Gore Vidal’s “Departure Lounge of Life”

From Robert Chalmer’s interview in The Independent:

"But you’re convinced that, to put it crudely, when you die, that’s
it." "No," Vidal replies. "I wouldn’t say: ‘When you die, that’s it.’
I’d say: ‘When you’re born, that’s it.’"

UPDATE: From the 06/15 NYT Magazine:

Are you a supporter of gay marriage? I know nothing about it. I don’t follow that.

Why doesn’t it interest you? The same reason heterosexual marriage doesn’t seem to interest me.

If we look at the situation apart from you — It’s my interview, so we’ve got to stay with me.

Memento mori.

Jim Manzi 2.0

The article itself is only moderately interesting, but over at The American Scene, Jim Manzi’s National Review cover story, Undetermined, has generated one of the most scintillating — and admirably civil, despite Steve Sailer’s arguably justified snarking — discussion threads that I can recall reading in quite some time.  Comments are closed, but it’s quite an artifact. (Thanks to TGGP for pointing it out.)

TangoMan provides a parting shot here

Memento mori 

Notes from a Short-order Cook

Jim Crawford of the antinatalism blog has added an autobiographical sketch to his right-margin and it’s full of crazy surprises: 

I’m a 52 yr. old Caucasion male. I received what passes for a high
school diploma in California. Worked full-time through my senior year.
My father abandoned me and my four younger brothers right around
graduation day, so I never really had much of a chance at procuring any
fancy learnin’ (not that I ever had much interest, anyhow…pot,
hashish and acid were REALLY cheap back then!). Took a life detour
through most of my twenties-joined a fundy-Christian cult, and became
sort of an itinerant evangelist, before trashing the whole Jesus thang
at 28. Married an African American woman (that lasted 25 yrs…about 7
in the middle were primo!) Had two daughters along the way. Did a lot
of reading for a couple of decades, though not much from any prescribed
or popular reading lists. Zen, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, some
history and psych…that sort of thing. Oh, and scads of sci-fi and
horror. Got divorced in ’02…was actually a kept man up in Spokane, WA
for a year and a half. After that fell through, I was homeless for a
few months, until some drunk kids hit my truck at the stroke of
midnight while I was sleeping in it. Chased them down, got a pittance
of an insurance settlement which got me off the streets. Worked some
minimum wage construction for a couple years, ’til my truck went south,
then landed a gig as a minimum wage short-order cook at a fastfood
Mexican restaurant, where I still work today. Renting a room at my
ex-wife’s to help her pay the mortgage. My current paramour (and
hopefully last, for god’s sake!) is a German woman living 2000 miles
away in Houston. Saved up and bought a laptop last year. Lost my
favorite cat of 14 years earlier this year, and it looks like I’ll be
losing my dearly beloved dog in the next couple of weeks or so
(tumours, and after having spent every cent I had on surgery a few days
before Xmas. It was totally worth it for the extra few months,
but…well, life sucks). I still have two great kids, and a decent
low-end bicycle (Trek), though 600 of my books have been sitting in
boxes in a garage up in Spokane for the last 5 years…not much hope of
ever seeing them again, which pretty much bites. I’ve come pretty close
to dying 2 or 3 times, and have done a fair amount of dangerous work in
my time, involving great heights and iffy equipment. Have contemplated
suicide on a number of occasions (including most of the ’90s, but never
had the fortitude, you know?) Oh, and I wish I loved everybody, and
sometimes I try to, though less these days. I guess that’s about it. Oh
yeah! I’m also a self-proclaimed, ersatz poet.

is the first time I’ve ever offered a profile on any of my blogs or
memberships. I thought I’d offer the lever of an unattractive
psychological profile for any challengers to glom onto, since so far
they don’t seem to have much in the way of substantive disagreement to
offer. This is NOT meant as an insult, btw, but please realize…

subject of antinatalism is NOT a mere philosophical exercise for me.
I’m not here to get my rocks off as a controversialist. Life sucks, and
then you die, only…considering the risk that any given child might
emerge into a world of personal horror, the trite little saying takes
on a whole new depth of meaning for me. I hope it does for you, as well.

Sorry about the cat, Jim. I reckon I’ll be inconsolable when the first of my seven checks out.


Due apologies for the less than substantial posting, good readers. I’m slumped over, trying to get the L.A. Rollins book in shape for the printer before the end of the month, struggling with InDesign quirks, smoking my pungent Latakia blend in a filterless bent pipe, and drinking Bukowskian quantities of cheap American beer. The day job is positively oppressive.

The good news is that the book has turned into a sumptuous behemoth; what started out as a moderately supplemented reprint of an obscure libertarian monograph has evolved into a genuine compendium, consisting of four "books" that collectively provide a nearly complete survey of the work of this forgotten zetetic recluse and equal-opportunity iconoclast, — of this unclassifiable cornball-cum-dissident whose aphoristic spleen (on full display in Lucifer’s Lexicon) made me laugh when I was enduring summer and night classes after flunking two years of high school English back whenever that was. Now, it seems hardly a day goes by that I don’t receive another
hand-addressed envelope in the box, stuffed with more Bierceian bombast
from Herr Rollins, usually with a hand-written note politely expressing hope that the latest batch will
make it in time. Lou isn’t online, so everything he sends comes through the post, every word in longhand. And I’m a piss-poor transcriptionist, alas. Maybe I’m a prisoner to nostalgia, but it feels downright surreal, bringing these books — this book — to life, and I promise things haven’t yet kicked into gear. You’ll see, fuckers. Those of you foolish enough to care. Nine-Banded Books will conquer the universe. Texas is the reason that the president’s dead.

I do mean to keep things afloat here, albeit for present purposes with these threadbare link-enhanced fixes. And I try to pay attention to the tubes, especially to those restless Adderall-scented truth-stalking fringes where quasi-kindred spirits take the lead. Jesus, those kids is scary-smart. Some of ’em, anyway. And I’ve been playing along as time permits — over at that ever unpredictable stop where the guy whose name is a series of consonant letters keeps channel-surfing; over at that impossible-to-believe forum, where a proud father turned penitent antinatalist  plies his ambidextrous mindmeat to corner and refine the quixotically doomed case against breeding; over at that all-but-hidden nook where a self-described "(currently non-practicing) suicide" deftly connects the dismal dots. It’s a strange congregation, says the suds. All this cerebral slumming that from a distance collapses into tristesse, or beerdrunk romance.

Permit me, then, this inelegant segue. To the obligatory filler. Cause baby there’s no guide-ance when the random rules.

  • Against the fawning tide of gratingly predictable NRO sycophancy, the Derb implores old Tom Wolfe to bone up on his evo-bio. (hat-tip to Razib)
  • The inimitable J-Man heaps scorn on a hapless Girl Scout.
  • In a welcome respite from his tiresome Obama blogging,  Steve Sailer promises a careful dissection the the latest (conservative) argument against encroaching "geneticism." UPDATE: soup’s up.

And finally, to close the circle, I want to point up this excellent dissident essay on the FLDS raid by my favorite "Catholic reactionary," Andy Nowicki, whose indescribably impolitic book,  Considering Suicide, will be published by Nine-Banded Books in 2009. Just you wait.

Memento mori.


Random Rules V

  • "How did the United States, the world’s scientific powerhouse, reach a
    point at which it grapples with the ethical challenges of
    twenty-first-century biomedicine using Bible stories, Catholic
    doctrine, and woolly rabbinical allegory?" Steven Pinker has some ideas.
  • Ostensibly "about sex offenders and the art of photography," Peter Sotos’ forthcoming book, Lordotics, promises to bring poor Lyndie England into the frame.  With Errol Morris’s captivating apologies back on the festival circuit, white people may want to prioritize their attention carefully. At least Andrea Dworkin isn’t around to complicate matters.   
  • Jim Crawford continues his exceptionally perceptive chapter-journal on David Benatar’s Better Never to Have Been. You can catch up, here, here, here and here.
  • Twenty minutes into a radio interview with Holocaust revisionist Robert Faurisson, the French government’s editorial ombudsman pulled the plug, apparently for fear of running afoul of France’s Fabius-Gayssot law (or Gayssot law), which, like similar statutes across the globe, imposes criminal sanctions upon those who publicly contest "crimes against humanity" as defined by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal of 1945-46. Courtesy of the stalwart racialist thought criminals at The Civic Platform, you can now read an English translation of the banned interview, in which Faurisson provides a scathing account of anti-denial laws without contesting one word of Nuremburg scripture.   

Here’s another one from the abridged and updated Lexicon:

Zygote, n. – A human being, just like you and me. Hath not a zygote eyes? Hath not a zygote hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? And if you wrong them, shall they not revenge? 

Memento mori.