When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. […] I think of the lips I’ve kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and of the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I’m all those things at once. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness.
Why Camus Was Not An Existentialist | Issue 115 | Philosophy Now
Greg Stone presents the evidence.

When Johnny Depp raises a wry eyebrow on screen, it’s an ‘existential performance’. When Donald Rumsfeld says there are ‘unknown unknowns’, they call it ‘existential poetry’. Though many politicians and entertainers welcome the label, Albert Camus certainly did not. Even so, many people, even in academic publications, have inaccurately identified him as an existentialist. What in the name of Nietszche is going on?

In an interview in Les Nouvelles Littéraires, 15 November, 1945, Camus said point-blank: “I am not an existentialist.” He went on to say, “Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked. We have even thought of publishing a short statement in which the undersigned declare that they have nothing in common with each other and refuse to be held responsible for the debts they might respectively incur. It’s a joke actually. Sartre and I published our books without exception before we had ever met. When we did get to know each other, it was to realize how much we differed. Sartre is an existentialist, and the only book of ideas that I have published, The Myth of Sisyphus, was directed against the so-called existentialist philosophers.” Camus compared existentialism to “philosophical suicide,” causing followers to “deify what crushes them” – saying, in effect, that they turn negation into a religion. Camus in turn had a religion of his own – a quasi-pagan quasi-Greek reverence for nature. Case in point: Sisyphus, his hero of the absurd, who is condemned to push a heavy boulder up a hill for eternity, only to watch it roll down each time into the valley below. Sisyphus achieves a serene unity with the physical world: “The cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands” (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942). In Camus’ version of the story, Sisyphus is happy. If Jean-Paul Sartre had written it, Sisyphus would have experienced nausea as he contemplated the alien substantiality – the ‘being-in-itself’ – of the rock.

So what is existentialism, and why does Camus not qualify? In simple terms, Sartre believed that existence precedes essence; Camus however contended that essence precedes existence. That is to say, in Sartre’s bleak cosmos, man becomes conscious primarily of his existence as a free agent, and is then condemned to forge his own identity – his essence – in a world without God. Camus, on the other hand, was willing to posit legal rules so absolute that they could be said to point to ‘essences’ – among them a belief that almost all violence is immoral. Therein lies the foul: dogmatic principles for living, no matter how well intentioned, are not ‘existential’. [Keep Reading]

Saskatchewan oil spill breaches containment boom, putting Prince Albert on alert
City says it could store enough clean water to last until end of week

The city of Prince Albert, Sask., activated its emergency operations centre on Saturday afternoon to put together a contingency plan after noting that a boom set up to contain an oil spill upstream on the North Saskatchewan River had been breached.

A pipeline break, reported by Husky Energy on Thursday, resulted in an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 litres of oil reaching the North Saskatchewan, entering the water near Maidstone, Sask.

Booms had been initially setup in that area to try to contain the spill.

Prince Albert, among other communities which use the river as their source of water, has put together plans to close its intake valves. According to the city, a boom had been breached and the oil spill continues to travel downriver.

In an email Saturday night, Mel Duvall, a spokesman for Husky Energy, said the company’s containment and cleanup efforts in the wake of the spill are ongoing.

He did not specifically address the issue of whether a boom had breached, but did note that a boom deployed near the Paynton River ferry crossing was experiencing some difficulty.

“While containment has been challenged by high water levels and resulting floating debris, recovery operations continue,” Duvall said, adding that “additional actions” were being implemented.

A provincial official said in a media briefing Saturday that some oil had moved past that boom.

“Not all of the oil was contained at the surface,” said Wes Kotyk, executive director for the environmental protection branch of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment.

Officials noted more booms were also being placed in the river at other strategic locations.

Prince Albert officials said the oil plume could reach the city as early as Sunday.

Continue Reading.

Suitors in church...

I’ve contemplated this for a while.. I’m just gonna say: if you’re offended by religious jokes and stereotypes - don’t read it.

this is midnight sinderella after all, right?

Albert is the preacher - because what else does he do but preach?

Sid is the organ player who stumbles in drunk after a long night of partying.

Giles is the overly charismatic choir director who will definitely give you a supernatural experience.

Louis is that near perfect saint like person who is silently judging you.

Leo is just here for all the single ladies. His version of religion is being in bed screaming “oh god.” ;)

Alyn is here because they serve free lunch afterward.

Byron sits in the front ever Sunday and gives a very large donation. Meanwhile he runs and drug and weapon cartel out of the church.

Robert can’t remember why he’s here, he’s probably feeling guilty about something.

Nico sits in the back and adds “in bed” to every hymn he reads …
Abide with me … In bed
Breathe on me .. In bed
Joyful joyful … In bed


Around the same time, Nico was knocking on Albert’s door to his room. Nico Made sure that nobody was in the hallway, and carefully close the door.

Nico “Al, I’ve prepared everything as you asked me to,”

Nico “I also contacted Robert, I think he should have gone to where Mandi-sama is”

Albert “sorry for the trouble”

Nico who heard the word frowns lightly.

Nico “Al are you feeling ill.. You apologized.”

Albert “I think it has to do with depending on you this time, and it’s really bad.”

Albert’s brooding expression eases in light of Nico’s pleasant joke.

Nico looks at his face and gives smile that’s almost rueful.


A-ha these two.. Sugar route means albert caves and goes to Nico… Oh mai

@pumpkin-cinderella @f-dee @emigotchi

Travelling with Victorianists 2k16!

For the next few days, I’m going to be getting back into blogging with a series of posts on my recent trip to the UK. Apart from the sheer ENORMITY of items-of-interest to any Victorianist in London’s museums and virtually all of Britain’s towns, I made some deliberate stops, plus accidentally stumbled across [once, literally] a few amazing sites and scenes. Whet your appetite:

And then, this blog will be back up and running as usual with all things Victoriana! Feel free, as ever, to ask me anything or request a research or picture post you’d like to see: I’m curious what people want to know! 

Lastly, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@PaxVictoriana), where I keep up with the C19 News (birthdays, publications, CFPs, etc.) daily!

July 24, 1998 - S.T.A.R.S. Investigates a Bizarre Series of Murders Outside Raccoon City

On the outskirts of the Midwestern town of Raccoon City, a bizarre series of murders took place on July 24, 1998. Raccoon City Police Department’s Special Tactics And Rescue Service sent their Bravo Team to investigate, but contact with them was quickly lost. STARS then sent in their Alpha Team to find out what happened to Bravo Team, who quickly located Bravo’s crashed helicopter and landed at the site. They were attacked by giant, wild dogs, losing one team member (Joseph Frost); their helicopter pilot, Brad Vickers, panicked and ran off. The remaining four members, Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, and Barry Burton, pressed on.

Over the course of the night, Alpha Team located the members of Bravo Team, but they were all either dead or dying; some were turned into zombies. The team ended up at a nearby “abandoned” mansion, the Spencer Estate. As they explored the house, they found documents showing that the building was being used by a clandestine science team doing illegal experiments for the Umbrella Corporation. This renegade science had led to the creation of monstrous inhuman creatures and a highly contagious mutagenic biological agent called the T-virus.

As if that weren’t enough, Bravo Team leader Enrico Marini revealed to them that a member of Alpha Team was a traitor, just before he was shot and killed by an unseen assassin.

(Resident Evil, 1996/2002)


The Stranger by Albert Camus

The book is simply written and a rather quick read, but the depth Camus manages to convey through this simplicity is astounding. I think a problem a lot of people have with this book is that they fail to look beyond the whole “what is the meaning of life” message. While an interesting question, the book raises so many other philosophical questions beyond this. What I found the most interesting of these is “what truly defines humanity or makes someone human?” During Meursault’s trial, he is constantly accused of not showing remorse and therefore as being cold and inhuman. He is most definitely human though, just rather detached. This raises the question of whether one should be expected to exhibit certain characteristics in certain situations to “keep their humanity”.

Also, it raises the question of whether much of our emotion is created by ourselves or the expectations of others to exhibit certain emotions in a given sitatuion. The book is also an indictment on people’s efforts to dictate other people’s lives. We are constantly told what is right and as a means to justify our own sense of “what it means to be human”. We often impose these characteristics upon others, expecting them to fulfill similar traits and characteristics, as they have been already imposed on us. It is in a way, a self-justification of our actions as right or “humanly”. Constantly, Meursault is being told he must live and/or act a certain way, whether it be by the judge, his lawyer, or the priest. Once he doesn’t conform to these measures, he is marginalized and called “inhuman”; this is an attempt on the part of the others to rationalize their own ways of life and understandings. If they manage to declare him “inhuman”, it allows them to call themselves human and justify their own means of living.

In the end, this book is one that raises many more questions than it answers, but in true philosophical fashion, they are really questions without answers.

by guest reviewer Ryan R

Read excerpts from the book here!