Evading the Nasty Truth

Within Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy, there are two theses put forth as a means of saving us from the purposelessness of life; art as this means of rescuing ourselves from coincidental existence, and more specifically the tragic opera or music as the key to our salvation. For in his mind, the death of God and the limited, logician scope of science meant no way to properly grapple with the meaninglessness of life; in a word, existential angst would rule the day.

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What does that have to do with anything? Well, this past weekend I spent in the Netherlands for the ever popular Amsterdam Music Festival. A time of revelry, madness, and ecstasy of various forms; in this sea of tens of thousands of people, one found a swell of the Dionysian as you lost yourself in the music and the crowd accented by the artistic, well judged elements of the Apollonian. A dream-like state was coupled with the out of body experience, creating something unforgettable. Would Nietzsche find the same conclusion I did? No one knows; but the music festival could very well be a new opportunity in the struggle for meaning.

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