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(Salon)   "Mark Twain hated God," claims columnist who thinks this is news because he never read Letters from the Earth   (salon.com) divider line 46
    More: Obvious, Mark Twain, god, letters, nursery  
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1385 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 29 Sep 2013 at 6:58 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-29 05:25:53 PM  
Does Ric Romero work for Salon.com now?
 
2013-09-29 05:55:32 PM  
"This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."
 
2013-09-29 06:05:50 PM  

GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."


BREAKING NEWS! Fathom can ALSO mean "to understand the reason for something".
 
2013-09-29 06:23:42 PM  
It's not the best song Dio did with Sabbath.
 
2013-09-29 06:40:51 PM  
He had reason to, and I cannot fault him
 
2013-09-29 06:47:22 PM  
Mark Twain? That's my mother's maiden name.
 
2013-09-29 07:11:38 PM  
I'm listening to Tom Saywer right now...
 
2013-09-29 07:24:34 PM  
He also had something of a nihilistic streak

"In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever-for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!"

"Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago-centuries, ages, eons, ago!-for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities."

"Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane-like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell-mouths mercy and invented hell-mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites a poor, abused slave to worship him!" . . .

"You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks-in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier."

"It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream-a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought-a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"
 
2013-09-29 07:24:44 PM  
Hate is too strong a word, but Twain certainly didn't suffer fools easily.
 
2013-09-29 07:30:54 PM  
Letters from the Earth is a hoot.
 
2013-09-29 07:35:49 PM  
Did he hate him or just deny his existence?  I guess the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.

/I both hate and don't believe in Santa
//I'm okay with the Easter Bunny, but he isn't as much of an attention whore.
 
2013-09-29 07:36:35 PM  

GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."


For some reason, I was taught that it was a riverboat term. The mark between (twain) the hull and the riverbed. Don't want to run aground.
 
2013-09-29 07:37:56 PM  

EvilEgg: Did he hate him or just deny his existence?  I guess the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.

/I both hate and don't believe in Santa
//I'm okay with the Easter Bunny, but he isn't as much of an attention whore.


He delivers better candy too.
 
2013-09-29 07:38:27 PM  

Craptastic: GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."

For some reason, I was taught that it was a riverboat term. The mark between (twain) the hull and the riverbed. Don't want to run aground.


Is a riverboat nautical or does that only apply to the ocean?
 
2013-09-29 07:38:48 PM  
If we can imagine such a man, that is the man that could invent the fly, and send him out on his mission and furnish him his orders: "Depart into the uttermost corners of the earth, and diligently do your appointed work. Persecute the sick child; settle upon its eyes, its face, its hands, and gnaw and pester and sting; worry and fret and madden the worn and tired mother who watches by the child, and who humbly prays for mercy and relief with the pathetic faith of the deceived and the unteachable. Settle upon the soldier's festering wounds in field and hospital and drive him frantic while he also prays, and betweentimes curses, with none to listen but you, Fly, who get all the petting and all the protection, without even praying for it. Harry and persecute the forlorn and forsaken wretch who is perishing of the plague, and in his terror and despair praying; bite, sting, feed upon his ulcers, dabble your feet in his rotten blood, gum them thick with plague-germs - feet cunningly designed and perfected for this function ages ago in the beginning - carry this freight to a hundred tables, among the just and the unjust. the high and the low, and walk over the food and gaum it with filth and death. Visit all; allow no man peace till he get it in the grave; visit and afflict the hard-worked and unoffending horse, mule, ox, ass, pester the patient cow, and all the kindly animals that labor without fair reward here and perish without hope of it hereafter; spare no creature, wild or tame; but wheresoever you find one, make his life a misery, treat him as the innocent deserve; and so please Me and increase My glory Who made the fly.
 
2013-09-29 07:39:29 PM  
I just looked it up. It appears I was mistaken. huh.
 
2013-09-29 07:40:45 PM  

EvilEgg: Craptastic: GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."

For some reason, I was taught that it was a riverboat term. The mark between (twain) the hull and the riverbed. Don't want to run aground.

Is a riverboat nautical or does that only apply to the ocean?


Both, I guess. *shrug*
 
2013-09-29 07:49:36 PM  
 
2013-09-29 07:59:39 PM  

Rev. Skarekroe: It's not the best song Dio did with Sabbath.


Dont know why this struck me as so funny, but there you have it.

/needs something about how women are evil

Also, this (among other reasons) is why Mark Twain was one of the authors that were allowed in the former Soviet Blocs.  Anytime Mark Twain was mentioned amongst some of the Russian gents I used to work with, they used to light up like kids on Christmas.  Was pretty odd.
 
2013-09-29 08:03:06 PM  
How does one hate something which does not exist?
 
2013-09-29 08:04:41 PM  
Salon.com is  for lazy writers.
 
2013-09-29 08:09:50 PM  

EvilEgg: Did he hate him or just deny his existence?  I guess the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.

/I both hate and don't believe in Santa
//I'm okay with the Easter Bunny, but he isn't as much of an attention whore.


Neither, actually.  He wasn't an atheist, and wasn't any more sarcastic regarding God than he was the rest of the world's somewhat less-imaginary authority figures.

Admittedly, that was non-trivially sarcastic, but still.
 
2013-09-29 08:27:24 PM  
I worked HP Scanjet support in 98-99 and the product supported some industry standard called TWAIN. I never figured out what it meant, and I got stuck on "Technology With An Interesting Name" and could never bother to look up what it meant.

/I occasionally miss my 4c
//but not the space it took up
 
2013-09-29 08:29:56 PM  

Jim_Callahan: EvilEgg: Did he hate him or just deny his existence?  I guess the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.

/I both hate and don't believe in Santa
//I'm okay with the Easter Bunny, but he isn't as much of an attention whore.

Neither, actually.  He wasn't an atheist, and wasn't any more sarcastic regarding God than he was the rest of the world's somewhat less-imaginary authority figures.

Admittedly, that was non-trivially sarcastic, but still.




Twain was pretty much an atheist near the end of his life, he never came out totally against religion, probably to spare his remaining children's feelings. He especially lampooned Christians and the Christians who were hypocrites.

If you read The Mysterious Stranger, he goes on a rampage against The concept of God.

At best he would be a rather bitter agnostic.
 
2013-09-29 08:34:14 PM  
There were plenty of times he gave God some sort of respect while utterly destroying his followers - or at least their professed beliefs. Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven is this sort of story. His mood regarding the big G was varied, to say the least - he grew more hostile as his life grew more difficult, including the death of family members.

Another Salon Exclusive - His real name was Samuel Clemens.
 
2013-09-29 09:06:35 PM  

The Billdozer: Rev. Skarekroe: It's not the best song Dio did with Sabbath.

Dont know why this struck me as so funny, but there you have it.

/needs something about how women are evil

Also, this (among other reasons) is why Mark Twain was one of the authors that were allowed in the former Soviet Blocs.  Anytime Mark Twain was mentioned amongst some of the Russian gents I used to work with, they used to light up like kids on Christmas.  Was pretty odd.


And the truth being a lie, and the light turning to black, and heaven is really hell,....Dio was awesome.

I found this demo version of Letters to Earth with Cozy Powell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szGERG8t95o
 
2013-09-29 09:07:15 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: How does one hate something which does not exist?


and why is the opinions of mere mortals so dangerous to something all powerful anyway?
 
2013-09-29 09:09:20 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: If you read The Mysterious Stranger, he goes on a rampage against The concept of God.


Counterpoint: Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, which accepted the claims of Christianity pretty much at face value, at least for a certain value of the faith.  He thought it was one of the most important books he'd ever written, to the point of making sure there was no humor and publishing it under a different pseudonym than usual so people would take it seriously.

Or at least he said that, it's sometimes hard to tell when he was serious.
 
2013-09-29 09:15:35 PM  
That wasn't even an article, just an excerpt from the book. Is everyone at Salon off for the weekend?
 
2013-09-29 09:20:33 PM  

Gyrfalcon: That wasn't even an article, just an excerpt from the book. Is everyone at Salon off for the weekend?


Breaking Bad parties to plan, yo!
 
2013-09-29 09:47:07 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: How does one hate something which does not exist?


You can hate a fictional character. It's like saying "I really hate that little shiat Joffrey Baratheon."
 
2013-09-29 09:48:23 PM  

Gyrfalcon: That wasn't even an article, just an excerpt from the book. Is everyone at Salon off for the weekend?


I'm pretty sure everyone who worked at Salon got fired, and now there's just a robot that removes random sentences from previous articles and pastes them together to create new content.
 
2013-09-29 10:11:48 PM  
Can't wait for some idiotic guest on Fox and Friends to start whining about how "liberal icon" Mark Twain is being taught in schools.  To children.
 
2013-09-29 10:23:12 PM  
To be fair, Twain hated everybody.

TofuTheAlmighty: How does one hate something which does not exist?


I ask this question every time someone complains about the Matrix sequels.
 
2013-09-29 10:40:26 PM  

that one guy with the face: To be fair, Twain hated everybody.


Nah, that would be Ambrose Bierce.
 
2013-09-29 10:45:26 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: that one guy with the face: To be fair, Twain hated everybody.

Nah, that would be Ambrose Bierce.


Mark Twain hated Ambrose Bierce?
 
2013-09-29 11:10:46 PM  

TofuTheAlmighty: How does one hate something which does not exist?


It's very easy to hate an idea and to despise people who use that idea as an excuse for stupidity and/or evil.
 
2013-09-30 12:08:52 AM  
The Mysterious Stranger claymation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpaRouocBes
 
2013-09-30 12:45:47 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: that one guy with the face: To be fair, Twain hated everybody.

Nah, that would be Ambrose Bierce.


Actually...


When they asked Samuel Clemens to read and review long-time friend Ambrose Bierce's not-so-bestseller, Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California by Dod Grile, publishers Chatto & Windus had no idea they'd get such a scathing report back. Twain calls Nuggets and Dust "the vilest book that exists in print" and ends with what might be the most simultaneously hilarious and hurtful review of all time:

"There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive."
 
2013-09-30 01:06:34 AM  
he was an @$$ on Star Trek: TNG
 
2013-09-30 01:08:33 AM  

GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."


I learned that from the Bill & Ted SatAM cartoon.
 
2013-09-30 01:25:02 AM  

gnosis301: GreenAdder: "This just in: Mark Twain is an old nautical term meaning 'two fathoms.' This totally new news is exclusive to Salon.com, and nobody has ever heard it before."

I learned that from the Bill & Ted SatAM cartoon.


Oh... so "By the mark twain" to mean the 2nd indicator on the depth lead.
 
2013-09-30 01:49:21 AM  

Modified Cornstarch: he was an @$$ on Star Trek: TNG


Such a terrible episode.
 
2013-09-30 02:48:33 AM  

DrZiffle: Quantum Apostrophe: that one guy with the face: To be fair, Twain hated everybody.

Nah, that would be Ambrose Bierce.

Actually...


When they asked Samuel Clemens to read and review long-time friend Ambrose Bierce's not-so-bestseller, Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California by Dod Grile, publishers Chatto & Windus had no idea they'd get such a scathing report back. Twain calls Nuggets and Dust "the vilest book that exists in print" and ends with what might be the most simultaneously hilarious and hurtful review of all time:

"There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive."


Twain got pretty dark during the last decades of his life not only due to the loss of wife and the premature deaths of two of his daughters but also in reaction to the Spanish-American War and the atrocities committed by the U.S. and other "civilized" nations in the name of imperialism and nationalism.  In comparison, Bierce had a pitch-black outlook on people and the universe in general nearly all his adult life.  This was largely due to his traumatic battle experiences as a Union soldier during Civil War.
 
2013-09-30 05:08:01 AM  
Samuel Clemens also thought watching a friend of his raping a slave girl in front of her mother was hilarious.

... yeah.  Not so much a fan of the man nowadays.
 
2013-09-30 10:55:52 AM  
Mark Twain was a ginger. Ergo, he didn't have a soul.

Instead, he had spirit and wit. And humanity. And indignation. And morality. In fact, he was human in all respects except that redundancy known as the soul. (The Ancient Egyptians had seven souls, or at least their kings and notables did, covering what the Greeks called the vegetative, the animal, the human and the divine spirits, as well as three others. Some people have way too much soul and scarcely any use for their minds.)

According to Rabbinic tradition, when God made Man he was so proud of his work that he called the angels together and made them bow down to Man to admit the superiority of the new Servant of God Mark II Version. The Devil, who had been Second in Glory only to God, in his pride of place and near-godliness, refused. Religious authorities and other despots have been of the Diabolical Party, sometimes without knowing it, ever since.

Mark Twain was that Man, the Mark II. A little higher than the Angels, a little wilder than the Devil, considerably wiser than that Childish Old Oriental Despot, God, with his box of wooden animals and Noah's family, and his infantile tendency to get bored and knock down his Creations before they were finished*.

And so I am finally off to Amazan to buy both volumes of the new expanded version of Mark Twain's Autobiography despite having the published version in the second American Edition as well as a paperback copy and several other volumes drawn from his intentionally posthumous works. There's something I want in it.

*I remember what it was like to be an infant and quite a number of things from my own infancy. One, I used to stack up blocks and was very frustrated that they would fall down, so when they got too high, I knocked them down intentionally and had the satisfaction of making the inevitable laws of gravity voluntary. The Tower of Babel.

I also had one of those rocking poles with the coloured plastic rings on them. I sometimes amused myself by putting the rings on -- upside down. The Ptolemaic System.

Before I could read or write, I would play write by filling pages with loops of "writing". I would make my Father read the catalog to me and "we" made up stories. I wasn't fooled when he tried to skip pages.
 
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