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Old May 11th, 2017, 05:03 PM   #21
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The Masters of Life and Death have already accomplished wonders brainwashing and manipulating the common herd with television, mass entertainment and their many other techniques of mental control. In a hundred years, there is no reason to think that the human herd will not be robotized, with plastic tags stapled to their ears, and shipped off at regular intervals to the slaughter-houses.

Before that apotheosis of modern "civilization" occurs, of course, the whole basis of the ever-so-logical insanity of our society will have collapsed. The rich and powerful already have almost total control of all the levers and bells and whistles of modern life, but since they themselves suffer from the same insanities which they inculcate (witness the illiterate buffoon who now struts about as President), they will get (and are getting) themselves into the same stewpot they are preparing for the rest of us.

The rich and powerful have no interest in us (any more than we really have an interest in the lives of people who live in garbage dumps in Calcutta). They do begin to prick up their ears, however, when they themselves begin to suffer.

In the face of the economic and environmental catastrophes which are about to overwhelm us, they will rush about like chickens with their heads cut off, making ineffectual "reforms," and fail utterly ---- because they do not possess the courage, gumption and intelligence to get down to the fundamental changes which are necessary. The rich and powerful may destroy us, but they will also destroy themselves.

Therefore I am complacent about the future: the worst will not happen ---- but the future will be anything but pleasant.
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Old October 3rd, 2017, 04:16 PM   #22
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A few days ago I was visiting a friend, and in quick succession, we watched Noel Coward's delightful 1966 work of super-civilized sophistication, "A Song at Twilight," and then a disquieting work exemplifying American hyper-barbarism, a documentary on the life of Hunter S. Thompson. The shock of experiencing such extremes in so short a space of time is an ordeal I shall not quickly forget.

The Coward work included a star performance by Deborah Kerr, whose exquisite performance shows how sadly her talent was wasted in Hollywood. She refers to some American as a "smart cookie," and when her English interlocutor professes ignorance of the term, she remarks that the English translation is "a clever biscuit." I will remember that one!

Since I tend to avoid the more popular productions of the American prole feed industry, Hunter S. Thompson was a person(?) completely unknown to me. For those who have been eqully blessed, I include the following information :

Hunter S. Thompson

Quote:
Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author who wrote The Rum Diary (1998), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973), The Curse of Lono (1983), and Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966).

He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. He is known also for his lifelong use of alcohol, LSD, mescaline, and cocaine (among other substances); his love of firearms; his inveterate hatred of Richard Nixon; and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism. While suffering a bout of health problems, he committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 67....

The Thompson-inspired character Uncle Duke appears on a recurring basis in Doonesbury, the daily newspaper comic strip by Garry Trudeau.

On August 20, 2005, in a private ceremony, Thompson's ashes were fired from a cannon to the tune of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" and Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man."[38] The cannon was placed atop a 153-foot (47 m) tower of his own design, in the shape of a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button originally used in Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 campaign for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. Red, white, blue, and green fireworks were launched along with his ashes. According to his widow Anita, Thompson's funeral was financed by actor Johnny Depp, a close friend of Thompson.....

Other famous attendees at the funeral included U.S. Senator John Kerry[39] and former U.S. Senator George McGovern;[39] 60 Minutes correspondents Ed Bradley and Charlie Rose; actors Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Sean Penn, and Josh Hartnett; singers Lyle Lovett, John Oates and numerous other friends. An estimated 280 people attended the funeral.
It is not surprising that such an American gun-nut would shoot himself to death, but it does seem rather unimaginative to do so after all the hoop-la about Ernest Hemingway.
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Old October 3rd, 2017, 04:18 PM   #23
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One might compare America's addiction to hyper-barbarism and the super-civilized sophistication of Europe's highest culture in terms of painting.

If Jackson Pollock, in some sense, exemplifies Hunter S. Thompson, then one might compare Noel Coward's play with Rembrandt, who achieved so many of his effects by many repeated thin washes.

There are few memorable lines in "A Song at Twilight," but the effect of the play as a whole is quite striking.

It would not impress impatient American hyper-barbarians, though. They lack the attention-span which is necessary for civilized existence.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 07:40 AM   #24
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Europe high culture? lol And to focus on horrible painting is even more humorous. I suppose if you think abstract 'art' is art and like 2-D portraits European paintings are good.


Horrible European painting Da Vinci himself regretted. Only popular becuase it got stolen.


American painting. NOT A PHOTO.

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Old October 4th, 2017, 02:55 PM   #25
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As we are constantly reminded, we are living in a technological age, and all the rules have changed.

The Masters of Life and Death have already accomplished wonders brainwashing and manipulating the common herd with television, mass entertainment and their many other techniques of mental control. In a hundred years, there is no reason to think that the human herd will not be robotized, with plastic tags stapled to their ears, and shipped off at regular intervals to the slaughter-houses.

Before that apotheosis of modern "civilization" occurs, of course, the whole basis of the ever-so-logical insanity of our society will have collapsed. The rich and powerful already have almost total control of all the levers and bells and whistles of modern life, but since they themselves suffer from the same insanities which they inculcate (remember the whimperings of Greenspan in Congress?), they will get (and are getting) themselves into the same stewpot they are preparing for the rest of us.

The rich and powerful have no interest in us (any more than we really have an interest in the lives of people who live in garbage dumps in Calcutta). They do begin to prick up their ears, however, when they themselves begin to suffer.

In the face of the economic and environmental catastrophes which are about to overwhelm us, they will rush about like chickens with their heads cut off, making ineffectual "reforms," and fail utterly ---- because they do not possess the courage, gumption and intelligence to get down to the fundamental changes which are necessary. The rich and powerful may destroy us, but they will also destroy themselves.

Therefore I am complacent about the future: the worst will not happen ---- but the future will be anything but pleasant.
.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 05:29 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
You are quite welcome to end it all now to avoid it!
Oh, no! I am looking forward to watching people like you scream and groan when you realize how vastly you have been suckered and cheated.

In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned … So that they may be urged the more to praise God … The saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens … to the damned.
[Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV, “Of the Relations of the Saints Towards the Damned,” First Article]
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Old November 5th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #27
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Strictly speaking, with attention to etymology, "civilization" is the way of life based on cities, which became possible with the development of agriculture in the Neolithic period.

That "civilization" is not all it is cracked up to be.

A considerable body of consistent evidence indicates that, in general, hunting and gathering people of the Paleolithic period were healthier and better fed than agricultural peoples, at least until very recent years. "Civilization" marked a definite decline in the living standards of most people for the past 10,000 years.

I usually use the word "civilization" in a somewhat restricted sense to mean those aspects of human life which make it worth living: the cultivation of Art, Science, Beauty and Deep Awareness; respecting the world around us, treating each other decently, trying to bring out the best in whatever we do.

Everything else, no matter how much it may give us a little temporary comfort, I consider to be ephemeral trash.

Judged by my habitual high standards, our present societies certainly do not deserve to be called "civilized."
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