My philosophy teacher told me,
“Lesser people won’t be able to appreciate art.”
“Lesser people?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“But aren’t we all the same?”
“No. There are vulgar elements in society that want to destroy beauty, and lofty thinking.”
“I don’t think you can say that
in the public schools,” I said.
“That’s my point, exactly.”
I looked at him.
He was dressed like a philosopher. He wore a cashmere sweater. He drank sherry and read Nietzsche, until the twilight hours.
I don’t know why I respected him.
“Listen,” he said. “There are people who scream in the theater.
There a feminists who splatter Van Gogh with Tomato Soup.
They think… he’s a white male artist worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but he shot himself in an empty field, with empty pockets, because he couldn’t live with them. We should cut their throats, and use their blood for sacrifice on the alters of supermen—those statues they want to tear down. The educated ignorant are the most dangerous human beings to have ever lived. They have just enough knowledge to believe they are right.”
I looked at him, with big eyes.
He said what he thought, so casually.
“I don’t think you can say that—even after public school hours,” I said.
“Let them come for me,” he laughed.
My philosophy teacher was a great man (there was no doubt in my mind)—maybe not a superman, but a great man, just the same.