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Topics - Richter

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16
The screamers.  The car-revers.  Johnny Thinks-he-can-play-guitar. 

SHUT UP.

Holier men than me have said it.  SHUT UP.

Anthropology is useful for getting this point.  Your species (barring alien weirdness) comes from apes.  Apes make noise to prove status, among other methods.  (You learn other important things too, like how a smile is really a threat.)  There's a gorilla somewhere in Africa who is undisputed head-chimp because he knows how to heave around some old gas cans and make more ruckus than anyone else on the block.  Along with the woe of his over - augmented rice-burner throwing a rod in front of the club he was trying to impress, I'd like Mr. Tire Destroyer to realize this too.  Well, he won't be back fro a few thousand dollars anyways.

Noise it up.  Have fun.  The Deacon's words sure as hell aren't going to stop ANY of them.  Then again, they probably didn't have personalities worth listening to ANYWAYS, and are warning others of their presence.


17
For one thing you are all are made out of the wrong stuff for your role models.  Your role models are ideas and philosophies.  Bright shinning characters on a screen or in a book who kept their shit together for the few hours it took to find out their tale.  They did not have to hold things together through rush hour, school bus trips, pointless meetings or check out lines at Wal Mart. 

You, on the other hand, are MEAT.

How would Walker, Texas Ranger, deal with that shit?  What would Chuck Norris Do THERE?

He would stand in line like a good goddamn doobie, because all the horrible martial arts he had to visit on the rest of his series, he did it so everyone else could wait for their own turn in line with the indolent 20-something at the check out.
Where's the JUSTICE there?  Well, for one thing, no one is shooting each other to move ahead one space.  No one is harvesting a kidney from the lady at the back of the line while she isn't looking.  All that crap you so gleefully do in "SKyrim" or "Fallout" ISN'T happening to YOU YET.  Nope, the worst that happens is some smirking punk cuts off the dweeb two people ahead of you, and gets out faster because no one has the stones to tell him to wait like everyone else.
That's the Pax Romana for you.  Justice will never, and can never be absolute.

HORRIBLE, you say?  Then send in $200 to the town for that red light you ran last week.  Another $200 for speeding to pass that guy on the highway.  $100 for dropping you "Coke" can in the bush because the garbage can was too far away, or flicking a cigarette butt onto the pavement. 

This wiggle room in the code lets us be MEAT safely.  It gives us a chance to say "Shit, that really didn't solve anything, did it?" and do better next time.  Not to decide we're going to live our lives pulling off little screw-overs before we're the ones who get screwed. 

Because it's only wrong to you when YOU get screwed.  When you do it it's OK.  It's JUSTIFIED somehow. 

Be honest with yourself, if you still have the character to do so.

Or kill me.



18
The following have been granted you:

1.       The right to sense:  From the moment of your birth on you will receive feedback.  Some of this you may choose to act on, some you may act on by instinct.  In the rare cases that you do not have any senses you may not have even realized you were alive.  Not all of it will be pleasant, but it will be motivational.

2.       The right to be Ignorant:  You know nothing unless you decide otherwise.  You are born knowing nothing, and learn to do things by experience. It is not all going to be pleasant, and in a different kind of unpleasant than the senses.

3.       The right to happiness:  Sit there.  Play with yourself. Drool, soil yourself, and smile, not knowing any different or any better.  Sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry, seek comfort when things are not comfortable.  Rail, scream, and flail against anything that stops you from doing these things.  This is the disgusting indolent impulse behind all your happiness.  Enjoy it, you can't spell "idiot" without "id".

4.       The right to die:  Without exception; your time alive will expire.   

5.       The right, at any time, by your own efforts, to improve yourself.  Note that no one has to tell you this. 

19
Or Kill Me / Richter Reviews Games : Dominion
« on: February 06, 2013, 11:50:43 pm »
Let me be clear right now, I am about to offend people.

Dominion is a table top game.  It comes in a box, and requires only a flat surface free of too much wind, light to see by, the ability to read, speak, and movement above your nipples to play.

For those of you who have played "Magic: The Gathering", this is a LOT like a draft tourney where you are playing your library as you build it.  Draw, play, and pass to the next schmoe.  Reshuffle your stack when it's all been played.  That's the basic idea.  EXACTLY like a Magic, (or any other card game draft), you are most effective when you have the contents of the card set and their frequency memorized. 

Here is the point where Dominion stops being a game you can play casual and friendly, and a trial of frustration for the relaxed gamer, and a jerk off smug-session for the enthusiast - The contents of each game are variable.  There is a core Dominion set, and a fuckton of FUN AND EXCITING additional sets, simple enough.  The loathing begins at the inception of each game.  Those resolved to play begin what I loving call, the "Bargaining Phase", in which they haggle and debate over which cards in which  numbers will be included in the game about to occur. 

Imagine an overly-dramatized drug deal, or one of the Underworld Smuggler Scum scenes in a Star Wars Movie, complete with bouncy wacky aliens.  There is positively congressional back and forth over the card set to be used.  All the enthusiast players are doing this too, anyone "Just trying it", can only watch bewildered.  I have never seen a "Let's just use it all" game.

The game itself?  It's playing statistics in the deck you are building, and figuring out the advantage and combos workable of the cards included.  Likely as you are seeing each one for the very first time.  Next game, this will be switched up.  Hang on to your ass because the sequence of play is all you have gained, everything else is about to change.  Mechanics, card sub sets, combos...  the next bargaining phase will throw what you knew in the sink and shit on it like an unruly dinner guest.  Played deliberate and friendly with a consistent card set, I don't see the fun in this game. 

The rest of the time it is at best a way to frustrate people, at worst a cruel joke played on the neophytes by the skilled.  If you want people to leave the table calling the whole room cocksuckers, this is the game you should strive to get good at.

As a  "board game" Seven Wonders does the same thing without the SHITFUCKDAMN complexity.  If you need a massive card set to maintain interest or an erection, play a real CCG, not this midpoint fuckaround.  Damn all your eyes.

R.


20
So the Good Rev. Roger prodded my brain meat with his bit about Lousiana mounds and Romero zombie flicks.  In brief, he cited how one ancient human could have a fit and end up in a coma.  His fellow tribal peeps, or whatever, decide he is dead and put him in the burial cave.  Mistakes happen.  Then a few days later, lucky wakes up in the cave and staggers out.  Barely coherent, emaciated, weak, a more than a little spooked waking up amongst the dead.  His fellows get a bit of a shock too, seeing someone who was "DEAD" rise and walk. 

The natural thing to do when presented with such a weird new sight is to kill it really fuckin' hard.  (Say what you like about humans being adaptable.  We will drive ourselves over cliffs screaming that the road SHOULD have been there.)  Anyways, when they re-bury lucky john, he gets tied up too, just to make SURE.  The rest of their dead get the same treatment too.  Can't be too careful.

That was the gist of the Good Reverend's bit.

My other source for this comes from baseball, of all things.  Watch the batters, the pitchers.  Look at all the little rituals.  How they twitch the cap, spit, step forward...  It is all their accumulated ritual to placate themselves that they are replicating circumstance that led to success before, and will do the same this time. 

Now what about Ank the pre-civilization hunter, who notices he throws the spear better one hunt after he's slept on an aurochs hide instead of a zebra hide?  He tells some other folks about this, and everyone who also has success adds to the mythos.  IF enough share the success, Ank is more than just a hunter now.  He knows a way to make everyone else better hunters.  Goddamn Holy Man time.

This sort of personal superstition, it has been pointed out, is much easier to acquire than loose.  The number of times it works will reinforce a disproportionate number of times it doesn't.  Even situations where the given behavior may have NO effect on anything will appear as support.  Cramulus wrote about this once in his bit on the "Texas Sharpshooter" fallacy, and psych 101 textbooks will mentioned abserver error too.

So, how many generations of this do you think it takes us to get organized religions?  Hell, the older it gets the BETTER it is!  It's not just "Hey, Ank thinks this works, try it.", it is now "WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS!".  Some more grounded philosophy, ethics, and practices have crept in, sure.  (Eating pork or shellfish in a desert, where it will spoil in half a day without modern refrigeration, is a good example of something not to do.)  The rest of it though, chew it over. 

Cheer to "Strange and Mysterious Ways",
                       -R

21
So my manager walks down the aisle today and announces we are going to have a three legged race.

(...wait for it.)

He say's I'm out of luck.  I am taller than the rest, and would be hobbled by shorter teammates.

(...it's too good to be true...hold fire...)

He insists on going on about it. 

"It's OK, I can run a three legged race by myself."

Then he turn back to Kay, gets a sip of coffee in his mouth, and he realizes the implications of what I just said. 
HE spewed coffee ALL over Kay.

Suggestions of foolish sports have been rescinded.  :pwned:

22
Meditation of the Shift In Punch

I take up this card this day in preparation for my work
I submit it to the clock so that my presence and my devotion may be known
I don the robes and signs that protect my body from the caress of the Machine God
I front the signs that show my rank and status, that we all may function as well as our charges
I take up the tools that are my hands among these my charges
I submit my function, my cognition, my action to this work for this time, and will let no other function, idea, or goal divert me


The Invocation of Electrical Continuity

All begins and all ends.  All artifice has its source in the Machine God and its terminus in the recycling facilities.
As such the sublime electron must also have its source and its terminus.
I am keeper of the source and the terminus, the AC or the DC, that all may flow or cycle according to the need of the divine device.
The contacts will be kept strong and free of corrosion.
The cable will be kept free of kink, twist, or fray.
The socket will have naught but the proper plug used in it.
The conductive gel will protect and sanctify the junction.
Thus we will be kept safe from the vagaries of short and arc.
Thus we will be kept free from the obfuscation of a bad connection.
Thus we will be kept in the continued hum of good function.
Thus we will be kept in the good graces of the Machine God


The Last Rights of Terminal Failure

Let it be seen that this was once a component of the divine machine.
We see what it was, though function has fled.
Let it be seen that this was a vessel of the Machine God.
We see and respect the divinity that it was.
Let it be seen that the maintenance rituals were observed.
We see the Logs in order, the sanctified oils of lubrication and seals of upkeep are present.
Let us despise the wear of time and the ravages of entropy.
We despise what has taken function from it.
Let us decide what it is to us now, that proper function has fled.
It is no longer our Machine God that dwells before us.
Let us bear it forth for proper disassembly and recycling.
From its components may divinity rise again
Let us not waste or want, in service of the Machine God.
We do not waste.  We do not want.

23
Your avatar  :lulz:

You realize of course, regardless of any age range which is supposedly OK to know what that is, they may not be able to handle such knowledge.

24
Literate Chaotic / On a dark road
« on: December 19, 2012, 03:29:02 am »
“It's not like that damn movie with the bus or anything.” 

The old man behind the counter was still talking.  I was held there only by the prospect of change for my $20, otherwise I'd have been long out the door. 
The neon tube behind me shifted a pitch in the death throes buzz it had been in the last two times I'd been through this place.  Well dusted condoms and packs of cheap “Backwoods” cigars lay just behind the counter.  Strange candy bellow cans of dip and more mundane “Malboro” cartons.  Everything seems fake in a gas station minimart, but this one had some sort of monopoly.  Dirty linoleum, scratched metal rack shelving, ecru drop tile, and the bare plywood wall behind the proprietor.  It all added up to the last place I wanted to gas up the car, feed up myself, and head on.

“The skitters will still come though, if you linger.  Best just keep on.”

His voice was gravel.  Like Belezebub long retired.  I tried to balance civility against revulsion. 

“Right.  Thanks.”

He eyed my items.  Pint of chocolate milk, jerky, and mints.

“No coffee huh?  The ones that go for coffee on that road burn out.  You know to keep the energy up.”

He handed over my change with studied slowness, and I retreated with the food to my truck. 

Shit, I'd been rude.  Stone faced jerk, another yankee too good to chat it up.  Fatigue and stress were eating me, low blood sugar adding to the paranoia.  No helping it, I slugged back from the milk carton before starting the engine.  I leaned my head against the wheel for a second.  Trying to center my head, trying to let the flotsam of 20 hours of uninterrupted thought clear my head.

Beyond the flood light island of the gas station it was dark.  No woods, no sky, no features, just an inky black.  What you get beyond the electric beacon of human presence some nights.  I could see the curb and the road beyond, barely.  Just another few moments then I'd go.

Then I stopped wondering what he'd meant about the skitters.

Didn't take any guessing, I knew what was there when I saw them.  At first I thought my eyes were acting up.  Looked again and it was gone.  Well, for a quarter second's relief until I saw the next.  Lithe and quick like a shadow coyote.  It slithered without obvious legs, but somehow pulled itself along on two protruding...hands?  It vanished close to my front wheel well.  Then something was scratching at the undercarriage.
 
Engine on, I was leaving NOW.  I barely remembered the headlights as I pulled on to the road.  For all the good they were doing, anyways.  They cast at best twelve feet of minor illumination.  That had driven me nuts for the first few hours.  Thought my alternator was going on a two-lane state road between Nowhere and Fuckall.  The truth of it?  I still wasn't sure.  I just drove.

The radio, as usual, was producing only laconic jam session blues.  You know, the kind that sound like heartburn, late at night when the band just won't stop playing.  The AM dial was static, aside from the occasional electronic distortion that just MIGHT pass for a scream.  This may as well have been hell.

What did I know about it anyways?  Well, for one  I'd been to the same gas station three times.  I was sure of it after this stop.  Same guy, same prices, same bad neon bulb.  I hadn't checked to see if the things I bought were replaced.  I'd make a few notes on the next stop, if I had one.  I wasn't going in circles, I was sure of that.  No turn offs.  Not even a driveway off the side of the road.  I tried to tabulate more details to fend off the rising panic.  Simple logic.  Stay cool, work it out.  Or die.  Maybe.  No stress.

The odometer and the clock weren't synching.  My watch and the dashboard clock were consistent, but the mileage was going squirrely.  It never quite meshed with the speed or the time.  I reset the trip odometer in hopes of getting some grasp back on my progress.  I was starting to think it had ticked through forty twice though. 

Made me reflect back to just before I entered kindergarten.  Mom walked me into the school and I met the teachers.  Introduced myself like I was taught, and they ask me to count to fifty.  Weird thing was though I tended to loose track after forty, forget to go up to fifty.  I don't know what I'm in for, and I'm just this kid sitting there focusing real hard on counting right...

Whoa, OK focus, eyes on the road. 

(More as it happens)

25
Literate Chaotic / Thinly veiled allusions.
« on: November 16, 2012, 02:14:19 am »
Vick couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and for some reason, no one ever said they cared that he couldn’t.  When you thought about him, he’s the sort you “love to hate” (whatever that means).  Tall, handsome, smart, and well-chinned.  When he spoke about something you could all but see the light of the world shining a little brighter around him.  Women wanted him, and boyfriends never got jealous since they sort of wanted him too.  Maybe directly, maybe by proxy, or maybe because they could not see loosing affection to Vick as any sort of loss.

I mean, it was VICK for fraksake.  It would be like saying of COURSE Eric Clapton schooled you in that guitar duel.  Just Vick was like that at everything.

He always had to point it out too.  Not for rubbing it in, or to prove he was superior, just matter of fact advice.  This made it worse, somehow.  A braggart or know – it – all you can dismiss.  Vick was just RIGHT.

People are flawed, it’s how they are, and when you get down to it, it’s comforting.  Even heroes, big, epic and grand, NEED flaws.  Gilgamesh was a tyrant before he chilled out, Kennedy was all about the women, Churchill just wanted to smoke and drink, you get the idea.

The flaw of being flawless doesn’t count for this.  It’s still a flaw, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a flaw that does NOTHING to humanize its owner.  It just makes them seem inhuman, unapproachable.  Friends, family, lovers, they were just in awe most of Vick all the time.  Could be lonely, could change a person, but Vick just took it with the same quiet grace.  He didn’t even HAVE to be stoic.

Of course, this prenatural winning – at – everythingness got Vick into a lot of odd situations.  When something NEEDED to happen, better get Vick.  Like the town champion syndrome on steroids.  So when he offered the Discordian ascetic PentaYak help if he ever needed it, PentaYak immediately called him out on it.

“Eris is running around the local shopping mall.”

“Why is Eris running around a shopping mall?”  Vick asked.

“It’s Eris.  She might be blowing nitrous up raver kid’s pants, or scrounging change off the floor until she can afford some Cinnabon.  Anybody’s guess.”

“It’s not good for gods to be running around the mall.” Vick asserted.

“Correct as usual.  Regardless of modus OR operandi, she’s out there.  You going to stand for that shit?”

Vick was already halfway out the door.

 

PentaYak wasn’t worried about him.  Strange to say, but if Vick was Vick he’d be fine.  He lost all his limbs in a car crash once, and spent three months working as a quality assurance gimp in a paper factory.  Every time he saw a nonstandard roll of TP, he’d scream.  Then his shit grew back and he went on with life.  He’d be fine.

 

“’Sup fucker?”  Eris greeted him at the mall.

She was lounging on a bench, putting her feet up In defiance of a nearby sign. (In a layered sort of frustration for any nearby security guards, and a display of abdominal muscle control, she was actually holding them about half an inch OFF the bench.

“I heard you were causing trouble around here and..”

“NO!  REALLY?”

“It’s a known fact.  You’re Er….”

“OF COURSE I’M CAUSING TROUBLE!”

Vick had to pause for a moment.  Being interrupted in a conversation was new to him.

“So you’re here to kick me out?”  Eris asked, before his thoughts were quite assembled.

“Well, yes.”

“Hmmmmm…” Eris eyed him, eared him, nosed him at uncomfortable distance, and generally applied other sensory testing to get an idea what he was about.  Details up to your perverted interpretation.

Vick looked like a high school quarterback (Which he had been), and smelled like hamburgers and ovaltine at a 50’s diner on a clean, cool night.

“Will you give a lady a sporting chance?” Eris asked, while applying a truly unnecessary amount of hand-sanitizer.

“What do you me…”

“I’ll ask you a question.  A riddle.  A conundrum if you will.  If you can answer, I go free for another day.  If you can’t, then I’ll leave.”

“Are you sure you don’t have that backwards?” Vick asked.  He’d been on debate team, and that logic was working the wrong way around.”

“Nope, I’m sure of it.  You’ll answer.  It’s your nature.  Hell, your head would explode if you didn’t.”

“I accept,” Vick said formally, “I don’t think it will..”

“Two plus two?”

“Four.”

Vick blinked, realizing what had just happened.  He felt ill, like some essential function of his body had been held back.  He thought about swearing out loud.  He really wanted to, even though he knew it wasn’t a very righteous thing to do.

“Catch you tomorrow, V-day.” Eris said, pulling a paper carton of fries from inside a pocket of her leather jacket, and beginning to eat.

Vick walked away sincerely puzzled.

A nearby security guard once again, eyed the altitude of Eris’s boots off the surface of the bench.  Eris clumped them satisfyingly into contact as soon as his back was turned, and dashed off sniggering to hide as a dummy in Hot Topic until he lost interest.

 

The next month was a daily repeat of this.  Eris would ask a question, Vick had to answer.  He actually changed color trying NOT to answer “When did Abraham Lincoln decide to stop fucking dogs?”, but relented in the end, indignant over such treatment of a notable and known President.

Then one day, Eris dropped the bombshell.

“Suppose you’ve got a father and son going out for hookers..”

“That would be illegal” said Vick, who was getting used to interruption himself.

“Sure, but not as gross as them going out for a singular strumpet.”  She said as Vick began to look queasy,  ”So they find these two ho’s, a mother and daughter…”

“Even worse…”

“And they BUY them.  They purchase their sultry strumpet services.  The father takes the daughter, and the son goes with the mom…”

Vick stared, agog.

“…and each of them knock up their respective prostitute. “

Vick was closer than he had been in his entire life to drooling in bewilderment.

“With me here?  What would the relation of the two bastards be?”

“I don’t know.”

“WHAT?!?”

Eris grinned like a cat who just got the canary.  She leaned forwards beside herself,  and almost jumped up and down in glee.  She bounced up and down a bit and dropped a cup of Orange Julius down the pants of a passing plumber.  Complete accident of course.  Vick clapped his hand over his mouth.  It was like he said a dirty word.

“Cool, let’s go!”  Eris said.

“But….wha….”

“You won. Congratulations.  I will leave the mall.  Mission Successful.  Quest complete.”

“Then…but…why?”

“You agreed to play this game.”  Eris said.  “Just in the process, you lost a lot harder than you won.”

Eris jammed her hand in her pocket and walked off whistle the ‘Andy Dick’ theme song, intent collecting the beer she had bet PentaYak about how long this would take.  Vick left having learned something he could never quite nail down, but was pretty sure he’d be practicing in the future. 

26
A co worker is dressing as Honey Boo Boo.

WHAT TO DO? 

I'd prefer to do nothing that will get me fired, but envelopes can be worked, especially on Halloween. All suggestions will be given at least a cursory glance.

28
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Richter's Echo Chamber
« on: September 12, 2012, 10:46:26 pm »
-Show me a true duality.  Anyone.  I really don't think that shit exists.

-Anyone complaining about phallic design or symbolism, I have a challenge for you.  Make a functional hammer in the shape of a vagina.

-Shut the fuck up about the Jews.  If half that shit was true you'd never meet one who was buzzing the poverty line.

-Drink in one place, with your friends who are drinking.  Any combination of drink and movement is silly at best.

-In fact,just stay off my fucking roads in the first place.

More hate after I refill on coffee.

29
Dune, Frank Herbert:  Employees reading this may develop messianic delusions, and attempt to cultivate loyalty based on charismatic personality and noble acts.  Expectation of leaders to model desired behavior may emerge.  Fanaticism may develop in weaker personalities.  Grandiose statements about environment, resource dependence, or the value of knives may emerge.  Have security or law enforcement on hand for termination proceedings, expect drastic responses and cries of "MUAD'IB"

Add books, reasons, etc, as you see fit.  Go!

30
Literate Chaotic / About Fred...
« on: August 21, 2012, 01:41:56 am »
Fred never had many visitors; most of his life, in fact, was alone.  Not that he was a hermit.  He was hardly positioned by choice far from settlement or human habitation.  He lived in a city.

Not a crowded urban stain, mind you, but a beautiful city.  Idyllically proportioned sidewalks and streets.  Buildings laid out thoughtfully with trees for shade and fine architecture.  Perfectly flat on regular terrain as only a city of the plains could be.  Four stories seemed absurdly tall, there.  Why go up, when it was just as easy to go out?  There was decency, and certain understood presence to being there.  No man was greater than another.  Nothing as officious or macho as respect ran the place, but rather a subdued, familiar love. It was truly a city of conscience.

Pity how empty it was.

 Not ever a fallen branch or trashcan out of place, (this was no ghost town or relic) just no one was there.  Well, that is a lie.  Very FEW people anyways.

Fred saw most of them.  Being one of few people in town he was a sort of living event.  Soft spoken and genial, he’d receive them in his oddly linear house.  A few minutes of pleasant, prosaic conversation and they would move on.  His most frequent visitor was his friend the speedy delivery man.  Not that they ever stopped to talk over lunch more than once or twice.  Not that they ever spent an evening talking over beers like most small city buddies, or over wine like two small-town intelligencia.  Much as the delivery man was compelled by his work to move on, Fred was compelled to stay.  His was to dwell, to occupy, to be neighborly, but brief.

Most of the time he was alone in his house.  Well, we’ve already said that, of course.  We’ve told you why he was alone too, but we haven’t told you how.

Not much mystery to being alone, you say?  Every act has its art, its refinements, and those bent towards its artful enactment.  No matter how miniscule or obscure.

Fred was a master of being alone.

He employed the same rhythm.  Routines and cycles like verses in a song, or stations of the cross.  Wavelengths and patterns that might take a day, a week, a year each to complete.  Each with mindfulness and care.  There was no deviation over time to his rhythm, every exploration and change was balanced piously with a repetition of the base pattern, the first verse.  A drum circle jamming back to the beat it began on.  A tea ceremony carried out mostly for one.

He entered his house every morning.  (But where DID he sleep?)

He meditated on his place in the dwelling.  How he held himself in his householding.

He changed from street shoes into indoors shoes.  How his perambulation put him in mind of his keeping house.

He donned his sweater.  Cassock and stole for his vigil, a warm garment to warmly greet those who may come.

 

A good deal of time he spent on a long running thought experiment.  A make believe land of characters, each cautiously endowed with a virtue and a flaw.  No villains, no evil, just an aspect of humanity carefully excised and given an embodiment.  Characters matched and tested against circumstance and against themselves.  A man of conscience, Fred did this not to hate them, or discover how to deal with them.  He did this to lay bare the things he hated in humanity and role them out until he could accept them, until he could love them.

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