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Episode Nineteen- Nietzsche, Time-Traveling Wu Tang Fan

“He doesn’t wanna be bogged down with inventing cinema as well as bending the rules of physics, he just wants to get in his time machine and go to the movies…we’ve all been there…”

In which Young Southpaw queries if Nietzsche invented the Wu Tang Clan leading him to become a prototype for Dr. Who, wonders who the German philosopher was trying to bring to China to beat Wham! to it, and reveals ol’ Zarathustra’s plans for a highly irregular James Bond film.

Taking in European currency, the TARDIS, 36 Chambers, Shao Lin & Wu Tang, Intellivision, Cheers, ELO, Jeff Lynne, Elton John, Carl Douglas, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Kung Fu Fighting, Enter The Dragon, New Order, Power Corruption & Lies, Beyond Good & Evil, Twilight Of The Idols, RZA, Simon Napier Bell, James Bond, Nelson Algren, The Man With The Golden Arm, T. Rex, Marc Bolan, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Metal Guru, China, etc.

“The German philosopher Nietzsche said ‘Without music life would be a mistake’ That’s a really beautiful sentiment, you know. And he said this in the 1880’s. I mean imagine that, he didn’t have any streaming services you know. He didn’t even have an ipod! If he wanted to experience music he hadda go to some sort of orchestral hall or sumthin. And I mean, what if he wanted to see the Wu Tang Clan ya know? I mean he woulda had to first invent a time machine… And then travel, and he’d of had to figure out their tour dates ahead a time. I doubt he woulda like invented his time machine and been able to second guess where and when they were playin’, and just landed there and walked right in. And let’s not forget he woulda had like 1880 German deutschmarks. He woulda somehow have had to convert those to American money. Actually this was well before deutschmarks and I believe he was living in Italy when Twilight of the Idols, which had that quote, was published, so it probably woulda been like Italian lire. But I think you’ll find the point still stands. And too you know both them Germany and Italy been on the Euro for years ya know. And then I mean first he’d even have to invent the concept of the Wu Tang, did – did Nietzsche invent the Wu Tang Clan? You know, in order for him to want to go see them, he would’ve first have had to know about them. But I mean he coulda had a vision too, ya know. A prophetic dream perhaps. That seems more likely than him thinkin of the phrase 36 chambers and then inventing it all from there. I mean, would his time machine have 36 chambers? That’d be crazy, that’d be huge you know, for the first time machine ever invented. Imagine that, he shows up, sees Dr. Who with the TARDIS and thinks nothin of it, ya know. He’s like ‘I can do that, why don’t they give me my own television show, ya know’ And if that’s what he’s thinkin’, I would imagine he would have then immediately invented Intellevision, jumped back in his ship to the late 70s and started that company. I mean I guess you can take diversions like that ya know even if his trip was originally to see Wu Tang he can just program his ship back to the show. Cause like when he learns about all those kung fu movies then he has to go back to the early 80s to watch them, well he probably doesn’t ‘have’ ‘to’, but he gets overexcited and wants to see them in the cinema when they come out. Also check on how Intellevision’s doing, figure out how he can bring all those profits back to 1880’s Europa…

At some point he hops back to 1978 too to see the cinematic release of the 36 Chambers film. Wondering ya know if its based on or if they even mention his time machine. Which he’s nicknamed Diane, I mean you never hear about that in the official history of Cheers though that might have been a whole different show if it had been a time-travelin’ interdimensional bar ya know…

And he has such a good time after attendin’ the world premieres of that and Shao-Lin and Wu-Tang he decides he wants to see Enter The Dragon – I mean who doesn’t! – in the cinema when it comes out. So he heads back and with Shao Lin in his head he somehow hears about Jeff Lynn and ELO and this is a whole other trip, ya know… in more ways than one. And he decides to stick around again and revisit the late 70s, ya know and pay more attention when it gets real poppy. And he’s tryin’ to reconcile how kung fu doesn’t really go with Mr. Blue Sky but it’s a great song, ya know. But Last Train To London I mean maybe like the Wu were playin over in Wembley and he combined them all there and he’s like ‘this is magic, this is strange magic’ ya know…

But I mean maybe it, it happened the other way around, ya know. That back in the 1880’s, Nietzsche was thinkin of these kung fu films, I mean maybe, maybe, like ya know kung fu was around then… And maybe he was like man someone should invent some sort of celluloid that captures these. And ya know without thinkin’ that he could make a lot of money doin this, makin film and whatnot, he’s like I just wanna see ‘em, I gotta know for myself. I mean in my mind he’s pretty impetuous, ya know. So instead of just going and watching live kung fu somewhere, he wants plot, and selfless that he is, combined with the impetuousness, he doesn’t even think the story of a man building a time machine would in and of itself make a great film. He doesn’t wanna be bogged down with inventing cinema as well as bending the rules of physics, he just wants to get in his time machine and go to the movies, we’ve all been there. So like he heads to the 1970s and he’s just watchin all these kung fu films you know. And then he learns about ELO. But then he gets real into record collectin’. Maybe he decides to wait, go with it, maybe he’s hearing all the early hip-hop and he’s thinkin’ I know what’s comin’, and not even because he’s been to the future yet. Just thinkin’ I’m gonna ride this out… Just so happens he gets hooked up with a sweet bachelor pad in Staten Island, ya know, quickly filling up with vinyl. I mean he wrote music back in Germany but he’s not trying to produce any of this music himself, he’s just havin’ too good a time. And like maybe he had some vision of the RZA and is just content to wait it out til he gets on the scene. I mean to Nietzsche this is like vacation ya know. Well not like the Chevy Chase film though I mean it coulda been that Nietzsche was thinkin of opening his own movie theater, have like a double-header of Spies Like Us and Fist Of Fury on weekends ya know. But I mean he’s got his time machine, he can go back to the very day, the very second he left ya know…

I mean I don’t really know which way around it happened. Was it the films or the music first for Nietzsche ya know? The chicken or the wait that’s kung pao… But there must be a chicken pose ya know…

And maybe ya know, he was there the day New Order’s Power Corruption & Lies came out. Snatched that right up. Inspired him to write Beyond Good & Evil, ya know. Maybe went back and wrote it then came back again, wanted to see it live you know. I wonder how he felt cause back then they were only doin like 45 minute sets, no encore. I wonder if he thought it was worth it, maybe he saw em every night of the tour, maybe…maybe…maybe he got like real busy and he was just time travelin back and forth, he didn’t wanna wait, ya know. Once the concert ended he just pinged himself back to mid-19th century Germany… or France, or Switzerland, or Italy, wherever he was livin at the time. Though the phrase ‘at the time’ is getting to be quite fluid, ya know. But you know he went back, got a full day of writing in, then fast-forwarded himself – well let’s not forgot getting some sleep, I imagine he’d be a little worn out from all this space-time navigation – so caught some z’s – or is it s’s in German? Huh…I mean sheep starts with an s, well in English anyway…huh…well I think in German too actually… Well either way I think you’d need your rest. I don’t know the effect time travel has on one, but he was a clever… clever man ya know. Maybe the 36 chambers of his version of the TARDIS, the original ya know, O G, well maybe that’s a mystical number and it was set up that way because it actually improves your health while you’re whipping around the eons. So regardless then he fast forwards himself to very beginning of the next show on the tour. I saw New Order at the Hollywood Bowl a few years back and they played for over two hours, it was great man. They did Atmosphere by Joy Division, they did Disorder which is one of my favourite songs. I wonder if Nietzsche went… I mean I didn’t know anybody there… though that’s not entirely true… I ran into my friend Josh completely out of the blue… I wonder if Nietzsche knew that was gonna happen and was havin a little chuckle to himself… But look at me getting’ all arrogant…

Maybe this was before Nietzsche got disillusioned with the whole pop music game, you know. He was just brimmin’ with enthusiasm back in the 70s and maybe he sat down Elton John and Carl Douglas and said ‘look guys I’ve got this song, Saturday Night’s Alright For Kung Fu Fighting’ and you know it really seemed to old Nietzsche – well I shouldn’t say old, I mean he was time travelin like a spry young man – but it really seemed to him like he was gonna be a major player in the music biz. Be like the next Simon Napier Bell, you know. The man who amongst many other things brought Wham! To China. I wonder who Nietzsche woulda brought to China ya know… Man, that woulda been rad you know, if Nietzsche had just persisted and like the two of them had a contest to see who would perform live in China first. Maybe Nietzsche had his eye on like David Sylvian’s Japan doing it… or like Tony Toni Tone for an all the T in China tour! Though he woulda hadda bring them back in the time machine if he was gonna beat Wham! to it. And the more people you get involved in that the more dangerous it gets… But back to Saturday Night’s Alright For Kung Fu Fighting, Nietzsche was just heartbroken ya know cause Elton John and Carl Douglas decided to just divide up the song and not even mention Nietzsche. Claimin’ you know that dividin’ it up changes the whole idea of it and the melodic structure so Nietzsche wasn’t owed any royalties. Got no credit for it whatsoever ya know…

But I mean if he was goin’ backwards and forwards in time anyway, he coulda grabbed Toni Tony Tone and then gone back to like 1972 and pulled in T Rex for this All The T In China tour. Or even just back to 1976, still plenty of time to beat Wham! with Futuristic Dragon you know. The whole astrological aspect of it, released in the year of the Dragon too. Or maybe he just did both ya know. And maybe that T Rex song Metal Guru was written about Nietzsche. You know he wrote about the Greeks quite a bit, had his own mythology, and there is no real record of what he was talking about in the pubs of the early 70s. Maybe he was inspirin’ the local heavy metal bands, ya know. And Marc Bolan just saw him one day and was all ‘look at that metal guru, sittin’ over there,’ ya know…

I mean I wonder if it was all – cause he was a busy man, bein’ involved in all these aspects of music – I wonder if he was claimin’ he didn’t have enough time to watch tv. Never, never really saw Dr. Who, but then like suddenly he’s wearin’ a cape, like Jon Pertwee you know. And his friends just ain’t buyin’ this. But Nietzsche’s claimin’ it’s just part of the magical lore for this heavy metal guru gig that he’s doin’…

But funnily enough the whole China thing did end up bein’ Wham! You know…which is like the action you would make if you were to bang a gong you know. But then Nietzsche’s all, he’s thinkin’ outside of the box. He’s watchin’ all these kung fu movies and he gets real into James Bond too ya know. And after Live And Let Die – he sure likes the early 70s ya know – he’s got this genius idea that The Man With The Golden Gun, ya know the book was never really finished so why don’t they just make a James Bond movie of Nelson Algren’s The Man With The Golden Arm? But have it be about a Kung Fu master, you know. Sounds like it’d be quite a difficult task to get right, but with all the time travelin he’s done you know he’s prolly thinkin’ I can do such things like go into the future and bring the whole Wu Tang Clan back to 1973. Have them collaborate on this Bond theme with Marc Bolan and it will just be the raddest thing ever you know….

But I mean all this is conjecture ya know, cause we do have solid proof that it didn’t happen. Cause I mean if he had heard that RZA as Bobby Digital album, there’s no way that wouldn’t have found his way into his writings, ya know, been incorporated into his philosophy. But then again, I mean I say that, but he knows how precious it is, he wouldn’t want to spook everybody. I mean even with his 36 chambered time machine, he knew he couldn’t take everyone into the future. That if everyone went into the future then we woulda skipped all that stuff that made the future ya know. And you don’t wanna run the risk of that. I mean what if you do and like those films never get made? You never enter the dragon you know… Or chase the dragon like the bad guys in that film… Or just listening to that first Suede album ya know…

Though ya never know…cause I’ve heard that in certain areas of Bavaria… in the 1890s… the phrase ‘bring da mutter-flippin’ rucksack’ enjoyed an unexplainable surge in popularity. But you know, could it have been because…well…”

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