Nietzsche is pietzsche
Having overslept this morning and missed Divine Service — a ten-hour work day yesterday preceded by two twelve-hour days is a little more than I have been used to lately — I am on my own for theological reflection.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon the Nietzsche Family Circus site yesterday, on which panels of the sappy cartoon are paired with random quotations from the works of Nietzsche. Mind you, I don’t dispute anyone’s right to the treacly sentimentalized Christianity the comic celebrates. If Buddhism can accommodate the austerities of Theravada and the anything-goes practices of Mahayana, Christians shouldn’t feel limited.
But Family Circus is just odd. That vision of the grandparents as ghostly outlines staring down from the ramparts of Heaven evokes the strange vision of St. John the Divine less than that of Homer or Vergil, whose dead are pale bloodless shades gazing up wistfully at mortal life from Hades. Creepy.
The comics, Family Circus aside, are part of my daily routine (almost said “devotionals”) and have been since I was introduced to them in my grandparents’ subscription to the Lexington Herald-Leader.* Maggie and Jiggs, the Katzenjammer kids, and the others are long gone, and Little Orphan Annie has just succumbed at the age of eighty-five. But a day without Dilbert, Get Fuzzy, and Zits would seem barren. Dilbert in particular is a useful corrective whenever people start to yammer about how much more efficient private industry is than government. Uh-huh.
Coffee, news, comics. That’s the ritual to give strength to face the day.
And today is Sunday, one of the days the Lord made. I did the laundry yesterday, and the grass isn’t long enough yet to cut, so let’s have another cup of coffee.
Alice is coming over to join us for dinner this evening, so I will make spaghetti sauce this afternoon, and I’ll have an actual meal, with plates, on a table, instead of a sandwich at a desk. And wine.
The latest quotation on Nietzsche Family Circus is “Shared joys make a friend, not shared sufferings.” With all respects to Bill Keane, I’ll go with that.
*I heard that it set some Herald-Leader people’s teeth on edge when I recollected that at the ACES conference in Louisville — “Yeah, he read the Courier-Journal for the news and us for the comics.” But two things should be kept in mind. The first is that my intention was merely to indicate that I got the newspaper habit very early on, when I first began to read. The second is that I was talking about the Herald-Leader when it was really a dreadful little paper, before Knight-Ridder bought it and made it respectable.