you mean to say “politicization,” UR? Either way, I would have to disagree with you.

    “Just what are “social and environmental costs?”

    If you click through the link, Henderson specifies what she thinks some of these are.

    JHK has been ranting about these things for years: Henderson has been warning for decades about our inability to factor in the cost of pollution of our natural resources like our air and water; the real cost of non-renewable energy sources (oil); and the fact that the fastest growing portion of our GDP is healthcare, which is not really about growth but about sucking off the government subsidy teat, which isn’t sustainable. It’s simply a transfer of assets.

    “What’s the definition of “socially-responsible investors and asset managers”?

    Well, it certainly isn’t the likes of scum-sucking opportunists like Sam Zell. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/AR2008062604110.html

    “Can they believe in the right to bear arms? Do they have to listen to U2? Are any of them Scientologists?”

    IMO, they can be and believe anything they want but I’m assuming that some of those beliefs and behaviors would be antithetical to a desire to serve the commons.

  8. Remus, as social and environmental cost are usually overlooked or given superficial treatment I would say a full honest accounting would include acknowledging the full implications of, oh, say the impact of a Walmart supercenter on a community, for example. Two parties make a transaction where they both seem to benefit, but only because they’ve transfered the impact to a third party. In this case the third party is the sweat shop laborers, the local tax payers, local business owners and their employees, healthcare systems, and the environment, ecosystem, etc. etc. There is a ripple effect.

    Full accounting would mean acknowledging the externalities, i.e. the affects on the third party. In our system the two parties (shareholders and shoppers)feel like its a win-win as the externalities are swept under the rug. On the surface, everybody happy. Meanwhile the social fabric and environmental quality takes body blows. In this system there is no fix for that. Social responsibility is not an option. Nor is environmental responsibility. Demanding that companies “internalize social and environmental costs into risk-analyses, company balance sheets and national GDP accounting.” is pure heresy in this system and will remain a non-starter.

    These days when you here about social responsibility, its usually part of a public relations effort to associate brand with token feel-good measures (funded by advertizing budgets), to the delight of the first two parties, and stifle any squawking by advocates for the third party (who still suffers just the same).

    Its a nutty world.

  9. My comment above got cynical. let me add… Our system may discount and ignore the concept of social/environmental (and I would add health) responsibility, and it may continue to reject this notion in the meaningful sense, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push back, fight, bitch at them, vote against them, refuse to buy their stuff. Once you have knowledge of a wrong, you have an obligation to try to correct it. It’s exactly what we’re asking them to do afterall.

  10. Even if you could agree on what constitutes a social or environmental cost, you would need to quantify and factor those costs and based on today’s global economy, get them put into use globally.

    Reminds me of the issues I encountered as a construction estimator when working with union clients on non-Davis-Bacon bids (not required to pay prevailing wage). I put together project estimates based solely on the plans and specifications. The client controlled the labor burden factor (their tax rates, benefit packages, scale, work rules and the like), labor efficiency factor, overhead and profit margins.

    In every case, union contractors struggled against non-union contractors because of their union contract requirements. It wasn’t a case of which was the better work environment, it was just about the numbers in the bid package. And, if contractors from different locals were bidding, their respective contract factoring could be different if they had different contract agreements OR if they were in different zones.

    In a global economy, a US adoption of environmental or social factors could be successful domestically, but globally, not so much so – similar to cost difference I outlined in my union/non-union example.

  11. SB,

    I pretty much agree on your 12:37 and my overall point is not the merits of social/environmental responsibility.

    We should “push back, fight, bitch at them, vote against them, refuse to buy their stuff”. I would argue that makes more sense than imposing what amounts to yet another tax. Regardless of how socially or environmentally responsible a company may feign or in fact be, business is business and when there aren’t enough like-minded customers to prop up the bottom line, things change to correct the bottom line deficiencies.

  12. @ EE

    “Did you mean to say “politicization,” UR?” Oops. Yes.

    “Either way, I would have to disagree with you.” Umm. Ok.

  13. Perhaps, if we are, ahem, “given” the opportunity to rework our economy, we can find a way weave environmental costs into the perception of value of good and services.

    The social aspects – I would suggest this needs to be woven into the perception of value we citizens place on all life.

  14. “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. ” Plutarch, quoted by UR

    That’s how Caesar got his start at the Republic’s triumphate. We all know how it turned out for him. His nephew Augustus sealed the fate of the Republic. Only Sulla was more feared, Augustus was the perfection of power politics.

    (Doom channeling JJ).

  15. Nice assessment Nudge. Our modern “democracy” with its lofty ideals of liberties and rights for everyone was built upon abundant, cheap energy. Oil, more than any other energy source, allowed our population to both expand and experience, at the same time, a quality of life that would make past nobility seem crude and destitute in comparison.

    The deeds of 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq II, Gitmo, use of secret CIA detention camps, shipping “enemy combatants” off to countries such as Syria (our ally?) for the expressed intent to use torture in interrogation, the Patriot Acts (just the name tells you the content stinks) , Homeland Security (recalls der Fatherland, as do our military helmuts), no-bid contracts to Big Oil, defense contractors, etc. are all evidence that a decision has been made, a direction set, the die cast, Rubicon crossed.

    What’s all the fuss about? It’s simple, it’s about maintaining as much of our way-o-life as possible in the face or ever decreasing natural resources. When Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon, when FDR struck a deal for guaranteeing the Saudi’s security for their oil, the underlying assumption was it would buy us enough time to find the next level of resource security. Well, where is it? Who’s dropped or is dropping the ball?

    Nobody likes a bunch of losers, especially Americans.

  16. Nudge, awesome post. I had to read the first paragraph out loud to my husband. The cancer metaphor is spot on. Beautiful. The balloon metaphor is not bad either.

    I’m glad JR set this up so that you could do that. You could do your own blog. I don’t agree with every single thing you come up with, but you do it well.

    Now I’ll get into some gender stuff and get screamed at for it. You are fabulous, but I wonder if you underestimate yourself, because, well, you’re a chick and that’s what chicks are trained to do. I’m not talking about your modest living, you made choices there that have integrity that if all of us were doing them all along we would not be in this fix.

    I am referring how into the topic(s) you are (read that emotionally invested), how well researched you are, how competently you execute your prose, how prolific you are… well, do you see what I mean? Can you get outside yourself long enough that if you saw someone up to the stuff you are up to, would you not suggest to that the person to set up their own shop somehow?

    I meddle. No need to respond.

    Excellent post.

  17. Prolific I’ll say! I also liked Nudge’s opener in this one, very much.

    remus I didn’t mean to lecture at you, you just got me going on a thought of sorts.

    More on accounting for socialo/environmental cost. Just an anecdote. Over the years I’ve gone to all kinds of public meetings and hearings, sometimes as a participant and sometimes as joe citizen with a list of questions. One time I went to a local public meeting and was the only person who showed up that wasn’t a hired gun. It was regarding putting a sewer pipe through a city park to service a new private development. It would involve cutting down a lot of trees, where this park didn’t have much wooded area to begin with. This scenario was the lowest cost for the developer and I suppose easier for the city as well. Unfortunately it was going to completely change the character of the park, and not for the better. I was the only person on the sign-in sheet and so thus was the only person from the general public requesting to speak. It was about 25 people looking at one guy.

    Because I did show up they had to give me the full presentation and field my questions and allow me to speak. But they knew that I knew that they knew that I knew that it was but a formality. The lack of interest and attendance by the public was green light enough. They wanted to rush me, I wanted to take my time, they were impatient, I felt nervous and tried not to show it.

    But they intensely wanted to know who I was and who I worked for, or if I was affiliated, and gauge whether or not I might be the forerunner of a lawsuit. They wanted me to be happy and rest assured that everything was going to be great, and they wanted me to go away, and they shook my hand, and they showed me the door and they thanked me. So I left, knowing I was just some asshole.

  18. <>

    SB-

    You are NOT an a$$hole, you are a hero. And you must have hidden magical powers–you came, you spoke, and you left the toxic den of vested interest iniquity unscathed.

    After 11 years of deep involvement in community issues, I know of what you speak. I have written reports, testified dozens of times, supported political candidates, and given my soul to my neighborhood and adopted city, all on a volunteer basis. Working with amazing folks (and learning to cope with the misguided ones) I’ve met in every corner of DC, I’ve accomplished some things of which I’m very pleased and have grown a lot.

    Nudge is right, it’s all about community.

    Keep up the good work and good luck with your move to NYS. After almost 30 years in DC, I’m much less homesick for the Empire State, but it will always have a place in my heart.

  19. SB, you should have been the forerunner of the lawsuit on behalf of the trees. Like the Lorax, a noble spokesbeing but nearly extinct beast of yore.

  20. MOU,

    Nudge recently suggested — correctly I think — that she is to SUVs what the Mogambo Guru is to fiat currency (and PM mongering, I might add). This could be a clue as to what our dear Nudge is up to! But to be honest I think that what she is doing, by persevering in regularly delivering consistent almost invariably high-quality commentary directed toward a particular niche/topic/theme, is more organic than calculated.

    In directing attention to matters such as gender conditioning, activist/emotional motivations for writing, etc., would the golden goose’s prodigious output be jeopardized, or merely temporarily slowed in serving the goal of ultimately honing it into a still more deadly and inspired literary assault? What do you think, coach?

    On the gender stuff, all I care to say is that you nicely stated some things that are probably worth thinking about. But in the end game of attempting to successfully use words to describe stuff… as a very wise person recently implied to me, great writing flows from writing to satisfy your own needs. Maybe this can/ought to be extended to satisfying needs in general. Just a thought.

  21. Holmes,

    Good catch. You are right. Wanted to answer you with something profound, and it wasn’t there. Wouldn’t want to make anyone else who felt that way “perform” when they didn’t want to. Hopefully Nudge absorbs the positive sentiment from my post, regardless. Or irregardless? Is that flammable? Or inflammable? I default to old inside jokes cause it is safe and easy. I love reading your posts and watching your head work. Friends find ways to set you straight, firmly, but with care. Thanks!

  22. St. Bif,

    I will try to imitate UR’s economy of words. I ditto EE of DC @ 7:49. Street cred saturates her post, she’s tellin it like it is.

  23. Thanks EE, but I DON’T want to give the impression this was a sequel to ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’. There was nothing dramatic. No impassioned podium-smashing speeches given. No scorching them with references to the Constitution. I attended the meeting not to protest but mainly to learn what was going to happen and why. Specifically I wanted to know how the loss of recreational and aesthetic value was accounted for in the cost comparison for alternative sewer pipe alignment scenarios. Most embarrassing thing I said: “I haven’t made up my mind yet whether I am for this or not”. As if. Duh!

    I also end up in a lot of public meetings and hearings. Not much local (in my town) though, as my humbling experience above illustrates. I intend to change this however. When I move to my new town in NY I would like to get more involved, and might even attempt serving on the planning board if they will have me. I have been looking into this possibility. They’ll probably throw me out when I propose a peak oil task force. Weeee!

    I was in Wash DC last week EE. I met up with a friend at a bar called ‘Hawk and Dove’. Do you know the place? Apparently a notorious hole-in-the-wall hangout for congressional staffers and the like. Seemed like another joint to me. I like a city with good mass transit options, you can get all impaired and not worry about it.

    A cool thing I saw in DC was people hitching rides with solo drivers who wanted to add more heads in their car windows and thereby zoom the HOV lanes. Folks were lined up 30 deep waiting to catch rides. Also more commuter cyclists than I’ve ever seen there before. I love to see that. Bless them one and all.

  24. Nudge continually threatens me with starting her own blog. I think that’s what she’s been up to since I posted her latest work. let’s not encourage her, MOU, OK? :-)

  25. Good morning MOU et al:

    Lovely discussion. Sorry I was offline for much of it. I’m switching to a “less internet” mode of living: turning off the DSL, composing & viewing everything on a small computer with a screen not much bigger than a credit card, and hooking into the neighbor’s wireless signal every now and then.

    But seriously, I don’t feel up to the task of running a blog just now. Too much other stuff happening. JR is kind enough to let me post here. His editorship (?) is good. Also there’s such a proliferation of blogs already out there .. all hosted on server farms somewhere with spinning platters and hot swaps in striped RAID arrays. There’s a time when you’ve got to say that enough is enough. It already takes something like 2.5% of the nation’s electricity usage just to run the server farms and the structure of the internet. How much is used up by all those computers viewing it? Maybe another 5%? Either way, it’s a lot.

    Besides, this blog is sort of like the CFN regulars’ private hangout .. and we’re practically all family by now, it seems, or at least members of the same tribe.

  26. Umm, Uncle Remus, lovely stuff, but, no offense, arguing the viability of the whole supply side theory is kind of pointless now after the fact. Most observers these days are not unlike the NTSB looking over the scattered, smoking wreckage of a 747 strewn across the fields while the Boeing rep is standing there trying to tell them that the plane is still safely en route and about to land at O’Hare.

    Umm, no. The Reagan / Bush I / Bush II years have seen the buildup of the greatest deficits ever in the history of governments, vast increases in the disparity of fortunes from the top to the bottom of the economic ladder, and the scam of globalization. We basically borrowed trillions of dollars from foreigners and from our own as-yet-unborn descendants, threw a big party, called it “prosperity”, and now we’re looking at the bar tab and it’s way bigger than we thought.

    I suppose that if you’re closer to the top of the ladder than the bottom, or if you self-identify with the “players”, then yes, you might have cause to think of the neoCON years as good years. The statistics for the whole of our society, however, paint a rather grim picture filled with too much personal ruin. For every one of you who made out or is doing OK, there are probably three others living in their cars, dodging the repo men, eating from food banks everywhere, and scrounging for change in parking lots in order to afford the gas to drive to their nearest relatives so they can sleep in the garage until they get back on their feet.

    The delusion that everything is A-okay out there is just that: a delusion. It’s no more substantial than the thickness of ink on the newspaper article in USA Today saying that inflation is only 4%, that we’re winning the wars against the Taliban, that the mortgage mess is contained, etc. Goebbels and Orwell would be proud of their star pupils.

    The best and simplest single chart I could point to for showing the effects of the Bush II presidency on the value of the UPL dollar is the one showing the dollar’s value in terms of milligrams of gold. It’s over on the “priced in gold” website. Seeing as how gold is the world’s oldest continuously used currency (err, maybe second oldest!) it seems fair to show the dollar in units of gold rather than vice versa.

  27. Nudge, here’s a guarantee for you. The FL lottery is now offering two new prize options. Free gasoline for a year, and (to the delight of Hummer owners) free gasoline for 20 years. Yes, 20 years!! Market surveys have shown these prizes will be a big hit with the masses. Winners will be offered gas cards to their choice of Shell, BP or Chevron. Now if they could somehow combine that with ‘Go To the Head of the Line’ VIP cards, kevlar vests, and 20 years of ammunition, that would be very cool.

  28. “I was in Wash DC last week EE.”

    Damn, SB, you should have given me a heads up! I could have given you an insider’s tour. Anyone posting on ZK has an open invitation–just let me know.

    Sounds like you were over on “The Hill” for your visit. Talk about Sodom and Gomorrah! One of the few things DC did right was to put in the Metro system. The downside of that is it was really set up for non-rez commuters and MD and VA don’t want to contribute their fair share despite the bringing the heaviest loads to the system.

    On your meeting, I didn’t misinterpret what you were saying. For the most part, everything I have done has been the same–a long, boring process of participation in hundreds of meetings, networking and self education–with my realization that by the time it gets to public meetings, the fix is already in. So I’ve spent the last six years bucking the system as best I could and I have become a very, very patient person with an eye to the long view.

    Definitely get on your planning board and start educating people about PO and energy. Somebody’s got to do it!

  29. For every one of you who made out or is doing OK, there are probably three others living in their cars, dodging the repo men, eating from food banks everywhere, and scrounging for change in parking lots in order to afford the gas to drive to their nearest relatives so they can sleep in the garage until they get back on their feet.

    er, sounds a lot more interesting than having a job..

    people always think that things are supposed to be some certain way or another er, not.

    gotta go keep my JO date with DC. just sayin’.

  30. when i scavange return cans, he makes me give him all the money. i love that man.

  31. no, really, why do people sell thier fucking souls for some sense of security, and pass it off as rational behavior no less? people are fucked. they’re stupid. i hope they all die slow miserable deaths. they deserve it.

    i’m glad that they get played like puppets.

    i’m gonna go buy the biggest hummer i can find and drive it around the block until it runs outta gas, and then go do it all over.

    an’ then go have drink with dick and laugh about it..

  32. On your meeting, I didn’t misinterpret what you were saying. For the most part, everything I have done has been the same–a long, boring process of participation in hundreds of meetings, networking and self education–with my realization that by the time it gets to public meetings, the fix is already in. So I’ve spent the last six years bucking the system as best I could and I have become a very, very patient person with an eye to the long view.

    god ee, i feel bad for you. i woulda took you sailing and then fucked your brains out. just sayin’. what a waste.

  33. i play the market long. but just because i hate looking at that shit every day.

    is it up? is it down? fuck that.

  34. The delusion that everything is A-okay out there is just that: a delusion. It’s no more substantial than the thickness of ink on the newspaper article in USA Today saying that inflation is only 4%, that we’re winning the wars against the Taliban, that the mortgage mess is contained, etc. Goebbels and Orwell would be proud of their star pupils.

    wtf is aok supposed to mean? that everyone gets a pension and thier med bills paid? wtf? shit is what it fucking is. do you think someone, somewhere, is obligated, somehow, to tell you some truth as you want hear it? fucking grow up.

  35. if you know that it’s lies, why pay attention? why waste time and energy wrestling with lies, with clouds? do you even think that you have some acces to some higher truth? sounds pretty delusional to me.

  36. cause it fun, that’s why. it feels good. and that’s all that matters.

    good night.

  37. dave, I figured that you wouldn’t elaborate on your comment about slave mentality in relation to the list of 26 things. It might have provided for an interesting discussion or at least a rippin’ good flame war over at CFN. If I had more time, I’d start talking about it at CFN… see if JHK bites and works a Nietzsche reference into his next post.

    Anyway, although I’m not going to tick down that list and analyze each one of them, Nietzsche’s ideas regarding “Slave and Master Morality” are important IMHO and worth thinking about.

    http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/articles/nietzsche-a.pdf

    “In Beyond Good and Evil[,] Nietzsche detects two types of morality mixed not only in higher civilization but also in the psychology of the individual. Master-morality values power, nobility, and independence: it stands “beyond good and evil.” Slave-morality values sympathy, kindness, and humility and is regarded by Nietzsche as “herdmorality.” The history of society, Nietzsche believes, is the conflict between these two outlooks: the herd attempts to impose its values universally but the noble master transcends their “mediocrity.””

  38. Holmes, I’d take that up if you wanted to. The slaves got revenge on their masters by changing the meaning of what was good. Since they were dominated, they made service, altruism, and humility “good.” The clergy picked up on it and the upper classes found themselves fucked over by the slaves in a passive aggressive kind of way. But this kind of revenge (any kind), for Nietzche, is living in the past, and just another way of expressing bondage. If you are really free, you don’t need rules and you don’t need revenge. You are free. Freud took this point as the foundation of his model of psychotherapy. Existentialism, post structuralism, I could go on. Important stuff. Hasn’t hit “Friends” yet, or reality TV or whatever is popular (Survivor? HehHehHeh, have I got a show idea for them).

  39. I hear you, MOU.

    But I’m having trouble getting excited about this latest (new) burst of commentators over at CFN. [JR, you were totally right.] There’s definitely a lack of institutional knowledge on display. Well, noobs is as noobs does.

    It’s one of those personal cost/benefit analysis kinda things, if you know what I mean.

  40. At any rate, this is slippery debate material, good times could be had by all.

    Try this: Dave ain’t as free as he would like to posture with us that he is. As long as he has the NEED to lash out, he is a fucked monkey like the rest of us. Not that I would try to change him. His rants take my brain places I should go and don’t normally have the “will” to go there.

    Debate bait, masturbate, fornicate, elucidate, this is our fate, a garden gate, a world of hate, people irate, Dionysus prostrate, reparations too late, masticate, deliberate, ejaculate, connotate, denotate, detonate…

    Word salad.

  41. Holmes,

    I posted that before reading yours. Very well. I understand time sinks. If you are not inspired, it is no good.

    Peace

  42. Yeah, Holmes, my favorite was General X who was posting an “honest” question (whatever that is) and only wanted JHK’s response. How often do you think he checks back in too see if Jim’s answered? lack of institutional knowledge – heh, I like that.

    Those of you there that are responding to these people at all are kind to do so. The reality is that 90% never come back. So you are wasting your time. The wrost part is that most of the time when you write a long, pleasant response to some of these noobies they don’t even have the common courtesy to respond back.

    Think about it. In the last three or four weeks, there have been only two decent posters who have joined the ranks on a regular basis – MaryW and Rubber Toe (Autonomous Unit had been around before).

    And send me that thing you’re working on whenever, Holmes. Take your time.

  43. More than anything, the timing just doesn’t feel right. Peace, baby.

  44. JR, I’m outlining and figuring out my strategy.

    I will definitely take my time.

  45. “…..i feel bad for you. i woulda took you sailing and then fucked your brains out. just sayin’. what a waste.” –dave

    …to each his own.

    “…..so ee, you ever been tied up?” –dave

    See above.

  46. EE – Dave can get anyone riled up. That’s his genius. I’m still waiting for the day when OEO tries to go after him.

    I wish Dave had asked me if I had ever been tied up, but he didn’t. Oh, well, another missed opportunity.

  47. “i hate looking at that shit every day”

    Yeah, so do I, so I don’t.

    I saw that thing about Oil ETNs on MSN and thought I’d pass it along. I don’t follow the market, I don’t check my stocks. I watch CNBC for maybe an average of 5 minutes some mornings (until I start to feel sick).

    I just study the market real hard maybe 3 or 4 times a week for an hour or so, so I’m not out of the loop.

    I bought a small position in “OIL” today and will probably follow that up in coming weeks with purchases of the others in that article.

    I’m looking for a pullback, though. I’m waiting for what I think is an inevitable dip to $120 or $100.

    Production is 1 mbpd above where everybody was whining about it 6 months ago in the “peak-oil” world.

    There’s too much oil coming on the market right now and when Saudi cranks it up in 2009 along with Brazil, somebody’s gonna have some splainin to do.

    Don’t get me wrong. Long term, we’re fucked. All the way to $1000, Baby. Just not this year.

  48. I have already been through what most people are facing today – but I went through it the late 80’s. Then and now I accepted the situation as one of my own making – of simply not paying attention and not thinking beyond the next fortnight.

    Construction and real estate business collapsed, home equity vanished and revenue evaporated. Several tens of thousands of dollars, a home and things – all gone. And out of it all an epiphany about the American Dream, American “values” and how not to live in America or anywhere else.

    The Republicans didn’t cause that to happen. The Democrats didn’t cause that to happen. It wasn’t supply-side or trickle-down. It wasn’t anyone or anything else. I caused that to happen. And I have caused not to happen again.

    We have a national epidemic of people not paying attention and not thinking beyond the next fortnight and more importantly, forgetting history.

    This will be ugly, I know – I’ve been there.

  49. Once I get a decent topo map in my head, then we roll out the tactical shit in a crazyassed multipronged attack, amigo.

    I’m still kicking myself for not timely unloading on the slave morality issue. It was like the fucking coward scene from Private Ryan… except more like the lazy scene. dave, I won’t leave you out there drunk on scotch and next day apologizing all over yourself ever again… unless you’re buying.

    JR, pure gut instinct here… suggesting to me a pull back at around $145. So at that point I’ll probably sell to close a slightly in the money position, holding onto others just in case something squirrelly happens with the weather, an embassy gets accidentally blown up, etc.

    Still haven’t viewed the JHK and Chris Can vidies. This is going to be great…

  50. “I wish Dave had asked me if I had ever been tied up, but he didn’t.” –JR

    JR-

    Bunn Bunn and MOU know It’s not my style.. the only thing that’s ever tied me up is a late-night call.

    Oh, and OEO did go after Dave the other day… maybe nobody else noticed it… the usual piss ant stuff.

    On a more interesting note, had a visit with an older friend of mine and his wife in the ‘hood Monday night. He’s a retired lawyer who worked for Mobil his entire career and lived all over the world including Libya, Venezuela, e.g. during that time.

    I asked him to recount a story he had told me a few years ago about his experiences with the Prudhoe Bay area in Alaska when all the majors were up there spending gazillions buying up the rights to an “identical” adjacent geographical formation.

    It turned out to be a bust even though it had everything that Prudhoe had…. he said, even with today’s sophisticated technology, you still have no idea until you drill if there’s anything there. That’s the downside of ANWR–there could be absolutely nothing there.

  51. I NEVER owned an SUV. Two new Hondas since 1975 (ten years per), a used straight-six Forest Service step-side pickup (no AC) in the 80’s and a lastly, a used Ford V6 sedan with a good trunk for hauling around my test gear, spare parts and stuff.

    I can get an amazing amount of gardening stuff in the trunk – looks like I’m hauling moonshine.

    Hauling moonshine – isn’t that the precursor to NASCAR?

  52. And then after 7 hours, DanaJ finally comes to General X’s rescue.

    Have you ever noticed how noobs never seem to help each other out? They are basically there begging for acceptance from the regs.

    Why does it always have to be Doom, or Nudge, or Nicky P., or Holmes setting everybody straight. As if we hold all the mysteries of science. But then they complain when you tell them to shut the fuck up.

    This week you can see it clearly. There is a relatively low number of posts, 50% of the usual, with a massive amount of new names.

    I don’t say this to be a dweeb, I just pay attention and am fascinated by interaction on the web.

    When I saw a post yesterday on HuffPo about McCain not paying his property taxes, the first thing I looked for were the comments. over 2500. Fucking unbelievable.

    PerezHilton only gets 500 comments on most of his idiocy.

    So why the fuck would I comment on a post with 2500 comments? I have no idea. How could that possibly benefit either me or mankind?

    I have no idea what is going to happen with oil. Pure Gut Instinct.

    You mean “accidentally on purpose” (one of my favorite phrases).

    And I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I’m much more relaxed now and a much happier person since I stopped posting on CFN. I just wish thal and scott would come back.

  53. Slave morality thing.

    Perhaps Dave’s perspective of life in general and his own response to it gives him a wider definition of slave behavior or mentality and his view for the need of a less passive response.

    Any behavior that openly questions who, what, where, how and why has the potential to be liberating. And made illegal.

  54. “only thing that’s ever tied me up is a late-night call.”

    I don’t understand. Late night calls are the only thing that has ever led to anybody being tied up.

    ehh, don’t have to worry about Dave. He’s always in bed by 9.

  55. “Any behavior that openly questions who, what, where, how and why has the potential to be liberating. And made illegal.” — UR

    PEACE OFFICER: Sir, you are probably wondering why I pulled you over. Refusing the Mantle of Victimhood Without a License and… it also looks like we have here Reckless Operation of a Mediocrity Transcendence Vehicle. You may surrender your impetuous self-actualization now, or we impound your brand new HerdRunner 4x and take you downtown. What’s it going to be, son?

  56. EE – wanna do me a favor when you have a chance and just post a blank comment on the Oil Speculating thread. I want to cut this comment in half and put your prudhoe bay thing there. I have some more to say about this eventually and the whole ANWR thing.

    I’m the Wizard of Oz, unfortunately(fortunately), I can’t create posts with usernames.

  57. Why couldn’t all the moths die? Why did all the bees have to die? There is no god.

    Moths are slow and stupid and scare the shit out of you. The worst thing a bee ever did was sting someone.

  58. Blue 88. My favorite.

    “During this time, the enlisted men and myself would sometimes go by. We had to supervise it, because there’d be screaming and they would be deep, deep asleep and there’d be terrible expressions of their fear and their fright. The assumptions were that this would have some kind of cathartic effect, the sodium amytal, which the men called “blue 88’s.” You know, the most effective artillery piece of the Germans was the 88 and this was “blue 88’s,” because the sodium amytal was a blue tablet.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_88

    Yarra thinks soma is the good stuff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

  59. «if you know that it’s lies, why pay attention? why waste time and energy wrestling with lies, with clouds?»

    Good point, Dave. I gave up on mainstream news a few years ago for that very reason. Internet sources all have their own spin, but that spin is usually overt or at least well-known and can thus be properly compensated for. Now if you’re talking about overt fiction rather than news, it’s about entertainment — and you’d probably agree that truth doesn’t always have to be factual.

    «Those of you there that are responding to these people at all are kind to do so. The reality is that 90% never come back. So you are wasting your time.»

    JR, the problem is that last 10% — if you have a good track record figuring out who will be back next week, is please to share formula?

    Meh. Off to a conference call. Meetings suck.

  60. «Hauling moonshine – isn’t that the precursor to NASCAR?»

    You got it, Unk. Indeed, I live in the epicenter of the former moonshine trade. Fireball Roberts, Lloyd Seay, Gober Sosebee, were all moonshine runners who became racing stars in the early days.

    My father-in-law tells me that when he first bought this place in the 50s, he stumbled across several stills and asked the owners to remove them.

  61. i would never claim to be anything other than a fucked monkey, i like it just fine that way.

  62. jr, i’ll tie you up, and give you a spankin’. all you have to do is ask.

  63. far, the main stream news has nothing to do with anything. life is a dream. sometimes it’s a fucking nightmare, sometimes it’s beautiful beyond words, but a dream none the less. time fades away.

  64. i often think of, what the fuck do they call that? where you can control the sequence and actions within your dreams?

  65. the only thing that seperates lucid dreams from the real world, so to speak, is a genome. of course a genome couldn’t exist without everything else.

  66. holmes, i’d like to talk a little about nietzche, but i can’t right now. i’ve got somehere who wants to be tied up.

    eat your heart out ee.

  67. “eat your heart out ee.” –dave

    I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, dave!

  68. Lucid dreaming…. I’ve actually done it fairly recently… kinda happened inadvertently.

    i do it every day. i can never get it to work while i’m sleeping though.

  69. so master/slave relations seem a nayural consequnace of an agriculture system. i say consequance somewhat aribitrarily because in reality nothing exists in a vacume. our industrial/argricultural system couldn’t anymore exist without masters and slaves anymore than there could be masters and slaves without argriculure, and brought froward into industry.

    pre and post agriculture peoples had, and will have the ability, and moreimportantly, the knowledge and wherewithall to say: fuck you, i’m outta here.

  70. the will to power, as observed by N, is a consequnce of conditions. this is not to say that there have not always been and always will be dominant, sometimes violently dominant indivduals, but that they simply don’t have means to extent and enforece thier needs on some “large”, often multigenerational, scale.

  71. n’s biggest mistake, and you see it repeated adnauseum, was to assign value to these roles; ie. good/bad, higher/lower, ect. all these are, in my mind, are roles that certain individuals must assume once population density reaches a certain point. rigid, class based hierarchy is emergent and unavoidable once population levels reach a certain point. that point seems to be where resources must be allocated in some fashion.

  72. Yeah, culture is condition or, to be less simplistic, at least a subset of it.

    In Daybreak (23), Nietzsche suggests that it is precisely the weakness of human beings that has made the feeling of power one of the most subtle human capacities: “[…] because the feeling of impotence and fear was in a state of almost continuous stimulation so strongly and for so long, the feeling of power has evolved to such a degree of subtlety that in this respect man is now a match for the most delicate gold-balance. It has become his strongest propensity; the means discovered for creating this feeling almost constitute the history of culture.”

  73. dave, your comments about the industrial/agricultural system deserve repeating. I remember you talked about it at CFN awhile ago. It’s probably one of the great eye-opening, potentially life transforming concepts for people beginning to learn about how fucked smart monkeys are. (Did I steal “smart monkeys” from you? I don’t even remember at this point.)

    It’s interesting IMO to think about how we humans may have actually changed in an evolutionary sense to embody a response to the conditions created or at least facilitated by us collectively. Is slave morality now genetically predominant, say, as compared to humans in pre-agricultural times? Or is it more learned than anything… to be sluffed off (maybe even in a generation or two) with the change of seasons?

  74. “A people is a detour of nature to get to six or seven greatmen. – Yes: and then to get around them.”
    –Nietzsche

  75. http://cesarkiraly.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/what-does-nietzsche-mean-to-philosophers-today/

    “Frantisek Novosád: Especially in the last phases of his development, Nietzsche appears to have lost his sense of proportion, particularly in relation to Christianity and the conceptual formations he considered to be derived from Christianity. His analysis of them quickly changes into criticism and condemnation. The typical book from this period is The Antichrist. In this book, Christianity is presented exclusively as a religion of resentment, as a sublimation of the anger of the powerless, as the poison that destroyed ancient culture and which is now destroying modern Western society. Nietzsche formulated the majority of his “offensive” statements precisely in the context of his analysis of the impact of Christianity on the mentality of the modern person. I think there is no special reason to interpret these passages from Nietzsche’s works, or give them justifying explanations. He thought what he wrote. When he said that: “The weak and unsuccessful have to perish […] and it is necessary to help them perish”, this was what he thought. Obviously, we find many passages in his works in which he considers the pre-conditions and possible perhaps also unwanted consequences of his views. We could play endlessly the game of balancing the offensive and stimulating passages in his texts, if we had enough patience. Extreme statements, or pushing of a view to the extreme, are, however, one of the basic principles of Nietzsche’s method. Until the end of his life he had an adolescent taste for provoking people, for striking at what we usually consider obvious. Without these passages that are so offensive to the ear of the humanistically thinking person, we would not have the other passages, where Nietzsche brings to the surface long hidden truths, or breaks age-old taboos of thought.”

    ***

    “Nietzsche was one of the first to realize that the mentality of the “underside”, of the lumpenproletariat, was becoming the prevailing mentality in European societies.”

  76. [I’ll throw this in just for fun.]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/us/politics/09obama.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

    “In his freshman year at Occidental, Mr. Obama and his dormitory mates would gather around a couch in the hallway of their floor while stereos blasted songs by bands like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the B-52’s and the Flying Lizards. The conversations revolved around topics like the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter’s proposed revival of draft registration and the energy crisis.

    Mr. Obama displayed a deft but unobtrusive manner of debating.“When he talked, it was an E. F. Hutton moment: people listened,” said John Boyer, who lived across the hall from Mr. Obama. “He would point out the negatives of a policy and its consequences and illuminate the complexities of an issue the way others could not.” He added, “He has a great sense of humor and could defuse an argument.”

    Mr. Obama seemed interested in thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Jean-Paul Sartre, whom he studied in a political thought class in his sophomore year.”

  77. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysistrata

    Led by the title character, Lysistrata, the story’s female characters barricade the public funds building and withhold sex from their husbands to end the Peloponnesian War and secure peace. In doing so, Lysistrata engages the support of women from Sparta, Boeotia, and Corinth. All of the other women are first against Lysistrata’s suggestion to withhold sex.

    Finally, they agree to swearing an oath of allegiance by drinking wine from a phallic shaped flask, as the traditional implement (an upturned shield) would have been been a symbol of actions opposed to the aims of the women. This action is ironic and therefore comical, because Greek men believed women had no self-restraint, a lack displayed in their alleged fondness for wine as well as for sex.

    Lysistrata is the first completely positive female leader portrayed in drama (who was a mortal and not a goddess). While Lysistrata has great difficulty holding the women together, she never falters in her role as a General and through the play is a model of feminine rationality.

    Professor Elizabeth Scharffenberger (Columbia Classics) points out Lysistrata, “releaser of war,” sounds remarkably similar to an important priestess in Athens at that time whose name, Lysimache, meant “releaser of the battle.” The connection would have encouraged the association of Lysistrata with sacred Athena — a model of male-like rationality. Athena was after all born from the head of Zeus.

  78. “A people is a detour of nature to get to six or seven greatmen. – Yes: and then to get around them.”
    –Nietzsche

    well, that’s one perspective that i have a real hard time with. not even sure what it means, “greatmen”? of course diogenes is my only hero.

    i think that we’ll be as forgien to people a 1000 years from now as rain forest pygmys are to us.

  79. “so what’s (your) point ee, that N was really a woman?”

    Nope. I’ve never read Nietzsche (sorry, HIP… the thought of all that extreme intellectualizing gives me a headache).

    Jes’ pointin’ out the underlying attitude of the Ancient Greeks toward women–kinda like the slave-master mentality. Aristophanes may have been a “feminist”:
    “This action is ironic and therefore comical, because Greek men believed women had no self-restraint, a lack displayed in their alleged fondness for wine as well as for sex.”

    As the old saw goes, Ginger Rogers had to dance as well as Fred Astaire, and she did it backwards and in high heels.

  80. having slaves back then was pretty much the same as having employees today. i’d bet that most athenian women owned salves in one fashion or another.

    good slaves, like good employees, were rewarded, if they were lucky. some things never change, untill they do that is.

    do you see the irony, or do you think them to have been hypocites?

    many women today aspire to be slave masters, overseers. while in the next breath they complain about about sexual discrimination. they can have it all as far i’m concerned. i think it’s fucking hillarious.

  81. “…do you see the irony, or do you think them to have been hypocites?”

    Frankly, neither of those things came to mind. I would like to see Lysistrata–the Beardsley drawings attracted my attention 40 years ago.

    “er, maybe not quite that forgien. but you get the idea.”

    I can’t even begin to imagine life back then: probably very gut-level, short and brutal. And a lot fewer people.

    About 20 years ago, I went down to Appomattox with these friends of mine who are the penultimate tourists. We sat through two “re-enactments”–one by a Union Soldier and one by a Confederate. The “time” was six months after the end of the war.

    They each told their story and then were open to questions… in the language of their day. It was eye-opening and amusing. We might as well have been trying to understand pygmies.

  82. “many women today aspire to be slave masters, overseers. while in the next breath they complain about about sexual discrimination. they can have it all as far i’m concerned.”

    There are some people who believe there’s an explanation and a cure for this. How would women conduct themselves in a world that is not so completely patriarchal? How different would it be? Along those lines, perhaps you might be interested in Françoise d’Eaubonne and the views of modern ecofeminists like Vandana Shiva.

  83. “I can’t even begin to imagine life back then: probably very gut-level, short and brutal.”

    EEofDC

    I wonder about this. Perhaps you are selling our ancestors short? It is hard to imagine how alternate frames would structure our perceptions of our lived experience and what we would take as truth. Given all the mental space that we dedicate to managing technology, a fast paced life, and consuming culture, our mental plate is quite full. Maybe our existence is the one that is brutal.

    Perhaps they had more mental space for other kinds of growth? Granted a good bit of the mental processing would be dedicated to basic survival stuff that we currently (mistakenly) take for granted, but could there not be more room for spiritual growth and wisdom in those times than now? Could that be what our real consumer culture illness is trying to fix, but like any drug, it makes it worse?

    Just a thought.

    EE, I am now being deliberately provocative. I suspect you will frame this as a form of false consciousness, but I hope not. I think feminism can be practiced as a form of liberation and I think it can be its own form of fascism. Feminism, even the name, reinforces an artificial dichotomy that is problematic. One can argue that we need to turn the power structure on its head, that we need to invert it to restore balance. What I find is that it gets used as a way to bully people. “If you do X or think Y you are not feminist enough.” It ends up being another way to marginalize and include or exclude people. David Byrne of the talking heads comes to mind “same as it ever was, same as it ever was.”

    I think Dave and Holmes have a flattened interpretation of Nietzsche. They have reified what Nietzsche intended to deconstruct. Nietzsche teaches us that the reification is the problem. Since I have lost this post once and have already needed to reproduce it (more lamely written this time) I will post this and talk more to them, later.

    EE, I generally support your projects, find you to be as elegant as all get out (jeeze you got class babe, I’ll never have what you have), but I find feminism to be too reductionist. I think it is a meta-narrative that has outlived much of its usefulness. Do you have any thoughts on that?

    Respectfully,
    MOU

  84. “I think it is a meta-narrative that has outlived much of its usefulness. Do you have any thoughts on that?” –MOU

    Holy sh*t, MOU-

    I’m still wrapped up in decoding “…but she is engaged in heuristic, ontological, and epistemological feminist praxis with the Holmes … and Dave…” you wield a mean PhD when you want to.

    Didn’t mean to imply that I was an advocate of feminism. (Some pretty big-name feminists have touted “feminism” as simply a way to care about all humanity by honoring women and children as equals.) I was just trying to put a label on what I perceived to be Aristophanes sympathy for the “alcoholic, sex-crazed, unreliable” females of his day–even if he did serve up their behavior as comedy.

    And on the class issue, listen, girlfriend, you have as much class as anybody. You just have to claim it and make it yours if that’s what you want.

    Must run…. more on men and women tomorrow.

  85. You’re right, Dave, gay people can never claim true equality until their divorce rate is the same as vanilla-types.

  86. MOU, I really wasn’t making a serious stab at philosophical insight… just slinging some hash with dave. Through a knuckle dragging combination of heavy-handed analogies, repacked (and re-lubed) de-contextualized precepts, and reductivist bandaids, we’ll get this pig off the ground yet, boys! Besides, I don’t necessarily believe that anything is real anyway. ;-)

    But seriously, I’ll try to “book up” on-the-fly if that’s where the conversation goes. Your move/carry on.

  87. “I don’t necessarily believe that anything is real anyway.”

    And you don’t necessarily not believe that anything is real, anyway. You neither believe nor don’t believe. To force you to choose (belief/nonbelief) does not represent your position. Yet you grapple with the words to try to present yourself to us.

    For Nietzsche, the words get in the way. Without them we are toast. With them we are toast. What is a thing when we say it is real? If words were honest, everything would have it’s own individual name, each leaf, molecule, atom, subatomic particle, planet, the names would span infinity and nothing could be comprehended, we would be paralyzed naming everything(and then trying to remember them). But naming in classes and categories does violence to things (or more apt, the representations of things). By reducing them (naming them) we fail to apprehend them. Words are always biased, slanted, and incomplete. Words are lies.

    Nietzsche might say fossil fuel shortage is real. Or it is not real. Or it is neither, but something else. See what I mean?

    All of us are slaves to oil, living under the assumption we have mastered it. We have erred too far on the side of Apollo and Dionysus wants payback! Everything runs in cycles, forever, with so much built up, destruction time is way overdue.

    To be a slave or a master is to be enslaved and out of balance. The need for either is sickness. The Ubermench defies this structure, yet discussion of this structure (slave/master) helps to point at what Nietzsche really cannot say in his prison of words. Real freedom. Before the words, ideas, norms, laws, social hierarchy, and any other social structure you can regurgitate for this discussion, there is a way of apprehending…

    Words are social structure. What is there, before words?

    If everyone on earth were to really understand that and hold on to it, and defy it, all at the same time, there would be no need for rules or laws. No one would need to oppress or be oppressed because they are free. The Ubermench is no slavemaster, no oppressor. Hitler and Germany fucked up something fierce interpreting Nietzsche.

    Anytime Nietzsche or any of these deconstructionist types write, they are fucked. They privilege what they try to destroy.

    Nietzsche and Zen are quite compatible. All these trains of thought lead to the same place IMHCFO, even Christianity if it is done a certain way…

    Why is it a sin to say the “Unspeakable name of God?” And to worship idols? And why do we have a name for the unspeakable name of God and call it Yaweh? Christians are trying to drop the same message on us Nietzsche and many other thinkers (even L. Ron Hubbard, by god) have been trying to convey.

    But now I am edging on a discussion of religion so I will shut it down for tonight.

    I have peace with calling it love. I just have the damnedest time living it. Too much baggage in the words that run around in my mind that I take as “real.”

    Peace Holmezes.

  88. There are some people who believe there’s an explanation and a cure for this. How would women conduct themselves in a world that is not so completely patriarchal? How different would it be? Along those lines, perhaps you might be interested in Françoise d’Eaubonne and the views of modern ecofeminists like Vandana Shiva.

    ya, and what if we had never developed opposable thumbs?

  89. think Dave and Holmes have a flattened interpretation of Nietzsche. They have reified what Nietzsche intended to deconstruct. Nietzsche teaches us that the reification is the problem.

    with his rants against the church?

    N was nostolgic. he often reminds me of rush limbaugh, or amy goodman.

  90. Frankly, neither of those things came to mind. I would like to see Lysistrata–the Beardsley drawings attracted my attention 40 years ago.

    er, then why did you relate the play to the oppression of women in your previous post? so women were and simply oppressed victims? there is no “deeper” story? they played no part in thier own oppression? as “vitims” they had no control? none of these women had any idea of thier status with society and how that status might relate to other? just askin’.

  91. Besides, I don’t necessarily believe that anything is real anyway. ;-)

    now you’re talkin. absolute nihilism it is. end of problem. kinda like god an’ shit.

  92. If everyone on earth were to really understand that and hold on to it, and defy it, all at the same time, there would be no need for rules or laws. No one would need to oppress or be oppressed because they are free. The Ubermench is no slavemaster, no oppressor. Hitler and Germany fucked up something fierce interpreting Nietzsche.

    er, N just didn’t grok the second law. everything runs on entropy. all the words, nothing but rationalizations, in the world won’t change change that.

  93. You’re right, Dave, gay people can never claim true equality until their divorce rate is the same as vanilla-types.

    yes yarra.

  94. acctually, i probably shouldn’t imply that all words are “just” rationalizations. we appearantly need these words (acceptable social justifications) for our various societies to function as they do.

    also, there are various basic calls and signs that all social animals use.

  95. N was never troubled by empirism, from what i can determine anyway.

    and you say i’m a dreamer. but i’m not the only one….

  96. Dissonance (inclusive) is subject to interpretation. Your reality may vary.

    Please motivate through.

  97. Until the roll-out of a high grade form of telepathy for the masses, it looks like words/gestures/etc. will just have to do (if we may assume, for the sake of discussion, that social interaction is indispensable to long-term viable human existence, as well as integral to the infrastructure of the collective human organism as it exists under present conditions).

    Absolute nihilism… reminds me of that scene from “The Big Lebowski” when that woman is talking about her German boyfriend not minding because he’s a nihilist. Funny shit, that game of pretending nothing matters, or that you shouldn’t take anything personally. N rejected nihilism. Who who has any love of anything at all wouldn’t?

  98. Love aside, no time to ponder why anything exists at all (or even whether DC will agree to spinning) when it’s time to pay da bills.

    Nihilism: a cheap surrogate for good advisors when bold passivity is required; the ultimate act of throwing one’s hands into the air while purporting to deploy reason.

  99. Good Gawd, I seem to have made a wrong turn someplace and found myself stuck here in the middle of some Nietzsche-Zen-Nihilism discussion. So that’s another form of the N-word?

    Just a quick Y-turn manuver and I’ll be out of this cultural cul-de-sac soon enough. Carry on.

  100. Nihilism: a cheap surrogate for good advisors when bold passivity is required; the ultimate act of throwing one’s hands into the air while purporting to deploy reason.

    i don’t know. i’ve often thought that there are 2 brands of nihilism; absolute, nothing really exists; personal, it makes no difference.

    if nothing makes a difference, then you’re absolutely free to love or not love, hate or not hate, etc. it just dosen’t matter. want to shoot junk, ok. want be the president, that’s ok too, or not. want be a mass murderor, no problemo.

    i once got an A on a philosophy term paper, as if you couldn’t tell.

  101. Love aside, no time to ponder why anything exists at all (or even whether DC will agree to spinning) when it’s time to pay da bills.

    fuck dem bills. tell em yous a nihilist.

  102. dave, I’ve always pictured myself as Donald Duck driving about in these larger context discussions, somewhat perplexed and slurring my words, with lots of spittal. if that’s nihilistic, so be it.

  103. I would just like to add (on topic) that I listened to a Terry Gross / Fresh Air interview with (I forget his name, but he wrote) “Chain of Blame” about the subprime mess. Excellent 45 minutes.

    I know Nudge listens to NPR so there is a good chance she might have heard this (that’s like a double probable or something, I think you need to multiply the factors).

    That was the book I ventured into Borders to buy. You would think it would be there, since the guy did the interview today. But no.

    It’s not being published until October. WTF? What the Fuckkky Fuck Fuck !!! ?

    Does this say something about the publishing industry or NPR? whose bad skills are worse?

    Ironically I walked out of the store with a book. Guess what? I’m not making this up, but I just thought of it now. It is a book I heard about on NPR 4 months ago and have always wanted to get. Same story. Walked into bookstore 5 minutes after hearing about it. Not in print. not for 3 months.

    Is that irony or is that not irony? Whatever it is, it is not slick marketing. I don’t care what you say. But I’ll let DanaJ try to prove it is. It’s just fucking luck I had $20. I was ready to spend it on crack, too.

  104. “doom, you’re obviously a nihilist.”

    He took his family to Disneyland(world?). Mickey Mouse and shit. So he says. regardless, or iregardless, or whatever. And despite his name (or, err, in spite of) – not Mickey Mouse, DOOM.

    He has always exhibited wildly optimistic, funny vibes. Even during the whole 9/11 thing where he was THE ONLY ONE here taking a certain position.

    He has always been the most postiive force on CFN (a clusterfuck of vile, foul-mouthed, depressed, racist (not us), misogynistic (not us, again), doom-obsessed fear-mongers).

    Maybe I need to look up “nihilistic”, but Doom smells like flowers to me compared to the rest of you motherfuckers.

    I’m jus sayin.

    If Doom’s a nihilist, then Mickey’s one evil mouse… okay, well, I kind of get …, yeah, the wizard hat.

  105. Donald Duck. Yeah, I should have thought of that. Just read that. Probably should have read that first. JR, you idiot. I need a fucking secretary.

  106. MICKEY: Hey, Donald! He-he-he. It’s a beautiful morning to consider the possibility that “existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.”

    DONALD: (tossing SUV keys to Mickey): Shut the fuck up, and go park the car. (turning to Minnie) Interested in some meaningless, pointless, cheap sex with an angry spittle-spewing duck? I thought you were.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

  107. no, doom’s not nihilistic, not in my mind anyway. i was just fucking with him.

  108. i always kind of thought that cheap, meanigless, pointless, ocassionally angry, sex, especially if i happened to be wearing combat boots at the time, was one of the things that added meaning to life. have i been wrong all this time?

  109. that, and driving my hummer around the block until it runs out of gas and then punching a hole in my nieghbors gas tank so i could steal his gas, fill up the hummer and do it all over, trancendant.

  110. what adds meaning to your life, posting on the internet? pretty pathetic i’d say.

  111. Dave – this is your mission for todat ( I know, I’ve got the day off, so I had a couple beers) go fing OEO and bring himhere.

    Nudge and EE and Neietsche (N?) have had some trouble with crystal meth, abd they are tryinbg to chill. Plus, N is dead. N is dead, EE is goingcold turkey and I promised her somewild turkey if she stops hurling feces at the guards. Nudge swears that her problems are the resuylf of some internet addcition (I’m jus sayin).

    I can’t feel my lower jaw. But it’s a good “not feel”

    Keep posting good stuff. Bun n unn’s gvetting out soon and will beable to trake over.

  112. Keyboard trouble, JR? Or is it bad crack?

    Other than an aside about a radical feminist once telling me Mrs. Fetched was a whore because SHE chose to stay home with The Boy for a year or so, I really have nothing to add to the discussion.

  113. Nihilism? I prefer anarchy. No freeking centralization, be it government, religion, utilities, or food production. Pull everything down to local production, as much as possible.

    If life has no meaning, at least cooperating with your neighbors feels good and provides a reasonable substitute for meaning.

  114. That’s not nihilism. Why not go on a hunger strike? That would seem more ultimate nihilaciousness.

  115. Yeah, it’s true JR, I took the whole family to friggin’ Disneyland on Sunday. It was surreal in all senses of the word (assuming there are many senses to that word–I’m an illiterate moron).

    First, let me splain some thaings. I was born and spent the first 21 years of my life in SoCal. Disneyland opened in 1955. My first visit was in 1956 at the tender age of 6. It had very few of the “popular” rides, like the Matterhorn back then. The big deal in those days was the Adventureland jungle boat ride, the Mark Twain Mississippi river boat, the steam locomotive train the circles the park, various kiddie rides in Fantasyland (Mr. Toad’s wild ride was my fav), and the Chevron Autopia in Tomorrowland, ironically the only gasoline powered ride in the park other than the jungle boats. Well, they use diesel for the MT paddle wheel and for the locomotive, as they produce the steam a lot cleaner than their original coal-fired boilers.

    So, now we fast forward to Sunday, 6 July 2008 in the 21st Century. Our little 6 year old has added 52 years to his age and now has 13- and 10-year old boys in tow plus wife riding shotgun (do the math, late bloomers). There are many changes in both institutions, but let’s concentrate on Disneyland. The surrounding orange groves that gave Orange County its name are long gone, replaced with high-rise hotels, condos, convention centers, a ball park, and mixed low-rise restaurants, gas stations, etc. Parking lots are now in far-flung “satellite areas” surrounding “the land” and a huge parking garage has been erected, camouflaged as some cross between “nature ala Disney” and a WWII CD-bunker, like they had in the big German cities—note—needs antiaircraft guns on each corner of roof to be accurate.

    The rides have gotten better in the sense that they are more thrilling, but only a few stand out as entertaining in other than a fancy rollercoaster sense. Those that we visited in this category include The Pirates of the Caribbean (recently upgraded), The Haunted House, Walt’s last theme ride project, and Star Tours (made me nauseous, though). Amazingly, the Fantasyland Magic Kingdom castle has mysteriously shrunk in size, as has towering Matterhorn mountain, once so tall it was the first landmark seen upon arrival by freeway.

    My favorite ride was/is Space Mountain, a high-speed rollercoaster ride that takes place mostly in the dark with cool lighting effects. My two boys are major rollercoaster wusses, so I could not talk them into going on it. I even told them there was a good chance there would not be a second chance—just kidding, of course—NOT.

    So we stayed all day, with a break in the late PM at the hotel nearby. We had to stay for the fireworks display, at 9:30 PM, nightly during the summer. It is a superb fireworks display, with lasers and a brave girl on a wire with big wings posing as Tinkerbelle flying about the castle. As we awaited the big event, the crowd started to gather in front of the castle, becoming basically butt-to-butt. Moi begins to wonder about personal safety in such a crowd. Then, about 30 minutes prior, they begin to auto announce “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s program “Remember Dreams Come True” could be cancelled due to high upper-atmosphere winds. Your understanding is appreciated.” This is repeated every 5 minutes to the crowd, so moi begins mumbling “tonight’s program “Remember Dreams Come True”—NOT” to the rest of the family, preparing them for the big disappointment, Dr.Doom style.

    Well, five minutes before the big event, the announcer comes on with a GO! announcement and the crowd, relived, shouts out a cheer. Perhaps we were simply being manipulated, as there was no significant wind on the ground and the clouds were moving slowly.

    There’s moron, like how Tomorrowland seems stuck in the Present, and will perhaps soon be renamed Yesterdayland, but I’ll stop for now.

  116. Hey JR, this WSJ article must have been written just for you. Fuel economics of long haul jetliner routes.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121547453054734059.html

    Massive implications. Those new Boeing and Airbus super jets may be obsolete on arrival.

    “…flying 18 hours in one hop could double the cost of flying the same route with three stops. To fly far, a plane needs lots of fuel onboard, and to carry all that fuel, it needs even more fuel…”

    “With these flights, what you get is a flying tanker with a few people onboard,” said Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, chief executive of Air France-KLM SA, which doesn’t fly marathon routes.

  117. I arrived late for Nietzsche, so after a couple of beers I’ll add a thought. Mircea Eliade though that any opposition to religion was religious. This was from an interview somewhere around 1988 or so… That the framing of an anti-religious position against religion wound up returning to the original argument. Perhaps there is no escape from it without simply giving up. Is that religious?

    I’m not going to say that nothing matters, because we simply don’t know now do we? But, I will say that I believe that this world is our making, and that life will evolve with or without our consent.

    As I sat by the lake meditating for a bit, I like the colored swirlies, I made a deal. The deal involved a bird landing in front of me. Where’s my fucking bird, dammit? Is it that fucking hard? A friggin god damn bird. I hadn’t been drinking yet… So, I prepared to leave and a swarm of damn birds decide to make the rocks in front of me their frolicking playground. I was pissed… It’s like life is just fucking with me. It’s been weird, let me just say that much.

    Last year I decided that I was going to let life happen. This year hasn’t been easy, and it always involves women, but sadly not drugs and fire arms. I am returning. Hopefully yoga teacher training will do something to this fucking brain, like calm it down. Life happens. Nihilism aside, most religious thought, including Christianity by my reading, seems to give small regard to the shiny shit in our field of vision. It’s not that it doesn’t matter, it’s that it is not related to what does. Small difference perhaps, but a difference. If being a dick, here’s to you ErEO, is bad karma, it sorta matters. If me spattering the creme filled center on opposing walls is a sin, life matters.

    Tossing my ass out a window isn’t something I ponder too often. Life is a bitch, and I’ve had my set backs. Something tells me it does, to a point. Something also tells me that there is something of a determinism. A point. Perhaps not in a plotting the stars Eco point, or a point towards Mecca, or a Eliade “Eternal Return” point, but a basic anybody can get it point. Even Buddhism can be so “political.” But, interestingly the recent changes to the “path” have shaken the community. “Ever-present simplicity”…

    This guy is cool:
    http://groups.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=groups.groupProfile&groupID=102142211
    A friend of a friend, which makes him a friend I guess…

    “Nihiliciousness” I like that!

  118. Hey, Nick-

    Get a grip! We’re aiming for shamanism, you and me, remember?

    Take it from an old broad, when you’re younger, your brain is always moving a hundred miles an hour. After almost falling off the roof of a friend’s apartment north of Dupont Circle upon drinking a full bottle of some expensive liqueur, I quit drinking and started therapy.

    That lasted for about a year until June of 1980 when my mother came to DC for the first time to visit me and wound up going into cardiac arrest as we were headed to meet my therapist. She died of a coronary heart attack at the local hospital within the hour.

    On the first anniversary of her death, I quit drinking for good and did a volunteer outpatient treatment program that brought in some folks from AA to speak about their “experience, strength and hope” in “the program.” Never before or since have I felt a spiritual connection like that. Here was I–a young, skinny, lost white woman from the boonies–and the three speakers were all middle-aged African-Americans from “East of the River” (the ghetto)–the male of the trio having been in and out of jail during his “using” days.

    After about three years of sobriety, I couldn’t take my mind anymore–it was running 24/7/365–so I learned Transcendental Meditation and that was very helpful for a time. I got addicted to AA for a while and then Al Anon and then was in the vanguard of the Adult Children of Alcoholics phase here in DC and was spending all of my social time in meetings. (The upside is that I did learn how to be a very good extemporaneous public speaker!!)

    I think we are all seekers of one sort or another, and part of that seeking is finding community and being open to “love,” as MOU would say, whatever direction it comes from. It’s only in the last four or five years, as I struggle with letting both “good” and “bad” things fall away–including lifelong fears that have sharply limited my perspective–that I can ask, “what do I want?” at long last.

    Couple of bon mots from my journey:
    Anyone who tells you who and what your higher power is, is a leader and a liar. –Al Anon Pub

    “Life is difficult.” –M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

    So, Nickhiliciousness, let’s think about getting JR to set up the ZK School for Shamanism!

    P.S. You might want to check out this book if you haven’t already seen it: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

  119. That’s not nihilism. Why not go on a hunger strike? That would seem more ultimate nihilaciousness.

    er, but then i’d be hungry and loose weight and shit. since it makes absolutely no difference as to wether i kill myself or others, i choose them.

    this is the essence of nhilism. you must think deeply on this.

  120. If me spattering the creme filled center on opposing walls is a sin, life matters.

    but it’s not a sin, smatter away if you feel the urge. makes no difference.

  121. disney land is not fun. i don’t know how standing in line with a bunch of other sweaty assholes(i sweat a lot in crowds) can be considered fun.

  122. for the life of me, i can never figure why people keep the monkey in the cage and then complain cause the the fucking monkey is making all kinds a noise an shit.

    i guess it’s because that’s the only place that the monkey can get any food. so he has to stay in the cage and learn to meditate, poor monkey.

  123. EE,

    I read Flow some years ago. I like the idea of happiness not so much as some obliviousness to reality, but as an engagement in it, a playing with it.

    I’m a touch melodramatic, not that I haven’t engaged with the bright and happy or the dark and darker parts of life. Several years ago, I was doing so much yoga that I began to dream incredibly realistically. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if I were awake, besides the fact that dreams are weird. I thought I was going to die, and frankly didn’t care, nor did I want a damn thing from life, besides that stretch of mountain in St. Johns of course. I wouldn’t mind being back at that point.

    I try to strike a good balance between real life and inside my head. At the end, I alas only have that which is inside my head though.

  124. “A leader and a Liar.”

    Good quote, and I think that the leader/liar is a balance between the two. Reading Che, it is funny how he recognizes the contradictions. He recognized that he couldn’t be a leader, because he couldn’t get himself to believe in what he said. He was stuck being a cog. An important cog perhaps, but not the Castro of the revolution. Simply the icon.

    I just finished the part where he meets somebody on the side of a mountain who he cannot see, except for his four white incisors. Che speaks of the revolution; the stranger spoke of his [Che’s] sacrifice at the altar of the future. I find some sort of solace in people like this, as I was sadly designed for utter chaos.

  125. D,

    Aren’t we monkeys first? I’m not sure that channeling is necessary. Trancending the monkey never seems to be a long-term option.

  126. dave, I am a semi-pro disneyland attendee. first, get up early and be there when the park opens at 8 AM. one usually has until 12 noon to get to the better rides, which we prioritize based upon fun factor and logistics.

    PO seems to be having the pleasant effect of no moron eurotrash and asians crowding the place, only de locals which is now about 60% hispanic, 40% white trash. so, we literally walked onto Pirates, which can take up to an hour later in the day. they have a nice wait time feature now, in minutes, to guide you plus you can spend a bit moron and get a “fast track” to bypass all the trolls and SoCal riff raff standing in line. we didn’t even need that until the late PM.

    you would not have wanted to hang with us for the fireworks. the crowd was creepy, with lots of bumps and hits. most folks that run into moi get hurt. i know about ki and presently weigh in excess of 200 pounds. i used to play catcher in a very aggressive style. i hate crowds, too.

  127. “no moron eurotrash and asians crowding the place, only de locals which is now about 60% hispanic, 40% white trash”

    That’s interesting. The death-spiraling USD isn’t a sufficiently powerful incentive to overcome other factors, I guess. Those Disney fireworks are so loud, I can hear them, albeit faintly, even from where I live a significant distance away, north by northwest.

  128. yeah Holmes, you’d think the weak dollar would have them flocking here but i suspect it’s the high airfares and they’re hurting economically also. maybe not so for many Chindians, but they are not culturally inclined for our Disney crap. it has to be learned or indoctronated. the Japanese have swallowed it whole, but they simply are not here or coming to Hawaii in great numbers anymoron.

  129. EE… I tried letting my spirit monkey out for a dance the other day… bugger headed straight for the cash bar. I guess that says a lot about something.

  130. “I thought I was going to die, and frankly didn’t care, nor did I want a damn thing from life, besides that stretch of mountain in St. Johns of course. I wouldn’t mind being back at that point.” –Nicholas

    Nick-

    Funny you should mention St. Johns… very dear friends of mine who struck it quite rich in the 1990s took me along with them all over the Carribean and a few other places on family vacations. One place we went back to several times was Half Moon Bay on the north shore of Jamaica. On my last trip, I finally took some great photos of the view out of my second story room and have my favorite one stuck on my bathroom mirror. Anytime I look at it, I can whisk myself over the rainbow.

  131. Really fine rum is cheap in the US Virgin Islands. Jus sayin’.

    Believe it or no, I used to fly to St. Croix from Hawaii every year on business trips.

  132. Doom. Here in FL, Orlando and Disneyworld continue to be a popular destination for Europeans (esp. Brits), Canadians and South Americans. In fact, their wasteful recreational indulgences provide a substantial portion of our tax base, and this allows us to keep pace with Mississippi regarding quality of public schools and social services.

    I almost avoided Disney during my time living in FL. Then last year my luck ran out, as one of my daughters was bestowed with the privilege of being in the evening Disney parade, as a drum majorette. OK, fine. I was happy for her, and I can put up with anything I thought.

    Later I bit my tongue as forces beyond my control expanded the already nightmarish scenario of simply doing the parade, to – “lets make a day of it, this will be FUN” – and finally the dreaded – “well we might as well spend the weekend and see EVERYTHING.”

    I assure you, it took every fiber of my being to make it through that weekend. I was a good sport about the whole thing though, of course, but on the inside I kept churning over and over with the same burning question – if this is heaven, what must hell be like?

    Remus you mention the tea cups. I did the tea cups, twice. My daughters for some reason think it’s the funniest thing for me to be sitting there in one of those tea cups. Photos of me were taken, and later displayed, all at my expense of course. My own children.

  133. SB, I’ve been to Orlando twice on business, stayed in Coco Beach, visited the Cape NASA facilities twice, and managed to miss Disneyworld both times. My family cannot fathom how I could do this, but I found it both easy and pleasureable.

    So, I feel your pain. Friggn Tea Cups. Nausea city. I don’t even like to watch the victims on that ride.

  134. Ahh, cool, looks like there’s moron discussion here than over on CFN. Dear god, that Gunslinger character (is that Brandon fucking with us?) is onto some strange crap with that pixellated existence he’s promoting. Major ick. Like Second Life but worse.

  135. My guess is that he is not Monsieur Technocracy. Msr. was much more wholesome if you will and was polite albeit a bit too forward. Just my guess…

    I like Disney, Inc. as I like Rome, with a true admiration for the attention to detail and the recognition that the mouse needs to kick ass and ask questions later. How can one not admire this?

    My goodness CFN has fallen on hard times!

  136. “Dear god, that Gunslinger character (is that Brandon fucking with us?) is onto some strange crap with that pixellated existence he’s promoting. Major ick. Like Second Life but worse.’ –Nudge

    Um, Nudge… I would bet dollars to donuts that “Gunslinger” is our very own JR.

  137. A high-G tea cup ride with Uncle Remus became a right of passage and a family merit badge for the kids and adults alike. Pin ’em to the wall of the cup and listen to ’em wail. No quarter and good times.

    Whirled Made By Hand.

  138. Gunslinger is not me. I have said time and again, that I do not use sockpuppets on CFN. Maybe that was before your time.

    I can’t even keep myself off CFN, why would I use sockpuppets? Being on CFN isn’t fun anymore. I have my own blog. I have a second life trashing peak-oil frauds everywhere they exist. I have no need to moonlight on CFN.

    When I get to know Tipping better I’ll document my long list of sockies on TOD to her.

    I’m the King of Sockies, but I swear to you, I’ve never pulled one on CFN. I even try to avoid discussion of other obvious sockies. It takes one to know one.

    Gunslinger’s a pretty cool name, but Jesse James would be better. Plus, I attacked him about three weeks ago and showed how his video game shit was lame.

    I promise you and Tipping that anytime I branch out, I’ll alert you to my new identity.

    -Winston Churchill

  139. times square is as bad as disney land these days. how i long for the old days of open drug sales and hookers on 8’th avenue. at least it was interesting.

  140. Aren’t we monkeys first? I’m not sure that channeling is necessary. Trancending the monkey never seems to be a long-term option.

    calming the monkey in the cage. old budhist analogy and shit. product of the domesticated mind in my mind.

  141. Dave, I’m shutting off comments on this thread. Start posting them higher up. We need to keep rolling, Bro.

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