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  • I am, at times, insufferably arrogant; the beauty is that I am willing to acknowledge it.

    I am, at times, boorishly snobbish when it comes to literature; I redeem myself with sheepish smiles and an unflinching willingness to acknowledge that I have read the Twilight series too often to count.

    I am known for sharpening my tongue on the unsuspecting; what saves me from myself is my willingness to say I'm sorry when it's warranted and sometimes when it's not.

    For every horrible trait that I do, indeed possess, I am blessed beyond reason to have an appetite to make my world -- and thus myself -- better.

    And for all the horrible that I have -- which, I imagine, most everyone has inside them, wriggling around like blind little hungry worms -- the one thing that I am not is stupid.

    I have, in my relatively limited time on this earth, grown accustomed to people -- including me, at times -- and their soapboxes. I have also grown accustomed to most people -- this set excludes me -- not realizing that free speech really isn't free; there's a cost to every word that comes out of our mouths, every sentence that comes out of our pen, every sign we carry, every photo we share. What I have not grown accustomed to is that our increases in willingness to defend free speech has come at the cost of actually listening to what is being said (or written, or waved about, or put on Facepage(sic)) and an overall decline in society to organize thought, put together big pictures, to think and think and think some more.

    Over the past two days I have been sort of misquoted, a little bit misrepresented, and more or less maligned in ways that surprised me. I was not surprised for the obvious reasons -- really, I'm comfortable enough in my own skin, beliefs, and knowledge to not be terribly bothered by Internet mosquitoes -- but because I was virtually surrounded by the type of "discussion" that can ONLY happen when people a) don't know the whole story and b) don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and c) are so messily oblique in their communication that you have to wonder if you're actually reading something that is written in a language you understand.

    I wanted to hit the Internet and see if it was working properly, because all that was coming through on my end was a screen full of fuzzy-logic snow.

    It's all for the best, I imagine. I've never been too keen on the mental masturbation that online writing forums elicit; Internet circle jerks have never been my cup of tea. I knew I was in trouble when I realized that the stories with the most love were the stories where the writer cried before he or she came.

    What's bothersome, really, is that I honestly thought I had discovered a few people who felt the same connection in our prose that I did. That type of beautiful transcends soapboxes and tirades and all the other drudgery that makes us human and stupid; that type of beautiful elevates us to the glory that makes us human and sublime.

    It's such a shame I was wrong.
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