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Life is Empty and Meaningless

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That was IT ?! This was her birthday speech?

The Birthday Speech was a long-standing tradition on the team I worked with where we shared with everyone what we learned in the last year.

It had become quite the event, with folks even bringing in poems and inspirational readings. It was always uplifting and we all tried to be profound (when we weren’t trying to get out of it).

Now, the gauntlet had been thrown down.

Life Is Empty and Meaningless. 

We looked around at each other, quick sideways glances. Surely she must be joking! A few nervous twitters were heard.

Maybe she’s just a little depressed on her birthday?

She can’t mean this, not really. We love her, her life has all kinds of meaning! Should we be worried?? Meanwhile, there she sat, serene and looking faintly amused at the head of the table.

It’s true, she said. Life IS empty and meaningless.

It is WE who take it and decide, for ourselves what our own lives will mean. There isn’t really a set of rules or a blueprint that you follow, or some book somewhere that is going to tell YOU what YOUR life means. You just have a big blank sheet, and probably a LOT more freedom that you realize or could ever be comfortable with, to create this life however you want. To make it mean whatever you want.  

How do you deal with the responsibility, and gift, of having a whole life to create, or to fritter away? It’s funny really, when you stand back and look. I think life scares the heck out of people. We live in a world that is doing it’s level best to keep us occupied so we forget about our choices and forget to live. (I mean, what would it do to the economy if we were actually content and fulfilled?)

I had a reader contact me last month who told me she took her TV out of her entertainment room. She said it was a small step. I think that was HUGE! I wonder how many of us would be willing to do that? I know several folks who have had some portion of their lives planned around their favorite TV shows. I’ll admit it, Jon Stewart ends our day here. It feels “off” somehow when we bypass him.

I’m not here to pick on TV (where is the challenge in that?), but it’s a fine illustrative point. It’s VERY easy to go on automatic pilot, filling our lives with all the clutter, the TV shows, the stuff we have to buy because it was on sale, the junk mail we stack up that clogs all kinds of space,the e-mail jokes we send to each other that makes us feel like we are communicating when actually we haven’t at all…and don’t even get me started on my blogging jones!

So why do we embrace clutter? (Yes, I said embrace.) I think it’s because it protects us from the fact that life IS empty and meaningless. (Note: I didn’t say YOUR life or MY life. I simply said LIFE.) It keeps us safe from the responsibility of really living consciously and deliberately and making this trip worthwhile. We keep ourselves distant from ourselves and from each other with our busyness and stuff.

Note: I didn’t say that ALL activity, including blogging is inherently clutter, but you know darn well that some of it is. We don’t always separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’ll confess, I’m not always good at this, myself. It is scarey how many hours I can lose in front of this computer. I have developed a nasty habit of turning it on over the weekend, breaking a vow to myself that I really need to reinstitute. It’s sooo easy to feed one part of oneself (a hungry, curious mind, for example)and get out of balance without even realizing it. If we don’t keep conscious of the reality that our lives are non-renewable resources and choose our activities consciously we can accidentally lose an awful lot of ourselves to bright shiny objects that don’t amount to much in the end.

We have to practice discernment and choose for ourselves what will have meaning. What is relevant and worthy of the time we choose to give over to it.

In Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Roark, an architect, is meeting with prospective clients who are telling him what they want, or, more accurately, what they think they want due to cultural and societal influences. Roark, is quite outside the mainstream so he’s been offending the sensibilities of the community. Well, as he is listening he draws the conclusions “There is no such person as ‘X'”, (meaning they are just an empty container filled with all the opinions of their friends and society.)

That’s a pretty sobering thought. What IS filling your container? WHO is filling it? YOU or someone else? Do YOU exist?

You used to be an empty vessel. So did I.

You, and I, have been filled to overflowing with many, many messages about what it takes to make it in the world. What we need, what we should want, what is appropriate, or not for our behavior, for our goals, for our needs, for our desires. It’s VERY hard to clean that stuff out. I don’t know how possible it is to clean it ALL out. Some of us have a hard enough time keeping the tops of our desk clean!

So, if my friend was right, and I tend, at this point, to think she was–if life is empty and meaningless–it is up to you to create something with the portion you have given.

Make sure that you exist.

It matters.

Laura Young/Wellspring Coaching
Laura’s blog

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About Laura Young

  • Jack

    Dear Laura,

    I hope that you do something with your life now that you see that it is up to you to decide. I would suggest that you read more of Ayn Rand, though. She’s great.

    Best Wishes,
    Jack

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Well, Jack, actually I am doing MUCH with my life. It’s quite a delicious journey actually.
    Thanks for your well wished. I’ll get back ’round to Ayn…currently checking out existentialists via my guilty pleasure, teachco.com.
    Best,
    L

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    If you regard Ayn Rand as good reading, your life truly must be empty and meaningless, not to mention ignorant.

    That is all.

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Bob, are you trying to insult Jack or me or both? Whatever your opinion of her, Ayn has certainly had literary staying power so it seemed to me that she was worth some investigation. (One sure way to combat ignorance is to go right to the source, imho).I wouldn’t run back in to save the book if my house was burning, but there are some compelling thoughts contained within it.
    Surely, you have met people in your life who didn’t exist in the sense that Roark meant it?

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Staying power? Rand is neither literature nor philosophy and no serious scholars in either field take her seriously.

    If you are an empty vessel filled with poor ideas like Objectivism, I pray for your soul. Objectivism is not revolutionary, nor is it radical or existentialist in any sense — it’s a cultlike, perspective-less celebration of the status quo (capitalism, selfishness, some bizarre interpretation of “reason” and “rationality” that is wholly irrational and unreasonable) posing as ideological difference. It’s a cheap, easy shortcut to philosophy, literature and politics for people with no understanding of those things and it fetishizes individualism without any responsibility for the content of that individual life, as existentialism demands. I cannot think of a more inauthentic, sheeplike adherence to inchoate ideology and bad thinking in bad faith than Ayn Rand and her followers.

    That is all.

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    But tell me, Bob, how do you REALLY feel?

  • McGroarty

    It’s interesting how many of Ayn Rand’s critics attack her by calling those who adopt her philosophy “sheep.” The outcome of her philosophy is that you aren’t compelled to follow others, and that you haven’t a right to force others to follow you. Sheep might have trouble with these ethics.

    It should also be noted that Objectivism isn’t incompatible with personal values leading you to help friends, a society, or whatever cause you choose. The key is that you haven’t any right to force others to sacrifice their values for your own. So when you call Objectivism “selfish” as though that were a bad word, are you suggesting that some degree of fascism is good, Bob?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “I cannot think of a more inauthentic, sheeplike adherence to inchoate ideology and bad thinking in bad faith than Ayn Rand and her followers.”

    I certainly can! Liberalism/socialism/COLLECTIVISM

    You can’t be weak and embrace Objectivism.

    You can’t be weak and live for your own sake.

    You can’t be weak and reject the will of the mob.

    You can’t be weak and reject tastes of those who first consider the opinion of that mob in determining what is correct.

    This is why the weak like bob a. booey can’t embrace Objectivism, because he very needy and dependent on the mob to give him strength and purpose. His purpose cannot derive solely out of his own mind and will. He cannot live independently of others and for his own sake. He cannot offer no help and ask for none in return. He just wants to destroy individualism and egoists, because the mob cannot control them.

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Laura Young:

    You are the most brilliant blogger on this whole website. Keep up the good work.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    See, McGroarty, this is why you’re hopeless and yes, sheeplike.

    Do you really oppose selfishness with fascism? If one is not selfish that automatically implies “some degree of fascism”? That’s cultspeak.

    And if you are such a fan of Rand’s, are you not aware that her entire school of thought came up through a still extant Objectivist School complete with official texts (mostly Rand’s), official spokesmen (Peikoff and Branden, until the inevitable falling outs with lover/mother Rand), official meetings and conferences, and even an official lexicon defining everything and anything of interest through the lens of Objectivism and Rand’s writings? You can still buy all of these things today from the Objectivist Institute, which by the way also offers mugs, T-shirts and free books to any educational institution that would be so lax about their curriculum as to teach them. That’s kind of the same game plan the Hare Krishnas take these days too. Objectivism as a school of thought is cultlike and there’s a few books and even films about how bizarrely the whole pseudo-philosophical cult played out in real social terms.

    Look at the odd, stilted language you use too. You use the oddly formal “you haven’t a right” multiple times to describe what you call a “philosophy of freedom.” Fascism doesn’t seem far off from a philosophy valorizing the status quo of capitalism and individual atomism at the expense of any other forms of human happiness. There’s surely more to life than that and I think Rand’s warmed-over, illiterate, bastardized misreading of Nietzsche has lots of problems for her followers, who find life unfulfilling.

    What’s the great transgression? What’s the great liberation? In Nietzsche, it makes sense — art gives expression to spirit and breaks through the nihilism of the age. Rand borrows Nietzsche’s rejection of herd morality, but replaces it with nothing but a fetishistic, defeated embrace of nihilism itself, the death of art, sociality, and cultural meaning in the “architecture” of rational capitalism and selfishness. It’s not a meaningful sort of selfishness that defines one by their values, art, and beliefs, but beliefs in individualism as a dead end of the soul. It’s literally a world stripped of meaning, connection, or spirit altogether, something which goes far beyond atheism to a lack of belief in anything. It’s literally nihilist in its ideology — the individual is valorized for no other reason than the circular logic that the individual, alone with no responsibilities outside herself, is the primary and sole unit of the universe and the mind. Individualism becomes an end that’s all too predictable and meaningless — what does it mean to be an individual? We have only cryptic, proto-fascist science fiction books to tell us. What is the ethical and social content of an individual life? Who cares? Capitalism and selfishness are good, altruism and collectivism are grave evils. Why are they evils? Because they crush the individual, whoever that is and whatever that means.

    It’s infantilism masquerading as philosophy and thought.

    John Galt is the Last Man.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Mark,

    Does that description you just listed really sound more like me or like you with your piss-poor knee-jerk right wing ideology?

    The problem with objectivism is that it’s not a true escape from the will of the mob. Capitalism is the epitome of organized mob behavior. Capitalism shapes all your tastes and what you think are your ideas but are really your unexamined prejudices.

    You’re weak and you accept Objectivism, Mark.

    And how exactly are you living life for your own sake? By consuming and declaring that you are an individual? I see no evidence of how noble that is and it’s hardly a transgressive act, now is it? How courageous of you to say you don’t care about other people.

    It’s not true because you so clearly need other people to validate your poor ideas through a stupid philosophy like Objectivism.

    Don’t even try to debate philosophy with me, Mark. You’re not even a tenth smart enough.

    And if you’re an example of Objectivism in practice, I don’t even need to criticize it on theoretical grounds.

    Only infants and the fearful and insecure think everyone is trying to destroy them. Without knowing it, Mark, I think you’ve unwittingly hit upon the very core of Objectivism as a philosophy and as a psychology (which it is far closer to than philosophy). You FEAR other people and FEAR the realization that you depend on them because you’re overgrown infants who need people but are afraid of them. Objectivism is a philosophy of incompleteness, a wish fantasy that people can live alone while participating in the most herdlike of mob consumerist behavior. Who’s trying to destroy you? You don’t even know who YOU are and that’s why you cling to pseudo-ideologies like Objectivism as a defense against having to find a real philosophy or a real view of human social affairs, politics and psychology.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    If you truly believe that responsibility is the equivalent of self-destruction, then it’s very clear that you are incapable of functioning in the world as an adult human being.

    You also use the revealing phrase “egotist,” which despite your psychological illiteracy is quite apropos. Objectivism is the rallying cry of the underdeveloped, borderline ego, fearful and incapable of negotiating the world but insistent upon recognition within it. Objectivism is a philosophy of failure, nihilism, and defeat. It’s for people who want to close their minds by adopting a philosophy that offers no real insight and says nothing of how you are to live your life or what living for your own sake even means. It’s a philosophy that excuses your weaknesses and traumas and thus isn’t a philosophy at all, but a self-help movement for those who are for whatever reason dead to the world but unwilling to accept the consequences through any sort of genuine responsibility for an individual life. It’s existentialism without any courage or forced choice — you can still be a herd consumer and define yourself by whatever immature thing you desire. Forget being authentic, it’s about being selfish.

    And that’s why you have people like Mark and Al Barger, prime, STRONG examples of the life examined and the actualized life for one’s own sake, bucking the herd so courageously.

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “And how exactly are you living life for your own sake?”

    By not living for the sake of others.

    “I see no evidence of how noble that is and it’s hardly a transgressive act”

    AAAAAAGGGGHHHH! Why am I picturing right now some graying pony tailed pedant, reeking of body odor from not wearing deoderant, slouching in front of a class of bored students and droning on about one of the most sleep inducing subjects ever devised by mankind? Really, you have to be a real masochist to appreciate or study philosophy, don’t you think?

    “piss-poor knee-jerk right wing ideology?”

    Hmmm, and it’s always the “progressives” who claim to be so tolerant of the opinions and views of diverse people and groups, isn’t it? And like many progressives, you must turn everything into a metaphysical examination to the nth degree, right?

    “It’s not true because you so clearly need other people to validate your poor ideas”

    Please provide evidence where I have “clearly need(ed) other people to validate (my) poor ideas”?

    “Capitalism is the epitome of organized mob behavior.”

    Spoken like a true Marxist.

    “Only infants and the fearful and insecure think everyone is trying to destroy them.

    Rand is a perfect example of a radical thinker who challenged traditional 20th philosophical thinking. There are published accounts of vicious rebukes by the old boys club of 1950s intellectualism.

    Really, what can be more liberating that hearing someone say that “charity is slavery,” or “the world is choking on a glut of altruism”?

    “Don’t even try to debate philosophy with me, Mark. You’re not even a tenth smart enough.”

    If I have to be like you where college philosophy classes represent the summit of my understanding of life, then I’ll pass, thank you. I was never one to believe that any method of thinking had to first pass muster from a collection of tweedy academic types with “PhD” following their name.

    I guess you were more impressed by all that nonsense than I was. I’d sooner trust the wisdom of a wage earning day laborer than any academic.

    “most herdlike of mob consumerist behavior. Who’s trying to destroy you?”

    Spoken like a true Marxist.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “You also use the revealing phrase “egotist,”

    Hmm, you claim to possess a far superior intellect yet you fail to quote me correctly. I used the familiar Randian term of “egoist” in my post, not, EGOTIST.

  • McGroarty

    “Do you really oppose selfishness with fascism? If one is not selfish that automatically implies “some degree of fascism”? That’s cultspeak.”

    You’re the one who equated self direction and a private selection of values with selfishness. What’s the opposite then, if it’s not controlling/being controlled and imposed values?

    “official meetings and conferences, and even an official lexicon defining everything and anything of interest through the lens of Objectivism and Rand’s writings”

    That terminology has been formalized and that people get together to share ideas makes them sheep? Can you name any still-living philosophy that doesn’t share these traits? Does this mean that anyone looking for a philosophic structure to build on is a sheep?

    “Look at the odd, stilted language you use too. You use the oddly formal “you haven’t a right” multiple times to describe what you call a “philosophy of freedom.” Fascism doesn’t seem far off from a philosophy valorizing the status quo of capitalism and individual atomism at the expense of any other forms of human happiness.”

    Capitalism is nothing more than the belief that a person only makes a trade when it’s to his own benefit. Nothing more than that. It’s not a replacement for a system of values or anything else you’re trying to package with it. You can work toward what you value and only share the proceeds of your work when it contributes to your own happiness without turning into the vague and soulless monster you keep alluding to.

    And I repeatedly talk about a right to my freedom specifically because you advocate the alternative position, but seem to go to great lengths to avoid explicitly saying man ought to be controlled.

    “What’s the great transgression? What’s the great liberation? In Nietzsche, it makes sense — art gives expression to spirit and breaks through the nihilism of the age. Rand borrows Nietzsche’s rejection of herd morality, but replaces it with nothing but a fetishistic, defeated embrace of nihilism itself, the death of art”

    Miss Rand upheld romantic, representational art. Things showing man as the greatest of beings. She loved art portraying man’s unlimited potential and his bravery to pursue it. The only art she rejected, so far as I know, were the products of senseless repetition of “classic styles” from “the masters” and the kind of modern art celebrating the mannequin foot in the toilet bowl which is great merely because “anyone can do it.” Modern art and repitition are the antithesis of personal greatness.

  • gnargtharst

    I like Bob Booey’s signout, “that is all”. It rings like “Amen”, or “…for so it is written”. Not cultlike at all, that.

    I also appreciate the disproportionate amount of time Bob has devoted to convincing us we’ll all ignorant. Keep
    typin’ Bob!

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Mark,

    You’re really funny. You know that? Comical even.

    Your anti-intellectualism is funny enough, but your take on her ideas is eccentric and hilarious.

    First, I’m way, way younger than you. I’m not some old gray-haired hippie.

    Secondly, I’m not a Marxist. Capitalism and the market are inherently social actitivies where you have to engage the herd in mob behavior. That’s just a fact.

    Third, if you’re so bored by philosophy so much and hate it so much, how are you even equipped to point out what Rand was challenging? Why do you even bother reading pseudo-philosophy like Rand? Your misuse of the word “metaphysics” to describe this inane conversation reveals how little you know or care about philosophy.

    Fourth, you’re about as illiterate in Rand as you are in all other things, because “selfishness” is HER word, not mine. As you may recall, the title of her most popular book is “The Virtue of _____.” I’ll give you three guesses to fill in the blank, smart guy.

    Fifth, Objectivism is a school of philosophy that only exists outside universities and academics, which is why it has developed its cultlike organization of “Officialdom.” No other serious philosophical movement is so insular and incestuous because they have peer-reviewed discussion among many competing thinkers. Objectivism and its institutes are financially invested in presenting core texts and official interpretations of Rand. They’re salesmen, not scholars. And it’s pathetic.

    Sixth, your manic desire to oppose selfishness with a “desire to be controlled” is the epitome of the childish, psychologically limited dichotomies Randians want to create. You get upset because I won’t explicitly say I want to control people when that’s not what I believe. In fact, I criticize Objectivism as a school of thought because it WANTS to control people with official thoughts and official dictionaries. Capitalism control and limits your choices as well — the market is full of choices with what you can do with your dollar, but the products you consume are cultural products of the herd mentality you criticize. Where’s the escape there?
    Any economist would also laugh at your inelegant definition of capitalism as well.

    “[Capitalism is] not a replacement for a system of values or anything else you’re trying to package with it. ”

    And that’s the problem with Rand. There are no values beyond capitalism and some nebulous celebration of the capitalist individual. What exactly do you think she’s challenging and what’s she replacing it with?

    I believe in freedom more than you do, my friend. That much is clear from this discussion and even the language we’re using. This, for example, is cultspeak:

    “Miss Rand upheld romantic, representational art. […] Modern art and repitition are the antithesis of personal greatness.”

    Now you have to judge art and culture by the Great Mother’s point of view? Rand had no appreciation for art or culture, which is why her “literature” has such akward, poor dialogue. In her disdain for abstraction and intellect (which you apparently share), I think Rand failed to realize how fundamentally irrational her entire appeal to reason was. There’s no philosophical foundation for selfishness, capitalism, or the individual in her work, they’re just sort of givens that she starts with. And her misuse of Nietzsche doesn’t help matters at all — it makes her work even more profoundly anti-rational.

    Tell me why you think Rand was so radical.

    Here’s the closest I can come to in your rambling comment:

    “Really, what can be more liberating that hearing someone say that “charity is slavery,” or “the world is choking on a glut of altruism”?”

    How exactly is that liberating to you? That’s the standard view of a nihilist, self-interested culture already. What or whom are you liberating besides your own fragile, threatened ego structure?

    It’s well-documented how little and how poorly Rand thought about psychology, but her use of a term like “egoist” is almost unintentionally revealing and funny. Because Objectivism is psychological self-help for frustrated, defeated, socially unsuccessful (and hence financially unsuccessful) loners who need to follow a convenient philosophy of the status quo that challenges nothing and demands nothing like sheep. It’s false belief for those without beliefs. It’s nihilism.

    Answer my question, Mark: How is responsibility equivalent to self-destruction in your view or in Rand’s?

    There’s no logic there.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Mark, I suggest you apologize to everyone on this site for being a ridiculous Internet caricature and give up now.

    You clearly aren’t equipped to argue this stuff, and certainly not with me.

    That is all.

  • Nancy

    I would say he’s been reading too much Neitzsche, Boo, except I doubt he can spell it, let alone read it.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Nancy, my nutty dearest :)

    I don’t think he’s ever read Nietzsche. He’s just getting the warmed-over bastardized version of Nietzsche in Rand, which is equally illiterate.

    That is all.

  • Amy Wenning

    Why does Bob go to such lengths to argue without naming concrete examples and comparisons? If he claims he can triumph in a philosophic debate, and if his goal is to change minds instead of merely getting the last word, I hope he will consider proving that out.

    Can he show a case where an Objectivist would suffer for his philosophy, and where a person following Bob’s choice of philosophy would enjoy better results?

    I also have trouble with the premise that Objectivism is a bad philosophy because it’s primarily employed by individuals outside of academia. Most bad ideas can only survive in academia, where failure is largely detached from consequence.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Amy Wenning,

    Objectivism is NOT a philosophy, so your point is sort of unimportant. It’s most certainly not a utilitarian theory (in fact it repudiates such concerns of people’s welfare), so your language of “better results” is irrelevant.

    How am I going to change people’s minds when they adhere to a non-philosophy? They’re nihilists. I know perfectly well I’m not going to change their minds because the reason they gravitate toward Objectivism is because they have lazy minds.

    Objectivism’s rejection by academe isn’t the only reason it’s worthless — I just think it’s silly and laughable for Objectivists to try to debate in the language of legitimate philosophy and in reference to academic ideas.

    Objectivism, and I mean this quite truly and with no inflammatory intent, is hardly more legitimate a worldview than Scientology is. It’s probably a less courageous, less ballsy worldview at that.

    That is all.

  • Shark

    Laura Young’s writing sounds like pop-philosophy baby-talk. She’s gotta be the love child of Dr. Phil and Ayn Rand.

    And parsing her ‘seminar-style’ language [“So why do we embrace clutter? (Yes, I said embrace.)”] and her Objectivism for Hormonally Imbalance Housewives is like shootin’ fish in a barrel.

    (And Booey, I love you. Keep it up; it’s admirable — but futile.)

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    (And Booey, I love you. Keep it up; it’s admirable — but futile.)

    Keep your heads in the clouds, kiddies, or up your asses, whatever suits you best.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “I would say he’s been reading too much Neitzsche”

    I’d rather read the Wall Street Journal or Barron’s. I can’t expand my stock and commodities portfolio reading dead European philosophers.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Mark, you’re poor and poorly educated. Don’t even front. Thanks, doll.

    That is all.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “you’re poor and poorly educated.”

    Proof? I thought not. But I don’t have to write out long boring posts trying to prove it to some pseudo-intellectual assholes on anonymous message boards who have no bearing or impact on my life. I would never want to know any of you in real life and would sooner piss on you than look at you.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    “I would never want to know any of you in real life and would sooner piss on you than look at you.”

    hahaha aw man, just when i’d gotten all angry at you you go an make me cough my face out wi laughter. seriously. that was some swell venom.

    mind you, you DO spend a lot of time here for someone who doesn’t value the opinions or the personalities on display.

    but freedom of speech an all that. an it DID make me laugh.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    You wouldn’t have to because you’re beneath me and I find you revolting.

    My proof is your poor syntax, your poor writing, your inability to make a logical argument, your inability to express yourself persuasively, your limited vocabulary, your barely concealed anger at the world. Need I go on?

    I’m the pseudo-intellectual? You’re the one trying to quote and explain books you’ve barely even read, much less understood.

    Since you’re such a wealthy man of industry, finance and capital, here’s a short quiz for you. And don’t look it up because I’ll know if you’re suddenly writing brilliant website prose and not in your own stumbling words:

    1. What is an IOPO?

    2. What is a CMO?

    3. Give me a common example of a formula for calculating amortization in your own words.

    If you’re going to champion capitalism, at least be good and smart about it.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    How was that funny, Duke? He’s honestly probably the most unsophisticated, poorest writer on here, with no sense of humor.

    That is all.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    But Mark, wouldn’t you need to look at them in order to know where to aim, or do you got some Spidey senses what tells you where the target’s at?

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Bob, i dunno, i just got an imagine in my head of this little fella just batterin away at keys, it just made me chuckle. “fuck y’all, i hate y’all anyway. now whats this shit about Kanye West..” This kinda thing. i dunno. i’ll admit i’m maybe in an odd frame a mind…

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Oh, OK. Yeah, I get the same image for both Mark and Dave Nalle — really, really pissed off with a huge, throbbing vein in the middle of their forehead ready to pop in the middle of their red, swollen faces as their glasses get all fogged up while they type away furiously with their fat little fingers to rid the world of liberals and intellectuals. Maybe you can add some sweat dripping down their face from their thinning hairlines if they get really animated, like on this topic.

    That is all.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    You’re easily amused today, Duke :)

    The Senator, on the other hand, reclines back and sits there (his girth spread about on a big reclining-type chair) with a smug, shit-eating grin on his face because he loves cruelty and watching people abuse each other and even him. I picture him occasionally sipping from some sort of soft drink and grunting or bellowing at some nonsense every now and then while squinting at the screen through the blue glow of the computer. I also suspect the Senator might go on this site and type while naked. All my opinion, of course.

    RJ definitely has porn open in another window while he types on this site.

    Dave Nalle definitely sits upright with very straight posture while lecturing the world on his outrage in his basement while his wife yells at him to get off the damn computer for a minute.

    John Bambenek smokes a cigarette and smirks while typing things he doesn’t even really believe from his high-tech computer labs and uber-geek home computer setup while listening to bad industrial or punk.

    That is all.

  • Celeste O.

    There’s your first post material, Bob. Create a real world profile for all of the well-known BlogCritics.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    heh, Bob, i’m just tryin to find some humour amidst comments in the last twenty minutes that are drivin me into the kinda rage i ain’t ever felt since back in the day when my car broke down in that thunder storm…

    i been watching a documentary for the last three hours. i keep pausin it to check this all out, and then typin rantin comments, and then no, delete them, say nothing…

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Since you’re such a wealthy man of industry, finance and capital,”

    Please provide the quote where I make this claim. Tell you what, it doesn’t exist.

    “and I find you revolting.”

    Thank you! You’ve made my day. I WANT elitist libbie pukes like you to find me revolting.

    I read Rand’s books and took what she wrote at face value. I don’t have the time or patience for endless and pointless overanalysis like some self-important ponce like you trying to suck off his professor for an A.

    “My proof is your poor syntax, your poor writing,”

    Why should I care? This is the internet, a goddamned amusement park.

    “He’s honestly probably the most unsophisticated, poorest writer on here,”

    I guess you don’t read too many of the posts written by the crack smoking homeboys on the kayne west boards, do you?

    “with no sense of humor.”

    I think YOU’RE funny, but not in a way you’d prefer.

  • Celeste O.

    Guess that means he didn’t know what an IOPO or a CMO was, eh? And here I was waiting for a better comeback.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    And who exactly is “bob” to demand answers from others?

  • Celeste O.

    MSS, I think he just wanted to see if you would rise to the challenge. No demands, just a little analyzation among regulars… if that is what you’re intending to be here at BC.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “No demands, just a little analyzation among regulars… if that is what you’re intending to be here at BC.”

    I am NOT a regular and nor would I be interested in joining this lib knitting circle as one.

    “little analyzation”? I’d say HYPERanalysis would be more accurate. There needs to be less analysis in the world and more pure unadulterated action with as few words as possible.

  • Celeste O.

    “Top Commenters, last 30 days
    10. Mark the Sane and Sensible: (349)”

    Top Ten looks like a regular to me, MSS.

    So if you don’t intend to “join” so to speak, then why do you continue to post?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I wonder if bob, who fancies himself as the arbiter of proper writing, syntax, philosophies, etc, considers this post as an example of what good writing and syntax should be.

    Comment 10 posted by David on September 2, 2005 10:59 PM:
    Bush does hate blacks if this had happened to 1’000s of white people troops would have been there sonner. It that people look down on the lower class. People are laying dead on the streets children are dieing for just because they are poor. America should be ashamed. If this i happening now what if we did get hit by a dirty bomb. We are not ready.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “So if you don’t intend to “join” so to speak, then why do you continue to post?”

    To promote that liberals (or progressives, whatever the hell you want to call them) are a cancer on society.

  • Celeste O.

    Again MSS, if you don’t intend to “join”, then why do you continue to post? You continue to not answer questions directed at you. Could it be because you know you’re being hypocritical?

  • Celeste O.

    But how do you know who is who? You seem to attack everyone.

  • Celeste O.

    Additionally, if you’re here for promotion of a cause, then why don’t you have your own blog? Why don’t you write a post?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “But how do you know who is who? You seem to attack everyone.”

    Wrong. I’ve never attacked Al Barger, John Bill, Anthony Grande, and someone named Mike. Why? because they do not spout liberal views.

  • Celeste O.

    So what am I then? A liberal or a conservative? Use your psychic powers. Concentrate.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    I’ve always wondered why arguments boil down to “liberal” and “conservative” as if either were a real thing, or as if anyone could be one or the other. Or as if anyone would want to.

    I thought we were talking about Ayn Rand, or cluttering one’s life, or birthdays or something. How’d it get boiled down to this again?

    I’ve also wonder why some bloggers think only bloggers have valid opinions, and question the motives of blogless commenters. “Regular” commenters don’t need blogs to comment. That’d be like saying only novelists could buy novels.

    No ill will toward anyone meant, just wondering aloud.

    Booey’s Rand analysis was fascinating, though. And well written. Props where due.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I found this comment on another board here at blogcritics.org that may be representative of the superior “good writing, good syntax” example that bob a. booey feels is so crucial.

    Comment 3 posted by bill on November 13, 2003 11:42 AM:
    ja is fucking fag he is so fake he sings soft and then he tries to act hard dissing 50 when really 50 would beat the shit out of him if they ever fought. murder inc is all gay they are all a bunch of pussys. ja is a weak little dude that thinks he is tupac but he’s not because tupac could rap and back his shit up but ja is just a pussy

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Please note in the last post that a pejorative for homosexuals was used and UNEDITED since 2003!

    Slipping up there, eds?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    As a public service to bob a. booey’s crusade to rid the world of “poor writing, poor syntax,” I am including another example of what he would likely to consider as a stellar example of English language use. I found it hard to distinguish whether or not the author of the post was a Harvard or Yale man.

    Comment 571 posted by yall r fags in dis board on September 3, 2005 12:37 AM:
    yall r flippin faggets even caring boutt sumtyn dat doesnt even hav to do with u
    dey got beef let em hav it who cares bout and of u… dey dun give a shyt if u support them or not.. yallll suhd get a fking life and stop dis nosense!!!

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    egads!!

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    With any luck, the mods won’t slip up for long.

  • nugget

    hahaha!

    classic stuff. Horse sense vs. The Learned.

    Instinct vs. artificial

    streetsmarts vs. booksmarts

    You are both right AND wrong.

    Mark is more funny than Bob but Bob has delved into some trenches that mark wouldn’t venture.

    shark of course sweeps in and says something at which only HE could secretly chortle to himself.

    amy said the best thing yet:

    “Most bad ideas can only survive in academia, where failure is largely detached from consequence.”

    nice work amy.

  • nugget

    that quote reminds me of the music of loonies like John Cage, Schonberg and any other serialism farts could be lumped in with them.

    BAD music is being taught (by most universities) because of its phony and silly idealism. No social conditioning was considered in these pornographic experimental test jobs.

  • RogerMDillion

    Mark,

    why go back to 2003? If you want bad writing, just go to any post by Bambenek or any comment by Anothony Grande.

    I love watching two anti-HST guys tear each other apart. It’s better than cable.

  • nugget

    Bob A Booey said:

    “The problem with objectivism is that it’s not a true escape from the will of the mob.”

    I agree. BUT I’d REALLY like to hear my saving grace from the mob. we know mark’s. What’s yours?

    BOB:

    Mark made a decision, and even if I feel it to be a false one, he let it fly. Are you not willing to restore his blueprints with alternative ones rather than teaching a crash course in bad philosophy? Will you suggest, even if you do not agree with its premise, a more plausible escape without the big Nazi beast looming in the backdrop?

    This should be interesting.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com alienboy

    I think the equally tedious MSS and BAB should be locked in a chatroom somewhere and not allowed out until they merge into one harmonious being.

    That way, we wouldn’t have to wade through their thousands of completely BORING posts.

    I have never seen two people with so many words to write and so little to say.

    Truly, empty vessels make the most sound…

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Nugget, I don’t mean to be rude, but your writing is so incomprehensible that I have no idea what you’re hinting at while you rub your palms together. I’m glad your amused, but you’re speaking in some kind of weird code. Write that again in English without all these odd references I’m not familiar with to what Mark is doing and what I’m doing. I have no idea what your interpretation of any of this is and you’ll have to be more explicit. I have no idea what the sentences you wrote mean or what you’re hinting at so joyously, to be quite honest. Your comments about universities, me, Mark, and anything else you wrote today are gibberish to me — please decipher into English and not the alien language of whatever planet you come to us from.

    I think your use of “more funny” speaks for itself.

    And I have way more street smarts than all you would-be capitalists and individualists combined.

    Mark: you really don’t sound like a man of “pure unadulterated action” to me. You sound like a man of a lot of talk who prefers to pick on easy targets like teenagers who type “lyke dis” and people who say stupid things on purpose without realizing that you yourself have become a bad Internet caricature on this site. So now you’ve given up on analysis altogether? I don’t think Rand would think you were a good example of a “New Intellectual.” I’m glad you can admit you’re an anti-intellectual at least.

    “I’d rather read the Wall Street Journal or Barron’s. I can’t expand my stock and commodities portfolio reading dead European philosophers.”

    Now you’re backing off having any knowledge of capitalism when called out on it.

    What won’t you back off of if you’re such a man of “unadulterated action,” Mark? You backed off your intellect, now you’ve backed off your pursuit of wealth. Pretty soon I’ll have your soul too … oh wait, you don’t have one.

    You go from calling people “crack-smoking homeys” one second to mock complaint about slurs against homosexuals the next — if you’re going to be a right-wing nutjob, at least be consistent and have principles. Don’t go for any cheap position you can to try and get me to attack some easy target (which you relish doing way too much). “Pejorative” is not a noun.

    And I’m beginning to think you’re the same kind of mentally unfit easy target as well.

    Mark, just give up and stop writing your nonsense. You’re a cartoon.

    Celeste likes me :) It’s hot that you stick up for me, honey, but I don’t think I need it on this one. Are you hot?

    That is all.

  • troll

    Ayn Rand-?

    The only consistent objectivists whom I know reside in institutions like Bedlam and exhibit various levels of catatonia and other asocial behaviors

    how do you pronounce SOLIPSISM

    M the S&S – I’m glad that BC offers you a way to show off your liberated ideation – liberated from intersubjective reality that is – but why do you bother to post and interact with us chimeras – the doctor will see you at 10

    by the way, I’d sooner have the orderly provide you with a baboon shit enema administered with undue force than look at you

    Take your straightjacket beliefs off my bridge

    troll

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “If you want bad writing, just go to any post by Bambenek or any comment by Anothony Grande.”

    AG’s posts have typos primarily, an issue that pales in comparison to the examples of the urban patois I’ve posted here.

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    WOW.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Laura: Ayn Rand sure upsets those socialists/collectivists.

    If she was so irrelevant, they wouldn’t be writing endless posts bashing her views on life. They would just ignore them.

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that none of you actually understood my post?
    I had no idea this would turn into the Ayn Rand Love/Hate Club.
    Roark was intended to be an anecdotal reference.
    So ironic.
    At this point I have nothing else to say, except, maybe you all might want to look at my post on Lessons from Katrina.
    To quote Bob,
    “That is all.”

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Remind me never to make reference to Tolkein.
    (I guess that wasn’t all…sorry, Bob.)

  • troll

    Laura – you want a response to your origional post – ok

    life is what you make of it….

    cool

    troll

  • troll

    oh and Laura – Rand was no passing reference – The Fountainhead is your Amazing Amazon link

    if the link is Rand

    the post will be bland – ?

    the poster’s head’s in the sand – ?

    the poster’s thoughts are all canned – ?

    troll

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Score one point, Troll.
    Have at it, everyone!

  • Bob A Booey

    Bob I’m sorry that you can’t comprehend what I write. Perhaps I should stop using metaphors.

    Translation for Bob: Quit telling us what’s wrong with Ayn Rand, how stupid mark is, and how you are so smart. I also challenged you to offer an alternative philosophy to objectivism.

    THAT IS ALLL.

  • nugget

    sorry bob that was me. because I’m not a blogger I have to type in my handle every time and I accidently typed yours.

  • nugget

    while I’m here I’d also like to give a shoutout to all my boyz from the southwestern side of the dyrty TOC b-shoc in da HOUSE.

    and to keep this thread on topic, I’m currently reading Rand’s Anthem. I think it preceded the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Silly stuff.

  • nugget

    “I believe in freedom more than you do, my friend.”

    “Don’t even try to debate philosophy with me, Mark. You’re not even a tenth smart enough.”

    Bob, I don’t mean to be rude either, but when someone whips out a “I”M better than u!” mid-debate, his intellectual credibility suffers.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/VictorLanasINADARKTIME/ Victor Lana

    Laura,

    It’s simple: we all live knowing what Milan Kundera wrote in

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • Nick

    Wow