Faker Than Empathy

these are the things that don’t come true:

fairytales

promises

new years resolutions

and love stories

only the prophets

of a near disaster

get their pessimistic wish

to be famous

and say the most important words in human language

I told you so

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A Moment of Pride I Want You To Share In

Today I am proud to say I am the feature artist on one of my favourite blogs Horror, Sleaze, Trash. HST is an Australian literary and arts juggernaut that promotes underground writers from across the world. They publish a highly-regarded quarterly journal and are a vital force for lesser-known writers and artists. Today Arthur has published three previously unseen poems of mine. These are poems straight from my id, vile statements of who I am under all the socialisation and unspoken insults. Facets in my personality diamond I’d be too afraid to reveal right there, in the flesh, in the full light of day, to even the most well-meaning mother. Instead I’d rather rip my trench coat open and expose my animal side to the whole world. Transgressions in digital.

So please, go ahead and check out my faecal soul, judge it as you would a deflated soufflé, a gnarled and malformed bonsai. Go on, you’ve had a long day, it’s only right you feel a little better about yourself. http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/uncategorized/sook-samsara/

 

Propaganda Department 

I want to work for the government in the Propaganda Department

And manipulate minds

Like a sadistic computer technician

Engineering consent for horrible crimes

I want to paint dead kids in the hue of freedom

And fill factories with labourers

Who think we need the bullets

Because the only way to safety is through the sternum

And between the C1 and C2 vertebrae

With bayonets of strong rhetoric

I want to work in the Propaganda Department of the next Total War

Punching out death sentences on safe white paper

Because life has been dishonest to me and treated me poorly

And now, true to form, I want revenge

Not détente

I want to perpetrate the same crimes on another

That I am bruised with

And condemn them to the same treatment I’ve received

Feeling superior as I watch them suffer

When

I can be happily blind to my own hypocrisy

I will have successfully indoctrinated myself

Into the world

 

…And then I will be an asset

 


 

Photo by Camille / Kmile on Unsplash

Things You Didn’t Expect To Be Told To Expect When Electing To Undertake An Intro To Philosophy Course

  1. There exists an approximate venn diagram with: art students and beautiful stoners on one side; pedantic neckbeards, mmorpg-players who bring their Nintendo Switchs to class, and armchair physicists on the other. It’s probably best to fall in the first category and sit at the back in your ironic Korn t-shirt smelling of sativa if you wanna get laid. If you want good grades and to personally hector the lecturer into early retirement and grey-haired horizons of gardening away stress, the latter is your option. It really depends on what you want. If you fall somewhere in the overlap you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting decent grades and maybe even forging a personal relationship with the professor, so long as you keep to yourself and make an attempt at furthering class discussion when called upon. If you can’t work out where you sit, it’s probably in the latter category and you may wanna invest in some Lynx and shave your adam’s apple. Also, stop playing Bloons on your Iphone — you’re not and never will be the incarnation of master strategist Sun Tzu (most likely).
  2. No one has the right answer — some people just have more comprehensively wrong answers than others. If you find your hand in the sky and some erroneous analysis exiting your mouth, push on! Try to bend the thought around to its proper home using the lecturer’s pained facial expressions as a weathervane. See a microexpression of pleasure when you bring your thought in blurry cohesion with the week’s topic? Go on. Destroy his/her joy with a radically irrelevent and borderline inappropriate tangent.
  3. Talk about your personal life as much as possible, preferably in long-winded monologues that involve much um-ing and ah-ing and staring into the distance for the correct piece of vocabulary you wanna flex. You know what “postmodern deconstruction” means, or at least that it means something. You know it’ll sound mature to evaluate the merits of De Stijl as “an example of a perennial artform now outmoded through the flux of time’s relentless forward momentum”. You swear you’ve heard “Transcendental subjectivisim” somewhere, even if it was just when you were drunk after an O-week party and were actually reading a post-it on your door saying: “Sam, clean up after yourself. Everyone uses the house — cleanliness transcends just your subjective definiton of moving mouldy coffee cups from your desk to the kitchen.”
  4. Bring up unrelated philosophers that you know something about in weeks where that philosopher’s thought could not be more irrelevant. Yeah you read ‘Hell is other people’ on tumblr once. Use it big fella. Super effective when the quote is preceded by “it’s kinda like what x said”. Bonus points for misattribution. Don’t worry, we’re all novices in this discipline. It’s okay to confuse Hegel with Heidegger and Nietzche with Chuck Palahniuk. Just don’t claim Germaine Greer created the concept of Penis Envy and that Freud was an early progenitor of feminism.
  5. I know I uttered the words ‘borderline inappropriate tangent’ earlier, but in Philosophy 1101 classes there is no such territory. Wanna drop into the discussion of how we can’t be certain we’re not brains in vats an anecdote about the time you smoked cones with shamans during a visit to the Himalyan area and for all you know you could still be there now hallucinating this class? Do it. Imagination is approved, correctness and context-awareness are more optional. You’re in uni now, everyone treats you like an adult. Roll a ciggie in class, get up and go to the vending machine without asking for permission, say ‘fuck’ without lowering your voice conspiratorially. This isn’t totalitarian rule. That’s next weeks topic, and please read pages 68–130 of Hobbes’ Leviathan.
  6. Don’t do the readings, just sit down and wait for some conscientious person to summarise them to the class then raise your hand and say, “yeah, it struck me when doing these readings how similar Schopenhauer’s lack of appreciation during his life is to the time I was in Mexico with half a gram of coke in my boot sole and me and my mate were trying to convice the bouncer of this exclusive nightclub that we were Daft Punk.”
  7. Analogies are God, or at least an egotistical monarch. Philosophy is infintely complicated by language (word to Wittgenstein). When talking about abstruse concepts and definitions a well-hewn analogy can dispel innumerable confusions and prevent faux-pas like the misconception you’re racist, sexist, idiotic or simply a flawed human.
  8. There’s always room for a Rick and Morty reference. Similarly Fightclub, The Matrix, David Lynch movies and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind are generally apposite if a little reductive. (Beaudrillard wasn’t simply saying we live in a simulation, he was saying that simulation and reality have advanced to a stage where they’ve imploded into each other and differentiation is impossible. Kind of like trying to tell the difference between the Kardashians.)
  9. It’s okay to hate yourself, to truly and deeply loathe your entire complacent being, after an Intro to Practical Ethics course. In fact, if you don’t hate yourself and consider selling your car in favour of paragliding to class and adopting a diet of only raw pepitas for the rest of your adulthood you’re probably an insufferably ignoble assemblage of atoms not worthy of blowing around in the void.
  10. Yes, once you think you’ve mastered Western philosophy we will move on to Eastern Philosophy because Fuck you, the more you know the more you know you don’t know and the paler you get staying in your room underlining and re-underlining the same paragraph in The Critique Of Practical Reason.

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Bonus advice: don’t smell that guy’s dreads. Why did that even sound like a good idea?