"In this case the happiness of the suburbs would be consistent with the death of God"
"But at least one of the things that Nietzsche could have meant is that the social role that the Judeo-Christian God plays in our culture is radically different from the one he has traditionally played in prior epochs of the West."
You don't say! A piece so inane that it ends up calling out full-throated for and confirming a virulent nihilism, however accidentally, via its willingness to get dumb. A neo-pastoralist, diversity-of-opinion anti-intellectualism masquerading as the task of philosophy.
That, and the reduction of Melville to an author of Let the White Whale Go, Ahab! Forgiving the Death of the Big Other and Enjoying the Simpler Things.
("The meaning that one finds in a life dedicated to “the wife, the heart, the bed, the table, the saddle, the fire-side, the country,” these are genuine meanings. They are, in other words, completely sufficient to hold off the threat of nihilism, the threat that life will dissolve into a sequence of meaningless events.")
This sort of thought - not difficult nihilism, not the arcana of ontology - is why philosophy calls out to be loathed. Because at its worst, it points, with the middle finger of the hand that bears political economy's index finger, to its own dimly aware reflection and finds that it has been too hard on itself.
And for the record, the prospect of a "highly culture, poetical nation" working to lure back the old gods over which "the great Sperm Whale shall lord" constitutes one of the more nihilistic conception of a national culture industry I have ever read. Now, we're getting somewhere, eh Ishmael?