Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring.
Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating."

-- Simone Weil


  1. this similar to the real life is always stranger than fiction thing?

  2. I just had to go look up Simone Weil. Geez, what a fascinating life story, for someone who died at 34.

  3. Bijoux - I think it's related to what Hannah Arendt said about the banality of evil (am I being just insufferably highbrow with all this?)

    It's about how we tend to think of evil as interesting and/or romantic, and good as bland and boring, but in reality, it's quite the other way around. . . (Think of the difference between Bonnie and Clyde and Goodfellas. . .)

    I also think of CS Lewis' book, The Great Divorce, in which Heaven is more substantial, more real than earthly life, to the point that blades of heavenly grass feel like knife-blades to the feet of new arrivals. And yet, as we live our lives in this world, we tend to think of Heaven as 'thin and ethereal'. . .

    Reminds me of what the old philosophers used to say about evil as 'non-being' - evil has no real existence of its own, except as a loss or privation of the Good, which is 'the Real Stuff'. . .

    Yeesh; sorry to ramble on so long; thanks for stopping by. . . ;)

    FTN - Hey, you've got a new icon! Are you givin' somebody noogies there?

    Yeah, Ms. Weil was a very interesting person. . .

  4. i'm seeing some parallels between real evil/imaginary good and imaginary evil/real good....or maybe my brain fratiis just tired.

  5. Lime - I'm pretty sure you're tired. 'Cuz I have no idea what 'fratiis' means. . .


    As I read it, it's making a point about how we think of things vs how they really are - how we think outlaws and gangsters, or Hitler or bin Laden, are interesting and romantic, but the reality of evil isn't like that at all. . .

    It's one of the reasons I appreciate the movie Goodfellas (I stop short of saying I 'like' it) - by the time the movie is over, you're clear that there is nothing remotely admirable about these guys at ALL. . .

    And on the flip side, the fairy tales all end when the prince marries the heroine - 'cuz being married is the boring part. But honestly, that's when it just starts to get interesting. . .

  6. I like what the quote is trying to convey... but I'm not sure I can wholeheartedly agree with the assumptions. Except in the case of the assumption about Real Good.

    just sayin.

    **it is also a possibility that I'm feeling somewhat Contrary tonight**


  7. Flutter - Contrary? You?


    So then, you think evil really IS cool? Or. . . no, wait. . . you don't think it's cool, but it really is. . . Did I say that right?

  8. Watch nearly any movie out there and the imaginary evil point is made quite clearly .....

    ... but then again, look at this world we live in. I would say that the allure of evil is in the eye of the beholder. An overt perpetrator sees real evil as romantic and varied. The rest of us, the recreational practitioners, use it as a tool of opportunity. If we can 'get away' with it and feel it provides some sort of benefit we may just go for it, use it as a tool of convenience.

    When it comes to good, we over-inflate our own and undervalue that of others either out of guilt or jealousy or maybe just ignorance. All too often we ignore real good and instead focus our efforts/attentions on those who surprise us with a moment of goodness. "Oh, he/she has a good heart!". Every time I hear that now I mark it down as a warning. It has never failed me as an indicator of someone to avoid or to thwart.

  9. Xavier - Yeah, the movies convey that point rather, um, thoroughly, don't they?

    And -

    ". . .the rest of us, the recreational practitioners, use it as a tool of opportunity. . ."

    Sharp insight, right there. . .