Sunday, November 16, 2008


You know there is a point in life at which sex becomes if not a scheduled activity an activity that becomes associated with a particular day or days, a particular time or times, a particular place or places.

In other words, it becomes associated with certain externals, and sometimes the externals drive it. There's less madness in it and less spontaneity.

But it goes on, a package of pleasure, duty, habit, kindness and lust.

Is that a working definition of love?

Well, there you go.

Father, do not go horny into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the nooner

Wait. This also reminds of the passage from "Tristram Shandy" that I so enjoyed in grad school. It's a very modern novel, you know, very much a moving target.

First we have this:

C HA P. I.

I Wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them,
as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded
what they were about when they begot me; had they duly
consider’d how much depended upon what they were then
doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was
concern’d in it, but that possibly the happy formation and
temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast
of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even
the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the
humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:——
Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded
accordingly,——I am verily persuaded I should have made a
quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader
is likely to see me.—Believe me, good folks, this is not so
inconsiderable a thing as many of you may think it;—you have
all, I dare say, heard of the animal spirits, as how they are
transfused from father to son, &c. &c.—and a great deal to
that purpose:—Well, you may take my word, that nine parts in
ten of a man’s sense or his nonsense, his successes and miscarriages
in this world depend upon their motions and activity,
and the different tracks and trains you put them into; so that
when they are once set a-going, whether right or wrong, ’tis not
a halfpenny matter, - - away they go cluttering like hey-go-mad;
and by treading the same steps over and over again, they presently
make a road of it, as plain and as smooth as a garden-walk,
which, when they are once used to, the Devil himself sometimes
shall not be able to drive them off it.

Pray, my dear, quoth my mother, have you not forgot to
wind up the clock?——Good G—! cried my father, making an
exclamation, but taking care to moderate his voice at the same
time,——Did ever woman, since the creation of the world,
interrupt a man with such a silly question? Pray, what was your
father saying?——Nothing.

And a little later on we have this context.

I was begot in the night, betwixt the first Sunday and the first
Monday in the month of March, in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and eighteen. I am positive I was.—
But how I came to be so very particular in my account of a thing
which happened before I was born, is owing to another small
anecdote known only in our own family, but now made public
for the better clearing up this point.

My father, you must know, who was originally a Turky
merchant, but had left off business for some years, in order to
retire to, and die upon, his paternal estate in the county of
———–, was, I believe, one of the most regular men in every
thing he did, whether ’twas matter of business, or matter of
amusement, that ever lived. As a small specimen of this extreme
exactness of his, to which he was in truth a slave,—he had made
it a rule for many years of his life,—on the first Sunday night of
every month throughout the whole year,—as certain as ever the
Sunday night came,——to wind up a large house-clock which
we had standing upon the back-stairs head, with his own
hands:—And being somewhere between fifty and sixty years of
age, at the time I have been speaking of,—he had likewise
gradually brought some other little family concernments to the
same period, in order, as he would often say to my uncle Toby,
to get them all out of the way at one time, and be no more
plagued and pester’d with them the rest of the month.
It was attended but with one misfortune, which, in a great
measure, fell upon myself, and the effects of which I fear I shall
carry with me to my grave; namely, that, from an unhappy
association of ideas which have no connection in nature, it so
fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the
said clock wound up,—but the thoughts of some other things
unavoidably popp’d into her head,—& vice versâ:—which
strange combination of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly
understood the nature of these things better than most
men, affirms to have produced more wry actions than all other
sources of prejudice whatsoever.

But this by the bye.
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