FAQ

alt.angst
Frequently Asked Questions List


  1. What is Angst?
    • Any feelings of anxiety, grief, unhappiness, suffering, misery,
      depression, sadness, and fear.
    • The Oxford English Dictionaryhas:

      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 ™ 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 a 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 by
      extension, Afrikaans), and German languages. Weltschmerz and
      Schadenfreude are both German.
    • "Angstogen" was probably coined here, although it may have been spun
      off “peeveogen,” from alt.peeves, or vice versa. “Angstogen” is also used
      in Dutch and means something like “eyes filled with fear"
  2. What are alt.angst Protocols and Acceptable Behaviors?
  3. 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.

  4. What is the Importance of
    Angst?
  5. 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 us human.

  6. How Would You Distill Angst?
  7. 190 proof

    The Angst Calendar, compiled by Steven Snedker and hacked into MS-Windows Help format. Also available as a neat pop up window at www.angst.org. Amiga reader is also available. Available via anonymous ftp from ftp.mantis.co.uk directory /pub/alt.angst.

    The calendar 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.

    Wine Cooler

    Angsts or Angstful Notions or Angst Suggestions or The Angst Catalogue

    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 pointless).
    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 crap).
    9. Rejection (MOTAS, work, whatever).
    10. Boredom.
    11. Loneliness, being insignificant.
    12. Nothing brings me joy (hobbies, school, work, “friends,” family).
    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 (12,9,7,5).
    18. Science, art, or humans cannot help you (19,13,12,10).
    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, money, love).
    22. I’m in an unpleasant situation (1-21).
  8. What are Cures for Common Angst?
  9. Home Remedies and Elixirs

    By Michael Chase
    1. God(s).
    2. Drugs.
    3. Significant other.
    4. Booze.
    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 anyway?).

    10. Attitude:
      1. Hostile
      2. All-knowing
      3. Able to help others but not yourself
      4. Humorous
      5. Cynical
      6. Spacer
    11. Turning the pressure into something ‘useful.’
    12. Acceptance.
    13. Writing stuff nobody will read.
    14. Exploring your past until you forget what you
      remember.

    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.

    19. Isolation.
    20. Reading everything anybody has to say on the
      subject.

    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.