Is there any word more misused than nihilism?

Or maybe it's me who doesn't get it.

I had already been thinking about this a few weeks ago and had forgotten I had been doing so when I was reading a review of a book in the New York Times and there was that word again. If I were to mention the book, the author of the book, the author of the review, we would all get quite distracted. 

As far as I can tell, most people accused of being nihilists seem to believe quite deeply that life is meaningful, and often despair of finding evidence for this belief due to their sensitivity towards the prevalence of unnecessary suffering experienced by others. Nihilism is an insult directed towards those whose capacity for empathy distracts them from "proper" levels of self-interest.

I don't understand why the capacity to not be distracted by the suffering of others is not considered nihilistic.

Isn't a notion of meaning entirely circumscribed by the limits of an individual's desire by necessity dismissive of any social foundation of meaning? Isn't that, um, nihilism?

I admit the first sentence of the preceding paragraph needs to be rewritten. I could distract you instead, though, by taking a cheap shot and reminding you that the New York Times supports coups, and the inevitable death that follows, but that would make me a nihilist.

When I'm 64

It's been a little while since I've thought a lot about The Beatles, which is only to say that I can't remember exactly which tunes of Paul's John derided as "granny music". I don't find it difficult to imagine "When I'm Sixty Four" being one of them. Well, at the risk of making some of my older readers feel, well, ancient, which is not the case, keep your heads up, etc., well, all I can say is that, well, punk is now granny music isn't it?

Youtube just told me I should go and listen to this band that are currently doing a version of punk that is so perfectly spot-on 1977 that it's eerie and, well, let's do the math. It's not unreasonable to consider that a punk could have been, say, twenty-two in 1977, born in 1955, like, I dunno, Steve Jones or Glen Matlock, which means that they are, erm, sixty-four this year.

I don't know what I'm trying to say it's just still mind-boggling that its been almost twenty years since the "return of rock" retro bollocks (or even further - Oasis blah blah) and it's still, well, it's still going. What's really baffling about this band is that they seem to go even deeper into the ventriloquism; the music sounds angry because that's what punk is meant to sound like, right?

I mean, I guess it doesn't matter. It's a fairly marginal band, though no band exactly seems marginal on Youtube (except for the old ones who, still, "nobody" cares about, and whose fans still bear the scars, sometimes decades old, evident in the comments section).

What's funny, and I've been noticing this trend for years now, maybe even, almost, decades, without commenting on it (I think?), is that a lot of (milquetoast indie) bands, for whatever reason, maybe a half-hearted bid at coming off as contemporary or open-minded or whatever, seem to always reference some significant hip hop act as being significant to their music. This band in particular, whose entire aesthetic universe exists across the great expanse between, say, the second verse of a C-grade Stooges song and the second chorus of the exact same song, takes the trouble to mention Cardi B as an influence. To what?



I think I only live in New York to heighten the possibility that I will meet other people as willing to complain about the misery of living here as I am.


a capitulation

the thing is is that

the specific amalgamation

of whatever the material

I think it is called brass

that blows me into

a place

where I can sleep without disapproval or interruption

I think it is actually called brass

where I can sleep unmolested

it must be brass

or so it is called

there are certain days where I can skate upon

the ice of ontology oblivious

that I could fall through

at any moment

which I don't

though I can see it

below me

not inferior


Note On The Death Of Religion

I was about to console myself with the thought that there must be a special place in hell for those who arrange their books by color of spine until I realized...


Ignoble Sacrifice

Mr. Epstein dead.

I can't believe he wasn't on suicide watch. I can't believe he wasn't kept like a rare flower, protected from the elements and under constant surveillance. Not that he deserved the care, but his victims did. They deserved their day in court, a full accounting of what happened. They deserved to take small comfort in the fear that those not-yet-caught must have been feeling when there was a chance Epstein could talk. Not only does it anger me that a big piece of this puzzle is now missing, that he and, most likely, others, will get away with it, but I'm angry that, especially given the nature of these times, whatever idiots were in charge of this whole situation didn't even have the pragmatism, well outside of the realms of justice or morality, just the day-to-day selfish self-interest, to prevent what will now come: the conspiracy theories, the perpetual speculations, the increased distrust in institutions and authority figures, and, in case morals are actually present, the impossibility of anything approaching justice.

Of course, I'm being, though, fucking, really, fucking, naive.

The "post-truth" era is ultimately not destabilizing to power; the opposite.

Myths make deities.

If anyone gets fired, I'm guessing, eventually the people who took orders make less money and the people who gave them, more.