Burnt Toast: That's that Sh* I don't like!

In 1959, Broadway writers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein composed “My Favorite Things” for their hit musical The Sound of Music, whose film adaptation starring Julie Andrews went on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture. “My Favorite Things” was Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s ode to those things for which they heartily approved, namely:

  • Raindrops on roses
  • whiskers on kittens
  • Bright copper kettles
  • warm woolen mittens
  • Brown paper packages tied up with strings
  • Cream colored ponies
  • crisp apple strudels
  • Doorbells
  • sleigh bells
  • schnitzel with noodles
  • Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
  • Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
  • Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
  • Silver white winters that melt into springs

53 years later, in what was plainly a furtive nod to the Broadway composers, Chicago debutants Messrs. Chief Keef and Lil’ Reese, self-styled “musicians,” pillars of their community, and “good boys” according to their mommas, penned their chart-topping “[Things] I Don’t Like,” a definitive, antipodal version of the 1959 classic. “[Things] I Don’t Like” was Chief Keef’s and Lil’ Reese’s sonnet dedicated to those things for which they fervently disapproved, namely:

  • fuck niggas
  • snitch niggas
  • bitch niggas
  • sneak dissers
  • popped bitches
  • smoking Reggie
  • fake trues
  • fake shoes
  • flake niggas
  • stalking-ass bitches
  • playing both sides
  • thirsty-ass bitches

Enter Richard, a Perth native, whose accomplishments include Peace on Earth, setting the stage on fire with a unique twist to the like/dislike dichotomy, which the arts had been forcing upon its patrons since time began. Artists worth their salt pay homage to their forebears before striking out on their own. Accordingly, in the fashion of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Richard utilized the medium of prose to first describe a thing he liked, namely:

  • hot, golden-brown toast covered with butter just beginning to melt and drip

Then, in style characteristic of Chief Keef and Lil’ Reese, he submitted a thing he did not like, namely:

  • cold, charred-black toast covered with butter long-ago melted and now congealed

How is one to feel about this? The audience has been straightaway driven from one extreme of the like/dislike spectrum to the other. They are confused, dizzy, and, what’s worse, feeling rather neutral about it all. “Meh,” they seem to say, for that is how it feels when subjected to an equal share of repulsive “ones” and pleasing “tens.” But not to worry, for that was just the intro, a mere illustration of the essential defect in the jumbled, chaotic outlooks of those who’d gone before. Then, defying all convention, he rectifies the defective dichotomy by decimating the scales, hierarchies, and gradations altogether, to reveal a pre-existent, underlying, and “ultimate” aspect to everything—golden-brown and charred-black toast alike—that is nothing short of perfect and peerless. Here, and only here, is where all without exception is faultless and flawless.

Here is where :notes: crisp apple strudels and thirsty-ass bitches, raindrops on roses and the raping of villages :notes: can be liked, enjoyed, and appreciated, for how else would one experience a thing that was, in the final analysis, perfect?

RICHARD: [I]f, upon ordering buttered toast at a café the waiter/waitress brings hot, golden-brown toast covered with butter just beginning to melt and drip, in contrast to bringing cold, charred-black toast covered with butter long-ago melted and now congealed, I would rate the former as being 10, on a scale of 1-10 and the latter as being 1 on the same scale … howsoever that is a relative scale as the very stuff of both the former and the latter, being the very stuff of infinitude itself, is incomparable (peerless).
Thus, in the ultimate sense, everything is perfect here in this actual world. [emphasis added]
Mailing List 'AF' Respondent No. 25

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You’re conflating enjoying and appreciating things versus enjoying and appreciating being alive.

It’s a common misconception. The actualism method isn’t to like, enjoy, and appreciate every single thing that happens to you and to other people, even abhorrent things such as the raping of villages, or more mundanely, the doing of taxes (although I actually do enjoy various aspects of doing them haha, but that’s another story).

It’s to enjoy this moment of being alive, which moment is the unconditional/the absolute/the ultimate, regardless of the particulars going on at this moment, which particulars are the conditional/the relative/the immediate.

It’s just not possible, and also not sensible, to enjoy bad things happening. Why enjoy things that are bad? This amounts to ‘positive thinking’ and is essentially an insult to intelligence.

But, what you can do, is to choose not to let any particular bad thing take away from your enjoyment and appreciation of being alive. This, then, is what the actualism method is. So you can find yourself in an objectively bad situation, with genuinely bad things happening, which are terrible, yet find yourself still generally in a good mood despite all that.

After all, what benefit would it be to be upset or stressed or anxious instead of said good mood? It won’t change the facts, will it? And what better way to react then from that clear-headedness that comes with felicity? Etc etc.



I’m very pleased that you picked up on what appears to be the paradoxical ability to see or experience something as perfect, faultless, flawless, and pristine, while at the same time not liking, enjoying, or appreciating it.

We know that it is possible to like everyone—every human being in existence—no matter what. Would you say that while it is possible to like every human on the planet, it is not possible to like everything in the universe?

I think that relates to Richard liking his fellow actual flesh and blood body human beings — not the identities within!

I don’t see what there is to like or enjoy about war, murder, rape, etc. If these were things to be enjoyed just like anything else then why bother doing anything to end them?

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Richard has replied to this post, his response is available here: Ricard replies to Rick's "Burnt Toast" Posts .