Badb Catha


Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.

Lo! I show you the Last Man.

“What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?” — so asks the Last Man, and blinks.

The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest.

“We have discovered happiness” — say the Last Men, and they blink.

They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one’s neighbour and rubs against him; for one needs warmth.

Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men!

A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death.

One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.

One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome.

No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse.

“Formerly all the world was insane,” — say the subtlest of them, and they blink.

They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled — otherwise it upsets their stomachs.

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.

“We have discovered happiness,” — say the Last Men, and they blink.

– Friedrich Nietzsche, This Spoke Zarathustra [1]

“Keep Calm and Carry On”, say the Last Men, and they blink. For two-bit pop stars and their managers are here to exploit mass slaughter of children for the sake of the usual old narrative and an increase in future record sales. Donations, (equivalent to a small fraction of all performer incomes) were raised for charity.  Back in reality, intestines, feet and other pieces meat lay scattered #somewhereovertherainbow. While the Islamic State are busy quaking in their explosive vests, their allies at The Red Cross are also cashing in.”But Dick Bikes!”, say the Last Men, and they blink.

When staring into the pastel coloured abyss of pop culture and agitprop, where technicolour fantasy and the lives of fabulous grinning court jesters outshines reality, one can’t help but wonder which side of the madhouse gates they’re actually on.

As the youngest have been consistently conditioned and coddled since birth; raised by neurotic boomers, the state and mass media, frequently supplemented with Monster Energy Drinks and Ritalin, one can excuse them for their inability to see beyond shiny surfaces and repetitions. Their elders have simply given up trying. Across the generational divides, well in keeping with #onelove ethos, the terminally transfixed are more than ‘happy’ to accept things just as they are given.

Nietzsche’s suggestion is the last man is a creature of extreme convenience. And as creatures of convenience, the last men will be inclined to reject or recoil from anything on this side of the rainbow. Contrary to his insistence, the docile do not seek to eradicate conflict, pain and death, nor are they doing it in the name of any lofty political ideal such as so-called diversity or equality. His beliefs are not truly his own, but conveniences created for him and sold to him. The last man does not create anything worthwhile because creation is a dangerous and tumultuous endeavour. The last man does not take up a sword because that would require him to confront the possibility of hardship, suffering, failure or death. The last man is the one who endeavours to stretch out his existence in the most painless way possible, and when push comes to shove, he would much rather be assassinated in his sleep. His meagre aspirations have already been scripted for him, and why would he complain? Like tuneless hens raised in gilded battery cages and awaiting slaughter, the last men sing not just of ‘freedom’ but ‘love for all men’. If the cage door were to be flung upon he would hardly notice, least of all venture out. What the last man really wants is a safe space and to never be shamed by his betters.

Paris, 2016. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And yet the last men huddle, surrounded by (ever increasing levels of) security, claiming to be unafraid.

The last man did not invent happiness. The last man invented Prozac.

[1] http://praxeology.net/zara.htm

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