Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

Eric M. Fink

Michael Lane

Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

  • David Weinberger
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  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
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  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

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  • Jim Hightower
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    Distinguished Colleagues

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  • ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES
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  • Into the Blogosphere
  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.

    Voltaire

    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    Contra Perceptione

    By Mary Desmond

    always thought it odd you'd invited me here, but i like that you like oddness. Your posting On Perception was a wonderfully sly attack on the preamble to the constitution of the United States, but it poses a real question whither are the progressives progressing.

    Pleasure is an unsustainable divertissement, if i could sustain it, i'd take it. From my limited experience of falling in love (metanoia) happiness is far more closely linked to misery than it is to pleasure. Freud described the healthy functional state as common human unhappiness, Thoreau calls it quiet desperation. Both romantic visions, i find the reality more mundane, so like you I make up stories signifiers that do not attach to a signified, but truth is something different. The problem with progressives, so where did you come from and where are you heading or as Russell put it if everything is relative to what are they all relative. Conservatives believe in Eden. In the beginning the US had a perfect constitution but through a series of ages from Golden to silver to bronze we end up here in this age of clay and we must therefore return to. Liberals believe in the eschatological paradise, we must through positivism gradually increase wealth and prosperity until we live in a world fit for Captain Kirk and the Enterprise. Then we have bladerunner, terminator, and with the heavily analysed Matrix post-modern uncertainty hand in hand with neo-pragmatism Bergman's authentic knight. I think that means something, no really, no no really. You won't find bible stories told in the bible anymore.

    An adult christian theological view is far better described by your friend's fantasy of fornicating with Christina Aguilerra than the indescribable blissful ... ecstasy (if they are going to start with indescribable why continue). Sex is not a sin, the body is not evil. And why else would God have made Christina Aguilerra? Your analysis of mediaeval and Koranic views of heaven back me up. There is no Christian teaching of the salvation of souls (the term is people not souls). Apart from smaller groups previously called heretics there is no elevation of the spiritual in contradistinction to the physical. So adult christians are called to value the things of the world for their eventual culmination in the world to come. What was termed original sin or structural sin, looks at the world and says yes the only way i can survive is to kill other things, creation evolved in that way but it need not have, but that is how creation evolved and i play my part. There is a hope that it need not always be that way, and that we can begin to create that new world here and now.

    Do I believe in an afterlife, like you I think it irrelevant. Do churches teach a mercenary attitude to morality, possibly but it was supposed to be directed at children. If you play nicely I will reward you. When we grow up, we are supposed to go beyond that, people with money and power don't got to grow up at all. Rare is the religionist who has developed his religious thinking beyond puberty. Interestingly Disney takes up the challenge where Church services fail. I think of Ice Age, wonderful salvation history using the analogy of the economic trinity, and more simply the cartoon Hercules, if you try to save your life you will lose everything but if you lay down your life for love you will become God and that is how God is, not a wanton boy with unlimited power.

    You made me consider what I really believe Nick, and perhaps as you view the myth of heaven, so i believe in radical optimism. Even when it flies in the face of all the evidence, as they come towards me killing, torturing, raping, and i can see the savouring of pleasure in their eyes, i repeat to myself, i know my goel lives and he will raise me up at the last, and radical optimism is about repeating the mantra even when it is clear there is no signfied towards which it signifies, and truth lies in the narrowest of gaps. and it it was all a lie i'll settle for a chance at Kill Bill, fuck pacifists give me happiness or give me revenge, i am who i am, ego frater servus non serviam.

    posted by Mary Desmond at 10/22/2004 04:15:00 AM |

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    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

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