Ideally

Ideally, we stick to our ideals. I deal, I do, I do what I think is right. Deal the cards, deal ’em straight, do not ever cheat That’s an ideal. I deal, dealing, doing. Do it. It’s that simple. It’s not a word game, it’s not any kind of game at all. It’s real life, and if you think that is a game, well, play as best you can, but every game has losers and winners.
Ah, you say, now I’ve got ’im. He thinks he’s good, but I’ve got ’im. You are thinking: who’s ideals? Mine, or his, or the ideals of a zealous maniac? Well, I forgot to mention that you have to think about your ideals. You have to realize that they are your ideals, because you have evaluated them and found them to be sound. You can’t just take someone else’s ideals and make them your own. I doesn’t work that way. The ideals of a zealous maniac are not true ideals, because they have been planted in him. The zealous maniac has never thought them through to their insane conclusions. Well, there are, of course, exceptions.
Here we come to the question of indoctrination. Can you indoctrinate an ideal? No. You can indoctrinate an idea, but you cannot indoctrinate ideals. Ideals can be presented, taken or left aside . . . they cannot be indoctrinated, because, by (admittedly, my) definition, they are something that every single individual must think through and establish for themselves.
Here we come to the question of moral responsibility, and that’s the core of it all. Each and every single one of us is morally responsible for what we do. What are morals? you may ask. What is morally correct, what is not? Is that not a question of upbringing, of indoctrination? No, it is not. Each individual has to think about it. That is the key. If we could find a way to release every single human being from his indoctrination, to allow each person to actually think, I am convinced that they would all come to a similar, if not exact same, conclusion.
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The conclusion could be described as enlightened self-interest. Or – yeah, I know, straight outa the Bible, baby – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just because it’s a stupid religious book that has caused incredibly nonsensical wars and the destruction of countless good-willed people doesn’t mean it’s completely devoid of good ideas.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Can you, as an individual, honestly deny the value of that phrase? Can you, in the dark hours of the night, say to yourself, ‘fuck that’? Can you really, in the depths of your heart, cynical though you may be, having really thought it through, deny that simple truth?
Unless, of course, you are a masochist, in which case you’d have to become a sadist in order to agree with what I’ve just said, haha.
All this reminds me of the determinists. Mistakenly, many people believe that the determinists propagate some kind of preprogrammed world, along the lines of ‘it is written, so shall it come to pass.’ Or that they will undermine the morals we’ve all built up, remove the feeling that one is responsible for one’s actions. This is not the case. Very misunderstood, those poor determinists, but I won’t go in to that now.
What interests me about them is that they want to substantiate their ideas with scientific evidence. So they’re connected to the part of science which is investigating how the human brain works at the most basic level, even beyond the level at which you might suppose free will originates. These scientists see that something is going on in your brain at a point where it hasn’t yet presented you with a single thought, not even at an unconscious level. They’ve delved deeper, and they are saying that our thoughts aren’t ours, in a sense, because what we think, what we perceive to be a spontaneous decision, comes from a level of physical, chemical reactions that have determined what we do. Though I agree with many things the determinists say, the evidence submitted thus far is very controversial, and completely open to interpretation. Since I am not a scientist, I can comfortably dispense with the necessity of substantiating my statements with tons of statical data (likely skewed).
I think I’ll just stick to my romantic ideals for the time being. Neurons, you’re fired. What for? For even thinking about this shit.

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Nobody Knows

Nobody knows how things will go on from here. Nobody knows. So don’t worry about it too much. Do what you can to anchor yourself in this insane flood we call life, and help others to do so if you can. We’ll all see what comes out in the end, whether we want to or not.
Determinism says you do what you do because of genetic predispositions and social conditioning aka environment. But that still doesn’t mean they can determine your behavior, so go do something crazy to drive them up the statistical wall, please, if you would be so kind. Exercise your free will. Had my fill of statistics lately. I’d rather hear music. Listening to Habib Koité, Saramaya. And now Mannse Cise. Like a damned classical arrangement, if it weren’t for the African rhythms and instruments.
Do I digress, perhaps?
Ah, hell. Just don’t listen to anybody, and do what you want to do, having thought it through. You’ve only got this one life, and when it’s done, it’s done. It’s your last chance. Do it, after considering the consequences. The only thing I ask is that you don’t hurt others on the way if you can possibly help it. Don’t hurt other sentient beings. What’s sentient? you might ask. Fuck if I know, you’ll just have to figure that out on the way. I consider most dogs I’ve known to be sentient, and I’ve met a few humans who left me in doubt. Perhaps sentience is not a the right criterion anyway . . . it’s for you to decide. It’s subjective. Nobody knows.
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And when your time comes, don’t take it so hard. Remember the good moments, and let them go. If die you must, then die with dignity. And if circumstances should prevent you from dying with dignity, then at least go down proud of what you have done in life, no matter how prosaic it may seem in retrospect. Wotthehell. Better than nothing.

The Animal in Me (Letter from the Editor)

Many authors choose an animal to represent their persona. It might be a kangaroo, or a swamp rabbit, or whatever. Aesop used animals to illustrate his ideas, in order to make them more accessible. It’s easier to read things about animals, things that might actually apply to yourself, than to believe that a human being might think so.
I’ve chosen a human: Mr. Hellstrøm. He’s an animal too, of course; we humans are all animals. And that’s the point, in a way.
Did you know that animals smell sweet? Have you ever smelled the forehead of a young dog? It’s the sweetest smell imaginable, apart from the smell of your own baby. Of course, animals also sometimes smell like shit. Babies too.
In any case, when you present ideas, no matter how nonsensical or enlightening, as if they came from an animal, people are more ready to accept them. That is exactly what I want to avoid.
I don’t want you to accept what I present here, I want you to think about it. Maybe those thoughts will lead to nowhere, but at least you will have thought them. I don’t want to make it easy for you. Unlike Aesop, I am not trying to propagate. I may seem opinionated, and arrogant . . . and I am. But that’s just part of believing in what you believe in, and presenting it with verve; it’s not propagating. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I am not dissing Aesop. Definitely a cool dude, and I personally love his fables. But I want to go to a level beyond that. I am assuming you are able to deal with it. If you are still reading, then read on.
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If you’ve read around here, then you know that Hellstrøm is a cynical animal. He is a sophisticated animal, otherwise he could not possibly be cynical. Cynicism presupposes a certain level of sophistication, a certain level  of self-detachment that is not, as far as we know, present in animals. Who knows, maybe the animals laugh about us for being so arrogant as to suppose that . . . but I doubt it. So, let us assume that attributing these feelings to an animal is unrealistic, though it may make said feelings more edible for the reader.
Uhh, where was I? So much for the editor being in control.
I’ll tell you one thing: in every blog entry is a sliver of truth, a tiny sliver of me. It’s like I am a loaf of bread, and I take a microscopically thin slice of me and turn in to an entire loaf. That is what makes it interesting for me, and, I hope, for the readers. Slivers of truth contained in wild stories and insanity and musings and ravings and fuck it all. But do not believe that you will come to know my soul, just because I let the little animal in me speak here. It’s just a slice of bread, dammit, it’s not the whole truth. It’s not my life, and you should not take it literally. Each blog entry is just a tiny piece of me, extrapolated upon ad infinitum by Mr. Hellstrøm.
So it would seem that Mr. Hellstrøm is my animal after all, no matter how he or I may buck up against the fact. He might as we’ll be a fucking kangaroo. He boxes when threatened, doesn’t that count? A drunken foolish kangaroo who just can’t stop writing crazy things. Well, if it’s easier for you to think of him like that, so be it.

Luxury Before Necessity

I’ve moved again, moved out of your brain. I hate moving. Nevertheless, there are advantages. I’ve got money at the moment –won’t say how– and I can afford to make the new place the way I want it. God damn, it’s a bloody wonder what you can do with money. I got a ton of furniture given to me, I had to turn down half a dozen couches; I, beggar that I am, got to pick and choose. And then, for sundries, I had, for my taste, a lot of fucking money. What did I do? I bought luxuries. I bought a new headset, I bought a cool bluetooth speaker that I control with my cell-phone, I got plisse blinds, custom fit to my damned windows. Nobody seemed to have a bed left over, thank God, so I bought a bed made of oak, a good slatted frame, and a mattress that’ll last until I’m dead. Add to that cambric linen bedding. Motherfucker, you wouldn’t believe what that all cost.
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Unfortunately, my lighting is limited to reading lamps. Two. Makes me go to bed early (well, unless I simply do without light, excepting the light that comes from my monitor), and the early worm, as everyone knows… I have a television, but no connection (I’ll miss those vignettes from your brain). Well, I have a connection, but I’d have to pay to have it activated. Does that count as a necessity? Not for me. Light? Ahh, I’ll get by. I have to wash my dishes per hand, no dishwasher. If I stopped drinking for a a couple months I could buy a dishwasher, but… necessity? Nah.
Drinking a mudslide, listening to Vorbei ist vorbei from Die Ärzte –it’s blasting out on the new bleutooth loudspeakers in the neighboring room– and thinking: Yeah.
Luxury before necessity. I catch myself thanking God that the level of my „necessity“ is so high. My supposed necessity is another man’s luxury. I could sink to his level, and I would still be satisfied. The fact is that I live at an incredibly high level of civilization, a level which I don’t need. I got music, any time I want, and drugs, and a bed so incredibly comfortable that it boggles the mind. Do I need all these things?
The answer is easy: No. I don’t need all that. I Love it, I enjoy it, but I don’t need it. I’d be just as happy sleeping on a palm-matt. Probably happier. Most humans are happy as long as they don’t have to fight for their lives on a basic level. Sure, they want to improve on things, that’s the way humans are, but basically their doing fine.
As I think these thoughts, further delights are awaiting me. I had today off, and I took the opportunity, being flush at the moment, to buy two expensive bottles of rosé and some smoked salmon. This is what I mean with luxury. That salmon is waiting for me….
And now comes a song that reminds me of my previous (and still) love, and I revel in my regrets, my melancholy. That, too, is a luxury. If I was looking for my next meal, I wouldn’t have time for this mental self-torture crap. And I’d probably be healthier and happier for it. Looking for the next grub, and thankful if I found it.
All this make me fearful for the way humanity is going. All these things surrounding me, the plates, the forks; what good are they? The salmon lies on the plate, enticing, lovely. The bread toasts in the toaster. It’s lovely, these are the fruits of civilization, but…
It’s luxury. And it doesn’t make a damned difference. Yes, I enjoyed buying all these things, but it didn’t make me happy. I will enjoy eating the salmon on fresh toasted white bread, but it won’t make me happy. Give me that woman back, then I will be happy. I’d gladly live with her in the meanest hovel, scraping lichens from the rocks in the winter to get through… then I’d be happy.

Time

You lose. There is a sort of deep ferocity about it, isn’t there? The next are waiting. It’s cruel, time. You simply can’t win against time, being mortal. You’ll never get to say all you wanted to… there isn’t enough time. You’re waiting for the right moment, and it just isn’t there. Or it has already past… you’re not fast enough. By the time you’re old enough to realize what you want to say, no one is listening anymore. Time’s up, you’re fucked. Well, perhaps it’s all for the best. Or not. You’ll never know, because you’ll be dead. In any case, you’re fucked.
Listening to Turkeychase, from Bob Dylan, by the by.
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