The Nihilist at College of Marin

51QWkzLkfRL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I’ll be giving a presentation on The Nihilist: A Philosophical Novel on Wednesday, March 9th 2016 at the College of Marin. The talk will take place in the COM library, between 11:30am and 12:25pm. Everyone is welcome!

More information is available on the COM Library website.

Marin Philosophical Society

1695494Marin Philosophical Society
Monday January 18, 2015

The Nihilist: Dr. John Marmysz will discuss his newest book, The Nihilist: A Philosophical Novel (No Frills Buffalo,2015). It tells the story of a philosophy professor caught in the grips of nihilistic despair. Following the death of his mother and the increasingly bizarre deaths of his closest friends, the nameless main character is afflicted with a mysterious malady that forces him to confront the absurdity of his own meaningless existence. Brain parasites, scatological dreams, punk rock, and spontaneous human combustion appear alongside the ideas of Heraclitus, Socrates, Diogenes, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Heidegger. The result is a wryly humorous philosophical allegory of hopelessness and resignation in the face of the void. (The Nihilist is available at

John Marmysz holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from State University of New York at Buffalo. His interests focus on issues of nihilism and its cultural manifestations. Marmysz is also the author of The Nihilist’s Notebook (Moralinefree Publishing, 1996), Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism (SUNY Press, 2003), and The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder and Distress (Wadsworth, 2011). He is coeditor (with Scott Lukas) of Fear, Cultural Anxiety and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films Remade (Lexington Books, 2009).

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General Information:
Established in 1987, the Marin Philosophical Society provides a forum for current issues in philosophy, ethics, religion, science and art. Each month we invite outstanding speakers who elucidate topics from a philosophical point of view.


220px-Fishbone_Fishbone_EPIn the 1980’s, Fishbone was a band perched on the verge of popular success, but that never quite fully broke through. Their mixture of punk, funk, ska and reggae was, apparently, too weirdly eclectic for most mainstream tastes, and the fact that their music did not neatly fit into easily delineated music genres probably contributed to their relative obscurity. Nonetheless, it was precisely their strangeness, their goofiness and their manic energy that made them so unique and exciting.

A bunch of us went to see Fishbone when they played recently at the Independent in San Francisco. Now middle-aged men, the band members have grown older along with the rest of us, but they still exhibit the profane nuttiness that endeared me to them in the 1980’s. These rude boys are still great fun!

FishboneThe band played a three hour set, which I didn’t realize until I glanced at my phone at one point during the performance. It was 2am by the time most of them left the stage. Even then, the lead singer, Angelo Moore, lingered about, yucking it up and haranguing those who still were hanging around. His foul-mouthed rants against ISIS, Donald Trump, and unenthusiastic audience members had me in stitches the entire night.

My only complaint is that Fishbone didn’t play the song Ugly, which is one of my favorites. Otherwise, they performed a good mixture of new and old music. I especially enjoyed hearing Date Rape, Skank ‘N Go Nutts, and Party at Ground Zero. As one of my friends commented, they played until they drained all of the funk out of their instruments!

20100303_dn_coveronlineA documentary, titled Everyday Sunshine, about the history of Fishbone was released in 2010. The film details some of the struggles that the band has experienced over the years, including an episode in which some of the members were charged with kidnapping when they tried to liberate Angelo from a cult in Novato, CA!