Thomas Ligotti

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Thomas Ligotti is my kind of guy, sorta.  He always expects the worst.  He spends all his time worrying about how he’s going to suffer and die and expects that everyone else is just the same, except some of us are better at fooling ourselves about the outcome.  That makes him mad.  He thinks all the folks that don’t worry about dying and suffering are deceiving themselves and just distracting themselves with ideas of afterlives or just having a good time, you know, trying not to think about it.  And he’s right, but these other folks are a whole lot happier than he is.  Now we can see the real problem, sorta.

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Ligotti has a big head, a really big head and that’s why he thinks about all these dreary things all the time instead of watching television or playing golf.  He’s always talking about how consciousness and self awareness are a tragedy and a curse on humankind; a crappy adaptation that evolution sneaked in there.  The thing he forgets is most people are really unconscious most of the time anyway, even when they’re not sleeping; they’re clueless about this kind of stuff, so why does he want to remind them and take them into his pity party?  Leave them alone with their fairy tale lives.  Don’t bring ’em down.  Don’t rain on their parade.  Not enough hobbies I guess.  Not enough television.  Not enough high speed internet downloading those “short films.”

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Well what’s Ligotti’s answer?  Don’t have any kids.  That’s it.  What, you say?  That makes him feel better about things?  Yeah, his basic argument is that by having kids we doom all the future generations to the suffering and death we have so we shouldn’t have any:  antinatalism they call it.  Let the species die out.  Well if Ligotti had any kids he wouldn’t be worrying about his great grandbaby’s suffering, he’d be worrying about his own suffering trying to deal with his own kids, getting them through college and boyfriends, etc.  I bet his parents suffered plenty with him.  Forget about future generation’s suffering.  Besides his kids would be the kind that would suffer because all the bullies would rag them about their egghead dad.

I think his problem maybe is really low testosterone and therefore low sperm count.  He isn’t gettin’ it on enough.  Only those coffin chicks would even consider hangin’ out with him he’s so dreary and down.  He needs to jerk it more too, take some of the tension and pressure off it.  He can’t have kids so he wants us to join him.  Sour grapes.

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Ligotti writes a horror story about once every decade or so, when he isn’t feeling sorry for himself and the rest of us.  They’re pretty good, but enigmatic.  Now I don’t expect you to understand a word like that, nor a story like that, because you are correctly spending your time feeling good and not worrying about future generation’s suffering or how the joke’s on us.  Stay away from funerals.  Hide the razorblades.

Sure, we’re all going to step off the pier sometime, but why waste any time thinking about that?  Remember I told you to always expect the worst, so now that that’s over let’s move on to feelin’ good.

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I’ve given you all the prescription you need in this blog to quit thinking about that dirt nap:  TV, NCIS, loud music, giant monster movies, malt liquor.  So, mix up some cocktails and turn on the wide screen to some NCIS and put a Chuck Berry record on that stereo set ’cause we’re goin’ out with a buzz in our heads and a smile on our faces.

What’s so bad about feelin’ good for the rest of your miserable little life?

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The International Feel

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No, I’m not talking about groping foreigners so all you NSA peepers can leave now.

What I want to talk about is the increase and predominance of non-US hits this blog is getting.  Either I’ve managed to thoroughly piss off the OUS community or people outside the United States are starting to now do what you in the US have only been able to do up ’til now:  apply my life-changing formulas to your lives.  I know which one I’m voting for.

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Unlike people in the US, Europeans have long embraced my concept of a D-minus effort. Europeans enjoy months of vacation annually along with a holiday practically every-other week.  In addition, work weeks are often legislated to be less than 40 hours and nobody has to worry about health insurance, so I’m surprised any Europeans or Canadians work at all since this lack is what primarily entices many Americans into the workforce in the first place. On top of this, scandalous unemployment has made, by comparison, the US look like the land of milk and honey it most certainly isn’t.

It is also clear that most foreigners embrace the concept of always making sure somebody else is that last guy.

Hey, now that I think of it, maybe I’m just preaching to the choir here.  Perhaps most OUS hits are just losers affirming their lifestyle.  Sometimes people just like to be reassured of things they already knew deep down inside.

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What Foreigners Do for Fun

The worst thing about traveling internationally is television.  Except for imported US programs, the fare produced and broadcast overseas is distinctly inferior.  Britain is particularly bad with endless parlor dramas and talking heads all produced by the government.  The fact that some of these shows are actually imported to America is beyond me.  Most of them end up on public television, in other words US socialist TV.  Hardly anyone except a few really old people watch public TV in the US so these imports hardly make a dent in the A+ prime US television offerings.  The programs are mostly old so you get elderly US tourists to the UK going on about episodes of Eastenders from decades ago.  East Germany had the worst TV I ever saw.  France was the best with triple-X programs on the cable late at night that made Skinemax look like Mr. Rogers.  In Japan the only thing going was the seemingly endless pop music programs.

I digress…

Finally I urge all my international fans to embrace the concept of always expecting the worst. This will leave you never disappointed.  I especially recommend this for people in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and any countries afflicted in the “Arab Spring.” Countries like Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal should take heed also.

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Anyway, I just wanted to thank all the international readers that support my jingoistic American rants, er, essential essays.

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I’m Here For You

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A lot of people blog because they have a big ego and think tens of thousands of people out there are going to hang on their every word.  They want people to nod their heads for every opinion they write about.  They want comments about how brilliant and how oh so right they are.  They think everyone wants to look into their private psychoses and their dreary website and affirm their useless digital scribblings.  It’s all about me, me, me…

I-love-youWell this blog is different, it’s all about you, you, you.  I’m here for you.  I’ve got your back.  What other blogger warns you off some posts while putting others out there that you know will improve your life?  Don’t some posts seem to have been written just for you personally?  Huh?  Do you think I’d sit here punching this keyboard if I didn’t feel an urgent social responsibility?  I’ve got tons of episodes of NCIS on the DVR and I could be parking my lazy ass on the divan and enjoying the best TV program ever made.  But no, I’m here trying to improve your miserable life, a complete stranger.  That’s how big I am; a giving person, a servant.

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Where You’ll End Up

Oh sure I have to use tough love sometimes and point out the deficiencies in you and your world but you know it’s for your own good.  I don’t like doing it but somebody has to or you are going to end up on the trash heap of humanity.  I worry about you all the time, especially the 50% of you that are below average.  I stay up late trying to think of something that is going to stick in your little pea brain, that can pull you up from the desperate and hopeless state you are currently in.

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Fairies and Rainbows

I try to temper these intense self-improvement posts with other posts of whimsy and carefree fun that will brighten your otherwise dreary day.  I add the occasional important current event because I know you haven’t touched a newspaper in years and when you did all you cared about was what the Kardashians were doing.  See these are all for your own good too.  I spend a lot of time each and every day thinking about how to get through to you and improve your life just a little.  I put all my needs aside to serve you, dear reader.

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I’m Here for You!

Well I just wanted you to know that when the chips are down, like they always are for you, you can count on me.  I wanted you to know I’m making more than a D minus effort for you.  Whatever disaster comes into your world I’ll be putting all my resources into how best to deal with it and keep you from circling the drain.  Think of me as the FEMA of bloggers, but in a better way that actually arrives in time and helps the afflicted.

Remember I’m here if you need me and I’m ready to make time for you day or night.  Oh, and like I’ve told you before, lowered expectations are the key to a less than miserable life so just expect the worst and everything will be all right.

Pessimism

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As I said in my next to last post you are probably becoming by now the poster boy or girl for this blog. If you can send a picture of you in your new carefree, and most of all, leisurely lifestyle I might feature it here, anonymously of course (see below for what you should really expect to happen).

I really struggled with the title for this post.  Should I call it pessimism, optimism, hope, or despair because we’re going to hit all of these here?  I decided on the straight forward approach instead of the facetious one, again for reasons that will become evident.

But onward in our journey to nirvana. The subject for this day is Pessimism, pure and simple, and I’m going to show you how to apply this little word to your outlook about everything. It’s so simple: always expect the worst. That’s it, see what I mean? We’re trending towards the Zen of life. Life is so simple really that the truths about it are almost self-evident, but really expect life to be so complicated that you are never going to understand anything. There, we’ve already applied it.  Always expect to be disappointed. This is the only way to never be let down: always expect to be disappointed, then in the rare circumstance that something good does happen, you’ll be ecstatic, however when the more probable opposite occurs you won’t EVER be disappointed.

What a great way to live. If you can apply this along with the Dminus principle (see my earlier post) then life will become unbearable but essentially worry free.

Let’s see if we can find how you can apply this to a more practical situation. At work, always assume, even with a lack of evidence, that your co-workers are sniveling, back stabbing, over-ambitious weasels who are going to take the credit for all your work and get promoted a lot faster although they never deserved it. Now you cannot imagine a day when you are going to be let down in your expectations by the behavior of your co-workers. In the rare event that you are in a meeting and someone says: “Oh no, I didn’t do all this Shirley did some of it,” you are going to be on cloud nine. I would say happy enough to take the rest of the day off, go to a bar, and call in sick the next morning (again, see the Dminus principle). If the opposite happens and they take all the credit for what was mostly your work, well you expected as much and can’t really be disappointed. Either way, you weren’t disappointed. Voilà, life is actually the dreary drudge you thought it would be.  This applies to everything in your pathetic life:  your spouse, your job, your physical fitness plan (again, see earlier posts), your health, your finances, your family, your so-called friends and on and on.  The areas for application are endless.

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However, there are a number of hazards in this lifestyle: optimists and an attitude of hopefulness. Optimists are to be avoided at all costs. Assume they are possessed by a demon that wants to knock you off your currently successful downward slide and take advantage of you at the same time. They are never to be trusted. They will get you to read books by Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins, and their ilk. They will tell you about the failed philosophy of positive thinking and that you are a good person with talents that are yet untapped, and we all know none of this is true as shown by past experience. What you do know is that they are waiting to swindle you and put you on a path that will leave you circling the drain without hope.

Which brings me to my second hazard: hope. Never ever hope for anything to get better. It won’t and you already know this. Hope leads to the ultimate disappointment unless it is hope for the worst to happen. If anything gives you even an inkling that things are going to work out, get as far away from it as possible, mentally and physically.  Again, avoid at all costs.

I apply this principle of unbroken pessimism as often as possible in my own life. If you look at some of my earlier posts, I expected the worst outcome in both the Dunbar and stock market situations. Was I disappointed? No way the worst outcome I had expected happened. I could go along in my already depressed state knowing that only something worse could still happen.  There you have it.

Oh, and have a lousy day.

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In my next to last post I told you I was going to tell you about Chicago Nice. Well I didn’t and you were on the edge of your seat waiting for what I was going to say. Now you’re disappointed. See how it would have been so much better to assume I was lying or forgetful and not have anticipated that I would reveal this other principle of a nirvana-like life.  I promise I’ll get to it in a later post, but you know what?  Don’t be disappointed if I don’t.

Lighten Up

steve-martin_banjoSome people have taken umbrage at my musings about Bluegrass Music. Apparently these folks take life so seriously that they think my opinion 1) matters to anyone, 2) is to be taken as 100% at face value. Now seriously folks, the operative term here should be sarcasm. Bluegrass musicians are some of the most accomplished folk musicians in the world. I can appreciate their talent while at the same time I cannot bear to listen to them. It just isn’t my gig. I hate it. My apparently feeble attempt at humor in the piece was so lame that it was misconstrued as the ravings of a hydrophobic dog on Bluegrass music. Either I didn’t write things very well or you are not the sharpest tool in the shed. I know which one I’m going to bet on.

atmosphere_testing_nuclear_weapons.jpeNow seriously, how can anyone take life so damn, well, seriously? Daily life is usually the most humorous thing imaginable.  I mean unless the current situation in front of you involves death or you losing everything then it’s not fodder for tears. Make a joke. Have a laugh. Lighten up. People are always running up to me saying: “It’s a nightmare.” “We’re doomed.” “We’re porked.” I always ask: did anyone die? Did anyone go out of business. Did the ground just open up and swallow someone?  No.  I say: “Well this is just the first sign that the apocalypse is imminent.” The conference room goes quiet. Everyone in the immediate group is dead serious. About what?  The world’s going to end!  Again, I don’t think so.  Lighten up.

tsunami2There is enough grim news in the real world so your sorry insignificant little problems are a source of laughter for me and they should be for you.  See the humor in the everyday occurrences.  See the humor in your useless job.  See the humor in your whacked out family, see the humor in the fact that you have no idea why you do 95% of the things you do, see the humor in that driver texting and fixing her hair at the same time.  Bill Monroe (rest his soul) will still be there when you get back.  In all seriousness folks, lighten up!

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