1222: "Pastime"

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1222: "Pastime"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:05 am UTC

Image

Title Text: Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?

I really need to learn how to stymie my frustration.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:11 am UTC

You're only who you present yourself to be.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Arky » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:21 am UTC

Well, no, both of them have been too busy exploring what's possibly Madagascar to have time for worries like that.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:22 am UTC

Get out of my head, Randall. I'm too busy worrying about stuff to have you in here.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:41 am UTC

I'm so busy with stuff I have to worry about that I don't really have time to tell anyone what it is I'm worrying about, because taking the time out to do so would give me more to worry about, or detract from the small amount of time I would otherwise spend on things other than worrying about it.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby jpk » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:22 am UTC

Really. I mean, who does that?

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Locoluis » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:43 am UTC

I never talk to anyone about my pastimes because I realize that the details of my activities are none of their business.

Also, because many of those things are very personal and wouldn't make sense to anyone else.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Elrieve » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:54 am UTC

In a moment of what scientists are calling "A masterpiece of Freudian misinterpretation," I thought this comic was titled "Palestine." The comic confused me. Then I thought Randall was into some next-level meta here... and then I reread the title.

Not that I worry about a bloody conflict that has lasted a century longer than I have...

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Selcouth » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:26 am UTC

Yeah, Randall, you kind of hit the nail on the head. Not that I have friends to talk to about things.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby squonk » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:24 am UTC

Fortunately, for the times when I get like that, I can just tell myself that one day, I will be dead, and all my problems will be solved! :D

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Essah » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:05 am UTC

yeeh, get out of my head. But I guess it's a typical thing for... people, to do

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Selcouth » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:43 am UTC

Essah wrote:yeeh, get out of my head. But I guess it's a typical thing for... people, to do


Yeah, everyone does it. Hence the saying "everyone thinks they're unique."
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Moose Anus » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:55 pm UTC

Selcouth wrote:
Essah wrote:yeeh, get out of my head. But I guess it's a typical thing for... people, to do


Yeah, everyone does it. Hence the saying "everyone thinks they're unique."
I thought I was the only one who thought I was unique!
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby jovialbard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

On a related note, I just started reading Nurture Shock and the first chapter is about how if you praise kids for being smart they put less effort into their work and give up easier. The reason for this is that stressing innate attributes means that achievement is out of the child's hands, they either are smart or they aren't and if that is the focus then there isn't anything they can do about it. On the flip side if you praise them for working hard or applying specific strategies then they have a something to focus on to improve in the future, which increases persistence and effort. Funny how I've spent my life convincing myself that I'm smart and achieved nothing along the way. I think this ties in perfectly with the alt text. If we are our own parents for our own inner child during our adulthood then we have to focus on our efforts over our intelligence, saying "Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?" is exactly the sort of thing that traps us into being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. This comic was very well timed for me.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:08 pm UTC

Not getting it, sorry.

(Which is probably a good thing)

Selcouth wrote:Hence the saying "everyone thinks they're unique."

But everyone is unique.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Locoluis » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:10 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:But everyone is unique.

“Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.”
― Alison Boulter and countless other people.

OTOH, this comic calls attention to the justification behind our everyday activities, the things we all do from when we wake up to when we go back to sleep.

Specifically, the question on whether anything we do - from our lifetime career to reading xkcd - is a worthwhile thing to do for a smart individual or merely a mindless waste of time.

But are hobbies and pastimes a waste of time? I don't think so. They're a necessary release from daily routine. Without them, without a way to express our inherent randomness and creativity, we're the guys in the third panel.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby TimXCampbell » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:24 pm UTC

I'm intrigued by that phrase “uselessly frustrated with ourselves”.

Once upon a time I tried to quit smoking. I tried and tried. And I tried some more. I did become frustrated with the situation:

— One part of my mind repeatedly told me to stop.
— No part of my mind presented compelling arguments to continue.
— An automatism inside me kept me smoking.


(Side note: I eventually got cancer and stopped smoking. As it turns out, that kind of cancer isn't caused by smoking. Ha! But I didn't find that out for three years. No point starting again.)

The phrase "frustrated with ourselves" reminds me that the components of the supposedly unified "me" are often at odds. Since this tendency to have internal battles is, as today's comic implies, fairly common, why are people reluctant to discuss it?

Think of how the world would change if we could discuss it! Fewer wars, perhaps?

Why don't people discuss it more? I discuss it (q.e.d.). It's not that difficult.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

Locoluis wrote:Specifically, the question on whether anything we do - from our lifetime career to reading xkcd - is a worthwhile thing to do for a smart individual or merely a mindless waste of time.

I don't remember signing up for a duty to change this world. So, I would treat it as my vacation time. Is it OK to "waste" time on vacations?

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby jovialbard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:13 pm UTC

I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby addams » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

jovialbard wrote:On a related note, I just started reading Nurture Shock and the first chapter is about how if you praise kids for being smart they put less effort into their work and give up easier. The reason for this is that stressing innate attributes means that achievement is out of the child's hands, they either are smart or they aren't and if that is the focus then there isn't anything they can do about it. On the flip side if you praise them for working hard or applying specific strategies then they have a something to focus on to improve in the future, which increases persistence and effort. Funny how I've spent my life convincing myself that I'm smart and achieved nothing along the way. I think this ties in perfectly with the alt text. If we are our own parents for our own inner child during our adulthood then we have to focus on our efforts over our intelligence, saying "Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?" is exactly the sort of thing that traps us into being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. This comic was very well timed for me.

Interesting.
Very Interesting.

These are common ideas and well accepted by most people?
This seems to make sense.

Remember Asian Families? Not all, Some. So funny.
It was like a superstition, "Do Not shower false Praise!"

Do not tell pretty girls they are pretty.
Tons of stuff like that. Do you remember that?

Any kind of Praise had to be done in Private. Right?
No one knew why.

People that were supported and empowered; And! were humble were Better in some ways.

Better than the insecure. Better than the abandoned.
Better than the Loud, Stupid and Aggressive.

Even Dumb people that are Humble and Kind are nice to have around.
Smart Arrogance gets old fast.

Stupid Arrogance is Dog Shit anyone can step in.
Humans! We often don't know when we are being Stupid.

Have you ever been smart?
Have you ever been stupid?

It was about the same for me.
I was still being me.
It was only in retrospect that each state of being gained the Label.

Does that Not happen to everyone?
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby XTCamus » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:46 pm UTC

Locoluis wrote:
Kit. wrote:But everyone is unique.

“Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.”
― Alison Boulter and countless other people.

OTOH, this comic calls attention to the justification behind our everyday activities, the things we all do from when we wake up to when we go back to sleep.

Specifically, the question on whether anything we do - from our lifetime career to reading xkcd - is a worthwhile thing to do for a smart individual or merely a mindless waste of time.

But are hobbies and pastimes a waste of time? I don't think so. They're a necessary release from daily routine. Without them, without a way to express our inherent randomness and creativity, we're the guys in the third panel.

But those of us who do have this as a chronic pastime, struggle to find release from THIS daily routine. I do try to find ways IRL to express my inherent randomness, but such feelings are not typically shared in most social situations, and peer pressure to not overthink things or psychoanlyze yourself and others all the time often leave me feeling like the guys in the third panel. That's why internet forums like this help scratch that itch.

Also, to respond to Kit, how do we truly know everyone is unique? Maybe each of us has a doppleganger, or some are reincarnations of people who came before, or there is really only one being looking out at the world through all these different eyes? (See what I mean? Imagine casually slipping that in at the Office X-mas Party or Mother's Day family dinner at Olive Garden.)

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Tormuse » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:58 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Title Text: Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?


From what I've read, being smart makes you *more* likely to spend the day dwelling on negative feelings because smart people tend to overthink things.

jovialbard wrote:On a related note, I just started reading Nurture Shock and the first chapter is about how if you praise kids for being smart they put less effort into their work and give up easier. The reason for this is that stressing innate attributes means that achievement is out of the child's hands, they either are smart or they aren't and if that is the focus then there isn't anything they can do about it. On the flip side if you praise them for working hard or applying specific strategies then they have a something to focus on to improve in the future, which increases persistence and effort. Funny how I've spent my life convincing myself that I'm smart and achieved nothing along the way. I think this ties in perfectly with the alt text. If we are our own parents for our own inner child during our adulthood then we have to focus on our efforts over our intelligence, saying "Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?" is exactly the sort of thing that traps us into being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. This comic was very well timed for me.


Hmm... Looking back on my upbringing, this explains a lot about me. That sounds like a very interesting book! I'll have to check that one out.
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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:16 pm UTC

XTCamus wrote:Also, to respond to Kit, how do we truly know everyone is unique? Maybe each of us has a doppleganger, or some are reincarnations of people who came before, or there is really only one being looking out at the world through all these different eyes?

It doesn't matter if we are completely independent entities (which I personally doubt) or discrete states of something "bigger". As long as we are distinguishable, we are unique.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby TimXCampbell » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:17 pm UTC

jovialbard wrote:I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.

Interesting point. The people who send in the troops are generally pretty sure of their own magnificence. On the other hand, I'm reminded of the saying, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

I'm wondering: if we all could openly discuss our internal battles would we ever feel like taking on an external one? Who would need to chase after glory?

In any case, I gave war as an example. I don't advocate discussing the internals solely as a means of preventing war. There are, after all, other factors regarding war, such as economic pressure, famine, etc.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:31 pm UTC

Obligatory Monty Python reference (Life of Brian):

Brian: You are all individuals!
Crowd: Yes! We are all individuals!
Lone voice: I'm not.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby ijuin » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:25 am UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:
jovialbard wrote:I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.

Interesting point. The people who send in the troops are generally pretty sure of their own magnificence. On the other hand, I'm reminded of the saying, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

I'm wondering: if we all could openly discuss our internal battles would we ever feel like taking on an external one? Who would need to chase after glory?


Participating in combat fulfills two primal human instincts, First is the hunting instinct, which in the days before domestication of animals was the way that we got meat to eat, and which is the source of our love of making things bleed and die. Second is our competitive need to show that we are more strong and clever than the other guy (and thus why we are the better choice as a mate, companion, master/employer, or servant/employee). Making said other guy dead, crippled, or subservient (if he surrenders) is also a very effective means of removing him as competition for better mates, property, or social position.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby XTCamus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:05 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:
jovialbard wrote:I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.

Interesting point. The people who send in the troops are generally pretty sure of their own magnificence. On the other hand, I'm reminded of the saying, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

I'm wondering: if we all could openly discuss our internal battles would we ever feel like taking on an external one? Who would need to chase after glory?


Participating in combat fulfills two primal human instincts, First is the hunting instinct, which in the days before domestication of animals was the way that we got meat to eat, and which is the source of our love of making things bleed and die. Second is our competitive need to show that we are more strong and clever than the other guy (and thus why we are the better choice as a mate, companion, master/employer, or servant/employee). Making said other guy dead, crippled, or subservient (if he surrenders) is also a very effective means of removing him as competition for better mates, property, or social position.

Ugh. You know it wouldn't hurt to reveal a little bit of worry when detailing the "nasty, brutish" nature of our favorite primate.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:22 am UTC

addams wrote:Have you ever been smart?
Have you ever been stupid?

...
It was only in retrospect that each state of being gained the Label.

This strongly reminds me of rumours that I've heard, probably including LSE and RSA podcasts, about Being Wrong, by Kathryn Schulz. They started with "what does being wrong feel like? Until you find out, just like being right."

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:27 am UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

Assume that they came from low mobility societies. They got the possibility of spreading their wild oats with exotic partners. The survivors sometimes got enhanced social status at home.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby Kit. » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:36 am UTC

XTCamus wrote:
ijuin wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:
jovialbard wrote:I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.

Interesting point. The people who send in the troops are generally pretty sure of their own magnificence. On the other hand, I'm reminded of the saying, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

I'm wondering: if we all could openly discuss our internal battles would we ever feel like taking on an external one? Who would need to chase after glory?


Participating in combat fulfills two primal human instincts, First is the hunting instinct, which in the days before domestication of animals was the way that we got meat to eat, and which is the source of our love of making things bleed and die. Second is our competitive need to show that we are more strong and clever than the other guy (and thus why we are the better choice as a mate, companion, master/employer, or servant/employee). Making said other guy dead, crippled, or subservient (if he surrenders) is also a very effective means of removing him as competition for better mates, property, or social position.

Ugh. You know it wouldn't hurt to reveal a little bit of worry when detailing the "nasty, brutish" nature of our favorite primate.

Actually, it's just a way to control population sizes when "natural enemies" are lacking.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby *Kat* » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:10 am UTC

XTCamus wrote:
ijuin wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:
jovialbard wrote:I think the sorts of people that tend to start wars probably aren't the sorts of people that are "uselessly frustrated with [themselves]". They probably assume they're doing the right thing.

Interesting point. The people who send in the troops are generally pretty sure of their own magnificence. On the other hand, I'm reminded of the saying, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" For centuries there has been a pattern of people getting excited about how glorious a war would be and signing up in droves, worried that the war might end before they get into it. What do you suppose is going on inside those people?

I'm wondering: if we all could openly discuss our internal battles would we ever feel like taking on an external one? Who would need to chase after glory?


Participating in combat fulfills two primal human instincts, First is the hunting instinct, which in the days before domestication of animals was the way that we got meat to eat, and which is the source of our love of making things bleed and die. Second is our competitive need to show that we are more strong and clever than the other guy (and thus why we are the better choice as a mate, companion, master/employer, or servant/employee). Making said other guy dead, crippled, or subservient (if he surrenders) is also a very effective means of removing him as competition for better mates, property, or social position.

Ugh. You know it wouldn't hurt to reveal a little bit of worry when detailing the "nasty, brutish" nature of our favorite primate.


If we were that blood thirsty we would have gone extinct a long time ago.

This subject is something I have thought about quite a lot and while I don't have any sources for what I'm about to say I do have a degree in history a minor in anthropology and time on my hands.

As a species we crave adventure, respect, and fellowship. Going to war is a way to gain all three.

Our heroes are, and have always been, people who have faced danger head on and come out the victor. These are people who we respect and admire. Their stories are told and re-told. Children grow up wanting to be just like them.

We enjoy adventure because it grants us a natural high. When we share our adventures, our "war stories", with others, we recapture a bit of that high. And when we hear about the adventures of someone else that gives us a bit of a rush as well.

And we like it.

I don't know precisely why wars happen but I suspect that they wouldn't happen anywhere near as often if we didn't enjoy adrenaline as much as we do.

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Re: 1222: "Pastime"

Postby addams » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:45 am UTC

arthurd006_5 wrote:
addams wrote:Have you ever been smart?
Have you ever been stupid?

...
It was only in retrospect that each state of being gained the Label.

This strongly reminds me of rumours that I've heard, probably including LSE and RSA podcasts, about Being Wrong, by Kathryn Schulz. They started with "what does being wrong feel like? Until you find out, just like being right."


Yes. I think it is True.
I was taught to be Very open to being Wrong.

It is easier that way.
If I am Wrong, then we clear it up right away.
If I am Right, then That will become more and more clear,
Over Time. Or; Not.

Sometimes I am Right. It has Happened!
I can't remember an example.
But, It happened, anyway.

Spoiler:
I am a progressive.
Progressives tend to be against progress.

Progress is a good thing!
But; If its not broke don't fix it.
But; If we have not taken care of what we Have we don't need more.
But; I like it quiet. Progress in Loud.

But; Who needs people shitting inside The House?
Well; Most of us seem to like shitting inside The House, now.
Do you know how upset some Women were at the idea someone was going to shit in The House?

Those were some funny stories, to me.
Worry about our internal lives? Ptt.

Like any true Progressive, I want to know;
Where are the Loos?
Where is the Kitchen?

What The Hell are you burning?
We Do Need Progress!

War? You want to type about War?
Why we do it? I don't know.

Threats of Invasion are Fun!
The Russian's Are Coming!
That was fun. Of course, The Had to Invade us.

No one but No one invades Russia.
Besides; We Like company.

Do you know what we were doing to prepare for The Russian invasion?
Well; Not enough. They never showed up.

Stood up, again. ho humm. Was it something we said?

The Russian threat was that They have culture and excellence and what do we have?
ummm. Some really Smart people and a Whole Lot of Idiots.

We started educating our people.
The Community College System was a defensive move.

How did that work out for us?
Do we all Know a great deal more?

The movement back toward Might Makes Right and My Rap Star and My Big Butt Rule AHHHHH~!
That was an Offensive move.

Who is Winning?
Is it a Fashion War?

I have heard people declare the way They Dress is our justifiable reason to step in with military might.
Hey! We are, still, due an invasion. And; Have You Seen The Way We Dress?! Invade US! We Need Help!
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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