The Great Philosophical Divide in Science Fiction

TomorrowLand Concept art

Life without utopia is suffocating, for the multitude at least: threatened otherwise with petrifaction, the world must have a new madness. — Cioran, History and Utopia

There’s a fault line running in science fiction that predates it: the Great Optimism -Pessimism divide. The most obvious trope of each is the role of utopia/dystopia in the science fiction work, but that is slightly more complicated than it appears.

Continue reading The Great Philosophical Divide in Science Fiction

Alan Moore and fan fiction

Some years ago, Alan Moore, the acclaimed author of Watchmen and Miracleman, claimed that all comics after the 1960s were fan fiction, largely for several reasons related to the massive replacement of the original writers with a younger generation.

I will argue why he is right… and why he’s wrong. Continue reading Alan Moore and fan fiction

Heterodox Dictionary

AMBITION: the overpowering desire to be slandered by enemies while alive & made ludicrous by friends once dead.
CONFORMIST: one who lives by imitation & by horror of originality.
CONSERVATIVE: one who is fascinated with current perversities, as opposed to the liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones.
COMMON SENSE: why everyone can be wrong at the same time.
CONVICTION: an obvious sign somebody has failed to examine his beliefs thoroughly.
CYNIC: a person who knows too much but doesn’t believe in much.
DEMAGOGUERY: a fault in the thinker, an art in the priest, an accomplishment in the politician & second-nature in the journalist.
DESPAIR: indecision between the corruption of Epicureanism & the noble poise of Stoicism.
DIPLOMAT: someone always on the verge of saying either the banal or the blunder.
ECOLOGY: the opium of today’s liberal elites.
EDUCATION: the indoctrination of the inscrutable into the incurious by the impotent.
ENEMY: someone whose judgment of us is more honest than our own.
ENNUI: crucifixion for the rest of us.
EXPERT: someone whose prudence in avoiding petty errors gives her a blank check to perpetuate monumental fallacies by the dozens.
FACEBOOK: helping emo bitch inflate drama since 2004.
FLATTERY: the weapon designed to enslave, demoralize and corrupt others.
FOOL: someone independent of anxiety, forlornness, meaninglessness, and other existentialist moods
GOD: a man made invention that prevents mass suicides.
HIGHBROW: educated beyond one’s intellectual level.
HONESTY: the cynicism of prostitutes.
HUMANISM: the reason why we would nail Prometheus, the first humanist, to a rock today.
IDEA: a simulation that eventually degenerates into a petty belief.
IDEALIST: someone who hasn’t stepped in the ring vs reality & gotten punched in the nose.
INTELLECTUAL: a guy who found something more interesting than women.
JEALOUSY: the respect many women have for one another.
LAUGHTER: scrupulous hostility.
LIE: a crude stand-in for truth, but the only available alternative.
MAN: an inexhaustible source of humor for the gods.
METAPHYSICS: the elaboration of shitty reasons for what we already believe in our bones.
MINI SKIRT: the logical conclusion to 6000 years of feminine wisdom.
PARADOX: whenever underdeveloped insight collides with current stupidity.
PEACE: the sleep of ambition.
PESSIMIST: a person exclusively devoted to untimely truths.
PHILOSOPHY: the conversion of cognitive vice into epistemic virtue.
RELIGION: the antidote to the ironic death of metanarratives.
SALVATION: the subtlest & most camouflaged of all torments.
SARCASM: mockery masquerading as an endorsement.
SELF: the greatest dogma, for nothing insulates as well as self-esteem.
TRAITOR (greatest): a Judas with the soul of Buddha.
TRUTH: either a premature insight or a symptom of decay.
TWITTER: the privilege of the narcissistic class.
WISDOM:  a clever form of inauthenticity.
WISDOM (2): a dead end that pretends to be a discipline.

Existentialism in Pantheon

I had an epiphany a few days ago: the graphic novel I am working on, Pantheon, is a vampire novel. I mean, it doesn’t obviously share with many traditional elements (blood sucking, undead creatures), but they both feature immortal beings that reflect on our humanity in many ways, and most importantly in an existential fashion. Continue reading Existentialism in Pantheon

Creation, by Gore Vidal

In the beginning…

A historical novel by Gore Vidal, Creation is an Odysseus styled dialectic on religious dogma. The main character, Cyrus Spitama, is the grandson of Zarathustra, and his encounters with other 5th century sages are clearly the highlights of the novel. Cyrus is fixated on the question of creation, or the origin of the universe or human existence. Initially he was indoctrinated by Zarathustra, specifically the dualistic ontology of Zoroastrianism. Convinced with this religious truth, he sets out to test the alternative answers or non-answers of other wise men, such as those from the East: the Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tze, and the West: Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, and etc. However, the book demonstrates how much of a fatal flaw the question of creation was for Western philosophy, because it always was the wrong question. Continue reading Creation, by Gore Vidal

Leopardi and pessimism


Leopardi, wondering if he left the TV on....
Leopardi, wondering if he left the TV on….


Giacomo Leopardi is one of the greatest secrets of 19th century poetry. Despite being heralded by luminaries like Schopenhauer1 and Nietzsche, his fame remains scattered in Europe and hardly extends to the American hemisphere. Leopardi’s Zibaldone di pensieri2 was read by every school kid but they barely cracked open his Operette Morali.3 The likely culprit is an irredeemable pessimism that was too difficult for interpreters to connect it to contemporary issues. Leopardi wrote mostly moral essays, parables, fables, and dialogues – painting life as a joke of the gods – a darkly comic view of world and its inhabitants. However, instead of leaving the reader sad and pathetic, they are actually funny.  Continue reading Leopardi and pessimism

Pantheon and Christ

I have been thinking about the best or most appropriate way to tackle the relationship between Christ and the gods of Pantheon, and recently I came across a potential approach in Sloterdijk’s “Cabinet of Cynics” chapter from Critique of Cynical Reason where he goes through the five embodiment of cynicism through history. The first suspect is none other than Diogenes, who embodied the low theory version in his decided opposition to the all-too serious discourse of Socrates & Plato. Kynicism was based on the animal nature of man, where the gestures of the body were framed as arguments (farting or shitting or whacking off in public). In other words Diogenes poked fun at his grave opponents, but instead of talking against such idealism, he lived in opposition in an anti-theoretical, anti-dogmatic and anti-scholastic way. Continue reading Pantheon and Christ

A vote for retromodernism

I came across this fascinating article on about the corrupting influence of nostalgia on contemporary culture. The argument of so-called Generation Void is that retro-zeitgeist nostalgia has mutated to the point that there’s no longer any original work anymore. Continue reading A vote for retromodernism