Nabokov: Redux or, The Principle Of Three,

Posted in 4FoW, dancing, life, love unrequited, pathetic old man, philosophy, useless self-pity by expatatlarge on June 19, 2011

E@L does have a million things to confess to, to enlighten you with, to explain, to reveal and to review, to explicate, to examine and allow you to cogitate over, as he does himself, given the time.

Time? Things to talk about? So little, so many.

Like Tristram Shandy, E@L is afraid that the cataloguing and explanation of his life has become more and more frustratingly difficult as time slips away from him, as that evaluation of one’s life is for all of us, is a task never ends, unlike the life itself, which has its inexorable termination. Incident upon incident stumble over themselves and demand to be discussed, each incident requiring more words, even though it builds upon the facts of the earlier.

Forever in E@L’s blogging heart lurks the question that no blogger should ever given utterance to (well, not so much, at least lately) …

— Why?

— Why bother?

OK, that’s two questions but you get E@’s point. If E@L can’t keep up with what’s going on, what’s the point of your people hanging around? Don’t talk to me about the unexamined life…

For example…


E@L has been on an extended tour as the previous posts might have told you, had you the wisdom to know of them, and the last 10 days have been in Croatia with Izzy, her TALL Bosnian boyfriend and another young, independent lady, of whom more, obliquely, soon.

C***-struck. Err, Croatia-struck that is. Amazing place, party time, great food and wine, old buildings, history, stoney beaches, Listerine-blue clear water. Great place to have sex, we are told. Unfortunately if you’re E@L’s age you better have an 80ft ocean going yacht to back up the size of your cigar if you want to win the heart and/or pussy of the lady who’s lounging beside you at Carpe Diem for the evening …

But Pussy-Struck, that’s an entirely other type of story.


The tip of the tongue takes a trip down the the palate to tap at three on the clitoris, or E@L’s would if it was allowed.

Yes, that sad, sad creature, the obsessed and depressed man out of his depth and mind with Nabokovian, Lolitian, illegal in some countries, desire… That was E@L for the last week or so. In the midst of all this amazing scenery and beauty, completely gone was he on the tight arse attached to the tanned legs walking in front of him.

Desire. What a word! Fuck-nutty is also a good word, little bit less serious, but hey.

Cramping over, his gut churning with physical discomfort brought on by irrational emotional disturbances, his brain reeling with completely reality-divorced fantasies. If ever there was a bust to Descarte’s mind/body dualism, then sexual longing, unrequited lust, is it.

Here’s this old fat bald ugly (yet mildly amusing) man, Dantean-forest-lost in self-hatred, self-revulsion and chronic self-abuse: and here’s this (way too) young (but not a teenager) elfin wisp of a thing, completely in control of her bi-sex-life, completely, (or pretending to be completely) unaware of the lust and longing that gives rise to E@L’s stomach acids (and his occasional bouts of depression and weeping), completely indifferent to it (as it should be) one presumes, and no matter how amusing the self-deprecating stories this Humbert Humbert may mumble out at 4am, and no matter that they are sharing a bedroom, E@L is not going to manage a successful sexual connection. Maybe if he asked politely, you say? Maybe, yes, but what can we expect, how will we ever know? E@L can’t even order kopi with kaya toast correctly

And don’t you lecture him. about the moral ambiguity here, about the lessons we all should have learned. Don’t talk to E@L about the classics, your Dostoevsky, your Shakespeare, your Thomas Hardy, your P.G. Wodehouse, the plays and poetry, the novels and the fillums. He know, he knows. He probably knows better than most of you… He has read about it, watched appalled as other men, good men, true men, were sucked into the vortex of it. But he has also watched masters surf it with skill and joy, their used condoms falling back like the bubbles of latex with traces of toxic albumen in them that they are, onto the streets below.

Unattractive stupid old man and immensely attractive clever young woman, new? A NEW thing? Read the death notices for details. Read the applications for the restraining orders.


Of course E@L recognizes it. He is actually enjoying the pain of it, sucking it in, it’s grist to his mill of incident. He is trying to retain the feeling or its memory, but like hunger or satiety, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Until the next time.

It’s every love-lorn tourist’s story in Bangkok, is it not?

E@L has identified the causative agent in cases like this. It is the as yet un-blogged-about “Principle of The Three”.

If one goes back to the same hooker bar and talks to the same hooker for the third time (the third time is the charm they always say) then the trap has been fired. New neuronal pathways have been established. Those lines about , “You are so handsome”, “You heb good heart”, etc… have been burned with serotonin into a new depiction of reality. The brain is a living organism (for some of us) and is capable of almost anything (except communicating effectively with cafe staff).

And the mere proximity to a cute babe, hooker or not (as in this case) over a period of three or more days can have the same type of effect. Particularly if she is nice to you. OMG how quickly “She’s nice to me” can become, “oh she’s attracted to me”…

How irrational are we, I mean, fuck it’s just unbelievable.


And when you are a cute, sexually energised, in-control female and this previously nice avuncular, nearly three times your age, sister’s ex-flat-mate starts drooling in your general direction, well it can get get creepy and it’s best to ignore it and go out and try to fuck the people you really came here to fuck, like young international party hunks or the rich old cigar guys on their 80ft yachts, and just be polite to the creepy old guy in the bed opposite (when, if, you get home that night/morning).

But as E@L has noted before – everyone wants to fuck good-looking (or rich, if you’re Singaporean) people. Even ugly people want to fuck good-looking people. But as for good-looking people wanting to fuck ugly people? (i.e. the rest of us), well ah there’s your mis-match.


Still it’s reassuring to know that his heart still beats within its copious emotional frame, that amino acids can be stirred into stomach burning action, that there is pain other than in the idiopathic neuropathy of his feet. Nothing new here, move along nothing to see. Man being stupid.

Its just that happens in the stoney cold heart of E@L so rarely that E@L has to post it, and he will apologize to the parties concerned later.


Yes, E@L can remain emotionally detached from his intellectual confusion – um, maybe he means the other way around. Um. Maybe not. Well he can write about it here, because hey, who gives a fuck, nobody’s listening, but for other reason’s as well…

Because E@L has been on the receiving end, he’s been in the same situation (apart from the being cute and young bit) himself.

There *are* (as in *have been*) women in and around E@L’s life (and not only the 50ft Zombie Divorcees of expat-land) who have become d***-struck for him, for some Darwin-forsaken superficial reasons.

We mean that there are women who had become emotionally linked, but from their side only, to E@L. OK, when we say ‘some’, E@L means one or two. E@L might like these ladies, indeed he *does* like these ladies. But never in a month of first days of the month would E@L consider sleeping with any of them. Last lady on earth sort of thing. But nice people one and all. And E@L was nice back to them, which only exacerbates the situation.

And so E@L understands the complete bemusement with which the object of his obscure desire fends off any clumsy, debasing (for E@L), and creepy (for her), moves, just as he has said, “Thanks, nioce to see you, please back off now”, to his own unwanted, wannabe paramours.

(There’s the as yet un-written novel/chapter/page/paragraph/C&P of this sentence tale of the surreptitious stroke on the arm from one stalker lady as E@L was kissing farewell to his then genuine ex-girl-friend. Urghh. Creepy.)


These completely incoherent thoughts are not meant to indicate anything to anybody, btw.

It’s been four days since E@L had a decent sleep – more posts need to be discoursed upon concerning those days in the Croatian sun, those evenings Tequila Booming and clubbing until the wee hours. E@L needs to have more time than E@L has lifetime available, enough time to do them justice, every minute a philosophy.

He wants to do his various dances (Joyce vacuuming, the sprinkler, big fish little fish cardboard box) more. Tonight, at the Singapore Beerfest, he would have bopped and wiggled to elevator music (those jumping on the tables and chairs things during the U2 covers set, they were most embarrassing, could please E@L have this evening back), the niteclub beats were still with him (plus listening to Daft Punk TRON Legacy on the plane back) from Thursday night with the girls. Those memories are in heavy rotation in E@L’s head.

As are the memories of E@L walking through the crowds outside the Singapore Flyer crying out like a preacher, calling out from his soul things like: “My life is a mere husk of truth, a sham, a lie, all is emptiness. I am not who you have thought I am. I need reality. I need truth, but I cannot find it amongst you people! Taxi driver, take me to the Towers…”

And the trip to Orchard Towers tonight with an over-emotional Bruce who may or may not have touched the scrotum sac of your truly, though in jest [oops and FB evidence surfaces of vice versa], that was 20 minutes of hell, from the great pile of someone else’s crap all over the toilet seat, to the choking testosterone fumes in Ip-an-enemas. All those memories needs to be expunged as well. There is not enough time, nor the need to talk about them anymore.

Maybe the truth is that E@L doesn’t need the Towers, for he certainly doesn’t want them. If there was only some other way (beyond frantic masturbation). And so he left tonight by himself, carrying a $10 posie of flowers from the guy in the wheelchair at the entrance. E@L sniffed the roses, so nice. All other things OT completely revolted and repulsed him.

What he wants and what he needs (but doesn’t really need, though it would be nice) is to fuck Izzy’s horny little sister till the stars explode.


And none of this is going to happen or needs to happen.

Because the words are here now, this is the reality of it for you, dear reader. Anyone else’s opinion is mere facts.

On the other hand, there’s always love. A love without self-pity.


*one word from anyone involved and this comes down if that is their wish*


Atlas De-Shrugged In The Playgroup

Posted in Ayn Rand - what a bitch, greek mythology, parody, philosophy, plagiarism, playgroups by expatatlarge on August 21, 2010

Since the day Johanna was born, we’ve worked to indoctrinate her into the truth of Objectivism. Every night we read to her from the illustrated, unabridged edition of Atlas Shrugged—glossing over all the hardcore sex parts, mind you, but dwelling pretty thoroughly on the stuff about being proud of what you’ve earned and not letting James Taggart-types bring you down. For a long time we were convinced that our efforts to free her mind were for naught, but recently, as we’ve started socializing her a little bit, we’ve been delighted to find that she is completely antipathetic to the concept of sharing. As parents, we couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.

That’s why, when Johanna then began berating your son, accusing him of trying to coerce from her a moral sanction of his theft of the fruit of her labor, in as many words, I kind of egged her on. Even when Aiden started crying.

I was not sure if it was morally correct to copy and excerpt this hilarious parody from Eric Hague (complete article at McSweeney’s) but after reading “A Greek Mythological Person Did NOT Raise His Shoulders in a Questioning Way After All”, I say fuck him, this is MY blog and I’ll take the fruit of another’s labor any time I feckin’ want – it’s my right (as I see it) as a born-again Subjectivist.


Quotes Of The Day

Posted in literature, little book of calm, philosophy, quote of the day, writers by expatatlarge on April 5, 2010

The Sage of Göttingen

Physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) is not widely remembered outside Germany — which is a great pity, as his notebooks contain some of history’s most trenchant aphorisms:

* If countries were named after the words you first hear when you go there, England would have to be called Damn It.

* What they call “heart” lies much lower than the fourth waistcoat button.

* What a pity it isn’t a sin to drink water, cried an Italian, how good it would taste.

* A book is a mirror: If an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.

* The often unreflected respect for old laws, old customs, and old religion we have to thank for all mischief in the world.

* It is we who are the measure of what is strange and miraculous: If we sought a universal measure the strange and miraculous would not occur and all things would be equal.

* Just as there are polysyllabic words that say very little, so there are also monosyllabic words of infinite meaning.

* If walking on two legs is not natural to man it is certainly an invention that does him credit.

* It is almost impossible to carry the torch of wisdom through a crowd without singeing someone’s beard.

* Now that education is so easy, men are drilled for greatness, just as dogs are trained to retrieve. In this way we’ve discovered a new sort of genius, those great at being drilled. These are the people who are mainly spoiling the market.

* Can it be that the evil in the world is in general of more use than the good?

* Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.

The “waste books” were admired by Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Freud, and even Tolstoy wondered “why the Germans of the present day neglect this writer so much.” He never got an answer.

(This post entirely lifted from the remarkable Futility Closet).


Love the last one.


Why I Quit My Philosophy Course

Posted in christ was a failure, despair, Kierkegaard, mid-life crisis, philosophy by expatatlarge on January 19, 2009

Q1: What is “the self”?

A: The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation’s relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation’s relating itself to itself… In the relation between two, the relation is the third as a negative unity, and the two relate to the relation and in the relation to the relation; thus under the qualification of the psychical the relation between the psychical and the physical is a relation. If, however, the relation relates itself to itself, this relation is the positive third, and this is the self. Søren Aaybe Kierkegaard, Sickness Unto Death

Wrong! Søren, you are driving me to despair. It’s almost like you want me to be unhappy, as if that is what you consider to be the truth (YOUR truth) of existence. Your logic is like a best-selling self-help book that says, “The answer is not in any self-help book, and certainly not this one.”

It requires an amazing leap of faith to understand whatever the fuck you are talking about. Lift your game, boyo. See me after class. I’ll give you the fear, you bring the trembling.


I have absolutely no idea what that passage is saying. Am I stupid?


I have no idea (yes I do, I am lying to myself – it is because I am getting old) why I have taken up trying to read such impenetrable philosphy texts. (Not all, indeed not much, of Kierkegaard is quite as abstruse as this, thank whomever. But more is coming from Amazon!)

Is it a desire to understand why my life has been so non-descript and so non-productive? Is this a real or an imaginary problem? Is it merely the expected MLC?

*Have* I lived a proper life? Am I doing the right thing now? Am I thinking the right thoughts? Am I saying the correct words? Am I writing the funniest jokes? And if so, who have I stolen them from? What should I do next with my life? Buy big in the STI?

Questions keep arising (in my mind only, I haven’t been blogging a lot of this lately) about the power I have (in the form of cash in the bank) and what I should do with it. Should I imitate Christ, (also currently reading Balzac’s The Wrong Side Of Paris, purely coincidentally about a MLC guy who joins a secret religious charitable sect in the late 19th century) or should I get a massive ouija board tattooed on my back and impersonate Creepy instead? Should I get a boat and pretend I am Dick Headley cruising around the Caribe?

But then, Mr Kierkegaard (or Mr Balzac), if Christ was such a great guy (let’s face it, he is the one being in the universe who is a synthesis of the aesthetical “present”, the supra-moral “eternal” – q.f. Heideggers ‘Being and Time’, Neitzche’s ‘Beyond Good and Evil’) then, rather than doing his healing and teaching on such an ad hoc basis, why didn’t he educate some of those apostles as medical staff and teach them some of the basic rules of medicine/hygeine.

Getting those health care workers to wash their hands and showing them the simple trick of isolating the contagious would have been pretty easy lessons for the Lord of the Creation to pass on, and those pearls would have “saved” millions of lives over the millenia.

In fact, why didn’t he set up some sort of free health care system, or a group of hospitals healing the lame (splints/crutches/bone-setting), raising the dead (CPR, the Heimlich maneouvre) and so forth, maybe even a pre-cursor to the Red Cross, spreading good deeds and simple life-saving first-aid across the Levant?

Hey. What about some schools for the young and curious, big guy? Great teacher, right!

Literacy and health, how hard can it be if you are of the same substance as the creator of the universe?

And why was there no structured organization in the early church for the efficient management and distribution of all those charitable goods from the rich who were bent on following him? Where was the distribution system that ensured that what was donated made it to the needy and desitute? Something like OxFam, or the World Food Program. Why did it have to wait for St Vincent De Paul to get this logistical piece of cake moving at all?

You’d think all that experience with distribution of the loaves and fishes would have given the apostles something like a workable blueprint…

I am sure I’d do better imitating Warren Buffett. Or Pavarotti – at least I look like him (with a bit of false hair here and there).

Or should I just go out and get laid? (This question is not part of the test.)