Well, the weekend is here, and I thought it was about time that I posted another Chômu Press update.
There's an audience for imagination, but the literary establishment consistently blocks it. They use beta-blockers on it all the time to try to get rid of it because they're frightened of it. You can't have imagination with these safe academic jobs, or writing these neat little essays on Bob Dylan whom you've discovered 30 years too late.
By the way, I expect to see you all at the booklaunch, at Jamboree, Cable Street, Limehouse, London, the 1st of December.
Joe Pulver is like the answer to some arcane riddle: What do you get when you cross one of Plato’s Muse-maddened poets with a Lovecraftian lunatic, and then give their offspring to be raised by Raymond Chandler and a band of Beats? His work caters to a literary hunger you didn’t even know you had, and does it darkly and deliciously.
While we're on the subject, there's a feature on Chômu Press in issue #117 of Rue Morgue magazine, which spotlights The Orphan Palace. It also contains a brief interview with me in my editorial capacity.
I've posted the link to the audio interview with John Elliott (author of Dying to Read) before, but I do so again:
In case anyone wonders, I post this again despite the fact that it also features my voice. (I've generally had a bit of a horror of hearing my voice recorded.)
With exquisite delicacy and a keen eye for the bizarre, Jackson (Visits to the Flea Circus) creates a series of moody vignettes taking readers from religious strife in 16th-century Holland to a jungle camp of South American guerrillas and the mundane hallways of a contemporary British school. ... Illustrating his characters’ dilemmas via the natural world—birds, snakes, shells, animals—and with the challenges of gender identity and budding sexuality a recurring theme, Jackson provides an uneasy but rewarding experience for the thoughtful reader.
And don't forget, we're preparing the Dadaoism anthology. Watch out for more news about that at the Chômu website.
It is necessary that I post this here now:
There was one with lyrics, but I couldn't bear multiple repetitions of "your" instead of "you're".
John Bird in The Big Issue commenting on the Occupy the City protest, says:
How can the anger be given duration? The fight needs to be about giving up on dreaming. On wishful thinking. On Idealism.
Well... I think I know what he means, but, it kind of doesn't make any sense unless you mentally translate it to something a bit different.
"What are you fighting for?"
"Me? I'm fighting to give up on dreaming. Yeah. That's my dream. To give up. That's what I'm fighting for."
"Can you be more specific?"
"I'm fighting not to care about the world's inequalities. I'm fighting just to keep things as they are, or let them slide, or in fact, to let whatever happens happen, regardless of whether it's right or wrong. That's what I'm fighting for."
"So, why don't you stop fighting then?"
"No. The fight must go on. The fight to give up. The fight not to fight. For the sake of a world... exactly like this one, or different - who cares? - I will not cease from muddled thinking and the battle against my own ideals."
People are so strange. I suppose I can't talk. Anyway, no time to elaborate now. I have to get back to work.
This is a serious question, or I intend it to be:
Why carry on?
As a species, generally, why carry on?
That's necessarily an emotional question. (Is it?) Does its intrinsic emotionalness mean that it is also somehow false? Does it falsify itself? If I try to even it out with some perspective, does that just give some more specific emotional angle to it? EG:
If we really think that life is so ghastly (and cue all the big production sound effects for HORROR!!) then, instead of dragging it out as if we had no choice but to carry on in a battle to what end... why not either admit that it's ghastly and cease renewing it, or admit that there's something in it and ditch the histrionics?
I feel a bit as though the human race is like a scene I remember from The Young Ones in which Rick (was it?) threatens to leave the house or kill himself, and says, "I'm going" and everyone says, "Yeah, bye", and he says, "Okay, well, this is it then, I'm really going", "Yeah, see ya", "So, this is the last goodbye", etc. etc.
Anyway, I'm going to bed.
The following gobbledegook is from an article in the Metro about the possible disappearance of handwriting from schools:
'It's been fantastic,' says Fraser Speirs, the school's head of computing and IT.
While he makes it clear handwriting had not been discarded - 'we are not a paperless school' - Mr Speirs would welcome a time when pupils do exams on iPads or computers instead of using pen and paper.
'I think that's something that's got to come,' he says. 'It seems a logical end point. Handwriting already is a dying art and it's you and I who are killing it, because adults are not handwriting.'
Mr Speirs predicts pupils themselves might outgrow it. 'I don't think we're going to stop teaching it any time soon,' he says.
'What you might see is a generation of kids growing up who are as good at writing with their finger on a touch screen as they are with a pencil.'
Of course, it's hard to know whether it's Mr Speirs or Metro who is ultimately responsible for this being gibberish, or whether it's a kind of gestalt gibberish of the two, but first, let us note that the juggernaut of cultural gibberish is well underway, and then, let us see if we can decipher its tracks.
'We are not a paperless school'. Right. A protestation that acknowledges the worth of handwriting. Handwriting is worth something. But, 'handwriting is a dying art' (another lament?) and 'it's you and I who are killing it.' Right... okay... so, if 'you and I' are killing it, and that's lamentable, why don't 'you and I' stop killing it? And these are the people who are in charge of education! It's a vicious circle. A vicious, vacuous circle.
I mentioned having trouble moving flat. The situation is this. I've been given notice to leave my current flat, and so looked around for somewhere else. In my haste, I paid the holding fee for another flat only to realise I could not move in as soon as the landlord required, because of my contractual obligations for my current flat. The holding fee is supposed to cover costs should the prospective tenant change his or her mind. I hadn't changed my mind, and said I was still interested in the flat, but they still wanted someone who could move in sooner. So, in this case, what is the status of my holding fee? From what I can gather from those I've consulted, it should be there simply to cover expenses incurred. Over a week has passed now and I have not been able to obtain from the letting agents any information regarding what will happen with my holding fee. You'd think, if they had a legitimate claim to it, they could tell me easily enough how much they would want from it, and for what, but no, I have had evasion and silence.
I don't know what the outcome of this will be yet. If things go bad, I may well write more here, giving details of the letting agent in question and so on. Two things I want to note for now. Last week I noticed this on the 'receipt for administration charges' that I had signed:
In the event that the landlord refuses your application on the grounds of unsuitable references, the above sum will not be refunded you.
Right, so, they could refuse my application and take my money? Imagine if that happened with job interviews - "Sorry, you haven't got the job. That'll be £275, please."
In this case, references have not been an issue, as the issue has emerged before the references stage, but I didn't like the look of that clause.
The other day, I visited the Citizen's Advice Bureau to ask some questions about my situation. The lady I spoke to was helpful and also said, "I must make a note of this. For some reason there's been a rise in this kind of thing recently. You're the third person I've had in today with the same complaint."
And today, I happened to be passing an advice centre. I wasn't sure what kind of advice, but I thought I'd pop in and see what I could ascertain. I looked at their pamplets, and one about scams caught my eye. The man behind the desk came over and asked if I was disabled. I said I wasn't, and he said that all the pamphlets were for disabled people and he was sorry if they couldn't help. Anyway, I took the scam leaflet, as I've found there to be a lot of scams about since I've moved to London this time. At the bus-stop, I read through the leaflet. Most of it seemed really obvious and simple. "Oh well," I thought, "I could put it on my coffee table in my new flat, whenever I get it, for visitors to look through when they're bored." But then the heading "Property rentals" caught my eye. I read on:
You want to rent a property. Before checking your references, the landlord asks for a deposit - usually a month's rent - and gets you to sign a contract. The contract states that, if the references are unsatisfactory, your deposit will be paid back, minus a fee for checking the references.
The landlord contacts you to say your references are unsatisfactory, no matter how good they really are. You're told you can only have a small portion of your desposit back because of the expense incurred checking references. You may end up losing hundreds of pounds.
I hardly need to point out, I think, why I find this striking. I may write more on this subject here, depending on what happens.
There are so many things in life that should be but are not - if that makes sense. In other words, they are not in life at all, but we are aware of them because we have imagination, or perhaps we are aware of them for other reasons. In this blog post, about the writing of Brendan Connell, I quoted G.K. Chesterton:
Men spoke much in my boyhood of restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.
Recently, I am trying to see things more in this way.
I'm actually bone-tired at present, so please forgive me if I fail to be effervescent, as I should be.
When I was at FantasyCon in Brighton this year, behind the Chomu Press stall, I got talking to a man who said he was a fan of fantasy fiction. "Someone has to be," he said, and I agreed, as this seemed a sound proposition. I hope, if he ever reads this, he doesn't mind me saying a little about our conversation.
I asked him who his favourite fantasy writer was. He protested, with justice, that it was a ridiculous question, though he made a valiant attempt at answering, giving a number of names. He asked me, in return, rhetorically, "What's your favourite song?", meaning, of course, that my question was similarly difficult to answer. However, I answered: "'Bewlay Brothers' by David Bowie."
"Ah," he said, "David Bowie ruined my life."
I thought at first this was going to be a fan story, a story of obsession taken too far, but it was nothing like that. He gave a succinct and convincing account of why he could justifiably make the claim that he had. There had been a publishing concern in which he was involved. An investment from David Bowie was promised, which would have ensured its future, but Bowie pulled out at the last minute because someone had advised him that there was no money in books.
"'David Bowie ruined my life' - sounds like a blog post," he said. "No... maybe not. Couldn't handle the law suit."
For the purposes of this blog post, of course, we must take the above as hearsay. Even so, these days I'm less inclined to the hero-worship of my younger years, and so the story didn't come to me as quite the shocking, difficult thing it might have at the height of my fandom. I don't know how I never understood, when I was younger, that there was no need for me to be jealous of Bowie's talent. I no longer feel wistful wondering if Bowie will ever make good music again. There are other people in the world, and other artists, more interesting, more consistent, not selling out, keeping on, even without the adulation, the money, the advantages enjoyed by the likes of Bowie.
Just today I was wondering whether, actually, my favourite song, if it's possible to have such a thing, might not be 'Lovely Tree' by Momus. It's not on YouTube like the 'Robin Hood' song above. If you want to hear it, why not buy the Oskar Tennis Champion CD? After all, it's not every song that can claim to be my favourite. Here's a link to the lyrics.
Now, here's a guy who's just kept going and doing his own thing, on and on, despite no mainstream success - Momus, I mean. Some people have remarkable creative staying power. Jeremy Reed is another such - truly a unique artist whose energy and inspiration have remained undimmed despite the almost deafening silence of the literary establishment.
You know, there are many people who, in carrying on in their own way, in determinedly being who they are, make it easier for me to carry on in my own way, too (which, let's face it, can be really, really hard sometimes). I want to mention some of these people now. I've mentioned some of the following on my blog before. But they cannot be mentioned too often. Some of them I have met. Some of them I have not. (And there are plenty of others who have also made a real difference, but here I will mention only a few, and I hope I don't embarrass anyone.)
Mark Samuels - a sane man, a gent, and a wonderful writer. His work is a haven from the vicious superficiality of our age. Dare Wright - there are in the world some things that are sacred, and the work of Dare Wright is among these things. Justin Isis - stops this world from being boring and is possibly the galaxy's best dressed criminal. Joe Campbell - artist, musician, has a tremendous pope-like quality, general cool guy and now also half of the Chomu Radio Archive. Dominika Kieruzel, who is also a wonderful artist and who forced me to sing 'Jerusalem' by William Blake once, and is now working with me on this. Brendan Connell - nobody yet actually comprehends how good Brendan Connell is as a writer. No one yet understands. Sasa Zoric Combe (of Kodagain) - early on in my acquaintance with Sasa and his music Justin commented that Sasa was like some kind of superhuman, who could take anything, put it in a song and make it sound great, and it's true.
Of course there are many others. Let me restrict myself for now, and I hope that we do actually get the time and opportunity to make more 'should-be's into reality, and that we don't always have to struggle to apply the point of view offered by Chesterton that what is is startling enough.
Keep, lovely tree, your leaves in wintertime
Stand strongly in your bark of love
Make shelter for the lion and the lamb
Keep every tender beast safe from the butcher's knife
In a recent blog post with the title '2012', I wrote the following:
Writing is a peculiar thing. It becomes more important (to the writer) than the things it is ostensibly contingent upon. The most familiar form of this is the way a writer (or other artist) might write with great bitterness of how he or she has been cheated of happiness, but then do his/her best to avoid happiness for fear that the inspiration for his/her work will then disappear.
Actually, though, I think a better example of writing becoming more important than that upon which it is contingent (at least to the writer) would lie in the area of social commentary rather than personal complaint.
I'll make something up to illustrate what I mean. Roger Sidereal has been working for five years on a mammoth trilogy called, How to Save the Dodo. Not only is it a tender tale of love between behavioural ecologists, it is also a work with a conscience, since its aim is to make dramatically clear all that can and must be done in order to save the dodo from extinction.
Halfway through the second volume, Roger finally plucks up courage to show someone his manuscript. "Is this an alternate world story?" asks his friend, Susan Hercolubus, 15 pages in.
"No. How do you mean?"
"Well, the dodo is already extinct."
"Already... extinct? Are you sure? I've been so busy writing I haven't had time to keep up with the latest dodo news."
Immediately he puts a search for "dodo" in on Wikipedia.
"You're right," he says. "Well, never mind that, damn it. I've spent five years writing this, and it's a masterpiece. I must simply carry on and finish it."
Susan has now skimmed through the first volume in a speed-reading kind of way: "But the plot of this story is intrinsically linked to saving the dodo from extinction. So, it's probably irrelevant now."
"No. It's the world that has become irrelevant - not my novel! I'll show you all! I will finish this, and then you will see. The dodo must be saved from extinction!"
He pauses... "What did you say about alternate world stories? Maybe I could use that in a letter to the publisher."
I just Googled this, and found it on my blog, in the comments of a blog post from some years back:
"...something is wrong here, if it was the end I would not so much mind, but how often I have said, in my life, before some new awful thing, It is the end, and it was not the end, and yet the end cannot be far off now, I shall fall as I go along and stay down or curl up for the night as usual among the rocks and before morning be gone. Oh I know I too shall cease and be as when I was not yet, only all over instead of in store, that makes me happy, often now my murmur falters and dies and I weep for happiness as I go along and for love of this old earth that has carried me so long and whose uncomplainingness will soon be mine. Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate and drift, through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me.
It's by Beckett. Samuel Beckett. I think of it sometimes.
My blog is so embarrassing. Many people request in their wills that their letters and diaries be shredded when they die, because not even death can expunge the shame and embarrassment should such things be made public.
This is why the internet is such a bad idea. This amongst other reasons.
Anyway, must go to bed.
Having a hard time moving flat at the moment.
If my experience turns into a cautionary tale, I may write more about it soon...
I sent this to someone earlier today. Back in the last century I had Hulmerist on VHS, which is where I'm familiar with this video from. I haven't watched it for ages. It struck me today what a great video it is. I've never thought that before. I've always thought that Morrissey's videos were fairly poor, which, let's face it, they generally are. This just happens to be very good live footage.
I should be in bed really. I have an early start tomorrow. But I want to give some idea of why I posted this. Not sure if I can, actually.
I think there's something genuinely good about the spectacle of various people invading the stage to embrace their idol in this way. Somewhere I have an audio recording of a famous gig (in L.A.?), I think when Morrissey was still in The Smiths. You can't see what's happening, but you can hear. Morrissey stops singing and is screaming, apparently at a bouncer (this is not word for word), "My God, what are you doing? Leave him alone! Leave him alone!" That kind of thing.
More recently we hear that David Tseng, Morrissey super-fan was ejected from a gig as no longer welcome. I don't really know why, but it seemed it was something to do with his (Morrissey's) not liking the Morrissey-solo site. All a bit depressing really.
I realise that I just can't explain what I was hoping to get at. So I'll go to bed.
Yesterday, apparently, was National Authors' Day. Which nation?
I'm guessing the nation in question was the US, but I don't see why it shouldn't be a global authors' day.
Anyway, I learnt it was National Authors' Day from Joe Pulver. He was suggesting, commendably, that we support the writers we enjoy by writing a review and posting the link. So I did. Well, I wrote the review, of Nina Allan's The Silver Wind on Amazon, but it took a while for the review to upload, and then I edited out some typos, and that took longer, and then it was no longer National Authors' Day. But anyway, here's the link to the review.
I don't actually find it easy writing reviews. You might think I would, considering the way I spend my time, but I don't. This is not actually the first Amazon review I've written - I think it's the second, although this is the only one that shows up under my name for some reason. I feel like I should write more online reviews, as I do feel strongly that living writers should be supported. I'm pretty sick of the old joke about dying being a great career move.
I hardly know if I should mention this here, and I don't really know if I'm right or if I'm just 'being pessimistic', but it feels to me like we have entered an age of virulent philistinism. Since when? Hard to say. The 21st Century generally feels like a golden turd to me. Having said that, it's only this century that I've really started to get published (if that's any measure of anything). Anyway, since I'm pretty sure that philistinism thrives on opposition, I don't really know what to do about it, apart from forging blindly ahead in my usual way.
Do you know what I mean, though?
There were a number of postings of this song on YouTube. I chose the one that had the title spelt right.
Did you ever have the feeling that the battle against evil is almost lost?
The Office of Fair Trading have approved the Amazon takeover of The Book Depository.
People are ridiculed for resisting the e-book fad, while in Japan, Kindle offers publishers an ultimatum: "Give us 55% of your takings and rights to your entire back catalogue."
Hard to tell truth from rumour sometimes, but even official reports don't sound good.
I started reading Hangover Square, by Patrick Hamilton, recently. Not immediately (the first couple of pages were well written but slightly dull), but within the first chapter, I had the growing feeling that I was in the presence of greatness:
But now, according to them, according to Netta and Peter, there wasn't going to be a war at all. They knew all about it, or were supposed to. But he wasn't a fool here, either - he could see how their minds worked, with what facility they turned their ignominious desires into beliefs. He hadn't fallen for this 'I think it is peace in our time' stuff. But they had - hadn't they just! They went raving mad, they weren't sober for a whole week after Munich - it was just in their line. They liked Hitler, really. They didn't hate him, anyway. They liked Musso, too. And how they cheered old Umbrella! Oh yes, it was their cup of tea all right, was Munich.
But it wasn't his. He didn't know much about politics, he didn't know as much as them (not to talk about, anyway), but he knew that Munich was a phoney business. Fine for an Earl's Court binge, but a phoney business, however much you talked. Shame, that was all he had felt, shame which he couldn't analyse. He had felt it all the time they were getting drunk - in fact he had hardly been able to drink at all himself. He was so ashamed he could hardly look at the pictures... All grinning, shaking hands, frock-coats, top-hats, uniforms, car-rides, cheers - it was a sort of super-fascist weddding or christening... He was ashamed then, and he was still ashamed.
This and other passages have moved me strangely.
In his introduction to the novel, J.B. Priestley mentions in passing that the enemies of innocence in Hamilton's novels are "wickedness and stupidity". Yes, I believe it is true - stupidity, too, is an enemy of innocence, and is not, of itself, innocent.
One incidental thing that made me think as I read the novel was the mention of train station porters. Whatever happened, I wondered, to train station porters? They must have been done away with at some point. But when? When, I suppose, the convenience and profit of the railway company was considered decisively more important than the comfort of passengers. For although passengers are surely travellers, these days it is almost illegitimate that they should be carrying luggage at all. People look aghast at travellers on a train with any significant luggage, because there is no provision for them. Space is economised. For what? Hard to tell, really. All one can say for certain is that modern trains are not really designed to carry travellers, and one almost has to apologise for needing to board them.
I'm not at all interested in 2012. The Mayan prophecy thing, I mean. The year itself is theoretically not uninteresting to me. Anyway, I have so little interest in the other thing that I don't even know what it is. What is it, actually? (Don't answer that - I'm not actually interested.) However, despite my lack of interest, somehow I seem to have it fixed in my head or my heart that the world is going to end next year.
I don't know why.
On the occasions when I become especially conscious of this feeling or assumption, I tell myself it's ridiculous, but, interestingly, the feeling or assumption entirely withstands this ridicule, and persists.
I think about the end of the world a great deal, and I seem to be especially susceptible to any suggestions that anyone makes that the world is about to end. For instance... visiting friends recently, I went to the toilet and found there a book, or booklet, about Hercolubus, the Red Planet, which is apparently on a collision course with Earth. I read a few pages there and then, standing up. Once finished, I descended again to the kitchen, and reported my discovery of the book, scoffing heartily: "Ha ha ha, Hercolubus, the Red Planet", etc., capering like a jester from a tale by Poe, whilst lampooning the writing style of the pamplet's crackpot author... and all the while, inside, I felt the icy chill of cosmic DREAD, sick with the agony of knowing my own doom.
That's how susceptible I am to ideas pertaining to the end of the world.
But this is clearly shameful - as if the world were so great that the end of it would be much of a matter to be lamented.
Or is that easy cynicism?
Anyway... I think the main issue for me, really, is that I think, "Fuck, nearly the end of the world and I still haven't written all the things I want to." Writing is a peculiar thing. It becomes more important (to the writer) than the things it is ostensibly contingent upon. The most familiar form of this is the way a writer (or other artist) might write with great bitterness of how he or she has been cheated of happiness, but then do his/her best to avoid happiness for fear that the inspiration for his/her work will then disappear.
Does this really happen?
I think it does, actually, though we shouldn't assume this explanation of events in all cases.
So, to get back to the point... considering that I only have a year of life left, and that I have no new work scheduled for publication next year, I have to assume, then, that all that has been published of my work to date is all that will ever be published of my work. I know I've asked this question - or some variant of it - on my blog before. But I'm doing it again: Am I happy with my published work so far?
Not... especially. I remember, casting my mind back, a rejection I received from someone at Back Brain Recluse. I'd sent in a story called 'Bedlam', and the rejection letter tore it - figuratively - apart. Phrases from the story were quoted, with the question, "What does this even mean?" Etc. I was fairly young, and it was something of a blow to me. I thought, after all, that I was unable to do that which I was born to do - a feeling that cannot be described, but which many of you may know. But - I'm not lying - I look back and am grateful for that vicious rejection. After I had let it really sink in - how my story was abysmal in every way - I told myself that, well, since writing was what I was born to do, I must do it even if I am no good at it, but that, since I wish to be good at it, I must start again from the bottom, and work up.
That was not the first time that I had made the conscious attempt to learn the craft of writing - to teach it to myself, in fact - but it is one of the most distinct and striking occasions. I had, I told myself, been trying to run before I could walk. And so I set about painstakingly learning how to walk. And I think I may be almost there. I may have got to the point - after about twenty years since that rejection - at which I can walk more or less in a straight line. Occasionally, it's true, perhaps overconfident, or perhaps not, I break into a trot (and on these occasions, reviewers and others have noted that there's 'no plot' etc. etc.), but for the most part I have been disciplined and I have not really let myself go in the way that I dream of.
So, for the world to end now!? It seems like bad timing, from a purely personal point of view.
But what can you do?
Here are a couple of quotes from Christopher Hitchens:
If you say you don't believe, which is what an agnostic has to say...because an agnostic says "I can't decide it"...you're an atheist. QED.
You should take the risk of believing that if you're the only person who thinks what you think, that still might well mean you were right.
First quote: disagree. Come on, I hope Hitchens doesn't expect us to take this word game seriously. My impression is this: Hitchens wants a fight, and, in order to make conditions more conducive to fighting, he has to frame the world in black and white. Therefore there are atheists and there are religious fundamentalists, and (here he has something in common with Bush etc. in the war on terror) "if you're not with us you're against us". But, since Hitchens is a considerate and indulgent man, he'd rather not be fighting the wrong people. So, rather than paint the grey people black in his picture of the world, he paints them white, to ensure that they're all honorary atheists, kind of affably press-ganging them into his cause.
I can do better than that: If being agnostic means you don't know if there is a god, and atheist is the alternative among non-believers, that means atheists must know that there isn't a god. If someone can give an airtight reason as to how they know there isn't a god (as opposed to belief) etc., then the distinction of 'atheist', as opposed to 'agnostic' is valid. Otherwise all non-believers are agnostics, or, if they say they are atheist, they are lying.
Second quote: agree. Oddly, the second quote seems to contradict the first in spirit. The first quote seems very much in the "everyone has a right to my opinion" vein.
More Hitchens quotes:
A fundamentalist says that they believe what the books say; if you don't believe what the books say, why are you saying you're a Christian?
Again, more sophism in order to divide the world into enlightened atheists and religious fundamentalists. You can only be a Christian if you're a fundamentalist, apparently. Only the stupidest and most literal level of truth in any religion is religious. It's just a way of shifting labels about, but one has to ask why. In order to advance a particlar battle-plan, that's all.(Note: It's just occurred to me that the more pertinent question is why it is obligatory to have the atheist label if you're not a fundamentalist whereas choosing to have the Christian label apparently is indefensible.)
Civilization begins where reason kicks in, and where there are no unexamined assumptions.
What about the unexamined assumption that Hitchens knows what god is. You can only disbelieve something if you know what it is, after all.
Try & live your life as if you were a free person; that you didn't have to wonder what anyone else's opinion was...
Thank you for your permission to think for myself, Hitch. I hope you're not going to revoke it again when I actually make use of it.
[Spinoza] was a pantheist. What he said was 'God is everything and everywhere' ... I don't mind people saying that at all.
After all, as Dawkins has also said, pantheism is just sexed up atheism. What a relief it must be for pantheists to know they're on the right side in this war. Things begin to boggle when we apply statements such as that made by Ghandi that "God is the very atheism of the atheist". Personally, I quite like boggling.
|November 2013January 2014|