Monday, March 27, 2006

The Machine

Matt Dixon

Today, restless, I tried to re-cut my hair because I didn’t like the shape of the top. Needless to say, I’ve butchered it.

The other day I was in a drive-thru and when I got to the window the fella said, “Hi. How are you today?” I said, “I’m doing good; how are you?” He said, “Blessed.”

These students of mine are again struggling with the book. This time around they seem to loathe Nietzsche’s notion of eternal reoccurrence, one of the major underpinnings of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Today I tried to explain it to them like this: say you walk into a movie theatre to see a movie you’ve been anticipating. You sit down with your popcorn and your pop and the lights go down and the picture begins. As the opening credits roll you fall victim to the illusion that what is happening on the screen is occurring as you experience it; when in fact, the film went through preproduction, production, and post-production before it ever got to the theater. The film that unfolds itself to you for the first time is not being created as you experience it. According to Nietzsche, this is much like our life, which has also already gone through preproduction, production, and postproduction. Although it seems like this moment is happening for the first time, it has in fact happened countless times before and will continue to happen an infinite amount of times to come. Our lives are like movies. Hopefully that counts for a postmodern idea.

As for the labor of my three year artistic endeavor, I am, this evening, cleaning up the last thirty pages. Baring catastrophe or premature doom, it looks like I’m going to meet my deadline.