NO EXIT--Angrily tweeting from his otherworldly residence No Exit last Thursday, renowned Existentialist philosopher J. P. Sartre warned of "Idiotic pundits bandying about the phrase 'existential threats' who have never read a word of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, or Being and Nothingness. These so-called"--but ran out of characters before he could finish his point.
So the person whom some consider the father of post-World War 2 Existentialism expanded on his angry tweet, via satellite, with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos.
"So, Dr. Sartre," Stephanopoulos began, "what is it that causes in you such anger and . . . angst . . . about the widespread use of the term 'existential threat' by today's news anchors and political pundits?"
Sartre mumbled, under his breath, "Quelle stupide!" and then continued in English, "Existential threat! Existential threat! Mon Dieu! Your mindless pundits and reporters see an existential threat around every corner! I must hear this tired phrase fifty or sixty times a day on the cable news networks! This bastardization of the very specific term 'Existential' fills me with nausea! Does this tired cliché even mean anything anymore?"
Stephanopoulos followed that question with, "But the phrase 'existential threat' accurately describes so many of the dangerous threats we face in the world today. Can you think of another word that more accurately describes these threats?"
Sartre replied, "Immediate? Impending? Existing? Verifiable? Real? English is not my first language; and I have to wonder, listening to these clones parrot this word hundreds of times a day, if it's theirs, either."
Stephanopoulos, at this point, did not answer the renowned Existential philosopher, busy as he was looking up in a dictionary all these new words that Sartre had just introduced to him.