1) What is Angst?
Any feelings of anxiety, grief, unhappiness,suffering,
misery, depression,sadness, and fear.
The Oxford English Dictionary has:
"Anxiety, anguish, neurotic fear; guilt, remorse."
Webster's 9th Collegiate Dictionary defines it as:
"A feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity."
Above all, True Angst (tm) arises from the notion that
life is essentially pointless and absurd, and that our
miserable existences count for very little in the grand
scheme of things. There are two main categories of Angst:
emotional, and intellectual. Emotional Angst encompasses
the typical experiences of human suffering. Intellectual
Angst is primarily concerned with The Great Sucking
Void of Existence.
Other related words and definitions:
Weltschmerz -- Mental depression or apathy caused by
comparison of the actual state of the
world to an ideal state.
Schadenfreude -- Taking joy in another's misfortune.
Angstogen -- An angst producing agent.
Angstrom -- The unit of angst:
more angstroms = more angst.
As far as etymology goes, Angst is found in the
Danish, Dutch and German languages. Weltschmerz and
Schadenfreude are both German.
"Angstogen" was probably coined here, although it may
have been spun off of "peeveogen," from alt.peeves, or
vice versa. "Angstogen" is also used in Dutch and means
something like "eyes filled with fear"
2) alt.angst Protocols and Acceptable Behaviors:
a) alt.angst does not tolerate cheeriness in any form.
This includes use of the notorious smiley (which is
conspicuously absent here). If you feel inclined to post
any stories with a happy ending, post them to
alt.good.news, or some other forum -- perhaps
alt.romance.chat. You'll be lucky if other members use
such kind words to tell you to do the same.
b) Posting to alt.angst: Traps and Tips
Some alt.angst posters will, occasionally, flame you
for failing to display sufficient amounts of angst in one
or more of its commonly accepted forms. These individuals
have earned themselves the nickname "angst.cops." You
have been warned.
Also, questions asking _why_ men or women are mean and
nasty and hurt your widdle feelings do not belong here.
This includes the now-infamous: "Why do girls always go
for jerks" and all its pathetic variations. There are a
number of psychology studies that answer precisely this
question. Our advice here is to use your newly-found
computer skills to dig up any relevant literature.
Essentially, if you have to ask _why_ humans are mean and
nasty, you probably don't belong here.
Form is very important in alt.angst. If you can't be
bothered to write clearly, you can't expect your readers
to make the effort to understand you. And whatever your
style, don't post poetry. This isn't a poetry reading.
Teen angst poetry is especially likely to be mocked. Most
posters have written reams of it themselves, recognized
its self-indulgent immaturity, and moved on.
Other than that, you can use the rule of thumb that
states: if it feels bad, post it. Chicken Little is an
excellent example of someone who should have posted to
this group. Here, the sky is always falling. Our world is
in constant crisis with spectres of war, famines and
starvation, poverty, abuse of the environment, racism and
bigotry, corrupt leaders, religious zealotry, fear of
death, and soured personal relationships, not to mention
the biggies, like "is there a point to existence,
anyway?" These questions, and any others you may uncover
or dream up, should leave no shortage of grist for your
personal angst mill.
3) The Importance of Angst
We all embrace angst here. It is what defines our
existence. After all, what use would life be if
everything was easy and there was nothing to worry about?
Angst is a necessary element in the growth and
development of any human being. It is what builds
character; it provides contrast and depth to the human
experience. Angst, at its simplest, is that which makes
4) Distilled Angst (190 proof): The Angst Calendar,
compiled by Steven Snedker and hacked into MS-Windows
Help format. Amiga reader also available
If you don't know what anonymous ftp is, then goto
news.announce.newusers and read everything. If it doesn't
help, get the post named "How to find sources" from
The calender is available as either hpack'ed or tar'ed
and gzipped file. The README file in the alt.angst
directory details how to unpack such files.
Mantis, the most intellectual site on the net, also
stocks some terrific files in directory alt.atheism, that
you really owe it to yourself (and the rest of the net)
to check out. They are also periodically posted to
news.answers by the great mathew. Thanks mathew.
Note: The alt.atheism FAQ on constructing a logical
argument should be required reading for _anyone_ who
plans on posting to the Internet. Please, _please_ read
it, understand it, and internalize it before wasting
valuable bandwidth with meaningless drivel.
Angsts or Angstful Notions or Angst Suggestions or The
The alt.angst calendar covers most of the subject of
angst. But it's 250 kb. Here's a little handy list you
can keep close at hand, whenever you feel the urge to put
words on your feelings/situation. After the angst
suggestion there will sometimes be a pointer to other
angsts it might be rewarding to check also.
1. Life is pointless/meaningless. There is no reason.
2. Death is eternal (making life all the more
3. Reincarnation (No relief, just more of the same
unbearable pain for eternity).
4. Unpleasant feelings are true and pleasant feelings
are temporary and empty.
5. Lost opportunities. Lost excitement. I was once
young and screwed it up.
6. I'm wasting my time. (8,9,11,12).
7. Things will never get better (in the sense that
it's all going downhill).
8. The future is just more of the same (worthless
9. Rejection (MOTAS, work, whatever).
11. Loneliness, being insignificant.
12. Nothing brings me joy (hobbies, school, work,
13. There is no escape, no hope.
14. This mess is my (0-100)% own fault (5,9,11,15).
15. Strong hate (self, others, places, phenomena).
16. Insanity (depression, panic attacks,
schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies).
17. For all my efforts I was never rewarded
18. Science, art or humans cannot help you
19. Nothing has any absolute value (1,16).
20. Wishes coming true will not help (13,7).
21. Lack of "the basics" (good physical/mental health,
22. I'm in an unpleasant situation (1-21).
5) Cures for Common Angst: Home Remedies and Elixirs
(list by Michael Chase)
3. Significant other.
5. Insignificant others.
6. Physical fitness.
7. That spiritual purity trip.
8. Some godawful 12 step program full of losers not
nearly as intelligent as you.
9. Shrinks, who are either OK but ineffective, or
completely screwed up themselves (what is it with them
c. Able to help others but not yourself
11. Turning the pressure into something 'useful.'
13. Writing stuff nobody will read.
14. Exploring your past until you forget what
15. Waiting patiently to grow out of it.
16. Waiting patiently to see where it will all lead.
17. Waiting for that dude with the AK-47.
18. Getting pissed off that you can't kill yourself
without bumming your friends.
20. Reading everything anybody has to say on the
21. Developing a mild but sincere pride in yourself
for surviving, which actually helps a little but still
depends on the problem for its own existence.
6) Sources for More Information About Angst
Ken's angst home page:
Sean's Who's Not Who page:
Stevi's list o' links page:
There is much literature available that conveys angst
in its true forms.
From Thoreau ("The mass of men lead lives of quiet
desperation.") to Sartre, Dostoyevsky, Plath, and Dante;
to ancient sages like the Buddha ("Life is suffering.");
to Shakespeare and Steinbeck. The Brothers Grimm are an
excellent source of childhood angst should one desire to
educate one's children. As for visual art, Bosch, Van
Gogh, and Munch spring immediately to mind. However,
there is so much angstful art out there that we do a
disservice to the art world by including only these
In sum, almost all true works of art serve as little
more than monuments to angst, so one can hardly go wrong.
>> 6) Sources for More Information About Angst
>> Angst central
>"The requested document was not found on this server."
Yes, crystal.palace.net no longer has anything public about angst.
>> Ken's angst home page:
>"The requested document was not found on this server."
There's a link to krawling's new page but he doesn't have anything
>> Sean's Who's Not Who page:
>"The requested document was not found on this server."
~alleycat is gone from iafrica.com.
>Maybe you should just delete them all and put a link
>to angst.org there instead.
angst.org is still there. When I looked at the list of angster
webpages, I found that
Jessie Blalock's page is still there. I wonder if whoever it was
she left over is gone yet? Maybe she'd like it here again.
Tom Buchanon's is gone.
Tony Buchanon's is gone.
Fred Burke's is gone.
Paul Callahan's is still there but inactive.
Stevi Deter's is gone.
Faustus's is under construction and mostly contentless.
5150 "rone" is there. He says he no longer follows alt.angst.
He has gotten married and he's high on life.
Julie Fishtein's is gone.
Joe Geigel's server doesn't respond.
Dennis Hinkamp's is there and even has an article about the angst
of maintaining a suburban lawn.
John Jenks's page is there and has a set of angst links next to
the scientology links.
Mitch Kovarik's is gone.
Beth Lauzon's is empty.
Tara Marchand's is gone.
Deb Martinson's is there and has some angst links.
Lucie Melahn's server doesn't respond.
Malcolm Moore's is gone.
Jody Namio's page is there and has a link to Therion's which
is missing from the list.
Rachel Perkins's is gone.
David Perry's is gone.
Tom Price's is gone.
Aaron Saarela's is gone.
Matt Sheahan's is gone.
Seah Sheehan's server is gone.
Gil Silberman's is still there.
Jason Sims's is gone.
Julian So's has turned into a portal for Buzzword Bingo.
Tankgirl's is there and has turned into something so hitech my
browser can't handle it.
It's interesting that the majority of these names I don't recognise.
But I might have missed a few. Jodie Namio used to post as "j." and
I could have seen some of hers without knowing.
So, this clears up a question. I used to wonder, what happens to
old angsters? Do they turn into evolutionists or something? And
the answer is no, they only become missing links.
sort of. we host angst.org, and everything that was under ~angst was moved
> > > Ken's angst home page:
> > > http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/krawling/angst.html
hyplan. jesus. there's a dead term with a long and twisted etymology.
>Jonah Thomas (jeth...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
>> > > http://crystal.palace.net/~angst
>> > "The requested document was not found on this server."
>> Yes, crystal.palace.net no longer has anything public about angst.
>sort of. we host angst.org, and everything that was under ~angst was moved
>> > > Ken's angst home page:
>> > > http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/krawling/angst.html
>hyplan. jesus. there's a dead term with a long and twisted etymology.
Last I heard, the planet Ken was doing just fine & not in need of a.a. for
D "what happens" J "to old angsters" F "indeed - private lessons...inquire
Angst: what big frogs in little ponds feel when they realize that
the truly powerful have just discovered the joys of French cuisine
> Gil Silberman's is still there.
Did I ever mention that I have been hanging out sometimes with an old
angster who used to go by "rage?" She is very cool.
> So, this clears up a question. I used to wonder, what happens to
> old angsters? Do they turn into evolutionists or something? And
> the answer is no, they only become missing links.
Well, um. . . I haven't updated the website in about 2 years. It is way
out of date and needs a makeover.
Either I'm running out of angst (if I ever had it) or else it has muted
into a more subtle and internalized form. I still keep a sense of irony
and disbelief about things, an ingredient which when the bizareness of
life was much fresher and harder to contain than it is now took the form
of cynicism and lament. Angst-foo. Angst-futi.
There is a lot to do now, running a law office, partying, starting up a
new business. . . time, marriage, and work have all dilluted most of my
strong emotions. Also, I don't vent on strangers now because I have
friends for that.
This afternoon my wife and I bought lunch at a new Italian deli in our
neighborhood and sat out on a grass mat in the arboretum watching
younger people playing frisbee. I don't play frisbee much anymore, but
I remember loving to do it as a college kid and young adult. I watched
them do the things frisbee players do. . . jumping, batting down high
throws down with their hands, trotting out to the groundspot where the
frisbee came to rest. I was even rooting for some good moves -- a
jumping one-handed catch or something, and remembering how cool I felt
when I did it, even though the motions themselves have a jerky
hackeysacklike ungracefulness to them. Anyway, as I was eating rice
salad with rock shrimp and watching the kids I felt I was looking
through a time window to my younger self.
So it is when I return ocassionally to deja-news to pick up the trolls
that have accumulated since my last visit and I see the convulsive
bickering, philosophizing, self-explorations, and whatever else it is
that goes here.
Speaking of trolls, David Perry writes:
<<Indeed, I'd have to say that white Americans have obviously
benefitted" from some kind of "eugenic affirmative action": the normal
mating criteria of attractiveness and healthiness seem hardly to apply
to whites at all. It's also no wonder why white men have historically
tried to buy or steal women of other races for sexual purposes, rather
than resign them-selves to the generally uglier women of their own race:
they just ain't handsome enough to outcompete "non-white" men for
non-white" women by any means other than force and money. (Right, Gil
Please use "gilbug" when trolling me, okay? It's an easier search.
David, for you of all people to attempt to postulate social theories
based on your observations of the interracial dating scene in San
Francisco is quite an absurdity.
There is a strong hint of truth about what you say. . . but then the
same could be said of Mussolini, Ted Kozinski, and Pee Wee Herman. Some
lot of good it did them.
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.
> > So, this clears up a question. I used to wonder, what happens to
> > old angsters? Do they turn into evolutionists or something? And
> > the answer is no, they only become missing links.
> Either I'm running out of angst (if I ever had it) or else it has muted
> into a more subtle and internalized form. I still keep a sense of irony
> and disbelief about things, an ingredient which when the bizareness of
> life was much fresher and harder to contain than it is now took the form
> of cynicism and lament. Angst-foo. Angst-futi.
> There is a lot to do now, running a law office, partying, starting up a
> new business. . . time, marriage, and work have all dilluted most of my
> strong emotions. Also, I don't vent on strangers now because I have
> friends for that.
There is something to be said for finding other, 'real-time' outlets of
one's angst. That as well as gravitating away from places where one
would spend time while in the midst of more present and intense angst.
Besides, what's the fun in angsting over lack of angst?
Funny though, is that I was just discussing with a therapist, how
my 'emotional creativity' and intensity has been lost in the midst
of 'healing' and happy pills. rather annoying....i like the stuff in
my journals from my worst times.
Still, I probably won't go back to it if I can help it.....I'd rather
for other ways of tapping my creative potential.....I'd rather leave
my angst diluted for the moment....too much crap on my plate to
allow another fall.....
>> > > So, this clears up a question. I used to wonder, what happens to
>> > > old angsters? Do they turn into evolutionists or something? And
>> > > the answer is no, they only become missing links.
>> meandering links....please
>> Besides, what's the fun in angsting over lack of angst?
>> Still, I probably won't go back to it if I can help it.....I'd rather
>> for other ways of tapping my creative potential.....I'd rather leave
>> my angst diluted for the moment....too much crap on my plate to
>> allow another fall.....
it had been a source of pride for me that I could write out my
disillusionment and despair. I needed a.a. the way an alcoholic
needs the other sort of a.a. lately there is too much responsibility
to have time to mourn my relationship and its aftermath.
interestingly I have found a community with a common goal,
diverse personalities but a common goal and more and more I spend my
time in building something real. not that I dont have times of
distress and sadness. mostly present and future events seem unlikely
to happen or worse likely to happen but also thoughts of other times
filter through the miasma of the mind.
the past week I have had thoughts of my ex. I thought I saw him
on the street. there was no rushing adrenelin, no heart stopping
breathlessness, no desire to run in the opposite direction. perhaps
the truth that he would never return is too much a part of reality
for me to believe it was him. perhaps it is just that there is a big
dead area where such reactions used to be. then there was an article
in the paper that recalled a conversation we had long ago. I even
wondered if this meant something more, like some sort of esp between
us, that we were still connected. a foolish foolish thought and I
pushed it away even before I finished it because it is finished and
has been forever ended.
I am stronger now. like jm I dont want to return to
that place or those emotions. once in a lifetime is more than
it isnt as if I lack angst. it is more that it is how I view the
world. I dont see the void. the void is my perception. when you fly
through a cloud, it's just fog. there isnt much perspective. I dont
see angstful events, experience angstful thoughts. it is all just a
mist of slightly despairing haze that touches everything.
my experience isnt so much that angsters get over it or move on
or become unangstful. it seems true angst leaves a deeper mark,
a scar you could say, than the moment that inspired it. things do
change, one does earn a living, events happen around you and
touch your life and bring responsibilities and demands that push
the anxiety down into your soul. a cement block that sinks the
body so you can never float on joy or beauty for more than an
I keep thinking I am still a part of the group but in truth I dont
know the people here. I am sorry for that. it's been a hectic
year personally and professionally and time to cruise the group
is scarce. still, I check it out when I can and read those people
who I know, to keep a connection in my own mind with them.
I'm sorry for the recent breakup, sincerely sorry. everyone
else appears to be okay, some perhaps missing in action or
like me, back to lurking mode.