Jan 232013

Discomfort zones – such as a random line from off the BBC Radio 4 this morning (c. 09.10am): “…Jumble offcuts, what is that going to look like?” A social science researcher is describing the experience of younger people trying to find today’s markers of adulthood: not sex (do it as a teenager), not property (can’t afford to buy), not work (for many)… and not even luxury good items (although most try to do it this way).

Discomfort zones are when to two groups rub up against each other. Two groups or… (say) “two countries that in spite of their similarities have always found it difficult to progress in sync”.

About discomfort zones and jumble off-cuts: I have also just begun reading Geoff Dyer’s Zona… A tall young man comes into a continental coffee bar, takes off his backpack and puts it under a table. He is not the terrorist type, we have to wait to be told. A broken light bulb is waiting to be repaired. The barman is waiting to repair the lightbulb. Or for a customer. It is not accidental, all this waiting, it is the way things are: very continental, very mitteleuropa.

Meanwhile Pinky Cameron in his BIG SPEECH ON EUROPE today says he want his “Comfort Zone” back. He says he wants to feel “comfortable” with his relationship with Europe. He says he wants a proper debate – oh dear, and in such a hurry! – meaning the experience of sleep-walking towards a “happy ending”.

Resist! It is Zona not zone. Put the word out on the street.