I opened up a video of the amazing Duncan Trussell reading an excerpt from the amazing Dan Harmon’s “You’ll be perfect when you’re dead.” I simultaneously had loaded the music video of Rostam’s “Wood” in the background. It had synced as if it was intentional, and when I realized it wasn’t, I realized I loved it.
What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?
—Jacques Lacan (via plasticelephants)
The division of the real into separate zones, distinct features, and contrasting structures is a result of the symbolic order, which, in a manner of speaking, cuts into the smooth facade of the real, creating divisions, gaps, and distinguishable entities and laying the real to rest, that is, drawing or sucking it into the symbols used to describe it, thereby annihilating it.
Cancelling out the real, the symbolic creates ‘reality,’ reality as that which is named by language and thus can be thought and talked about. The “social construction of reality” implies a world that can be designated and discussed with the words provided by a social group (or subgroups) language. What cannot be said in its language is not part of its reality; it does not exist, strictly speaking. In Lacan’s terminology, existence is a product of language, language brings things into existence (makes them part of human reality), things which had no existence prior to being ciphered, symbolized, or put into words.”
The real, therefore, does not exist, since it precedes language, Lacan reserves a separate term for it, borrowed from Heidegger: It ‘ex-sists’ apart or outside from our reality.
—Fink, B. (1995) The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.
supercurtisman asked: I feel like I'm using people. I feel like I'm using them to validate my intelligence, my skill, my lovableness, my everything. I feel like a vampire, sucking at people's hearts, desperately craving validation, until they have nothing left to offer and then I feel terrible. I don't think they all see it this way, but I do and I feel like I don't deserve their gracious friendship. How do I love people without taking from them?
What a question. If only more people asked it, every day. If only I had spent more of my life asking it.
I don’t know if you listen to my podcast, Harmontown, but our friend, Siike, a multiple aneurysm survivor, once offered us some wisdom from his tragically unique position at the outer edge of certainty: “Give more than you take.” Sounds like you and I have both been spending time lately feeling like we aren’t succeeding at that. My attempts at contribution often end up feeling like siphons. And while I’m working so hard to make people like me, the people closest to me can take a flying fuck, except when they’re nourishing me. My girlfriend loves me unconditionally, and so, like a baby, I suck on what she offers me, cry when it’s taken away, giving nothing in return but occasional Walter White rants about how folks will appreciate me one day, they’re going to see what I gave, and blah blah blah.
Which obviously indicates that these contributions I think I’m making aren’t contributions at all. No more than a mosquito’s contribution of anti-coagulants into a host’s bloodstream.
I think I slip from the right kind of “giving” to the wrong kind without noticing because they’re identical in terms of behavior. One minute you’re carrying a box because you want to help your friend, the next minute, you’re carrying the same box to be a good person and a few steps later, after not getting some thank you you decided you deserved, you’re carrying a box because your asshole friend is a selfish piece of shit and you can’t wait to move out of your house just to make him lift a piano and you hope it crushes him to death. In one conversation’s time, you can end up eighty miles from the nearest patch of honesty, still insisting that you’re where you are because you’re a hero. And you could pass a polygraph test while saying it, because you’re not exactly lying, you’re just… lost.
So you and I need to know, today, how do we get back on track. How do we stop telling people our asses look fat in these jeans and get back to having accidentally hot asses in sweatpants on laundry day.
First we reset to that crucial gateway, where we just want to be good people. We drop the rest of our bullshit. Who cares if we got fired from Grey Matter, it’s back story, now. Who cares which meth is the best meth, or whether meth is bad, we just drop every thought in our head except the one that can’t be dropped, come hell or highwater, come bipolar autistic alcoholic schizophrenic self-diagnostic disorder or childhood trauma or anything we think is fundamental, because nothing is as fundamental as this: we want to be good people. Nobody can fuck up standing in one place wanting something, not even us.
Now how do we make sure we move forward without getting lost? According to Taoists, we don’t. We follow through on the “action” we took to get back here, which is inaction. We relax, like a puppet, so that our next move is more the universe’s than our own. When you let the universe do the moving, it will never use you to hurt people. When you’re hurting people, that’s your Ventriloquist God saying “hey, dummy, get my hand back up your ass, because the only thing creepier than our ordinary routine is whatever the hell you’re trying to do right now.”
I believe we’re heroes when we’re transparent and we’re villains when we’re blocking light, throwing ego-shaped shadows all around us, then fearing those shadows and clenching up, which blocks more light, feeding the darkness, making the problem seem unsolvable. I believe that if we all went transparent at once, all problems would stop, but that it’s probably impossible, and that having that as a goal would make us opaque and cast more shadows. I believe that Katy Perry is wrong, I think that having fireworks shoot out of your chest is dangerous, I think your clothing would catch on fire and you could die.
And I think your question, which is also my question, is its own answer. We can stop sucking other people’s necks and start giving more than we take if we ask ourselves how we can do it and make sure we don’t block the real, honest answer. Sometimes working hard is the hardest thing we can do, and sometimes it’s just our really easy way of trying to take stuff from everyone around us. Sometimes the hard thing is the easy thing. Sometimes we should do the dishes and sometimes we should take off our apron, tell our boss to fuck off and walk away, because we’re not a dishwasher, we’re just a writer washing someone else’s dishes.
And sometimes people get away with telling other people how the world works by starting their rules with “sometimes,” which is dumb, because how are you supposed to know which times are the some times. But this time, I can tell you when the sometimes are: they’re when you know, in your heart, which can’t be fooled, whether you’re really giving or just taking from behind. DAN HARMON COMPARES MISPLACED ALTRUISM TO FORCIBLE SODOMY. Please watch Rick and Morty on Adult Swim in December and watch Season 5 of Community in the future.
"While our perspective and understanding of the world are undeniably limited, in some sense we each have the world - or we each have a world, one that includes not only our hometown and our favorite vacation spot but also Victorian England, volcanoes we have only read about, and Vietnam, which have a place in our minds even if we can’t find them on a globe. We compile mental maps that are wildly skewed, a mental atlas so large and complex that we can never fully convey it to anyone else. Then we live in the world those maps create.”
- Peter Turchi, “Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer.”
We are seeking only the precise meaning that our consciousness gives to this word ” exist,” and we find that, for a conscious being, to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
—Henri Bergson / Creative Evolution (via fuckyeahexistentialism)
There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one’s idea for thirty-five years; there’s something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.
Nothing’s a gift, everything is borrowed.
I’m drowning in debts up to my ears.
I will be forced
to pay for myself with myself,
to give my life for my life. It has been appointed
that the heart must be returned,
and the liver, too,
and each individual finger. It’s too late to cancel the contract.
Debts will be extracted from me
along with my skin. I wander this earth
amid a throng of fellow debtors.
Some are burdened by the obligation
of paying off their wings.
Others, like it or not,
are charged for their leaves. The Debt side encumbers
each tissue in us.
There is no eyelash, no petiole
to keep forever. The register is meticulous
and it’s evident that
we are to be left with nothing. I can’t remember
where, when and why
I consented to open
this account. The protest against this account
is what we call the soul.
And it is the only thing
not on the list.
Follow your own curiosity and say the most interesting stuff first. There is this weird idea of a “general reader,” who reads the New York Times and is equally interested in about 200 things (politics, peace in the middle east, pie, &c). I don’t think such people exist. And if they do, they are too busy reading the New York Times to read whatever you’re writing.
So forget that hypothetical reader and write about the things that are most interesting to you. Then, make it your mission to explain to readers why they should care about this thing you find interesting.
At the base of it, I guess I don’t believe in other people’s hierarchies about what’s important in the world. … And — this is one reason I love the web — all the analytics I’ve ever seen on my stories indicate that my own interest level and effort dictate what does well, *not* the subject matter.
“Forget your generalized audience,” John Steinbeck advised in his six timeless tips on writing, and The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal echoes him with even more depth and dimension in his own advice on writing.
(Source: , via theonlymagicleftisart)
Young Wonder // To You (by Young Wonder)
I find this video real comforting. The idea of such an elaborate funeral for a small cat is more reassuring than comic. Maybe we won’t all die alone!