Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Race en feu / Race on fire (3.0)

Today there is no avoiding the tangle, so I roll down my window and exploit this opportunity to collect an especially piquant emissions sample.

An huge, unmistakable flashing arrow is blocking the middle lane up ahead and implies some kind of detour. But as I place my foot on the brake and flick my blinker to indicate my assent, I notice that not everyone gives in so easily. In fact, there seems to be a contravening trend whereby individual vehicles throw themselves into the void beyond the sign.

Quickly inventing a phylogeny of perils, I sort the various distractions and squint my eyes to read. As the large block print on the sign acheives visibility, Gigi reads it in a muted, if theatrical scream, 'NOW ENTERING RACE.'

Rather stupidly, I ask, 'aren't we all going the same somewhere?'

When I realize that I am caught in the noisy swill of identity traffic, each commuter jockeying for position like so many spawning salmon in a kind of INDY 500 competition for political relevance, a priori, I decide to consult my personalized GIPS (global-identity-positioning-system) for the local coordinates of this so-called Race, before I enter the fray.

Culturally and historically speaking, where am I and what lies ahead?

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