The Adventures of No Way Really

Something goes here about the nights and days of getting older. It is one thing to be out of touch; to a certain degree that has nothing to do with age, and, on occasion, a matter not so much pride as relief. Still, though, I happened to find a piece of information interesting, but my daughter informs me that Spider Man soup has apparently always been a thing.

To the other, nothing ever begins.

Don’t Ask: Notes on Perspective

So, when you react before the punch line ….

I mean, I get that it’s a bad total. Eighty-something to two hundred eighty-something. But you said, “Oh, my gosh!” before the second number. You knew the number would be “bad” to some degree, so you reacted.

I guess it’s my problem: I really don’t get it.

If It’s Tuesday I Must Be Whining

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, 18 October 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/Associated Press)

Microcosmic: As Rachel Maddow asks Michael Beschloss his opinion on campaign norms―e.g., releasing tax returns―it occurs to me that we are quite possibly witnessing a microiteration of a problematic thumbnail sketch: If achieved, then change standard.

As Maddow asked, what about the future? And that would approximately make sense: Hillary Clinton is about to be elected president of the United States of America. We’ve already decided that everything else in her career is just that much more volatile and alarming and inappropriate than any man who came before her, repeatedly suggesting with each iteration that we will, in fact, attempt to change the rules in order to forestall certain outcomes.

For instance, who remembers the One-Drop Rule? Was there nothing incongruous or untoward about the proposition that we finally laid the one-drop rule to restα when Barack Obama was elected? Okay, that’s not fair; we lynched the One-Drop Rule and then put the corpse in whiteface: If Barack Obama is one-drop white, we haven’t yet elected our first black president.

Remind me all you want that it didn’t work; I’ll just shrug and wonder why we bothered trying.

Still, though, if we call off the customary tax return release? It’s easy enough to expect the ritual to survive Donald Trump, but we’ve seen this happen before. No, really, did you know that politicians were never supposed to get paid for public speaking when they weren’t in office? Apparently this has always been the rule, and Hillary Clinton just wasn’t smart enough to know. And since her predecessors didn’t really use the private email systems that they actually did, Secretary Clinton should have known that behaving like her predecessors was forbidden; I mean, it’s not like we suddenly invented this standard that what she did was unacceptable out of thin air just because she’s Hillary freakin’ Clinton, right? It’s not like we didn’t care when it was anyone else and then just decide to care because some scandalmongering political opponents decided to pretend something entirely ahistorical and―you know, since it’s “Her”―well, yeah, why not, sounds great. Sorry, I guess that’s just a distraction, isn’t it? Because while we’re spinning pay for play fancies because transparency means we can, the only reason we don’t care about the idea of pay for play through Colin Powell’s foundation, while he was Secretary of State, is because he’s Colin Powell, not Hillary Clinton, so that sort of thing could never, ever happen.

Nor is it just about girls, though it’s true in this case it kind of is. But the underlying principle of schoolyard socialization dynamics includes a function whereby a bellwether among the despised might achieve a threshold of respectability, and the communal response is to alter the threshold in order to maintain exclusion. That is to say, some kids will simply never be allowed by their peers to be cool; it’s a general bully principle, because without it the list of people bullies are allowed to treat poorly pretty much crumbles to dust in the wind.


Image note: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane 18 October 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/Associated Press)

Maddow, Rachel. “Historic debate could reset campaign norms”. msnbc. 27 September 2016.

Substance, Gravity, and Nothing, or, Memory

Source image: Detail of frame from FLCL episode 1, 'FLCL'.

The one good thing, explained the commentator, was that the fumble out of bounds stopped the clock. But then the clock started again, and nobody on the field seemed to be aware of the situation. The clock expired, the ball snapped, Cliff Avril sacked Ryan Tannehill and it never was going to be a safety, but still, you know?

I think the clock was supposed to be running. But it seems as if nobody else did in the moment. It seemed a strangely appropriate end.

Week one. Chaos and confusion don’t necessarily reign, per se, but still. You know?

Cryptically Plain? Cryptic Plainness? Cryptonormal? Never mind.

Detail of 'Relativity' by M.C. Escher, 1953.

I don’t know, maybe it seems cryptic, but that’s also kind of the point.

Simply: It is true that we notice certain aspects about other people because those aspects are important to us.

But then there are occasions when those aspects are so apparent, not noticing requires some deliberate effort.

To wit, if at some point one makes a deliberate, sustained, focused, and otherwise sufficient attempt to disrupt another, the other will eventually notice.

The only question remaining is why, or, perhaps more directly expressed: What do you require of me at this time?

Because nothing else, in that moment, exists anymore. Not what I was about, going to be about, or need to be about; only this. You now have my attention, what do you require?

Futility and Function

Already? (Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.)

You know, call me crazy, or whatever, but what I don’t get is why there can only be one towel in the kitchen, and why that towel must at all times be covered by plates, silverware, and cutlery. It is, apparently, absolutely unacceptable that a towel should be available to actually dry anything with.

Shite thee not. Weirdest fucking thing. The absolute hostility shown the idea that one should be able to wash something off their hands in the kitchen sink―even if that something is obtained in the kitchen―and have a towel available at that moment to dry their hands is inexplicable.


Image note: Already? ― Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, “Fooly Cooly”.