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The Vanity Gland

Posting has, the robot admits grudgingly, been utter shit of late. The usual excuses rear their usual, excuse-ish heads: work, life, et cetera ad infinitum. But I did want to take a moment, as there there are two things I'm loving quite a bit on the internet today.

Here is the first:

But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

David Foster Wallace’s “Real Freedom,” the 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College

I oh-so-strongly urge you read the speech in its entirety, and possibly top it off with an awkwardly great interview between Wallace and Charlie Rose soliloquy by Wallace, which Charlie Rose sort of just sits and watches. I so wish I'd heard him speak, just once.

Oh, and the second internet thing I'm loving?

I can neither confirm nor deny that this is my new homepage.

I hope your day is wonderful.

This is a blog entry posted on day 11678 in the Journal.

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