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Trad climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 10:15am PT
Chris Hedges; 'I Don't Believe in Atheists'.

Hedges takes on both the neo-darwinian militant atheist movement (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris et al) and fundamentalist as the same time (though he gives the fundamentalists a bit of a pass due to economic pressures). His basic line is the new atheists don't understand sh#t about religion and only take cheap shots at some simplistic caricature of religion, using mostly radical Islamists or medieval Catholics as a stand in for any and all religion. Meanwhile the atheists, out of unbridled pride, call for mass murder of Muslims (Harris in particular). Overall I agree with Hedges analysis, but it gets a bit strident after a while. 4 out of 5 starts.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 12:09pm PT
Yes, Ward , look into Hemingway's Nick Adams stories to find an existential bonanza. Same with The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

An " existential bonanza" ? You know I've never considered Hemingway as an existential philosopher in the guise of a writer. My summation of Hemingway was that he somehow managed one brilliant thing in his career: he transferred what was essentially a journalistic style of writing over to the format of a narrative novel. And then for the next thirty years he drank himself into a stupor , only emerging long enough to write The Old Man And The Sea before sticking a shotgun in his mouth.

Still, he was a great writer when compared to the likes of Sartre---who was way, way overblown as both a philosopher and a writer. Better known and celebrated today as preeminent Benzedrine fanatic.

Of all the putatively "existential" writers during that period Albert Camus was perhaps the only one really worth a damn.

I grew up in the sea and poverty was sumptuous, then I lost the sea and found all luxuries grey and poverty unbearable. Since then, I have been waiting. I wait for the homebound ships, the house of the waters, the limpidity of day. I wait patiently, am polite with all my strength. Men see me walk by in fine and learned streets. I admire landscapes, applaud like everyone else, shake hands, but it is not me speaking. Men praise me, I dream a little, they insult me, I scarcely show surprise. Then I forget, and smile at the man who insulted me, or am too courteous in greeting the person I love. What can I do if all I can remember is one image? Finally they call upon me to tell them who I am, ‘Nothing yet, nothing yet…’

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jun 19, 2014 - 01:59pm PT
Back and forth between "Marine" The Life of Chesty Puller and "Zen Guitar".
Is that eclectic, disparate or just weird?

Gym climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
I like No Exit (Sartre), Ward. Saw it with my dad (a dead philosophy professor). No intermission coupled with tightly squeezed seating. Felt trapped in the room with characters.

Decades later, not such an Existentialism fan. Similarly, pared-down Hemingway sentences aren't as stunning as Faulkner or Hardy ones to me.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
But seeing No Exit was one of them.

My own similar bonding experience with my dad consisted of the odd episode or two of Gunsmoke or perhaps Green Acres when I got to secondhand inhale a full pack of his Winstons.

BTW I've somehow earned a life-long appreciation of Festus Hagen and that talking pig "Arnold" not to mention knowing the Green Acres theme song by heart:

Green acres is the place to be.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.
. .The chores.
. .The stores.
. .Fresh air.
. .Times Square.
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.

Anyway, just by looking at him you'd never know he could talk:
Credit: Ward Trotter

I once read No Exit ,Nausea ,and struggled part way through Being and Nothingness---the worlds least engaging work of philosophy, and the hastily-scribbled product of at least two pounds of Benzedrine .

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jun 19, 2014 - 04:17pm PT
I don't read too much fiction but I did read, "The Tenth", a few weeks ago.

Very good read, IMO.

by Joanne Moudy
by Joanne Moudy
Credit: bluering

And the author was very kind when I chatted with her.

Social climber
Golden, CO
Jun 19, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
"Defeat at Gallipoli"

~Nigel Steel

Big fat book!

Jun 25, 2014 - 07:53am PT
Credit: MisterE

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Jun 25, 2014 - 09:02am PT
I just finished The Maze Runner. I have a sixteen year old daughter and I like reading her teeny bopper novels with her. It reads like it was written by a tenth grader, but man it sure is fun. A fun plot and will make for a very fun movie this summer.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#364296

Last summer I was dragged kicking and screaming into these......
photo not found
Missing photo ID#364297

And loved every minute of them.

I'm usually into heavy stuff. Just finishing Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and thoroughly lost myself in Cormack McCarthy's Blood Meridian. I'm in the middle of studying 2nd Timothy in The Bible and A History of The World by Andrew Marr. But right now I can't put down the second of The Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials.
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