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Everyone is a magician these days.

One hand distracts, while the other does the work, right? Perhaps. Lines of thought that run roughly, 'X is just a distraction from Y', are interesting.

The person making the claim presumably has followed both X and Y without losing focus, without which it would be harder to convincingly dismiss X.

Y is often a complex series of roughly related items, which itself presumes one can keep track of multiple threads without being distracted.

And, while this is perhaps a fair criticism of cable news (which does tend to obsess over one story per 'cycle'), actual newspapers, news-sites, and TV and radio programs typically cover more than one story in any given iteration.

Yet this odd meme persists. Every day, I see different people saying this, that, or the other thing is merely a distraction from some set of other stuff. Pretty regularly, one person's distraction is another person's story-They-are-trying-to-distract-You-from. If we're not all magicians, fooling eachother with elaborate gestures, then we have become that guy who sits in the crowd during the show claiming, "I know how that's done."

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Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.