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Posts Tagged ‘Existentialism

“Oh housebuilder! Now you are seen”*…

 

Movie star Leonardo DiCaprio’s Malibu dream house hit the market on Friday, listing for $10.95 million. Leo purchased the midcentury California bungalow (can you still call something a bungalow when it costs more than $10 mil? The jury is out!) back in 1998, and the three bed, two bath home is a beaut. It’s on star-studded Carbon Beach, the views are killer, and the interiors are gorgeous.

But the truth is, life is probably meaningless and there is a strong chance that we all die alone. Could buying this house change any of that? Is it possible that life at 21844 Pacific Coast Highway, with your own private hot tub and large ocean front deck, could actually offer a reprieve from the agony of being a human in the world? Or, is it certain that “we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish,” as John-Paul Sartre once put it? Great question!…

An existentialist interview with Leonardo DiCaprio’s real estate agent: “Leo DiCaprio’s $11 Million Malibu Beach House And The Soul-Crushing Agony Of Being Human.” [via the always-illuminating Pop Loser]

* Gautama Buddha

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As we sigh, we might send nihilist birthday greetings to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; he was born on this date in 1844.  A philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist, Nietzsche is probably best remembered for his concepts of the “death of God”, the Übermensch, the eternal recurrence, the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy, and the will to power… which, among them, have had an extraordinary impact on thinkers as diverse as Martin Heidegger and Ayn Rand on the one hand, and Michel Foucault (whose birthday this also is) and Jacques Derrida on the other.

When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding “truth” within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare “look, a mammal’ I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value.

– Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinn (On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense), 1873

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Written by LW

October 15, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Human relationships are not rocket science—they are far, far more complicated”*…

 

In the English language, the word “he” is used to refer to males and “she” to refer to females. But some people identify as neither gender, or both – which is why an increasing number of US universities are making it easier for people to choose to be referred to by other pronouns…

More at “Beyond ‘he’ and ‘she’: The rise of non-binary pronouns.”

* James W. Pennebaker, The Secret Life of Pronouns

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As we revel in reference, we might send thoughtful birthday greetings to Naguib Mahfouz; he was born on this date in 1911.  A prolific writer– he published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career– he was one of the first writers in Arabic to explore Existentialist themes (e.g., the Cairo Trilogy, Adrift on the Nile).  He was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Written by LW

December 11, 2015 at 1:01 am

“I took a test in Existentialism. I left all the answers blank and got 100″*…

 

English-speakers might say “existential despair,” among a number of different terms. Germans refer to Weltschmerz. As is often the case, the French have the perfect term to represent a somewhat intellectualized world-weariness that positively cries out for a pack of Gitanes. The term is ennui, and it’s so useful that we’ve incorporated it into our language. Using a French term gives the depression that extra bit of useless panache.

A game designer named Josh Millard has created the perfect Nintendo-style game to match that mood—it is called Ennuigi, and in it you can “spend some time with a depressed, laconic Luigi as he chain smokes and wanders through a crumbling Mushroom Kingdom, ruminating on ontology, ethics, family, identity, and the mistakes he and his brother [Mario] have made.”

Did I mention you can play it? Yes. You can play it.

Here is the complete list of controls:

left/right: walk around
up: ruminate
down: smoke…

More at “‘Ennuigi’: Nintendo for pretentious Existentialists.”

 

* Woody Allen

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As we wait for the man, we might recall that it was on this date in 2008 that Microsoft discontinued the Xbox home video game console.  Introduced in 2002 to compete with Nintendo’s Mario-hosting Game Cube (along with Sony’s Playstation and Sega’s Dreamcast) , the Xbox had been the first U.S.- produced video game console since the Atari Jaguar disappeared in 1996, and had sold nearly 25 million units (on which, Halo and scores of other games were played) by the time it was replaced by the Xbox 360.

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Written by LW

August 12, 2015 at 1:01 am

I’d like to thank…

(logo designed by our friends at Coudal Partners)

Once again, it’s that time of year when otherwise mature adults paint their faces in the palettes of their favorite book jacket designers, and all across Facebook college kids post pictures of themselves Nabokoving. Yes, we’re talking about book awards season.

We are excited this morning to announce the books, judges, brackets, and Zombie poll that will become The Morning News 2012 Tournament of Books…

Whether it’s your first time or your eighth time, here’s the deal. A ridiculously small and poorly informed group of TMN editors and contributors have chosen 16 of the most cherished, hyped, ignored, and/or enthusiastically praised books of the year to enter into a month-long tournament, NCAA-basketball-madness style, beginning March 7, 2012.

To create that list, we drew from a body of titles that we started building last January, and also consulted our TMN readers, where people like you, maybe even actually you, suggested their top reads of the year. Still, these are not the best 16 books of the year. You could produce another list of 16 books that would be every bit as deserving. Some books were dismissed for petty reasons. Some books were no doubt included for arbitrarily aesthetic ones. And there’s no getting around any of that, as far as we can tell…

More on “the other March Madness” here.  Download the brackets (PDF) here.

 

As we page Evelyn Wood, we might recall that it was on this date in 1943 that Existentialist philosopher, playwright (and first-cousin-once-removed of Albert Schweitzer) Jean-Paul Sartre published Being and Nothingness.  In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature…  but refused it in protest of “the bourgeois values of society.”

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Written by LW

January 20, 2012 at 1:01 am

Huis Clos, Edition Galactique– avec pop-corn!

Existentialist Star Wars (in French!)

Star Wars with a French Existentialist twist. Almost all the subtitles (except for little things like “Despair!” and “I die!” and a few others) are actually quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre. And obviously this will make no sense if you understand French. If you do know it, hit yourself in the head repeatedly before watching this. And then hit yourself repeatedly when you’re done watching.

More from creator OneMinuteGalactica here (Do be sure to check out “Luke Skywalker- Worst Scout Ever“)

As we steep in ennui, we might recall that it was on this date in 1889 that the Eiffel Tower opened to the public.  The spire, now iconic of Paris, was designed by Gustave Eiffel (who also created the armature for France’s largest gift to the U.S., the Statue of Liberty) and served as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair.

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