Author Befuddled: Diary 10/1 to 10/5/21

Sophie’s World dissed; Collected Notes; new priorities; Tariq Ali; “best joke ever”; Saw franchise; baffled by Quine; “old man confusion”

Author Befuddled

Copyright (text only) 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{10/1/21}  Weight 214.0 at 5:30 am.

{10/2/21}  Weight 212.6 at 5:35 am.

Started reading Jostein Gaarder:  Sophie’s World:  A Novel About the History of Philosophy.  I had been thinking, “How unlikely a bestseller.”  But having seen how boring and uninvolving it is, I’m completely baffled and somewhat encouraged that one can be boring about philosophy and yet have an enviable success—encouraged because that’s pretty much what I expect the Hemlock Club Novel to be (at the worst).  I’ve ordered a book, What Would Nietzsche Do?, in the hope of using it in the novel.

Sophie’s World starts its boring essays about philosophy with questions, and I suppose that’s what one wants to encourage in the reader; but what’s needed is not vague mumblings (I exaggerate), but blood-and-guts discussions, disagreements, conflict!  There is no conflict in this book, at least as far as page nineteen (the pages are large, the print tiny).  There is a mystery—who is delivering these messages?—but “who dun it” is a question about which I care very little, having seen too many cheap mysteries where the guilty party is essentially chosen at random by the author.  And, alas, Sophie herself is a complete tool of the author, being enthralled by questions like these:

  • Who are you?
  • How was the Earth created?
  • Is there any will or meaning behind what happens?
  • Most important, how ought we to live?

The questions are okay, but colorless characters are not.  We’ll see how it goes.  The next chapter is about myths, which makes my heart sink—but if you are adopting a historical approach, it makes some sense.

’Course, maybe I’m just jealous and want to sneer at what I can’t do.  Which is a pro forma questioning of myself—I don’t believe a word of it.

Hemlock Club today marks the return of founding member.

{10/3/21}  Weight 212.8 at 7:00 am.

An hour and fifteen minutes on Twitter, what a lousy way to start the day.

{10/4/21}  Weight 213.0 at 4:50 am.

Morning thoughts:  “…naught but bitterness” and “…curses, not loud but deep.”  Good ol’ Will Shakespeare.

Seeing what I wrote here yesterday, what can I do differently today?  One thing would be to deal with (i.e., type up) these post-it notes that litter my desk.  So…

Collected Notes:

Imagine watching The Simpsons, starting with the funniest episode you’ve ever seen, and each subsequent episode is funnier than the last. And you can’t turn off the TV. Heaven or hell?

Maggie as the AntiChrist with the mark of the beast—not Mickey Mouse, Flanders killed twice. [?] Moe reincarnated as Maggie says, “Midge, I’m very thirsty.”  “Treehouse of Horror XXX”—episode 666.

[New priorities] Writers of Kern, agent; HC novel & podcast; Bleak Philosophy; Prison Diary: type, reread, index; Blog: podcast, Prison Diary, Van Vogt pages, Kick Me

Erika Wilma Gaboney:  8/16/1919—6/16/2002; Charles Anthony Gaboney: 11/10/22—2/3/13 [my mother and stepfather]

Owning my ugly.

John Lyly as source of “Euphues” (hence “euphuistic”)

If I knew that KM would cost me my son or my life, would I still go ahead? [Yes?]

Tariq Ali:  “Ten trillion/yr; American hospice; woke hysteria; racketeering in medicine & education; society pervasively dishonest”—apparently a diagnosis of U.S.

Tell me the truth you think I don’t want to hear.

“Pillipaw” from a dream 12/15/20

Best joke ever:  Marge has amnesia, doesn’t recognize family; Homer grabs Dr. Hibbert and says, “You monster!  What have you done to my face?”

Sexual assault = soul murder

I may be sesquipedalian, but I’m not pedantic.

Prevagen:  check it out

Are you increasing your understanding by “choosing to believe”?  By reading The Isaiah Effect?

Edward Fingeret [?]

The world ruined by those who think you can never be too rich, too thin, or too frivolous.

“No case is typical.  You should not expect to experience these results.”  [TV ads]

Freedom from Religion Foundation: 800-335-4021

Ulysses not written for me.

The cultures and subcultures most in thrall to religion are also the most repressive. [Source unknown, maybe me; But isn’t “repressive” part of how we decide who are “most in thrall”?]

He would rather meditate than think.

“Pontifications”:  Write aphorisms—check A-List—cull from diary into categories, subjects.  Clever titles for subjects?  Aren’t these always dull, even Nietzsche’s?

Endless struggle for self-mastery! and avoidance of “pain.”

My thoughts are more vile than you can probably imagine.

Review Q&C—Bly, Nin.

I’ve never been called an asshole!

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230 (pi, from memory)

2.718281828459045 (e, from memory)

[End of Collected Notes]

{10/5/21}  Weight 212.8 at 6:00 am.

Watched several movies in the Saw franchise and enjoyed them more than they deserved.  I previously had a set of DVDs, but nothing looked familiar until the last, Jigsaw.  Perhaps after such a thing it’s not surprising that this morning I had a dream so disgusting that I’m not going to describe it, but it did not involve blood.

From a post-it:  Reality is a muddle; human actions are simple.  I would now add, human thoughts are simple, which I think is more to the point.

Reading Quine’s Word and Object but I’ve gotten stalled on two long, difficult paragraphs on pages 26-27 because I can’t make sense of them, the text is so jargony.

An “old man confusion” yesterday:  I saw in my calendar that it was the day that Australia adjusts their daylight savings time, but I misunderstood it and adjusted my wall clock an hour back, then spent the rest of the day wondering why DirecTV hadn’t corrected theirs, and why Chris Hayes was on at 4:00 instead of 5:00.  Absurdly, I looked at my cell phone and thought that it had been adjusted, whereas this morning, of course, I find that it’s on the correct time.

Copyright (text only) 2021 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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