Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On Bar Rescue

Because of the comedian Doug Stanhope I recently became acquainted with a show called Bar Rescue. A fairly entertaining show, and one that has some interesting trends I would like the American people to notice that unfortunately I feel they are unlikely to.

First off, most of the problems are with management in most episodes, not the staff.  Of the episodes I've seen so far, sometimes the employees are lacking in spirit (understandably) but usually they're making the most of a bad situation.  Many of them are single mothers and need their jobs to make ends meet.  Of course this is horrible, though I'd like to throw a quick anti-natalist point in here and say they wouldn't be so desperate if they didn't choose to have children.  But, that being the case they of course need gainful employment with an adequate wage.

In most of shows I've seen everything works out and the employer turns around, becoming a far more happy and sensible person, ready to make a profit for both him or herself and his or her employees - and all it took was expert training and a entire bar make-over advertized by Captain Morgan. I don't blame the owners, it's not their fault, and this show shows us that even the petite bourgeois are people trying to scrap together an ends meet. 

Two major points here:  When Socialists criticize Capitalism we're mostly talking about giant conglomerates, not people like my father or grandfather who ran there own businesses with a very minute amount of employees and spare capital.  Secondly, though the petite bourgeois aren't in exactly a glamorous position, they still exploit the working class by under-paying them.  The owners in this show get their bar renovated and will receive a massive increase in profits.  How much of that will go to the bartenders who held the bar together in incredibly strenuous times?  In some cases some, in others none.  The show doesn't once consider the fact that the workers who are doing the majority of the work should both receive their fair share and own the means-of-production themselves.  But it is a reality show in America, so I didn't exactly expect Jo(h)n to go Workers of the World on us.

Also, though I understand that a bar needs to make money to keep its doors open and a reoccurring problem strangely enough with these failing bars is giving away drinks routinely, I disagree that making a profit should be the only incentive in running a business.  As an owner of a bar the owners main "purpose" or potential to do good is to create entertainment and enjoyment so people can be freed from their pain and troubles for a period of time.  This may involve something like pool which may not be incredibly profitable for the business.  My main point is, if everything in a bar was done 100% for profit, then the only goal would be to sell people as many drinks as possible completely regarding the social cost.  Business owners (especially of bars and restaurants) can make great experiences for people and make money doing it - but the bettering of the world needs to be their main priority, not making a profit.  Now of course as a Socialist I would still hold that we'd have a better and more just system with worker co-ownership but good things can still come out of a fundamentally bad system - Capitalism; just like good experiences can come out of a fundamentally bad thing - life.

Something I Salvaged

_I regret being born, but I don’t regret being alive.  On some level this might be a contradiction, but ultimately I don’t think so.  Being born is the act of being brought into the world as a living thing.  Living things will inevitably suffer, and we can prevent this from preventing them birth (non-existent people do not suffer from not existing) and therefore any potential pain.  Being alive however is simply the biological condition of being able to experience pleasure or pain.  It is inherently neither good nor bad because though it is necessary to experience either, neither are not necessarily attached to any moment of a living being’s existence.  There are moments of life where we are in pain; those moments are bad.  And there are moments where we feel great pleasant experiences and sensations such as pleasure, joy and serenity; these moments are good.
Ethics is nothing more than the understanding of these basic logical truths combined with the secondary facts of our existence (e.g. scientific laws, traits of psychology, political economy, etc) or rather how they apply to that which has significance in its own right – the existence of pain.  Morality is negative in character; that is to say, it is something that describes the importance of a removal of something (pain) rather than any specific state of affairs in our Universe – that would be a description of positive ethics.
Though there is much that is bad life, that is to say, though it is true that there is much suffering we will inevitably experience, we should remember that things are all only bad to the extent that things cause or depict an unpleasant situation.  When we remove ourselves from our lives and remember the insignificance of most things and that attaining anything (the things we want to attain a pleasurable state) is not of primary significance, that instead being pain-free is what is of significance we can be happy.  We can, at-least momentarily, relinquish the ego and remember that we are pain-free (strangely enough becoming so by reminding ourselves that we are) and that this is (this and that others are pain-free) all that matters – and this can make us happy.
Life is very bad. But given the right circumstances, and the right frame of mind, it can be made good.   And once again, life being good is only truly good to the extent that it is not bad. We should value our lives not by what we have but by how much we were and are spared.  I was spared a great deal, and though I will inevitably selfishly focus on hedonistic impulses at times it is my wish to help others be spared the horrors of this existence to the extent I can.  The most absolute way of doing this is by not giving birth to more beings who will without a doubt suffer without excuse.  The next is by allowing those who wish to end their pain by ending their lives to do so and by changing the general culture’s view on suicide – it is only from faulty reason that there are those who suffer from someone no longer suffering.  After that there is aiding the living to the extent that we can.  This involves the realms of psychology, public policy, philosophy and all realms of knowledge and life that impact a being capable of feeling pain (including most animals) to the extent that said knowledge and actions can reduce or relinquish their suffering.  To act in this manner is what is meant by being ethical.  It is to act for the benefit of others (their greatest benefit being not being in pain) rather than following our evolutionary impulse to be egotistical (we can only experience our own sensations) and hedonistic.  And though we have an evolutionary impulse to be selfish, we also have the evolutionary impulse to be compassionate and considerate of others.  We can practice and promote one to see an increase of the one over the other; for as Aristotle mentions much of virtue has to do with habituation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pointless Update Just Because I Enjoy Reminding You I Exist

I saw Peanuts and played Croc today.  So I was given an adequate nostalgia shot even for a periodic junky (if that makes any sense) such as myself.

Might have something to say about the Peanuts movie.  But there are other movie analyses I wanted to do that I never got to.  Might do this one first but who knows.  There's other things I have to work on this weekend, but also I might just enjoy myself.  Like I said, who knows.

Take care.

A Brief Note on Assisted Suicide

The fact that none of us consented to be born and inevitably to suffer through being born is just a tragic fact of reality.  The right of the parents to practice their hubris and short sightedness will always be valued by our government and our society over the right of the innocent to not suffer and not exist without their consent.  However, the fact that our government (and the pro-natal and Christian sentiments of our society) not only forces a child to be born but forces men and women to live is simply disgusting, evil and a violation of every beings right to self determination to the extent they can practice it.  I was born without my consent.  This I can never undo or rectify fully.  But I can make the ethical choice of choosing to end my life and my pain if I see fit. 
And though it is true that I can break the law and end my life without the government stopping me, the same can be said of any action that is currently illegal.  To those who say, “who cares, just do it…” to suicide being illegal in this country, I would like to say the same to their most favored privileges.  What if, god forbid, the right to sit in a room full of dunces and sing the same songs every week was not guaranteed?  You could practice this ritual while being criminals in the eyes of the government.  But what if you were caught?  Same thing with suicide.  The argument that one can go around the law should never be an argument for what is or isn’t legal.  As a Negative Utilitarian, I believe that laws should exist to prevent suffering to the greatest extent possible.  Putting people in prison (taking away their basic liberty and turning them even more so into mindless meat puppets) for doing drugs or in insane asylums for attempting to end their pain does not prevent pain efficiently.  It prolongs it and creates it.  It is unjust – from both a standpoint of human rights and human ethics.
There are severe injustices with our legal system and even greater general injustices in life.  The fact that we will never rectify all of these problems, never right all the wrongs, never cure all the ailments, never stop all the pain; the fact that some people will always slip through the cracks of even the most compassionate and just society (which this most certainly is not) is all the more reason we must safeguard the right to die, the right to not exist, as the most fundamental right a person has the moment they choose to practice it.  Forcing someone to live without their consent is essentially forcing someone to be a slave in their own body.  A prisoner in this world of pain and inequity.
Those who seek help of any kind should, unless circumstances complicate things, always receive it.  The two facts are not mutually exclusive.  It is true that some people who are “suicidal” are merely people who are crying out for our attention and aid, but we must also accept the fact that there is an entirely different category of person, someone who does not want help.  Is not concerned with “getting better” (as if being suicidal in all cases is a mental illness that one can “get better” from) or fixing what they very likely see as not being capable of being fixed – and they are often right.  Either they have a painful illness that is incurable or the medical treatment itself is pain riddled, or they view life as a pain endurance test of futile hopes and dreams that have been crushed by a world apathetic to their desires.  Suicide categorically or definitively being the result of poor thinking or mental illness is another rationalization optimists and pro natalists implement to justify their view of life.  “No one could ever reasonably end all of this!”  Really?  Have you taken a look at the world?  Taken an honest look at life as it is lived by most people?  It’s far from a cake walk.  And some of these problems of life can (at least theoretically) be  solved with scientific implementation, a friendly hand or the correct frame of mind (philosophy), but we must be honest and accept the fact that some facts of life can never be remedied.  We suffer.  We long for what we cannot have.  We quickly lose appreciation of what we have.  We feel regret.  We feel burdened by others.  We drudge through life.  It’s simply what we do.  What we’ve always done.  But if someone chooses for him or herself “not for me; not no longer,” we must respect their wish.  If the foolish wish to condemn it, so be it.  If they wish to call the suffering and sorrowful “weak” or, “sick” so be it.  But the fact remains that suicide does not come easily to us.  Billions of years of evolution has fostered a genetic lineage that benefit (or at least continue to continue, for in a sense it’s the genes and not the organism that’s attached to them that benefit) from doing everything in our power to survive.  Therefore suicide does not come naturally.  It stands to reason then that not only is suicide an act of courage, but if someone is willing to deny their biological programming and end their existence (being in effect a evolutionary failure – not that this in any way should be a metric of success; in fact it is this subconscious pro-natal aspect of our psychology I wish to dispel) then their lot (at least at that moment) must be very bad.
In our society, we make it incredibly easy for people to pursue their weakest most base urges of uncreative and gluttonous pleasure, yet we condemn those who wish to end their suffering by ending their lives.  We allow life to be degraded and whole lives to be deteriorated and destroyed by the intrinsic and external effects of alcohol and tobacco (among other vices) yet we do not only a man to end his pain.  Our society is sick – sick from being far too childish to accept life as it is.  I am not arguing for a prohibition of vice.  It simply astonishes me and shows the crass hedonism of our society, and reflects the majorities’ immoral outlook that they allow or even encourage the worsening of life through vice but lacks the compassion to allow hurting human beings to end their torment.  Society wants to ignore the problems of this world or self medicate to momentarily alleviate the problems – while making more problems down the line.  This is clearly immoral and irrational.  But if society is to continue this way (as it vey likely will) it should at least have the decency to allow people to opt out of a raw deal they were forced into.
I’ve already expressed the reality of being forced into this life.  But it’s worse than that.  Because we not only force people into this world and disallow their voluntary removal of themselves from that which they did not ask, we also provide very little aid for what we force damned souls into.  That is, we force them to live but make meager if any efforts to mitigate their torment.  We force a child into life.  The child is forced into adulthood.  The adult is forced to take up a job.  The job is hellish.  May I remind the reader that no one can ultimately change their plight.  No one can decide their genes or their environment.  Causality is as causality does.  The man who is enslaved to toil therefore could not have been otherwise.  And he is in effect forced as a slave to work for he cannot choose (legally) to die or to live without the hellish burdens of life if that is what fate or god or whatever decides such things has chosen for him.  His toil is not his own yet it is.  He did not choose it yet it becomes him.  He becomes his pain and it destroys whatever hope and goodness and innocence was in him.  He is in effect raped by existence.  Raped by his society.  Raped by the apathy and cruelty of a society that focuses on the accumulation of base pleasures over the mitigation and elimination of pain. 
The only fundamental fact of existence which is of any cause for relief is simply that – live is not only that which can be relieved, it will be relieved for every man, woman and child at some point.  We all will cease to exist at some point and with the lack of our existence no longer be troubled with the agonies or complications of the existence we once had.  This breath of sympathy, this breath of love and compassion and the understanding of it is intoned by those who speak truly the words:  Rest in Peace.  It is the wish of what is; the acceptance of a man’s fate of no longer being burdened as good.  An acknowledgement that there is tenderness in the void; perhaps more so than on this earth.
I am saddened by the fact that the world is destined needlessly to suffering that can never be justified.  I am repulsed that some attempt to justify our wretched fate through religious fairy tales or talks of “free will.”  I am made happy when I see the capacity of human beings to consider the plight of others, and to wish to end another’s suffering before concerning themselves with themselves.  Though the logic of Jesus’ act makes no sense (being the Son of God and sacrificing himself for humanities sins – when of course as God he could simply forgive humanity, let alone not damn humanity only to redeem them at a later point) the ethics of that act stand true.  An act of love that is essentially jumping in front of a car to save a child.  To suffer so others will not.  It is this action that is a rejection of our egotistic impulses hard wired into us that must be commended almost above all others.
I hope this life treats you with as much kindness as can be given.  And though I don’t wish to preach I hope you, the reader, come to understand that despite our instincts and compulsions the lack of pain is far more important than the fleeting presence of pleasure.  Enjoy the placid and serene state you are in to the extent you are in it and that you can appreciate it.  Do not chase after the pleasures of sex, or drink, or love or other things which will likely cause you more pain than pleasure.  Learn to be truly ascetic and happy with this life to the extent that there is cause to be.  For though there is great pain, one can still feel great beauty and serenity, and yes, even joy when one is bewildered by the capacity of the human animal to love selflessly and feel compassion for others.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My... no, too easy

I just finished My Left Foot, the biographical picture of Christy Brown.  I'd bet any amount of money Pro-Life Catholics (and Christians generally) just fucking loved this movie.  They thought it showed how great even the most wretched and pain-riddled life can be, and this movie shows just how stupid and evil they are in their beliefs.

However, I did particularly enjoy the end.  It's inspired me to write, which asides from my research paper (which even that I'm slacking on) I haven't done in some time.  If memory serves whenever winter begins to befall us here I begin to feel lethargic.  Hopefully I'll write something (asides from this) tonight.  Even if it's just making steps in my Aristotle-Bakunin paper.

It was a fairly good film.  As far as biographical flicks go, I think I still prefer Amadeus and Reds (which is half biography, half historical re-enactment).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Because that's the problem, right South Park?

I wanted to write this the moment I knew they were going in this direction, then decided to give them at-least somewhat the benefit of the doubt and would watch the entire episode.  But nope, it's just pro-cop propaganda from a bunch of libertarians.  Force is wrong as long is it just involves you rich cocksuckers opening your fat fucking wallets right?  Treating the homeless like shit, murdering people and taking peoples' lives away via prison is hunkey-dorey.  You clearly love free-dumb.

I actually thought the first episode of SP was one of the better episodes they've had in a while.  I'm a fairly progressive person (could you tell?) but some aspects of the SJW-tumblr crowd does bother me and I think the first episode was funny and accurate - one of the reasons why it was funny was because of its accuracy.

But yes, the problem in America now is everyone treating cops like shit, right?  And when I say "treating cops like shit" I mean some Americans believing its wrong when a cop-fascist dip-shit takes a human life without good cause.  You gotta love Conservatives and Libertarians.  They hate dem some Gov'ment, but they'll do anything to defend the cops and military - y'know, the parts of the Government that actually back up the force they pretend to be against; or rather are against as long as its force (taxes) that actually help someone.  If its force that puts the poor in jail they can't be fucking bothered.  If anything they cheer and say America is too tolerant on crime and people should have a dildo shoved up their ass further.

I also love their acceptance of police brutality on innocence people as the norm.  We don't want "Anarchy" so cops beating the shit out of people who aren't me is just something we'll have to deal with right?  Go fuck yourselves.  This is the essence of Hobbsian rationalizing of the State to a tea.  Which once again just shows how bankrupt on its own supposed principles many to most Libertarians are.  Taxes are just theft by the Government but cracking a nigger's skull is great if you can justify it as keeping your hoity-toity shitty existence of shopping for flatscreens and being a good Christian by ringing a bell once a year as it is right?  Anything to keep your precious existence as mundane and unconflicted by the fact that there are other people in this world whose problems and ambitions consist of more than just what shitty bar-restaurant to go to.

Happy Morons-Who-Believed-Patriotic-Propaganda-Day, or Happy Fuckheads-Who-Unintentionally-Preserved-International-National-and-Class-Interest-Day.  I forgot which one.

And incidentally:  anyone who would take offense with the fact I typed the word "nigger" is missing the point.  I'm obviously usual lingual inflection to express the state-of-mind of the people I'm making fun of by showing what I feel to be their true thought process or rationale whether they express it explicitly or not.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Upswing

I don't want to jinx tings (as if I could, though I have a slight fear things could go bad again and I'll feel stupid writing this) but I'm feeling much better - maybe you can chalk it up to the caffeine which I caved in and started drinking again.  I've been writing more lately, you've (assuming you're a regular reader to read this) read some of it, and a large portion of the rest is material for my independent study which I've made good progress in.

I've also watched this video which I find very uplifting:  Despite my disagreements with Hitchens I believe he was in some ways a kindred spirit.  And anyone who knows the exhilaration of pursuing knowledge or reasoning is at-least in that very crucial way a virtuous human being.

I want people to know that though I may disagree with one stance or another that as long as someone genuinely is decent and is trying to make the world a better place than they've left it then they're (to some extent) okay in my book.  Regardless of their levels of intelligence human beings have a remarkable ability to detect this sincere eagerness and devotion to helping others, and knows when it is lacking.  It is this emotional intelligence (if it is to be called that) that makes people distrust politicians, leaders and generally insincere people who are at-least somewhat dishonest in their motives.  We know that it's not simply a matter of factual disagreement whether we have food share or public housing or not.  Some people want to help others - and some people don't give a shit or actually believe the poor deserve to suffer.  Now there are some RW Libertarians who actually believe that all government policies create more suffering than it cures, but those who have this notion as primal are few and far between and we know damn-well that fundamentally they are egoists (or deontologists of a sort) and don't give a shit about others.  They just don't.  Look at their primary ethical arguments.  Rand, Nozick, Friedman.  All of them believe a business has a moral obligation (if any) to the stockholder/investor and not their fellow human beings.  It's disgusting.  Hitchens may have been loosely speaking a Conservative but never of that extreme sort.  Anyway, this isn't even really about him, just that I believe moral psychology is more important than opinion.  There's a lot of good people of faith out there who deserve in some regard my admiration for their eagerness to help aid human beings suffering.  I just wish they would be more open-minded and value the things that Hitchens and I do.  Not saying they are simply from disagreeing with me, but I think most honest people know from experience how the large-sum of religious people are in the intellectual rigor/open-mindedness department.

Whoo... didn't expect to type all that.  Anyway, take care everyone.  I hope, especially if you're currently down, that you get an upswing similar to mine.  I won't lie and promise things will be alright - because much of the time they aren't - but if you hang in there and work on what inspires you (and get hopped up on caffeine) you can feel beautiful things that make you eager to love others.  It's this beautiful feeling that we need more of.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

On New Atheist Optimism and Superficial Profoundness

How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in truth!

I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied and critical of the endless pandering Dawkins and the rest of the New Atheists have done to our pro-Natalist, optimist culture.  Because they’re correctly trying to surpass a taboo and teach morons incredibly simple truths in philosophical definitions and scientific literacy, and incorrectly believe that getting by this taboo is the most important thing, you see the Horsemen (I’ll be referring to Dawkins throughout the essay because he’s the one who does it the most routinely to my observation) always preaching Atheism and secularism as ideologies or cult-values.  That is, something that can combat the existential and psychological reasons the emotionally insecure latch on to Christianity in America.  You can talk about the majesty of the Universe all you like Dawkins – most Americans are too stupid and too selfish to care about that; all they care about is going to Heaven and grounding their Egos and their meaningless and short lives in delusion.
For those who don’t know, all Atheism is is a lack of belief in any and all deities.  Secularism is in the political sense the separation of Church and State (something America is founded in – not Jesus) and in the cultural sense a tendency to live one’s life without reference to a religion as guiding principle.  The New Atheists, as I’ve said, rightly promote secularism and state the reasoning for Atheism and I believe they should be commended for it.  However, whether they feel the need to pander to the insecure who can’t get beyond the “Gloomy Gus” notion that there being no God is the worst thing since slowly choking to death on unsliced bread, or they actually do feel this way about Atheism, they have the tendency to conflate scientific values and awe with a justification for or expression of the grandeur of our existences and overall mundane lives – though both are factors the latter seems to clearly be the case in the case of Dawkins.  They consistently speak of the amazement we feel when we acknowledge we’re all star-stuff, and other facts of astronomy and biology that are astounding, but wrongly associate these facts of life with the experience of life itself.
Life is not great, though there is greatness in life to be experienced and to be had.  Instead, it’s fundamentally bad.   Life for the average human being is not awe and amazement at the mystery of the universe; it’s painful and destined to continue to be so indefinitely without justification.  This happens for biological, economic, psychological and a whole host of reasons, but ultimately the forms, shapes and structures of suffering are irrelevant – what is significant is we suffer and that suffering is the sole fundamental evil in this Universe.  That is, it is the only primary fact (combined with the fact that we can alleviate it through our endeavors) that deserves consideration by human beings.  The temperature of a star burning 3.56 light-years away or the fact we have the measurements to discover it does not end the suffering of the human race – though it is remarkable.  And intellectual curiosity is remarkable; conjoined with compassion it is the sole greatest fact of the human condition regardless of how often it occurs.  It is the most crucial thing in man’s quest to alleviate the plight of his species. However, Dawkins uses the facts as essentially a pro-natal smokescreen to say “We know so much!  Isn’t life great!” When the proper Negative Utilitarian (i.e. moral) response to what I’ve described should be “We know so much!  Why the hell aren’t we using this knowledge to help people!  How the hell is there still so much suffering and ignorance on this rock!”  And yes, the evils of religion are a part of it. The evils of Capitalism are a large part of it.  I delve into the New Atheists’ myopia and their inability to confront the detrimental effects of Capitalism in another essay. 
I wanted to write this mostly to quickly express the fact that even the “cold-hearted” spokesmen for Atheism feel the need to indirectly appeal to pro-natal sentiments and psychology.  It is this psychology that rationalizes away suffering and selfishly ignores the pain and burdens of others all to preserve one’s Ego and one’s good time.  For the New Atheist, just as with the Christian, depicting reality (though the N.A.’s constantly emphasize it’s the real reality and not the falsehoods of faith – ignoring that it doesn’t matter at all if reality still largely sucks for the beings it can suck for) as beautiful is more important than making it that way.  The Will to Life (and Ego as a manifestation of the Will to Life) is still in control, and as long as this is the case collectively, collectively we all will suffer needlessly because of it.  Even though the religious are rightly criticized for detaching themselves from this Earth, justifying things through divine will or metaphysical ethics and realms, the New Atheists would with little moral quandaries or hesitation rather spend their time looking up at the stars or examining the physics of atoms near absolute-zero than endeavor to effectively quell the suffering of living beings whose lives (the one and only life they’ll ever have to live – as Atheists they should have the good sense to realize that) are awful in quality and will end in an absolute zero – for them and eventually for the species that though intellectually capable of removing most pain and living beautifully is psychologically and socially destined to lives of diseased cattle.