I agree with the sentiments espoused here by Chris Darke. When I saw the film Vagabond last year on IFC, I too was challenged (and disturbed) by the simultaneous dichotomy and similarity between the "passive" (counter-culture) nihilist shepherd/philosopher (in whom I romanticized myself) and the "active" nihilism of the "vagabond" Mona (see Adbusters #85).
I also agree (but more darkly and forcefully) with Darke that, in post-1980, post-Reagan America, we are all "nomads" -- adrift in a virtual-world of “progress" constantly undermined by anxiety from three decades of delusion, debt and denial. A world reflected in the spirit of this film -- at once cold, bleak and perpetually out-of-season.
Dimwit American optimism coupled with gun-toting libertarian unwillingness to tax or regulate excess is today culminating in a massive deleveraging, a (so far) orderly collapse -- of values and institutions – personified by advertising-centric, “Obama change." Healthcare “reform” my ass!
Going forward, I will not be surprised if nihilism becomes the new black!