Wednesday, December 12, 2007

thoughts on life

I think this is not true. I think this person has an obvious bias and it is unfortunate. I think he is assuming that most people are not smart enough to be able to decide if they agree with something or not. Or maybe some things are just really sad because most things are really sad once you think about them long enough. I also feel that emotions can be conveyed in many different ways, which is why I tend to lean more to the idea of emotions in abstraction because they are so abstract. This guy thinks his ideas are the only ideas anyone should have. He is aggressive, and although aggression has its place I think this guy is full of shit.

What should I read for my holiday break? It lasts for one month and here are my ideas:

Definitely finish "Between the Acts" - V. Woolf

and please help me pick one of these:
General Theory of Love (science)
The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa
Chilly scenes of winter- Ann Beattie
If on a winter's night a traveler- Italo Calvino

I'm also going to be reading next month and here is the info:


@ Bar 169. 6:00pm.

The venue is located at 169 East Broadway, a half block from the East Broadway stop on the "F".

Christina Olivares
Kelly Ginger
Ian Parfrey
Jared Harel (Cornell)
Josh Donovick (Yeshiva)
Ray DeJesus (St. John's)


Nikkita said...

That guy was lame. I couldn't even finish his blog. And neither example he gave was well written, the "non-emotional" one especially.

I think you should read Calvino with me. That book is on my list for winter break. We can compare.

Captain Clever said...

1) Emotions aren't abstract. You're either
a) Happy
b) Angry
c) Hungry
or very very seldomly d) Sad

2) I just started reading a book called The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan. So far it's pretty interesting, if you're looking for sciency things to read.

Captain Clever said...

3) Lists are awesome.

Tao Lin said...

i recommend chilly scenes of winter, it is easy to read

i liked that guy's post, i am going to defend him

i do not think he has any bias, read this paragraph he wrote:

"So, when writing about the sunset, the emotional writer seems to be trying to say, “sunsets are more beautiful than other things, they bring happiness, and if you do not feel happy after seeing a sunset, then you are not normal.” the neutral writer, however, realises that there is no single “correct” opinion about sunsets, because all people have different emotional and moral responses based on their past experiences. the neutral writer, as such, seems to be saying, “the sun set, and you can find it beautiful or poignant or depressing or funny or disgusting, or whatever you want, but your response will not be the ‘correct’ response, and other people will have different responses to you which are equally valid.”"

that makes a lot of sense to me, and he prefaces the entire post with 'in my brain' and even in the section i just quoted he said 'seems to be saying'

i like conn o'brien's post, i think it makes a lot more sense to me than almost everything else i have ever read including things published by famous people in books

read this paragraph by conn:

"So, this means that people who write in an emotional way scare me because i know that they have an agenda beyond merely “showing the world as it is.” their agenda is to make me think that some things are “good” and some things are “bad” and that some things cause happiness and some things cause sadness for every single person in the world"

he is talking personally, he is talking about himself, he himself is scared, he is not talking about you or anyone else

he doesn't even talk in terms of good or bad, he talks in terms of what scares him, i admire this a lot because i know conn understands there is no good or bad in art, or in anything

he wouldn't say '____ book is bad' but would say something like '_____ is a book that i do not like but that doesn't mean it is bad'

that is the opposite of 'this guy thinks his ideas are the only ideas anyone should have'

i wanted to defend conn a lot, because i like what he said, because it is peaceful what he said, it allows for everyone to express themselves and not be called 'bad' or have their art be called 'bad' but to have everyone know that everyone likes different things and there are only likes and dislikes in art just like people like different colors, this is something i talked about in this post, if you want to read more


Tao Lin said...

conn might not even think '____ is a book that i do not like,' i think he might even think something like '____ is a book that caused me to feel a certain way and that is what that book's effect is on me' which is even more 'enlightened' i think that the first example

Tao Lin said...


read your own comment, you said neither example he gave was 'well-written'

'well-written' is an abstraction, it does not mean anything outside of your own brain, so when i read that sentence it made me think that you believe your idea of 'well-written' applies to everyone, and therefore your preferences apply to everyone

if someone else likes a different kind of sentence, color, movie, song, or book than you they must be 'wrong' is the message i got

this is the kind of thinking that leads to a lot things most people would agree are 'bad' because they see that these are things that cause pain and suffering such as discrimination, war, genocide, and like people getting beat up because of some abstraction that has been associated with them like 'bad' or 'stupid' or 'evil' or something

have a nice day

Tao Lin said...

also i don't think conn is attacking anyone in his post or any kind of writing

he is talking about what different kinds of writings' effects are

he does not say which effect is good or bad

it is like saying, 'when i throw a pinecone at a cake it sticks in the cake'

'when i throw a balloon at a cake it bounces off the cake'

these are just two different things that happen, one is not 'better' than another unless you begin to define a context and a goal, and so when conn began to talk about the two different things he used himself as the context, and said he would be scared by one and not the other

okay, i am done typing about conn's post

i feel like i have been explaining things like this for like 3 years to people and i don't think i know yet how to get someone to stop thinking in terms of 'good' and 'bad' but in terms of 'different' if only in art that is without rhetoric

so i just keep typing these things, repeating what was said already in conn's post i think

Tao Lin said...

some parts of conn's post are not completely from a point of view of no values, of only observing concrete cause and effects, but he typed it on a blog, if he got paid $1000 by harper's to write about this i feel that he would be able to type a complete post of only observing concrete cause and effects of different kinds of writings or something like that

Tao Lin said...

i shouldn't have typed all that

i hope no one thinks i hate them or dislike them, i just wanted to show support for conn so he'll keep writing things, i don't expect what i typed to change how anyone thinks, and i feel bad for typing all of that

traffic jam said...

grr i wish i could come to your reading. i have work until 6:30.