Dear Nietzsche (h2so4 12)

My girlfriend acts like a crazy woman. She always thinks I am about to leave her. Or if we are happy together she is certain doom is impending. Is it something I have done?

    --Loverman

Dear Loverman:

We love life not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

    Yours, F. Nietzsche

Dear Nietzsche:

I'm no conservative, but sometimes it seems as if it wouldn't be such a bad thing to turn the clock back a bit, forget progress for its own sake, live "family values," or begin again and do things a bit better. Am I getting old?

    --Victor Mature

Dear Mature:

Many have believed it possible. They have wanted to take mankind back, force it back, to an earlier standard of virtue. Morality has always been a bed of Procrustes. Even politicians have in this matter imitated the preachers of virtue: even today there are parties whose goal is a dream of the crabwise retrogression of all things. But no one is free to be a crab. One has to go forward, which is to say step by step further into decadence (this is my definition of modern 'progress').

    Yours, F. Nietzsche

Dear Nietzsche:

How can I tell when I'm on a date?

    --Heidi

Dear Heidi:

Since you ask: you are always on a date. The question is how you see the date. The real world of romance has been counterbalanced against the ideal romantic world, so much so that somehow we no longer see the real world. I shall compress my observations into four theses:

First proposition. The grounds upon which the real world has been designated as apparent establish its reality --another kind of reality is absolutely undemonstrable.

Second proposition. Nonetheless, the characteristics which have been assigned to the real world of things are the characteristics of non-being, of nothingness--the real world has been constructed out of the contradiction to the romantic world, which is no more than a moral-optical illusion.

Third proposition. Still, to talk about 'another' world than this one, the 'real world,' is quite pointless, provided that an instinct for slandering, disparaging and accusing life is not strong within us: in the latter case we revenge ourselves on life by means of the phantasmagoria of 'another,' better life--'true romance.'

Fourth proposition. To divide the world into a 'real world' and a 'true romance' world is only a suggestion of decadence--a symptom of declining life.... That the artist places a higher value on 'true romance' than on reality constitutes no objection to this proposition. For 'true romance' in that event signifies reality selected, strengthened, corrected.... The tragic artist, the creator of works of doomed love, is not a pessimist--it is precisely he who affirms all that is questionable and terrible in existence.

Yours, F. Nietzsche

Dear Nietzsche,

Wait, so you're saying that if I simply embrace the world as it is, I'll know the good dates from the bad and will eventually live happily ever after?

    --Liz

Dear Jill:

Perhaps this would best be answered by a parable. Let's call it: History of an Error. Or, "How 'True romantic love' at last became a Myth"

  1. 'True romantic love,' attainable to the wise, the virtuous man--it is his life. (The Ancients)
  2. 'True romantic love,' unattainable for the moment, but promised to the wise, the virtuous. (Christianity)
  3. 'True romantic love,' unattainable, undemonstrable, cannot be promised, but even when merely thought of, a consolation, a duty. (Morality)
  4. 'True romantic love'--unattainable? Unattained at any rate. And if unattained also unknown. Consequently also no consolation, no redemption, no duty: how could we have a duty towards something unknown? (Modern)
  5. 'True romantic love'--an idea no longer of any use, not even a duty any longer--an idea grown useless, superfluous, consequently a refuted idea: let us abolish it! (Postmodern)
  6. We have abolished 'true romantic love': what is left? the 'real' world, perhaps, a new happiness? ... But no! with 'true romantic love' we have also abolished the 'real' world!

INCIPIT ZARATHUSTRA.

    Yours, F. Nietzsche

Dear Nietzsche:

Why do women wear white pumps?

    --Avia

Dear Avia:

Acute observers and loiterers discover that the end is approaching fast, that everything around them is corrupted and corrupts, that nothing will stand the day after tomorrow, except one type of man, the incurably mediocre. The mediocre alone have a chance of continuing their type and propagating--they are the men of the future, the only survivors: "Be like them! Become mediocre!" is now the only morality that still makes sense, that still gets a hearing.

But this morality of mediocrity is hard to preach: after all, it may never admit what it is and what it wants. It must speak of measure and dignity and duty and neighborly love--it will find it difficult to conceal its irony.

    Yours, F. Nietzsche

[scribed by Jill Stauffer, ©1995]