You Don’t Have Much Time Left

Just a few years from now, someone will put me in a shoe box and bury me in the back yard. In know, I know… tears will flow and all that. No matter, I accept this (the relatively short-term inevitability of my demise). It’s approximately the way singularity-free nature intended things.

You should be brightened to know, however, that the spirit of the various things that I represent will live on. People at war with themselves who fight and focus and learn and eventually break free from the shit that attempts to bind them: these are my people. They are the ones who, after I am gone, will continue — with me, in spirit — to walk the path of existential immediacy.

As noted by Tillich, interest, passion and indirect communication are qualities of the Existential thinker. Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, ed. Robert C. Kimball (Oxford University Press US, 1964), 91.

The thinking of the existential thinker *** aims to cut under the “subject-object distinction” and to reach the stratum of Being which Jaspers, for instance, calls the “Ursprung” or “Source.” But in order to penetrate to this stratum we must leave the sphere of “objective” things and pass through the corresponding “subject” inner experience, until we arrive at the immediate creative experience or “Source.” “ ‘Existence’ is something that can never become a mere object; it is the ‘Source’ whence springs my thinking and acting.” [quoting, Jaspers, Philosophie, I, 15.]

(Tillich 1964, 92) (Emphasis added.)

A person’s ability to get to or access the Source may or may not result in success as it is typically judged by the gage of industrial civilization (e.g., the mirthfully badged “money power respect” barometer), and it may or may not even provide entertainment value (“What is entertaining?” “That which does not bore, perhaps?”)

On the other hand, the ability to conjure the “immediate creative experience” at will, or at least with reasonable regularity, would probably not be an entirely bad thing. To some observers, such ability might even make a person appear to possess magical or preternatural powers. (Devilishly talented people are often admired, envied, feared, and hated, in turn, by less creative folks, but that’s another topic for another time.)

I sometimes think of the immediate creative experience as a form of attention generally cognizant of objects, but stripped of boundaries, including the objects, and free to go where it will.

Are some people compulsively driven to existential thinking and prone to experiencing anxiety if ordinary reality unduly impinges upon their seeking of immediate creative experiences? Yes, most certainly.

Perhaps this sort of compulsivity, if not already in place, could to some extent be learned with enough guidance and practice, although I’m not sure that I would wish such a condition upon anyone who wasn’t already at least partially fucked up. It’s hard enough to make a dollar in this world… even when you’re ostensibly normal.

There’s a component of instinct at play here as well. Great amounts of scholarly discussion regarding instinct and consciousness precede these humble musings. Nevertheless, and by way of providing a working definition, let’s say anything that strikes a person, as in a “gut feeling”, for example, is potentially from the realm of instinct. Sensations born of instinct are highly charismatic examples of things that unexpectedly flash into the consciousness, to either be paid attention to or be ignored (the latter, usually at one’s peril).

Viewed against a mosaic backdrop of existential thinking and instinct, as to certain endeavors, a relevant nexus is attention, whether the endeavor is, for example: sport, combat, negotiation, discussion, design, musical or theatrical performance, painting, writing, or even philosophizing or theorizing.

I may be compulsive, but I’m not going to get hung up on drawing distinctions between the objective and the subjective. (I’ll leave that to philosophy academics.) To where I’m going, I’m passing through that stuff anyway — with the intent of primarily paying attention to something else.

I’ve suggested that there seems to be a certain compulsivity (susceptibility?) that characterizes those inclined toward existential thought and curious to discover what they are capable of doing/accomplishing/experiencing in this existence. Thusly driven (for better or worse), existential thinkers tend to ask questions such as, “How long am I going to be able to do this before nature robs me of who I am?” I’ll tell you this much, dear readers, it’s not very much time at all, particularly if “doing this” means operating at an objectively (or relatively) high level of performance. The nature of your game also has a lot to do with how this question gets answered.

In the NBA, for example, most guards lose a half-step (in terms of speed) by the age of 32 or thereabouts. For most professional basketball players, the effective window of opportunity to achieve personal greatness usually spans less than a decade. This takes into account the several years typically required (after first entering the league) to increase the quality of one’s play to a world class competitive level and, on the other end of the career trajectory, the often several years prior to retirement when the player is no longer able to play as he could during his prime.

An excellent recent example of a guard playing — at a truly competitive level — years beyond the norm is John Stockton, 10-time NBA All-Star, who retired in 2003 at the age of 41. Michael Jordan, who won his final NBA Championship at the age of 35, once said, “The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace.” Sure, Your Airness, but the game of basketball (with its extreme and essentially inescapable physical requirements) has little need for those over 40.

As an aside and/or central point, existential strivers may wish to consider the following MJ quote, which I think tidily encapsulates aspects of focus, dedication, and the trajectory of greatness and how one might extend its duration: “To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate.”

Jordan also said, perhaps more profoundly, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

In the field of mathematics, Hadamard proposed that the roots of creativity “lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness.” Jacques Hadamard, preface to The Mathematician’s Mind: The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (Princeton University Press, 1996), xiii.

The popular image of mathematical insights striking young males with lightening bolt-like suddenness is iconic to be sure. Henri Poincaré, in his 1908 lecture at the Société de Psychologie in Paris, described such a “flash of genius” circumstance:

Just at this time I left Caen, where I was then living, to go on a geological excursion under the auspices of the school of mines. The changes of travel made me forget my mathematical work. Having reached Countances, we entered an omnibus to go some place or other. At the moment when I put my foot on the step the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used to define the Fuchsian functions were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry. I did not verify the idea; I should not have had time, as, upon taking my seat in the omnibus, I went on with a conversation already commenced, but I felt a perfect certainty. On my return to Caen, for conscience’s sake I verified the result at my leisure.

Yet it is clear that he had been thinking about the problem, and presumably attempting to solve it, before the epiphonous event. At some level, he expected to find a solution. And it found him.

Modernly, mathematicians who are making important discoveries are trending toward making such discoveries at older ages, even into their 40’s. It has been proposed, and this makes perfect sense to me, that today’s mathematicians need to learn more math than their predecessors had to and, therefore, it is not until a later in their lives that they become sufficiently learned to advance the state of their art over the ever-growing body or prior knowledge.

Preparation and laborious efforts at deduction, in the world of mathematics, arguably constitute a form of practice in preparation for a moment of illumination (when creativity is provided with an opportunity to deliver a solution). Few prima donnas, regardless of how “gifted” they are, can succeed without a proper environment initially nurturing their talent and then later dedicated practice.

The nature vs. nurture debate, as it relates to the virtues of practice, can be summarized in a few brief comments. There IS such a thing as congenital, innate or natural talent, whether precocious or otherwise. Some people will never be great at a particular endeavor no matter how much they practice at it (or attempt to). People with talent get better with practice. Although there can be a point of diminishing returns, generally the more ones practices the better he or she gets. People who suck at something or who lack drive are more likely to get discouraged and not practice in comparison with people whose efforts more rapidly yield performance gains or other dividends.

According to Ericsson et al., it has been observed that top musicians consistently underwent about ten years and 10,000 hours of practice in reaching the height of their virtuoso skill level. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363-406. And according to an oft-repeated Hollywood bromide, writers must first write a million words before they should expect to be ready for prime time.

Expert musicians and writers are not experts simply because they practice a lot; rather, it is because they possess particular and sufficient synergistically-acting abilities and traits that they are able to put in the hard work that it takes for a person even with their “god given” talents to perform at a superior level.

Practice is clearly a factor, ensuring that the tools of a particular craft can be deployed with sufficient skill or virtuosity, but the most creative (and therefore the most compelling) musicians and writers are also the best thinkers. Guys who can play guitar like Joe Satriani are effectively dime a dozen. It takes something extra to be a great songwriter or composer.

Similarly, with writing, there are armies of people who can churn out volumes of decently organized and grammatically correct text. The process of rendering prose that transports — gripping and carrying the reader to an impassioned or inspired state — is a kind of magic that most typists simply cannot deliver.

Whether the novel remains the standard by which literary achievement is judged, as 21st Century Schizoid Monkeys text-message their way bravely into a new and seemingly dumber world, is an open question. No less a literary luminary than Aldous Huxley once shirked most eloquently: “I remain sadly aware that I am not a born novelist, but some other kind of man of letters, possessing enough ingenuity to be able to simulate a novelist’s behaviour not too unconvincingly.” I believe (although I can’t find the quote) that Christopher Hitchens similarly commented that he is an essayist because the talents required to competently write novels are beyond him and analogous to those possessed by composers of music. Rarified air indeed.

Until what time in life might writers and composers reasonably expect to be able to vitally and relevantly practice their respective crafts? Ludwig van Beethoven was around 54-years old when he completed Symphony No. 9, one of his greatest masterpieces. William Faulkner remained a literary force at least into his mid-50’s. These are merely two examples, but I believe that they are representative of the typical human experience in these fields and of potential predictive value (taken with the understanding that your mileage may vary) as to when a writer or composer may expect to see a marked personal diminishment in creative power.

The linchpin of many endeavors in life, including existential thinking and immediate creative experience, is attention. Immediacy is manifest! (On these points, I only hope that I have been sufficiently direct.)

Some say that pursuing immediate creative experiences to validate oneself or for any other purpose is pointless. Of course it is! And it’s as beautiful as catching a final glance at the shot clock, while breaking through a double team, and rearing up for a potentially game winning shot, released with all the purity of motion a lifetime of playing has taught you… just before time expires.

90 Replies to “You Don’t Have Much Time Left”

  1. This is a mighty ‘thought project’ you have launched bunn. You are covering a lot of ground here and I’d have to read it another time or two before I could say much. However, a quick shoot-from-the-hip reaction: As time goes on it becomes more and more challenging to manage ones pride, ego and insecurities, for one thing. Most of us suck at that and gradually develop tunnel vision, which reduces awareness and distorts our view of possibilities. Plus it seems nature must intend for us to transition from seeking our potential (in physical and creative abilities), over to roll of teacher, advisor, mentor and leader, etc. (and I’m talking in the truest sense of those rolls).

    Modern people have such high expectations for themselves. Lifelong self-obsession it seems. The process of sharing what you have learned with others so that they can have their day too, is in itself a continuation in developing your own knowledge and producing excellent results. Anotherwords, ultimately, helping others to achieve great things may be more of a success or accomplishment than having spent a whole life trying to accomplish it all yourself. And not to belabor it but I think our nature is that if you were good enough to make it to 40 years old, then the species would appreciate it if you shifted your focus to counseling the younger ones about what you learned along the way, rather than trying to make up for what you would have liked to have achieved in your youthful prime.

  2. Bif, well, yes and no. Youth has to be ready to learn, before they really do so. They take classes, but only get the outlines, not the meat. Later, they may recall that someone was attempting to teach them something, and then set about learning it on their own. That’s been my experience, mostly self-taught, with some rare exceptions, and going through the motions of college coursework and advising (being advised). So, I respectfully disagree, youth is wasted on it’s own, and that includes what society is trying to teach them, with exceptions, of course, those who end up doing the real work of society, the 20% that support the 80%.

  3. BB, screw greatness, you should be happy you’ve got carrots and lettuce to eat, and a nice metal cage over your head.

  4. Thanks, everyone, for your comments and thoughts.

    Dr. Doom, you’re definitely right that seeds don’t always immediately spring to life, even when cast upon the richest most fertile soil. Whenever I see a tree growing from some precarious place, such as the side of a rock cliff and then turning skyward, I think (@GB also), “Look at that sumbitch go! For that tree, this IS greatness.” GB, re: just being happy with this or that. Not quite my cup of tea, but it might be someday. I’ve gotta do my thing. Maybe it results in happiness or maybe it doesn’t.

    Bif, regarding the so-called downhill side of a person’s prime, yes, many people have much to offer as mentors, coaches, etc. I knew what I said about the NBA having no need for anyone over 40 would fire you up. ;-) Your comment about “continuation in developing your own knowledge and producing excellent results” says it all.

    “Modern people have such high expectations for themselves. Lifelong self-obsession it seems.” — Bif

    I’d like to agree with that… except it seems that many if not most monkeys are getting dumber, lazier and less ambitious, with perhaps the exception of desiring, even those of modest means, to acquire more and more stuff and expose their personal lives to the public (e.g., on the internet) to a greater extent.

    Dave, funny coincidence, I thought about putting a Rodman quote in my post. This one might have worked.

    “The one thing I do that nobody else does is jump three and four times for one rebound.”
    — Dennis Rodman

  5. BunnBunn,

    On this:

    “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363-406.

    Oddly, my husband and I have been on this topic this week because of self defense stuff we are involved in. Be careful what you practice. A cop practices disarming people with his wife, kid, and partner, over and over, programing it into his cells until he does not have to think about it any more. He gets them to point it, he quickly snatches it, and then he gives it back to them and they do it over and over.

    One day he rounds a corner at the store and there is a man with a gun. Quickly, as he has trained himself to do, he snatches the gun away before he can even think about it. And then he gives the gun back to the perp. His partner had to kill the guy.

    Be mindful what you practice because that is what you get better at.

  6. That’s a good one, MOU. I’ll bet the perp was so surprised to get his/her gun handed back there were a few moments for the partner to shoot him.

    OTOH, I’m not at all surprised this would happen. Have you ever noticed how when you’re driving a familiar route, say, unless you consciously decide to do something different, your unconscious mind will continue to take you on the “normal” route? I’ve taken the “wrong” offramp near UH many times when my conscious mind was not actively in system over-ride mode, as if the car had a mind of its own.

  7. Bunn-

    Dammit!! You faked me out again, you wacky wabbit. I read through your whole piece–thinking the entire time that JR had finally hit his stride–and was mightily impressed. When I came upon Doom’s comment, my world went topsy-turvy once more.


    DC has turned into your kind of town in preparation for Yobama’s inaugural. There are 327 porta-john’s (I counted them on my walk today) ringing the Reflecting Pool east of the Lincoln Memorial. No shit!

    A tribute to defecation. I’ll try to get some pix.

  8. And another thing, you need to add some illustrations to these posts. Even close-ups of your pellet piles would add some sorely needed color to your expose’. Ask dave, I’m sure he’ll agree.

  9. Bad government yes, but it could also be argued that it’s not just government at work here, but rather an increasingly perverse alignment of government and corporate interests.

  10. “327? dosen’t seem like nearly enough …”

    That’s around the Reflecting Pool ONLY and it’s just for the tourists. The regulars are heading for the hills or are staying in their bunkers. My Squirrel-PAC is gonna have a collective seizure.

  11. –The Fate of Uncle Remus–

    Not sure where to post this on ZK, and I’m hoping UR won’t mind my doing so here, but the content of this recent e-mail is both explanatory and a warning for the rest of us. You could call UR an early enlightened one.

    “The UR site is gone and I am not posting with that sock puppet any longer or much anywhere anymore under any sock. It (the UR site) served it’s purpose (confirming I need to stick to my day job) and I have serious work to do exclusive of blogging. I lurk as time and access allow.

    CFN has become parody and ZK is in danger of becoming an indulgence of perceived vanities.

    A sincere thank you for your posts but more importantly for your own efforts in getting the word out regarding our global predicament.

    I have an out-of-office droid responder on this account, but I do check it on occasion.

    As the skies darken, I will think of you and yours – be safe.

    Thanks again Dr.


  12. Hey bunn, can you or have you ever dunked a basketball? Just asking. I tried but never did.

    You have a wonderful gift for words, and you seem to still have a lot of fire left. Therefore, I recommend you embark on a writing project. Essays, short stories, novel, whatever.

    Even if you don’t ever get it published, its something you can share with family and friends, and leave behind someday. Years from now people will goof on it.

    “Now THERE was a rabbit”, the old timers will say.

  13. Oh, please, everybody that has ever been hit and hit hard playing a real sport like lacrosse and then quit after junior varsity knows basketball is for posers like Chucky Barkley.

    Seriously though, I think Bunn’s use of basketball was more a stand-in for all sports.

    Reading and writing skills are much more important and harder to master. I should get some since this is obviously the point YOU are trying to make. Cheers.

    I’ll add simple math skills as well.

  14. @Donovan –

    This may just be my over-active imagination, but I swear I’m noticing some similarities between some of the things you post here and those that a certain “Howard Beale” posts on CFN. If this is the case, I can only say “Welcome.”

    I’ve admired your work for some time. Ask anybody. At one point I was convinced it was Holmes, but after two interrogations (one involving a car battery) I’m equally convinced Beale is not Holmes.

    BunnBunn is still to this day convinced I am Brandon. I can do nothing to dissuade him. Brandon is outta my league like novelists were apparently to Hitchens.

  15. Scroll through the CFN commentary for today, Monday. You will find one (1) solitary comment there that does not concern the Bullshit Hamas-Israel-Palestine-Nazi-Jews-vs-Arab-Islamic-terrorist-haters. It will be my single comment, lost in the ozone.

  16. I read it (at the time). What does that have to do with the 3 Rs? Okay. Okay. I’ll go back and read it again.

    Posted by: Dr.Doom | January 12, 2009 at 02:12 PM

    Still confused. You know how much I can’t stand Heinberg. That’s Okay. I’ve got one that I’m sure will piss off Yarra, but I’ve got to get his take.

  17. I happen to agree with and support Bud4 in one of the rare events in history, and what does he do? He ignores me.

    Life’s a bitch, then you die. Just ask the rabbit.

  18. God zapped those poor pirates, just like that priest playing the perfect game in the storm in Groundhog’s Day. Misses par on the eighteenth hole, curses his maker with arms stretched skyward, and boob, zap, he’s gone. Just like that, daddy-O.

    Don’t tell me you don’t see the Biblical connotations.

  19. Hirsch = hard working, highly intelligent, straight shooting former federal worker, now with SAIC. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    Heinberg = liberal arts college professor. Writes and lectures for money on the side. Not well grounded scientifically, but a good writer. Less respect there, for sure.

    Doom? I don’t write my own reviews.

  20. “priest playing the perfect game in the storm in Groundhog’s Day”

    CaddyShack. Both Bill Murray. Easy mistake.

    Caddyshack – much better in my opinion.

  21. If it involves floods, drowning, lightening strikes, droughts, failed crops and starvation, chances are, God’s behind it and you’ve been naughty.

  22. Did I just see you write that?


    The same SAIC I own stock in?

    SAIC? Are you sure?

    I know who you are. Heinberg is still a douche.

  23. Damn, it was indeed Caddyshack. We were just watching it the other day. It was on the Golf Channel, and they proclaimed it the best golf movie of all time. No foolin.

  24. Science Applications International Corporation. I know some of these dudes, we rub shoulders in “techno real life”. They are good.

    Professional courtesy restricts my saying anything overtly negative about my colleague, Professor Heinberg.

  25. Stock Ticker SAI. Same one?

    $19 a share.

    If it is – very bad news for Hirsch.


    Why do I always have to break this news to you guys?

    SAI is 10 times worse than Halliburton. It’s the conspiracy Savinar has wet his pants about for the last 10 years. The connections are phenomenal. Except Savinar could never manage to find it. Douchebag.

    It’s the only reason I own the stock. Consequently it has gone nowhere. The mosty stable thing on the planet the last 3 years.

    Doom, I love you, and I’ll back you when you least expect it and when you need help, but I ever see you post anything about Jeff Brown again, you can consider that the end of our relationship.

  26. LIke I said, I own stock. My opinion was formed well before that point. Guilty. But American Guilty. Not Madoff Guilty…. Awwee, who really cares. It’s sooo fun.

  27. “Perhaps this sort of compulsivity, if not already in place, could to some extent be learned with enough guidance and practice”

    Wouldst thou be a god by choice?

    Excellent thoughts, you’ve touched on sphaerics without mentioning it, too.

    more to follow…

  28. I knew you would not like that, but in my defense, I just cut and pasted it from a recent Jay Hanson email to me and colleagues and was just trying to educate dale a little, which I know is hopeless, so yeah, I was a douche for doing that. Maybe I was hoping you wouldn’t see it?

    I was not trying to endorse Jeff Brown, but you might want to check one of his newer figures there on his site (probably not his) of price vs. production. It is interesting.

  29. “Damn, it was indeed Caddyshack. We were just watching it the other day. It was on the Golf Channel, and they proclaimed it the best golf movie of all time. No foolin.”

    We make a great team. You know Science Squads like I know Comedy Blockbusters. Now how can we meld these two talents into the next Peanut Butter Cup?

    It is the best Golf Movie of all time. There are no others. Cept for the Three Stooges

  30. My ten cents on SAIC: they operate like a shadow government. I think you know that. They take care of certain things the government won’t or can no longer do, say by loss of good employees (to SAIC). Like, Hirsch.

  31. No, I’m not. I haven’t studied the numbers on the company lately. If it did tank, I’d blame it on you, and you would likely be dead before the week was out. Be careful what you say. Make sure you understand what SAI is.

  32. Thanks, Uncle Yarra.

    Yeah, whenever I hear someone saying “It is axiomatic that _________”, I start looking around to see where I left the duct tape.

  33. but can infinite porta potties contain the shit produced in dc, or hollywood for that matter? i’ve always thought that there’s some kind of secret underground tunnel, maybe a pipeline, between the them. mike ruppert would know. but even he’s not sayin’.

  34. Remus is basically a cross between Zappa and McGyver, which covers all the bases, so he’ll be fine. He will swing by again, or I hope so anyway.

  35. Cadyshack was my first parental approved R rated movie. I have it on DVD. I am also banned from using any Bill Murray lines from the movie around the wife. She banned them about 10 years 18 years ago. We been living together for 19 years.

    All I am saying is if someone is judging this as the greatest Golf movie then golf movies suck. And they do other then Caddyshack.

    Oh and those Natives or Injuns from last weeks Cluster thread are the Fremonts and Zunis who the Mormans tried to kill off.

    Kick ass DC 10 video from the Humbolt fire. DC10 is at about 2:10

  36. The infinite porta-potty problem. Say you have an infinite number of porta-potties. But, being located in DC, they are all occupied, and each has an infinite line of ‘customers’ waiting. You gotta go bad! What to do?

    solution below: translate here:

    nfx gur yvar jnvgvat ng gur svefg cbegn-cbggl gb zbir gb gur arkg cbggl. Gryy gur jnvgvat yvar ng gur svefg cbggl gb nfx gung yvar ng gur frpbaq cbggl gb zbir gb gur guveq cbggl, naq gur 3eq yvar gb zbir gb gur 4gu cbggl, rgp., rgp. Fb gur svefg yvar zbirf gb gur frpbaq cbggl, gur frpbaq yvar gb gur guveq cbggl, naq gur guveq yvar gb gur 4gu cbggl, nq vasvavghz, qbja gur yvar. Nf fbba nf gur svefg cbggl orpbzrf inpnag, gurer lbh tb.

  37. I can understand how the introduction of mathematicians into finance fucked things up, with their ‘models’, and theories and such.

  38. An infinite number of porta-loos would take an infinite time to shuffle the queues across.
    (Sorry, haven’t started drinking yet…)

  39. Not if the queues down the line saw what was happening, and began shfting at an increasingly rapid rate. Anyways, you are only concerned with the time for the first queue to shift.

    (Not to be an assymptote about it….)

  40. “Some say that pursuing immediate creative experiences to validate oneself or for any other purpose is pointless.”
    What about increasing biodiversity (and the mass of the biosphere) ?
    That seems to be worthwhile to me, as long as one remembers that ego shouldn’t be the driver and that (like bunnbunn & Keynes say, in the end we’re all dead/shoebox filling)

  41. P.S. I hate you, youou youou, you, I-hate-you! [sung to the tune of the Beatles]

    “I would love to cover you in spaghetti you egotistical prick.


    P.S. i hate you

    [note by jhk: this idiot started a yahoo account using my name, only spelled slightly wrong:

    Heh, there is some seriously funny shit posted under Jim’s hate mail section this week. Wonder why….?

  42. Naw, they are all too precious. Go read them. I liked the next to last one (so far) which I posted excerpts from. “P.S. I hate you!” No, really?

    BTW, Jim has gotten hate mail in the past and has posted it on his site. This is just the latest round, and it seems more intense, mainly because (a) the hostilities are ongoing and increasing and (b) Israel is winning, unlike last time with Hezbola in Lebanon. Everyone knows Israel has the stronger hand (deh), so it’s reverse David and Goliath, and the crowds hate the bigger force, regardless of “apparent” justification. Recall, Georgia vs. Russia last year.

  43. “Most hate mail is hilarious because people that write hate-mail don’t know they are unwitting comedians?” Correct.

  44. “Yeah. Maybe you and Nudge should go back and un-block Johnny Rico from the CFN filters.”

    That’s a thought. You ARE one of his biggest supporters, despite your critical nature. I mean, at least your sorta democratic and fair in dispersing it. I say sorta because you have your favorites, like me, asshole.

    Yes, it is indeed ironic that you support the man you had you banned. At least that’s what we think happened. What was OEO’s role, if any?

    Gotta make some time to read Taleb’s Black Swan.

    Meanwhile, the clock ticks.

  45. Here’s what I think. Just about everyone thinks OEO is a troll on CFN. Bullshit. OEO is Jim’s laid-back, lazy fairy “moderator”. That is, what you see is OEO attempting to moderate CFN in is own “fucktard, moron” manner. Let’s face it, the site is crawling with zombies and retards, like dale, Cymon Dendu or Bob Snowjob.

  46. “I only entertain the truth with active editors which requires 800 words per month and no whining.” That’s me asshole, so sign me up!

  47. Operational whatever. Jim’s comment about partying at the creamy nougat center with charged thermafrodites was the funniest thing I seen all day.

  48. Actually, no, OEO predates me, I think, as does Nudge. I don’t know how long asoka has been posting on CFN, but I believe he predates me, also.

    No, you are not a troll, and neither is OEO. I think the operable words with OEO on CFN as moderator are “de facto”. You fill that role, or have done so in the past, as well. Sometimes Nudge and I tag team the really obnoxious trolls, like Patrick, PeakLife, and that Jesus-lover demento, whose handle I’ve forgotten. Hell, even Holmes used to police the blog, in the old daz before he gave it up.

  49. I’ll have a surprise post for you on Friday, concerning a meeting of uber-doomers I’ve arranged in Hawaii with a special guest, internationally- famous uber-doomer. (I’ll try to get a picture, but no promises there–he may object.)

    DoomFest 2009! Another ZK Exclusive brought to you by:

    –Associate Instigator Doom

  50. Bunn-

    Alas, I searched far and wide to find a clip of the Viking Funeral scene from the 1981 Blake Edwards movie, S.O.B., and crashed my hard drive on the Barnes and Noble website last night.

    If you haven’t seen S.O.B., it’s worth it for that scene alone.

    The next best thing I could find was this scene from “The Vikings,” a 1958 Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Janet Lee vehicle.

    I can picture Nudge, me and MOU out there with bows and flaming arrows on the shores of the Pacific sending you off in style. You deserve nothing less.

  51. The best part of the Vikings movie was when Kirk jumped into the pit with the hungry wolves. I assume they were wolves, and not just hungry fans trying to get his autograph. They make the same sounds, and they didn’t really show them down there.

    EE, I saw that movie with my pals in the old Granada Theater (Fox) in what, 1960?

  52. I saw The Vikings on DVD a few years ago. Good movie. I just couldn’t believe how blatantly John Williams ripped off, err… I mean was inspired by Mario Nascimbene in composing the music for Star Wars.

    EE, did you notice in the news how people in other countries are making such a giant deal about the preparations and costs for our Inauguration Day? Also, it appears that the burning of Obama pictures has already started in some parts of the world. So much for the honeymoon. Damned foreign savages have no respect for anything.


    The demonstrators, waving Palestinian flags, some chanting “Death to Obama”, had gathered outside the Swiss embassy which handles US interests because Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties for nearly three decades.

    If Obama woulda just shut his mouth about EVERYTHING from the time he was elected to being sworn in (except for cabinet appointments and such things), maybe he wouldn’t look like such a foreign policy douche right now.

  54. Yeah, Doom. It’s been in the mid-80’s here in L.A. all week. Girls always seem to know what the weather is going to be, and I have observed that they are remarkably adroit at modulating the amount of clothing worn to avoid overheating. Thank you, Santa Ana.

  55. You know, it may have happened, a Black Swan or “who would thought?” thaing right here on ZK. JR, who was banned from CFN (iffn trouble maker, that one, if you ask me*) starts his own blog “as an accident” or so he says. He invites a few of his on-line CFN friends to come over and contribute. They do, and they invite their friends, etc. Known trolls, morons and zombies do not even bother to apply.

    Meanwhile, Jim Kunstler, with a throwaway line in a blog post two weeks ago, gets hammered on his geopolitical views and then devotes an entire blog post to this event, digging himself further in the hole. Now his CFN commentary is in ashes (read: an ongoing OEO fucktard fest) and his national and international reputation as an unbiased critic and leader in future societal directions is being questioned, at least by some of his harsher “critics”.

    So, here it is, ZK, a much more colorful and enlightened place that people can turn to like a soup kitchen in hard times, a shelter from the cold geopolitical storms brewing without, an oasis of reason and entertainment, a virtual sanctuary. Little ZK, the JR and friends blog. Nice turn of events. Too bad about JHK, though. Hope things start to look up for him soon.

    *Just kidding, lighten up dude, “why so serious, son?”

  56. Maybe ZK should sell CFN dart boards (with a smiling Jim on each one). $100. Maybe hire Dave’s daughter as business manager. We could make millions.

  57. “Let me ask you this – if you could have foreseen CDs and MP3s, would you have done it?”
    yes & no.
    No, I wouldn’t have used shitty compact cassettes.
    Yes, I would have bought some mother fuckin cream analogue gear (preferably tube) cheap and kept the music in a better format.

  58. Bunn, prime paragraph on nature versus nurture and liked the peaking stuff on talent and ability particularly at a later age due to disciplines becoming more complex.

    Just can’t get into Jim’s post this week – it’s the Bob and OEO show – better luck next week Jim, perhaps he’s just buggered.

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