Saturday, November 29, 2003

On a Roll

If you're not a regular reader of Matthew Yglesias's blog you've really missed out the past couple of days. He's been on a very plain-speaking / punch-to-the-gut roll. E.g., (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5).

Friday, November 28, 2003

Letters to a Young Theologian [2]

Also, I do want to say that I think Foucault is starting with his end as well. He is quick to criticize the historical perspective that assumes we are moving toward an end. His complaint is obviously that they interpret the present with reference to this past that got us where we are and will take us where we’re going. And yet in his denial of a linear history he makes the same mistake, he starts with his end – that history has no purpose. Neither position can be proven or disproven, so both remain valid. (Note: I'm not using 'valid' in a philosophical, but in a popular-level sense.)

Am I right in reading what you write here as implying that your use of 'valid' is more a matter of 'you have the right to say (or believe) THAT', versus a declarative affirmation of a particular truth-claim? If so, I'm not so sure that your sense of the word, in the popular sense, isn't philosophically pertinent to the questions you're troubling yourself with. Or, to put in different terms, the philosophical / popular distinction you've established here might very well be construed as the necessary distinction between metaphysical and pre-&-post metaphysical understandings of truth.

An obscure nugget to chew on, readonly only if you have the time: to what extent do you think we might be able to say that 'validity' (or, 'truthfulness') arises out of the very practice of communication itself, and is not anything metaphysical or transcendent toward which the communication itself strives? That is to say, what if 'validity' / 'truthfulness' do not abide outside language-use, but only ever arise, individually and tenuosly, from the act of communication between one subject and an(other)? 'Validity', then, is the product of interpretive, communicative engagement: for instance, 'I understand you' = some rudimentary validity; 'I believe you' = another level of validity; 'I empathise with you = yet another. Validity, here, is multi-layered, conscious and unconscious, and profoundly subjective.

And yet, all the same, this validity is not relative, at least not in the sense that necessarily privileges that which is 'true for me' over that which is 'objectively' true. Too often, statements like the former have a similar metaphysical assumption about truth as those who might say (and truly mean it!), 'Faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he who died and rose again, is the only means of having a relationship with God'. Being 'true' in either sense assumes a certain singularity -- be it immanent or absent. I.e., X is true . . . y is untrue; which is to say, x corresponds to some pre-determined category of truthfulness, and y does not. Even the most ardent of relativists, one who says everything is true (and thus it doesn't matter what one believes), is implicitly returning to this very same assumption, as she invariably makes an exclusivist claim about the fact that everything is true. I.e., anyone who says everything is not true, is wrong. This, of course, just brings you back to saying, in essence, x [relativism] is true . . . y [non-relativism] is false.

It is difficult to wiggle your way out of this kind of metaphysical, very logical, matrix, but I think it is definitely worth giving it a try. Perhaps you, implicitly / unintentionally, thinking something similar: that 'validity' is a rupture of the traditional conception of truthfulness as that which is absolutely singular, be it immanent (if you're a romantic) or absent (if you're dualist); that 'validity', maybe, perhaps, is a cornerstone of truth as communicative coherence / comprehensibility; that it emerges from, in the midst or act of, discourse, and is the assumed potential of this discourse that makes it possible (that is, comprehensible) in the first place. This is the kind of truth that most interests me -- the kind that takes the engagement of subject and object in the act of communication seriously.

There is more to say -- there always is -- but I'll stop until I hear from you again.


It's the Little Things

There are maybe only two people out there who read this blog who will find this intertesting at all, but I post it only as a cathartic proclamation that is finally finished! You see, these 1,200 words kicked my ass this week. I'd intended on writing it last week, but I was too doped up on meds to function physically (let alone mentally); and thought I'd bang it out on Tues. or Wed. of this, and then send it to the journal editor on Fri. Alas, no. Tuesday because Wednesday, and then Wednesday Thursday -- and I could only manage 125 - 200 words a day. Something kicked into gear today, finally, and the damn thing has finally breathed life.

* * * * * *

Strangers, Gods and Monsters: Interpreting Otherness. By Richard Kearney. London: Routledge, 2003. x + 294 pp.

In his two previous volumes, On Stories and The God Who May Be, Richard Kearney successfully sought, respectively, to mark the human experience as that which must tell stories and that desires to think the unthinkable impossibility of the God that (may) lie at the limit of the narrative imaginary. In this, the final volume of his 'Philosophy at the Limit' trilogy, he explores the ethical implications and philosophical potential of doing both. The self, he suggests, is fraught with, and defined by, the sense of its own ending, where its self-familiarity ends and the strangeness of others begin. Kearney's desire is that we might more effectively redefine this self-familiar self in terms of the limit-experience of strangeness, in order to avoid the alienating projection onto others of our own unconscious fears of ourselves. Citing religious history in particular, as well as examples from popular cinema like Alien and Apocalypse Now: Redux, Kearney argues here that all too often and far too easily the 'stranger' is made a sacrificial scapegoat, a monster that must be exorcised if the stable, certain self is to identify and safely secure itself. What is lost in this economy of redemptive sacrifice, he continues, is the recognition of 'the stranger before us as a singular other who responds, in turn, to the singular otherness in each of us. We refuse to acknowledge ourselves-as-strangers' (p. 5).

All of this at first seems to be a recapitulation of the by now fairly standard postmodern critique of the self-sufficient subject, as rehearsed by the likes of Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, or Slavoj Zizek. While he clearly owes a great deal to such thinkers, he suspects their 'postmodern obsession with absolutist ideas of exteriority and otherness' of leading to a problematic idolatry: 'that of the memorial, ineffable Other', in which there is no discernible difference between the divine Good and the horrific Abject (p. 229). The key, he maintains, is to acknowledge the division between the self and the other without separating them so far that there is no relation at all. To do otherwise is to make ethical, responsible discernment impossible.

Kearney is at his best here when surveying the 'fetishising' of otherness and critiquing its ethical implications. With the overwhelming emphasis that postmodern criticism places on the infinite sublime that is a conditioning agent of knowledge, and thus not a subject of knowledge itself, its privileging of ethical undecidability (versus the moral stricture of being law-bound) is not surprising. For thinkers like Derrida, thinking the absolutely other, and the unconditional hospitality it deserves, 'marks a break with everyday conventions of hospitality governed by rights, contracts, duties, and pacts' (p. 69). As such, the openness of undecidability that is provoked by absolute alterity necessarily precedes the possibility of ethical discernment. In a turbulent world that has grown weary of theory and has been torn asunder by the ethical aftermath of 9/11, though, Kearney's query is especially apt:

How can we tell the difference between benign and malign others? How do we know . . . when the other is truly an enemy who seeks to destroy us or an innocent scapegoat projected by our phobias? Or a mixture of both? How do we account for the fact that not every other is innocent and not every self is an egoistic emperor? (p. 67)

Of these questions, he contends, much of postmodern philosophy remains disturbingly silent.

There must be, he suggests in response, a middle way between the 'romantic hermeneutics' of the autonomous self (at the expense of alterity) and the 'radical hermeneutics' of emphatic alterity (at the expense of the self). What is needed is a mediation between the poles of sameness and strangeness, which Kearney styles 'diacritical hermeneutics'. Here, the other is not 'so exterior or so unconscious . . . that it cannot be at least minimally interpreted by a self', but rather a debt 'inscribed within me as an uncontainable call from beyond' (p. 81). When that which is foreign is made more familiar, and that which is familiar more foreign, there is the potential of -- the necessity of -- hospitality to the other and the self's ethical discernment coexisting in the practical wisdom (phronesis) of narrative understanding.

All this, of course, stands in stark contrast to the primordial silence of the Immemorial Other. That which cannot be known or recalled, because of its absolute singularity, the Immemorial is invoked by Levinas to highlight the blank abyss, the darkness and madness, at the heart of the self's experience of itself, and thus also of the self's experience of history. To speak the other is, in this perspective, its unthinkable domestication; in fact, we would all be much better if we accepted the traumatic darkness at the root of our existence. It is the implication of the latter that Kearney finds most problematic, as it renders our cathartic mourning in the face of evil, be it apartheid or genocide, mute and ineffectual:

What the catharsis of mourning narrative allows is the realization that new actions are still possible in spite of evil sufferered. Narrative catharsis detaches us from the obsessional repetitions of the past and frees us for a less repressed future. For only thus may we escape the disabling cycles of retribution . . . . which estrange us from our power to act by instilling the view that evil is overpoweringly alien, that is, irresistible (p. 104).

If we cannot make something new and good of the evil in our past, in other words, what hope at all have we of achieving anything good for the future?

Kearney's ethical interrogation is, quite obviously, timely. Indeed, it is powerful, and often very persuasive. Nevertheless, if he does not necessarily argue against a straw man version of postmodern ethics, the weight of his arguments fall upon the hyperbolic implications of its rhetoric. This is most clearly the case in his analyses of undecidability, which he a little too readily accuses of being equivalent to indecidability. The point of the undecidable, rather, as a condition for the possibility of decision-making, indeed of storytelling, is that it marks the inherent, inevitable violence and guilt of the decisions we make and stories we tell. That is, in the face of the unthinkable absolute singularity that beckons us to act and to narrate, our actions and our stories do not simply fall short of representing the alterity of the other, but, more importantly, they cut us off from all the other decisions and stories that might have been enacted or narrated with the best of intentions. In not focussing on the decisive guilt at work in the ethics of undecidability, but rather the indecision he inaccurately espies as its result, Kearney's critique is weakened.

This weakness notwithstanding, Strangers, Gods and Monsters remains an invaluable ethical clarification of philosophers like Levinas and Derrida. Indeed, Kearney's presentation of a hermeneutical / narrative understanding of reality and truth, as that which actively discloses the possible, rather than that which is only infinitely deferred as a condition of possibility, is a significant, helpful corrective to the philosophical paralysis of postmodernity's residual Platonism.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Letters to a Young Theologian


If you choose to believe in [a philosophical god (the Absolute, or Ultimate, or Real), Judeo-Christian / Muslim God, nameless Other, Emptiness, etc.] it is exactly that, isn't it, a choice? Can it be anyother but that, as there will never be a logical proof or argument that will make you feel settled -- it just boils down to the fact that you either believe or you don't.

I guess I really am asking this also because i want to know what you think of jumping completely into the abyss and saying there is nothing out there. I know several people who have done that, and I don't think they have any more answers (although I know there may not be any "answers"). They are just as unsettled in that decision as maybe I am in continuing an orthodox belief in light of some things I've picked up this semester. It seems both decisions leave you floating around in vertigo.

What do you think?

I can but say what I've said countless times on this blog: the less religiously inclined I become, the more I get drawn into questions of religion and belief. Why is this? Why do people continue to invite me to riddle their Christian faith with more than nails?

All this got me to wondering, when I should've been working feverishly; it got me to thinking a very unworked-out, quasi-mystical thought. Must belief / faith always be a conscious choice? I understand that self-consciousness, which we can't escape, behooves us to identify ourselves as 'choosers' of some sort; but I sometimes wonder whether this is the end of the story when it comes to religious assent. I remember once talking to a Hebrew Bible scholar about his reading of the prophet Jeremiah as one who, despite his best efforts, could do nothing else but be a prophet of YHWH; when he tried to look at something mundane, for instance, prophecy was still spoken. His number was called in that most enigmatic of texts, and his lot in life was unavoidable.

The email above, I think suggests a very similiar unavoidability. Namely, the unavoidability of (religious) assent -- be it the assent to confessional faith or the assent to irreligious faith. To nihilism. To secularism. Etc. (Cf., S. Zizek's On Belief). I agree that 'jumping completely into the abyss and saying there is nothing out there' provides no more stable ground than believing in God or Allah or Whatever as Absolute. Why, though?

Can it be, perhaps, that the implicit assent that marks one's religious or irreligious 'faith' can itself never be thought, consciously or not, in the singular? This is one of the more interesting aspects of J. Derrida's thinking, though lamentably not explored nearly enough. He says something very similiar here: that faith in whatever is, inevitably, a saying of 'yes, I assent to that'. Notice, though, that this saying is a present participle, it is being lived; it is not a 'yes' that is said, with a referent in mind, and thus referring to something stable and fixed (the bane of someone like Derrida).

In reply to my emailer's question: no, faith, even in something seemingly absolutely negative like, say, nihilism, cannot be nearly as stable, as 'absolute', as the Nietzsche (or Derrida)-quoting third-year philosopher might like to think it is. Rather, the saying of 'yes' in faith can only be achieved in a lived repetition; or, in other words, the saying of assent: 'yes, yes', an affirmation / confirmation of 'yes'. However, once you start such a repetition, as anyone who's ever dealt with basic semiotics might remember, it is quite difficult to know where or how stop (i.e., yes, yes, yes, yes, yes -- in this light, is faith all that different from an orgasm?).

Thursday, November 20, 2003

A Sigh of Relief

Greetings, all.

Let me begin by saying something unequivocal and simple: Being sick blows. I've been nursing myself to some semblance of health since Sunday evening, with only sporadic moments of success. Four days into the brain-crunching, chest-constricting terror of it all, I actually kind of feel like myself today -- minus the ringing in my right ear, which I've actually kind of taken to.

Only a couple of blogworthy things at the moment, though. First, I briefly attended an anti-Bush demonstration in Glasgow. Even at my healthiest I'm not much of a protester -- so you should not be too surprised to learn that I did not (a) march through rush-hour traffic filled streets, (b) carry a placard or a sign with some sort of witty sexual innuendo referencing 'Bush', or (c) spend 50p on a tiny peace button. Oh, and I did not (d) participate in the particularly vile chant 'Who let the bombs out? Bush Bush Bush Bush!' You, my friends, know that there is no love lost between me and my country's leader, and I certainly didn't take offense at the personal attacks on him; but at the same time, most of the chants and such all seemed a bit too youthfully exuberant and naive -- they with their Che Guevara t-shirts purchased no doubt from the local alterna-shop conveniently located next to Ann Summers -- but more importantly, utterly uncreative. If I see one more effigy of Bush dressed like a Taliban cleric, I think I might just vote for him out of good ol' American spite. (Okay, maybe not.) But hey, kudos to the hundreds of pensioners I saw in the crowd. Genial, dignified, and intelligently earnest . . . good on ya. Protests are as much about public relations as they are about making the disempowered discontents feel good about themselves and reinforce their conviction that they aren't the only person pissed off about something. You get enough grey heads with money in those marches, and you have something that really sells to the masses -- well, obviously, not just grey heads, otherwise church attendance would be through the roof in Europe.

I waded through the sea of people and menacing-looking police horses, and made it back to the flat just in time to watch Scotland get the shit kicked out of them by Holland in the away leg of their Euro 2004 playoff, during which a valuable lesson was learned. I.e., watching an ugly 6-0 loss is made even uglier when your girlfriend, due to her allegiance to the lowlands of Europe, is, after each goal, pointing at you from the middle of the living room while slightly squatted, like a sumo wrestler ready to pounce, and bellowing in a demonic tenor: 'You knew it, Bitch!'

Nevertheless, my quiet life of domesticity returned, more or less intact, by watching a couple more episodes of 24 (season one). I'm really late on this particular bandwagon, but such is life when you don't have a television for nearly two years. Mindless fun, that 24 -- if you can get beyond those gaping chasms of disbelief it inevitably evokes.

Oh, and lastly, (and yes, I know this is a complete non sequitur, as it has nothing to do with me, but aren't you happy to know that blogging hasn't made me into a complete narcissist? doesn't that make me the coolest, best blogger of the bunch?), rejoice with me, in the imminent return of Berkeley Breathed to America's cartoon pages. And while you're rejoicing, relish the caustic wit that Jim Davis only wishes his Garfield-writers could muster. Don't let your paper get away with not running 'Opus' . . . make some noise if you don't see it on Sunday.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

No Blood No Foul?

Fijians Say Sorry For Cannibalism

The Australian relatives of a British missionary killed and eaten by Fijian villagers 136 years ago thought two apologies were enough.

But yesterday they got a third, in the form of an elaborate ceremony attended by the Fijian prime minister, as villagers strived to lift a curse they say began with their ancestors' cannibalist crime.

The Reverend Thomas Baker was killed in 1867 at Nabutautau, a remote community high in the hills of the South Pacific island of Viti Levu.

[. . .]

Yesterday, they offered cows, specially woven mats and 30 rare carved sperm whale teeth known as tabua to 10 Australian descendants of Baker, a Wesleyan missionary.

In related news that isn't true at all, not in the slightest, not a word of it, Jews worldwide have begun deliberations as to whether the Christians, especially those who haven't been eaten by Fijians, are right about their culpability in that whole crucifixion of Jesus debacle of old. 'It's really been horrible public relations if nothing else,' Rabbi Yulli did not say.

Oh, but buck up, all you wrathful Christians out there. Take it from the Fijians, your vengeful God's still got a bit of spite in him. Don't you, Big Guy?

Village chief Ratu Filimoni Nawawabalavu said the village hoped the ceremony - which mixed ancient Melanesian pagan and modern Christian rituals - would erase the misfortunes they believed had kept them poor since that long-ago meal.

[. . .]

Past apologies haven't helped. The village last said sorry in 1993, when it presented the Methodist Church of Fiji with Baker's boots, which cannibals had tried unsuccessfully to cook and eat.

[. . .]

Villagers believe that since 1867 either Baker's spirit or old disapproving gods have made sure that modern developments like electricity, a school, piped water supply and other essentials most Fijian villagers enjoy have been kept from them.

It was only two weeks ago that a logging company cut a track to the village

All this goes to show: do not fuck with the Methodist Church.

A Silver Lining

All I can say of this is that I'm soooooo glad Katrien now has a job in Glasgow.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Not that long ago, Alain de Benoist wrote something very powerful:

The highest measure of democracy is neither the 'extent of freedom' nor the 'extent of equality', but rather the highest measure of participation.

Well, colour America's ruling party sold! That's right, never let it be said that the GOP doesn't encourage active dissent and critical dialogue:

The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers.

The decision -- one that Democrats and scholars said is highly unusual -- was announced in an e-mail sent Wednesday to the staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. House committee Democrats had just asked for information about how much the White House spent making and installing the "Mission Accomplished" banner for President Bush's May 1 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

The director of the White House Office of Administration, Timothy A. Campen, sent an e-mail titled "congressional questions" to majority and minority staff on the House and Senate Appropriations panels. Expressing "the need to add a bit of structure to the Q&A process," he wrote: "Given the increase in the number and types of requests we are beginning to receive from the House and Senate, and in deference to the various committee chairmen and our desire to better coordinate these requests, I am asking that all requests for information and materials be coordinated through the committee chairmen and be put in writing from the committee."

He said this would limit "duplicate requests" and help answer questions "in a timely fashion."

It would also do another thing: prevent Democrats from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen.

Oh, but don't worry, the White House assures us all:

"It was not the intent to suggest minority members should not ask questions without the consent of the majority."

I feel better already. Thanks.

Just When All Hope Seemed Lost

Outta the way, Jesse Jackson. Step aside, Jimmy Carter. To the back of the line, Jesus. Indeed, all ye mortals, thank the heavens, for Tenacious D have set their priorities, and life will never be the same again.

Proving the Caricature True

Unctuous. Chicanery. Cloacal. Vulpine. Specious. Cormorant.

Each of the above very well may be for some of us fifty-cent words, but I think today's Washington Post shows quite well that their primary referent may not be nearly as exotic.

When Congress this year decided to allow small-business owners, doctors, lawyers and real estate salespeople to deduct up to $100,000 from their taxable income for the purchase of a luxury SUV, Texas car-dealership magnate Jerry Reynolds could hardly believe his good fortune.

He took to the radio to spread the news, drafted a treatise for the Internet, and last week, the man known around Dallas simply as "the car guy" began advertising in the Dallas Morning News. "It's a loophole," the ad proclaims, "and this weekend, we can show you how to make that loophole big enough to drive a fleet of trucks and sport utility vehicles through it!"

It's enough to make me really and truly want to be believe in Hell.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Come Unto Me, Neo, All Ye Who Are Weak and Burdened

I just got word from a friend that he scored us some tickets to the Matrix Revolutions premiere down in the city centre. While I'm excited to see it, especially since I'll see something before most of you losers back in the States (heh), I'm slightly ambivalent.

A couple of weekends ago, I saw Kill Bill, and absolutely freakin' loved it. If, as Theodor Adorno suggested, there is no poetry after the Holocaust, I think a contemporary (though, admittedly far more shallow -- and I'm not making an ethical evaluation here) corollary might be that there are no more violent movies after Kill Bill. It was utterly shocking. I'm hard-pressed to think of a way that future movies can present violence in such a way as to compare to Tarantino's vision.

I tell you this for one simple reason: I only see the Matrix movies for the comic book, sublime violence. Nothing else. The mythology is pretty shallow and obvious, and the philosophy is of the popular variety that many a thoughtful person might ruminate upon whilst in the tub, stuck in an elevator, etc. So, let's not be fooled, The Matrix is about crazy violence, executed with absurd, electronically-attuned finesse. This, I think, is the reason I left Reloaded a little disappointed. The fights were, for all their bluster and boom, were pretty predictable (save for Morpheus' sudden ability to kick an agent's ass, and I certainly don't credit that as a good plot turn) -- plus, the movie wasn't helped by that bane of such movies: the moviemakers taking their mythology far too seriously, and thus forcing the gunplay to be muted for some insipid dialogue. Moreover, this is the reason I fear I may dislike the last installment. If the early word is true, while there's heaps of over-the-top shoot 'em up, Revolutions will revel in the Christological pap of its suggested pseudo-allegory. Invariably, you'll have people who will remark at the brilliance of this parallel -- evangelical Christians inviting their 'unsaved' friends, so that they might evangelize over a slice of pizza later, in hopes of ticking one name off their Christian hit-list; and, even more annoying, popular culture seminars in which cool black-clad professors push back their greasy, brown locks, and read the trilogy as some seminal moment in contemporary mythology. Urgh. Meanwhile, that'll be me -- at the pizza joint eating a ham calzone, or at the seminar scribbling down a grocery list -- rolling my eyes and awaiting the second volume of Kill Bill.

Anyway, for now, let's hope none of this is the case. Suspension of disbelief begins now . . . we'll just have to wait and see for how long.

A Song for the Day [2]

All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races, going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses, no expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow, no tommorow, no tommorow

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should, sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous, no one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson, look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad World

Name that band . . .

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A Song for the Day

When I tell you that I love you, don't test my love
Accept my love, don't test my love
'Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

Don't ask what kind of music I'm gonna play tonight
Just stay awhile, hear for yourself awhile
And if you must put me in a box, make sure it's a big box
With lots of windows
And a door to walk through
And a nice high chimney
So we can burn burn burn everything that we don't like
And watch the ashes fly up to Heaven
Maybe all the way to India
I'd like that

All the ancient kings came to my door
They said, "Do you want to be an ancient king too?"
I said, "Oh yes, very much. But I think my timing's wrong"
They said, "Time is relative. Or did you misread Einstien?"
I said, "Do you really mean it?"
They said, "What do you think we come here for, our goddamn health or something?"

Everybody's waiting for the messiah:
The Jews are waiting
The Christians are waiting
Also the Muslims
It's like everybody's waiting
They've been waiting a long time
I know how I hate to wait, like even for a bus or something
Or an important phone call
So I can just imagine how darned impatient everybody must be getting

So I think it's time now
Time to reveal myself:
I am the Messiah
I am the Messiah
I am the Messiah

Yes, I think you heard me right
I am the Messiah
I was gonna wait till next year
Build up the suspense a little, make it a really big surprise
But I could not resist
It's like when you got a really big secret
You're just bursting to tell someone
It was sorta like that with this
And now that I've told you, I feel this great weight lifted
Dr. Nusbaum was right -- he's my therapist
He said get it out in the open

I spent ten whole days in Jerusalem
Mmmm Jerusalem
Sweet Jerusalem
And all I ate was olives
Nothing but olives
Mountains of olives
It was a good ten days
I like olives
I like you too

So when I tell you that I love you, don't test my love
Accept my love, don't test my love
'Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

Just thought I'd share.