Thursday, March 1, 2012

So long, and thanks for all the fish...


"This is the end, beautiful friend...the end." Jim Morrison

"And then we came to the end." Joshua Ferris

"Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs." Philip Larkin

Attachments, we have come to believe, are the ultimate curse. As Tyler Durden so eloquently put it, "The things you own...end up owning you." And to what are we more attached than identity? Indeed, our very existence is a never-ending slog to preserve this fantasy, that our thoughts and actions "matter" in some external sense, and thus our life is not some flyspeck of nothingness in an uncaring infinite void, but rather a purposeful, meaningful exercise that makes some contribution, however small, to the betterment of...something.

What a load of crap.

The funny thing is, no matter how much we (or others) rail against this insanity, the very act of living by definition counteracts our words. For the actions we take to survive are simply not compatible with the belief that nothing matters. Eating, drinking, seeking shelter (to say nothing of procreating) - all presuppose the world is better off with us in it than not. Why choose to eat over not eating? Well, we would die. And?

We have enjoyed our time, nevertheless, and would like to say thanks to the members of this blog for helping us explore these thoughts. (Well, most members...) While Bomstein and Montoya will be no more, we will leave the blog - our own little slice of immortality!

To quote Patrick Swayze--we'll see you in the next life!

22 comments:

  1. Have enjoyed reading you...now when someone asks me what it's all about, I tell them it's about nothing...Thanks

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  2. Read: too undisciplined to continue.

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  3. Hi folks, I am not a little concerned about this post.

    Either it is very bad news, or a very bad joke. I REALLY hope it is the latter.

    If you just wanted to end writing on this blog, it could have been done in a better way so as not to cause apprehensions in your readers about yourselves.

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  4. A quote from one of the Woody Allen films:

    One day about a month ago, I really hit bottom. Ya know I just felt that in a Godless universe I didn't wanna go on living. Now I happen to own this rifle, which I loaded believe it or not, and pressed it to my forehead. And I remember thinking, I'm gonna kill myself. Then I thought, what if I'm wrong, what if there is a God. I mean, after all nobody really knows that. Then I thought no, ya know maybe is not good enough, I want certainty or nothing. And I remember very clearly, the clock was ticking, and I was sitting there frozen with the gun to my head, debating whether to shoot.

    [gun fires]

    All of a sudden the gun went off. I had been so tense my finger squeezed the trigger inadvertantly. But I was perspiring so much the gun had slid off my forehead and missed me. Suddenly neighbors were pounding on the door, and I dunno the whole scene was just pandemonium. I ran to the door, I didn't know what to say. I was embarrassed and confused and my mind was racing a mile a minute. And I just knew one thing I had to get out of that house, I had to just get out in the fresh air and clear my head. I remember very clearly I walked the streets, I walked and I walked I didn't know what was going through my mind, it all seemed so violent and unreal to me. I wandered for a long time on the upper west side, it must have been hours. My feet hurt, my head was pounding, and I had to sit down I went into a movie house. I didn't know what was playing or anything I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and the movie was a film that I'd seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and I always loved it. I'm watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film. I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself, I mean isn't it so stupid. Look at all the people up there on the screen, they're real funny, and what if the worst is true. What if there is no God and you only go around once and that's it. Well, ya know, don't you wanna be part of the experience? You know, what the hell it's not all a drag. And I'm thinking to myself, Jeez, I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I'm never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And after who knows, I mean maybe there is something, nobody really knows. I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that's the best we have. And then I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.

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  5. Rick and Inigo,

    It was fun reading this blog through the years.
    Nihilism has a way of consuming itself, and this blog was doomed from the moment of its inception. Good to see it finally came full circle, although I will miss the updates.

    R.I.P. Rick Bomstein and Inigo Montoya.

    -MM

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  6. Great blog - thanks for the great reading.

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  7. Many thanks for a wonderful and thought-provoking blog, it will be missed.

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  8. I certainly enjoyed your blog and the discussions. Thank you and all the best!

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  9. I have to thank you, this has been the most meaningful stop in my internet ramblings...thank you!

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  10. Well this is very sad. I really enjoyed reading this blog. Does anyone have suggestions for other similar blogs?

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  11. for further exploration:
    http://youtu.be/IUSGiWV0kqE
    a Tony Parsons interview
    'there's only what is'

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  12. I enjoyed this blog in spite of occasionally being at odds with your version and interpretation of the absurd. Recently I had the impression that some of your politics started peaking through and getting in your way so I am not surprised that you have decided to let it go. You seemed to care too much about dissing the Occupy movement and insisting at times that people with excessive wealth clearly deserved it while other`s did not. Your implied insistence that you would be able to live with your absurd perspective, even use it to emotional advantage,in conditions of extreme poverty were simply not believable. So I had the feeling, as you implied here in your closing post that you were having some trouble justifying the dissonance of a meaningful (or at least comfortable)life on the smaller scale and yet trying to accept the fact that nothing ultimately matters. Maybe you should have stuck around with the blog and tried harder to come to some compromise position. I think some of your posts regarding Buddhist philosophy were closer to the mark. Compassion for people in poor circumstance cannot be discarded by claiming it just doesn`t matter how much people suffer. Life while we live it has the meaning we choose to give it.

    I thank you for some wonderful links, thoughts and absurd images. I have the rainy day Adams family cartoon in my mind.

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  13. "Eating, drinking, seeking shelter (to say nothing of procreating) - all presuppose the world is better off with us in it than not. Why choose to eat over not eating? Well, we would die. And?"

    Choosing not to eat, drink or seek shelter with the knowledge that the consequences of such actions would be our death is akin to suicide. The Absurd Man would view such thoughts as a rejection of the freedom that exists in knowing our thoughts and actions are meaningless and instead would seek to live life passionately in an indifferent universe.

    Given enough time, everything disappears into oblivion. You and your blog will not find immortality in this universe but do not fret as the whole exercise of writing these essays in the first place was just as meaningless as if you'd never written them at all!

    Take solace in knowing you amused us over the years with your thought provoking posts.

    Enjoy Oblivion.

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  14. Sorry to see you go. Best of luck to all who once gathered here.

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  15. "Why choose to eat over not eating? Well, we would die. And?"

    Why choose to NOT eat over eating? Well, we would live. And? The claim that seeing meaninglessness implies anything in particular, even suicide, is incorrect. Yes it's meaningless, but it still IS. It is still of being. A state of Being. No better or worse than anything. There is light. Meaningless.. Light.
    Arthur

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  16. There are two joining pieces to our existence. The first is that all we are is dust in the wind. That nothing we do for the future will stave off our coming death. That nothing is worth getting bent out of shape about. That it's all impersonal and nothing matters.

    The second is the miracle of existence.

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  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPLzfdVpK6U
    Surrender

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  18. I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago from a VERY modest and far too talented to be talented photographer/poet. It REALLY brought me a strength in an hour of need. And I just assumed you would go on forever like some mythology;) I know how 'hard' it is to blog. That is: to blog with some essence of truth! PLEASE: don't give up. I even considered (and still am) of moving to your friend's beach! What would we all do without those thoughts in our heads?!! Viva!

    P.S. But what a LOL image and caption to go out on:))))

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  19. This makes me so sad. I only discovered this blog at the beginning of the year. I'm currently writing my undergrad. dissertation on Camus and this blog has really helped me out (I'll be sure to give credit where credit is due don't worry ;)) Anyway... enjoy your... absurdity? Simulated ignorance? Fish? I dunno. Who am I, what is this?

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  20. I know the writings won't resume. I know the voice won't speak again, but it has been a good life there -- and to think I discovered it only two days back! Thank you for your insights, your witty remarks, your personal achievements, your love, and your absurdity for the Absurd.

    I discovered Camus recently, and I am overwhelmed - his Absurd has been the way I have been living for quite some time now -- sometimes difficult, sometimes easy; sometimes rich, sometimes solitary; sometimes winter, sometimes summer; sometimes rain, sometimes skies -- so, it was a reaffirmation of my absurd faith in Absurd. I want to read more of such ways of living and writing.

    On your blog, I found you praising and often quoting another Absurdist - Henry Miller. I have not read his works (only heard of them), but would like to, now. If not too pressed for time, it would be very kind of you if you could guide me in this regard -- I am an Indian woman (29 years old) new to this world but with an age-old curiosity -- all such works/authors are welcome, though I prefer nonfiction.

    Thank you for reading this through.

    As an aside, I loved 'This Simian World'.

    My best wishes, for a fulfilling meaningless Absurd life.

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  21. My email id: gupta.vandana10 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  22. “For the actions we take to survive are simply not compatible with the belief that nothing matters.”

    Only the absurd man is free
    The absurd man revolt is not a revolt of belief or questions that “nothing matters” only that he cannot know.
    The absurd man is awake to the moment and does not appeal to the past or the future, (regret or hope) and in revolt refuses to equate any moment to meaning.
    If the moment brings satisfaction or dissatisfaction that is enough, any attachment to the moment would be a surrender of the revolt to regret, hope and meaning.
    The Absurd man is awake to the moment and does not attach himself to his limitations or capacities which are beyond him.
    The absurd man lives his life because it is his life.
    The absurd man does not identify with the ego nor does he negate it.
    The absurd man lives his life because it is his life.

    The Absurd – is to be awakened:
    Hope is a fixation on a future
    Regret a fixated on past hope
    Reason ends in paradox and requires a leap
    Theology ends in paradox and requires a leap
    Every leap is a suicide
    Expectation that the leap ends in a safe landing on firm ground is an illusion
    The leap is always into empty space, we are always falling.
    We are falling
    The Absurd holds the tension of the fall without hope, regret or meaning
    We fall
    In the revolt of that awakening the absurd man realises every moment of the fall.
    This is freedom, a free fall, and it is enough.

    A belief that nothing matters is as absurd as a belief that everything matters but that is not were an absurd man stands. The absurd man does not stand but falls.

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