Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reading, Writing, and Other Stuff . . .


Recently I have been reading about anarchists and about various well-know historical proponents of anarchy.

Emma Goldman, Anarchist
Once named The Most Dangerous Woman Alive

I wonder why the philosophy of anarchy is so despised by so many? Its basic tenet seems highly desirable, especially in the face of the seemingly unavoidable corruption of people involved in big government.

Anarchism, according to Wikipedia is a political philosophy which considers 'the state' undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy.

That seems. at first thought, to be a desirable goal.

I'll continue reading and thinking about it.


Another subject I have been reading about is Diogenes the Cynic, also known as Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes Living In His Tub

One story has it that Diogenes used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, "I am just looking for an honest man." Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels.

Another story says that Diogenes asked, "If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead?" At the end, Diogenes made fun of people's excessive concern with the "proper" treatment of the dead.

Some of Diogenes' detractors have said he was an obnoxious beggar and an offensive grouch. Sounds like my kind of guy.

I intend to read on and try to discover (and understand) more about the discipline of cynicism.


I do not often read the pronouncements of literary critics but at times I happen upon one that intrigues me enough to make me read it to the end. Such as, from The New Yorker: Man of Mystery -- Why do people love Stieg Larsson’s novels? -- written by Joan Acocella January 10, 2011.

Below are a couple of excerpts from the piece.

First excerpt:
Having got American readers to buy more than fourteen million copies, collectively, of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy books--"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (2008, American edition), "The Girl Who Played with Fire" (2009), and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest" (2010)...

Second excerpt:
Larsson submitted the manuscript to Piratforlag, a publishing house with a strong line of crime novels. The editors there never opened the package. (They did not read manuscripts from first-time authors.) Today, one almost pities them. The publisher that accepted the Millennium trilogy--Norstedts Forlag, the second firm Larsson contacted--has sold three and a half million copies of the books.

Read more here



Presently, the main objective of SOARS is to begin a campaign to get the law eventually changed in the UK so that very elderly, mentally competent individuals, who are suffering unbearably from various health problems (although none of them is "terminal") are allowed to receive a doctor’s assistance to die, if this is their persistent choice. Surely the decision to decide, at an advanced age, that enough is enough and, avoiding further suffering, to have a dignified death is the ultimate human right for a very elderly person.

Here is an appeal from a brief Annual SOARS Lecture (London - September 17, 2010)


That's all I have today. More tomorrow, maybe.

"The most disheartening tendency common among readers is to tear out one sentence from a work, as a criterion of the writer's ideas or personality ..."
--Emma Goldman

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