Archive for the 'Egoism in Action' Category
I love Walmart. I am very happy to call myself a member of the middle class, and I take huge delight in cruising the aisles at Walmart, scoping out all the incredible deals.
I don’t buy a lot of stuff, though. Away from TechToyz, I lead a pretty Spartan existence. But I love to see all that incredible wealth stacked floor to ceiling, knowing that it is the much-maligned engine of freeish-market capitalism that makes all that stuff available to me.
I’m not a Black Friday kind of shopper. We’re not all that Christmas-y, and I do not like to be crowded, not ever. But the phenomenon of Black Friday, especially at Walmart, is fascinating to me.
We had to stop in at a Super Walmart late Wednesday night, and I took the opportunity to snap a few dozen photos of that store’s preparations for Grey Thursday and Black Friday. Every wide aisle in the store was lined with pallets full of shrink-wrapped merchandise, millions of dollars worth of stuff waiting to be sold between now and Monday.
There were more staffers than customers in the store, and they were all busy getting ready. Black Friday takes its name from the sad fact that the day after Thanksgiving is the day most retailers reach the stage of profitability for the calendar year. In other words, storekeepers large and small work almost eleven months of the year before they make any profit at all.
Walmart might do better than that. Apple’s retail presence does a lot better. But retail is a hard way to make an easy living, and my bet is that it will get harder as the parasitic weight of government crushes more and more of the economy.
Meanwhile, smug people like to sneer at Walmart for selling Americans goods they want to buy at prices they want to pay. I’m happy that some people are so rich that they can afford to spurn and scorn Walmart. But I’m happier still that Walmart is around to provide incredible values every day for people who work hard for their money and want to make it go as far as it can.
Happy Black Friday, Walmart. You treat us better than we deserve.Related posts:
Here’s my quick take on the presidential election, from a video made one day prior to the event: Mitt Romney is going to win an Electoral College landslide. My state-by-state prediction is shown below, but it’s not based on any sort of arcane science. I’m just betting that married people with kids and jobs will vote to fire Barack Obama for gross incompetence.
Note that this is not an expression of racism, as you will surely hear from the perpetually-sore-losers of the chattering classes. I’m just betting that the people with the biggest stake in the game of human life will vote against the most perniciously anti-life candidate ever to seek the office of the presidency.
But at the same time, Romney’s win will not be any sort of repudiation of Marxism, contrary to Michael Walsh’s claim at National Review Online. It’s just the correction of a bad hiring decision.
In this week’s video, I argue that the self-loving thing for you to do is to accept that fact that each human being is sovereign and indomitable, and that, therefore, self-control is all the control that can ever exist among human beings. In the course of that argument, I cite an essay of mine, Meet the Third Thing. I also recite an old poem, which I will transcribe here for what may be the first time it has ever appeared in print:
What if I’ve been wrong?
What if I’ve been wrong all along?
What if everything I’ve said,
everything I’ve done,
everything I’ve thought about is wrong?
What if I’ve been wrong all along?
Here is this week’s video:
For an audio-only version of this video, take yourself to the SelfAdoration.com podcast on iTunes.Related posts:
Man Alive! is six months old this week. A video I made on Monday celebrates the book’s demi-anniversary by eviscerating two mutually-contradictory theories of human free will.
Meanwhile, I’m in the early stages of writing a new book on moral philosophy, this one concerned with moving your self rightward on the number line discussed in Chapter 7 of Man Alive!
Cathleen and I were talking about a piece of this pie last night, the idea I call Cultivating Indifference. She asked me if I am really unhurt by other people’s (sometimes virulent) criticism of me. I am, although I understand why people might find this hard to believe. But here is how my thinking runs:
If you say something about me, it is either true or it isn’t. If it’s true, I am improved by your observation, however it comes packaged. My goal is to do better in everything I do, so if someone points out that I have been in error, I am glad to know it.
And if the claim is not true, I am unmoved. I keep my own counsel in everything I do, and I never change anything in my thinking or my behavior without a good reason.
If the criticism is offered in good faith, I will explain my thinking. And if it is simply malice, a verbal spear intended to wound me, I will know that the person throwing that spear is not to be trusted, and my life will be improved by that bit of new knowledge.
In all cases, I am concerned with nothing but my self, so other people’s behavior toward me is only interesting to the extent that it offers me opportunities to improve my own mind and conduct.
To my mind, this is completely rational. I like it when folks I admire return my admiration, but I don’t give a rat’s ass if unlikeable people don’t like me. It would be a red flag for me if they did!
Anyway, here’s a rockin’ tune from Cage the Elephant that expresses my attitude on this subject perfectly:Related posts:
When Man Alive! was first published, a number of people were distressed that I didn’t take a harder line on religion. My reason for doing as I did was pretty simple: Although I am a very strident atheist, and although I have nothing but contempt for theology and for all religious apocrypha, I like, respect and admire many people who say they are religious — including my own Best Beloved, my wife, Cathleen Collins.
I care a lot less about what you say you believe than I do about how you actually behave. If you are capable of leaving me alone to live my life as I choose, I don’t care what you say are your reasons for behaving as you do. By contrast, if you claim you are in agreement with my own ideas about the nature and structure of reality, and yet you cannot manage to keep your nose out of my business, then I care a great deal your actual behavior, regardless of your putative agreement with my philosophy.
This topic is of moment this week because our friends in the lands infested with Islam have put on another display of the impotent irrationality that is represented to be the substance of their religion. I don’t make fine distinctions about anegoistic doctrines: Whether your claims are based in religion, in politics or in some absurd academic dogma, if your behavior is atrocious, you are engaged in self-destruction in spite of your self.
We go through all this in the video, but the solution to every problem posed by anti-human dogmas is four-words simple: Fuck you. I quit. When the sane believers of every sort of doctrine work up the nerve to say those four words to their would-be masters, the world will be a better place overnight.
You can find an audio-only version of this video at the SelfAdoration.com podcast on iTunes.Related posts:
We just lost our house to foreclosure. Negotiations with the bank fell apart and we spent the last seven days bugging out. This was our third Notice of Trustee’s Sale. We had managed to redeem the note twice before, and we thought for sure we could thread the needle a third time. No joy. We didn’t know until yesterday morning that the bank had actually foreclosed, but we had to operate on the assumption that we could lose our pets and our personal property without notice.
That’s bad, but it’s not the end of the world. We are solvent even if we are not terribly liquid just now. We have business assets, art and artifacts and intellectual property, all of which we were able to conserve by acting quickly. Was I the bank, I would have hung in there for another month or two, taking account that we live on a cash-flow roller coaster and that we had managed to cling to the home twice before.
Over the past three months, we have cut our monthly nut by two-thirds, so we are well-situated to weather the economy we are living in. Had we done this seven years ago, things might be different, but we live with the consequences of our choices. We loved our home and we are sorry to have lost it, and sorry, too, to have defaulted on our promise to the bank, but life is suddenly a lot more joyous without that anchor around our necks.
Our real estate business is secure and solvent. All of the rental properties we manage are leased to solid, performing tenants, and our corporate bank accounts are all in good order. Our personal finances might be chaotic — this for many years, alas — but this has had no impact on the funds we hold in trust for our landlords and tenants.
And our marriage is stronger than it has ever been — literally as the consequence of these events. Cathleen had some teary moments, because we loved the El Caminito house, and because we spent many happy, loving years there, minus a few rough spots. But I’m happy with everything, so far, most especially with our marriage. It is the shared commitment to overcoming adversity that makes families, and we have lived through a lot of commitment in the past week.
All of this is offered up as news: This is what is going on with us. We are living out of boxes in our new abode, but the office is up and running, with me keeping the paperwork flowing while Cathleen stages and lists a home for sale today. We’re running behind, obviously, but we are catching up with alacrity. In a week’s time, all of these events won’t amount to a speed-bump on a sleepy side-street.
We are hale, well and happy — and so should you be. FannieMae is taking another hit, but that seems to be what they’re good at. Meanwhile, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off — and press on regardless. We have each other, and everything else is just so much stuff.
September 13, 2012
This is me from SelfAdoration.com:
What I’m doing here is a sort of commencement speech, a celebration of my moving on to a different state of excitation — even if everyone else stays exactly the same.
But I’m using extended arguments about the idea of preferring the subjunctive to the existential to defend my way of thinking in a comprehensive way.
I’ve spent my whole life thinking about how to talk to you — I say that in the movie — and this little clip may be the most comprehensive job I have done so far of communicating at least this small idea: We are not talking about the same things.
I don’t trade in your currency — I say that in the film also — but I am trying to convey to you why my currency is so much better for you than the stuff you’ve been trading with until now.
This stuff ain’t easy, I know, and it is plausible to me that my take-no-prisoners approach makes things harder for you, not easier. Oh, well…
This is me at my most me, the meest of the mes I have presented in these videos — all of which are intended to acquaint you with my style of being as the result of your having spent time with me being me.
I love this movie. I hope you do, too.
The video is in this YouTube clip. Fair warning, it’s 40 minutes long.Related posts:
This is me speaking at The 21Convention earlier this month in Austin. The title of my talk — “Ontologically-Consonant Teleology” — was a joke, an early intimation that I intended to be dry, pedantic and boring. In reality, I gave them my pure schtick, hard-core egoism delivered with a garage-band attitude.
I enjoyed myself hugely, but I always enjoy myself when I get a chance to speak in public. The audience dug it, too, judging from the reactions during and after my presentation.
I want more opportunities like this. If you would like me to speak at your event, let’s talk.Related posts:
I don’t go to your church.
I’ve taken to saying that when I run up against some testy quibble based in some arcane branch of human knowledge I care nothing about. I don’t go to your church. I don’t shop at your store. I don’t trade in your currency.
I’ve spent a big chunk of time this year trying to figure out how to get ideas that seem obvious to me across to people who seemingly cannot see them at all. I’m getting better at this job, but it hasn’t been easy.
But look at this, from FreeTheAnimal.com: Fifty shades of bleak: Looking for love everywhere it isn’t. The comment stream is huge and growing bigger very rapidly.
Take note of this, which I wrote a couple of summers ago: Yuppie love: The egoist’s guide to mastering the art of frolicking naked with the one you love.
There is tons more in my catalog, and tons upon tons upon tons more still to be explored.
Here is what I see:
I think there is an afternoon TV show in there, Oprah-ville for real, but there are plenty of other opportunities this side of Sixth Avenue.
I am a visionary. I am rich, rich, rich in ideas no one knows to care about until I can convince them that they should care. But I am rich, too, in ideas that will make a community like the one I’m talking about work — possibly making it all the way to Sixth Avenue.
There is money to be made here, and not just a little bit. I need an investor, one with a burning urge to incite a media revolution.
I don’t go to your church. But I can show you and everyone how to get to mine.Related posts:
Man Alive! elucidates the ontology of human social relationships, but it’s dense, tough sledding. Appended below is a easier-reading summary of some of these ideas. I wrote this as a speech for my Toastmaster’s Club in August of 2001. In the blog.world, I’ll throw out details about our lives, but that’s really just so much plastic fruit, local color. This is the world that I live in, the world I wish everyone lived in… –GSS
Shyly’s delight: Manifesting the secondary consequences of splendor.
I have a Labrador mutt named Shyly. She’s about three years old, but because she’s a Lab, she’ll always be a puppy. Always busy, always involved, always eager to be right in the middle of everything.
Shyly is the world’s greatest master at expressing delight. She has a fairly limited emotional range — sadness, boredom, territoriality and contentment. But at expressing delight, Shyly is unequaled. When I come home, even if I’ve only been away for two minutes, Shyly races back and forth through the house, her every muscle rippling with undiluted delight.
It’s an amazing thing to watch, funny and charming and sweet. Shyly’s joy is clean and whole and pure and perfect. Uncontaminated by memories of past pain. Unfiltered by guilt or shame or doubt or self-loathing. Untainted by envy or anger or malice. Unaffected by affectation. Shyly’s delight is impossible to doubt, and the day she fails to express it will be the day she has scampered off this mortal coil.
“What,” you may ask, “does this have to do with me?”
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “god is dead.” By this he did not mean that there had once been an omnipotent universe creator but that he had since expired. What he meant was that the manifestations of modernity had rendered religion unable to provide significant moral guidance to educated people. Unexpurgated religion had become inoperative as a moral lodestone.
This is actually non-controversial. When we make reasoned arguments about what one ought and ought not do, we do so by reference to philosophy or psychology or practical consequences, not to religion. Even members of the clergy do things this way, precisely because it is not possible to motivate educated people to take certain actions and refrain from taking others with promises of heaven and threats of hell. Received knowledge is no longer well-received.
I have a problem with this, actually. Reason is a much better guide to rectitude than is divination, surely. But half a truth can be worse than a lie.
I think god is not dead.
I think god has never yet even been discovered.
I know god. I have an on-going experience of god. I live in a state of the most devout, most enthralling worship of the one true god of human existence, the god humanity has always yearned to know and yet has never found. In the best and most perfect minutes of my day, in the cleanest and purest and most exquisitely splendorous days of my life, I am one with my god…
This is a fact: You are alone. This is the horrifying Existentialist wail, “The Scream”, the badge of honor of those who rationalize their lack of honor. But their despair and ennui notwithstanding, human beings are organisms, and all organisms are discrete, separate, unattached, unconnected. This is true of an amoeba and of my dog Shyly and of you. What is unique about you, compared to Shyly, is that you have a reasoning, recollecting mind, and therefore you can discover and acknowledge that you are alone.
Here is another fact: The “you” that is the real you is invisible to me. Shyly is who she is, and she can’t hide who she is. She can’t conceive of disguising who she is because she can’t conceive that she is. She just is.
You, by contrast, exist most fundamentally as you only within the silence and solitude of your mind. You have a body and I can see it. You do things and I can observe them. But I can only observe you doing those things that you choose to do in my presence. I can know you only by what you make manifest, reveal in your actions. Anything that you might choose to conceal or withhold is unknowable to me.
The you that is you most fundamentally — your soul, your spirit, your self, your ego — is never evident to anyone but you, by your own introspective consciousness.
Moreover, the actions and behaviors that you do make manifest — these are never more than secondary consequences of your life.
Every action that you take in your life is first taken by your ego upon your ego.
Not only are you alone with yourself, the sine qua non relationship of your life is with yourself. With your self, with the you that is the essential you, which only you can see, only you can know, and only you can act upon.
You are all there is to your life. The universe is everything there is, but the universe of your experience starts at your skin and goes inward. The actions you bring to the world outside of you are secondary consequences, and all of the events that happen outside of you are only as significant as you make them. By your choices, inside your mind.
Clouds don’t darken my mood. I darken my mood, then blame it on the clouds. Shyly’s delight doesn’t cause mine.
Do you want to see god? Close your eyes. Imagine yourself clean and whole and pure and perfect. Imagine yourself completed, burnished, glowing in exaltation.
Do you want to worship the god who is clean and whole and pure and perfect? Then be it. Be that god.
My Shylygirl can do things that are wrong, but she can never do evil, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because evil is taking an action that you know in advance is wrong. I’ll say that again: Evil is taking an action that you know in advance is wrong.
But I’m not here to threaten you with hell but rather to bring you the promise of heaven. So I’ll give you the complementary definition of rectitude: Rectitude is doing everything you know to be right.
In every choice you make, in every action you take, in each of your thoughts and in each of your deeds, you are acting upon your self. By your attitudes and your habits of mind and your internal and external behaviors, you are acting either to complete and burnish and exalt your ego — or to dismantle and deface and destroy it.
This is an inescapable ontological fact. This is what it means essentially to have a reasoning, recollecting mind. Skyscrapers and symphonies, on the one hand, and squalor and slaughter, on the other — these are secondary consequences. Every action in every human life is first taken by the ego upon the ego.
So do you want to worship your god, the only god who can exist in the universe of your experience? Then be that god. Behave always, constantly, in such a way that you will have earned and deserved your own self-adoration. Act always to complete your self and never to dismantle it, always to burnish it and never to deface it, always to exalt your ego and your body and your mind and your life — never to destroy it.
You’ll have to do this by yourself. The world outside your mind is at war with these kinds of ideas. Your pain, your guilt, your shame, your doubt, your self-loathing, your envy, your anger, your malice — these are the attributes of your character the world loves to see you manifest. These it will support and rationalize and subsidize. But to argue that self-destruction is not a worthy use of the precious gift of human life, to argue instead that the purpose of human life is to love one’s own self and to be a self worthy of one’s own unlimited adoration and devotion — merely to utter these words is held to be the worst kind of heresy.
And don’t be fooled into following false flags. Self-worship does not imply the abuse of others. This was Nietzsche’s egregious error. To the contrary, rectitude is doing everything you know to be right.
Nor is the modern canard, “self-esteem”, a substitute for self-love. Self-love is the joy and reverence you earn and deserve by the relentless pursuit of everything you admire, everything you desire, everything you aspire to. Self-esteem is the high regard in which you presume to hold yourself in appreciation for the accomplishment of absolutely nothing.
We are talking about self-adoration, not self-absorption. Egoism, not egotism.
But we are not talking about religion or philosophy or psychology. We are talking about ontology, what you actually are, in fact, irrespective of what anyone thinks about it.
I stand before you as witness to my god. I speak not from divination, not from revelation, but simply from direct introspective observation:
If you want to know Shyly’s delight, live it.
If you want to manifest splendor — unlimited, uncontaminated, untainted, unfiltered joy — then be the person who has earned and deserved undiluted delight — mental, physical and emotional — earned it and deserved it as the enduring secondary consequence of your choices…Related posts:
This is the Big Reveal from the third act of the movie Punchline, a naked confession from Tom Hanks’ character, Steven Gold:
“If you’re sending someone down, you better send him fast — ‘cuz funny Steve’s going under.”
I understood that line much too well when I first I heard it. I’ve lived with it rolling around in my head for the past twenty-odd years, and now I’m living it in real life.
This is from mail Cathleen sent today to someone (one of many someones) we owe money to:
We do have a problem: Greg and I are broke just about to the point where we aren’t able to keep our business afloat. We have shut off notices for our internet and phone (we gave up TV months ago), for our electricity, for our gas, and for our water and city services. Our house is scheduled for foreclosure within the next three weeks.
Since the First of April, we’ve only closed four transactions, for a total of $9,220 in commissions. We have only one transaction in escrow right now, and that’s a short sale, so who knows when it will close. I’ve been busy getting two houses ready to list and trying to sell furniture, lithographs and anything else that might interest anyone to try to keep lights on and our pets fed.
I’ve been keeping a careful eye on our bank accounts, and right now, if we were to send you the money we owe you, we will have a bank balance of $0.00 in the business account and $1.19 in our personal account.
I’m sorry to have to share such bad news. We’ve been working like crazy to turn this situation around…
This post is not an appeal to pity. Too much the contrary. Two Foreclosure Notices ago, Cheryl Johnson tried to beg for money for us, and I shot that idea down with dispatch. The last thing I want is money I haven’t earned. But after a lifetime of working my ass off for about fifteen cents an hour, net, Greg Swann is going under — and not slowly.
This is so stupid. I am rich beyond anyone’s ability to conceive of riches. But I am rich in currencies no one else values.
I tore the lid off human joy, correcting 2,500 years’ worth of error in moral philosophy. Reader response has been gratifying if not terribly munificent, so far, but I can’t buy a review of Man Alive!
Just lately, I released my novel The Unfallen as a Kindle book. I hadn’t thought about it in this way until I had it published, but it’s a remarkably potent argument in a world where thousands of women are devouring books advising them to degrade and humiliate themselves as a strategy for attracting men. It’s also a beautiful book, a soaring symphony on the theme of romantic love. None of that matters. I can’t even get my friends to review it, and so of course it doesn’t sell.
I spoke over the weekend at The 21Convention in Austin. I ended up presenting two different times, and I could tell by the fire in the eyes of the people in the audience that I killed both times. I’ve sold two books, so far, as the result of my efforts.
And I’m having a great year in publishing! Our ability to sell houses, weak at best over the past seven years, started to dry up entirely about 18 months ago. Cathleen and I both started looking at other ways of generating income. I’ve shopped for partners or investors, and I’ve talked to people about business ideas, to no avail. I’ve been “monetizing” books, or trying to, because it’s something I can do that almost no one else can. I’ve been successful, too, relatively speaking: I’ve made far more from my writing this year than I ever have in my life.
The trouble with that observation is that “far more” is still almost nothing, quite a bit less than fifteen cents an hour for the work I’ve put in, not even counting work done in past years. I have the best laugh at my own expense, of course, since I have known for decades that writing for money is a dead letter.
I can write. I can speak. I can come up with ideas that no one has ever thought of before, ideas that awe and enflame and inspire. I can paint for you a picture of the world you have always longed to see. I can show you the life you have known in your heart should always have been yours. I can make you soar, make you weep, make you writhe and shiver and squirm and scream. I know I can do these things, because I can see it in your response to me — and I can feel it within my own skin.
What I can’t do, apparently, is make a living.
I’ve lived my whole life waiting for things that never happen, counting coins that never find their way to my pocket. More fool me, I know, but I knew all this going in. But I’m out of time to dick around. I reread The Unfallen over the weekend, and it’s a heartbreakingly beautiful book. It’s a book that deserves to sell, that has always deserved to sell, but it could not be more urgently needed than it is right now, in the age of Fifty Shades of Grey.
And so here I am, begging for attention however I can get it. I hate asking for anything from anyone; this is the white hot core of my own egoism, the place I started from when first I woke up in Fathertongue. But for thirty years, people have been saying things like this to me: “Gee, Greg, I love your writing. I sure hope you can make a living from it someday. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” Since late last year I have been asking with a steadily increasing urgency for that help, without very much in the way of results.
Maybe I don’t deserve it. Maybe the writing isn’t as good as I think it is, and maybe the ideas I am so rich in truly are of no value to anyone but me. Maybe I’m 20 or 50 or 100 years ahead of my time. Or maybe this is all just a matter of bad luck. But I am out of time. Whatever miracle I have been waiting for, there could not be a better time for the Big Reveal.
If you want to help turn this drama around, here is what I need for you to do: Read The Unfallen or Christmas at the speed of life, review them at Amazon.com and, most importantly, tell your friends to read and review them.
Permit me to repeat that last bit, since I’ve been saying it for the past nine months, apparently without enough emphasis: Tell your friends to read and review them. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd, but I can no longer afford to wait for that crowd to assemble by itself.
If you want to hire me to speak at your event, I love it. If you want to invest in me, I love it more — and I have lots of ideas for turning money into more money. If you want to regale me with tales of the big bucks I’m going to make when you don’t do what I advise you to do in the most brutal real estate market on the planet — well, that’s how I got to this juncture.
I think I’m worth quite a bit more than fifteen cents an hour. It could be that no one else agrees with that proposition, and that’s totally fine: That’s how we’re built. If you want to tell me all about how you want to help me except for the part about doing what I ask you to do when I ask you to do it, at least you’ll understand why I hate asking for things in the first place. But we are going under — and not slowly. If you really do want to do something to make a difference, there could not possibly be a moment more propitious than this one.Related posts:
My novel The Unfallen is now available as an Amazon Kindle eBook. Here is the way I blurbed the book when I wrote it:
The Unfallen is a very sexy book about philosophy and a very philosophical book about love and longing. It’s written about and for smart, productive people who live to love their lives…
I can summarize it Ari Gold-style with three quick synopses:
1. It’s a very romantic novel about philosophy.
2. It’s a send-up of genre romance fiction, a literal inversion of the bodice-ripper how-to book called “Adventurous women, dangerous men.”
3. It’s fifty shades sexier, celebrating the splendor of real love, not the squalor of degradation.
Here’s an extract from The Unfallen, the poem that was the instigating cause of my own marriage:
you come to me by starlight
in a gown of gauzy white
your sacraments revealed concealed
high priestess of the night
you whisper vespers whisper prayers
whisper vows of faith and fear
in still and silent grace you stand
as i in trembling awe draw near
i kneel in worship grasp your hand
press it to my searing lips
pray god to know the endless peace
flowing from your fingertips
you come to me in night divine
your glory lit by crowning gold
you consecrate by hungry glance
devotion’s heat in evening’s cold
you come to me i kneel i stand
you lay me on the dewy ground
you guide my worship guide my hands
lead my heart your heart to sound
you speak to me with loving grace
you catechize in passion’s glow
you reach you teach you seethe and burn
and i am blessed by truth to know
you come to me in gauzy gown
high priestess of the night
i lay in awe in faith in fear
lifted to your heaven’s light
I want you to buy this book, but before that, I want you to help me promote it. If you’d like a free review copy, just say so. The quid-pro-quo is that I will want you to write a review of The Unfallen at Amazon.com. And I would love it if you would recommend the book to your warm network by email, blog or Facebook.
My vow: The Unfallen will more than repay your involvement in the form of a happier, sexier, more-fulfilling marriage. That’s what I wrote it for in the first place, as a roadmap to my own Splendor.Related posts:
I will be doing an hour-long presentation on my book Man Alive! at the The 21 Convention in Austin. The convention runs from August 17th – 19th, and I will be speaking first-thing in the morning on Saturday, August 18th.
My topic? Intellectual self-defense amidst the last-gasp collapse of Rotarian Socialism. Not too surprising if you’ve read Man Alive! My plan is to go through a number of specious arguments, with examples, showing you how to defend your self from the pandemic deceptions deployed by demagogues to defend tyranny.
The 21 Convention is put together by Anthony “Dream” Johnson. It seeks to “surface, restore, and actualize the ideal in man” — a goal I can heartily endorse. There will be a total of 18 speakers over the three days of the event, including Yaron Brook of The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights and Richard Nikoley of FreeTheAnimal.com.
Anthony Johnson runs his events like Brian Brady and I should run ours, very professional and strictly business. If you want to come see me or the other speakers — with topics ranging from philosophy to politics to health and fitness to sexual relations — you can buy tickets by clicking on this link. That’s an affiliate link, which means that I’m getting a piece of the business, if that matters to you. You can buy three-day or one-day tickets, with upsells, but note that the prices go up on July 31st. There will be video of the presentations available for sale after the event.
I’m interested in doing more of these, if you have a microphone available for me. I’m doing philosophy at the 21 Convention, but there are a lot of topics covered and touched upon in Man Alive! that I would like to bring to an audience. As an example, I can do an hour on orgasms that will change your life forever. To see what I can do without an audience — on philosophy, not orgasms — visit the Videocast category at SelfAdoration.com. Meanwhile, if you’re going to be in Central Texas next month, come give me a look. I plan to put on a killer show.Related posts:
The world you find is the one you’re looking for, and the map to that world is written in the lines of your face.
A couple weeks ago we got together with an old friend whom we had not seen in some while. She made a huge point of remarking that my appearance had not changed at all, which I dismissed as a kindly untruth, sweet but surely very far from being accurate.
This is me on April 15, 2001, the photo I’ve used at BloodhoundBlog since its inception:
This is me on July 9, 2012, a week ago today:
A little more weight on me, and a little jowlier, but not much difference. The set of my features is a constant, a reflection of the world I see outside my mind.
This is me from Man Alive!:
Your mama told you, when you glared and grimaced at her, that your face would freeze like that, but neither one of you knew she was right: The facial expressions we wear most often – habituated Mothertongue emotional reactions – inscribe themselves into our skin.
We listed an actual equity sale on Friday, and we’re getting ready to do another one Friday next. I’m waiting right now to get the signed contract on a buyer side, also an equity sale. That much is good, since we have fared very poorly in ForeclosureWorld. But I just lost a buyer side that we need very badly, and I have not had any confidence that we can hold onto our own home for the past four years. Desdemona died, Shyly died, and Odysseus is making his last orbit around the sun. I’ve had family shit, and Cathy lost her father and is slowly losing her mother.
In short, I could wish for more triumphs and fewer tragedies. But the world you find is the one you’re looking for, and the reality of my own life is that I have to make a conscious effort to remember pain as soon as it’s over. I love my life best when I’m too busy to think about anything but what I am doing right now, and I think that attitude is written all over my face.
What does all this have to do with you? If you don’t like the face you see reflected back to you in the mirror, try looking for a world you like better outside your mind: The map to the world you expect to discover every day is written in the lines of your face.Related posts:
Today is our tenth wedding anniversary. Cathleen and I have been a couple since January, 1998, but we got legally, lawfully married on Independence Day in 2002. Our “our songs” are No Myth and Thunder Road, but there are some “my songs” that I think of often to remind myself of why I so much love being married to this woman.
That recording brings out the jazz in the song’s DNA, but no one, so far, has done a good job of finding the country song that’s in there, too.
I understand this all the way through me. I don’t always like being around other people, but when I do, the person I like to have near me most, most often, most enduringly is Cathleen.
So “Darling, be home soon.” I can’t think of a recording of this song I don’t like, but Derek Trucks just kills on the slide guitar at the end of this one.
And we close with John Hiatt expressing a mystery I understand very well:Related posts:
I almost let this day slip by without taking notice of it. Shame on me. Six years, almost 5,000 posts, and the only place in the RE.net where truth will out and where hustlers dare not dissemble and jive.
I am sad, to say the truth, that the promise I saw when first I began this crusade for a cleaner, more honest kind of real estate is by now all but shattered. Realtors went from bus benches and urinal cakes to their digital equivalents in the form of Facebook “likes” and Pinterest panderings — all without ever once stopping to think about the things we might have and should have done, the things we could have done and the world we could have made by doing them.
Even so, here’s my take, always:
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
–Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
If you loathe your self so much you can’t live without having your ass kissed, BloodhoundBlog is not for you. If you’re desperate to learn the latest tricks for deceiving your clients, you’ve come to the wrong place. But when the stench of corruption is ripe in the streets, when you want for once not to be lied to by the people you pay to lie to you — when you want to know the truth, no matter how painful it might be — you know where to find us.
Here’s a toast to BloodhoundBlog and to all the people who have written here over the years!Related posts: