The un-glorification of nihilism

So, The Husband is a philosopher. No, I’m not being a kidder. He’s a Spinoza scholar of the first order, but this isn’t just scholarship to him. It is his life’s work. He corresponds with other Spinoza folk all over the world, writes books and papers on Spinoza, and has a Spinoza library that probably is one of the largest anywhere. After 40 years of living with The Husband and this bromance with Baruch, I’ve had epiphanies over the years on big things and small. He asks me to read his work and I understand some of it readily; other writings are like entering a labyrinth of the nature of all things, navigating blind, and falling in rabbit holes without a rope. Once in a while I actually help him improve his writing with my questions and suggestions.

Today he sent me a quiz: define The Human Condition. First, I read his definition, which was a hard philosophy slog for moi. Then I had the breakfast of champions, spice cake with buttercream frosting. I lifted my fiction-writer fingers above the keys and had at it:

The Human Condition is all of the natural and human-made opportunities and constraints, limited only by ethics, evolution, language and physics, available in our physical and intellectual spheres, and our manipulation there of. Oh, and throw in our unique variety and expressions of human love, shake it up, and that’s our Condition.

Guilty as charged: I’m a hopeful optimist when it comes to the Human Condition. I need hope. I mainline hope. That’s why I had to throw Love into the Human Condition mashup. My personal condition requires that to plant my size 11s on the floor in the morning next to the bed, I require some level of hope. Otherwise, why fucking get up? Some personalities can be nihilistic and they operate just fine in the world. They’re not always that much fun to be around, those Donny-downer folk. I don’t need someone who fully channels the worst of Pollyanna-ism, but if given a choice, there again, I choose hope.

Mandela chose hope. I choose hope. Martin chose hope. I choose hope. Heroes with so much hate tearing them apart physically and mentally, and yet they still chose hope. That means they chose humanity and the best of what we can be, as something worth fighting for.

Artists are often said to thrive on angst, conflict, sadness: it informs and guides their master works. We’ve all read how so-and-so famous artist did their best work when they were fucking psycho, or torturing their long suffering wife or lover. But those strong and powerful emotions also have strong and powerful parallel emotions that can drive an artist to create their work, whether on a canvas, with a musical instrument, their voice, or a pen, with a focus on hope and beauty. But those are considered the weaker emotions. Why? Because when male writers, the only writers way back when, were mired in their negative shit, much self-generated, they had to grandiose-ize this so that they would still be considered masculine and strong. Thus, it fell to pass, that emotions on the optimistic, hopeful, happy side of the spectrum were relegated to females, the oh so weak and delicate who need the male penis to guide them, that oh so intelligent organ, as we have all witnessed in its full intellectual glory.

So artists and non alike, let us sing a song and do a happy dance for the strength and glory of love, joy and hope. And guys, stop making up that shit about your emotions, regardless of what they produce, as THE emotions, and saying and thinking that what women and other persons have are just pitter-patter to laugh at while you blow out the smoke of your cigar and your poison breath. I’m pointing at you, Yoshiro Mori. Fuck you.

Yikes, is this the result of having cake for breakfast? Better consult Marie Antoinette!

From Lady Proverbs, somewhere on the Oregon Coast.

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