Since the late nineteenth century, since the time of Nietzsche, a solution to the world’s problems have been placed in the hope of finding a “Caesar with the Soul of Christ.” It is he who might save us from the sprawling wastelands of modern technology. “Nietzsche,” lauded the philosopher Martin Heidegger, “from his supreme peak saw far ahead of it all, as early as the eighteen-eighties.” He had the perfect phrase for thinking about the devastation of the modern world: the “the simple, because thoughtful, words: ‘The wasteland grows.’ It means, the devastation is growing wider.” The devastation is, indeed, growing wider.
Hanson has no supreme peak to stand on; no permanent cloud in the heavens from which to get a view from up high; no fixed pulpit from which to pontificate. He does not have the supervision of Nietzsche’s superman or the blessing of Heideggerian philosophy. His abilities are greater because they are more modest (and therefore more arrogant). He can rent an airplane; he has a camera; he gives us art.