Zarathustra vs Patti Smith Group

Thus Spoke Zarathustra – First Part – Prologue 9
vs “Babelogue/Rock N Roll Nigger”, Patti Smith Group (Easter, 1978)

In ‘Prologue 9’ Zarathustra truly becomes Zarathustra. The holy-man from ‘Prologue 2’ was right – Zarathustra and his teachings would be laughed at, thought dangerous. So be it. Zarathustra awakes to ‘a new truth’ and a new method: ‘with the people I will not talk even one more time’. 'Zarathustra wants to be called a robber by the herdsmen’, the herd, the people, the ‘good and the righteous’. For, who do these good and righteous people ‘hate the most?’ Answer: ‘Destroyers’. ‘The one who breaks their tablets of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker:- yet that is the creator’. So Zarathustra will search out not followers, believers, disciples, brown-nosers; but ‘companions,’ other ‘creators’, ‘celebrants’. He will seduce and ‘lure’ these companions away from the herd…

Nietzsche is the most provocative of philosophers – he should provoke the reader, without any doubt. We need a song here that captures this mood of celebration, which captures this stepping away from the herd, that captures the hatred of those who think themselves good, righteous, right. As Patti Smith sings: ‘Outside of society, that’s where I want to be’.


In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche writes that philosophy means (or should mean) ‘seeking out everything strange and questionable in existence, everything so far placed under a ban,’ exploring ‘what is forbidden’ (EH, ‘Preface’, 3). ‘Have I been understood?’ ‘I needed a word that had the meaning of a provocation for everybody’ (EH, ‘Destiny’, 7). Try replacing ‘Jackson Pollock’ with ‘Friedrich Nietzsche’, or ‘Zarathustra’. Take offence – as kiki-rockgarden explores – or you haven’t understood.

First Part: Prologue 10 - Adam and the Ants

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