“You are a philosopher, Dr Johnson,” said Oliver Edwards. “I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don’t know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.”
Philosophers are grim creatures. Imagine Immanuel Kant with a smile on his lips. It would be easier to visualise Jesus cracking an adult joke about King David’s sexcapade with Bathsheba. From Descartes to Wittgenstein, the whole lot of them were damn serious about strangling the conceited bourgeois spirit of their time. And they all failed, each one of them, inevitably. Because the triumph of humanity is the triumph of the middle class pretensions and hypocrisy.
There are no more philosophers left in the world. The hypocrisy of the middle class has killed the philosophers. Nietzsche would have said that the philosophers died laughing, laughing at the caricatures that walked about wearing expensive branded suits and smelling of cheap morality sold from all sorts of pulpits.
Oliver Edwards went through life without experiencing it really. So cheerfulness frothed in him as it did in King David while watching Bathsheba taking bath in the moonlight. 21st century is the century of King Davids and Bathshebas. Not of philosophers with their off-putting melancholic cerebrations. It is the age of godmen who sell happiness in yogic concoctions and art of living conventions.