Those whom… nothingness

Let’s have a flash mob. This juvenile-Internet craze, which is invading the world, consists in organizing “mobbings,” “flash events” with no real meaning. It works like this: You put yourself on an anonymous mailing list, where you’re not supposed to know anybody else. “Somebody” organizes something like “Fifty people to go to a chosen bookshop downtown at 5:43 p.m. and ask for a non-existent book. Then at 5:51 give a round of applause and run off.” Even stranger things are happening in Manhattan, Oslo, Rome, and Paris, involving thousands of people. People of a certain age in Italy will remember the “situationists” (a political-cultural movement born in France in the sixties, heavily critical of middle-class culture and the whole capitalist scene), or in later years similar “mobbings” on the subways. Now there are new factors: the dematerialization of the Net, anonymity, and the fact of not knowing each other, as a rule and as an aim. If you like, put it in post-modern aesthetic terms, say it’s just a celebration of nothingness, of the total absence of meaning that (apparently) pervades everything and everyone. It’s simply an expression of “the music that goes round and round, the music that has no future.” If you want to know more, read the reflections of people who took part: “Is it a waste of time, a student caper? And which experiences are not included in these definitions? As far as I am concerned, it has a meaning. I don’t know what, but I feel it has.” A non-invasive, “weak” sense of belonging. Is there something fishy here? And yet, “That scream at the end and the applause were really something.”

“I” Without God
“This ‘I,’ the alienated ‘I,’ is an ‘I’ without God. The ‘I’ without God is an ‘I’ that cannot avoid boredom and nausea. So we let ourselves go on living: either we feel ourselves tiny parts of the whole (pantheism) or we are prey to despair (the prevalence of evil and of nothingness: nihilism).” (cf.   The Miracle of a Change, p. 38).