The Joyful Wisdom of Nietzsche – Fish and Chips

To Wu Shuhua, with immense love and gratitude.

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I took to wandering the beach one day, leaving behind my home and the lake of my home, and have walked beside the ocean ever since. Not too long ago, I came across an old crab with a crusty shell but gentle manners. He had an odd habit of wandering forward and backward, backward and forward along the coastline, a hermit on his own journey. We, ape and crab, said hello to each other. I hunted fish for us to eat and we conversed while eating lunch for it was noon.

Crab – I have seen many people wander the beach in my day; by chasing the endless coastline they came, they saw, they conquered every land in the world, but they never knew where they were going. Where are you going? Do you run on ahead? As a herdsman, an exception, or deserter? 

Ape – How can anyone fully answer questions this profound? I doubt even you can! I can only be as honest as possible in both my knowledge and ignorance. I once joined a band of rebels years ago in a fight to liberate our troupe from our chiefs, who are vicious, obese, ugly apes, so powerful yet so stupid they are burning our very forest to ashes. Yet the rebels care more for cutting open their chiefs in revenge than saving the forest herself and they only succeeded to disembowel each other. I deserted my comrades but with a heavy heart; a large question mark still hangs over the fate of the forest. 

Crab – You lack the heart for politics. You cannot be a true believer. This is true no matter what duties you think you owe to other apes or the forest. I live in the ocean where no fire can touch me. I travel in the deep past or in the far future but rarely stay in the present. But what of your present?

Ape – I would like to think of myself as an exception but I may just be part of a larger movement, which I fear cannot be avoided even by the cleverest of apes. I may just be part of a larger “progressive” movement within my troupe, where some outcast apes are gaining more acceptance and power among our chiefs while other outcasts are breaking away from the troupe to live on their own terms. You, hermit crab, were once an ape and are also part of a movement, a movement we call “existentialism”. But I don’t care about movements you may have inspired by accident – all movements of history are merely accidents – but about you.

Crab – But what about you? Are you genuine or only an actor? A representative or that itself which is represented? 

Ape – I can lie and make riddles when I feel I must but I am too ingenuous to act, for better and worse. I, my life and work, represent a war; my body is a battlefield where the muses and other spirits compete for various honors and duties. I am their work of art. My work of art is a dream of someone else’s dream, a ghost of a ghost, a metaphor of a metaphor. This truth applies to everyone. I don’t know any of these wily women well and I may never be able to do so. 

Crab – Ah, yes, Life is a woman! The organism is an organization, a society, after all. I notice your feet are heavy. You forgot to stretch this morning, or did you just now decide to go the gym? The more you write the more you practice running. One day your feet will grow wings and you will be able to dance well, but you must keep your eyes peeled. Do you look on? Or who sets to work? Or who looks away, turns aside?

Ape – I’ve been setting to work for years now but it made me absent minded. I didn’t look on enough because I did not believe there was much ahead. I did not believe I had a future in this world but slowly that is starting to change.   

Crab – Do you want to accompany or go on ahead or go off alone? One must know what one wants and that one wants.   

Ape – I want to go on ahead but no longer alone. I am tired of being alone. I need more friends. But I do have company with a woman I love. I would like us to travel together through life, accompanying each other, supporting each other. What do I want? I want to validate myself through my work. I want to be as powerful an artist as possible. I want to save the forest. I want a companion and friends. I want to love this world, this life, and all her people. I want so many things, so very many things. 

Crab – It is good to sprint but don’t forget to eat well, sleep well, and organize your day well. Don’t trip on a pebble and fall flat on your face. You are young and impatient. You should focus more on growth and the journey itself than on the goals and perfection. Even at the age of thirty one is a total novice in regards to high culture and the most important questions, the greatest of life’s riddles [1]. Take my example; I embarrassed myself by following an actor and a saint by the heel, like a little poodle, only to turn on them.  

Ape – What about all the questions you asked me [2]? How do they apply to you? It is now your turn in the hot pot.

Crab – I was once a deserter, now an exception, but I became a herdsman to some, which I loathe – I would rather be a buffoon. I represent life, or rather does she represent me? I look on and set to work but, alas, sometimes I have poor eyes. I go on ahead and go off alone. The beach is my desert, my forty days into the wilderness. You will not be able to cook me for dinner. My shell is too hard.

Ape – We’ll see about that. Be careful. I may one day fly past you.

And so ape and crab parted. The crab returned to the waves while I walked on ahead. 

Works Cited:

  1. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, 75.  
  2. Ibid, 36-37.

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The Calendar Reinvented

analemma-sun-figure-eight-trip-in-the-sky-25

The year will be divided into 13 months of 28 days, since 13 almost perfectly divides 365, leaving only 1 day as the remainder (2 days for leap years). Only the 13th month is the exception, with 29 days (3o days during leap years). In the pagan year, the sun “dies” around the winter solstice, then is “reborn” about 3 days later. Let the old year end on December 21 and the new year begin on December 22. The sun’s “yearly journey” now mirrors its “daily journey”.

winter solstice = midnight, 12am
spring equinox = sunrise, 6am
summer solstice = noon, 12pm
fall equinox = sunset, or 6pm

I will rename months in the spirit of the old Germanic Calendar. We switch from the Gregorian Calendar to the Solunar Calendar. The new calendar is named after the sun and the moon as the solar year blends almost seamlessly into thirteen lunar months. Hence “Solar” and “Lunar” become “Solunar”.

Wintermonth = December 22 – January 18
Gathermonth = January 19 – February 15
Drymonth = February 16 – March 15
Springmonth = March 16 – April 12
Grassmonth = April 13 – May 10
Pasturemonth = May 11 – June 7
Summermonth = June 8 – July 5
Haymonth = July 6 – August 2
Harvestmonth = August 3 – August 30
Fallmonth = August 31 – September 27
Vintagemonth = September 28 – October 25
Bloodmonth = October 26 – November 22
Darkmonth = November 23 – December 21

No longer will we divide history from a single crux, the birth of Christ. Rather, we will divide history into ages of roughly 2000 years.

Historic Age = 13 billion b.c. – 10,000 b.c.
Stone Age = 10,000 b.c. – 8,000 b.c.
Farm Age = 8,000 b.c. – 6,000 b.c.
City Age = 6,000 b.c. – 4,000 b.c.
Bronze Age = 4,000 b.c. – 2,000 b.c.
Iron Age = 2,000 b.c. – 0 a.d.
Global Age = 0 a.d. – 2,000 a.d.
Star Age = 2,000 a.d. – 4,000 a.d.
Galaxy Age = 4,000 a.d. – 6,000 a.d.
Heaven Age = 6,000 a.d. – 8,000 a.d.
Horizon Age = 8,000 a.d. – 10,000 a.d.

Examples of dates:
Ramses II crowned king:
22 October 1279 BC
25 Vintagemonth 721 IA

Alexander defeats Darius III:
1 October 331 BC
4 Vintagemonth 1669 IA

Caesar murdered:
15 March 44 BC
28 Drymonth 1956 IA

Luther posts the 95 theses:
31 October 1517 AD
6 Bloodmonth 1517 GA

Beethoven performs the Eroica:
7 April 1805 AD
23 Springmonth 1805 IA

Darwin publishes The Origin of Species:
24 November 1859 AD
2 Darkmonth 1859 GA

Human genome mapped:
14 April 2003 AD
2 Grassmonth 3 SA