Some Horrors, Briefly Articulated

Always, the relentless prospect of having to support oneself, not for a day or two, but until the end, whenever that occurs; of needing to perform maintenance, simply to preserve this already woeful state of affairs; of contending with the specter of consequences in the event that one is unable to fulfill these basic obligations.

Spiritual Dilemma of the Middle West

Epicurus claims that one is capable of finding spiritual equanimity under any circumstance. Meanwhile, parked at a rest stop along an unrelenting stretch of Midwestern interstate, I observe a tired woman Windexing the glass doors of an edifice denoted by a sign (mistakenly, I assume) as the Welcome Center. Minutes later, she’s moved to a metal bench, where she smokes a cigarette while gazing without interest upon a collection of nearby weeds.

The tableau would appear to offer a compelling counterargument to Epicurus, who unfortunately — owing to his death thousands of years ago — is unable to enter the debate.

On Beginning to Read, But Not Completing, a Novel

It requires a certain interior strength to begin reading a novel and then, finding that it’s poor, to excuse oneself from completing it. With practice, however, it can be done.

For example: after considerable training, I’ve developed the ability to not even start reading in the first place. Each day, I specifically not read hundreds of books. Perhaps even thousands. Indeed, thousands is probably closer to the truth.

On the Subject of Certain Book Titles Which Proclaim the “End” of an Abstract Concept

The End of History. After the End of Art. There exists a compulsion among modern intellectuals to pronounce the death of otherwise seemingly interminable concepts. Or there appears to exist such a compulsion, perhaps is the correct way to phrase it. In fact, reason dictates that such titles represent a calculated means by which to prevent the end of something else — namely, of book sales.

A Hasty Endorsement for Lyricism in All Things

It’s either impossible or rare to extract pleasure from the contents of a lecture while also harboring a low opinion of the lecturer himself. The inverse arrangement, however — that is, to find a lecturer compelling while simultaneously possessing a lack of interest in the topic — this is quite common.

Are there grounds, probably, on which to dissent from the substance of these remarks? Probably. That said, one can’t spend the day in explanation.