Friday, May 9, 2014

So He Smelled the Underside of His Own Arm

The NFL Draft was on all the television sets in the bar last night at Thursday Night Pints. Patrons were rapt, screaming at the sets. It's a fucking national holiday, K said. Johnny Football? L asked. I said, he won the Heisman as a freshman, from what I understand he's too small to play professionally but too talented to miss, or something. We were only there for the first hour, six or seven picks, but after every pick the cameras spent as much time on Johnny Football's face as on the person actually picked. Ritual humiliation? asked L. Wait, there's a trade! screamed some buffoon on ESPN, Cleveland has moved up! Another buffoon, one with a ridiculous haircut for a grown man, screamed, I've been screaming about Johnny Football since the first pick, surely Cleveland moved up to take Johnny Football, it's Johnny Football's time! It wasn't Johnny Football's time. ESPN kept the camera trained on Johnny Football's crestfallen face. Fucking national holiday, said K.

  • Tim Geithner's side of the story. No surprise in his perspective, but it is an interesting read on his perspective. What's making all the noise, however, is this: [Geithner] cheerfully relayed a story that also appears in his book about the time he sought advice from Bill Clinton on how to pursue a more populist strategy: “You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley,” Clinton said, “and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the blood lust would rise again.
  • Oh my, I'm faint.
  • The Dictionary of Untranslatables: Postmodern winks aside, The Dictionary of Untranslatables is a mad, encyclopedic tribute in the grand tradition of bizarre translation projects, with the official funding to match: Eurothink at its academic best. Why else would the culture czars of Paris and Brussels who’ve brought you the yearly European Culture Capitals (Umeå, anyone?) and Quaero (the mysterious, amply funded Franco-German search engine) pay theory buffs the big euros, if not to pedal soft power? The first translation of all this ­untranslatability, conspiracy theorists will remark, was into Ukrainian.
  • Is The Intercept some kind of roach motel?
  • Evil.
  • The commodification of creativity.
  • Identity politics.
  • Mother's Day Lament.
  • The beginning of the end of Eddie Johnson at DC United.
  • East Moco, for those of you who pass through that Hell.
  • The Aerosol Grey Machine.
  • Colson Whitehead and poker: “I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.
  • Lionize.
  • The biography of the novel, or: Josipovici, for those of you who do.
  • Woke up with Radio Birdman in my head.


Mary Ruefle

When are we happiest? he asked her.
Not one of them could get the seats
to go back, not one of them really knew
what was in the glove box, though
everything there was theirs.

When they got to where they were going,
a park, a gray squirrel came jumping along.
Childhood! It was in one of the houses nearby.
Money! Every day it seemed to loose itself
from its lurking-place and drift away.

So he smelled the underside
of his own arm. And the squirrel
paused, one of those little eternities
never mentioned again.