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Like Foreigner, Cornel West wants to know what love is

December 3, 2009, 11:40 am

(Via Ben Alpers)

It’s probably not the case that Cornel West’s new memoir approaches the low standard recently established by my former governor, but this passage is truly cause for wonder:

The basic problem with my love relationships with women is that my standards are so high — and they apply equally to both of us. I seek full-blast mutual intensity, fully fledged mutual acceptance, full-blown mutual flourishing, and fully felt peace and joy with each other. This requires a level of physical attraction, personal adoration, and moral admiration that is hard to find. And it shares a depth of trust and openness for a genuine soul-sharing with a mutual respect for a calling to each other and to others. Does such a woman exist for me? Only God knows and I eagerly await this divine unfolding. Like Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship in Emily Bronte’s remarkable novel Wuthering Heights or Franz Schubert’s tempestuous piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat (D.960) I will not let life or death stand in the way of this sublime and funky love that I crave!

#1: Is Cornel West admitting that he is a zombie? And if so, by “sublime and funky love,” does he actually mean “sweet, nourishing brains?”

#2: Um. It’s been almost 20 years since I read Wuthering Heights, but somehow I don’t recall the novel being a useful guidebook for the fully-unfolded openness and flourishing of sublime and funky love. Not that I didn’t also crave back then a love fully-blown with funkiness and sublimity, mind you. Indeed, I — like Cornel West and Schubert — refused to allow anything (e.g., my homely appearance, my regrettable hygiene, my social clumsiness) stand in the way of my craving for the sublime and the funky, love-wise. But when I imagined what a love flourishing with soul-sharing funk and mutual cravings for the eager and trusting sublime, a character like Heathcliff — who, if memory serves, hung hanged his wife’s dog for the fun of it — would have seemed like a pretty unconvincing role model as I searched for evidence of God’s unfolding revelation of death-defying and life-affirming funkiness. But setting aside animal cruelty and spousal abuse, I will not let life or death stand in the way of this sublime and funky love that I crave!

What about you? What — if anything — will deter your funk-related cravings?

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