Things that Nietzsche might have said

A long, long time ago, I spotted a photo of Nietzsche on the internet and was so taken aback at the size of his ridiculous moustache, that I was compelled to write at least one, if not two, posts about the topic of said moustache. It seemed as though I had got the moustache out of my system at that time, but today I found myself thinking again about the moustache and its human ecosystem.

I was thinking about the proverb, “There’s no point crying over split milk”, and how it would be expressed by someone, like Nietzsche, who questions at a philosophical level the apparent meaningless of human existence. To such a person, clearly there is no point crying over split milk, just as there is no point to any action or thought we may have. Paradoxically, therefore, crying over split milk has as much point as anything else you could do during your fundamentally pointless existence. Perhaps an existentialist would say, “There is no point observing that there is no point crying over split milk.”

Then I had a revelation that could require the re-writing of history, at least with regards to existentialism. It occurred to me that Nietzsche’s horrendous moustache must have muffled anything he said, and that perhaps he had been misinterpreted all this time.

Perhaps, for example, one morning, his housekeeper (who prefers not to be named in this article) dropped the bucket of milk he (no gender stereotyping in this story) had just brought home from the Milkbar, and began to cry in frustration, and because it had been expensive. Nietzsche pragmatically said, “Well, Socrates, there’s no point crying over split milk” – but through the wall of noise-muffling hair on his face, what the housekeeper heard was, “We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things — metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities.”

Could be saying anything, I can’t tell.

Another time, perhaps, Nietzsche was questioned about how he managed to keep up his academic writing at the same time as tweeting hourly and keeping up with all his followers on his popular Twitter account, @nopointtoexistence. He responded by saying briskly, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”, but again, the virtual sound-proofing of that hairy protuberance meant that the interviewer was left to interpret his muffled rumblings, and thought that he had said What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding.”

Another day, perhaps out with friends, and wearing, as usual, his gold rings, earrings, necklaces, toe-rings, and nose-rings, Nietzsche was amused to hear for the first time, the term “bling”. He commented wryly, ” All that glitters is not gold”. But his friends interpreted his comment as “Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.”

So it seems that poor old Nietzsche was merely spouting a few old tried and true proverbs, but has been written up in the history books as having been an intellectual, obsessed with the nature of meaning and existence. I blame that moustache.

How it could have been, if only he’d trimmed that damned moustache!

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7 Comments

  1. I like what you do… some good reading on your pages here!

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  2. Reblogged this on andnowthatithinkaboutit and commented:
    A bit long-winded for the attention span of most blog readers, but absolutely excellent!

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  3. If that’ what he was growing under his nose, what was he growing by his balls?

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  4. Reblogged this on the weirda's Blog and commented:
    I like this guy.

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