This picture was captioned randomly with a line from The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning.
Dear Blogmaster Bryan,
In the parlance of the community of stand-up comedians, when your routine causes the crowd to laugh repeatedly, you are said to have “killed”; whereas, if your act consistently fails to make the audience laugh, you are said to have “bombed.”
I find these terms themselves a little funny; because, when speaking literally, bombing is killing, and killing r
I’ve heard some of you say that life is complicated. Many describe their relationships as complicated. Some say that romantic love itself is complicated. But my own opinion is that life, love, and relationships are all very simple.
Life is a breeze, if you can manage to inherit vast privilege. One error that people commit is that they choose to be born to non-ritzy parents, or they accept soulmates who are unsuccessful. Intelligence can also be a setback—n
As a kid, I never liked books. So how did I end up as a human who has books on his coffee table? Right in front of me, I have one two three four five six… twelve books total, sitting here. I won’t list their titles, because I don’t want to.
What do I get from reading a book? Pleasure for the moment, or ideas of my own? Who cares? I think that parents want their small children to read books; but, once their children get older, it doesn’t matter anymore.
I guess tha
I’ll tell you what I like. I like persons, places, and things. I also like verbs and adjectives, and other aspects of this world.
But the culture that I inhabit (I was thrown here by chance) has a tradition about marriage that I hate. It’s the diamond ring tradition: When people wed, they go buy a diamond ring. I think diamonds are pretty, I like them in general; but I wish that we would change this arbitrary custom. Even if a diamond mine weren’t an awful place to work, I
People talk about the pursuit of happiness. I’m not an especially unhappy person; and I welcome happiness when it occurs (why turn happiness down?)—but I’m more interested in the pursuit of worth.
I’m not using that term in its economic sense—like net worth or monetary wealth—no: I mean spiritual, humane or existential worth; something harder to measure, which subsumes the realm of finance.
Say that a trustworthy phantom visits me to report that my creative
What is there to be anxious about? Why am I always so fearful? It’s not my soul, my intellect, or my imagination that is prompting the worry—it’s like the dread is coming straight from my body, my animalistic facets.
I remember a TV show that was popular when I was young: it was about a guy who drove a talking automobile.
Instead of giving proper advice in a calm voice, what if your car were always fretting about this or that doomful possibility…? Take therefore no thought
I’m glad that writing is my hobby—it fits me better than any other vocation. I could never bear to spend the whole day sunning myself on driftwood like a turtle.
Then again, if I were a turtle, I would’ve begun this entry by saying:
I’m so happy that I chose this career of afternoon sunbathing. I could never bear to wake at an hour when the sky is dark and cold, for the purpose of scribbling words on paper like a human.
But even if you woke with the feeling that life w
I begged my assistant to snap this picture because I liked the look of the screws in the artificial stone.
Give ear, O weblog!
I awoke in the middle of the night with a phrase in my mind which I thought was so clever that I broke my slumber just to write it down. But then I researched the phrase online and found that it had already been employed as a popular song lyric. Before learning of this letdown, I had written a few sentences to begin the present entry. In demonstration
In the olden days, I’d have to wash my clothes in the river. All of my silken shirts and bright white slacks. Then, when the fusion-powered washing machine was invented, my reaction was: “Hurrah! this shall save me X hours per day.” (For it took X hours to launder my clothes by hand, in Vermilion River, using a washboard.) My point is that the fusion-powered machine was initially considered a holy blessing: its purpose was to make life easier, to free up time for families
Not to make too big of a deal about this, but yesterday I wrote a Web Bloggy Blog about the Deity, and it contained a swanky oversight that I want to explain…
Actually, it wasn’t an oversight; for I was aware of my actions—in fact, I even savored the feeling of deviousness—but, for those who refuse to give me the benefit of the doubt until I’ve bribed SCIENCE to prove that I’m correct, I will now set the record straight…
In my entry, I stated that it was
I can say that I believe in God; and I can say that I do not believe in God.
I can say that I believe in Endlessness; but I cannot say, with equal sincerity, that I do not believe in Endlessness—for Endlessness transcends the realm of belief: this is something I know.
In truth, I can say that I either believe OR disbelieve in God, because God is a term that some souls use to denote Endlessness—it’s like writing the name “Sophia” on your boat: it humanizes wha
What’s everyone doing nowadays? (I’m totally out of touch.) What are the youth excited about?
When jazz music appeared on the horizon, it was a big deal—some people loved it and others hated it (I love it, for the record)—but, if my memory of the historical accounts that I’ve read can be trusted, jazz was a form of art that really jolted the nation.
I’m enthused by creative movements that revivify culture: I love jazz for this reason. I also love surrealism and romanticism and
I’m happy to report that I’ve finally shaken off my antichristianity. This is not the same as saying that I’ve accepted Christianity—I just mean I’m no longer persuaded by the antichristian stance. I hope that this is what they call becoming enlightened.
I’ll try to sketch a rundown of my own religious inexperience below, for the sake of reminding myself how impressionable my mind is, how often it is prone to change, and thus how trustworthy I amn’t. But, first, he
I wake before the sun rises. I lie in bed, in the dark. Thoughts come to me: they arrange themselves, effortlessly, into the most beautiful sentences. So I leave the bed and go to my desk—but just as I ignite my writing lamp, the ideas flee away. They’re gone now…
From this, I conclude that ideas love the dark; they’re afraid of the light. And I have nothing more to say.
But how should we live? It’s almost as if we’ve got to act ourselves like characters, like
Dang, it happened again. Don’t you hate it when you write about half of a journal entry to yourself, which seems really good while you’re composing it; but then, after sleeping, you wake and reread what you wrote, and it seems just awful? So you roll up a newspaper and firmly swat your nose and shout: “Bad journalist.” Now you want to give up and begin a new entry from scratch, but you’re preoccupied with the material that you botched. There’s no denying what you must do: Y
Because everything is as bad as usual in the world right now, you might start thinking that nothing will ever go right. So I hope it cheers you to receive the following good news:
Seriously, I had a couple of news items that I was going to relay, and both were good… but once I started typing, I drew a blank.
Ah, now I remember the first update, at least: We fixed our squeaky door by oiling its hinges. (Our front door had a really bad squeak this morning.)
Say that I unexpectedly decide to quit working for the Surrealists… And then I also quit my gig with the Romantics… Now I go out searching for a new Dream Job…
Eventually, I find it: my longtime favorite TV soap opera is looking for someone of exactly my eye color and hair type to play the role of a pregnant matriarch…
So I go and audition… but I’m nervous—I care so much about getting this role (it is my Dream Job) that my acting is timid and shaky—therefor
Here’s an example of how blank I am: I write these diary entries and believe with all my heart that the future will read them. I believe that only the future will read them, and I’m sensible enough to admit this with shame; but I act on my belief nonetheless. So, whenever I feel the impulse to speak on a contemporary event, my habit is to remind myself that “by the time anyone skims your words, no one will remember the climate of your cultural surroundings”—this is why I always avoid saying a
Twelve hours ago my companion and I were walking at our favorite snowy park. The landscape was beautiful. At one point, I glanced over and noticed that my companion had vanished… Stopping in my tracks, I turned back… Finally I saw her—she was a few paces off, snapping a picture of the trees. So I said: “Put down your camera, and follow me: I will make you a photographer of God.”
I said this remark because I thought that it was clever. The fact that I am recording it here in my diary p
I will not write today, because the festival of The Year’s Renewal weighs upon me too heavily.
Do I care what humans think about me? Yes. Do all of them love me? No. Do I find it easy to sway people’s opinions? No.
I wish I could say that my desire is boundless, but, when I try to articulate what would satisfy me, it is not too difficult. I would like to parley with surrealists and enjoy consequence-free delight. I do not need wing implants to feel that mortal life is worth th
I wonder if God perhaps does not speak English. Outside of the post office, I heard a woman suggest that since she has chosen to avoid having children, she should be exempt from the monthly anguishes related to fertility.
Today I awoke lamenting war, and I remembered a passage from Nietzsche’s The Wanderer and His Shadow (284)—which the translator Walter Kaufmann says was “written when Germany was at the zenith of her power”: And perhaps the great day will come when a people, dist
My dear friend Bryan, did you ever hear an espionage agent refer to a portable spying device as a “bug”? Also, did you notice that the act of affixing such a device to a noun is called “bugging”? Well I don’t understand why more people don’t bug their Christmas gifts. If you bug your gifts before giving them to your loved ones this holiday season, you can eavesdrop on their conversations after they have left your sight. The information that a person tells you to your fac
Tomorrow afternoon we were walking near Walden Pond, and my sweetheart began to talk about the evergreens. She said: Notice how all the other trees in our neighborhood lose their leaves in winter—this signifies that all humans must eventually meet death; yet, since the evergreen keeps its leaves year-round, it symbolizes immortality.
When our cult’s leader died, we believers entered a state of denial: Our leader is as immortal as the evergreen, we cried. And, to signify this convictio
Sometimes I start the day sad, and sometimes I start the day happy. When I’m sad, it’s hard to wake up: I want to stay in bed and sleep forever. But when I’m happy, I awake at the earliest morning hour: it’s still dark outside—I don’t want to waste a single moment of life—then I coax the sun to rise with my taunts and curses…
Groundlessly, today is a happy day; so here I am, writing to myself on the computer. I have nothing to say, as usual, but maybe I’ll open the books that are on m
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a blog entry that contains one (obligatory) image and fifty words. The image has nothing to do with the words. I thank you for your attention.
My steadfast and constant desire is to escape from all thoughts of religion and never again to voice another word on the subject, but something always happens that drags me back in to the melee… Yesterday I explained here on this dumbblog (not dumbbell: dumb-blog) that I met a religious mission