I’ve just learned that Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park/Book of Mormon fame have been animating some passages from seminal Western Buddhist author Alan Watts. The videos are excellent! Here’s Music and Life, with a message well worth hearing:
I was also intrigued to read in Galley Cat about a new video series called “Explain Like I’m Five”, which shows five year olds reacting to various lessons. Here, two adults try to explain the moral philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche to a group of kids.
The grown-ups do a pretty good job of representing our favorite manic German existentialist to these kids, and really try hard to win the group over. Then something very funny happens. Having grasped a simple description of Nietzsche’s concept of ethics, one of the kids sums up his feelings: “I HATE NIETZSCHE”. The kid then fantasizes about beating up Nietzsche in the street, and the rest of the kids happily pile on.
Notably, it’s not that the kids hate learning about Nietzsche. They’re happy to learn about him; it’s his philosophy that they hate. There’s some kind of cataclysmic basic truth being revealed by the innocent reaction of these children. I wonder what Friedrich Nietzsche would say. I wonder what Alan Watts would say.