Every morning I wake up on

The wrong side of capitalism

The Tweenies, Nietzsche, whining, etc.

I was watching the Tweenies the other day (for reasons to be explained in a later post), and I Had Me A Revelation (to quote Elvis). My favourite Tweenie is (of course) Milo, and I can explain why by mentioning the episode where Milo eats too many sweets and gets sick. The key point is that Milo doesn’t learn his lesson – he’s quite happy to eat too many sweets and make himself ill, because he likes eating sweets.

This was not The Revelation. It occoured to me that I like Tracy Barlow off of Coronation Street for exactly the same reason – she regularly does crazy shit that fucks up her life, but she carries on metaphorically eating too many sweets, because she likes the metaphorical sweets.

That, needless to say, was not the revelation either. The revelation, such as it was, was that Milo is completely happy, and Tracy is desparately unhappy, and that this is almost entirely irrelevant. As Nietzsche says, “man does not want to be happy; only the Englishman does.� The important thing is not the happiness or the unhappiness but the attitude to it. To bring in more Nietzsche, Tracy epitomises precisely the pessimism of strength, “an intellectual inclination for what in existence is hard, dreadful, angry, and problematic, emerging from what is healthy, from overflowing well being, from living existence to the full.� Tracy is unhappy, and her unhappiness is so endearing, because she has “a way of suffering from the very fullness of life.� Milo, of course, like Zarathustra, represents the optimism of strength, the noble self-confidence which is entirely sure of its pleasures and happy to undergo suffering while willing an eternal recurrence of the same (in Milo’s case, more sweets).

On the flipside, of course, there is an optimism of weakness, exemplified by Socrates and, in our own day, by Panglossian marxists (the certainty of revolution to come which is, of course, just a disguised form of despair) and a pessimism of weakness, perhaps examplified by a friend of my parents, currently living in Thetford (which, if it weren’t in the middle of a very nice forest, might be the most unpleasent place in the country), who appears to have no way of engaging with the world but by complaining, particularly, taking the pessimism of weakness to its highest form, complaining about other people complaining. A completely impotent and, frankly, depressing state for anyone to be in, but it does, perhaps have the shadow of a positive side, as it makes me wonder: is there a bitchiness of strength?

Original article (including comments)


No comments

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.