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Actually, I think we need to re-enter the age of enlightenment

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July 17, 2006 | 10:21pm
Mood: cautious

I envy people who can write. They have stylish syntax, a gorgeous vocabulary, and they know exactly when and where to place a word to make the largest impact. I yearn to reach their dizzying heights of greatness; they are capable of such great feats with the written word--such great feats that can make my jaw drop and make my toes curl, sometimes all at once.

They are the intellectuals, the people who read Lawrence and Woolf and Hawthorne for fun. They critique Rand, gush about Locke, and contemplate about Thoreau. Post-modernism is overrated, romanticism is passé; they are worlds above and beyond us all. As we are not them, they are not us. They tower beyond contemplation. They tower beyond God.

Here's a thought.

Maybe they are simply hiding behind a sheer veneer of intellect and possibilities. Maybe these writers--these philosophers and so-called deities--are not "beyond." They are afflicted with the same troubles and aches and desires as the rest of us. They are just as selfish, just as emotional, just as brittle as the rest of us. They may write (exist, think) passionately, but passion does not totally remove Them from Us. Passion does not denote eloquence (or intelligence!) any more than apathy or indifference does.

One day, us pragmatists will get our day in the sun--our day beyond. We may not be able to write a heartbreakingly beautiful grocery list, or be willing to gab about the beliefs of Mencius or Sartre, but goddammit, we are just as worthy of respect as the rest of those bitches!

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