"A Saucer of Loneliness"

Sometimes a story stays with us, becomes a part of our lives, a part of our knowledge of the world.
Sometimes a story changes the way we look at life, at our surroundings, at ourselves.

“A saucer of Loneliness” is a short story written by Theodore Sturgeon. It is 40 years since I read it, and it has stayed with me.

Here is a link to the complete text.

And here is a link to a Wiki article about this story.

Sturgeon is a SF writer that I feel a kinship to, I feel that we come from the same place.

And I have used this poem in the story as a tool – to connect with myself, and sometimes to connect with others who need to get in touch with their inner loneliness and can’t find a way to get started.

There is in certain living souls
A quality of loneliness unspeakable,
So great it must be shared
As company is shared by lesser beings.
Such a loneliness is mine; so know by this
That in immensity
There is one lonelier than you.

And even to loneliness, there is an end.
For those who are lonely enough, long enough.

What are your reactions to it?

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life:"

” The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

Read more here, in RationalWiki

Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind the Utøya Massacre, has been influenced by Ayn Rand, who wrote “Atlas Shrugged”

Dec. 15th: adding more links:




Consider what she wrote in her essay “The Ethics of Emergency”: “The proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference to one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own hierarchy of values: The time, money or effort one gives or the risk one takes should be proportionate to the value of the person in one’s own happiness.” This statement certainly doesn’t preclude helping others so long as they are important to us. But it doesn’t tell us whether we should make them important to us in the first place.

The Catholic Church as porn seller

Once in a while I  visit the blog “def shepherd : observations from the intersection of religion, science, politics, and culture”.

And today I found this:

The Catholic Church’s $2.4 Billion Bookstore Peddles Loads Of Smut

Eric L Shepherd writes: 

“This month, Buchreport, a German industry newsletter, reported that the church-owned bookseller lists over 2,500 erotic books for sale.
 The church also owns Blue Panther Books, and a 50% share of Droemer Knaur, both of which publish pornographic materials. So, not only does the Catholic Church sell porn, they produce it.”

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

I have no idea if Church Authorities get any “base pleasure” out of causing the creation and selling of porn, but they certainly get “illicit profit”

Tim Minchin on Christmas

I know it’s too late. And I’m posting this anyway. My daughter showed me the video because the song echoes the way she feels about this season, and I agree. 

I hope it’s OK to post the lyrics, as they are great!

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest

And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion
To the westernisation of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it

I’m looking forward to Christmas
Though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus

I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom
I don’t believe just ‘cos ideas are tenacious it means they are worthy
I get freaked out by churches
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are dodgy

And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalise blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/tim_minchin/white_wine_in_the_sun.html ]
I’m not expecting big presents
The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me

Cos I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

And you, my baby girl
My jetlagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl

And if, my baby girl
When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You’ll know what ever comes
Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Darling, when Christmas comes
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun
Waiting for you…