January 12, 2020

Have you ever encountered something that is so much the sort of thing that you should be interested that...

... it's exactly why you can't get interested in it at all?

I just had that experience. All the elements made it exactly in my zone, and that almost seemed to be why I turned away. The universe can't serve things up to me made to order. I need more chaos or the balance is off. It's so wrong.

You know the old saying: It's so wrong, it's right.

For me, it was: It's so right, it's wrong.

58 comments:

Birkel said...

Most people do not have that experience, I would wager.
There are fairie tales on that point, I believe, warning is away from the too perfect.
We wouldn't need those tales if people reacted the way you do, Althouse.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

That's sort of like the thing about music - we love repetition - but if there's nothing unexpected in the mix we find it boring and tune out.

Ann Althouse said...

Some things seem so made to order — multiple elements, all lined up — that if you were paranoid, you'd be afraid. If you were religious, you might think God sent a gift... if your religion pictured God attending to microscopic matters like what would Althouse most enjoy finding in a magazine this morning.

gilbar said...

that happens to me ALL THE TIME!
I'll meet a pretty lady, and it's CLEAR that we'd be perfect for each other;
and even though it seems like we'd be completely compatible...
I just can't get past her cold, scornful, disinterestedness

gilbar said...

actually; the Trick is: to realize When GOD has sent you a gift.
doesn't do much good, to notice three years later what coulda shoulda been

rhhardin said...

Far Side cartoons are right down my alley and I never resented it.

traditionalguy said...

Rest easy. You are normal.

rhhardin said...

Althouse is displacing noticing that her actual interests are idiotic. Interest in emoting and distaste for analysis. Resent those panderers, is her response.

Guys don't resent analysis; if anything it's an attraction.

AllenS said...

Wait a minute, this is all about something that you found in a magazine this morning?

Mark said...

Don't know if its the same thing, but somethings there are certain things I really want to buy, but once I get them, I never use them.

Inga said...

It’s the synchronicity of it that is beautiful and fascinating. Life throws things like that at us now and again. It’s a gift from...who knows where?

mccullough said...

This post dovetails with the previous post on targeted ads. Be wary of stuff that appeals strongly to you.

Meade said...

“Don't know if its the same thing, but somethings there are certain things I really want to buy, but once I get them, I never use them.”

You mean, like, tampons?

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't know if its the same thing, but somethings there are certain things I really want to buy, but once I get them, I never use them."

It's only the same thing if instead of merely wanting the thing, you suddenly encountered it, saw that it had a whole lot of aspects about it that made it exactly what you should need, as if it had been made to order for you, and you stood there a while looking at it, thinking, this thing, which I wasn't looking for, is coming at me, being all these things that I need, and so therefore, obviously, it seems I should buy this, and you can't make yourself buy it. You even pick it up and take it over to the cash register, thinking you are buying it, but then you just can't do it. You think, I don't have to buy this just because it's got everything I need. Stop trying to force me to buy this, thing. And you do not buy it, and you're slightly amused (and bemused) by your non-buying. Like that? You know??

Ann Althouse said...

" Life throws things like that at us now and again. It’s a gift from...who knows where?"

Sometimes you are offered an unsolicited gift, and there's nothing wrong with it. In fact, considering everything about it, you should want it, but you're like: Don't give me anything.

Mark said...

Don't know if its the same thing, but sometimes there are certain things I really want to buy, but once I get them, I never use them.

Mark said...

Too late for the correction, I guess. It was already commented on.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Althouse, you really are taking this whole contrarian thing too far.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Now man up and fall in line with what you're expected to do and/or like!

Fernandistein said...

"Whatever it is, I'm against it."

Bob Boyd said...

it's got everything I need.

It's the Swiss Army knife of magazine articles.

Wince said...

"If loving you is wrong (I don't want to be right)"

Sebastian said...

"I need more chaos"

Except when you need less.

As in 2016, according to your explanation of your vote for Hill.

Which goes to show, any rationalization will do.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"dont let the Good be the enemy of the Perfect"

Bob Boyd said...

Every once in a while I find myself admiring a Swiss Army knife. A great concept and beautifully made, but then I think, I'm not going to carry that thing around. If I put it in my pocket I'd have to wear suspenders. If I fell out of a boat, I'd drown.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Ron Popeil gizmo?

Ann Althouse said...

"It's the Swiss Army knife of magazine articles."

Yeah, that's part of it. Too many elements, trying to be too many things, all at once. It feels aggressive and controlling. What element is left for me to be? It's like virtual reality that you're just strapped into, and it's all your favorite things, all your dreams come true. Would you get in? No! Where would YOU be in there? You could lose your sense of being anything at all. Some contrast is needed!

Howard said...

RH Hardin sounds like he's never experienced je ne sais quoi.

Bob Boyd said...

What element is left for me to be?

Yup. With a regular jackknife you get to figure out how to do all the other stuff with just one blade.

rhhardin said...

I've carried a swiss army knife continuously since the 50s. Small one, one blade, one maybe screwdriver/nail file, scissors, toothpick. Never used the toothpick.

Absolutely necessary every day, chiefly opening plastic wrap.

I'd lose it if I had to fly anywhere. Another reason to stay home.

BudBrown said...

Isn't this covered in Hall Mark movies?

bagoh20 said...

You mean like when you meet a really hot chick who likes hot dogs, football, beer and porn?

Still looking. Should I check the Amazon portal?

JML said...

Good thing Meade didn’t fit that category.

chuck said...

>> I need more chaos or the balance is off. It's so wrong. <<

May I suggest you spend more time on twitter?

Ann Althouse said...

"Yup. With a regular jackknife you get to figure out how to do all the other stuff with just one blade."

Yes, I got a pocket knife that I still have, that I got around 1970 after an art school teacher said that an artist needed a pocket knife. It has 2 blades, one longer than the other. That's it. No scissors. No corkscrew. No nail file. I still have the thing.

Sebastian said...

"Good thing Meade didn’t fit that category."

Made to order, sure, but with room for improvement.

Yancey Ward said...

I decided not to click through to the comments on this post........

Unknown said...

You've got an internal warning system that, if they wanted to survive, MSM journalists would cultivate. The internet dowers them with stories that are Right, as in "It's just such a perfect revelation of what Trump and his turkey-neck supporters Really Are, we had to go with it. How could it be anything but true, given how deeply and perfectly it corroborates and illustrates what we Know?" And somehow, it comes out all wrong. Again. You don't have to invoke innate depravity or anything as theologically resonant, but shouldn't long experience suggest a monitory shiver, a slight sceptical hesitation, when whatever it is, is so obviously Perfect?
"Preacher was talking there's a sermon he gave
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved
You cannot depend on it to be your guide
When it's you who must keep it satisfied"

Iman said...

If loving you is wrong (what’s that say about me?)

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Those are the things I typically set aside for later, saving their compelling-ness like treasure as a reward for dealing with the messier, less-pleasing things in life. By the time I turn my attention to them I find that I’ve lost interest or that they’re essentially hollow. Great shit usually happens in the moment and can seldom be anticipated.

Rabel said...

It's an article in a New York based publication about the constitutional ramifications of a public display at the MET of homosexual phallic symbols analyzed by an unreconstructed feminist.

It has a lot of pretty pictures.

Herman said...

There's a beautiful moment in the movie "Ghost World" where Steve Buscemi's character who is an avid collector of old and rare recordings is told, "It must be so hard to find someone who shares your interests." Recognizing how much his geeky enthuasiasm cuts him off from most people, he sadly replies, "I hate my interests."

Achilles said...

This is the point where we guess what it is right?

Trump's tweet to Iranian protesters getting the most likes ever of any tweet in Farsi?

Twitter, bad translations, most likes in history, juxtaposition with democrats and specifically Obama being a complete piece of shit supporting the mullahs?

Oh maybe it was just me...

Francisco D said...

That's it. No scissors. No corkscrew. No nail file. I still have the thing.

You don't need the Swiss Army knife. A solid pocket knife can do all those things if you are clever in using them.

Necessity is the mother of ... adaptation.

Achilles said...

Was it the Royal Family fiasco with the sperm bandit taking off to Canada Ann?

Just curious but that would be my guess.

narciso said...

largely so,


https://news.grabien.com/story-def-sec-esper-cnns-tapper-killing-solemani-id-rather-have-di

Bob Boyd said...

The big Swiss Army knife has a magnifying glass.
I still haven't figured out how to burn ants with my regular knife yet.

narciso said...

this is what passes for wisdom:


https://twitter.com/alimhaider/status/1216191188639928321?s=20

Iman said...

“In fact, considering everything about it, you should want it, but you're like: Don't give me anything.“

You always have an option of offering to, like, pay for it.

Iman said...

And she was like, and I was like... just kill me now.

I tell ya, kids these days...

daskol said...

“The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants,” according to Improv Everywhere’s website. “The participants behave as if they do not know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.”

The pictures are pretty funny, and right up Althouse’s alley. But it’s manufactures, forced silliness, that now takes place worldwide even in cities when it’s not that ridiculous to go about without long pants time this time of year.

tim maguire said...

Thoughtful people have trained themselves to be skeptical of "facts" or storylines that are in line with what they want to believe. But for most, it doesn't come naturally.

daskol said...

Sorta like when your beautiful girlfriend has an identical twin sister.

Iman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iman said...

Yeah, daskol...

Meet Cathy, who's slept most everywhere,
She's called a slut, but she don't care
But Patty's only had one guy
The other dudes don't even try
What a crazy pair!

But they're sisters,
Identical sisters all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.

Where Patty adores a minuet,
Her teddy bears, and crepe suzette,
Our Cathy loves to rock and roll,
A johnson makes her lose control -
What a wild duet!

Clyde said...

I've mentioned my October vacation on the Big Island of Hawai'i before, but I experienced a bunch of cool things there, and then Reyn Spooner came out with their 2019 Christmas Hawaiian shirt design, which was "Santa's Christmas on the Big Island." It had many of the things I saw on my vacation in the design -- a branch of red lehua flowers, a couple of nene (the goose that is the state bird of Hawaii), Santa holding up a cup of shave ice... It was literally the perfect shirt for me this year. Unlike Althouse, I didn't look a perfect gift horse in the mouth, and I bought the shirt.

wildswan said...

When something I really liked, a blouse or a cup or a CD, breaks or gets worn out and then I find the same thing again somewhere - usually I don't want it. No idea why that happens.

etbass said...

I was just given a very expensive Swiss Army Knife that even has an electronics module in it and will tell time, altitude, barometric trend. It will not cook breakfast but it is way too fat. My already owned SAK is much cheaper, slimmer and goes everywhere I go except through a TSA checkpoint.