In which I argue with, or go beyond, quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, Walter Kaufmann, and Bertrand Russell. Plus movie review and Hemlock Club notes and the usual blather.
Dreams; books and movies; "hopefully"; Dickens and Camus quotes; Matrix: Resurrections; twitter quote; rewriting lessons.
Dreams; Microsoft woes; DVDs everywhere and nothing to watch; Harold Bloom dissed; Herbert Read; Walter Kaufmann's Tragedy and Philosophy; Cleese's book; best autobiographies; inheriting Pablo's cat.
Two ways to think about characters; Hesse's Steppenwolf; writers being silly; quotes from Graves & Hodge concluded; Dunst as Marie Antoinette; Nicolas Cage movies; Hemlock Club meeting and novel.
Sybil movie; two novels die and another is born; horror movie mistake; Hemlock Club meeting; possible philosophy discussion.
Working on a novel; Anna Faris & Scary Movies; Helen Vendler & Alexander Pope; Prison Diary dictation; Alan Watts & self-mastery; Bugsy Malone.
New commitment to writing; Walter Kaufmann; despair; disdain for E. M. Forster; Sideways, Augustine, and Scary Movie reviews; bored with Gestalt Therapy; self-mastery joke.
Movie reviews; Uzzell: Narrative Technique; "Finding Oliver" and subsequent events; melatonin; Kick Me; Cheetos; and "the usual gang of idiocy."
Ferlinghetti; It; mindfulness; Debby Ryan; testosterone, masturbation, perversion, impotence, Viagra, constipation, i.e., disgusting old age. Also, integrity. And Amazon sucks. 100 followers!
YouTube discoveries; Mayim Bialik; extended cognition; new novel & the coming doom; movie criticism strikes sparks; book idea; horror in India.
War; a poem; matter as empty space; disgust again; Fritz Perls on video; Hemlock Club mtg; Tao Te Ching; Thoreau; sick for days; In America & Nói DVDs; etc.
The following selection from my Prison Diary assumes that the reader is thoroughly familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s famous story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Material in brackets was added for the convenience of blog readers.
Reading Lolita, enjoying it but also by turns annoyed and bored. It’s a peculiar book, makes me think that Nabokov was so afraid of his theme that he was unable to handle it with complete freedom—though it is, in fact, franker than I remembered.
Even a schedule isn’t necessary; just a bookshelf. Each morning—mornings are best for this kind of work—take the book at the left, sit down with it, and go through it, either page-by-page or marker-by-marker (tape flags for target pages).
[Maslow's Motivation and Personality] provoked a lot of thought, though not necessarily anything earthshaking; I’ll have more to say when I type the quotes. It seemed to take a very long time. On 1/1/21 above I mention plodding through it, including having finished the first two chapters, so it took somewhat longer than three weeks.
Listened to a vital hour-long discussion with Chris Hedges, How Republicans, Democrats, and the Media Have Weakened US Democracy. We are doomed; the only thing Hedges could suggest is impossible to me: basically, shut it all down, take to the streets and create chaos. “Mass sustained civil disobedience” is how he expressed it.
Christmas day. I had thought about going out and hanging around on Union in the hope of seeing Mr. D and giving him a twenty. Now it occurs to me to invite him over, perhaps to watch a movie or ...
N came to the Hemlock Club today and we talked for four hours. I told him about “the friendly voice” idea and that I thought I might give it a try. The idea is that you publish an ad saying “A friendly voice” and your phone number, hoping to encourage lost souls to call you to talk, hopefully thus relieving some suffering in the world. I used to worry that this would become a burden, and that indeed could happen; but I am not required to answer every call, necessarily, and I can limit calls to fifteen minutes. I originally wanted to have a separate phone number for this, and perhaps I’ll do that, though it would be some expense. Possibly Craigslist...
... neuroses are essentially psychic bandages—how we unconsciously respond to hurt in order to prevent more hurt. But of course it is necessary eventually to get beyond that stage. This is a commonplace. Another valuable lesson is how to respond to verbal aggressions like criticism...
Watched Rashomon and Throne of Blood yesterday evening. Toshiro Mifune, who stars in both, seemed to me a pretty terrible actor: he false-laughs his way through the former, and yells all through the latter. Granted, his facial expressions are remarkable. Rashomon is very effective and seldom drags, even though I’ve seen it three or four times previously; the actress was good, though her crying was no more convincing than...