A Nihilist Built My Hot Rod

Originally published December 27, 2007

There are so many words. Choosing the right ones to begin is the challenge du jour, one that has been building for some time now. Perhaps this explains my absence. It is also remotely possible that this thought is brought to you once again by the delightful cocktail of insomnia and cold medication, with a side of illness. I vomited today. That was pleasant.

It’s been a long December, and yes, there is reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last. Maybe I should count crows. They seem an appropriate bird for this time of year. I am unfamiliar with the crow in the nature of its preferred geographic locale and acceptable habitat. I do however see the black feathers being of chummy contrast to the perpetual gray of this season, this winter, this long December.

They seem a rather rough and tumbled bunch of birds, scavengers prepared to feast on the toughest of meat. This is grissle season. It all makes sense in my head and therefore it is real. Whatever exists in the mind by definition exists somewhere in the world, be it actual or otherwise.

That which has been thought may never be unthought. Carl Joachim Friedrich said that. He was a “Political Theorist” according to Wikipedia. I see him more as a mixed drink – equal parts philosophy and prognostication with a twist of irony for those so inclined to drink the Kool Aid. Don’t ask me what that means, I write it down but I don’t always understand it. This seems to be an underlying theme lately.

It occurs to me that I may not have chosen the correct words to start. I should return to the beginning and strike forth a new course, seeking land free and clear in the new world. But that would mean abandoning the thought, unthinking it, at least to you, at least here. Old man Friedrich would have my ass.

I was studying the UV filter for my new camera today. The whole concept of the thing fascinates me. Filters. Most are not naturally occurring, although the natural world does have it’s share of miracle and coincidence in this arena, no, most filters are artificial. They are designed to eliminate something. They have a purpose.

The filters themselves have no dogma. The filters do not believe their filtering is noble. They do not believe they themselves are noble. They believe nothing, not because they are Nihilists, but because they are objects. The folks who have designed and built these filters have dogma. The folks who marketed and sold these filters are a righteous bunch, at least in first person singular terms.

This makes me ask aloud if filters are the answer. The echo has yet to return an answer from the voice of the great beyond (which sounds basically like David Carradine). I’ll keep you updated should one arrive. We’ll all put on our knickers and Easter hats and have a god damned picnic in the park. If it gets too wet we can raise the umbrella, if it gets too bright we’ll reach for our sunglasses, if it gets too real we’ll just filter that shit out in post production. In any event, we’ll meet the answer with an apple pie and a PBR, an envoy to the unknown, welcoming its’ presence among our forefathers and grandchildren.

Show us your wisdom oh answer, oh answer. I promise we’ll listen like good little children. I make no promises of compliance. I don’t believe in that silly stuff. Neither do the Nihilists.

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was killed yesterday. The press had taken to calling her “opposition leader”. Now is not the time for debate regarding her legacy, her virtue or lack there of depending upon which viewpoint you subscribe to. Now is a time for mourning. Now is a time to recognize the power and evil of violence in the world. Now is a time to be aware that Pakistan is a nuclear power, without falling prey to the rush to judgment mentality of such a thing.

There is violence in the streets in response. There is outrage. There is madness. There is a reason for these things. It is possible to hypothesize that such an act could spark larger fires destined to consume us all. There is however significant evidence in the form of thousands of years of stated history to suggest this is unlikely. Waves will continue to pound the sand. Trees will blossom. Animals will hunt and the human race will continue racing in many directions under the same footfalls. Yes, I meant under.

However today the body of a woman who was told she would be killed if she refused to shut her mouth is being carried to the village of her birth for burial. She refused to shut her mouth. There is a courage in that. There is honor in the act, there is nobility in the process – regardless of how you feel about the message. Sadly nobility is no treatment for a corpse, it only serves to treat the witnesses, let’s hope they (we) pay attention.

No one really listens to anyone else anymore, if you try it for a while you’ll see why. Mignon McLaughlin said that. She was an “Author and Journalist” according to Wikipedia. I see her more as a mixed drink – equal parts philosophy and prognostication, with a twist of irony for those inclined to drink the Kool Aid. Don’t ask me what that means, I write it down but I don’t always understand it.


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