I put that sucka in my queue. As it turned out, the film was a low-budget, three-hour lecture by some academic in his library with photographs of Goebbels and Nietzsche peppered throughout. But since my Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp episodes hadn't arrived yet, I was sort of stuck watching the movie.
Turns out Friedrich Nietzsche was kind of a dick. Not as much of a dick as, say, Josef Mengele, but a dick nonetheless. He was a dick in a frat-boy kind of way, believing that the Judeo-Christian ideas of turning the other cheek and treating others like you want to be treated was a slave mentality. Real men, "Overmen," are aggressive, strong, non-appeasers who start ill-conceived wars and then refuse to leave them when they are lost. Stuff like that.
So I could be either a slave or an Overman. Hmm ... which one to choose ... I decided to drink some beers and see if anything became clearer. I went to a bar full of dichotomies, Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House on Columbus Avenue. The place is half divey beer den, half Indian restaurant. Half grizzled old Italian men, half scrubby hippie types. In other words, half Overmen, half pussies. Kennedy's has more than 100 beers and great specials like $2 pints and pitchers of PBR for $5. There are outside tables in front and back and there's lots of air-hockey action.
I preferred to sit out front. Though I love Indian food, and dive bars, of course, sitting with a bunch of men watching baseball wasn't high on my list that night. Plunking down with total strangers who may or may not be happy about it was, however.
I had with me my equally loquacious friend Shannon. "Can we sit by you?" She belted out to some dude who was all by himself.
"Uh, sure ... " he replied, not really having much say in the matter. He looked to be in his early 20s and somewhat shy. The kind of guy who drinks to feel more comfortable with women. We got to chatting, and learned fascinating things like that he was from Santa Rosa and was waiting for his curry fries. If Nietzsche were there, he would only shrug his shoulders and sigh.
To our right was a woman also sitting alone. She was wearing a Pixies hoodie and seemed to have some sort of twitch. "The curry here sucks," she interjected, opening her eyes wide and then quickly blinking. "Let's just say I've had better."
Somehow we all got on the subject of pot. Kennedy's has a reputation for being a hangout for pot smokers, yet another strange thing about this place. Santa Rosa dude doesn't smoke pot. Shannon hasn't smoked it since she got "dusted" and thought the Domino's delivery guy was going to rape her. And the Pixies lady had a really bad experience after she took a toke from some stranger out back and woke up hours later on the steps of Bimbo's across the street with no memory of what had occurred. As for me, well, I just really don't like the Allman Brothers that much. In fact, if push comes to shove, I seriously dislike everything about marijuana and the lifestyle it encourages.
I can date just about any kind of guy, but not a pot smoker. I can inhale just about any drug, but not pot. I can sit around in the same clothes for four days eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos and watching Judge Judy, but I don't need pot to do it. Pot makes my teeth feel really big in my mouth. Then there's the paranoia. Pot makes every Ford Fiesta look like a cop car to me. But the worst thing is that pot gives me the mistaken idea that Ani DiFranco records are actually pretty good. Pot is lame.
Then it hit me. That same disdain that Nietzsche has for the slave mentality is the disdain I have for pot smokers and hippies. They seem weak, meek, and entirely un-Ayn Rand. Their passivity disgusts me. It's the beer drinkers of the world who are the Overmen. Beer makes you feel powerful. It makes you feel strong. You can achieve greatness on beer. You know, like if you drink all 100 beers at Kennedy's in a month and get a free T-shirt saying "I drank the wall." Real accomplishments by real men. So, I ask you, are you a master, or a slave?
Santa Rosa guy hadn't said a word in 10 minutes. The Pixies lady was carrying on about her photography career or lack thereof. "Work is hard to find," she admitted, blinking in rapid succession, not unlike the shutter of a camera, I thought. This was somewhat endearing.
Shannon and I gave each other the "let's blow this joint" signal, which is a squeezing of the nostrils as if one were blowing out one's Eustachian tubes. "Good luck," we told the people we'd been talking to, by which we meant, don't smoke any bad pot.
As for Shannon and me, I still had three more Vicodins, the "Will To Power" of pharmaceuticals. Jawohl.
KENNEDY'S IRISH PUB AND CURRY HOUSE. 1040 Columbus Ave. 441-8855.