The Super Bowl is over. Next season for the NFL is still iffy. I am going to stay away from the bargaining BS. I was a union member for many years. I spent my time at negotiating tables. All nighters around a huge table in some freezing Quonset hut while the bitter wind howled through the vents. Knowing those bastards up in their swank office were lying to us. No thank you.

I will say this, however: The players in the NFL are rich slaves. The NFL is made up of 32 plantations, most run by Simon Legree wannabes. The non-profit, community-owned (let’s hear it for Socialism!) Packers being one principal exception, with the Steelers running a fairly enlightened plantation themselves. The amount of money in the equation does not alter the human dynamic.

 Curt Flood: May we never forget!

 Christ, I can’t believe I almost went down that thorny path.

 How fast is a meme? On ESPN and the general sports media I’d say memes (or ideas or thoughts that become imitated and/or replicated) run the viral (as per Malcolm Gladwell) 40 yard dash faster than they do anywhere else humans are connected.  A true academic cultural scientist will someday monitor and chronicle the words used during periods of heightened communication – such as a Super Bowl. A concordance, sort of. I miss the old days when people covering such events actually asked questions, at least ones that did not begin, “how does it feel . . .”

Oh, yes, the image above was taken just outside that charming desert village of Ridgecrest. A photogenic concrete ruin of a house. Once again, this image began as “light painting” photo taken early a.m., couple of winters ago. Quote is from Hamlet. Yeah, he sees a ghost, and then he becomes dysfunctional. But Hamlet does tell the audience how he feels. He does that several times, which creates a suspicion that perhaps Hamlet wasn’t written by Shakespeare but some moonlighting sideline reporter or talk show host.

Here’s a story. Exactly one week ago I released a “press release” about Nights of Naked Mannequins, which is currently the bestselling book on our block. This “press release” was an experiment. I was looking for something very cheap to create more online presence, as they say. I was somewhat surprised to discover how many online companies there are that specialize in distributing releases.

I checked out several websites. First, let me say that it was appalling how poorly edited most of these sites were! Egregious usage mistakes abounded. Typos and spelling mistakes seemed to be mandatory. It was discouraging.

 Eventually, I settled on one company whose site was clear, direct, easy to navigate and almost free from mistakes. They offered four basic categories of press release, and each category was thoroughly explained. I finally settled on the category that would cost about $130.  Ouch.  Among other things, it indicated that the release would be “sent” to 6,500 newspapers in the country. Ok.

Writing the release was the easy part. I had a genuine story with at least some inherent worth and interest. It had to do with what I discovered while doing some research for the book. In the book I use quotes taken from four films in the “film noir” genre. I culled those four from nearly 30 quotes.

But I soon discovered a problem. Many of the quotes didn’t sound right to me Not quite how I remembered them. I started the research on the internet, mind you. And these quotes, as you can imagine, were repeated over and over. Still, they didn’t sound right. Then I bought a few books. The books mostly matched the internet.

I figured there was only one way to find what was right. I started renting and buying the DVD’s and watching them while I listened with headphone. At the crucial time I played the DVD’s over and over, to be absolutely certain. What did I discover?

That’s what my press release was about. I discovered that nearly all of the quotes were inaccurate. And I wrote the release about how they were inaccurate and how the internet, at least in this case, was not very reliable. Naturally, the focus of the story was Nights of Naked Mannequins and the use of film noir quotes.

As I indicated before, the company distributed the press release a week ago. The result has been interesting. But that’s for tomorrow.


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