Thursday, June 15, 2006

A lotto Nietzsche...























I bought a lottery ticket on impulse. Something I've never done. It was as though the car was steering me right into that 7-11 on Vermont Ave, a voice telling me how to spend the last $5 in my pocket. I spent two days trying not to think about what I would do with my $65 Million. Good thing, because I didn't win. Actually, I got two numbers right. Does that count? Anyway, I won't be needing this information on household staffing anymore, so I pass it on to you. Fascinating.

In other news... Is Nietzsche still controversial? Of course many of his ideas were ripe for bastardization. He was an inexhaustible provocateur, less interested in stating his ultimate position on things than challenging his readers to ask themselves why they should disagree with him. If you can't come up with a good enough reason why you should not put a pancake on a bunny's head, well than surely this must be the way to go.

But love him or hate him, the man could write! I'd go so far as to say he was really a writer not a philosopher - someone deeply in love with stringing words into blockbuster aphorisms, words that reflected passionate, messy and often contradictory feelings about human nature and the meaning of life.

No shortage of advices from uncle Friedrich:

On who you work for...

"It seems to me that a human being with the very best of intentions can do immeasurable harm, if he is immodest enough to wish to profit those whose spirit and will are concealed from him."

On the true nature of artists...

Artists are not the men of great passion, whatever they may try to tell us and themselves. They have no shame, they observe themselves while they live; they lie in wait for themselves, they are too curious. They have no shame before great passion - they exploit it artistically. Their vampire - their talent - generally begrudges them any such squandering of energy as is involved in passion. With talent, one lives under the vampirism of one's talent.

On flip-floppers...

"A snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit."

On genius...

"Great men, like great ages, are explosives in which a tremendous force is stored up; their precondition is always, historically and physiologically, that for a long time much has been gathered, stored up, saved up, and conserved for them--that there has been no explosion for a long time. Once the tension in the mass becomes too great, then the most accidental stimulus suffices to summon into the world the 'genius,' the 'deed,' the great destiny. What does the environment matter then, or the age, or the 'spirit of the age,' or 'public opinion'!"

On self creation...

"Some souls one will never discover, unless one invents them first."

On growing up...

"A man's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play."

On being a fan...

There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.

On George Bush...

"To close your ears to even the best counter-argument once the decision has been taken is a sign of a strong character. Thus the will to stupidity."

Want more? The Nietzsche Aphorism Generator is right here.

2 Comments:

Anonymous slinkybender said...

Next time I'm caught nuzzling a horse in the middle of the Village, I hope someone puts me down then and there.

2:04 PM  
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3:42 AM  

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