The Seven Manners of People Who Effectively Live in Agreement with Nature

  1. Be Passive. You’re not in charge. Your existence is a series of contingencies. Disgrace is the best thing you can hope for, death the worst event that can befall you. Use this self-awareness to be passive and take the responsibility of renouncing all those goals that will be foiled regardless of your personal choices. What ultimately distinguishes us from the lower animals is the ability to renounce our instincts.
  2. Begin with the End in Mind, then Stop There. You will not make it to the finish line. There will be no gold medal, nor even a "participant" ribbon. Dissipate any clear destination you’ve formed. Be a hitchhiker of many roads. Decide what values will guide you, then use those values to construct a number of competing visions of what you want to become, keeping in mind what Kierkegaard said—that no matter what you do, you will regret it.
  3. Put First Things Last. To effectively manage your non-management, you must go to the end of the bread line. Develop the discipline to renounce your habits of prioritizing by neglecting things like bills and jobs. Focus instead on those things which common sense tells you are least important, like long walks through the wilderness.
  4. Think Win-Lose. Every interdependent relationship is a win-lose situation for you: while benefiting from another person to your satisfaction, you must sacrifice a great deal of energy in giving back. Renounce position, power, and credentials in order to escape the dilemma of having your time wasted by other people.
  5. Seek First to Understand Your Ignorance, Then to Be Misunderstood. Before you can ignore advice, see through the illusion of “the solution,” or treat others’ problems as the inconsequential concerns they are, you must seek to deeply understand your own ignorance by probing the shallow limits of others’ knowledge. Employ the Socratic method of reducing people’s arguments to absurdity; then when it comes time to present your own viewpoint, say, “I don’t know,” and walk away. People will think you a fool, when in reality you will be the most enlightened of men.
  6. Cultivate Divinterest. Synergy can be inspiring, infecting everyone with drive and efficiency, causing monstrous productiveness, wasting potential by unnecessarily realizing that potential. In the face of this, you must form a strategy. Dissipate the synergy of others with your own divisive disinterestedness. Take advantage of the many distinct perspectives coexisting within a group setting to create misunderstandings, factions, and the collapse of collectivity.
  7. Cut Out Hearts with a Spoon. To be effectively ineffective, one must devote time to being as abrasive as possible. Physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially, one must wear down others slowly and painfully. Continuously renewing your own divinterestedness will increase your ability to pull up the goal-posts confining your life.

We have two eyes so that we can see the lies in each ear; two nostrils so the odor from our mouth will reek twice as much.

Romantic Antiquity

Distant ages will someday refer to us as “the ancients,” but with none of the reverence that a classicist speaks of the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. Rather as a warning and a mockery, a model of what not to become. Our failures preserved by time as a farce haunting posterity and summed up by the phrase, “That tragic mumming." 

   "This renaissance of clowns," an actor dressed in foxgloves will say, "looked to classical antiquity for inspiration, but could duplicate only their own fanciful sentimentality."

(belatedly attributed to Baron Fiano by several independent sources)

The happiness of a couple requires the misery of a neighborhood to cushion it. This does not mean that one should not seek happiness—on the contrary, it merely indicates the amount of misery one must inflict upon others to achieve it.

The patch of dirt where we soil ourselves is the most fertile anxiety, the only place we are not obliged to carry a wiping rag.

“It is true, because sad.” —If only men were so easily convinced of such truths all around them, finding an honest veracity in what they have no hope of profiting from. Instead they cling to a belief because a moment of happiness happened to coincide with it, thinking that, if only they would think more like this from now on, bliss could be forever theirs. And so they blindly stumble after an elated mood, believing an error so desperately for so long that they begin to produce happiness as a side effect of it when circumstances find positive feelings wanting.
   But…something is true because sad, and fortunes are made from the truths of misery every day. The success of doctors, funeral home directors, war profiteers offer proof enough of this. An aspiring small business owner would do well to take as his worldview the formulas for what works.

(ascribed to Henry Williams)

Despair is only justifiable after anger has ruined your other options.

A killer never kills anybody; his hand was made to fit the shape of a gun, his finger the instrument crafted to scratch a happy trigger.

Self-Sick authors are a miscellaneous bunch; scholars have a hard time determining exactly how many there are, and even who wrote what. Many of them publish their work anonymously, since they are not seeking to acquire fame or fortune, but only to express the most universal and unfashionable truths of the human condition—they know that their cheerful realism is too difficult, too cruel, for the casual optimist to accept. For purposes of convenience these advisers have all been conflated into the figure of the Underworld Optimist, symbol of an intellectual collective determined to look on the bright side BECAUSE of misfortunes.

How should one face death? How to even ask that question, since those who know best are beyond asking? No choice but to turn to the second-best for advice: those with near-death experiences to relate. And as it so happens, I have faced death many times. War, disease, famine, attempted suicide—every weekend offers a new blighted country to explore, a new sanatorium to transfer to. World travelling shows one the wondrous multiplicity of human fatality. Just close your eyes, place your finger on a spinning globe, and buy a plane ticket. Death is as easy as first-class cocktails towards the unpronounceable.

   The only question more difficult to deal with than this to face life. More difficult because few are ever convinced when I give the same answer. If only I could afford to award everyone who attends my seminars a free cruise up the Congo river...

Natural Man is not Rousseau’s solitary ambler, but one who lives according to the evils of an indifferent destiny—to disasters. The dependable monsoon, the free-spirited tsunami, the happy flash flood all converge on the desert of man to drench him in their qualities, coming together to make up a being whose dispositions fluctuate with the rages and droughts of nature. With a neutrality of soul, he is extroverted only so long as the wind is blowing. He mirrors the external world and waits, inert, for a storm to stir his microbes into shallow musings and spontaneous actions.

The XYZs of Facing Death

  • X. —The comatose embrace fate silently, without onomatopoeias.
  • Yadda-yadda… Out of time, those desperate to express their feelings as quickly as possible take up the logorrheic method.
  • Yawp! —How everyone wants to go and few do. More likely they end up like Whitman—too pleuritic for poetry.
  • Zchunk! —Under fortunate conditions, the defibrillator speaks for one who cannot.
  • Zzzzz… Demise of cowards and those too talentless to die young.

You have it inside you to be what you were meant to be! Success is within your reach. The only thing holding you back is—everyone. Day by day, just repeat these simple steps:
1. Heed not.
2. Do not.
3. Be not.

Don’t be paranoid about catastrophe. Fortuna will target you.

The Descendentalist

​Those fall farthest who first fall up

Know, first, what you are, then adorn yourself with the according minerals. Jewelry is the glimmer in the dirt, and every taste reflects its peculiar hint of what lies beneath.

The Long Midnight

If only a full moon would strike us as it did Leopardi: mute beams of chilly, pallid reflection sliding down from the sky to recall a collective Alzheimer’s and illuminate our broken eggshells, our ground-zero lives, our Guilt of Being. It is the werewolf's sun, the horror that lures howls from ungulates gaping on the highway.

Memoirs of Fortitude

I would like to express thanks to my father for beating me, and my mother for shrieking profanities. My scars and my diction make others seem real to me in the moment of offense, and I to them. My great-uncle's neglectfulness has served me well, too: unreality sets in to preserve my aplomb the rest of the time.

Only the illiterate experience illustrations authentically.

The ABCs of Buoyant Paroxysmality

  • Ah-choo! —Sorry, a good joke really tickles my nose.
  • Argh! —My apologies, when love hits me it brings terrible heartburn.
  • Awk!Gasp! —Beg your pardon, sublimity constricts my airways.
  • Boo-hoo! —Don’t mind me, my tear ducts just react violently when a smile contorts my lips.
  • Burp! —Excuse me, it seems I just swallowed some of your laughter.
  • Cough-cough! —Forgive me, happy moments are contagious. They have a tendency to cause certain consumptive flare-ups. Pure joy is an especially bloody affair; and since I anticipate us experiencing it together, please fetch me a bowl.
  • Chomp! —What’s that? Oh, the prospect of a kiss makes my jaws somewhat reflexive.

Proof of Fortuna’s ubiquity: everything not attributed to luck is attributed to the luck of being born talented.

A birthday is but the anniversary of an eternity on vacation.

Why wait for tears of happiness or sadness? An experience that does not summon a strong feeling should evoke weeping.