Saturday, December 03, 2005


Don't want to hear about it
Every single one's got a story to tell
From the Queen of England
To the gates of Hell

And if I catch you coming back this way
I'm gonna serve it to you
It's not what you want
But that's what I'll do

--Jack White/The White Stripes

The cultural-philosophical attitude known as nihilism vanished just after the Russian revolution of l917, only to return with a vengeance in the 21st Century, having resurfaced large in the middle of the l950's. with such magazines as MAD, Cracked, Evergreen Review and even some articles in Playboy.

Today, it's Mad Indies Rock from what appears to be Hell:

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera for evermore
I'm going to work the straw
Make the sweat drip
From every pore

And I'm bleeding and I'm bleeding
Right before my lord.
And the feeling coming from my bones
Says find a home

Cut to: Jorge Luis Borges quoting Pascal: "Nature is an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere." And somewhere in his Aleph story, the story about this sphere, Borges concludes that it is a false Aleph.

Add to this the hundreds of comments in Jeff Wells' blog, Rigorous Intuition, and you'll get a spooky sense of the Devil himself, and if not him, certainly the conviction that what sensitive people feel these days is not necessarily Nature, or God, but a group of sinister people who have convinced us that their very brains comprise an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. Call them Illuminate. Call them Aliens. Call them mad scientists and social engineers. Whoever they are (Are they from here? Are they real?).

Their presence is obviously felt by millions if you believe in the the monkey business of Art Bell, George Noory or a host of "moonbat" manques around the world.

But, as Russians often claim, they invented everything, the Prince Kropotkins, the Bakunins, certainly Dostoevsky in his "Devils" or "The Possessed". It is my belief, to introduce an oxymoron, that the Russians invented nihilism.

Nihilism is a condition of complete enervation. It is a loss of faith in the benignity of the cosmos, the absense of laeticia, that joy of life, a sense of futility and ultimately, the desire to throw a bomb. How far are we from Dostoevky's wild-eyed nihilist to the fanatic of the Middle East? And how well is it articulated by our own Rigorous Intuition, The Jon Stewart Show--where he for the first time had a musical act, The White Stripes singing, Get Thee Behind Me, Satan..

Am I just courting comments here? Do I seek a new audience of moonbats? I don't know, except that if life is a tragicomedy, Jon Stewart certainly has a handle on it and Jack White of The White Stripes for certain.

I'd like to take a more positive view.

There is a sense, coming from my own background, of a kind of salvation. The late Hryhory Chubai of Kiev:

and around there was no river
no sea lake
or stream was around
only helpless imagination surrounded itself
with uncountable suggestions
for every one of the flower's eight faces
the imagination surrounded itself and staggered
staggered and fell
and never got up and did not come
did not ask--what time
did not ask--why the door opened
did not ask--where they buried the goldfish
on the sun or on the moon
and it is very frightening when there's inquisition
where one cannot remember the voice
and cannot forget the face
when for a long time no one comes

But, a kind of damsel with a dulcimer finally appears, a Joni Mitchell, an accomplice, lover, Loreli. Chubai goes on:

it's a thousand flowers coming
and behind each one will sit ashes
but someone invisible will suddenly say

all will turn their heads back
everyone will want to see behind him a fire
everyone saw behind him ashes
someone will suggest to halt the debates
but the invisible on will again say
all will slowly turn their heads back
not to frighten the one who's behind
all will suddenly hear how on the sea of black pepper
the green waves will turn yellow
all will suddenly see on the far shore a star
which they never saw before
all will start waiting for the tiny boat of the nightingale
that is to take them to the shore
the waves on the sea of black pepper
turn yellow and calm
the knotty bottom will regain sight
and someone will again say

all will slowly turn their head back
any minute now
they are to see
behind themselves

Well. From Satan, through Easter, to Chrismas. I don't know what I have done here. But Something Important has surely gone by.


Anonymous said...

See Guns'n'Roses "Knock Knock Knockin' on Heaven's door" for a sense of
salvation...Gimme Shelter from diablo...we don't need no education...all in all it's just another brick in the wall...satan definitely does's just that everybody's tastes are different...if your really believe, then give a few bucks at the church...instant salvation and shelter, not to mention financially supporting the clerical terrorization of altar boys (tell me this ain't satan licking his lips) can you have any pudding when you haven't finished your meat...satan allows you to sidestep the meat and get to the pudding, no obligations in this life other than to lead others down the same slippery can't always get what you, I need somebody...he's a real nowhere man, confined to're right...Satan is alive and well...probably a huge test for mankind, truth be kknown...most of us are up to it...bring it on.

keep it handy.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Woo Hoo.
Lost in a Sixties night. Nihilism. Almost back in the USSR.
At least you're waking up, and hopefully, as in a Borgesian world, no one is dreaming you.
And if he is,draw a circle round him thrice. Sprinkle liberally. Keep it handy.

Aaron said...

Happy Days of Mithras, Ivan!

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

I get that. You know I get that.
How the hell do you know about
it at 27? Flippin' prodigy is what it is.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Happy Apollo's birthday to everybody. So get a wreath! Get a tree. Write in to Antonia Zerbisias' blog.
She's not all Greek to us, though I think she celebrates a week later.

Anonymous said...

The news about the lovely Zerb is an Epiphany to me!


Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Yes, the lovely Zerbisias is capable of an epiphany herself here and there.
Thanks DT.

Anonymous said...

Segue to Ivan's post on nihilism.
Especially the flat feeling
among Ontario handgun owners. Certainly disbelief at Paul Martin's obtuseness when it comes to the common sense we all have about guns and criminals. The liberals don's seem to share this.
Does a kid have to point out the emperor's new clothes? Again? They just don't get it, especially about handguns.
What follows is an open letter to Lina Williamson of the TORONTO SUN:

thank you very much for expressing and discussing a very controversial subject in a very neutral and informed way. "Light handguns" are, to all intents and purposes, already banned..seems to me that the general public has a much different understanding of this issue and perhaps there is an impression that these particular
firearms are easily acquired...obviously not, or "not so obvioously"...Far from the truth! Perhaps more public info would lead the way to a better understanding and appreciation of what a scam this latest Paul Martin ploy is...what is particularly disturbing to me (handgun issue aside) is that this
wonderful pronouncement by liberals simply, clearly and concisely, demonstrates either A COMPLETE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING of the real problem-- in our faces!--or, a complete unwillingness to roll up the sleeves and get the real work either case, this is not a road which will lead to a real solution..someone who demonstrates this kind of logic and in the same breath ask for my vote in support of his leadership bid--in my opinion, must live on another planet and visit once in a while in order to cath up on what's wit, the commitments and attitude by this same group of liberals in regard to daycare assistance...same attitude, different mouth, flapping absolute nonsense and lack of respect or understanding for most of find easily understandable.
...the gun registry is a dismal failure in regard to preventing criminal firearms was doomed to failure in that particular regard because of the same obtuse logic...perhaps we should extend the same logic to cars and drunk drivers, sharp pointed knives, baseball bats, 2X4's, hammers--ban everything!
get real, with real big enough to take a stand and do something constructive. If the challenge is too great, get thee gone.

p.s.: wonder how all that lost money between the sponsorship issue and gun registry would have impacted crime fighting in major cities...homless? aboriginal needs?
Who, in fact, are the real criminals, never mind your Kyoto performance.
Yes, I can clearly see the problem.