Having watched Genius of the Modern World for a second time, I consider myself comparable with Nietzsche in innovation, if not book production. However, if I edited all the over 1000 greenYgrey blogs into books I’d probably have about the same amount of works.
Writing books was the only way in the 19th century, while blog-writing is the norm now. Or it was, maybe social media is the even newer norm, in this time-deficient age, where reality is in screens rather than in the sky; saving time from 140 characters Twitter to the images of Instagram and YouTube; returning us to the cave art of our prehistoric ancestors! I say that as more caveman than most, and more books-avoidant than most academics: escaping the library to film and television studies.
Nietzsche Earned Correct Spelling
In this age of instant overbearing info and spelling checks I didn’t know the correct spelling of Nietzsche until the writing of XaW Files: Beyond Humanity, which I think should be my Thus Spoke Zarathustra; the book that saved Nietzsche’s philosophical writing career; although he went mad soon after, so maybe I should call it a day!
XaW Files is full of wordplay ways to remember things, continuing the theme started in the first book of the trilogy: Greenygrey’s Rambles: How to Remember North America (by Acronyms). I remember Nietzsche by a Dutch word for no (niet) and che on the end, of Che Guevara fame, with only a zs in the middle to remember unaided by mental prompts.
Friedrich Nietzsche Exists
My first encounter with Nietzsche was at university, but it was through my own purchase, rather than part of my studies. I bought Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers, by Philip Stokes, in a bargain bookstore.
Nietzsche was in the group I most identified with, as an agnostic bordering on atheist, The Existentialists. At the time I was more interested in the trio of twentieth-century French existentialists that had helped shape the 1960s counter-culture: Jean-Paul Satre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir.
The three other Existentialists in the book are Soren Kierkegaard, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.
Few Philosophical Ideas on the World Repeated
As Nietzsche was way before me, and I had read about him in the early stages of my further education, I will always consider myself lesser than him, for he had ideas that provided seeds for mine.
However, as I am a twenty-first century philosopher inspired by the past, so was Nietzsche in the nineteenth century. Those viewers who first discovered Nietzsche in the above documentary might have presumed all his ideas were new, but as Stokes wrote, Nietzsche’s biggest idea of self-mastery being the most important thing in life is ‘closer to Aristotle’s man of virtue than the glorified Aryan hero.’
Aristotle of Ancient Greece was one of the first historic philosophers, living around 384-322 B.C., about 300 years after the first credited philosopher, Thales of Miletus; and in the following century to Socrates.
As the Genius of the Modern World documentary showed, Neitzsche’s breakthrough book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, was simply a fictional account reflecting his philosophical views, as the greenYgrey trilogy is mine. I didn’t know, or remember, that until last night’s second viewing, but maybe it was lodged in my unconscious all along?
Will the greenYgrey be considered philosophical gold one day? That’s not up to me. While I can blame the hierarchy for the university glass ceiling stopping me, now that I have self-published it is up to you. Can you see any value in my books… if you have the time to read them… sense of humour to get the wordplay… and knowledge to understand the story… for they start off easy, but get more difficult… and philosophical… like a complete story, or education course… returning to the original philosophers of 2500 years ago… with Nietzsche only just over a century ago I am much closer in time to him than he was to the originals… we are like twigs on the same branch, with the roots way below and largely out of sight.
Still Self-Proclaimed Genius
By way of light relief, one of the suggested videos on YouTube this morning was this one. I think super-genius is a bit over the top, but that’s rock n’ roll. I think I only knew about Brian May being academic before, and had only heard of Michael Starr of Steel Panther out of the others before.
Brian May is big on animal welfare, so I relate to him that way. Most of the others seem to be punkish, with the bands probably an outlet for their politics or philosophy as my writing is for mine, taking it out to the masses.
Starr seems different in that Steel Panther are a self-parody comedy band, with self-parody something I’ve used at the greenYgrey; and recently made clear when stating ‘I am the joke, for your entertainment’.
Funnily enough, yesterday I watched a documentary about one of my favourite sit-coms from my childhood, Rising Damp. In it, the star and veteran actor, Leonard Rossiter, was shown being interviewed.
He said that some people had considered him lowering himself going from serious roles to that of Rigsby the landlord, but he pointed out that comedy is one of the hardest acting roles.
I hope I’ve entertained you, while continuing my philosophical search, educating you and myself. Take it or leave it, praise or criticise it, for it is written, and will only play a small part in human history; whether it will be considered a significant small part, or a tiny speck, is up to you and the humans of the future… if intellectual society survives!
Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and all great big bookshops.