“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
Friedrich Nietzsche said that, according to the internet. I came upon it while trying to find something along the lines of what I’d remembered being said by the other Larry featured in my last post on this site—Larry from the liquor store. I don’t have any faith in my memory, but I’m pretty sure what he said amounts in retrospect to a rejoinder to Nietzsche: “There’s my opinion and your opinion, and then there’s the truth.” At the time I heard Larry say that, I didn’t see things that way. Things are all relative, fragmented, always in flux. How can there be any objective truth? But it seems to me now that Larry was right, and Nietzsche can go fuck himself. Truth is something we should all be working toward. We should all be searching to uncover facts. To give up on this search for truth would be to enter a new and probably inescapable dark age.
Larry Gura is a satisfying and comforting thing to say. You can’t see his whole name here, just Larry G, but it’s there in full on the back of the fragment. Yesterday I tried and failed to explain the whole world through Larry Gura. The day before yesterday I tried and failed to explain the whole world through Larry Gura. The day before that I found this fragment of Larry Gura, the second such fragment featured on this ludicrous ongoing undertaking in as many weeks, among some cards my two sons were playing with.
This version of Larry Gura didn’t come to me in my childhood but rather was a rare 1970s interloper in the modest stacks of commons that came to me every Christmas from my aunt’s wife for a few years. Most of those cards were from the 1990s and beyond, long after I stopped trying to find some still point in the world through baseball cards. By the 1990s baseball cards seemed as fragmented as anything else, several companies churning out sets. It was different in the 1970s, when there was just one set, created by Topps. It was a shared reality. My Larry Gura was the same as anybody else’s Larry Gura anywhere in the world. I would say Larry Gura and you would know what I mean. The same satisfaction and comfort would engulf us. Larry Gura! On the other hand, the fact that there was just one set means that Topps had a monopoly, which I know is not a good thing, and so I’m going to refrain from getting nostalgic about it. Nostalgia is fungal. It’s moistened sentimentality, horseshit, decay. You reach back through time toward some obliterating fiction of wholeness, blinding yourself to the facts of the past. Beware nostalgia. Beware slogans about the glory of times gone by.
Today I Googled the term “fash haircut.” Or was it “fashy haircut”? I already can’t remember, but either way I wanted to be sure when I’m next in Supercuts I don’t accidentally get one. From what I could tell, the thinning wavy mass on my head seems immune to them. Anyway, I ran into Nietzsche again, because after squaring away the haircut question I decided to Google fascism just to see whether I understood the basics, and the philosopher of course came up as a big favorite among those believing that the best of all possible worlds would be one in which an autocrat rules a violently militarized police state. I’m not sure whether the quote about the nonexistence of truth, which I’d come upon earlier while trying to find echoes of Larry from the liquor store, is a cornerstone of thought among those sporting such a haircut, but I can see that it might have its proponents in those quarters. It’s an easy goose-step from that notion of thinking that there’s no such thing as truth to believing that everything is a base conflict between the weak and the strong.
This has nothing to do with anything, perhaps, but today I went ice skating. I hadn’t ice skated for close to forty years. My son Jack and I carefully tiptoed to the edge of the rink in our borrowed skates and then stepped out onto it. I felt instantly as if I’d made a huge mistake. It seemed like it would be impossible to move even a little. But my son and I held each other and inched out toward the center of the ice.