Tag Archives | Absurdity

Slavoj Žižek: The Courage of Hopelessness

Andrew McCoubrey (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Andrew McCoubrey (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Slavoj Žižek writes at the New Statesman:

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness” – an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the dream of an alternative is a sign of theoretical cowardice, it functions as a fetish which prevents us thinking to the end the deadlock of our predicament. In short, the true courage is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlight of another train approaching us from the opposite direction. There is no better example of the need for such courage than Greece today.

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Happy 100th Birthday to Albert Camus

albert camus quotesHappy birthday to absurdist philosopher Albert Camus, who was born this day in 1913 French Algieria. Raised in poverty by his hearing-impaired, widowed mother, Camus went on to be one of the modern era’s great philosophers and political activists. Camus risked his life as a member of the French Resistance, writing for the underground newspaper “Combat”, continuing to contribute while many of his friends and comrades were imprisoned in concentration camps or summarily executed for their actions. Camus went on to win the Nobel prize for his work, and remained a vocal opponent of tyranny in all forms until his 1960 death in an automobile accident at the age of 46.

I’ve been a fan of Camus for most of my adult life, having first become aware of his work… well… I’ll be honest: because of The Cure’s “Killing an Arab”. As soon as I found out it was based on a Camus novel (The Stranger), I sought it out.… Read the rest

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D&D Doings TV Spot

Reddit user NoamCosby has an autistic brother who enjoys writing scripts for fake commercials. Afterwards, much to his delight, Noam and his buddies film them. Here's one of those commercials for "D&D Doings". In my opinion, it's a masterpiece of absurdist humor and charming example of the bond between the brothers.
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Sh*t I Personally Guarantee You Will Never, EVER Hear Said Aloud, Even If You Live to Be One Thousand Years Old

The French composer Claude Debussy is quoted as saying that, “Music is the space between the notes”.  I think that’s a very apt recognition of the shared responsibility between artist and audience in unearthing the latent content of any piece of art, and I very much like it.  Make your work too overtly programmatic, and you end up with stale self-parody, a la Norman Rockwell.  Overburden it with too many layers of obscure, self-referential ciphers, like Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake”, and risk alienating your most enthusiastic audience.

But if you have a lot to say, it can really be difficult to avoid the “Finnegan” trap.  The very fact that you are capable of generating enough observations worthy of communication, of making very fine distinctions in kind and degree, springs from a hypersensitivity that can seem emotionally overwhelming, and very much at odds with one of the inviolable principles of effective communication itself:  clarity.… Read the rest

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