Friday, February 28, 2003

QUOTE OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH: Thank you, Shaquille O'Neal, as quoted in Book Magazine:
Nietzsche was so intelligent and advanced. And that's how I am. I'm the black, basketball-playing Nietzsche.

Tale of the Tape:

Nietzsche: Born in Röcken bei Lützen, Germany (Prussia)
O'Neal: Spent teen years on US Army base in Germany.

Nietzsche: University of Bonn (theology and philology)
O'Neal: Louisiana State University (general studies)

Nietzsche: Apointed to the chair in philosophy at the University of Basel at the age of 24.
O'Neal: NBA first overall draft pick at the age of 20.

Nietzsche: Famous for concept of the "superman".
O'Neal: Famous for tattoo of Superman logo on bicep.

Nietzsche: plagued by mental illness throughout his career
O'Neal: plagued by foot injuries throughout his career

Nietzsche: On his rival Voltaire: "Oh, Voltaire! Oh, humaneness! Oh, nonesense! Il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien. I bet he finds nothing!"
O'Neal: On his rival Yao Ming: "Tell Yao Ming I said 'ching chong fong chang bing dong'."

Nietzsche: "No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
O'Neal: "I'm tired of hearing about money money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok."

Nietzsche: "The abdomen is the reason why man does not easily take himself for a god." Beyond Good and Evil
O'Neal: "Grab my belly." Kazaam

Nietzsche: "Those who know they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity."
O'Neal: "My game is like the pythagorean theorem: There is no answer."

Nietzsche: "Only sick music makes money today."
O'Neal: "Some of my favorite songs--and I don't know if this is the right terminology--are white-boy classics."

Nietzsche: "I am the anti-ass par excellence and thus a world-historical monster -- I am, in Greek, and not only in Greek, the Antichrist. ... I come from heights that no bird has ever reached in its flight, I know abysses into which no foot ever strayed. I have been told that it is impossible to put down one of my books -- that I even disturb nightly rest."
O'Neal: "Yo. I ain't no joke. I'll slam it, jam it, and make sure it's broke."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson gave O'Neal Ecce Homo to read three years ago, and explained why in an interview: "Actually, when Nietzsche wrote that book, he was 27, maybe 28, had a very, very pompous opinion about himself and wanted to tell the world, you know, "here I am," you know? And so I thought that, you know, Nietzsche was definitely appropriate for him because here's a guy who's 28 and hasn't won a championship yet. You know, Shaq didn't get all of these connections, I'm sure. But he knew that something very... there was something very subtle that I was sending him a message about, you know.

"He's a superman, man of steel, that sort of thing. But the books basically say, you know, is this something that corresponds to where you're at in your life, and can I connect with you at this intellectual level. And what I tell them is it's nice to have a companion besides the TV when you're on the road, something that you can, you know, turn that TV off, and you know, open a book and read it before you go to bed at night and understand that there is another world that can open up to you in your intellectual imagination."

Good news for teachers everywhere: when the choice for on-the-road entertainment was between partying with the ladies and studying philosophy's immortals, the Big Aristotle choice Nietzsche.

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