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SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010




Gun Saliva

COOL CORN posted:

Tommy Ligotti's "Special Plan for This World" is suicide right

I listened to Current 93's version of it this morning and now my mood for the day is ruined lol

I disagree. I consider it to be some kind of philosophical retrogenisis mindset. Like un-separating the light and darkness as was done in the first part of the bible. The strangely shining light and darkness before there was night and day.

It sort of reminds me of uh, what's that one where aliens appear and a linguist figures out their language and it breaks her sense of time and causality? I get the same kind of feeling from special plan were there's some kind of extremely weird woldview that cracks... idk some kind of logical relationship that people take for granted.

When the puppets look at the puppet master they become something else and it's kind of like once you peer through the gaps and see things as they really are you can't go back, and it's best to do this when everything is finished and you can put away the things you care about, because if you do it before then it may be more regrettable, because to others you will be seen as alternately-sane at best. This is also related to the narrator teaching the kids about the true nature of the world -- it's a plan that will continue to tick away after he dies.

It sort of reminds me of those stories where people get buddha'd up but use that power for something that would be considered bad if they were still subject to normal morality.

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No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

SniperWoreConverse posted:

It sort of reminds me of those stories where people get buddha'd up but use that power for something that would be considered bad if they were still subject to normal morality.

That makes sense. It's not nihilism for self-hatred's sake, it's nihilism for the good of the world, for a reason that people can't yet understand.

drat, he Li-got me again

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


COOL CORN posted:

Tommy Ligotti's "Special Plan for This World" is suicide right

I listened to Current 93's version of it this morning and now my mood for the day is ruined lol

the earth has grown tired and all of your time has expired

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG




Bleak Gremlin

chernobyl kinsman posted:

have you read wuthering heights

Every time this gets recommended I spend half of the day humming Kate Bush its getting pathological

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





SniperWoreConverse posted:

I disagree. I consider it to be some kind of philosophical retrogenisis mindset. Like un-separating the light and darkness as was done in the first part of the bible. The strangely shining light and darkness before there was night and day.

It sort of reminds me of uh, what's that one where aliens appear and a linguist figures out their language and it breaks her sense of time and causality? I get the same kind of feeling from special plan were there's some kind of extremely weird woldview that cracks... idk some kind of logical relationship that people take for granted.

When the puppets look at the puppet master they become something else and it's kind of like once you peer through the gaps and see things as they really are you can't go back, and it's best to do this when everything is finished and you can put away the things you care about, because if you do it before then it may be more regrettable, because to others you will be seen as alternately-sane at best. This is also related to the narrator teaching the kids about the true nature of the world -- it's a plan that will continue to tick away after he dies.

It sort of reminds me of those stories where people get buddha'd up but use that power for something that would be considered bad if they were still subject to normal morality.

I agree with this, and I think also it's suicide.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





SniperWoreConverse posted:

Uldolpho was not a one I was able to get into. Turn of the screw imo was not worth it either, I just can't really deal with the mindset of those people I guess.

I really liked Turn of the Screw but it's not one you can go into with the expectations you'd put on a modern horror story. I also tend to dislike Henry James so it's kind of noteworthy (to me) that I liked it at all. If you want horror stories in a similar time period and setting, but that's closer to modern horror and a little less ambiguous/psychologically centered, try MR James.

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

Skyscraper posted:

I agree with this, and I think also it's suicide.

It's probably some mix of the two, filtered through some David Tibet ideas of "I'm an my own universe, and understand its higher purpose, and killing myself becomes a catalyst for the world, which dies with me and which is me"

I'm really worried I'm going to go down a rabbit hole of trying to understand Thomas Ligotti now

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





COOL CORN posted:

It's probably some mix of the two, filtered through some David Tibet ideas of "I'm an my own universe, and understand its higher purpose, and killing myself becomes a catalyst for the world, which dies with me and which is me"

I'm really worried I'm going to go down a rabbit hole of trying to understand Thomas Ligotti now

That sounds right!

And, as rabbit holes go, that one's solid.

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010




Gun Saliva

In his own paradigm he can't be understood because everyone is competently utterly isolated and cannot communicate with any other in any meaningful way. Except, maybe, through sideways allusions.

Essentially he's talking to nobody while you happen to hear a sequence of words and then reconstruct them into something meaningful.

Basically everyone is simultaneously every character in that thing at some point or another. There's not a sane way to understand what he's really trying to say because he's saying everything else and leaving a hole shaped like what he means. In the text he literally says the words do not exist.

Dunno if he actually has some kind of understanding about what he's trying to not say or if he's just good at pretending he does. Suppose it doesn't matter.

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

SniperWoreConverse posted:

Uldolpho was not a one I was able to get into. Turn of the screw imo was not worth it either, I just can't really deal with the mindset of those people I guess.

bad post

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





gotti gang?

Only registered members can see post attachments!

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

I want a Lit Gotti gang tag

Edit-- lol I was expecting something animated and just stared at it for a while

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





COOL CORN posted:

Edit-- lol I was expecting something animated and just stared at it for a while

:haw:

I think it'd be best with no explanation or title or animation.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





it needs a single-frame flash of the terrible cover the new edition got:

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010




Gun Saliva

Skyscraper posted:

:haw:

I think it'd be best with no explanation or title or animation.

Same, I support this tag unless someone can come up with a way to make it seem even more obscure and slightly off seeming

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

Ugh why'd I make my new year's resolution to read a dumb 15 book fantasy series this year, I'm gonna put CATHR next on my read list

Edit-- or add a single frame flash of a marionette puppet with the words Ligotti Gang

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Skyscraper posted:

gotti gang?



This is good. Also I need to read more Ligotti.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

MockingQuantum posted:

it needs a single-frame flash of the terrible cover the new edition got:


This is a great idea, although jumpscares aren't really in the style... Maybe a sufficiently disturbing quote instead?

anilEhilated fucked around with this message at 18:15 on Mar 4, 2020

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


just leave it completely static so that anyone watching it stares unblinking at the dark

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010




Gun Saliva

Make a few frames where the text of the cover shows up in the shadow part, one line at a time, but they only show up for like a tenth of a second and the other frames are long as hell and bracket the frames that have words? If someone wants to see what it says they should have to look for like 7 minutes straight lol (or just open it in an editor). Might have to expand it to 180px size to keep it clear idk.

faptown
Dec 6, 2008


Which Ligotti book is a good one to start with?

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Teatro Grottesco, probably.

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





anilEhilated posted:

Teatro Grottesco, probably.

this is correct

grobbo
May 29, 2014


SniperWoreConverse posted:

I disagree. I consider it to be some kind of philosophical retrogenisis mindset. Like un-separating the light and darkness as was done in the first part of the bible. The strangely shining light and darkness before there was night and day.

It sort of reminds me of uh, what's that one where aliens appear and a linguist figures out their language and it breaks her sense of time and causality? I get the same kind of feeling from special plan were there's some kind of extremely weird woldview that cracks... idk some kind of logical relationship that people take for granted.

When the puppets look at the puppet master they become something else and it's kind of like once you peer through the gaps and see things as they really are you can't go back, and it's best to do this when everything is finished and you can put away the things you care about, because if you do it before then it may be more regrettable, because to others you will be seen as alternately-sane at best. This is also related to the narrator teaching the kids about the true nature of the world -- it's a plan that will continue to tick away after he dies.

It sort of reminds me of those stories where people get buddha'd up but use that power for something that would be considered bad if they were still subject to normal morality.

See, I read the poem as essentially exploring two interconnected anxieties:

1) Lack of finality. The fear that suicide alone will not be enough; that there can never be an end so complete and permanent as to go beyond wiping out "tongue and teeth and hunger and flesh...and the very dust of bones and the wind that would come to blow the dust away", which is what the narrator (and presumably Ligotti) truly desires.

2) Procrastination. The fear that all of us - even the most hardened pessimist - will find excuses and rationalisations to put off that ending. The joke is that the conditions the narrator is demanding in order to enact the Very Special Plan will never come about. Our nightmares will not be obscured. We will never be truly alone, and have run out of desires. We will never have that final silence.

I said it reminded me of Beckett before, and now I'm wondering if that's deliberate; in one verse the narrator finds himself in dialogue with a spiritual forebear 'who was looking at the moon and waiting for me to turn the corner'.

The man tells the narrator that the Very Special Plan is a mistake because 'there is nothing to do and there is nowhere to go. There is nothing to be and there is no one to know'. This isn't a million miles from Beckett's own 'Nobody comes. Nobody goes. Nothing happens. It's awful', and it's expressing a very Beckettian idea - that even the Very Special Plan, the longing for absolute obliteration, is in its own way seeking meaning, and therefore as equally absurd and futile as anything else in a meaningless universe. It’s just another way to pass the time.

The narrator retorts that the world is a mistake and deserves to be wiped out, but nevertheless he keeps talking, keeps endlessly expounding on his theme, unable to stop for just one moment and actually take action - and the verse about the 'funny little man' feels like a self-recrimination in that regard, a storyteller who knows the awful truth about the world but rather than acting on it, shares it with others to provoke a reaction and ends up creating (shudder) entertainment in the process.

Notably, the moment of ultimate truth and horror at the puppet show isn't described as actually happening - we cut away before we get to it. It's the moment the narrator is desperate for his art to finally evoke, but it's still 'what could never be / what could never be seen'.

The narrator is like the Endgame character who desperately wants to leave the house, who keeps insisting that he's ready to abandon human connection and dialogue and the search for meaning and step out into the deadness, but finds himself, even at the end, still lingering on the threshold, talking about leaving.

grobbo fucked around with this message at 20:14 on Mar 4, 2020

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

anilEhilated posted:

Teatro Grottesco, probably.

faptown
Dec 6, 2008


anilEhilated posted:

Teatro Grottesco, probably.

Reading that next! Thanks!

Muninn
Dec 29, 2008


I don't know if it was literary criticism or an interview with the man himself, but I recall someone arguing that fundamental to all of Ligotti's stories is a sort of horrific pantheism: all that is, is one entity, refracted into various illusions of individual consciousness. I see this littered throughout the poem, e.g. "There is no hope for escape from this dream, that was never yours. The very words you speak are only its very words, and you talk like a traitor under its incessant torture." Ligotti is the "lunatic in a dark and quiet room that smelled of stale time and space" and tells us as much directly:

"'There are no people, nothing at all like that. The human phenomenon is but the sum of densely coiled layers of illusion, each of which winds itself upon the supreme insanity that there are persons of any kind, when all there can be are mindless mirrors laughing and screaming as they parade about in an endless dream."

"But when I [the narrator] asked the lunatic what it was that saw itself within these mirrors, he only rocked and smiled, then he laughed and screamed and in his dark and empty eyes I saw for a moment, as if in a mirror, a formless shade of divinity in flight from its stale infinity of time, and space, and the worst of all of this worlds dreams."

In this context then the "special plan" is to go beyond plans concerning the illusory and stagnant physical world as perceived by distinct consciousnesses (""There are many who have designs upon this world and dream of wild and vast reformations... elegant mutations and cunning annihilations"), where any change no matter how radical is fundamentally illusory. The only prospect for change from stale infinity is the dispelling of these illusions of the mundane world, to go "beyond the bones and the very dust of bones and the wind that would come to blow the dust away". This would entail the entity that is god and the universe and all that exists to perceive itself, i.e. that "moment of consummate disaster, when puppets turn to face the puppet master." The beginning and the end of the piece hint at the broad preconditions for achieving this gnosis: "When everyone you have ever loved is finally gone. When everything you have ever wanted is finally done with. When all of your nightmares are for a time obscured, as by a shining brainless beacon, or a blinding eclipse of the many terrible shapes of this world." Many of the passages contrast the efforts of a misguided individual who has big plans for physical reality with the various ways the narrator seeks to go beyond that stagnant illusion of reality to get at the underlying gnosis.

Edit: I concluded that maybe the impulse behind the poem was hopeful, but I like grobbo's idea that the narrator's efforts too are futile and they are unable to proceed in the execution of their plan. The horror is inescapable which is why the lunatic (i.e. Ligotti), who in some sense understands the truth, is stuck in the room of stale time and space laughing and screaming.

Muninn fucked around with this message at 20:07 on Mar 4, 2020

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

This discussion is my favorite thing to happen on these forums for a long time

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





Skyscraper posted:

gotti gang?



I don't actually know how to make a graphic into a gangtag.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





Skyscraper posted:

I don't actually know how to make a graphic into a gangtag.

The old way was to buy it as an avatar (so it would be on SA's image servers) then beg a mod to hand it out. Not sure if there's a more straightforward way to do it with all of the little tweaks that have been done to the site in the last few months.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Muninn posted:

Edit: I concluded that maybe the impulse behind the poem was hopeful, but I like grobbo's idea that the narrator's efforts too are futile and they are unable to proceed in the execution of their plan. The horror is inescapable which is why the lunatic (i.e. Ligotti), who in some sense understands the truth, is stuck in the room of stale time and space laughing and screaming.
I honestly don't think he does "hopeful", period. Even if you consider his views and present the "special plan" as hope (for nonexistence, oblivion...) it feels extremely unlikely that the plan would or even could actually work because the worlds are just that bleak. No escape.

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

MockingQuantum posted:

The old way was to buy it as an avatar (so it would be on SA's image servers) then beg a mod to hand it out. Not sure if there's a more straightforward way to do it with all of the little tweaks that have been done to the site in the last few months.

Host it on imgur and just add <img src="whatever link here"> to your avatar text I think

Or beg a mod

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





FWIW somebody posted an interview with Ligotti, probably in this thread, probably a few pages back, where he said that he wouldn't consider himself a nihilist because his views don't align with nihilism, like how he's fundamentally a socialist because he wants everyone to be as comfortable as possible while they wait to die, which is the most hilariously Ligotti statement I've heard in a while, and might add some interesting nuance to the discussion.

edit: found it, chernobyl posted it a few pages back: https://web.archive.org/web/20110716140816/http://www.thedamnedinterviews.com/2011/01/author-thomas-ligotti/

quote:

Q: Does it irritate you to hear that some people consider you a nihilist?

A: I would call myself a pessimist. At one time I thought it simply inaccurate for anyone to call me a nihilist, since the dictionary definition of nihilist applies to me in very few of its aspects. The term nihilist is more apt in connection with someone like Nietzsche, for whom I have no use at all. Nietzsche also considered himself a type of pessimist, but after he ceased to admire Schopenhauer he modified the term pessimism so that it carried almost none of its original meaning.

These days I don’t mind being called a nihilist, because what people usually mean by this word is someone who is anti-life, and that definition fits me just fine, at least in principle. In practical terms, I have all kinds of values that are not in accord with nihilism.For example, I politically self-identify as a socialist. I want everyone to be as comfortable as they can be while they’re waiting to die. Unfortunately, the major part of Western civilization consists of capitalists, whom I regard as unadulterated savages. As long as we have to live in this world, what could be more sensible than to want yourself and others to suffer as little as possible? This will never happen because too many people are unadulterated savages. They’re brutal and inhuman. Case in point: Why is euthanasia so despised?Answer: Because too many people are barbaric sons of bitches. And even in those places where euthanasia is allowed, you can’t be assisted in dying until you’re suffering to the brink of madness. At the Swiss clinic known as Dignitas, where you can be humanely euthanized, or in Oregon, where euthanasia is still legal, though perhaps not for long, you have to jump through a host of hoops to prove you’re mentally lucid. Who the hell is mentally lucid when they’re in such pain that they can hardly think? What a boon to humankind it would be if we offer everyone euthanasia before they are reduced to zombies of misery, so that they could say good-bye to their friends and families with a smile on their face and a clear mind. And what about people who are in mental pain from which they are not likely to recover? Have some loving mercy. There is nothing in this world as important as to be able to choose to die in a painless and dignified manner, something we do have the ability to bestow on one another. If euthanasia were decriminalized, it would demonstrate that we had made the greatest evolutionary leap in world history. If we could only arrange society so that we didn’t have to fear every one of us, the throes of agony that routinely precede death, I would be proud to call myself a human being.

MockingQuantum fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Mar 4, 2020

hallelujah
Jan 26, 2020

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


i hear that nihilism rant in an unwavering monotone

hallelujah
Jan 26, 2020

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


i wonder if ligotti knows how to polka

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





hallelujah posted:

i wonder if ligotti knows how to polka

I don't know one way or another but I'm sure he has a deep, existential dread about polka as should each and every one of us

hallelujah
Jan 26, 2020

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


i am of polish descent. because there is no polish-australian literature, my parents got me polish-american literature instead. usually this had a high population of italian characters as well, because the poles and the italians have historically got on like a house on fire except when they find themselves on opposite sides of a world war, and they usually gravitated to the same kinds of industrial immigrant communities (like detroit!) and were victims of a similar sort of racism back in the day, being white but not anglo. so i always thought of poles and italians as the yin and yang of working-class immigrant americana

anyway, as i grew up i ended up with lots of polish friends and lots of italian friends, most of whom have also noticed the weird kinship of our races. a few years ago, my friend (italian) and i were discussing how italians and poles live in the same places, get on well with each other, have cultures that coexist peacefully, have similar religious practices, and generally share the same philosophies on life... but you never, ever hear about them getting married. why? we didn't know. we speculated that there is some unwritten law that if the poles and italians should ever pick the forbidden fruit and join together in holy matrimony, a weird chemical reaction of the spirit would occur and the offspring would be forever cursed

so you can imagine my joy when i finally discovered a family that broke the law, and the cursed progeny was lugubrious tom

Skyscraper
Oct 1, 2004

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming





COOL CORN posted:

Host it on imgur and just add <img src="whatever link here"> to your avatar text I think

Or beg a mod

I think you host it on the SA servers, but I did go and beg a mod.

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

I CAN FEEL MYSELF ROT.



Buglord

hallelujah posted:

lugubrious tom

Mods name change please

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TOOT BOOT
May 25, 2010



COOL CORN posted:

This discussion is my favorite thing to happen on these forums for a long time

It's kinda thrilling to see people discuss it, I Have A Special Plan is extremely my jam and has been for like 20 years and I've never seen anyone discuss it online.

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