THE INFLUENCE OF NEOPLATONISM, STOICISM, AND THE IDEALS OF JUSTICE IN AUGUSTINE’S “CONFESSIONS”

Today, I woke up with this weird feeling in my right ear. A ball of earwax dropped down into my ear hole like a pachinko ball into whatever that slot at the bottom is called.

You know. The slot where the metal balls fall and you don’t get a prize, but do get a sense of how much time your are wasting trying to get a prize that is worth a fraction of what you paid to play. Something like a spontaneously-combusting stuffed animal or a plastic keychain that will break the second you stop believing in it.

I know a Skinner box when I see one, pachinko, and I am looking at your and your evil purpose!

TOTALLY worth the $21 spent to watch a ball rush like a person trying to make their way through a large crowd!

What is a Skinner box? It is an enclosed apparatus that contains a bar or key that an animal can press or manipulate in order to obtain food, water, or other desired result as a type of reinforcement to reward the subject, according to the first entry I found when Googling “Skinner box.”

They were apparently invented by B.F. Skinner, who was potentially maybe inspired by women constantly rejecting his pleas for a date. His approach didn’t help. “Hey, hot stuff. I am B.F. Skinner and I will eventually invent a box!” You can see how this isn’t going to work on an educated woman. Or any kind of woman I can think of.

I don’t want to think of women I can’t think of because by definition that is literally impossible.

It didn’t help that B.F. Skinner was the worst Yale student in the storied history of that University; mostly because he went to Harvard.

Pictured: B.F. Skinner at a Yale reunion for no reason whatsoever

So creating a box where all you have to do is smash a button in the right order to get what you want was right up his alley. Unfortunately, he was never able to fit a woman in the prize box.

Of course, Disney is opting to make a movie about this. They’re going to add a small cartoon mouse named “Petunia” who is going serve as both his test subject and conscious. Although this is not true and I have never even thought of what that movie would look like, here’s the ending: they get married (SPOILER.)

I put the spoiler warning in the wrong place, didn’t I? Now that you know the ending, Disney is going to plan a sequel but they aren’t going to tell me the end. This also is not true. They are totally going to tell me even though I am a blabbermouth.

Pictured: someone who resembles my dad

And that’s how it felt when the earwax dropped in my ear.

I didn’t want to get the earwax on my bed because I have no idea what it is even made of. So I got up, my head tilted to the left so as to keep the earwax in place, and walked into the bathroom. I tilted my head to the right over the toilet and looked at the result of my handiwork. Perfect shot! Suck it, Luke Skywalker!

Pictured: Luke Skywalker not sucking it despite orders

This whole earwax experience brought to mind St. Augustine’s “Confessions” and how he presented the Neoplatonic ideas of a Prime Mover (or “The One”) that defines “the good” in order to convince Neoplatonist philosophers that Christianity is a logical consequence of their own beliefs and that Christianity solves the theory of a priori knowledge by introducing the concept of the inner teacher (Christ presiding in one’s soul as a guide) and the illumination (the outward presence of God that defines “the good.”)

This also is not true. It actually got me wondering what earwax is made of. Apparently I wasn’t that curious because I have yet to look it up. And I am never going to look it up. What is life without unknowable mysteries? Even though those mysteries are usually very knowable and can be explained using a near-black-out drunken Google search in about four minutes.

I know this for certain. I timed it.

I searched Google about the eternal mystery of why women date jerks instead of nice guys like B.F. Skinner. Google came back with, “It’s not that they like jerks, dimwit. They don’t like passive-aggressive men with bad self-esteem who think they can trade their ‘niceness’ for sex.”

Fair enough.

Sorry, buddy

Speaking of the reality check that women are not a homogenous group, that Disney spec script acceptance rules are intimidating, and that maybe no one really knows what earwax is made of, have you read St. Augustine’s “Confessions?” I have. Here’s the ending: he’s a Christian (SPOILER.)

Aw, damn.