The history of Nietzsche’s moustache

I must begin with an apology.

It seems that I have lately been remiss in providing up-to-the-moment news for those readers who only subscribed in the first place because they need regular updates on the moustache of Mr. Freidrich Nietzsche.

Now, admittedly this blog was not originally created to be the newsletter, (dare I say, mouthpiece?) for the above-mentioned moustache, but in an unexpected turn of events, a few years ago I was undertaking some academically rigorous research on the topic of Existentialism, for a post about Samuel Beckett, and reading up on Nietzsche, when I became completely distracted by a picture of Nietzsche’s moustache, featured on the Wikipedia page about the gentleman in question. That particular picture has since been changed, but can be seen here, in a post I was immediately compelled to write about the moustache.

Little did I realise the train of events that would be put in motion with that post! (Namely, that I would go on to obtain a degree with honours in writing posts about moustaches.*)

As soon as I beheld that creature moustache, it immediately became clear to me that it deserved its own social media campaign. Perhaps not so much “deserved”, as “commanded me to create” its own social media campaign. (Whether this moustache has brain-washing powers is not for me to say).  (In fact I am forbidden to).

(I can’t help but note that his moustache looks like a living creature in its own right. I can imagine the moustache starring as a parasite in a creepy short story written by Patricia Highsmith, in which it crawls around on the face of a human by day, making a horrible high-pitched scratchy noise, and at night – slowly sucks the human’s brains out, disguising the effect so that syphilis* is diagnosed as the cause of madness).

Before we get too carried away in fantasy, let’s stop for a moment and look at this far-fetched notion of brain-washing moustaches. It’s well known that Nietzsche died in 1900, so in fact it’s unlikely that his moustache has been up to much since then. I’m almost certain that it could not be brain-washing people in 2014 via a Wikipedia page.

But, on the social media front, as we know, just because something does not exist, does not mean that there can’t be a Facebook page devoted to it.

As it happens, Nietzsche’s moustache, (much like Nietzsche himself) was very vocal about its contempt for Facebook, but the moustache (unlike the philosopher) was more open-minded when it came to the idea of being featured in a blog. Or at least, when I proposed this idea, it made a horrible, scratchy, high-pitched noise, which I could only interpret as either, “cool idea!” or, “I’m about to leap off this face and stick my hairy fangs into your neck!”

The reason for all this focus on such a hideous thing as a huge, repugnant moustache is that, after extensive analysis of the most popular search terms on my blog, it’s clear that Nietzsche’s moustache hovers consistently around 2nd or 3rd place in popularity. Clearly there is a demand out there, for huge, repugnant moustaches, and like most other commercial enterprises earning massive amounts of money, I am merely responding to demand.

(I just remembered that I’m not a commercial enterprise earning huge amounts of money. Damn that brain-washing moustache!)

Strangely enough, the most searched term on my blog indicates that people spend a lot of time looking for information on facial features of well-known people. The top searched term on my blog is for another specific facial/cranial feature, belonging to another specific and well-known person. I’m sorry to say that the second-place-getter, ie, the Nietzsche Moustache, will probably never surpass the winner, a very specific pair of celebrity ears.

To finally get to the point of this post, this entire post is, in fact, a response to a recent search term: “Nietzsche moustache history.” This search term made me realise what a glaring omission it is that, as yet, I have not presented the entire history of the infamous moustache in one post. So here it is, as gleaned from the moustache’s diary entries and the observations of commentators at the time.

15 October 1844 – Nietzsche was born early this morning, and with him – glorious me! This was disconcerting for the nurses, who had never seen a newborn with a prominent, hairy moustache, and promptly gave him a good shave, but never fear, I will be back. Humans will not hold me down.

Nietszche as a baby, in-between shaves.

Nietszche as a baby, in-between shaves.

October 1871 – well it’s taken me a while to write, but it’s hard for a moustache to get its hands on pen and paper. We are here in Basel, hanging out with some other philosophers and professors. I’m thriving in the warm Autumn we are having this year.

Nietzsche.later.years

A thriving moustache living on the face of a philosopher (no editing!)

Sometime in 1879 – I’ve been helping Nietzsche with his philosophical writing. So far I’ve been successful in causing him to be very pessimistic about humankind. This is partly aided by the fact that I am now such a massive growth on his face that no-one can understand what he is saying, which causes him to feel somewhat isolated. On the plus side, he is developing a reputation for making deep and meaningful remarks at the drop of a hat. In fact, usually all he has said is, “pardon me, you dropped your hat”, but due to my presence, his speech is so muffled that the listener hears some mumbling and interprets it as “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” *

Nietzsche animatedly talks about his latest theories

Nietzsche animatedly talks about his latest theories – or the weather, it’s hard to tell.

 

1883 – Nietzsche now only has me to talk to. He has named me Zarathustra, which I consider is a suitably imposing name for a moustache the size of myself.

 

1885 – Nietzsche has published a book of my speeches – entitled Thus Spake Zarathustra! Quite rightly, I am the first moustache to have my ideas put into print for the world to read. I told you they would not keep me down.

 

1900 – Nietzsche has passed away. I have to admit, this is a slight set-back in my plans for world domination. Hopefully I can overcome it if I can just find another human face to attach myself to. That shouldn’t be hard….if I can just work out how to get out of this bloody coffin!

 

 *

* I have no such degree, in fact, I don’t think that Melbourne University even offers a degree in Moustache Analysis in the much-lauded “Melbourne Curriculum”. At time of publication, they have not returned my phone calls so I am unable to verify this.

Academics at Melbourne University converge to discuss the merits of introducing a degree in writing about moustaches.

Academics at Melbourne University held a conference to discuss the possibility of introducing a degree in writing about moustaches.

 

*It was originally thought that it was syphilis that caused Nietszche’s death but more recently this has been called into question.

*Quote from Nietszche obtained at Brainy Quote. (I didn’t have any copies of his work lying around.) More on just how misinterpreted Nietszche was during his lifetime can be read here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. All those who belong to the sterner sex and sport one could surely learn a lot from a post of this nature!

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you! I’m glad that someone will find it educational! Obtaining the diary of Nietszche’s moustache was no mean feat, I can assure you.

      Like

      Reply
  2. I one day hope to achieve such a moustache, to aid me in my goal to achieve world domination bwahahaha!
    Or get laughed at, possibly.

    Like

    Reply
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