Sunday, March 18, 2007

Little Mr. Sunshine

Its interesting to me how often Nietzche comes up in contemporary culture. Take for instance the movie Little Miss Sunshine. One of the characters takes a vow of silence until he gets into the Air Force Academy so he can become a pilot- only to later find out he is colorblind and turn his piloting and Academy chances to nil. This character's hero is Nietzche.

The fact that Neitzche is this character's hero doesn't make much sense in that the only parallel the character ever makes to the German professor is that he claims to "hate everyone," mimicking Neitzche's (and Sartre's) claim that "Hell is other people." Towards the end of the movie the character finally shows his love of his younger sister at a youth beauty pagent where he tries to protect her. Also along these lines, Neitzche probably would have seen the character's color blindness as a weakness and rejected the young man. All the while the young man may think himself as progressing towards being an "ubermensch," he finds himself falling far short.

In contemporary culture it seems that Neitzche is "in." I have yet to figure out how a philosopher (who was really a better philologist than philosopher) who believed us to be pointless accidents made of organic material is so popular in a culture driven by the importance of "me." Is it not a paradox to say that everything is about the individual but the individual is pointless in the end? I can, however, see his influence in contemporary society as the push for eugenics via stem cell research continues. Where Hitler left off with his scientific quest for the ubermensch, "progressive" politicians today applaude the advance of our own "superman" to come.

I suppose Neitzche got something philosophically right- his challenge that "if God is dead than why not [do as one wishes instead of the "moral" thing to do]?" Who's to say a thing is wrong if there is no such thing as wrong and right at all?

If God exists how can we ignore Him for the sake of politics? Isn't that what so many Germans did pre-Hitler?

Just a few thoughts I had after catching THIS story at Catholic World News about the Papal preacher denouncing Neitzche.

And, I enjoyed this post at the bottom of the article:
"God is dead- Neitzche...Neitzche is dead- God"
Worth a laugh I think.

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