June 5th, 2005

Monkey in charge

Depression and Art

A fantastic piece in The Guardian by Michel Houellebecq about HP Lovecraft, his life and how it affected his writing.  Worth reading if you have any interest in Lovecraft, depression or writing in general.

Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.

Now, here is Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937): "I am so beastly tired of mankind and the world that nothing can interest me unless it contains a couple of murders on each page or deals with the horrors unnameable and unaccountable that leer down from the external universes." We need a supreme antidote against all forms of realism.

Few beings have ever been so impregnated, pierced to the core, by the conviction of the absolute futility of human aspiration. The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear. Other races in turn will appear and disappear. The skies will be glacial and empty, traversed by the feeble light of half-dead stars. These too will disappear. Everything will disappear. And human actions are as free and as stripped of meaning as the unfettered movement of the elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, sentiments? Pure "Victorian fictions". All that exists is egotism. Cold, intact and radiant.

Lovecraft was well aware of the distinctly depressing nature of his conclusions. As he wrote in 1918, "all rationalism tends to minimalise the value and the importance of life, and to decrease the sum total of human happiness. In some cases the truth may cause suicidal or nearly suicidal depression."


There's a new virus making the rounds - pretending that it's the admin @ducker.org.uk and my account has been suspended.

Luckily, I _am_ the admin @ducker.org.uk.  Also, the lovely people at HostMatters.com (my domain hosts) filter out virus attachments before they reach me.

However, having arrived this morning to find 27 mails, each containing a virus warning, I've finally gotten around to learning to how to make Thunderbird filter on headers, which means that everything that arrives with a X-HMDNSGroup-MailScanner of Found to be infected is now going straight into the 'junk' folder.

going before a fall

Today I got more of the stuff into the right place in the newly reorganised flat.  And watched two episodes of Firefly.  And gone to see Strings (which I shall probably talk about tomorrow in some detail).  And gone shopping for food.

Oh, an sewn up the hem of my trouser leg, which was falling down on a consistent basis.  With thanks to tisme for starting me off and eduard_green for finishing me off, and my own clumsy fingers for getting all the way round.  I haven't sewn anything since I was a scout, around 20 years ago, so I feel vaguely proud of myself :->
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