22 April, 2008


No matter how fun one's job is, not doing one's job is more so.

I e-mailed that to a friend today and found it at least as profound as "Men and melons are hard to know," by Ben Franklin.

Today I am having a migraine hangover, which my younger brother described beautifully as "like the aftershocks of an earthquake," so I'm going to keep it lazy today.

Yesterday was King-Hell Fibro Day... I finally got my blood drawn so my new doctor, like three former ones, will rule out Celiac Disease as the cause of all that ails me. I didn't mind getting my blood drawn yet again, for reasons I've explained... And maybe it will pay off to be thorough.

Very, very thorough.

Then, because I had driven in the sun before my meds kicked in (OxyContin and Klonopin), I got a brutal migraine. I spent from two p.m. to six a.m. in total darkness, except for the television I was watching, turned down to a near-inaudible level. ...Only I and dogs could have heard it. Though the light and sound from the teevee were incredibly irritating, laying in bed, sore everywhere, my head going supernova, watching it was better than not... Without the idiot box (perhaps that name isn't completely fair because most of what I watch is on History International. ...Wait, why am I showing off my geekdom?) I was left in the dark to contemplate my misery. With the tele on I could contemplate my misery and why certain books and gospels didn't make it into the christian bible.

Enough self-pity.

For today.

I recently started reading Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche, and e-mailed a few thoughts about it to my friend along with my proverb. I'm simply going to publish it here and call it a day.

Please feel free to comment on how wrong I am about Nietzsche's views. I read Thus Spake and some of The Antichrist a few years ago, and am sure to be a bit off.

Recycled e-mail, do your thing!:

Beyond Good and Evil is amazing. Nietzsche starts (after a few preliminaries) by saying that truth and morals are not arrived at by philosophers through thought, but that their truth and moral constructions are simply reflections of, and a service to, their prejudices and their own way of life. So their "discoveries" are actually their preconceptions.

So he puts all previous philosophical "findings" into a chamber pot and heaves them out a window.

Then he has the balls to wonder: What about the "evil" mankind does -- which it does most often and quite well... Why isn't "evil," in effect, good, in the sense that people have no predilection to do "good" (especially "good" as christians define it)? (I'm all-but sure he does not end his treatise with the belief that all that is "bad" is "good," but reformulates what is good based on what benefits humans and humankind, their/its happiness, and that everything else is bullshit.)

Nietzsche rails against all previous philosophers for simply carrying water for the ethical constructs of their time and place. Being an atheist, he is free to move into an ethics he considers "beyond good and evil," especially as the concepts were defined by christian philosophers. In fact, I think in The Antichrist he goes further, explicitly stating that everything the christian church teaches is against the good of all people: The seven deadly sins represent the seven ways of being that come most easily to humans. We are lustful, gluttonous (basically we enjoy eating, to oversimplify), greedy, slothful, wrathful, envious, prideful.

And if we weren't all those we wouldn't have survived long enough to invent religion.

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school until the fourth grade, and was even an altar-boy for a few years. I didn't stop attending mass every Sunday until I went to college, when I was finally able to stop attending altogether. But what eighteen years of being immersed in christianity taught me, above all, was this: that everything I felt or thought or did was a sin to some degree.

Christianity teaches that all that makes one human makes them "evil." And what could possibly be more evil, more like the mouth on the figure in Munch's The Scream than that?

Christians are supposed to choose a mortal life devoid of worth so they can have a life worth living in heaven. Nevermind that the masses living lives in poverty -- and finding fucking glorification in it -- serves all world governments to a T...

...But Nietzschean philosophy is, of course, much more complicated than that (please disregard my personal tirade to make this e-mail coherent) -- and my account of "Beyond Good and Evil" is only a synopsis (that leaves out a lot) of the first half of the first chapter -- but it's interesting as hell (and not Dante's hell, which was a yawn... How can he be thought of as the "great master of the disgusting?" Gimme Hieronymus Bosch!).

It's also given me cause to consider myself a Nietzschean "free spirit" instead of simply an amoral beast.

Which is nice.

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