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WLTM... - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
WLTM...
... the guy who wrote this personals ad. (Thanks kosai for the link!)

It's so hard to write personals ads. I wrote an ad on uk.misc a while ago which read:
WTD: well-off husband with no morals. Must be willing to buy large house & put up with me filling it with junk. I can offer: use of gigantic book collection, homely cake-baking, a collection of crap 8-bit computers, and unconditional love. GSOH essential (see attached photo).
Everybody pointed out that I'd forgotten to mention sex, so I suppose I should add "I have girl-bits and I know how to have sex". I'm fairly low-maintenance, really; I need food, water, sunlight and conversation (by email will do). I don't expect anything more from the world. I am in reasonably good health. I'd like to own cats one day. Is it too much to ask?
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naranek From: naranek Date: September 8th, 2004 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
> Is it too much to ask?

The evidence suggests so :-(. If you listen to enough power metal, it seems less important, though.

Someone needs to shoot me, don't they?


hairyears From: hairyears Date: September 8th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)

I placed this in whatever-local-rag-it-was, years ago:

Thin nerd with zits seeks bubbly confident supermodel for long-term relationship. Failing that, all replies, no matter how ridiculous, to Box 2241.
I never did get round to picking up the replies, if there were any, as I left Brum shortly afterwards. Always wondered, though: at the very least, it would have been an entertaining waste of six quid.




j4 From: j4 Date: September 8th, 2004 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I should do something similar.

The problem is, I fear that no matter what I said it would be translated as something along the lines of "Gorgeous and ridiculously trusting woman with no self-esteem seeks awkward, secretive, abusive relationship with dominant stranger."
hairyears From: hairyears Date: September 8th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Then post it in the untranslated form and see who or what turns up. Or post what you really want, whatever that is, gory details and all.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: September 9th, 2004 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
dominant

That lets me out, then
j4 From: j4 Date: September 9th, 2004 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't've counted you as a near-stranger, either!
senji From: senji Date: September 8th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
The flow chart is very good. "Are you a stalker?"... :)
sion_a From: sion_a Date: September 8th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Replying to personals is even harder than writing them IME.
From: rmc28 Date: September 8th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to meet him anyway, just to congratulate him on his flowchart skills.
livredor From: livredor Date: September 8th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it isn't too nosy to ask, why exactly do you want a husband with no morals? (If it's some kind of joke that I'm missing the reference for, I apologize for being so clueless and over-literal.)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 8th, 2004 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because, having no morals myself, I'd find it hard to have a long-term relationship with somebody who had 'em.

Currently, though, I think it's been conclusively proved that I'm incapable of having any sort of relationship with anybody, so the whole point is somewhat moot.
livredor From: livredor Date: September 9th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I really shouldn't make assumptions about people on the basis of the way they present themselves in LJ. But you really don't come across as at all lacking in morals. Also, I'm sorry you've had unhappy relationship experiences (recently? in general?); I could say more but there's no reason on earth why you'd want my opinion on that.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 9th, 2004 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I'm being a bit flippant here. I do have some morals -- at least, I think I do, it kind of depends how you define "morals" -- but very few that aren't relative & situation-based. There are very, very few (if any!) things about which I would be able to say "I believe this to be absolutely right/wrong in all circumstances".

Unhappy relationship experiences -- if I'm honest with myself, I've had a fair number of very happy relationships ... it's just they seem to keep on ending. I guess I should be thankful I've had them at all. Also a lot of things are in flux at the moment, I feel like I don't really know what I'm doing with my life, and that tends to make me more pessimistic about long-term prospects.

I do, however, have a lot of very good friends (some of whom have been partners in the past), for which I am profoundly grateful.

As for saying more -- feel free to say anything you like, I'm not going to be offended, but equally I won't mind if you say nothing. :)
nja From: nja Date: September 9th, 2004 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I'm being a bit flippant here. I do have some morals -- at least, I think I do, it kind of depends how you define "morals" -- but very few that aren't relative & situation-based. There are very, very few (if any!) things about which I would be able to say "I believe this to be absolutely right/wrong in all circumstances".

Unless you'd say that the same thing could be right or wrong on an arbitrary basis given the same set of circumstances, that's still having a moral code of sorts. Perhaps not a well worked-out one, but I don't think that's necessary. I can't think of many actions I'd say are wrong in all circumstances. Motives are a different matter. Is the desire to be deliberately cruel to someone else ever right?
j4 From: j4 Date: September 9th, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unless you'd say that the same thing could be right or wrong on an arbitrary basis given the same set of circumstances,

I'm not entirely convinced that in 4-dimensional space there's any such thing as "the same set of circumstances". Time/space/people/beer/same-river-twice. I shouldn't drink before posting philosophical mooings.

that's still having a moral code of sorts. Perhaps not a well worked-out one, but I don't think that's necessary.

I think I have a fairly well worked-out, though not formally codified, "moral" code (though I'm not entirely happy with the terminology as you can tell from the scare-quotes).

I can't think of many actions I'd say are wrong in all circumstances. Motives are a different matter.

Fair point, but:

Is the desire to be deliberately cruel to someone else ever right?

Mu. That is: I don't think the desire to be deliberately cruel to someone is right or wrong. I don't think the question makes sense to me. I think the desire is natural, but acting on it is a different matter. Though I don't like the logical extension of this, which is that moral judgements can only be applied to actions. ... I have a vague idea that "morals" come from where we draw the line between thought and deed, but after three pints I'm worried that that is a completely indefensible standpoint & I'm just too drunk to see it. Though I was never, ever, even at my most mad-Christian, comfortable with the idea that in God's eyes, thinking murderous thoughts is every bit as "sinful" as murder.
nja From: nja Date: September 10th, 2004 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, if you have a particular desire there are two things you can do:

Firstly, take the Aleister Crowley "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" approach, and just act on your desires without thinking.

Or secondly, consider whether that desire ought to be acted on, i.e. make a moral judgement as to whether that desire is good or bad. Of course, you might base the decision to act or not on the consequences rather than the desire itself, but I think there are some desires (e.g. deliberate cruelty) which ought not to be acted on regardless of the consequences. Doesn't stop us from doing things we know to be wrong, though (Hume said reason is a slave to the passions).
j4 From: j4 Date: September 10th, 2004 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Or secondly, consider whether that desire ought to be acted on, i.e. make a moral judgement as to whether that desire is good or bad.

We may be splitting hairs here (in a philosophical discussion? Surely not!) but it still seems to me that what you are deciding on here is whether the action is good or bad.

I don't think the desire to commit acts of deliberate cruelty is, in and of itself, bad. It could even be argued that experiencing, recognising and acknowledging the desire (without acting on it) enables one to know oneself better; to recognise what has occasioned those impulses and learn to avoid them or deal with them in different ways; to work through the anger and dissipate it by visualising revenge rather than acting with deliberate cruelty (or lashing out in frustration at people who are nothing to do with the original situation); maybe even to understand better why some people do act in deliberately cruel ways.

However, I can't think of a situation in which acting in a way that's deliberately cruel would be something I could justify to myself. (I'm assuming we're not including being-cruel-to-be-kind here, because if that genuinely is being cruel to be kind then it's not really an act of cruelty but an act of kindness...)

I'm sure there's an obvious flaw in this argument, but I'm not sure what it is.
livredor From: livredor Date: September 9th, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Morals and relationships

I think there are two ways of doing morality (well, hundreds, but I feel like dividing them into two major groups). There are most likely proper names for them, but I think of them as top-down and bottom-up. You can start with a small set of absolute principles, like, I dunno, always tell the truth and don't hurt people and try to apply them as situations arise. Or you can start from the situations and try to work out how to deal with each individual circumstance in the most moral way on the basis of past experience and the prediction of outcome of the different choices and stuff. I don't know that either approach is intrinsically superior, and in the end most people probably use a mixture of both.

As for what I was biting my tongue on about the relationship thing: I think mainly stuff about how a relationship isn't necessarily a complete failure because it comes to an end, even if it ends unhappily. There's a sort of expectation floating about that a relationship is either perfect and life-long or a complete dead loss, and I just don't think that's the case. A relationship can, I think, be good on balance, or good some of the time, even if there are problems.

Also, relationships (particularly of the intimate, couple sort) are hard. I think most everyone who isn't actually lifelong celibate has had some bad relationships. But that doesn't mean they, and you, will never have a good relationship.

It's clear from your comment above that you do in fact know this, you're not actually saying that all your relationships have been terrible. May I express sympathy on the things being in flux and not knowing where you're going, though?
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