Getting Ass Backwards: How the hell can you screw up sex?

It should not be possible, but humanity seems to be screwing up its own wet dream…

Photo by: Kevin Dooley

Love is in the air? Lust is in the news, anyway. I’m connecting dots from these three news stories:

Former prep school student convicted of sex charges

Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”

Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site

referencing two of my own essays:

Fifty shades of bleak: Looking for love everywhere it isn’t.

Fifty shades of pink sock: Facing up to and fixing the hook-up contradiction.

all in support of these seven virtues of an enduringly happy love life:

1. Chastity
2. Loyalty
3. Fidelity
4. Probity
5. Sobriety
6. Liberality
7. Prodigality

And that is church!

Posted in Splendor! | Leave a comment

Practical anarchism is egoism in action: “Be who you are. Do what you want. Have what you love.”

My answer, always: Live for your own sake, in pursuit of your own values, in behalf of your own loved ones – starting with yourself.Photo by: Kalyan Chakravarthy

People who are fans of talk-show host Stefan Molyneux and who are not (yet) in the thrall of his cult-of-personality like to make baby/bathwater analogies, asking why I don’t sort the good from the bad in his doctrine.

Here’s why: Because there is no good side to his arguments. To be anti-family is to be anti-humanity. I don’t waste time on people who are wrong at the second value in the hierarchy of human values – and wrong in the way that best destroys the first, self-adoration. Stefan Molyneux could not be better news to Marxists if he were in their pay.I am amused to discover that I’ve been an anti-Molyneuxvian for decades without even knowing it. For example, what should you do about your obnoxious relatives? Defoo them? Kill them before they kill you? Or simply take them as they are?

Cultivate indifference. I will not make the world more beautiful by making my own soul ugly. If I don’t care for the turn of conversation at the dinner table, there is always something fun to hear about at the kid’s table.

What will your life look like in fifty years as a result of the choices you’re making today?

How can you begin to heal the wounds you have inflicted upon yourself and the people you love?

All of this is all the same thing to me: Cultivate indifference and press on regardless. What matters is what matters to me, and if I am too busy living my life to attend to yours – that’s what your life is for. Meanwhile, if my crate is always all-the-way full of my oranges, there is no way for you to stick me with one of your lemons.

Building on that argument, consider the problems of the practical anarchist. You will note that I don’t talk much about anarchism. Why is that so? Three reasons:

1. I’ve already done what I need to do for now.

2. I (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 12 Comments

The Victims of the Sanction: Yaron Brook and the Ayn Rand Institute must respond on abortion.

Attn: Yaron Brook: Cum taces, clamas. When you say nothing, you say everything.

Attn: Yaron Brook: Cum taces, clamas. When you say nothing, you say everything.

To whom must the Ayn Rand Institute respond?

The people who murdered their own children and destroyed their still-born families on its bad advice.

Here are the egregious moral and philosophical errors Yaron Brook and the Ayn Rand Institute must answer for at once:

1. Ayn Rand’s pro-abortion argument is anti-objective reality, openly at war with uncontested facts of reality.

2. Ayn Rand’s position on abortion is anti-morality, the ethics of a hit-’n’-run ‘accident’.

3. By championing abortion Ayn Rand encourages deliberate, avoidable life-long self-destruction for her followers.

4. Ayn Rand’s support for abortion is incompatible with her putative egoism, rendering all human relationships temporary and fungible.

5. Ayn Rand’s advocacy of abortion is fundamentally anti-future; people do not invest in the prospects of entities they identify as vermin.

6. Ayn Rand campaigned for abortion using arguments functionally identical to Marxist claims, and her pro-abortion fanaticism is of a piece with the ongoing global Marxist genocide. Rand’s genocide is different from Marx’s, though: Marx’s minions claim they want to kill people they say are the worst. Ayn Rand methodically set about to kill children she knew to be among the very best specimens of humanity.

7. Yaron Brook and the Ayn Rand Institute have to answer to the victims of their indefensible sanction of abortion. On the atrocious advice of Ayn Rand and her minions, tens of thousands of young people murdered their own children, introduced ineradicable scars to their life-long self-image and bound their range of vision to the temporary, the fungible, the impermanent and ultimately, inevitably, unworthy. The Ayn Rand Institute takes children full of the hope for a fulfilled life and turns them into bitter, sclerotic, fatalistic misanthropes, destroying their promise while robbing them and the world of the promise of their offspring.

Ayn Rand quite literally destroyed her philosophical movement with abortion – but she destroyed so much more in her zeal for intrauterine infanticide. Yaron Brook and the Ayn Rand Institute must answer for all of this.

And that’s church:

Posted in Splendor! | 2 Comments

A tear for Wendell.

Wendell’s Mountain. The essay is old enough to vote. The mountain is old enough to laugh.Photo by: Andy Blackledge

January 9, 1994

I know I’m a bad friend, and that’s why I don’t let myself have friends.

It was in college that I started really working. I had always been busy, but it was in college that my work came to dominate my life. For those years I worked a hundred or more hours a week, sleeping every other day, sometimes every third day.

And in those years I had a recurring nightmare about the way my life was bent by work. In the dream, a stray cat would adopt me, and I would let it. It would live in my apartment and I would feed it and look after it. And then one day I would come home after having been gone, distracted by work for days on end, and I would find the cat dead in a open drawer, starved to death.

I knew exactly what the dream meant, and I began to be scrupulous in a ham-handed kind of way about the limits of my involvement, attachment, commitment. It was brutal and arrogant and very naive, but I felt I had to make it plain that when push came to shove, there was no one I would not push and shove out of my way. I knew I could not be depended on as a friend, so I was careful to permit no one to think I could.

And I worked unendingly for years, just like that. And I met and fell in love with and married my wife, and agreed to have children, and managed to handle it all very well – in my opinion. My wife’s opinion was somewhat at variance, and it took me quite some time to realize that what I thought of as major concessions to her needs were practically invisible to her. But to the extent that I have been successful at having people in my life, it’s been as a result of incorporating them into my objectives, rather than turning away, even temporarily, (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 1 Comment

How do you live happily among people at war with all joy? Cultivate indifference and press on regardless.

If you can learn to think of your ego as something you must always love and honor and revere and burnish until it seems to glow of its own light, you can make yourself immune from other people’s ugly behavior.Photo by: Kevin Dooley

I wrote this in a comment on my video on the auto-immolation of the Stefan Molyneux cult:

Inlookers: If you’ve written something I’ve ignored, with an effort you might-could guess why. If you have a serious issue to raise, raise it. If you want to try to silence me or cow me with your disapproval, stop it. It has zero impact on me, but it soils your own character enduringly.

That’s the precise self-adorationist position on ad hominem attacks and other weaponized fallacies: Cultivate indifference and press on regardless. Other people’s bad behavior only becomes a matter of my morality when I choose to behave badly in response. Your choosing to soil your self dirties mine not at all. I grow by pursuing my values, not by wrestling in the mud with your vices.

It is also the best way I’ve found of implementing the second rule of The Church of Splendor: I am not arguing with you. If all you want to do is pick a fight, pick you nose instead. I am not arguing with you.

But that sort of thing is easy to say, and you may think it’s some sort of posturing on my part. It’s not. I live this as a daily reality, waxing and waning with the distractions of mobbed-up minds, and I’ve lived it for my entire life. This is a question that came to me a few years ago, and it seems worthwhile just now to revisit the topic of cultivating indifference.

I guess my question is simply this… How do you do it? You lay your heart, soul and ideas on the line and so often have them thrown right back in your face. And yet everyday, I wake up and see that you have written again, unscathed and unabashed.

Without intending to be flippant, I don’t notice things like that. In (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 5 Comments

Attn. Yaron Brook: Your shameful silence on abortion spotlights the Ayn Rand Institute’s intellectual bankruptcy.

Objectivism has always been at war with the obvious, uncontested facts of human gestation. That war is now all the way lost. You’re not clipping your toenails, you are murdering your own child. Who knew?Photo by: Morten Liebach

As I write this, thirty-seven days have passed since the first of the Planned Parenthood infanticide videos was posted. In that time, I’ve written more than a dozen posts on the fallout. How many essays, do you suppose, has the Ayn Rand Institute posted?

The think tank built to champion the views of strident abortion proponent Ayn Rand has offered up precisely zero observations on the videos.

I find it easy to fault them for this: A casual disregard for the lives of other people is the soul and substance of ‘asking another man to live for my sake,’ number two on John Galt’s short-list of cardinal sins. But at the same time, I do understand their paralysis – plausibly better than they do.

First, Ayn Rand’s anti-objective “piece of protoplasm” claim has now completely fallen apart. Objectivism has always been at war with the obvious, uncontested facts of human gestation. That war is now all the way lost. You’re not clipping your toenails, you are murdering your own child. Who knew?

Second, and much worse, Ayn Rand’s defense of abortion is rank utilitarianism, a puerile hit-’n’-run rationalization for evil. It’s hard to blame the ARIvians for being unable to defend this atrocious rhapsodization of atrocity.

Third, and still worse, by championing infanticide, Ayn Rand made war on the putative egoism she sought to promote. People who uphold abortion lead miserable lives in the end, but the attendant abortion culture retards all human flourishing. There is nothing more “anti-man, anti-mind, anti-life” than slaughtering innocents for convenience.

There’s more. Ayn Rand was a Cautious Tyrant by the end of her life, and the Ayn Rand Institute is built in her image and likeness. It cannot do anything even remotely like admitting error, even though its ignominious silence is itself a resounding confession of intellectual bankruptcy.

Oh, they don’t know they’re being called out? Wanna bet?

There is really nothing (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 3 Comments

What is Splendor? For me it’s exuberance and indomitability.

What do you get, if you can achieve that kind of freedom? Splendor – or at least a clear path to attaining Splendor. Your mileage may vary, but for me the experience of Splendor is exuberance, an enthralling, almost-continuous, searingly apollonian delight.

What do you get, if you can achieve that kind of freedom? Splendor – or at least a clear path to attaining Splendor. Your mileage may vary, but for me the experience of Splendor is exuberance, an enthralling, almost-continuous, searingly apollonian delight.

Start here: I’m not trying to piss you off. If you don’t want to read what I have to say, don’t. There are scads of essays on this site, many recent and eye-opening, others older but canonical. You can find what you want here – or you can seek elsewhere. You have no reason to endure something you don’t want to read. You don’t have to, and I don’t want you to.

Now then:

This is funny: I live in a state of fairly continuous delight. It’s not always the case, but I would paint my state of mind most of the time – and especially when I’m working at something I love – as exuberance. It can be hugely external, and I know I sometimes wear my wife out when I’m playing with ideas out loud. But it can also be almost searingly apollonian – as here, as it happens – and I can sustain a kind of frenzied concentration for hours on end.

Why is that funny – to me, at least? Because it’s just excellent comedy, the radical juxtaposition of two opposites – the expectation that I simply must be angry or dour or cynical and the actual experience of being, for me and for people who spend time with me. I am having fun – deeply satisfying fun – almost all of the time. So much so that I don’t even think about it, except when I consciously direct myself to think about it. And that, thinking about the way my mind functions, is a delight for me just by itself.

Delight, exuberance, searing concentration – these are Mothertongue ideas, and this is the job that art does for us: Poets and painters and playwrights and novelists use abstractions in ways that induce us to see not mere words or images but the essence of being (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 4 Comments