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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Friday, August 13 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Fourth of the four basic
mind-food groups: Nihil(ism)

The fourth general basic "mind-food group" or subtext followers are the nihilists, in last place for the "values" they live by. These are the people who love death. It includes the fringe of those who admit they "love" (or are attracted to) death, and those who wouldn't admit that but who spend much of their lives playing one form or another of "Russian roulette" with life-threatening drugs like heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine, and playing with promiscuous sex in the age of HIV. Recent reports from San Francisco claim that after years of making progress against the city's AIDS epidemic, reported infections are on the rise again and "unprotected sex" is again in vogue among young men, a small but vocal cross-section of whom are even espousing the idea that contracting HIV is a gay badge of honor.

Nihilism, a philosophical death-orientation or a religion of "nothingness" or "nothing matters," has had many proponents in the past century in art, literature, film, and philosophy. One instance of this that most people over age 50 may remember is the critically acclaimed movie, Last Tango in Paris (1972, one of the few X-rated films to ever play in U.S. "wide release"), which was featured, if I recall correctly, on the covers of both Newsweek and Time magazines, with Time headlining its review, "sex and death in Paris." In it, Marlon Brando played a mid-40s middle-class man confronted with the meaninglessness of his life on the occasion of his wife's suicide, ending a loveless but comfortable marriage that spanned most of his life. The darkness of it drove him into promiscuous casual sex with an anonymous woman for whom he had no feeling, which only underscored his realization that his whole life had no feelings; it was just grey nothingness, a kind of living death.

The purpose of this series on life subtexts is two-fold: First, and mainly, to encourage us to examine our lives and choose the better paths. And secondarily, to help us realize that all four of these common current major subtexts of life are part of virtually all of our lives. We choose every day how much "death fixation" to let in, how many death-defying acts of carelessness to engage in, whether we'll risk our literal and our figurative lives for a thrill or titillation (anything from reckless driving to entertaining an extra-marital tryst). Likewise, we face every day how much to allow our "selves" reign in our lives rather than letting a wiser, better, and more qualified King reign there. We choose whether we will improve our family life by opening gateways to communication, or throwing up new barriers of our own making; whether to take offense or overlook potential offending remarks and acts; whether to be more loving toward spouses, children, and grandchildren, siblings and parents; whether to be peacemakers in our families and among our neighbors, or cause wars by bearing seditious news and speculations.

We decide many times over each day whether we're living for God and in what ways; whether we're putting family first, even if that means occasional "tough love" that says "no, that's not good for you" or "you're better than that."

He who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.

Proverbs 8:36

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Articles in this series, The Four Basic Mind-Food Groups:
     Introduction  |  Subtext God  |  Subtext Family  |  Subtext Self  |  Subtext Nihil

Early indicators

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Sent by Trudy Myers  

Thought for today

He who does not love his brother abides in death.

1 John 3:14  

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