Here it is, the nihilism post. It’s timely even, as in a short few hours the totally meaningless celebration of my 38th year of life on this planet will commence. That’s right..at roughly 5 am on one dark and snowy November 18th in the year 1971, I arrived.
Still here, oddly enough. So let us begin: Nihilism, the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated, that life is meaningless, that there are no moral or ethical absolutes, there is no truth and even if there were, we could never know it, a state of thinking in which many assume amorality is the flavor of the day and absolute destruction- of the self and the world- is what is on the table for dinner.
I am 95 % a nihilist. The 5% of me that isn’t is holding down the fort and madly clinging to some sort of hope, but hey, water is rising and all. Heh, even I have my weak points. We’ll get to them and the 5% in a minute.
I have before in my blogging career mentioned how even though most people dream of one day being exceptional, most of them will never make it and will, in the course of two to three generations even be nothing perhaps more than names and faces on a photograph to even their own families. We will ant farm our way through existence; produce, consume, and die and in the end it will mean nothing…we are little more than a tiny line with a tiny number, lost amid countless other tiny lines and tiny numbers on a great big huge bar code. Who we are, what we have done? That, for almost all of humanity, will be dust faster than our bones. There is no ‘real’ reason to get out of bed in the morning. There is no ‘real” reason to do anything really, except that we think we should do, we are told we should do it, we are used to doing it. What we actually do or don’t do? At the end of the day in the big picture way, it means jack shit.
And actually, no, I am not an atheist or an anarchist or any other such thing. I think there is a god, but he either long stopped giving a shit or left the building, and why yes, we do need laws, but shit, things like the OJ Simpson trial should be enough to let you know they mean nothing. There is no real fair or unfair, no great and shining hope for humanity. We eat, sleep, fuck, kill -produce, consume- and that’s just the way of it. No reason to do it, no meaning in it. We just do. Often because we think we are supposed to, or often because we feel we have to, or hey, even often we do things because they give us pleasure… and in my book any of those reasons are okay for doing things…but its doesn’t grant meaning to anything on any great scale. It might hold meaning for the individuals involved, but in the grand scheme? Jack and his cousin shit. One day we’ll be dust, the world will be dust, and nothing any of us ever did will matter, thus it matters not now, and there is no meaning to any of it. Hell, humans, life? We don’t get each other, we don’t really communicate with each other, we like to think we have some great things going with our little laws and little politics and little displays of awesomeness- but what are we actually really good at? Eat, Fuck, Kill, Produce, Consume…die, leaving nothing behind aside from that which will be erased, and there is no great meaning-if any at all, behind it. We can add that on a personal level I suppose…but that still doesn’t mean anything.
Oddly enough, I can live with that. Doesn’t even depress me really. It is, best as I can tell, the way of the world. I’ve been creepin’ around on the planet for 38 years now, and really, I think this is just how it is. I can roll with that. I can even have fun, enjoy the roll as it were…in fact, I can have one hell of a time…but aside from what pleasure or satisfaction or fun I take out of that- what pleasure or satisfaction I might give others in doing that…when the whistle blows and the clock stops…it doesn’t matter. None of it does, did, or will. Because nothing about life does. We’re ants, in an ant farm. We build our tunnels and do our jobs and eat/fuck/kill….but we’re still pretty much little creatures in the sand behind glass and sure enough, we will get shaken up, watch our tunnels collapse, die, and it won’t have mattered- nothing we have done, good or bad, will have mattered. So, you might as well enjoy the ride, eh, since you are going to be forgotten bone dust in a matter of years anyway and thats pretty much all there is to it.
That’s how I look at it, except for that five percent. Because there really is that five percent that does not want what the other 95 percent of me believes to be true…cause I have a weakness. Kids. I don’t want kids to get thrown into the meat grinder of life thinking that there is nothing, that there is no meaning. I mean, they will get their on there own I suspect, but when they are children? Hell, children are supposed to believe in fairies and unicorns and that they can grow up to be superheroes. They are supposed to believe that they can change the world and make some sort of lasting difference (that hope usually gets crushed out of them pretty soon anyway). They aren’t supposed to know the one thing we are best at is obliterating ourselves and each other and anything else that happens to be in the way. They are supposed to have hope, they want to believe in something rather than nothing… And if they can, well, sometimes, that 5% of me does too. A little bit. On occasion. Until the other 95% tells it to shut the fuck up and sit down so it can point out how right it is.
And yeah, this belief does play into a lot of what is going on with me in a lot of ways, from my grimness to my – ahem – hedonism, the kinds of music and movies I like, the characters I write, my focus on the more physical things in life, the fact that I do not get shocked over much of anything anymore. Absolutely. The 5% lurks around though, but is more focused on little tiny things: good friends, good relationships, things that can be meaningful in a small little way to the people who are involved, that can let me look at the rest of the utter meaningless with a wise ass grin. In the end it may mean nothing and there may be nothing, but at least there can be the occasional port in the storm and all.
And that, true believers, is the good part in a world full of nothing…those occasional ports. The rest is shit and nothing with no meaning and in time, no consquence…so enjoy the hurricane days with those you can while you still got ’em, cause in the end, you won’t even have those, and it won’t have mattered.
Birthday advice from the God Emperor of Rome…
Enjoy life as much as you can, because when nothing else matters, that shit does. When everything really is nothing, the little things can mean a lot.