Saturday, 24 September 2005

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Friday's Twilight Confessional I confess that the Ninth Ward once terrified me and that my friends who lived there knew it did. I confess to concocting excuses to meet them somewhere other than the Ninth Ward. I confess that last night I had countless nightmares about my parents or friends being caught in their cars on the Interstate 10 as they fled from Rita. I confess that the sleeplessness these nightmares caused had a deleterious effect on my ability to welcome and introduce my students to Literary Journalism 20. (I also confess that a massive overcompensation effort is already underway.) I confess that whenever I think "the situation cannot deteriorate further" it invariably does and that I feel an irrational irresponsibility for it. I confess that I am even more tired of thinking and talking and writing about hurricanes today than I have ever been tired of thinking and talking and writing about anything that is not my dissertation. I confess that this thinking and talking and writing about hurricanes has lowered the odds of my finishing the Jack London chapter by Monday to a pathetic 23 percent. I confess that this confession began as a comment on Kotsko's "Friday Afternoon Confessional" and that despite my atheism I have found confessing cathartic. (I also confess that I did not know that outside of Aristotelian literary theory "cathartic" refers to "the evacuation of the bowels." I confess I find the metaphorical leap disturbing.) I confess that I have searched the archives of Adam's Weblog so that I might learn more about his faith because faith confuses me. I confess that while I wish I could experience faith I am more frequently of the opinion of 19th Century philosopher and arch-evolutionist Ernst Haeckel, who in The Riddle of the Universe (1899) said that modern theology "adores a personal God as an invisible—properly speaking, gaseous—being, yet makes him think, speak and act in human fashion [and] gives us the paradoxial picture of a 'gaseous vertebrate.'" (I confess that my monism and materialism often depress me ... but that the alternatives depress me even more.) I confess I want to end this confession with a bang but must settle for a whimper ... because I confess the delirium with which I taught this morning is nothing next to how nebulous my thoughts are now. Finally, I confess that said bang concerned what I need in my nécessaire and why I find this portrait of a "confessant" compelling.

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