On nihilism

Posted by @ 7:27 pm on January 12th, 2012

Williams College is a liberal arts college in Williamstown Massachusetts, from which Charles Webb, who wrote the novel from which Nichols’ The Graduate (1967) was adapted, graduated. He is oddly, or expectedly, not associated with the film’s success. He is married to Fred, who calls herself that name in solidarity with Fred, a support group for women with low self-esteem. His homeschooled children, now adults, sold their wedding presents back to their guests, each got divorced in protest against marriage, and now, rumor has it, work at kmart and live in a shack. “The Sounds of Silence,” (1965) enmeshed with the iconic pool scene, forty-six years after it was was released, would be performed by a visibly distraught Paul Simon at the 9/11 Anniversary Memorial Ceremony, wearing a suit of out respect but looking like he’s going in for a job interview. Benny is seduced by an older woman but falls in love with her daughter, played by one doe-eyed Katharine Ross, who seventeen years later would end up marrying Sam Elliott, the omniscient narrator of The Big Lebowski (1998), whose appearance as The Stranger at the film’s ending can be seen as a pedestrian second coming of sorts, which is an odd way for Marco Polo, or you, to wade across the chlorine to one Uli Kunkel (screen name “Karl Hungus,” who appeared in a porn film with Bunny) seen passed out next to empty Jack. I like it how, in bars or parties, a group of exclusively males standing in a circle will shoot straight whiskey or tequila — suddenly throwing their heads back as synchronized swimmers — followed each by a coy yet uncontainable grin, as if the word cool could not contain what had just happened. “Uli doesn’t care about anything. He’s a Nihilist,” soon-to-be 9-toe’d Bunny Lebowski says. “Ah, that must be exhausting,” goes The Dude, whose $0.69 personal check to Ralph’s for some milk in the opening scene was dated September 11, 1991, exactly 10 years before the event exactly 10 years before Simon’s sad song was sang again through the bravery of a non-facelifted face. As for that day, they said we were nihilists, so we said they were back. People talking without speaking.