Moon and the Eternal Return of the Same


We should preface this with a spoiler alert which to ignore would entail learning the true meaning of ‘once and for all’.

‘“Alas, man recurs eternally! The little man recurs eternally!”

‘I had seen them both naked, the greatest man and the smallest man: all too similar to one another, even the greatest all too human!

‘The greatest all too small! – that was my disgust at man! And eternal recurrence even for the smallest! that was my disgust at all existence!

‘Ah, disgust! Disgust! Disgust!’ Thus spoke Zarathustra.

(Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. by R. J. Hollingdale

London: Penguin, 2003. p..236.)

Disgust at all existence! We find this very disgust of Zarathustra’s in Moon.Nietzsche’s concept of the eternal return of the same finds its modern epitome in Duncan Jones’ 2009 masterpiece, in which we are confronted with the very unconscious of the world, of existence; with the very virtuality that the eternal return of the same entails in its most nightmarish manifestation: the realisation you’re a clone; that your memories are not your own, that they have been implanted for the purposes of keeping enough hope alive in you that you will carry out your work in the dream of getting home and back to whom and what you love, just like Jacob toiling seven years which were but a day for Rachel.

The mirror-stage and imaginary order take on a demonic character in light of this realisation: that haunting disconnection you feel in relation to the mirror image is the realisation that you is another, to paraphrase Rimbaud; the uncanniness of the glitches in Sam Bell’s telestreams will come to assume their true import. The eternal recurrence of even the smallest man has been recorded and stored: reset each time, the first time, from the point of awaking in the infirmary, to return to work on the moon’s surface, to receive messages from the folks back home, and to be looked after by Gerty. The Sam Bells’ fateful realisation after the accident and the awakening must entail in both of them that disgust at all existence that is Zarathustra’s; the disgust that from that virtual point of reawakening all potential is and can only be geared towards fuelling the capitalist machine, furthering the recurrence of the Corporation, and that all before that point is the eternal recurrence of the impetus to do so. Despite being science fiction set on the moon this movie perhaps is the best depiction of our world as it is.


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