All or Nothing

I am going to refrain from apologizing for my gaping absence, because nobody actually reads this, anyways.

I was playing an old (by old I am referring to 2005) videogame, and when my character killed some random minion of evil, the minion said “Did either of us really win?”

For starters, that question is WAY too philosophically loaded for an X-Men game. How could you expect someone to say that? In a videogame it’s quite surprising, but imagine if someone sad that to you in real life. For the sake of argument, let’s say you are estranged from one of your, lets say, sisters. You’ve both grown up in bitterness due to the violent and dramatic quarrels, conflicts, and disagreements you’ve had. Your parents were divorced, and you blame her for the divorce, and she blames you. Both of your parents are now dead, and you both live in isolated worlds of self. After years of not seeing each other, your sister calls you up and asks to visit, to try and make things right. She comes over from a couple states away, and the visit begins well enough. She gets settled in the spare bedroom, you have dinner, reminiscing over the few good memories you have with each other. But a nerve gets hit in the conversation. A previous conflict is brought up. Your anger spikes, as does hers. You stand up, she stands up, and now you’re shouting full force. You tear into her and she rips at you. You’re screaming, now. You say something that just hits her so hard she stumbles back. She runs to the door, opens it, walks through partially, turns back, and with tears streaming down her face, she whispers, “Did either of us really win?” and slams the door. This retort makes you in turn stumble back, you fall back into your chair, and your face falls into your hands. You can’t handle this, so you go to the couch, and fall asleep fast, because you want to escape as soon as possible. You are awoken later by the doorbell, and you go to the door. You open it, and are greeted by two police officers. With the lights on their patrol cars twisting and flailing behind them, you can hardly see their faces, but you hear them when they tell you that your sister drove straight through the guard rails along a bridge, and her car, along with her body, were pulled from the river.

What do you say to that?



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Entreating entrance at my chamber door…








And there’s a world to be made. Each conversation is potential. Each word needs meaning. Live each word. So, are you going to say:

“Hey, can you pick up milk on your way home?”

with naught but the ticking of clocks? Or are you going to say it like you have a life to live?

Ah, but I muse. Now, when my phone rings, it plays a little ditty from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time called “Song of Storms.” Yes, I am a dork. I am fully aware of this. But when this song is played in the game, a storm instantly brews and it pours and pours. It does not matter whether you are inside or outside. It just rains. Rain is many things. It is tragedy and it is beauty, in perfect rhyme. Rain is the emotion you put in it. You say love, and the rain is moonlit with the word “amore…”. You say anger, and the rain is a barrage of fury and retribution. You say sorrow, and the rain is a dolorous downpour. The rain is what you inflect into it. That song plays on my phone because it summons the rain: the conversation. The conversation is what I inflect into it. It can be anything: love, anger, sorrow. Momento mori or “It’s a boy!” Each conversation should have so much meaning, even if you just are simply saying: “Pick up some milk.” If you can’t say the “mundane” words of life like you are actually alive, my friend, you are not an artist. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are days when I don’t feel alive at all. Lethargic, depressed, numb, incoherent, sluggish, bitter, oh yes, I have those days. And often on those days I don’t WANT to be alive. But ultimately, I am alive. Physically, albeit not emotionally, but the fact that I am physically alive brings opportunity. Because to be an artist means to fight. Perhaps not with others, but with yourself and with the oppression of everyday like. A random side note: there is a concept called the “Plath Effect,” musing that perhaps there is a distinct correlation between depression and creativity, that the creative are prone to depression. I have no clue as to whether or not that is true, but wouldn’t that give all the more meaning? In depression, you fight for your art. So, to bring a meandering path back to the highway, yes, we all have our dark days. But in those dark days we have a battle to fight: for our art, for meaning. Is conversation not a work of everyday art? It most certainly is. It is the rain, and like I mused, it is simply what we put into it. So put into it, live it, despite our dark days. Dance in the conversation, dance in the rain. Dance like a lunatic.

God, I need to take a breathe. That was a tad long winded.

But probably, you couldn’t focus when reading that, because you were thinking “This has nothing to do with Poe. The quotation of the Raven is completely irrelevant.” Maybe so, I don’t know, but who’s to show, where the wind doth blow? And where the river flows, and when the rooster crows, and when the planter sows, and how the child grows? Yeah, I don’t know.

~:The Failed Philosopher:~

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A touchy topic indeed.

A good friend of mine was at an local event for Nation Day of Prayer this past Thursday. I was also there, but I wasn’t aware that he was at the event until we talked the next morning. At one point at the event, I was bringing some family members some chais from a nearby cafe and a man near me said “That’s quite the juggling act you’ve got there.” I was struggling to not spill them because I have shaking hands, so I chuckled, as is customary when someone makes a joke that isn’t funny in Western Society. We happened to be walking in the same direction so we made small talk about how nice the area was and junk like that. He was white, very, very well dressed, short, with an odd shaggy haircut and an odd bushy mustache. He also had a very long gold chain necklace with a cross on the end. We parted ways after we got to where the main event was.

Now, my good friend was praying with people there, and the man I describe above was walking by. My friend offered his hand to this man and said “Hey man, let’s pray.”

So the man spit in my friend’s hand and walked away.

One important thing: this friend of mine is a Korean.

Another important thing: the man who spit in his hand claimed to be a pastor.

So, if the man actually was a pastor as he claimed to be, he obviously would have no problem with prayer. So the only other possible factor to provoke this act was the simple fact that my friend was Asian. Now, the man was in his 40s to 50s. One possible reason for this prejudice is that there is a chance this man was in the Vietnam war. My friend, being Korean, is obviously not Vietnamese, but to a racist, is there a difference between Asians? No. The racist hates them all. Now, I wrote a haiku explaining my feelings in regards to this situation:

“Such a ‘minister,’

You spit in an open hand,

You racist bastard.”

I obviously do not tolerate racism.

Now, what is the cause of racism? I would propose that it is fear.

“You always fear what you don’t understand.” – Carmine Falconi, Batman Begins.

Yes, it is from a superhero movie (and a good one at that), but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Take Order 9066 for an example.


FEBRUARY 19, 1942

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas, The successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises and national defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533 as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220. and the Act of August 21, 1941. 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104):

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, l hereby authorized and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deem such action necessary or desirable to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom. such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designation of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamation in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area herein above authorized to be designated. including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Department, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities and service.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority granted under Executive Order 8972. dated December 12.1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with response to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas thereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt 
The White House, February 19,1942.

If you didn’t get the main point of that, FDR was giving the order to remove Japanese-Americans from their homes and put them in internment camps because he, the government, and the rest of American feared that the “Japs” would be vehicles of sabotage, espionage, and terrorism against the United States. Was this wrong? Absolutely. Was it racist? Not on the part of FDR, I believe, but many Americans were in fact racist. But the main motive was fear. Everyone feared what these people, who were as American as anyone else and believed that they themselves were Americans before they were Japanese, could do.

Some Japanese-Americans were allowed off the internment camps to participate in the sugar beet harvest in Colorado, because many of the normal workers were in the military. Louise Ogawa said this:

“On his return to Poston, one young man who had participated in the Colorado sugar beet harvest related to his family that he and some of his friends had gone into town to find a restaurant to get a bite to eat. The first thing the waitress at the restaurant asked them was, “Are you Japs?” When they politely replied, “No, ma’am, we’re Japanese Americans,” she turned her back on them and said, “We don’t serve Japs.””

That remark, “We don’t serve Japs,” is built on racism, which is built on hate, which is built on fear.

Do little children who fear the dark not hate it? Don’t people who fear getting into water hate doing exactly that? It seems to be a human instinct to hate what you fear, and remember, you fear what you don’t understand. But much of the time, fear is an unreasonable and illogical emotion.

~:The Failed Philosopher:~

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I’m just going to let everyone know that the only thing I will be listening to while writing this is Daft Punk.

Just to let you know.

<daft punk>

A couple months ago I wrote a paper for school. Granted, it wasn’t a fantastic paper, but the topic was pretty good. The idea assigned to use was “The Philosophy of Technology.” I chose talk about its involvement in communication. As much as I love technology, I chose to take to it a slightly negative tone. My thesis was:

“Our relationship with technology is sometimes paradoxical. We develop these relationships to technology in order to enhance our relationships with others. The irony reveals itself in that the technology we use to communicate can impede on our interactions with others.”

Small paper, small thesis.

I quoted German novelist and playwright Max Frisch (whose work I have yet to read, unfortunately):

“Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it.”

And then I proposed the following scenario:

“Let us say that there is a girl riding the bus to school. Being on the bus, she is surrounded by her peers. However, she has an MP3 player in her pocket, with an earbud in each ear, and the volume cranked to full. She is at the same time texting someone who is on a different bus, heading to a different school. As Max Frisch said, she is organizing her universe in such a way that she is not required to interact with those in it. She chooses to have a relationship with her MP3 player, listening to someone she does not know at all, and her phone, texting someone she can’t see, hear, or touch. These things entirely prevent her from interacting with everyone else on the bus.”

So the girl is, as my thesis stated, using technology to “enhance” her relationships, but in a sad twist of irony she is letting technology pull her away from actual interaction with the human beings around her.

“But Sir Failed Philosopher,” you interject, “YOU are writing a blog post while you COULD be out smashing mailboxes with buddies while simultaneously downing wine coolers!”


Pardon me, I have to go to youtube to switch to another Daft Punk song. (I only own two, unfortunately.)

(Listening to Aerodynamic)

Anywho, that’s one way to look at it.

Or, you could be like Thoreau.

He says:

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

“Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.”

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

“I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.”

Along with being a romantic, living in a shack, and having a neckbeard, he HATED society and technological advances. He believed in the simplest living possible. Nature and nature alone was the way to happiness.

And then there is Mr. Whitman…

“When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts, the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the learned astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”
To take a hint from Farragut, “Damn the science! Full transcendentalism ahead!”
The poem is very well written, and it explains itself. Do I agree? Not really. Science is the physical explanation of nature’s beauty.
You can see that both these men did not think much of technology. In fact, they hated it. They were for the complete exclusion of technology from human life.
My paper concluded, however, that while technology can control us, as these men were afraid of, it is our choice. Technology has its place. We can control it, or it controls us, basically. Is technology great? Yes. Can a scruffy teenager speak to the world with his misguided and often incoherent thoughts? Why, yes. I’m doing it right now, with my HP laptop. Technology is a grand thing. However, it does impede on my relationships sometimes. Sure, I have facebook to communicate with friends, but a relationship is hindered if the only way it exists is facebook. Many a time I have browsed the internet rather than make earnest attempts at physical socialization. Often times I have been that girl on the bus, who choose to use technology to amuse herself rather interact with those around her. Except, I am male. Failed PhilosophER, not PhilosophETTE. Anyways, we must have a handle on how much technology controls our lives.

As Samuel Butler says:
“Day by day, however, the machines are gaining ground upon us; day by day we are becoming more subservient to them; more men are daily bound as slaves to them, more men are daily devoting the energies of their whole lives in the development of mechanical life. The upshot is simply a question of time, but that time will come when machines will hold the real supremacy over the world and its inhabitants is what no person of a truly philosophic mind can for a moment question.”
Now, I love the idea of a robot apocalypse as much as the next schmuck, but I’m only a bit paranoid.


~:The Failed Philosopher:~

P.S. Apologies for the bad formatting in this post. I’ve tried many times, but I can’t fix it.


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There seems to be…

A want of Philosophy in the world. Do we need it?

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

Okay, okay, that quote was about friendship. BUT, it mentioned philosophy. Specifically, as something  that gives value to survival. Is thinking valuable? I’d say so. Do you like to think?

Do you?

You do?

Pat yourself on the back. Go ahead- do it. There you go!

Now, I love philosophy as much as the next schmuck, but it can be pointless sometimes

… if you are a pragmatic. Are you? No? Good. Pat yourself on the back again.

Since you are not, then you won’t mind my meandering musings and fruitloop fantasies, to speak nothing of my hatstand heresies.

Expect more to come.

~:The Failed Philosopher:~


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