@dammitspanky has been tweeting about my ancient line in nihilism (i was the presidential candidate of the nihilist party in 2004; we won). i was thinking some of these were lost forever (even though it was latimes and philly inquirer), but i found the one that will wilkinson liked (latimes 2004) in an ancient email. looking back on it, i can't believe these newspapers took these! speaks well for john timpane and ann brenoff, among others.
latimes from 2004:
Why Not Nihilism?
By Crispin Sartwell
I devoted five hours of my vacation to watching Monday evening's proceedings at the Democratic National Convention. And as I listened to the unassailable tautologies and flourishes of extreme redundancy, I asked myself a serious question: Who could these "people" be running against?
Then it hit me, like a Concorde hitting a hotel. They could be running against me. And right there and then I founded a new political movement, indeed a bold heroic frontier of human possibility: The American Nihilist Party.
The Nihilists are convening here at the Outer Banks this week without even benefit of C-SPAN coverage. We (or at any rate I) have come together in our great diversity to celebrate our blessed nation. And since there are no cameras, I present you with a verbatim transcript of my keynote address.
"As I have crossed this great land, visiting average Americans just like you, or just like Mabel Smith of Missoula Montana, a sexual entrepreneur whose insufferable children are slightly under-served by several government agencies, many people have asked me, Senator Sartwell, what does the American Nihilist Party stand for?
"First and foremost, we believe that a single child must be left behind. And we have a candidate: tousle-haired little Billy Cartwright of Cleveland, Ohio.
"We believe, quite frankly, in putting partisanship before progress.
"We unequivocally, courageously reject the idea of moving forward into a 21st century bright with promise. We're opposed to the new economy, to fresh, new ideas and technologies that will transform the lives of all Americans. Nor do we enjoin America to turn back to traditions and values and God, all of which and whom we also oppose. What are we, chumps?
"We reject hard work and initiative. And uniquely among today's major political parties, we oppose government that works for working families.
"We are unalterably opposed to a woman's right to choose anything at all. And lest Republicans find comfort in that, we sneer also at the rights of the unborn, those nasty little ingrates. Indeed, we abominate life in all its repulsive forms.
"We reject equal pay for equal work and, if elected, will attack such evil nonsense with all the strength and love and truth at our disposal.
"With regard to education, we reject standards, accountability, and excellence for all children, rich and poor, black and white, male and female. In fact, we reject education altogether. Learning hurts. And hurting people is just plain wrong.
"We despise the family, that blight on the social landscape. Think about your own family for a minute, think about its pathologies, its sheer vicious intolerable blankness.
"We set ourselves resolutely against any government that keeps its commitments and if elected we pledge our sacred honor that we will somehow squander the surplus. The future must not be secured for our children, and many more children must remain or become uninsured.
"We nihilists find the notions of clean air and water laughable, along with sensible gun laws. And we sneer with unfeigned contempt at enforcing the laws that are already on the books. We favor putting guns - big, loaded guns - in the hands of children and criminals. In fact, we intend to arm the unborn.
"In a Nihilist administration, we will put people last. People are stupid and annoying. But we will fight for the rights of clock radios, kitchen utensils, and concrete abutments.
"And finally, fellow Nihilists, fellow Americans, let me be clear. We are unalterably opposed on moral, religious, political, and even purely conceptual grounds to Fleetwood Mac in all its pernicious, pathological permutations. For God's sake stop thinking about tomorrow.
"Thank you and goodnight, America."