Queen Victoria on Solo


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Dragonfly-

As far as I'm concerned, your description is accurate.

Ciro- done slumming over there? We need pizzas!!

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Ellen,

my registering with OL isn’t apart of some grand scheme and I don’t have anything ‘dramatically romantic’ to assign my motives. I originally went to SOLO to partake in the world of ideas—being a creative person and a fan of Ayn Rand. I now regret—as should be clear—of getting sucked into the vortex of emotionalism, hyper-moralizations and acrid bites of pseudo-Objectivists.

I’ve had it with that type of atmosphere. “End of, please!” Indeed—just to quote you.

Victor

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Victor,

I'm confused. Why on earth is your open letter addressed to Hsieh? Did she accuse you of plagiarism? (I hope you didn't send her many e-mails...)

Michael,

Diana and I have had private email conversations. She has joined the band-wagon of being a huff and puff moralizer---as if I were a student in her class cheating on the final exams. So I decided to air what I had to say in an ‘open-letter’ format.

There really is a lynch mob mentality at SOLO. It seems like some people are incapable of expressing their “Objectivist persona” in a benevolent way—but instead convince themselves that being a “true Objectivist” is to make harsh judgments and accusatory charges. Anyhing will do--great or small!

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I now regret—as should be clear—of getting sucked into the vortex of emotionalism, hyper-moralizations and acrid bites of pseudo-Objectivists.

Yeah, Victor, I think it's clear -- you jumped from SOLO after the hungry SOLO Coyotes turned on you. It only took two weeks. Gee, there you were, driving calmly in traffic, and suddenly the other drivers leapt down from their Humvees with verbal tire-irons swinging (though Quintana flung his tire iron back in the trunk and pretended to have been in a mere authoritarian snit) . . .

rage_pg_35.jpg

________________________________

-- I note that you had asked about this thing, this rage thing, over at SOLO only a short week or so ago . . . I note also that nobody bothered to give you any facts in response, just a lot of titanic blurts from their blowholes . . . other readers here may not have seen it: "Questions about Objectivist Rage" is a since-deleted post on SOLO, from June 16th.

Hi, I'm writing an post about this current--as some

thoughts and conclusions have occured to me--that I will

share in due time (I hope there will be an interest).

But a few questions:

(1)As far as you know (those who would answer this post)

what is the definition of "Objectivist Rage" as being

presented by B.Branden (?)

(2)What are some examples of 'Objectivist Rage' in

action?

(3)How is this a leacture topic all of a sudden? Is it

because of the James Valliant book?

-- from the Atlas Society site:

July 4 (Tuesday) Program

Barbara Branden, M.A. – Rage and Objectivism

It is lamentable but true that a great many

Objectivists—although certainly not all—have been very

angry people, given to excessive moralizing and

condemnations of those who disagree with them. Over the

years, Barbara Branden has identified some of the

fundamental reasons for this rage, such as the

beliefs—as David Kelley has noted—that ideas as such can

be evil, that evasion rather than simple error, naivety,

or confusion is the predominant source of philosophical

mistakes, and so on. Error has become the original sin

of Objectivism. In this talk, Ms. Branden will discuss

the effects of excessive rage, and will suggest ways in

which anger can be addressed and brought into balance

with rational judgment and reason.

Link

-- from NoodleFood blog:

The Downward Spiral

[ . . . ]

I do wonder whether Barbara Branden's topic of "Rage of

Objectivism" was motivated by at all by the fact that I

booted her from NoodleFood for her blatant dishonesty

about Ayn Rand and others and that Linz enforced her

repeated declarations of imminent departure from SoloHQ

by blocking her posts.

[ . . . ]

Link

-- from the RoR forum, a report on a Barbara Branden talk "Libertarianism, Objectivism, and Rage" written by Roger Bissell:

In conclusion, Barbara asked: isn't there enough pain

in the world? Wouldn't it be nice if someone for a

change erred in being too lenient in judging others?

There is a great lack of empathy these days. Judging

people without empathy and awareness of their context

won't change people and won't change the world. It will

just make us outcasts. We should strive for a realistic,

sympathetic understanding of others rather than morally

condemning them (unless they deserve it, such as racists

who deny the Holocaust or think it was a good thing)."

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This issue poses a very interesting problem for Objectivism. I admit that I don't have all the answers and I am observing just as much as the next person. The problem is one of atonement or redemption. What does an Objectivist do when he has had a drastic change of heart?

I heard a 1989 interview of Nathaniel Branden by Don Swain the other day on his archived radio shows where NB brings up this problem of redemption. He stated that Objectivism does not have any procedure to deal with redemption like Catholicism, for instance, does. He also mentioned that he does not know how he missed this during his years with Ayn Rand.

In the case of Hsieh, she had a drastic change of heart, embracing ARI after having written for years many nasty things about it and the people there. To atone, she has been doing her damnedest to publicly burn her bridges with TOC, the Brandens and Chris Sciabarra by periodically denouncing them in hysterical and irrationally spiteful terms. She even publishes information that is intended to misinform - for instance:

I'd certainly prefer to see any good articles published in mainstream journals, rather than one with as small a circulation as JARS. (WorldCat tells me that JARS appears in just 9 of the thousands of libraries in its index.)

See the proud announcement on the JARS site for a different view:

...now abstracted and indexed in whole or in part by Arts and Humanities Citation Index, CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, Current Contents/Arts & Humanities, IBR (International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences), IBZ (International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences), International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, International Political Science Abstracts, The Left Index, The Philosopher's Index, MLA International Bibliography, MLA Directory of Periodicals, Social Sciences Citation Index, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, and Women's Studies International.  Also linked to EpistemeLinks.com, The History Journals Guide, History Resources, The Insight, Literature Online, NEXUS, and SOSIG (Social Science Information Gateway).

I dare say that this volume of information in itself illustrates Hsieh's statement as extremely biased and intended to mislead the reader. Yet this is merely one of oodles of examples of atonement as she practices it. She appeases one party (ARI) by saying bad things about another (TOC, Brandens, Sciabarra and sympathizers).

I do not think this is a good practice to emulate in Objectivism when you come to a decision to reverse yourself. I do not find it spiritually beneficial in any manner. Focusing on spiteful emotions turns you into a very ugly person.

I think a very good way for redemption is what Christianity has been doing for thousands of years: simply letting go of the past and restructuring the future and cleaning up whatever garbage from the past that happens to be around. They have a symbolic moment (salvation) for the catharsis of purging guilt, weariness, confusion, doubts, etc.

Still, it takes time for a drastic change of heart to settle. It also takes time for people to start believing it. Attacks on past people will make some present people believe in the change, but in the end, these constant attacks become very tiresome. Getting on with the change and becoming productive is probably the wisest course. (Part of the reason OL was founded was to encourage creativity and that certainly is something worth getting on with.)

Now here's the other end of the question. What do Objectivists do with one who has had a drastic change of heart and has been a clear enemy before that? Let him turn into a "useful idiot" (to use Lenin's famous phrase) to attack the other side like Hsieh has become? Embrace him with baptism and salvation, i.e., almost unconditional acceptance, like the Christians do?

As the onlooker (and one of the former targets), I am trying out an approach that is in between these extremes. I am giving the benefit of the doubt, but keeping my eyes open. I am doing this as deeply in my soul as I can manage. I am appealing to the best in man's spirit rather than condemning the worst. (This does not mean I am "turning the other cheek" either! :D )

I don't like public testimonials like they do in churches, so I don't want to turn Victor into a circus attraction or backwater revival meeting, nor turn OL into "the true way." But I have a feeling that what is going on with this case has the potential to set some healthy precedents to fill a hole in Objectivism that badly needs filling.

I am extremely interested in seeing how this plays out.

Michael

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Good point, William- I watched that rage thread decompose. It would have worked on OL but I think we weave with it anyway. We are right now.

I don't know that I even agree that the term "rage" is apt. I don't see much rage- I see other things.

Rage, now, is something that demands respect- rage is fiery powerful, volatile. It has deadly killing power. In competent, sane hands, it is the ultimate fuel additive. I know rage when I see it, whether it is working on the dark side, or the virtuous one. No, I don't think rage is the right word, but the drift is there. In O-world, the phenomena, that "thing" almost requires its own term, perhaps one that includes what I sometimes think of as effete-ness.

Not rage, though. I've seen nary any rage power, at least in recent days.

But there are little signs and signals that help flesh out the behaviors.

The Hsieh post William quotes (which I plumb near forgot all about) is so telling, for instance. You know what I see there? I see someone who thinks "it's got to be because of me!" Me, me me! Yes! My scary bad Kung Fu knows no boundaries! It is the work of the falsely superior, a by-product of an elevated sense of self-importance. "Perigo and I stuck pins in the special Barbara Branden voodoo doll we made together, and she jumped!" Behold my Dim Mak!

As to that, you know what? I know what kind of people Barabara (and Nathaniel) ran with over the years, both the allies and the adversaries, and the possibility of a Hsieh or a Perigo truly breaching those hulls is silly, tragically so. Curmudgeon and Curmudgeonette are, and will remain, bugs under the (amazingly, still reasonably benevolent) Branden microscopes.

So that's not rage. Nope. Might be a self-esteem issue, once you sledgehammer through all the debris and hit core. Maybe that's it- I wonder what NB thinks about that hypothesis.

There always is, in many quarters of O-world, a great deal of breast-beating, sloganizing, credo-making...but rage? Eh...

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I don't know that I even agree that the term "rage" is apt. I don't see much rage- I see other things.

I think I see what you mean. From my first days observing (and then posting to) O-lists I was struck by a nastiness that seemed out of proportion to what it was nastifying.

I should probably look it up (from the old SOLOHQ), but I remember Joe Rowlands explaining to a puzzled poster why it was that newcomers who took a mild poke at O-ismatics were dogpiled. Rowlands said something to the order that it was a reaction of an unjustly attacked minority.

I more or less accepted that. "Ah, yet another ignorant attack from an outsider, one who does not understand." Seemed a reasonable explanation.

Another thing I noted over the first few months was Lindsay Perigo: his namecalling. It was not necessary, I thought, unnecessary and not to the point.

One exchange in particular exemplified the diffuse denunciation -- instead of engaging with a poster with whom he disagreed (Laj), he un-artfully flung off insults directed obliquely -- the standard pomo-wanker, blah, pusball, blah blah blah . . .

-- and then later, I noted that when challenged, Perigo would underline than he did apologize when he had unjustly raged. And then would come another round of pusball, pomodinkie, wah blah blah . . .

It seemed to me that he never actually did apologize for his real excesses. In fact, he expected pats on the back for his supposed passionate passionateness. And then indeed the whales (thinking of Cresswell the Magnificent and Robert "yeah pusball, that's the ticket" Weinhead) would surface in the oily stinking pool, wave about their fore-flippers, and blow out a huge gust of nasty in turn -- exemplified by the truly demented threads that cast Joe Rowlands to the innermost circle of Heck.

Pusball, pomo-weenie, Saddamonger . . . smearer-in-chief . . . all this seemed so weak and unfocussed as to be worthless as a tool of rhetoric. Comic opera, whale ballet, mexican wrasslin', Objectivist Keyboard Olympics . . . all of which made me feel like I would never actually want to spend time in a pool with these sorts of whales.

As with my banning from the front yard and precincts of Perigo's blowhole, I was bemused. Nothing in my actual online oeuvre would he quite grapple with. No, just 'jerk,' blah blah pusball, blah blah . . . at his worst I was reminded of Wilhelm Reich at his most paranoid and monomaniacal . . .

Total passion for the total heights? Total heights of just exactly what?

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As I understand it the whole thing started with some article about "integration". Now I wonder what all that talk about "integration" is. Is it a new Objectivist buzzword, one of those mantras that don't really mean anything but that give some people a good and warm feeling when they repeat it?

Funny you should ask that. I was just giving Larry a speech the other night -- while we were colliding with each other in the kitchen while both trying to access various items from cupboards in a narrow space -- about the O'ist use of "integration" being a buzzword meaning WHAT?

(If the subject is going to be discussed seriously, I suggest starting a different thread, in the Epistemology forum? There might even already be a thread on the topic. Probably best to wait before attempting anything in depth until after the Summer Seminar. Several people here are giving speeches at the seminar and might still have preparations to make.)

Ellen

___

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Hello Kat,

Thank you for your kind welcome.

To address some of your questions, I don’t want to be considered a former "SOLO person" nor a "Objectivist Living person".

I’m a “cult of one.”

This is not to say that I’m not a team player or that I’m an anti-social type. No, on the contrary, I’m looking for a “community” to interact with people who are interested in all types of subjects--in movies, philosophy, art et al.

It’s true, that I did encounter (and stirred up) acrimony at SOLO and you could say that it’s a “mob mentality" there, but there were exceptions. There are always exceptions to a general rule, Kat. I like Landon and Mr Adam Reed very much.

Overall, I got the feeling that there is no “real communication” at SOLO. It’s more of a forum of desperate isolation-block blow horns wanting only to flash their intellectual credentials to each other-- after they digest a few books. You also have the "you're not worthy to shine Eddie Willer's boots" type of self-important ass-wipes, too.

I would say that you did not get a real snapshot of the “real me”—or at least, not the full picture. I’m actually a very likable bastard. There are some real bastard bastards out there, and I’m a minor league one. But I agree, I have invited myself in this community and I do think it would be in poor taste if I didn't apologize. I do.

I am not here to insult or “Branden bash” ---and neither do I consider “the Brandens” as one entity. They are separate, viable people who speak for themselves. If I’m not required to take N.Branden to my loving bosom as a perquisite to be on Objectivist Living—I would welcome that. [i'm sorry, Judgement Day did not do it for me]. Mind you, if I were to speak of him as a thinker in his field of specialization—he’s a freaking pioneer--and bloody brilliant! I am willing to give credit where it’s due.

In regards to B.Branden, I don’t think it’s a personal attack on her if I say that the movie adaptation of her book was truly awful—of course, this is the lover of cinema and literature speaking here. So I’m opinionated about movies--and it is one man’s opinion.

But to assure you, I’m not looking to pick a barroom fight or to insult anyone here. Mind you, I have harsh words for certain individuals at SOLO. But it will come to an end. That all becomes so draining on the spirit after a while.

Victor

PS

Thanks for your compliments on those paintings. That’s old stuff…I think I’ve improved.

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Hi Victor,

Welcome to OL. Like Ellen and the others, I am wondering what brings you here after such harsh words about us. In the interest of fairness and objectivity, and because you seem to truly regret getting swept up in the ugliness of those nasty vicious people with big pointy teeth, I am willing to keep an open mind. I want to see what you are like as an individual and not part of the Linz mob. I am looking forward to your statement and apology. I want to see a kinder, gentler you. You may not like everyone here, but we do try to keep the acrimony to a minimum. Don't insult your hosts or our guests and you should have no trouble.

I look forward to interacting with you in the future on a more positive level. I know you have talent and have created some wonderful paintings. I love the ones of Pollack and Dali. We do have a Rational Gallery here where people post and discuss artwork. There is also a thread on integration over in the chewing area that you may be interested in.

I do hope you find value in Objectivist Living and that you will bring value to our online community. Like Michael, I am hoping that you are a person of good will and good premises.

Kat

(edit - I originally posted this welcome message here in Rants and then decided that since it was a welcome message to move it to Meet and Greet. Since Victor has responded to it here, it makes sense to move it back. So here it is.)

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William-

Your view of things starting at SOLOHQ mirrors my own. I really enjoyed that place, and at the same time I'm glad I got out of there before the Total Height of Total Splitting Up took place.

As far as Perigo's namecalling, apologizing looping goes, that's how he does business- it's passive aggressive stuff, and it's theater. I think it keeps the naive off balance. It is a tool of control, and promotion. The impresario thing, you know? It does work to an extent, shitty and vile as it can be as a technique. It's cyclical abuse in domestic terms. Forums are like bars, in a lot of ways. You have regulars, you have your cliques, you have your local Big Dog. And, like bars, they attract like, with occasional new blood that makes for change (or fresh meat, at least). With this one, though, in the end, it's just a bunch of spewing- not even enough mojo to be proper schoolyard bullies.

Now, MSK-

I think you are on-point looking at the tolerance issue. It's a lot harder to dispense with a situation, and TRULY have that be the end of it. That's because the interest there is dispensing with an issue, and preserving everyone's diginity, as much as possible.

But, that isn't any fun, now is it? It's more tasty to go for the long death. The dogbile, the mob. People like a good public beating.

The thing is, that doesn't always fly too well, does it? Not in the world of words. Fred Weiss might've finally stepped in it lately, for instance. Our beloved horn-dog Phil wrote a piece over there and unfortunately made an innocent typo- one of those kind where the fingers just do what they do with vowels whether you tell them otherwise our not. That aside, he did have points to make, questions to ask. Fred decided to run with the typo problem. That's not even lampooning- that's just being an asshole.

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Redemption: just a thought.

There is one example of forgiveness in a Rand novel I can think of, and her name is Cheryl Taggart. Actually, that makes two. Remember when Francisco found out Dagny and Hank Rearden were lovers? and then Hank slapped him? What did Francisco do?

His words were a variation on what Yeshua was reported to have said, on the Cross: I forgive you, for you know not what you do.

To Victor: I've seen for myself precisely how people at the other site behave. I'm sure you know this site is, in terms of civility, the precise opposite of the true believers' clique. People here have the right to be wrong, and not to agree with everything Ayn Rand said.

This is consistent with Ayn's atheism. By definition, God and only God can be all-knowing. If there is no God, then no one can be all-knowing. I'm not. Neither are you, and neither was Ayn.

Ayn also stated in John Galt's speech that ten errors you make of your own thinking are better than one truth you accept on blind faith.

One thing Ayn was wrong about, in her style, was her apparent need to condemn; and to judge as "irrational dishonesty" what may be an honest error, or a difference in opinion.

In short, we don't act like the true believers here.

If you want to leave all that behind, you are in the right place.

Welcome.

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To Victor: I've seen for myself precisely how people at the other site behave. I'm sure you know this site is, in terms of civility, the precise opposite of the true believers' clique. People here have the right to be wrong, and not to agree with everything Ayn Rand said.

In short, we don't act like the true believers here.

If you want to leave all that behind, you are in the right place.

C. Jordan. Thank you very much for that.

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O'ist use of "integration" being a buzzword meaning WHAT?

I think this goes to Peikoff's DIM hypothesis, which I gather attempts to explain outlooks on life as falling into one of 3 families:

Disintegraton, like skeptics and nihilists

Integration, like scientists and Objectivists

Misintegration, like religious conservatives

At a very high level, it is a little bit like Kelley's analysis of 3 American cultures at war:

Postmodern, like skeptics and nihilists

Enlightenment/Modern, like scientists and Objectivists

Premodern, like religious conservatives

Maybe we should call it the PEP hypothesis.

The details are different. The idea of Integration as a virtue seems to combine the following:

1) Consistency - not accepting contradictions

2) Willing to generalize

3) Only willing to generalize in accordance with reality

Misintegrators are willing to generalize, but try to include fantasy elements, and end up contradicting themselves covertly.

Disintegrators say "never say never", decline to affirm generalizations, and shrug off contradictions.

I'm going by memory of things I've heard people say. I have not listened to Peikoff's DIM lecture yet, so take all this with a grain of salt.

John

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Postmodern, like skeptics and nihilists  

Enlightenment/Modern, like scientists and Objectivists  

Premodern, like religious conservatives  

Ah, there's the rub. Pigeonholing. Postmodern=all bad Premodern=all bad

Modern=all good (empirical)

That right there is a macro-sized integration error. Premodern ->Modern-> Postmodern. was how it went, no? And those are just rough marker points of one aspect of human evolution (the "we" part). The heavens just didn't open up and shine one day, the birthday of the dawn of Modernity. That would be an insane way of looking at anything.

And with postmodernity it is the same thing.

Again, I say: Premodern, Modern, and Postmodern areas all are replete with their virtues and vices. To pick out any of them and say it is entirely rotten is incredibly blind and foolish (I'm not pointing fingers, it's a general situation).

And, using empiricism outside of what it is for is equally foolish. Empiricism shows what is True. What it does not show is what it

means.

But let's give modernity it's due, aside from the technological innovations. One thing that it did was to split philosophy/religion, science, and art (Good, True, Beuatiful) and enable them to develop without interference from, oh, I don't know, say The Church. That is key. But at the same time, it creates re-integration problems of its own.

Big topic.

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I should probably look it up (from the old SOLOHQ), but I remember Joe Rowlands explaining to a puzzled poster why it was that newcomers who took a mild poke at O-ismatics were dogpiled. Rowlands said something to the order that it was a reaction of an unjustly attacked minority.

-- I should have looked this up first -- I was wrong in thinking this was Joe Rowlands. In fact it was two folks, in October of 2005, Joe Maurone and Andrew Bissell.

Laj, one of the reasons you get the treatment you do here is because you're on our turf. A lot of us come here for refuge from the intellectual hostility we encounter in our day-to-day lives.  

(Post  175 in 'Is Objectivism a cult?')

I can sympathise with Andrew's sentiment. It's like being out in the world all day, faced with various forms of opposition which we're expected to "tolerate." Home is supposed to be sanctuary where one can be oneself without incrimination. Imagine coming home and having to defend your castle from within! I had a ex who wanted us to have two rooms in case his parents came to visit (he was not "out".) I told him forget it, I do not hide in my own home.

It's got nothing to do with tribalism, it's about having a place where one can simply be with likeminded people without justification, no apologies.

(Post 187 in 'Is Objectivism a cult?')

-- and then the next day, in another thread, Lindsay Perigo advances his reasonable take on dogpiling . . .

The pusballs are "perfect" in their evil. As I said, slow, subtle, insidious.

My words bear repeating:

We see such pusballs gatecrashing on SOLOHQ. Not the excrement-framers

themselves, but their philosophical parents. Their stock-in-trade is ambiguity,

uncertainty, “well yes, but ...,” “not necessarily”—verbal clutter and entropy.

They slither around in what Ayn Rand would call the “hopeless swamps of the

approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.” Under the guise of

“critical thinking,” they commit to nothing, and try to cast doubt on

everything. Their goal is to destroy the hero in the souls of those they

engage, because they resent it. They want to destroy it, not in one fell swoop,

but “spark by irreplaceable spark”—slowly, subtly, insidiously. That’s what

their verminous verbosity is all about. Inch by inch they seek to envelop their

victims in their slime, till all sparks are extinguished.

Note how the pusballs have no respect for property rights, continuing their

"gatecrashing," accusing me of using a "bully pulpit" as though it's theirs!

The shame is that decent people like Bill Dwyer and Robert Campbell are being

seduced into engaging the pusballs. I guess the decent Dwyers of this world

haven't been around SOLO long enough to know what unutterable scum these

creatures are.

(from Perigo's recap of his "Slime on SOLO")

Yes, Lindsay, your words bear repeating: "PUSBALLS! CREATURES! UNUTTERABLE SCUM!"

Ick. Double Ick.

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William,

I forgot how amazingly well Herr Perigo can rip out the paranoid rhetoric when he feels like hitting the podium:

Their goal is to destroy the hero in the souls of those they

engage, because they resent it. They want to destroy it, not in one fell swoop,

but “spark by irreplaceable spark”—slowly, subtly, insidiously. That’s what

their verminous verbosity is all about. Inch by inch they seek to envelop their

victims in their slime, till all sparks are extinguished.

Good Lordy, the Master Curmudgeon Race is under siege! Break all your clay pots and sink your boats, it's ON!

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, "Who ARE these people?" Shit, WHERE are these people? How do you resent someone that can't muster more than pusbag, and slime? What the eff is that? Good Gawd, talk about smarmy melodrama soapbox stuff... "They're coming for my SPARK, my SPARK!!!"

And where the heck is Penelope Pureblood?

rde

Puttin' out the Spark, with Gas-O-Line

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WSS quoted Perigo:

"Their goal is to destroy the hero in the souls of those they engage, because they resent it. They want to destroy it, not in one fell swoop, but “spark by irreplaceable spark”—slowly, subtly, insidiously. That’s what their verminous verbosity is all about. Inch by inch they seek to envelop their victims in their slime, till all sparks are extinguished."

I agree with Perigo's general sentiment here. What makes a person become a destroyer instead of a creator? What makes someone convince himself that he's heroic and that he's going to change the world for the better by dedicating his life to becoming an angry, mediocre critic instead of a driven producer?

Resentment.

Just one of many examples: My enthusiastic neighbor kid and his garage-band mates passionately create good original music almost every day of their lives. They're very ambitious and talented, and they love what they do. In contrast, there are dried up old windbags who, although they like to give the impression that they are quite musically knowledgeable, refined and talented, produce nothing original and do little more than complain, day after day, year after year, that people like my neighbor kid are ruining the world with their music. Clearly the goal of these windbags is to destroy, “spark by irreplaceable spark,” the hero in the souls of those they engage. They want to drag down those who have significantly more talent, drive and originality than they do. They crave a world filled with people like themselves: non-producers who lost their creative "spark" long ago and have nothing left but smoldering rage.

J

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Jonathan-

Your garage band example- well Hell, I'm not even sure that's resentment. It's more like regret, envy of youth, misery loves company. I know a few musicians like that, but only a few over many years.

I can tell you one thing, that isn't why I put a little of my multitasking time into running curmudgeons up the flagpole. There is nothing there I can find to resent, for one thing. I just don't like how they fuck with people. I have a historical distaste for bullies and blowhards, and I am more than willing to indulge this distaste by fucking with ~them~. Call it a character deftect, one that I cherish.

That whole impassioned quote is theater. Gawd, for his sake I hope it is consciously performed theater, because if he actually buys into that, HOOFA!! You know what that means? It means his spark ain't no good because someone can put it out. That's weak, man. Weak.

rde

Spark, schmark. Halogen bulbs are getting real affordable these days.

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