Not many distractions.  1.  It’s the weekend and good content needs to be searched out, instead of being pushed onto me as it is during the week.  2.  A holiday or somesuch, so that also dries up the output.  3.  The paying gig has kept me bizay to-day.  Really, that’s the only distraction.

But…there was a short story by Palahniuk that I read this morning.  If you don’t know Palahniuk, then I suggest you acquaint yourself.  He wrote Fight Club and other books that I like more.  His sensibilities are in the right place.  Sadly, he, like I do, tends to repeat the themes and messages in his ouvre.  So, this short story is “Loser” and it’s sweet.  Below is the money shot, which probably helps explain what is going on.  You should read the story though because the action the protagonist takes is BRILLIANT.

It’s like, if you live a boring-enough life, knowing the price of Rice-A-Roni and hot dog weiners, your big reward is you get to live for a week in some hotel in London?  You get to ride on some airplane to Rome.  Rome, like, in Italy.  You fill your head full of enough ordinary junk, and your pay-off is giant supermodels giving you a snowmobile?

If this game show wants to see how smart you really are, they need to ask you how many calories in a regular onion-cheddar cheese bagel.  Go ahead, ask the price of your cell phone minutes any hour of the day.  Ask you about the cost of a ticket for going thirty miles over the speed limit.  Ask the round-trip fare to Cabo for spring break.  Down to the penny, you can tell them the price of decent seats for the Panic at the Disco reunion tour.  (198-9)

Palahniuk, Chuck.  (2010).  Loser.  In Neal Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio, eds.  (2010).  Stories: All-new tales (194-201). NY: William Morrow.

Al Sarrantonio’s “The Cult of the Nose” has been following me around all day.  Appropriate, since the story is about a secret cult that shows up at massively traumatic events.  People in catastrophic photos are wearing fake noses.  The protagonist tracks them down.  I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s obvious how it has to end.  The story makes me think of two things.  First, structure.  Massumi calls structure that place where nothing happens.  The Cult of the Nose is structure, and the story comports to that theory of how structure works.  Second, why Nose?  Is it because the nose is a hindrance?  It shadows our eyes, it is a permanent blot that we somehow learn to deal with.  It’s obtrusive, and a cult that wears a fake nose which is larger than actual noses must be especially competent or powerful to embrace such a handicap.  That’s the Nose on the field of vision.  But there is something else, dealing with smell and its primacy and/or subsequent downplaying.  Not sure.  yet.

Germany and Argentina played to-day.  The intersections of these two is rife for more conspiracy theories.  Watched for Noses.  As well as Martin Borrman.

Even though I read a lot of Zizek, I am not intolerant of multiculturalism.  I do see proof of the argument that it’s counterproductive, but rarely.  And it does make us feel better about ourselves; there is value to that.  However.  The emphasis FIFA puts on ending racism seems overly cynical to me.  Racism is a problem among futballers and their fans.  It makes sense to reach out and try to prevent these racist outbursts, but these measures are too demonstrative.  I wonder if they are so demonstrative precisely because those in charge are either racist or see the problem as too big to overcome and so they do it as a distancing move.  I may be cynical, but this distancing move of the over-the-top protest is a more insidious cynicism.

Sarrantonio, Al.  (2010).  The cult of the nose.  In Gaiman, Neal and Al Sarrantonio, eds.  (2010).  Stories: All-new tales (304-312.)  NY: William Morrow.