Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Reflections, Movie Recommendations, Bitter Musings and more


Here’s an entertaining 2 minute rant from British impressionist Alistair McGowan on the annoying cult of children that prevails in the UK. As someone who has the misfortune to live in London, I can only give him the big thumbs-up!



There may sometimes arise debate as to whether the Internet is overall a good or a bad thing; it can facilitate all sorts of horrors such as terrorism, paedophilia, financial scams etc., but one of the undeniably good things about it in my opinion is the fact that it gives a voice to the previously voiceless, particularly those who want to express their misery and sheer unhappiness at being alive. Prior to the Net, the print media was dominated by official and professional optimists, whose main function was to cheerlead for society and existence in general.  Bar a few tolerated cultural and literary pessimists like Leopardi and Schopenhauer (whose real message was often pushed to the side and focus was instead given to their ‘style’), the main message of the media was, to borrow that awful UK phrase, ‘it’s all good’. Now thanks to electronic communication we can see that not everyone buys into the propaganda. Here’s an excellent example from The Experience Project: ‘I Wish I Was Never Born’:




Procreating atheists never fail to dismay me, particularly when they show an awareness of the awfulness of everything. My favourite example is the literary critic James Wood, whose writings I really enjoy, admire and recommend. In his brilliant book on literature and God The Broken Estate Woods writes about his worldview after losing his faith:

“True atheism understands the negative obligations of the revolution it has begun. My own position might be summarised thus: I can see no way in which it is a good thing for humans to have accidentally and pointlessly evolved on an earth which they must inhabit (irrespective of my own happiness). Life-under-God seems a pointless posing as a purpose (the purpose, presumably, being to love God and to be loved in return); life-without-God seems to me also a pointless posing as a purpose (jobs, family, sex and so on – all the usual distractions). The advantage, if it can be described as one, of living in the latter state, without God, is that the false purpose has at least been invented by man and one can strip it away to reveal the actual pointlessness.”

I agree with every word of this, as I daresay many regulars here would. And yet, what has the good James done in the years after writing these sage words? Had two children! I mean, how can you see the truth so clearly and yet do that? I can only assume his partner must be very hot indeed. Nature triumphs over reason yet again....


If you’re looking for a bleak-as-hell movie that reflects the grim awfulness and banal nothingness of existence, then look no further than Bruno Dumont’s 1999 movie L’humanite, a film that revolves around a child-killing and the helplessness of an innocent, child-like police investigator. Highly recommended:




Feeling extremely sick of everything at pleasant. This life is utterly pointless, no ifs, no buts and all excuses trotted out to the contrary are nothing but self-deluded, blah, blah, blah, self-justificatory nonsense. It would have been better never to have been born and suicide seems to be the only logical response. We are hanging around here for no good reason, bar habit, laziness, hedonic addiction, a guilt-inducing desire to not let others down and so on and so on. And all the while Time is eating us alive anyway.  Let’s not kid ourselves that there’s anything intrinsically good about the situation in which we find ourselves.


Why do angels have wings?

To get the fuck off this planet.



116 comments:

  1. A note about something you said in your last paragraph, Karl...I wonder how many are hanging around to spare loved ones the agony our suicides would cause. It's a huge factor in my own reticence.

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    1. Thanks, Unknown. I also wonder how many people do not commit suicide because they are so alone and isolated that the thought of killing themselves and no one caring is worse than life itself. Then if they do become connected, the possibility of causing grief to friends by committing suicide might paralyse them. Another of life's horrible ironies!

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    2. I often feel like killing myself because no one reads my books... but yes, killing myself without ever having been read actually often DOES sound worse than dragging on this way.

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    3. But to reply to your central point: yeah, I guess the hot spouse/grandparents/etc have some pull? Enough to push an intelligent person into a tragic condition of doublethink? Mind-bending. You would think there would be no examples of female proto-antinatalists succumbing thus, since there's also the deterrent of 9 months of pregnancy and (shudder) labor, but our minds are such quagmires I'm sure there are... oh god, what if you woke up and realized DURING CHILDBIRTH what a terrible thing you were doing?

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    4. Maybe that realisation accounts for some of the screams....

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  2. Wow great post, thank you Karl for those links (especially the experienceproject!).

    I just recently watched a Sopranos Episode, and Carmela visits France. She visits some historical sites and says something quite surprising :"

    "This city is so old, you think all about all the people who have lived here, generation after generation, hundreds and hundreds of years, all those lives. God it's so sad. I mean it isn't sad, i don't know it just makes you think, just makes you look at yourself differently."

    ....She starts to sob

    "We worry so much, sometimes it feels like that's all we do. But in the end it just gets washed away. All of it...it just get washed away."(she breaks down crying).

    That's how i feel, all the drama, all the pain and even the good times are so pointless. Especially family, it's like a neverending circle of hurt,make up, hurt, make up, hurt,make up...what's the point? Shadow made a great post about this one,(how the aunts were taking care of his disabled uncle i think) how we hurt those close to us..it's like inevitable. I personally HATE IT, HATE THE GAME. I wish i could seperate myself from them but i couldn't live with that decision. Damn you guilt! It's the same for friends,lovers, whatever..it's all the same, all bullshit.

    As for "against existence" heroes, yeah i was always VERY disappointed when i hear they procreated. It's like it didn't matter what they said, that image i have of them fades away (example: Cormac McCarthy).

    On suicide, i am more the waiting to die type, i'm afraid my survival instincts will kick in and leave me worse off than before (nembutal or some cocktails,bricks are the best way to do it) and also the guilt thing, it would destroy my mother and have a great negative impact on my siblings even my nephews/nieces. Natural/accidental death is fair game, so i'm VERY self destructive and i embrace it.

    Take care Carl, i'm gonna check out that movie^^

    (Oh and Shadow if you read this, congratulations on your new book!! I couldn't comment anonymous on your blog, anyways i'm patiently awaiting the english translation:)

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    1. *Karl, (no idea why i did the C lol)

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    2. KaBoem,

      Thanks man! Great comment, always nice to hear from fellow antinatalists from time to time!

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    3. Thanks for the comment, KaBoem.

      Great Sopranos reference. Interesting how the transience and ultimate futility of it all can strike anyone occassionally. Sadly, though, most people whom it does strike put it out of mind relatively quickly and barrel on with the madness.

      "I personally HATE IT, HATE THE GAME."

      Can only echo that, my friend. And in fact my hatred of it grows every day. What a web of horror we're caught in.

      I, too, was equally disappointed by MacCarthy. Apparently, he also had a child earlier on in life, which I didn't learn about til recently. How the mighty are fallen.

      Love the photo, by the way:-)

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    4. My pleasure Shadow, Karl needs to get busy too!(not joking,serious^^)

      As for the picture, it has a great backstory.The mature woman you see is actually a murderer. She was fighting with her sister and you know what passion can do, the ties that bind us choke us as she found out. After the fight the woman threw her young nephew of the balcony in a spur of the moment thing. She obviously couldn't live with what she had done and all the people you see there pulling her back (her daughter,family,cops) did NOT know she commited any murder. She was apparently saved and she will die by a firing squad if found guilty.

      I actually feel sorry for the woman, all her life led to that single moment where everything truly fell apart. She's not to blame (i don't believe in free will) and the little kid falling, well there are no words.

      Oh yeah, if you click my name you'll got a bizarre site i discovered and it's pretty cool. Full of foreign poems etc etc. It's called Beyond the Pale (yeah, morbid and def an anti life vibe). I'll type it just in case :

      http://www.beyond-the-pale.co.uk/suicide.htm

      This section is called suicide for beginners, it kinda cheered me up:) (This content is safe but other sections are NSFW! there are some really gore pictures, so if you are gore sensitive or whatever..tread carefuly).

      Ciao

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    5. What a horrific story re. the picture. As you say, just shows how a life can fall apart in an instant due to a moment of madness. Terrifying!

      Thanks for the site! Really enjoyed the 'You reading this, be ready' poem. Says it all. A nice kick in the teeth for the aestheticians!

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    6. Shadow: what name is your book written under?

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    7. Hey, Ann. Here's a link to Shadow's book on Amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/%C3%BAltima-filosofia-antinatalism-Portuguese-Edition/dp/146117273X

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  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEwSfbE9IXc

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  4. Ok so as usual I cannot get suicide out of my mind, it is always there, and yet I just can't...right now....probably never can do it....because it would destroy my siblings and because I am so devestated for suffering animals and I can't bear the idea of "releasing myself" and leaving them behind. But I can't help wanting to go. Just this morning I happen to walk in the room when the tv's on (I don't watch tv) and the end of the "Truman Show" movie is on. Ya know? And Truman is finding and feeling this wall, this wall that is actually the barrier of the false reality that's been constructed for him, and he's speaking to the show's "Creator" (a god-like figure whose been controlling his life), and I just sit down in front of the tv and sob, and watch Truman finally walk out the exit and I want to think to myself, someday that will be me "walking out the exit", maybe there's a better world out there, maybe there's nothing but either way we get to leave this one. That's what I'm looking forward to in life.

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    1. Poignant words, Anonymous. I can offer my assent. After reading your comment, I imagined Truman exploring the real world and being so horrified by what he saw that he desperately desires to return to his safe, albeit boring, contrived world. Death seems like the only release.

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    2. Yes I know- to go back to non-existance does seem like the only genuine hope of release, not just release from suffering and being "earth-bound" but also release from the tragic memories of our earthly lives. Sometimes I wonder if there is any sort of "heaven" but if there is- I can't bring myself to imagine that it's perfect and painless. The depressing end of the movie AI comes to mind...David being immortal but can never have what he wanted.

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    3. Anonymous and Karl,
      In my mind I am perfectly sure that the death is like sleep - nothingness and release from suffering. Every day I dream of going to bed and never waking up again. Sometimes I think that it would be nice if govt allowed individuals to buy barbiturates for painless exit. Alas they do not. Maybe with a bit of lobbying it could be possible to create legal provisions when barbiturates are available.Although I doubt this very much - seriously sick people are unable to obtain reliable means of euthanasia.

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    4. Paradise is the kind of idea that once you probe it, it easily falls apart. Do you have memories of your earthly life in paradise, and if so shouldn't painful memories bring pain, and can you have pain in paradise? etc etc. Nothingness seems the better and more logical bet.

      As for barbituates, they should certainly be available to all. Here are some excellent videos by Inmendham on the social prejudice against suicide. Well worth watching, along with the 'Is abnormal necessarily correct' vids on the sidebar:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op4Mq5CPd0U&feature=channel&list=UL

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    5. Inmendham is great. The problem is that no matter how persuasive he is, the people that he responds to are likely to dismiss his arguments.He actually acknowledges that.
      Anonymous 1836

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    6. "I long for Darkness. I pray for death, real death. And if I thought that in death I would meet the people I knew in life, I don't know what I would do. That would be the ultimate horror, the ultimate nightmare. If I thought I was gonna meet my mother again an' start all of that over, only this time without the prospect of death to look forward to... that would be the final nightmare. Goddamn Kafka on wheels."

      I so love Mr White in the Sunset:).

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    7. Anonymous, I think Inmendham thrives on opposition. Preaching to the converted becomes pointless after a while. Long may he flourish!

      KaBoem, great quote! Yes, another down point for any idea of heaven. There are certain people I really never want to see again, in any circumstances, terrestrial, celestial or otherwise.

      Also was unaware that some magnanimous soul has put The Sunset Limited on YouTube. For anyone who hasn't seen it, watch it while you have a chance! It's a masterpiece!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZVCD_4MB4M

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    8. Just watched the film. It brought me to my metaphorical knees. Extremely powerful.

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    9. Yes, it's possibly the greatest 'philosophical drama' I've ever seen/. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Karl,

    Let me refer to your words about James Wood "...what has the good James done in the years after writing these sage words? Had two children! I mean, how can you see the truth so clearly and yet do that?" I can certainly understand and share your sentiment.I am in no way defending James Wood and I do not think that I can take him seriously anymore, however there may be an explanation. I am going to argue that of the dilemma often is not "To have or not to have", but "To have with you or someone else". We do not really know what options James had.

    Imagine you are in relationship with a girlfriend/wife wants two children. You basically have two options here

    #1 to persuade her not to have children which may be an impossible task.(preferable)
    #1 to tell her that you would not have kids with her and let her go (if you do not do it, then someone else would)

    If you choose option 2) then most likely she will find someone else who would impregnate her use artificial insemination. The net result is that the world added two people.

    At least from male perspective there are many situations when a decision not to procreate means nothing - as if he refuses to be a sperm donor then someone else willing to be the one will quickly be found(remember males are replaceable). Could it be that James Wood had to deal with option 2) and the only real decision he had to make is whether two new souls are his or someone else's? Could it be that James Wood was dealing with option #2?

    What do you think?

    Anonymous 1836


    P.S.
    Great blog. I have been reading it for at least one year - mostly agree with everything.

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    1. Thanks for the nice words, Anonymous! Always good to know there are a few like-minded souls out there.

      Re. Wood, your hypothesis is certainly possible and, I may say, compassionate in the sense of trying to find the most generous explanation.

      Obviously, it's highly unlikely we'll ever know why he did what he did, but I would like to think that if placed in that scenario I'd walk away. If, as you say, someone is determined to procreate, then they can do it with someone else: I've always felt that if someone is party to reproduction it's better they do it willingly than not. Otherwise, it spells unhappiness for all.

      Of course, ideally no one should want to procreate!

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  6. Karl, I wrote you on September 2 thanking you for this wonderful blog, and you mentioned you didn't have a partner because "pessimism doesn't go down too well with the ladies."

    I want to encourage you to find that partner in crime so that you can get through this prison sentence called life! I knew at 14 that I wasn't going to spawn and that I wasn't so thrilled with being on this planet. Through the years I have become more misanthropic, "negative" (according to those who do not accept reality), and nihilistic than ever, yet I found someone to be my version of happily married to in this backwater Colorado town. I can't be the only female who considers finding a male to share this viewpoint with a gift from the non-existent gods.

    With your fine intellect and black humor, you would be massively intriguing to a woman of spine. Is the UK (my favorite place on earth) producing only bimbos? Please don't tell me that your country is now sinking to the USA's level!

    Colorado Friend



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    1. Sorry to chime in, but I don't think there are that many women like that. Then again, it is just an opinion – maybe there are that many. However, you have to consider their distribution. Which is probably something like that of stars: there is a whole galaxy of them over there, and then there are huge empty spaces. And you happen to be in one of them. So there is no one anywhere near you.

      Let's say there is. You don't even *know* she exists; she does not know *you* exist. How do you two meet? Go on a dating site? “Pessimistic man looking for a like-minded woman who does not want children.” Or do you just bump into each other? Either way, I guess it takes sheer luck; or the gods/universe must love you to send a possible partner your way. Ah, perhaps I'm just way too pessimistic, fatalistic and isolated.

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    2. Thanks, Colorado Friend! You're being too generous; I'm as selfish an a'hole as anyone else on this planet, who instead of being out there trying to alleviate some of the suffering I'm always banging on about, prefers to take the easy option and sit on my backside spitting bile on the Internet. Sad!

      I'm genuinely pleased and moved that you've found someone compatible to share the dark journey with. Long may it last!

      I'm actually Irish, in the UK due to circumstance. I feel obliged to say that the UK is not by any stretch of the imagination a philosophical country. Here the Cult of Work and convention reigns supreme. If you want angst and pessimism, you're better off in Europe.

      Thanks again!

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    3. Agree with you, Andrew. A genuinely philosophically pessimistic woman seems to be as rare as a good reason to live:-)

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    4. Andrew, I think you're right about the lack of pessimistic women. I guess the whole baby-making brainwash overwhelms many into early conformity, and they don't give themselves a chance to question what they're being told by the culture.

      But there are still some dark ones roaming around out there in the galaxy, and yes, join a dating site! That's how I met my husband. I figured I would stand out enough to get the attention of a few men and that the other 99.9% would go for the regular ladies. It worked. I met 7 guys in toto, and after being on the site for only a week, I had already met the man I'd marry. And yes, I described myself as antinatalistic, Schopenhauer-loving, introverted, misanthropic, and pretty much everything else that drives your average citizen berserk. Really, what is there to lose? At best, you find someone who understands; at worst, you meet another specimen who proves you right about how awful the human race is!

      Actually, I think Karl should start a Life-Hating Singles Group/Dating Site, don't you? Hee!

      Colorado Friend

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    5. Colorado Friend,

      Your hubby's a lucky man!

      And yes, a dating site. At least there wouldn't be those annoying 'Have kids?' and 'Want kids?' questions to deal with:-)

      Good advice, also. Just be honest and truthful about your beliefs. No point in being coy, it'll only come back to bite you in the ass in the end.

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    6. Wanted to comment on Colorado Friend,
      " I met 7 guys in toto, and after being on the site for only a week, I had already met the man I'd marry." It always amazes me how easy it is for women.
      Anonymous 1836

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    7. I'll admit it is sinfully easy... last year I met the current love of my life (we distrust marriage but are shacked up very cosily) when I listed myself as an antinatalist on a dating site... he'd never heard of the term but googled it and then said, sign me up!

      I'm actually not sure why there are so few female antinatalists. You would think the visceral (literally!) reality of labor, which remains both life-threatening and horrifiying, would make us MORE likely to think twice. Then again, the natalist cult tends to frame labor as something one nobly suffers for the good of one's children... Ah, how I suffered to give you the gift of suffering!

      Anyway, to all who are still looking, good luck. You'd think another pessimist's arms would be cold comfort, but they're actually the best thing there is.

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    8. Yes, isn't a bizzare insult from the other side "Misery loves company"? Who the hell doesn't?

      And yes, being grateful to your parents for the 'gift of life'. Return to sender.....

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  7. "Why do angels have wings? To get the fuck off this planet."
    A great antidote to the usual New Age platitudes.

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  8. To be disappointed with yourself is noble.
    To be disappointed with others is the beginning of a great misery.
    Czechs are known for "loving" this misery.
    They say, "We know it's no good. But it is ours."
    Their humor is dark. The suicidal man with sense of humor is one of my favorites.
    Czech your heritage, Karle :)

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    1. Oh, I'm disappopinted with everyone, myself most of all:-) And yes, I have the Irish misery, don't I know it....

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  9. Another recommendation:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/newborn-loses-faith-in-humanity-after-record-6-day,29588/

    Shall I chime in? Been single my 24+ years. Do I care? Sometimes... Meeting that someone is incredibly difficult. As I say in real life- "I play to lose." :)

    And Karl, fighting for change is so incredibly difficult... As an activist of all stripes for four years at my undergrad institution, what did we accomplish? Not much. I'm glad I did what I did, though.

    Thanks to all for thoughtful comments and links.

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    1. Great link, Artashata. There sure are some disillusioned (ie honest) people at The Onion!

      I'm half-ashamed, half-relieved that my activist urges are (or seem to be) dead. I've given up on meaningful change. Humans are addicted to their insanity; staying out of it as much as possible seems to be the only option.

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  10. Reading more of the old entries on this blog has helped me to get rid of the last of my hope for social change/justice/progress.

    In particular, seeing Francois Tremblay's tantrum on the What is Life Accomplishing? entry confirmed my suspicion that activism is simply a Zapffian anchor/distraction for many people. I think I'm going to stop reading FT's blog after seeing that. (The sad thing is, that could have been me not that long ago.)

    I think the problem is that because life itself is inherently unjust, no form of justice can be created from it. In order to design and implement a better form of social organization, people would need to be rational and capable of compassion. People with those characteristics could not have children, and so a truly just society would have to recruit its members or die out after one generation. Meanwhile, the rest of mankind would continue to exploit each other, kill each other, slurp up government propaganda, and breed.

    Keep up the good work, Karl. Your blog is a much-needed crouton of truth in this salad of lies we call human existence.

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  11. Thanks for the kind words, DNA Borg! Much appreciated.

    Yes, 'I'm going to change the world' is an anchor for many people. I think it deserves to be condemned when it's preached with big ideas in mind: revolution etc. I'm all for individual works of charity: soup-kitchens, helping the homeless and so on. That's realistic, useful and honourable. It's the hot air stuff that's pointless. Even Gary/Inmendham, whom I think is great, falls for that stuff as well, I think. He's always talking about the need for organisation and change, but then he lives as a hermit! Not to mention the fact that he advocates determinsim, while still stating we can make moral choices and be condemned for not doing so. (Having said that, he's still the man.)

    Your analysis of why there will never be a just society is superb. As you say, the game is itself irrational and unjust so therefore it could never be fixed. Kant's 'From the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made' comes to mind. And when governments do try to impose 'Virtue', it inevitably leads to things like the Terror, Bolsheivism, Pol Pot etc.

    In short, we are fucked!

    Thanks again!

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    2. I love Gary.. his videos are just oozing awesomeness and the way he dismisses all these optimistic/irrational fuckers is just priceless.

      Best damn personality on youtube.

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    3. "(Having said that, he's still the man.)"

      Yup, inmendham is the greatest, no one comes close in my opinion.

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    4. Very true.

      However, in one of his videos he claimed that "money is not the problem" and I happen to disagree with him on some aspects of that. I think the Venus Project is the only sustainable solution we have for REDUCING suffering if we are to continue this travesty of existence and Gary fails to acknowledge that in his videos (which were talking about the Venus Project).

      He likes to use the term "contrivance" for everything to do with humans and life and I completely agree with 100% of what he said about the matter because that's the subject that truly matters.

      However, the word "contrivance" is very suitable in describing the socio-economic system that is based entirely on fictional entities (i.e. money) that don't really exist (outside of the imagination) and are merely shuffled about in paper and digital format to the 1 percent so they can have access to all the resources.

      He refuses to acknowledge that the whole socio-economic system (not to speak of life and the universe themselves) is a big stupid contrivance, yet another retarded game played on top of the horrible gave of life that is destroying humanity at ever faster rates.

      That's the only caveat of his otherwise impeccable record of intelligent thinking.

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  12. Thanks for the encouragement, Colorado Friend. It's nice to hear dating worked out for you, but I figure I am a lost cause. I have never been able to muster the courage to reach out for anybody. Even when someone made several attempts to get closer to me, me and my fuckedupness blew it royally. And I think one rarely gets another chance. Plus I'm unlikely to change for the better after sooo many goddamn years. Well, talk about one being one's own worst enemy. :-\

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    1. Hang in there, Andrew. We've all been/are in that place. You're not alone, buddy.

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    2. Thanks, Karl. :-) I disagree with the “you're not alone” part, but I won't get into that as I am already way too off-topic.

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    3. Well,as in you're not the only one to be in that place. Obviously we all face the void alone. And you can talk about whatever you want here.

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    4. Andrew, you reached out here, and that means you haven't given up as much as you think you have. We all have war stories, and we've all made mistakes, and many sensitive, awake people beat themselves up for not being perfect. You have more than just one chance, Andrew. I spent most of my adult life alone, and 5 years ago I got sick of it and did something about it. You've been flung into this world against your will, so wring its neck and force it to give you some peace and comfort. We're rooting for you, fellow traveler!
      Colorado Friend

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    5. Karl, you are the kindest of men.

      Seeing intelligent, sensitive, self-effacing people suffer is hard; the world appears to target them for a little extra punishment. So this forum of ideas is probably the best activism you could be doing now. With relish, I'm getting ready to start "Extinction" by Thomas Bernhard and then "The Tartar Steppe" by Dino Buzzati, both recommended by you.

      As far as my own activism goes, I get out of bed every morning, which is sometimes hard to do, feed the cat and the squirrels in the yard, and try not to hurt anybody.

      "People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading." Logan Pearsall Smith

      Colorado Friend

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    6. Thanks, Colarado Friend! You're too nice to me! Well, I hope the forum here allows people a little relief. There aren't too many places in the 'real' world where you can go and say 'fuck everything':-)

      I think your activism is the most anyone who's clued into reality can be expected to perform. Well done!

      I hope you enjoy the novels. 'The Tartar Steppe' is a timeless masterpiece. Let me know what you think.

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    7. Regarding pessimist dating, I think it's actually possible that it is better not to become attached to other people. Society tells us that we need someone else in order to be happy, but we already know that we can't be happy no matter what we do. And the risks involved seem to outweigh the benefits, just as with everything else in life. It's easier just to remain lonely, feel self-pity and be grateful to "faceless commentators" if one has a blog;-)

      Then again, maybe if I met someone interesting, I'd feel differently.

      Schopenhauer himself did not actually practice the asceticism he preached, and had "many trivial love affairs" according to Bertrand Russell in A History of Western Philosophy.

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    8. I agree with you. Yes, we have needs that make us desire and seek out companionship of our own kind. But at the same time I think that this attachment-longing and usually exclusive monogamous ways that love and closeness are supposed to feel like are a cultural construct, not a real need or a healthy inclination. In other words, we've bought into an illusion (lie) sold to us by others, and are at pains trying to fit in.

      Personally I've never been in a relationship of this mainstream sort and never have been able to understand how they start an how they function. Maybe I'm somehow deficient or autistic whatever and that's why I don't get it. I seem to be functioning well in all other aspects though.

      The strangest thing about relationships is that I have never even felt good in or about them, and whenever I seemed to be sliding in that mainstream kinda relationship direction with somone, I quickly felt an unexplainable urge to get out of it, even though I always was genuinely in love ith the guy.

      I've had close friends however, with whom I had a connection. With a few I was sexual too when I felt like it, while with others I've never felt inclined to be, But mostly, we were each getting on with our own lives. And these close friendships felt good to me, unlike the "relationships".

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    9. I guess self-sufficiency is the optimum in all situations: financially, emotionally, intelectually etc. Unfortunately, having consciousness means you're open, vulnerable and weak, hence the need for consolation and companionship.

      Relationships are fine when they work, but when they go wrong they tend to go horribly wrong.

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  13. You really like the self-pity.
    Me, me, pitiful me.
    And to be so grateful to these faceless commentators is so sad.

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    1. Jindra, if you don't like this blog, or the ideas discussed here, just go away. I won't stand for people being insulted. Maybe you haven't the honesty for confronting an alternative point of view.

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  14. OK, Karl, I will go.
    I am glad that you stand for your virtual soulmates. People are very fragile these days.
    Your alternative cheered me up and increased my self esteem by 19%.
    Viz my blog.
    Thanks for a reply and I am out of here.........

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    1. Jindra, I always welcome constructive comments. If you have a counter-argument to the views expressed here, you're welcome to make them. What annoyed me was the cheap insulting. Anyway, mind yourself.

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    2. I'm sure the pro-ana people are very supportive and warm to each other too.

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  15. So true.
    Its all a waste. Useless excretions of purposeless lumps of matter. Never give birth to anyone and kill yourself as soon as possible. i wish I could do that.. right now! Or better yet, be unborn!

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    1. The reason why people have kids despite their positions is explained in Ligotti's "The Conspiracy against the human race" - check it out, its choke-full of great stuff.

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    2. Thanks for the comments, dimasok. Welcome to the blog. Nothing to argue with there! I've read TCATHR, one of the very few honest books around. Up there with Cioran, Schopenhauer and Leopardi. Amazing how few honest writers there are.

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    3. I've got Ligotti's book at the bottom of a to-read pile, but I can't wait! How does he explain why people have kids when they don't think life is worth anything?

      Colorado Friend

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    4. Colarado Friend, put it at the top! It's a killer book, up there with Benatar.

      I don't think he does claim that people procreate when they think life isn't worth living. He has a taxonomy of all the various way we kid ourselves into thinking life is worth living and hence reproducing.

      Read it, read it!

      Here's an interview with Ligotti where he discusses AN from question 7 onwards:

      http://evilhat.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/interview-thomas-ligotti.html

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    5. Ligotti is awesome indeed. Up there with Cioran, Schopenhauer, Benatar, Zapffe and more obscure figures in Ligott's books (Mainlander, Albert Caracas and some others who I don't remember but had great arguments about the annihilation of every last particle in the universe)

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    6. Karl, fantastic Ligotti interview! He has a labyrinthine mind that forced me to really concentrate, so I'll start his book pronto before I lose more brain cells!

      But I have a question. Do you agree with his statement that "pessimism isn't required for antinatalism"? I can't think of one without the other. Have you heard of ANY antinatalist that isn't a pessimist?
      Colorado Friend

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    7. I used to think that pessimism was a requirement for antinatalism but apparently some anti-natalists are supposedly not pessimist...

      That doesn't really add up for me. If you believe life is not worth starting because of all the suffering inherent in existence, then you sure as hell possess a profoundly pessimistic outlook on the world even if you don't admit it to yourself.

      You'll never be the same from that moment.

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    8. dimasok, I agree. Some of those apparent antinatalists to whom you refer are lying to themselves if they think they would fit in at a Wayne Dyer (Mr. Positive Thinking) seminar! Sometimes I think people I meet in general would rather be suspected of an axe murder than accused of being pessimistic.
      Colorado Friend

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    9. I guess from a very technical angle one could be an antinatalist from the perspective of selfishness: someone who doesn't want to have children because of the time and effort involved, but perhaps this would fit more into the 'child-free' category than Antinatalism.

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  16. Skip to 3:15

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=4FDSdg09df8&NR=1

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    1. Thanks for that, DNA Borg. It's just all so sad, isn't it. Life is a fucking tragedy.

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  17. Karl I love your blog but really i've been on some other blogs in the past and I always find fellow pessimists and anti-natalists accusing me of the profoundest pessimism that they find disturbing even compared to their own.

    Judging by some of the posts (that I read), I hope it won't be the case here.

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    1. dimasok, I think you've found a good place here of like-minded folks.

      I read obituaries for entertainment. I think about death all the time, and knowing that suicide is an option motivates me to keep living, ironically. And I hear ya about "annihilation of every last particle in the universe"! There would be no pain then for anything, especially the animals whom I worry about constantly.

      I would be very interested to hear about your "profoundest pessimism that they find disturbing." Sounds like you're just warming up, and I'd like to hear more!
      Colorado Friend

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    2. I'm afraid, Dimasok, that I currently hold the crown for most pessimistic, negative and hopeless individual in the universe so you'll have to work hard to get that title off me:-)

      Colorado Friend, you should check out the movie 'Ivans Xtc' a modern take on Tolstoy's 'The death of Ivan Ilyitch'. If you read obituaries for entertainment, you'll love it; bleak as hell.

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    3. Then we will get along perfectly :)

      I won't need to work hard since we'll feed off each other's negativity... It's the only thing that kept me alive all this time even though I despise existence and would be unborn, kill myself and destroy the universe at this very moment if I could.

      If one was to ask me "why bother"? I would justify all the reasons why NOT to bother and why its better to kill yourself and for the universe to be destroyed.

      I have absolutely nothing positive to say about life at all. Even if I were to think really hard about it, there really is nothing that would ever make existence justifiable in any way, shape or form. Its literally pure darkness, evil, crap and joke.

      Think of the bliss of non-existence! You are not missing anything, there are no responsibilities put on you for no reason (in fact, due to me being forced into existence the onus is on others and society to take care of me and not of me to give a shit about them!), you don't have to work doing boring shit in this capitalistic nightmare and hoping for some sort of improvement (think Venus Project) which would not make life any better but at least make the "ok, I won't kill myself at this very second" moments more frequent, no need to find love, rise to some arbitrary expectations or take care of yourself or others. There is no need to do ANYTHING at all.

      This complete lack of need/desire and the resultant absence of everything that is so horribly wrong about life makes me thing non-existence is absolutely perfect!

      As Schopenhauer said "Life is a disturbing episode in a blissful state of nothingness" - I think this summarizes it pretty well.

      Unfortunately, in order to reach that state, one needs to go through the process of dying and I just can't overcome the biological survival mechanisms in place... I can't hurt myself or exit this nightmare without thinking that I might fail and end up not even having the option to do it after.

      There is no graceful exit provided at all because if there was I would already be there begging for them to put me out of my misery for good!

      As thing stand, I am forced to wait it out till I die (hopefully without experiencing the dying process but going straight to death itself) and I doubt I will be able to kill myself even if I end up homeless on the street, disfigured, terminally ill and freezing.

      I yearn for non-existence and yet I can't achieve it because life put the biological watchdog to guard the gates of oblivion and yet society won't help you end it painlessly and will keep forcing you to work your entire life and live for no reason or purpose. Just live because they decided "its worth it". FUCK that.

      Rest assured, I don't want to ever bring anyone to any type of existence. I ENVY them for not existing and not experiencing ANY of this SHIT.

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    4. Well, I can only say Amen to all of that. Ever since I came to mature consciousness half-a-lifetime ago and realised what a dire (to put it mildly) set-up conscious existence is, I've twisted and squirmed in trying to find an answer. I've investigated every kind of philosophy, examined what religious thinkers have to say, observed the world around me etc etc and yet I have never seen one good or even semi-plausible argument for why the transition from Nothingness to Being should be made. Not one. Every attempt to counter Pessimism and/or Antinatalism appears based on misconceptions (no pun intended), emotional defences, and out and out delusion.

      My life as it is now consists in trying to find a way of coping with this scenario as comfortably as possible and being implicated in the life machine as little as I can.

      The only tiny, tiny consolation I see is that since Benatar's book consciousness of antinatalism is growing; it is marginally more easy to come out and say "Sorry, but I think this life game sucks". Hopefully the message will spread.

      In the meantime....

      "What I know at 60, I knew just as well at 20. Forty years of a long, pointless process of verification...." - E.M. Cioran

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    5. People like us understand that the transition from Nothingness to Being should have never been made and we can rationally justify it to no end. They on the other hand are trying to come up with excuses and justifications of why life is worth it post-factum where the transition already occurred and they fail to think of anything that preceded the transition.

      Its another one of those strands of optimism that riles me so much.

      Cioran, Schopenhauer are awesome but at some points they were too optimistic for me (hard to fathom I know). Benatar is awesome too but his arguments mostly flow from ethical philosophies and logical deductions and I've never seen him argue like Ligotti that consciousness is a nightmare that makes this uncanny existence even more horrible than one can imagine.

      In fact, Benatar skips the whole issue of suicide completely (except one part at the end) as if it's at all logical to espouse anti-natalist views and yet view suicide as an incompatible concept. Yes, not being born is undoubtedly the best option, but if one needs to stop this nightmare and can overcome their survival instincts, how is that NOT a solution? Its the 2nd best solution, fully rational and ultimate.

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    6. Yes, most people are focused solely on life itself. Death, non-being, pre-being, post-being don't generally feature. Life is viewed as a party, existence itself the baseline good and the idea that someone may not care to be there is generally incomprehensible.

      As for your high standards, I can empathise. Cioran was a very vital person, and often said how much he loved the earth and was attached to it. Schopenhauer thought there was relief and escape through art. To my mind, Leopardi was possibly bleaker than either. If you haven't investigated his work, you should. Samuel Beckett once remarked when commenting on Schopenhauer and other pessimists that 'They have a remedy. I don't. One solution is death.'

      To be fair to Benatar, he does point out how progenitors put their children in a bind of obligation, no matter miserable and desperate to get out they may be. Perhaps as an academic, he felt constrained from openly advocating suicide.

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    7. I did read Leopardi but even he wasn't bleak enough for me :)

      Its hard to find anyone who did not at one point or another speak semi-optimistically about something. We have people like Schopenhauer and Cioran who as you mentioned were sometimes fairly lighthearted given their philosophical treatises. Then we have Benatar who cannot speak his mind non-academically like others and ends up speaking in a very pointed way that definitely brings the point across no doubt but still manages to lose some of the vitality it could have had if only Benatar fully wrote what his conclusions entailed and implied.

      We also have others like Zapffe, Julius Bahnsen, Edgar Sultus, Mainlander as well as Ligotti but there aren't that many known anti-natalists and pessimists other than the ones I mentioned plus others who I didn't list due to even bigger obscurity)

      Ligotti seems to be the only one who didn't have absolutely nothing positive to say about life and didn't even bother doing it. And yet, he too eschewed the exhortations to exterminate all life, satisfying himself with quotes from others and declaiming that consciousness is suffering and procreation is the biggest evil - which is almost the same thing but he could have just said it! But no, suicide is still viewed differently from not giving birth.. as if the forced condition of being born doesn't offer any consolation in that you can kill yourself at any time within a fully rational set of reasons unequal by anything else in existence!

      We also have Gary (Inmendham) who I find to be extremely lovable and outspoken about the subject. Somehow, he often seems to be more pessimistic than pretty much anyone else (except those who claim that the universe should be abolished in its entirety which Gary never actually mentioned per se but I am sure he would agree)

      We need more speeches like this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9lXcgJ6s1g&feature=my_favorites&list=FLACOIw6qtpzpfQagJX-EdJQ

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    8. "Do not disturb the unborn. Let them be in the peace of nothingness"

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    9. Perhaps one thing for those of a pessimistic/antinatalistic disposition to 'look forward to' (a phrase to be handled carefully) is the release next year of Leopardi's 'Zibaldone' in English - his private notebooks containing over 2,000 pages of his most bitter and pessimistic reflections. Yay!

      http://www.amazon.com/Zibaldone-Giacomo-Leopardi/dp/0374296820

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  18. 'I'm afraid, Dimasok, that I currently hold the crown for most pessimistic, negative and hopeless individual in the universe so you'll have to work hard to get that title off me:-)'

    I think you have a competitor in myself Karl here!-(

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    1. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown!:-)

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    2. I've just recently been rebounding from a depression. If I could have challenged you to a despondency duel a few months ago, I might have been able to win.

      It must be nice to at least have the consolation of knowing you're the most hopeless :-)

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    3. The consolation is fleeting and temporary though... its pretty sad that life is so horrifically bad that we even attempt to engage (however jockishly) in despondency/pessimism contests.

      So, in a way, life attempts to desperately preserve itself by giving us some sort of masochistic pleasure through pessimistic thought/despondency competitions... its like its fighting the TRUTH in order to perpetuate the LIE.

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    4. If you're a truthhound, then looknig at that truth, however black it is, will afford some satisfaction.

      As for me, the thing that gives me the most pleasure at the moment is the new series of Dallas:-)

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    5. A simple question for you Karl given your preceeding post: how on earth can you like rubbish like Dallas?

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    6. Ha ha! A friend and I were trawling the tv one night and stumbled across the old reruns, reminiscing about how it dominated the 80s. Then the new series started shortly after, and is such shameless cheese and hokum that it's entertaining. It's the only hour of tv I watch all week:-) I find that, apart from suicide, that variety of cheese is one of the few logical responses to the absurdity of existence:-)

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  19. I found this ignorant blog here about cryonics:
    http://www.evidencebasedcryonics.org/tag/antinatalism/

    It talks bout anti-natalism and it dismisses it because "individuals want to survive" type of mentality and pretty much sugarcoats everything with an irrational dose of scientific optimism.

    Anyone else care to demolish the arguments of the author? Let's rip him a new one :)

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    1. The man believes in cryonics and logical positivism in the 21st century. This might be too easy of a target.

      Also I think Jim said he's working on one, maybe, a while ago? Who knows.

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    2. Karl, I'll get "Ivan's XTC"......sounds right down my dark, dark alley! And since we all like a good story (isn't that why the gods created US?), I recommend a documentary that has mystery, eccentricity, and kindness: Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. They spent years working on it; it's a gem.
      Colorado Friend

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    3. Thanks, CF! Am pleased to see it's available on YouTube. Will watch it soon and let you know what I think.

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  20. Ann Sterzinger,
    I'm glad to know you found a mate! We pessimists tend to be pretty loving when given a chance, and the older we get, the less we take for granted since we have so much previous suffering to compare to the current oasis!

    And I bought your book NVSQVAM in July. I couldn't put the thing down! LOVED it! The effort and talent you put into that work....I salute you! I'll be getting "Girl Detectives" soon and anything else you care to write!

    If I had any money, I'd be a patron of the dark arts for you and Karl!
    Colorado Friend

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    1. In which case,CF, I'll be praying you win the lottery:-)

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    2. Such kind words... they help, thank you! Effort is hard. (haha)

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  21. Sorry for going off topic, but is Houellebecq worth reading? If so, what works do you recommend? Thanks.

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    1. 'Whatever' is his first novel. Relatively short and a good prelude to his masterpiece 'Atomised'. If you're a Lovecraft fan, his book on HPL 'Against the World, Against Life' (great title!) is a mustread. Enjoy!

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    2. It is indeed a great title. Will check him out! Thanks again.

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  22. I never understood any pro-life arguments at all but the one that annoys me the most is "you need to be willing to find your happiness" or "maybe consciousness yearns to become incarnate and that's the meaning"

    To which I would reply: look dumbass, if my idea of happiness is to live an utopian life, free of work, money, worry, stress, pain or any other kind of inconvenience or suffering (both existential and other) and if I am not willing to settle for less (regardless of whether its feasible or not - that's not the point) then any sort of existence that is NOT the way I envisage it (regardless of what universal consciousness wanted or didn't want which flyes in the face of any kind of science but again, that's not the point right now) is automatically suffering and an imposition for me and thus I had to be consulted before birth and if not had to be left alone in the peace of non-existence.

    This is an absolutely infallible argument. If I am to be born at all, unless I CONSENT to the conditions of my life and to its experiences from A to Z, no one has any RIGHT to force me to exist in any condition that is other than the one that I consulted to. Hell, even if the biggest threat in that utopian world that I described is the famous pinprick pain and I don't consent to it, again there is no RIGHT to eject me out of nothingness into that somethingness!

    PERIOD!

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    1. I agree. I've never seen anything wrong with demanding that existence should be perfect and complaining if it's not. I did not choose to be here, so why should I accept less-than-ideal conditions? Those who reply 'you're being unrealistic', or 'that's just the way it is' are either labouring under the belief that to exist is automatically good regardless of the details or else are resigned stoical shit-suckers.

      The argument also provides another blow to the nauseating 'life is a gift argument'. You don't give someone a gift unless a) you know they'll like it b) the gift is actually functional and not some crappy piece of imperfect junk that's guaranteed to cause the recipient harm.

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    2. Agreed on all counts.

      Its just nauseating how irrational the arguments for life are. Following your analogy, if you give someone a gift box that houses a knife on springs that pops up and chops off their limbs or a ticking time bomb they will still say "well its life and that's the way it is" and "you have to appreciate the gift no matter what!"

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    3. I also want to live in a perfect world. My spirit is actually "full of life." I even sit around daydreaming about living in another world, a good world, and how I would decorate my house! It's just that this world is the wrong world, this world is hell, I wish I never came here.

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    4. Yeah, it's hard not to try and dream of some form of Paradise scenario occassionally. We damned well deserve a spell there after enduring all this shit! A bit like a pleasant Swiss Sanitorium, maybe (Dignitas!). Sadly, non-existence is the best deal we'll get.

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    5. I always wanted to live in a world of anime or something. For instance, one of the animes called "Sword Art Online" (there are also a series of novels which go into far more detail) concerns a VR MMO and everyone gets stuck there for 2 years while the real body is in coma in the hospital... no need to care about anything. Hell, bury me with the VR headset! As long as I don't need to worry about the bullshit of this troublesome existence and maintaining it, and for what? For biological decay? For thoughts of suicide, meaninglessness, death and suffering?

      Give me a VR environment which presents interesting random scenarios that are dispossessed of all of the above, and I will obviously opt for that. Obviously it wouldn't make life any more meaningful or consciousness any better, but at least it would be constant fun and not fucking toil, waste and shit.

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    6. At the moment, a nice quiet little house, a few friends and the Collected Works of Schopenhauer in gold leaf edition would do me:-)

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  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw-uiA4E2Q8&feature=plcp

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  24. Thank you so much for your blog Karl.
    Good to know I am not the only one who thinks like this.

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    1. You're more than welcome, Anonymous. Thanks for the nice comment. Welcome to this happy band:-)

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  25. "We are hanging around here for no good reason, bar habit, laziness, hedonic [sic] addiction, a guilt-inducing desire to not let others down and so on and so on."

    I think you may be missing one other alternative here Karl.

    I have recently read Horace McCoy's 'They shoot horses, don't they'. Towards the end of the novel, the female protagonist, Gloria Beatty, states: "...I tried to kill myself once, but I didn't and I've never had the nerve to try again..."

    As you can see, it's no fear of death that prevents Gloria from suicide, but fear of actually dying by her own hand.

    It is a good book and this bloody world stinks!

    The book could even be seen as predicting the reality TV nightmare we have today.

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    1. Very true, Mr Graverol.

      I've actually ordered that book now on the basis of your recommendation. Looking forward to reading it! Thanks!

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    2. The book, and the film of the book, are both thoroughly depressing.

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  26. I think we are all susceptible to doing ANYTHING if that particular act gives us most comfort (i.e. in any point in time we make the choice with the most comfort attached to it). Thus, I think we're all capable of procreating if the circumstances are right, no matter how much we are against life. We can all be James Wood if the circumstances are comforting enough and turn in favor of procreating (I don't know what those circumstances are, but they're out there even though they might not ever be realized for many of us). Same goes for murder, etc. I believe we are all capable of these acts if the circumstances are right.

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