Archive for August, 2007

Phony contact

August 31, 2007

Finns are great communicators.

Did I hear a snort of disbelief? I indeed said that Finns are great communicators. And the key word here is ‘communicator’ — as in “Communicator? You mean one of those mobile phone thingies?”


Finns: a scholarly overview

August 31, 2007

Insert monocle, wax mustache, grasp lapels of the jacket (tweed with leather elbow patches) — A view of the Finns, in a mock scholarly tone, begins.


Constant source of happiness and joy

August 30, 2007

There is no meaning to life, no purpose in human existence, no afterlife and no god.

To me, this is a constant source of happiness and joy.

There is no grand Meaning of Life, no secret purpose you’d have to fear missing or misunderstanding. There is no purpose to your life except what you make or take for yourself. Do you love beauty? Open your eyes and smile, for the pursuit of beauty is the meaning of your life if you choose so. Does your heart ache for those that suffer? Help them, and that will be the purpose of your existence, your alpha and your omega. Do you (as I do) enjoy simple food in great quantities, and books in excess? Then eat and read and be merry, for there is no need to sit in Tibetan monasteries or whine prayers to silent gods. Life is what you make of it, nothing more, and nothing less.

There is no grand purpose or aim to human existence. We are one of the current fruits of evolution, related to monkeys and bacteria. Evolution did not aim at us, and has not stopped at us. There is no designer and no overarching design: just the blind ratchet of natural selection, favoring that which procreates best, piling wonders on wonders and surprises on surprises. We know where we come from, and that answer should be enough to tell us that there is nowhere we are ‘supposed’ to be going to. Again, what we do is up to us. We can sit here navel-gazing, or voyage out to the stars, or take up plastic arms and place our brains in metal canisters — whatever strikes us as pleasant enough.

There is no afterlife. This brief life of ours is all there is: when we die, it is all over, and nothing but a great silence remains. There is no hell and no hellish circle of reincarnation, so you need not fear death. Enjoy your life, its great joys and the small ones, smile and bring smiles to others, pursue your own happiness and the happiness of others, and when it is all over, lay down to the great rest without regret and without bitterness, knowing you have lived a life immeasurably better than some suffered through by others because of ill luck or self-delusion.

There is no god. There is no celestial dictator, and this life of ours is not (in the words of Christopher Hitchens) a North Korea of endless praise to the Leader without escape even in death. There are no arbitrary moral rules of His devising, no insidious and unfair original sin, no senseless and sadomasochistic ‘redemption’ by killing that which cannot die, no wafers turning into flesh or wine drunk down as blood, and none of a thousand other disgusting dogmas.

There is no god. There are only men and women, and the world they build for themselves, the rules they make for themselves, and the pleasures they find for themselves. That is life, and the greatest source of wonder and joy I know.

Twelve groups who should go away, permanently

August 30, 2007

Today I am going to rant, with much fury and little elaboration, on various groups of people whose ideas I do not like. Maybe this is because I got two new CDs of George Carlin yesterday? So off we go, onto the lunatic railway. (more…)

Dead bodies

August 30, 2007

I guess George Carlin was right when he said that you can joke about anything. And, after listening to him long enough, ideas rise up, so here I go. Do not read this unless you can stomach the idea of dead bodies.


Is are

August 30, 2007

I write this blog in English, as someone that I think of as a clown bouncing between weird jokes and weird serious thoughts. That’s not very far from what I am most of the time, but it could be. I could blog as another slice of me: a Finnish-speaking romantic spouting bad poetry.

Oh, thank Richard that part of me isn’t very big. Or loud.

Likewise I could drag forth some other marginal part of me, and exhibit only it and its thoughts: say, a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion that thinks the last two episodes were really cool. That’s not only a minor part of me, but a very minor opinion altogether. Or I could be a messenger of latex aesthetics.

What I am saying here is that each of us is a creature of many parts. (more…)

Gerbil apology revisited

August 29, 2007

Oh, naming is fun. I already have a post called Gerbil apology, and I am madly proud of that name. It’s true that the post doesn’t concern any of the three first things that it reminds me of, but hey, it’s a good name. And the three first things I think of when I hear the name —

Gerbil apology, take 1

“He has come”, the servant whispered, and then withdrew, feet soundless on the tatami. The lord adjusted his robes and then fixed his beady little eyes to the door. (more…)

Study that

August 29, 2007

Oh boy. There’s always a possibility of fun when there’s a piece of paper around.

For example: There is a paper for prospective Nordic exchange students called ‘study abroad’. Why is it that my mind always reacts to that with a “uh, a space missing”?

The said paper has an advertisement for Middlesex University. Really, in this modern age when content is nothing, image is everything, they should consider a more attractive name. How about Greatsex University? That would hoover up the students like a, um, a Hoover. I can already hear the marketing men (no woman would stoop to this) drooling: “Come to Greatsex University and See Everything We All Can Do With You!

Next you promise each new student a comely tutor of the opposite sex, or of same sex if the preference goes that way or, if there is really some money floating around, a harem of tutors of all possible sexes, sizes and colors!

Why can’t I read anything without getting these weird ideas?

The paper also advertises Huddersfield University, but the ad is a bit difficult to understand since it’s in Danish.

Maybe they don’t want Finns there? (For those that don’t know: knowing Finnish helps zip in reading Danish or Swedish or Norwegian.)

Now, the names of the programs offered are not too difficult to make out, since they’re all in English. I wish they’d decide a language and stick to it. Or maybe the programs would sound too vacuous in Danish? Most things said in Danish sound like a Swede with tennis balls in his mouth talking, so they must sound even grosser to a Dane that has to endure them day in, day out.

Just kidding. Denmark is a nice, wonderful place, with, um, a capital that has many, um, that beautiful mermaid statue, and the saltiest mashed potatoes on earth. Right!

The luxury of choice

August 29, 2007

Wishing doesn’t make it so, but one can dream. What would a better world be like?

It would be a place where children would not be stuffed full of their parents’ opinions and choices, but where children could grow up knowing all the alternatives, and then finally make their own choices. No beauty pageants for six-year olds, no memorizing the Koran before the ninth birthday, no World’s Youngest Anarcho-Syndicalist!:s, no lives ruined because of the dead weight of family traditions, hereditary positions, ancestral covenants or protective convictions. (more…)

All for King

August 29, 2007

The Serf was piling stones when a Knight happened by.

As the Serf was not working with a smile, the Knight struck him several times, aiming both at his head, and at raising his morale.

When the Serf begged for an explanation, the Knight told him this: (more…)