GSTAAD—I thought of Nietzsche while the mayhem and destruction of monuments were going on, and his dictum of strengthening the strong and paralyzing the weak as a means of producing a higher type. Decadent bourgeois society was in the great man’s sights, but then he went bananas. Later on, young Nietzscheans believed that what was needed to save the world was an insurrection of sons against their fathers. But things do change, and mostly for the worse. Imagine if Mister N and his followers were around today—the past four weeks, to be exact—they’d exhort the fathers to kill their sons. And daughters.
My higher thoughts were interrupted by a telephone call and a female voice that sounded like a parody of a female voice. She was French and a journalist for France 2, a major television station, and a program by the name of Complément d’enquête, a French sort of Panorama. She had read my daughter’s book on Gstaad and wished to speak to me about the place. “As far as I know, Nietzsche was never here,” I said. She didn’t miss a beat. “But others just as famous have been.” I trust hacks in general and TV hacks in particular as much as I trust the BBC to cover both sides of a story, so I declined. Then a funny thing happened. The female voice that sounded like a parody of a female voice rang the wife, someone who has never willingly spoken to a member of a profession she has very little love or respect for, and convinced her I should speak with her. I suppose it was the manner of a little girl on the telephone and the parody of a female voice. I agreed.
What followed should be included in TV journalism wannabe textbooks. Isabelle—that’s the reporter’s name—with the little girlie voice had assured me her assistant would use a mobile-telephone-like device to film and record. “No lights, no microphones, no problems.” Not true. Two large men carrying large equipment arrived looking ill at ease and proceeded to move my furniture around. Isabelle stood there smiling and saying little. Her size matched her voice and she was very friendly. After the burly technician not wearing a mask had miked me up, we began with me mentioning the N-word: Nietzsche. No, no, said the girlie parody, we were speaking in Frog, “I want to know about votre ami Roman Polanski.” So I said what I had to say about Roman: I’d known him for over fifty years, had never seen him misbehave, that he was fun to be around, and that he was very bright and a hell of a skier, plus the talent. And that I thought he had paid for what he did forty years ago.
It was not good enough. Girlie voice needed dirt and wanted to know what we had done together fifty years ago. Were there underage girls involved? Were the locals friendly toward him? After a while I had had enough. “You came under false pretenses, this is not about Gstaad but about Polanski.” “Mais no, pas de tout, but tell me what you think Roman does at night…” She was like the proverbial broken record.
It’s not enough that his parents died in a concentration camp, that his wife and unborn child were murdered by hippy types who today would be tearing down statues, but an unproven charge by some publicity freak ten years too late has his film on Dreyfus banned in the United BLM States of America. My “guests” then proceeded to film my house and surrounding fields, and drove up and down the private street filming in case some Albanian thief did not possess a GPS. That’s when Schoenburg got into the act. She rang up and got a lawyer who will sue the hell out of the Frogs in case my chalet appears on screen, and demanded a letter stating that as the filming had not previously been requested and approved, it would not appear on the program. As I said only nice things about Polanski, I will not appear either, of that I’m sure. And now, after that rude interruption, let’s get back to Nietzsche.
The great man would have had lots to say about the present if he had not gone nuts. (The great Wagner, a good friend of his, believed that Nietzsche went bonkers from an excess of masturbation. If that’s true, many present types should be in the nuthouse.) By planting an idea of decline in society, one could actually hasten its demise, or so thought many Nietzsche followers. Actually the master grimly urged that the will to power can serve as a mighty hammer to break down and remove degenerate races. A certain Austrian-born German leader took that to heart some time later, with bad results for his followers. Nietzsche himself had called young men the explosive ones. Today they do seem to be exploding things, although I’d bet my bottom dollar not a single one of them could spell the N-name correctly.
Just as in Nietzsche’s time—with Germany’s university students complaining of being oppressed and suffocated while actually part of a privileged elite—today’s mobs demanding to bring down Rhodes and other greats are among the elites and privileged, and what they really deserve is to be mugged and mugged violently for their cheek. From ignorance to self-righteousness to violence is their way, and we should respond in kind. This is my advice to our side. To them I advise less self-abuse.
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