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My Secret confession.

A regular reader, Case, gently chastises me as follows: "Since The Secret crowd was on Oprah last week, I've been waiting for a SHAM post on the topic." He also observes, "Isn't The Secret the anti-determinism?", and, helpfully, "FYI, the movie is now free on the web at [this site] that aggregates YouTube videos." got me dead to rights. The last few weeks have been crazed, so rather than watch Oprah's Secret-fest live (which I'm not sure I could've stomached anyway; I'd need several stiff drinks, and I can't start that early in the day), I TiVo'd it for later replay. Alas, the gods of technology decided to have a little fun with me: It didn't "take," for whatever reason. Maybe the Secretmeisters, in their state of profound cosmic contempt for me and my ilk, managed to dispatch some sort of curse into the ethers, and it later came to rest in my video equipment. Or maybe it's a "law of attraction"-type phenomenon: I brought the malfunction on myself through my inveterate pessimism. In any case, I missed out. Which is probably for the best, since alcohol gives me horrific migraines anyway. For a nicely tart take on the affair, try this, from one of Rhonda Byrne's compatriots. (Rhonda is the eerie-looking presence at right, btw.)

Oh, and to answer the question Case poses: Yes, The Secret might be described as "the anti-determinism" in its inflection: the idea that you can simply throw off the shackles of whatever life you presently lead and begin another life tomorrow (or hell, why wait? What's wrong with right now....?) However, I need to point out that determinism even encompasses and explains the beliefs of those who reject it. There is no paradox more than, say, when a democratic nation decides, democratically, to vote a Fascist leader into power.* (I can hear the cynics now: "We already have that, Steve....")

* It's not exactly parallel, but you get the idea.

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