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Home for the heteronomous

Friday Afternoon Confessional: There is Nothing on the Inside

I confess that my sex drive is not always synchronized with that of The Wife. On this magnificent site I have found a solution for one of a total of two possible directions in which we can be out of phase in this:

To the lurkers with a tendency for perversion: no, The Wife is not attracted to Ice T. It is just that I do not love Coco. Not that I think she is not lovable or likable or anything, I have no way of knowing that. Not that I cannot imagine that Ice T loves Coco, I am sure he does if he says so. I confess that I’m simply turned off by that picture.

I confess that the other of a total of two possible directions doesn’t happen a lot.  I guess we’re kind of traditional that way.

I confess that I have only very little interest in what you, dear readers, have going on as far as being traditional in that way. I confess I have even less interest in how far you are not traditional this way. My interest is likewise limited, approaching the infinitesimally close to zero, in whether you are turned off or on by Coco, Ice T or any combination of the both at any age, stage of nudity or weight.

You might wonder why I bother you with all this shit of mine if I can’t be bothered with any of that shit coming from you. I suppose the short answer is: because I can. The long answer is: Noam Chomsky is wrong, there’s nothing deep hiding below the surface.

I hereby confess in passing that I have no soul. I would find this to be more of a problem for me personally if I wouldn’t be convinced that none of you have souls either. I confess that I believe that, dig as deep as you want, you’ll find that There is Nothing on the Inside. I confess that I am simplistic that way. If you do well, you mean well. If you mean well, you do well. Sure, there might be external circumstances that break this pattern but these circumstances are external, not internal. At the same time the “if p then q” pattern isn’t broken by some counter-examples because the pattern is not one of materiality  but one of probability (if you want to be bored you can click the link on the first link on this page). In other words, It is All on the Outside. The only Reality is The Reality at The Surface.

[I confess it might well be the case that I’m at This Very Moment possessed by a, badly demented, version of The  Spirit of William Blake. For this and all other gibberish I apologize.]

This is why I confess I am happy that Ice T loves Coco. It is a good thing to love somebody, certainly when that somebody returns that love. Weight, average feelings of good taste and a suspicion that the relationship is more about the material than the spiritual have nothing to do with it. They are just the signs of being judgmental and as such of not meaning well.

That said, I confess I’m still turned off by that picture. But that is only a sexual reaction and more specifically my sexual reaction. Other than that the whole thing is kind of endearing.

I do confess I have a very big interest in what you, our dearest readers, find endearing. I confess I cry at the end of a well made tearjerker. Hell, I even cry at the end of a badly made tearjerker.


June 17, 2011 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional, syntax


  1. I confess that by any sane interpretation of the words, there can be no “surface” without an “underlying reality,” so I don’t believe there is a real world. Since I have not yet attained enlightenment, I confess I do still have a soul. Probably Nietzsche’s soul.
    I confess that since it is hot and I am lazy (see the unenlightened thing), I will not walk the 5 blocks, and will hug my dogs instead of a horse.
    I confess that, while being frightened by my rate of weight loss, I still have no appetite.
    I confess that I am avoiding the dumbbell regimen that would induce me to add a meal. Besides the fears for my joints, tendons, etc I am embarrassed about weight-training at my advanced age.
    I confess to not liking anything about Bobby Fischer:his personalities, his biography, and especially his chess. Prefer Tal.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | June 17, 2011

  2. I confess that I become overly angry when computers malfunction. Of late, I have had many occasions for such anger, as our internet connection has traditionally become unreliable in the summer (humidity?). The Girlfriend was in charge of choosing the internet service, and when I get angry about it, she sometimes believes I’m getting angry at her since it’s “her” service. (And yet every internet service is unreliable in some way, even some hypothetical alternative that I would have chosen!)

    In any case, to keep the peace I have been doing some self-spiritual-direction in order to try not to get angry or at least not express it. This morning, as the faulty connection prevented me from performing my morning ritual of looking over Google Reader with my coffee, I thought to myself — are there any alternatives? What is it about Google Reader that I like?

    Obviously the key attraction is having something to read, and so I had a stroke of genius: I can read a magazine instead! The effect was startling. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with calm, reading about Africa’s most prestigious film festival, then about Martin Scorsese’s tragic vision, in an issue of Harper’s that feels like an unannounced “movie issue.” I confess that I even kept reading, after the internet had come back!

    I confess that sometimes I consider “downgrading” to something like a newspaper or The Economist for my morning reading. I confess that I have elaborate fantasies of all the periodical literature I’ll be able to read on my commute to Shimer College and that I have subscribed to both the London and New York Review of Books in anticipation, in both cases taking advantage of a “professional rate” that magazines often offer me for reasons that are unclear to me. I confess that I would enjoy getting a “professional rate” for the Financial Times, but they can probably afford to hold out in my case.

    I confess that I am finally and completely tired of “liberal outrage”-themed blogs and have unsubscribed from them. I confess that at my current pace, I will have no Google Reader subscriptions by year’s end.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 17, 2011

  3. I confess that I have never read a complete work by James Joyce. I further confess that yesterday I joined a silent Bloomsbury reading in a gallery and sit, underneath a webcam it turned out, with Chapters 2 and 1, in that order, as recommended by a friend. I confess I was severely distracted by an about-to-blow project budget for the first half-hour of my reading time, and that a walk and a phone call relaxed me and allowed me to enjoy Joyce’s language, if not the wider sweep of his themes and allusions. I confess that after finishing Chapter 1, I left, quipping to my friend, “This jew’s got to wander,” which if you know your Ulysses etc. I confess that I found that quip funny enough to offer to more than one friend at the reading.

    I confess that I have been staying awake in bed reading Game of Thrones. I confess that I can remember no other book that has allowed me to stay awake reading in the last ten years.

    I confess that I am dragging my heels on selling one of my five ukuleles. I confess that I have a good reason not to sell any one of them, but no reason to have five. All were gifts. One is solid-body electric, one is my favorite to play, one is electric-acoustic, one is a cheap toy, and one was hand-painted by the gift-giver’s uncle. I found a prospective buyer for the electric-acoustic one, but then an event came up where it would be handy to have an electric-acoustic ukulele. Maybe I will wait until after it.

    I confess that I am a decent ukulele player, but not so good as to warrant having five ukuleles. I confess that I recently worked up “Crazy” by Willie Nelson (popularized by Patsy Cline).

    Comment by Josh K-sky | June 17, 2011

  4. I confess that if I didn’t know better, I’d think that Guido has a problem with fat people–like me. Not that Ice is fat. For a 50-something year old man, he looks pretty good.

    I only made it about a quarter of the way through A Game of Thrones before I had to put it down to focus on teaching related reading. It was enjoyable. Now that the semester is over, I’ll return to it. Not sure what I’ll do about the second book: read for spoilers? read concurrently with the next season? read after the season? The only Joyce I read–that book of short stories for a literature class in first year left me with one impression: really?

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | June 17, 2011

  5. I am like you, Craig. If you are really like you say you are. I confess I am not attracted to myself.

    Comment by Guido Nius | June 17, 2011

  6. I confess I am more of a hater than I am a confessor.

    That said I confess I was too harsh on Coco and Ice T. What I wanted to say was that it was endearing in a non-sexual way, and that I needed a good slapping of myself for having the reflex reaction I had. I confess that what I wound up saying was rather far away from what I wanted to say.

    I hate that.

    Comment by Guido Nius | June 18, 2011

  7. Since we now have a vacancy for Tuesday Hatred, Guido, you could take that over if you prefer hating to confessing. (This is purely about your own desire — your confessing has been great.)

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 18, 2011

  8. I like how it is phrased as an “opening.” Have missed the unpaid intern hiring season? “The Weblog has an opening for an unpaid intern to confess and/or to hate…”

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | June 18, 2011

  9. Adam, that has to have been the nicest thing anybody ever said to me on the internet. Coming from somebody generally as nice as you in internet conversations I am going to put that down as my first rave review. Are you still available for marriage?

    Anyway, if ben is definitely forfeiting his franchise I can try to do both for a week or two. I hate to be directive but I confess that that is the way I am so I am going all out suggesting you do what Craig hints at – adverting the opening on twitter. Then we can see if I am any good at hating and whether or not there show up new haters and/or confessors in comments who are better than I am at the one, the other or – god forbid – both.

    If both, I will apply for re-opening an old franchise: Sunday Sex.

    Comment by Guido Nius | June 19, 2011

  10. Yes, we do still have two days of the week for new regular features. And it occurs to me that there’s no reason people can’t post things other than said weekly features if they have time and inclination.

    I would prefer to keep any of the weekly features “in the family” rather than opening it to the general public, though. Someone has to become a regular here first, in other words.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 19, 2011

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