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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Triumph and Shame

I confess that this has been a weird week — in a short period, I’ve been denounced by Milbank and taken weirdly out of context on the website of Christianity Today.

I confess that I am taking an almost involuntary rest from most types of productive activity, which used to happen periodically while I was “working from home” but now must wait for breaks. I confess that while recognizing the necessity of occasional idleness, I never really enjoy it, never feel comfortable. I confess that on the large scale, I feel bored and listless in the absence of a clear “overarching project,” but at the same time realize it’d be artificial and counterproductive to try to dive into something big right now.

I confess that I’ll probably never be satisfied.


March 19, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess my New Year’s resolutions are a bit of a train wreck, but take solace in that each is salvageable.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | March 19, 2010

  2. I confess I feel a little bit depressed after reading this, hoping you will feel the need to confess – next week – that things are on the up.

    Comment by JoB | March 19, 2010

  3. “Only second-raters….” (Milbank).

    A weird way of saying whatever he was trying to say. Apparently there’s the majors and the also-rans, sort of like in sports, pop music, and acting. The A-list and the B-list. The Ivies and the state schools.

    Comment by John Emerson | March 19, 2010

  4. I confess that I too will probably never be satisfied.

    I confess that I had a perfectly lovely time on a picnic zu dritt in dolores park recently, immediately following whose conclusion I returned to feeling morose. I confess further that while part of the moroseness sprung from one of the participants’ living quite far from me, the balance would probably have sprung up regardless. I confess that a live, or even nonmoribund, life seems to have escaped me. To add irrelevantly to the preceding confession, I confess that it is my belief that “live life” (where “live” is an adjective) is a literal translation of a Russian idiom, but it is unsurprisingly hard to verify this using google.

    I confess that I thought the abuse by Milbank was so obviously mean-spirited that I have a hard time believing anyone will read it and agree with it.

    Comment by ben | March 19, 2010

  5. I confess not only that I am jealous of being the object of a mean-spirited attack by a theologian but even of being an item of reference on a website like “Christianity Today”. I confess this makes me acutely aware of being everything but an Uebermensch even if I can read Musil in German.

    Comment by JoB | March 19, 2010

  6. I confess to amazement that the obviously important personage John Milbank would love to be publicly known as an ignorant hater. WTF!!! Dude want to run the U.K. with his pals but spews big fancy mean words about a certain author who has written an excellent academic introduction to a theological exploration of Milbanks most current yin to yang: Zizek. Triumphant fool. Political slimeball that oozes nothing of compassion necessary to usher in open political space. Mean appeals to dogma, same old christian bullshit.

    Adam, sorry to see your creative and insightful work get slagged.

    Comment by Jesse Mau-Bridges | March 19, 2010

  7. I confess that this is music than which there is nothing higher, other than the depths of the abyss: house

    Comment by Jesse Mau-Bridges | March 19, 2010

  8. I confess that I can barely understand Milbank’s position but that, if I am understanding him, you are merely a momentarily convenient target: you have a lot of company since he has a particular agenda to refute much of the modern world. In that sense he can do nothing but denounce you only because he so circumscribes what he will allow into his world view that all else is necessarily rejected. There is no possibility of dialogue with what is, in a sense, a tyrannous vision. I am a little older than Milbank, and I would take his “pusillanimous” statement with a grain of salt. He is, after all, admitting that with age comes an inevitable crystallization, not always in a good way.

    Comment by grackle | March 20, 2010

  9. I agree with Grackle wholly. I am saddened to see RadOx now being nothing more than gibberish proclaiming revival of the most shittiest embodiment of the worst institution in human history, christian empire.

    Comment by Jesse Mau-Bridges | March 20, 2010

  10. Hey Jesse. This is Matthew of Danica and Matthew fame. We’ll be back in KC in a month, so we should get together and drink some beer and blather about music. That is, if you have time to spare from new-babydom…

    I confess that I have yacht rock hair and beard. Kind of like Serpico.

    Comment by Matthew | March 21, 2010

  11. Apropos to this, I confess that I have never seen O Brother Where Art Thou. And Sullivan’s Travels one of my favorite movies, too.

    Comment by K-sky | March 23, 2010

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