Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.

The Means to Real Peace

"No government admits any more that it keeps an army to satisfy occasionally the desire for conquest. Rather the army is supposed to serve for defense, and one invokes the morality that approves of self-defense. But this implies one’s own morality and the neighbor’s immorality; for the neighbor must be thought of as eager to attack and conquer if our state must think of means of self-defense. Moreover, the reasons we give for requiring an army imply that our neighbor, who denies the desire for conquest just as much as does our own state, and who, for his part, also keeps an army only for reasons of self-defense, is a hypocrite and a cunning criminal who would like nothing better than to overpower a harmless and awkward victim without any fight. Thus all states are now ranged against each other: they presuppose their neighbor’s bad disposition and their own good disposition. This presupposition, however, is inhumane, as bad as war and worse. At bottom, indeed, it is itself the challenge and the cause of wars, because, as I have said, it attributes immorality to the neighbor and thus provokes a hostile disposition and act. We must abjure the doctrine of the army as a means of self-defense just as completely as the desire for conquests.
And perhaps the great day will come when people, distinguished by wars and victories and by the highest development of a military order and intelligence, and accustomed to make the heaviest sacrifices for these things, will exclaim of its own free will, “We break the sword,” and will smash its entire military establishment down to its lowest foundations. Rendering oneself unarmed when one had been the best-armed, out of a height of feeling—that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a peace of mind; whereas the so-called armed peace, as it now exists in all countries, is the absence of peace of mind. One trusts neither oneself nor one’s neighbor and, half from hatred, half from fear, does not lay down arms. Rather perish than hate and fear, and twice rather perish than make oneself hated and feared—this must someday become the highest maxim for every single commonwealth.
Our liberal representatives, as is well known, lack the time for reflecting on the nature of man: else they would know that they work in vain when they work for a “gradual decrease of the military burden.” Rather, only when this kind of need has become greatest will the kind of god be nearest who alone can help here. The tree of war—glory can only be destroyed all at once, by a stroke of lightning: but lightning, as indeed you know, comes from a cloud—and from up high.”
- Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, Aphorism 284
Happy Memorial Day!

To You Internet Misogynists


First of all, fuck you. It’s always been like, you know, an irritating thing that you’d attempted to co-opt the language of feminism and other civil rights struggles to cloak your sexist ideas in bullshit like “Men’s Rights” and calling this sexist garbage “activism.” And for a long time, I think a lot of people like me were down with ignoring this shit because it was juvenile and stupid, but also because it seemed like this tactic was clearly the same as racists whining about why there isn’t White History Month, or homophobes trying to have a Straight Pride Parade, something that anyone with half a brain could see is transparently a way to prop up the bigotry of people who already control the balance of power in this world.

But this UC Santa Barbara killer brings up a way that this type of shit can affect people. Because, when you co-opt the rhetoric of revolution and struggle, it’s more than just “trolling” or some bullshit to make, you know, actual decent people angry. It’s language that can make a disturbed person think that defending bigotry is a legitimate struggle, that, in this case, that owning and subjugating women is a cause worth killing and dying for. Because that’s what those words mean, you fucking garbage assholes, those words are for people who struggle from real oppression, to inspire people to sacrifice and never give up. The fact that straight white men have taken these words to rally around calcifying the bigotry that’s slipping from their fingers is truly disgusting, and now it’s more clear that it has fucking consequences.

Fuck you, you pieces of shit, fuck you.

Right on.

I’m not sure I understand what people are finding so outrageous/funny/parodyable about Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s Vogue cover. Is it just that they themselves are clownish and thus anything they do is inherently funny or what? It seems like pretty standard Hollywood-worship fluff to me.

Here I am at the summit of the aesthetic.

"Here I am at the summit of the aesthetic. And in truth, he who has humility and courage enough to let himself be aesthetically transformed, he who feels himself present as a character in a drama the deity is writing, in which the poet and the prompter are not different persons, in which the individual, as the experienced actor who has lived into his character and his lines is not disturbed by the prompter but feels that he himself wants to say what is being whispered to him, so that it almost becomes a question whether he is putting the words in the prompter’s mouth or the prompter in his, he who in the most profound sense feels himself creating and created, who in the moment he feels himself creating has the original pathos of the lines, and in the moment he feels himself created has the erotic ear that picks up every sound—he and he alone has brought into actual existence the highest in aesthetics.”

- Søren Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous Judge William describing the presence of beauty in the ethical life in Either/Or.

To live “in the moment” is to deny personal continuity, or personal narrative. Living “in the moment” is to fragment yourself. Embrace life as a continuous struggle and striving, a building of character, personality, and behavior; embrace life as the narrative you yourself may create, in concert with the infinite. And as such you are experiencing the beauty in its highest form, a living, lived artwork which is one with the infinite.

Cry in public.

Cry in public.

The Aesthetic Validity of Marriage

"Marital love…has its enemy in time, its victory in time, its eternity in time—therefore, even if I were to imagine away all its so-called outer and inner trials, it would always have its task…it is obvious that this love cannot be portrayed. It always moves inward and spends itself (in the good sense) in time, but that which is to be portrayed by reproduction must be lured forth, and its time must be foreshortened. You will be further persuaded of this by pondering the adjectives used to describe marital love. It is faithful, constant, humble, patient, long-suffering, tolerant, honest, content with little, alert, persevering, willing, happy. All these virtues have the characteristic that they are qualifications within the individual. The individual is not fighting against external enemies but is struggling with himself, struggling to bring his love out of himself. And these virtues have the qualification of time, for their veracity consists not in this, that they are once and for all, but that they are continually. And by means of these virtues, nothing else is acquired; only they themselves are acquired. Therefore, marital love is simultaneously commonplace…and also divine, and it is divine by virtue of being commonplace. Marital love does not come with external signs, not like that bird of fortune with rustling and bustling, but is the incorruptible essence of a quiet spirit."

- Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Judge Williams on ”The Aesthetic Validity of Marriage”


As human beings we are fortunate enough to have the ability to know and understand, to a certain extent, our relationship with nature, and more fundamentally our intimate connection and origination from it. It seems that a natural implication then is that we do not have to think of ourselves as “individuals” or discrete parts which must exercise our own individual need to survive and, as an inevitable result, cast the concerns of other people and living things aside. It may be the case that we are naturally inclined to act in our interests or in the interests of those close to us, but the fact that we are psychologically and physiologically “designed” to act and behave a certain way doesn’t mean we have to disregard the actual truth: that from both a top-down or bottom-up perspective, we are not individuals, that the breaking down of the universe into discrete parts is a uniquely human activity that actively alienates us from the reality of our interconnection and—a term I’ll use at the risk of sounding cheesy or hokey—our “one”-ness, spiritually-speaking or otherwise.

We should make it an obligation as human beings to regularly acknowledge this fact: that despite our relative uniqueness, we are ultimately connected in a way decidedly not unique, but in a way just like every other creature or object in the universe. It may not prevent us from regularly asserting our individuality and dominance over other things (animal, mineral or vegetable, etc.) but at the very least it may occasionally knock us out of our insular ways of thinking and slowly move us ever closer to a more communitarian or cosmopolitan ethic, or at the very least to a more generally compassionate one.

"The Fates guide the willing; the unwilling, they drag."

"Man’s life is a line that nature commands him to describe upon the surface of the earth, without his ever being able to swerve from it, even for an instant. He is born without his own consent; his organization does in nowise depend upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily; his habits are in the power of those who cause him to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by causes, whether visible or concealed, over which he has no control, which necessarily regulate his mode of existence, give the hue to his way of thinking, and determine his manner of acting. He is good or bad, happy or miserable, wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for any thing in these various states…Man, in running over, frequently without his own knowledge, often in despite of himself, the route which nature has marked out for him, resembles a swimmer who is obliged to follow the current that carries him along: he believes himself a free agent, because he sometimes consents, sometimes does not consent, to glide with the stream, which, notwithstanding, always hurries him forward; he believes himself the master of his condition, because he is obliged to use his arms under the fear of sinking."

preach it