Archive for March, 2010

evil puts humanity outside nature

March 5, 2010

i know that’s an enigmatic title but it’s my blog and i’ve allowed myself to be sloppy since i’m using this primarily as a conversation with myself…

there was this standup dude i was checking out last night. he’s apparently really famous, even tho i never got standup as a genre. anyway, he’s quite brainy and definitely uses his platforms to preach his philosophy.

so he’s talking about all this dark stuff, doing quite an extended bit on suicide and crazy violence, then he points out that we’re way below the level of animals cos they don’t do half the stuff to each other that we do. then he points out that it’s no surprise aliens haven’t made contact with us.

i’m writing this because i found it strange that such an intelligent man could make such contradictory comments on the human condition: straight after saying that we’re worse than animals, he talks about us being only slightly beyond the jungle, in an evolutionary sense, and that as such all the society we’ve built around us is extremely tenuous and could all come apart in a hurry.

how can such an intelligent man seem to hold simultaneously that we’re morally far more depraved than animals AND that we’re about on the same level as them? i take his denunciation of humanity, but the two ways he does it seem to cancel each other out.

all this rests on my understanding of his act as not merely out for laughs but a philosophical statement on the human condition.

and it got me thinking… i never before considered that human evil provides further indication that we are not simply animals, that we need to go outside evolution for a fuller explanation of the human condition. the comedian stated it succinctly: we’re mere animals, but we’re so much worse.

in related news, i find it annoying when people pass off extreme instances of human behaviour as occuring simply because we’re human.


shao kao

March 1, 2010

i just ate some shaokao with some taiwanese friends. shaokao is street barbecue. on skewers, not sausages and steaks and potato salad. you sit on the footpath with your mates and eat away for ages. part of the attraction is the time it takes… youre not in and out like at a regular restaurant. i’m told it’s really unhealthy cos it’s cooked over these little coal

pits. it’s also really yummy. specially the veggies. and tonight, having

recently taken a partial nazirite vow, was my first time eating shaokao without beer. shaokao and beer are like jumping out of a plane and parachutes: you very rarely see one without the other. well tonight was my night and i must say it’s much better for your wallet and health (the walletary inhealthstrial complex) cos you eat way less when youre not drinking.

this is a shaokao pit operating in hankou, wuhan.

xiamen smells good right now

March 1, 2010

it’s early march. just came back from the city i love and hate most in china: woohan. xiamen is much nicer and much duller. and cleaner. very very much cleaner. everything seems so balmy here with blue skies, and pleasant smells mysteriously ubiquitous.

grooving round xiamen

if i was going there i wouldn’t start from here.

March 1, 2010

i’m going to try not to be too deep. just bang out reflections on stuff.

there’s so much cool info out there, i don’t think i can offer anyone anything. i just hope to say things well here.

helen's new shoes