Tomorrow we leave for Eger in Hungary. I have written the first chapter in outline form, a 75-page history of the Amanita Muscaria in world and fairy tales. It is one of the most important books ever written, because it sheds new light on human evolution. In Eger, I will work on the second part: recipes and formulas. Composing your own diet with medicinal mushrooms, which makes you lose weight and makes you stronger.
Veronique is a real poetry lover, and of course I am lucky in that respect. But she also writes one book after another, and often there are some very striking sentences. Yesterday I said: ‘How come you never had the ambition to write a collection? – After some reflection back and forth, she said: ‘Well, you see the sort of people who stand on a podium and then you think, no, I don’t want to stand between those.
That surprised me – it’s exactly what I always feel too. I don’t feel like standing among them. So there must be plenty of people who do have a talent for poetry but who, because the bar has been set so low by lazy people and scroungers, have given up before they’ve even got a word on paper.
For nihilists, this is an incomprehensible approach. In the nihilistic universe, everything is worth exactly the same, egalitarianism without brains, that is nihilism pur sang. You work at a library and you are not trying to build up a special collection, but to offer an ‘average’ at ‘command of the centre’. Those who are not nihilists have a hard time in these times, of course – those who do care what hangs next to you in an exhibition. Those who do not see the curator as a celebrity but the artist himself. Oh well, one day I will try to get Veronique to compile a poetry collection.
Those ‘famous’ curators who set up such a stage full of therapeutic wrecks and afterbirths as part of ‘the art of poetry’ so that real poets lose all desire to write – the thomas mohlmanns of this world, the Frank Keizers, writers of bad, lazy, thin collections – my former enemy Chretien Breukers recently characterised their level as ‘bad’ – and with that bad poetry they would never, ever be invited into a good circuit, so the need to become such a ‘famous curator’ is quite understandable, but it is of course a coup d’état.
All these phlegmatic little men applaud each other in a ‘glossy’ like Awater, a magazine in which they have huge glossy pictures taken of each other with subsidy money, as if they were famous somewhere or other – and they then fill the rest of the magazine with meaningless reviews, but it is clearly all about the pictures, which wouldn’t have to be paid for by the government if they were really famous.
To the modern man, however, who knows or understands nothing of nihilism, a person who is troubled by the environment seems an egotist or a madman. What? You don’t want to be in my anthology because you don’t want to be among those other works? What an ego, what an attitude, most people are overjoyed when they are asked to be in this endless list. What, you don’t want to play at this festival because you consider the next band, Gordon, an insult to your own music?
No, modern man grows up in nihilism, is soaked in nihilism: and you, man who still has values – you are a relic, a madman, a lunatic.
How often have I had to hear precisely this lamentation from people who do not know how to distinguish their ass from their elbow in a philosophical sense? You really have to draw it out literally for them, then if you’re lucky the penny drops very slowly:
You work in a library:
Man with values: tries to build a special collection to make the librarian’s life shine
Nihilist: offering an average of all books to the people on instructions from Central Command
Can you see the difference now? Let’s try again:
Creating an anthology of poems:
Man with values: tries to show a special and personal collection of poems that show a particularly high taste.
Nihilist: makes a ‘retrospective anthology’ of ‘everyone who wrote’ for Central Command
See the difference? The nihilist has long since given up on life. And he doesn’t understand at all that you don’t, that you believe in values, don’t be so difficult! To the group, he will portray you as a madman who did not appreciate the values of his anthology. But secretly, deep inside, there is that crying, failed, jaded little man.
And what is an ‘apologist’? It is a person who tries to mediate between nihilism and people with values. That you are allowed to participate in nihilism. That he has reserved a place for you in the circle jerk of AA anonymous, where everyone is clapping for everyone else. Come and join us! And if you show any horror, he will stare at you with those empty crab eyes, dried out on their sticks. Don’t you want to join in? Well – he has only himself to blame for his exclusion! The circle jerks go on. Tell us about your fantastic collection, Jaap. Bravo!
And that librarian who makes a general survey of books for Central Command- is it possible to mediate with generality? No, but the apologist always pretends it is. And that is because his real function is to make nihilism seem more human. The apologist serves the system, not you – the sooner you understand that the better.