Feelgood story of the day

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stanky
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by stanky »

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a novel about a banned religion that everyone secretly practiced.
It involved putting your soles together with another person. It's done barefoot. Not a bad ritual, really.
Helped that it was illegal. Gave it some punch it wouldn't have had otherwise.
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grayman
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by grayman »

stanky wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:16 am Kurt Vonnegut wrote a novel about a banned religion that everyone secretly practiced.
It involved putting your soles together with another person. It's done barefoot. Not a bad ritual, really.
Helped that it was illegal. Gave it some punch it wouldn't have had otherwise.
I was introduced to Vonnegut and Monty Python as a teenager by a friend of mine.

I think that's part of what helped shape my appreciation for absurdity as an adult.
stanky
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

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i got started with Mark Twain.
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grayman
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by grayman »

stanky wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:17 pm i got started with Mark Twain.
Good choice.

Visited his West Hartford home back around 97/98.

https://marktwainhouse.org/
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arthwollipot
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by arthwollipot »

I never got exposed to Vonnegut. I think I was too busy with Tolkein.
stanky
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by stanky »

It's stunning, to me, how much our early reading choices impacted our later life.
Grade 9 was a pivotal year for me, as the English teacher gave us choices as to what books we had to read. And give book reports on them. In front of the class. I didn't like school and i hated homework. Hence, when offered a choice, I always went for the shortest book. That's what I was drawn to.
That's why Animal Farm was my first pick. It counted the same as Silas Marner, with a 10th the size. 1984 was also pretty small, compared to Dickens and such. Same with Tom Paine's stuff. Walden Pond was an easy read compared to Moby Dick. Huck Finn was not a skinny book but it was easy to read, as it centered on white boys my own age, with similar proclivities. Like going awol from school; exploring caves; putting a raft in a river; being confused about Becky; etc.

So the books I read that shaped me were a result of not liking books much and trying to get out of work. And the choice between Twain or Ayn Rand was made based on the covers. The Tom Sawyer cover looked fun.
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Di Wundrin
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by Di Wundrin »

Geeze I feel all privileged now, I got to read both Twain and Rand at an early age. And enjoyed, and more importantly, learned a lot from both.

We didn't get to choose, but Twain was a good choice anyway, better than bloody Shakespeare, he's an acquired taste, and read Rand soon after school, I was about 16 I think and gained more insight into how the world of 'influence' works than in anything I've read since.

I never saw it as ideologically Right wing, just as an education in how the movers and shakers 'think on a different plane' to the average Joe.

Don't know why the Socialist types get so frothy about Rand, it certainly didn't change my voting habits. I was a rabid Labor supporter for another 20 years after that. It just helped to suss out what the the Right wing Party was up to.

Learning is learning, everything learned is of value. Avoiding insight into what we don't like isn't a great idea as the more we know about how it works the easier it is to handle if we have to.

People who don't trust their own convictions enough to risk being 'brainwashed' by another view maybe should consider just how convinced they really are?
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arthwollipot
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by arthwollipot »

I wasn't offered any of those books in school. I was in school in a time and place where pedagogical theory was pretty casual. I remember getting a little bit (a very little bit) of Shakespeare, Evelyn Waught's The Loved One, Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End and something called Doctor Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the Universe or something like that, which I absolutely hated. I read Treasure Island in my 30s and went back to my Dad and railed at him for not making me read it earlier. Not that I would have listened to him. His favourite book has always been Wuthering Heights.

Instead I devoured Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey with a near-autistic focus, and always had a Doctor Who novelisation or two on the go.
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Di Wundrin
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by Di Wundrin »

I can't really recall most of the books we were told to read at school because when you're an addict you don't remember which hits you bought and which were freebies. I couldn't get enough books. I read everything in the school library over 3 years. Excepting some really naff stuff. The school got lucky when some old student died and left them his library. They had 2 cabinets full of his hobby horse interest. History and best of all .... ancient Legends. Boy did I ever give those a workout. Full sets of Nordic/Scandi Roman Greek and UK/Irish Myths and Legendary tales. Bonanza !

I was one of those kids who was absolutely shite at maths but a word wizzard. There were strict age rules as to which classes could read which books according to their 'levels'. Bugger that! I wanted the good stuff.
It was one of the few times teachers ever did me a favour. I got Mum to write me a letter asking if I could access the Legends collections which were rated 2 years ahead of my age. She explained what books I read at home etc and the English/History teacher was on board but the maths bastard said I'd be better occupied in brushing up on that. He was prevailed upon to grudgingly accede though. No amount of 'brushing up' has to this day made me comfortable with numbers, nong.

Those books had no influence on my future whatever, they were just rollicking tales.
But while they were about their gods I never saw it as that. What I learned from them (subconsciously) was the difference in 'cultural' thinking processes. The different values various cultures allocated certain traits.

I was also into Egyptian stuff to add to the 'research'. And of course the was Christian biblical fairy tales in there too.

Cultures build their gods in the image they wanna be, so what they worship is a fair indication of what motivates them.
I'm pretty sure politicians have been clued into that for a long time.
The Vikings were a fave, plain simple instinctive worship of the hard pragmatic fighters. Hard gods for hard people living hard lives. 8-)
The Romans were into sex drugs and military control, like America. :)
The Pommy/Irish ones were kinda spooky creepy, :shock:
The Greeks spent way too much time thinking about the structure of the problem rather than just fixing it (analysis paralysis) :ugeek:
The Egyptians were 'on' something. :?
...and the Biblical stuff was written by losers. :roll:

It's hard to find any book that doesn't have some tidbit of info we didn't know before so even reading rubbish has it's advantages.
For all the volumes I went through there are a few standouts that were lighthouses on a sea of words.'
Most of them Sci-fi. They're gaining points as events are proving them even more 'prescient' than they seemed at the time.
1984 of course, and a lot of Assimov's offerings, but if the current rush into Artificial Intelligence doesn't worry you I might suggest you read a tale by Harlen Ellison called "I have no mouth and I must scream". He wrote some weird stuff but that one springs to mind every time I see or hear A.I.

We really do NOT want to mess with research into creating a place where machines decide what is "best for us!" :? :o
stanky
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Re: Feelgood story of the day

Post by stanky »

read that story ages ago, it seems. I remember one scene at the end wherein one guy stabbed another, through his mouth, with an icicle that pinned his head to the wall. Another guy was eating someone's face, simultaneously. Because they had no can opener. They simply snapped. They were starving.

Um, how did this slip into the "feelgood" thread?
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