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I know what you mean. I had to get a customer service agent to fix a thing yesterday and when I finished explaining it (with slow, deliberate, Josh Clarity), I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and prepared to hear a stupid question that only someone who ignored every single thing I just said could possibly ask. I swore to myself that I would not go into That Mode, at least not instantly. And then, she said, "Ah, I see exactly what happened and I'll have it fixed in just a minute." And then....she did. 😲😲😲

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May 3, 2023Liked by Josh Slocum

And then, you woke up. It had been but a blissful dream.

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What an incredibly sad state of affairs we are in where the least bit of politeness shocks us.

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Regarding your last two pars. How about going back and being extra nice to the young black man. How do you know what was or is going on in his life. Of course, stores should expect all employees to shine with a smile but when it doesn't happen it isn't always because they're vile or young or anything else. Maybe someone close is sick as hell or a friend ... the Christian thing to do would be to be nice to both favouring nor fearing one or the other. Best, Brendan Hanrahan

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May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023Author

Readers: This comment from Brendan is good example of our cultural "Cluster B" approach. Notice that Brendan took the side of the rude person immediately. Then, notice that he suggested a moral reversal: that I, the person who was treated rudely, should go back to the person who performed the rudeness, and be extra nice to him.

This is abuser logic. Brendan's comment is helpful in learning to recognize how our culture gaslights us, and it's an illustration of the kinds of attitudes that have helped make socially abusive behavior culturally applauded.

The "best" sign off is also a typical passive aggressive move used by people who think in these ways.

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Completely agree with your assessment Josh. Thanks for clearing the fog of Brendan's "well intentioned" response to your encounter.

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I will now amend my original comment in which I gave Brendan the benefit of the doubt regarding his intentions. Based on his last post to Josh I believe Brendan was not well intentioned. He was rather intent on proving his virtuous nature regardless of how rudely he may be treated - without expectation of courtesy or kindness on the part of the other person.

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He isn't "well" in the mental health sense. completely insane blubbering in a comment to me.

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May 4, 2023·edited May 4, 2023Author

Thank you. Please understand that what I'm about to say is not meant as a "gotcha" directed at you, but I think it's important.

You had enough information in Brendan's original post to know he wasn't acting in good faith. He was dishonest and mildly abusive in his very first post. Yet you still extended the benefit of the doubt to him.

Why?

I'm posing this publicly (it just happens to be your comment, Markin, but it could have been anyone's, because your response is common) because my goal is persuading people to see the truth earlier. To stop automatically giving the benefit of the doubt to people who have *already* demonstrated they don't deserve it.

I want people to think about that "why" for themselves.

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Perhaps giving B the "benefit of the doubt" was reflexive courtesy on my part Josh. I don't have your well tuned radar for determining with certainty he wasn't acting in good faith in the first place. Let's put it this way - reading posts from your experiences is elevating my awareness of such people so as not to "automatically" give them the benefit of the doubt.

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May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023Liked by Josh Slocum

What a great example of the current bullshit on display! Call me crazy, but when I was a young person working in retail, it was understood that part of my job was checking my personal shit at the door. When you clock in, you're on someone's else's dime. You are being paid to do your job, and being rude or dismissive to customers was a terminable offense.

We are not doing our young people any favors by a) assuming they've got a hard life and maybe they're having a bad day and need to have their asses kissed *while being paid to do a job* and b) that the world is going to stop, look deep into their eyes and have an impromptu therapy session because, you know, life is just so haaarrddd. Our young people are being hurt by the soft bigotry of low expectations. How can they grow up if we treat them like precious babies all the time?! Jeez Louise. How would this guy feel if his surgeon was distracted because he's just having a "bad day" on the day of his surgery? Grow up so we can raise better humans, please. The future of the human race literally depends on this.

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you must be a spoof. and, you forgot to mention your full member crudentials.

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No offence, this puerile and not worth my time, but before I go: 1) when I go into a shop just as in any walk of life, I see people. Colour of someone's skin is irrelevant. We're all human beings. 2) If someone is rude to me, or I have perceived them being rude, that is hardly the end or beginning of the world unless they have bashed my head with a baseball bat or called the cops for no reason. 3) Even if such an event occurred, so bloody what? Who gives a shyte? 4) Pope Benedict VI: "... the inalienable dignity of every human being .." Correct. Note EVERY human being. Why have you and others taken up air or cyberspace on an alleged event (prove it happened) in which actually nothing happened at all but you need to feed your substack with zip. 5) Original point remains: why not go back and see how the people are doing? What's the problem. Mind, if you do and I'm still around, prove it (pictures etc whatever) otherwise I and many others might think, reasonably, you're making it up. 6) the way you wrote your post indicates at best that you are prejudiced if not a bigot towards, on the evidence, black people. If you're not prove it. Having looked you up because I just got this feed (which is little better than average and hopelessly self-indulgent, for free in my inbox, I know not how) you need to work on your analyses and your unsolicited appraisals. People who truly believe in freedom and/or free speech, like me, never cancel or unfriend (ugh) anyone. God bless, good luck in your mediocrity, but treat people without reference to their skin colour and don't judge others as if you're some sort of tin god. Best, Brendan

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Readers: This is a classic illustration of what's known as the "cerebral narcissist" subtype. They're frequently people who, like Brendan, trumpet their membership in clubs (as he did with his UK Society of Editors sign-off above) in ways that are irrelevant. Many of this type will talk about their MENSA membership, as another example.

People with this turn of mind are socially and verbally abusive, which they try to cover up by refraining from using naughty words like "fuck."

They are driven by desperate insecurity and a need to feel intellectually or ethically superior to others. They will misrepresent, perform reversals, or simply flat-out lie in order to do it.

The narcissistic supply they're looking for is praise for their intellect.

Like most narcissists, they get quite frustrated when their targets don't feed their egos the way they hoped. Because so many ordinary people don't understand these kinds of personalities, such cerebral narcissists are often successful in abusing others while being seen as the one displaying moral rectitude.

That doesn't work on me, and that frustrates, so they keep coming back to the well to drop more poison.

Hope that's helpful.

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"The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity." Yeats.

Retrieve yourself from your rectum. Enjoy your never-ending therapy. Pip pip.

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SEEK PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT, ASAP. D1PSH1T TR0LL.

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Yep. This guy is a classic, shallow, hollow, soulless piece of mental dysfunction. I've seen 100s if not 1,000s of this kind of creep, they are purely stupid 99.9% of the time, and desperately in need of competent psychiatric treatment.

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your stupidity and toxicity is appalling.

your rhetoric is incoherent from the first sentence.

but THANK YOU for making clear that the "woke" "left" is a magnet for mentally dysfunctional buffoons.

I have no idea what most of your insane blubbering, sputtering and blabbering is even about, tr0ll.

This is the insane mental sewage that you vomited up that I saw in my email:

>Brendan Hanrahan replied to your comment on Holding on to being human.

"No offence, this puerile and not worth my time..."

Except you spent a bunch of time typing up and defecating incoherent intellectual diarrhea in a comment that qualifies you for the psych ward.

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re: "How about going back and being extra nice to the young black man."

How about deleting your psychotic crap in the comments section?

IF you had 1% of an ounce of basic human decency (which you DON'T) you would delete your insane bullshit, idiocy and LIES. Delete ALL of your psychotic sputtering, blubbering and blabbering, TR0LL

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I'm getting new glasses frames this week & I've been tempted multiple times to see if I can politely find a way to ask the other Millennial who's been assisting me with modifications if she's migrated here, because she's been so much friendlier than I was expecting. It's sad that it's notable.

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May 3, 2023Liked by Josh Slocum

The double whammy for me is encountering unexpectedly both courtesy and competence. I find myself so delighted and encouraged, and then somewhat saddened that such experiences are uncommon.

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founding

It is sad that this is a rarity rather than the custom. Younger people who mostly conduct electronic/digital interaction are losing the ability to behave like normal humans. They've already become transhuman.

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Edit to add:

Coda—For most of my life, other people have told me that I obsess over “little things.” Things that don’t matter. “Why are you so upset? That doesn’t mean anything.”

Because I’m aware of my own histrionic personality tendencies, I’ve tried to be self-aware about my reactions. Am I obsessing over little things that don’t matter? Is it all “in my head?”

Readers, I’ve decided that the answer is “no.” And I think I’ve let my awareness of my own failings turn into a new insecurity. I think I’ve listened to other people too much, and blamed my own neuroticism for too much.

I’m very imperfect, but I am not dim or unobservant. At 48 years old, I am not young, either. These decades of adulthood have taught me real things. I have observed real, objective behavior, and real, objective, predictable patterns of behavior.

These things are happening outside my head. They’re happening independent of my emotional disposition. They may “feel” differently to a more even-keeled person than they feel to me, but they are not fantasies that exist only in my head.

This is why I write about these “little”, “unconnected” things. They are neither little, nor are they unconnected. They are part of the unraveling of the cultural fabric, and they are weighty and serious. I am noticing real patterns that affect our lives, and someone needs to chronicle them.

We don’t experience history from the vantage point of the White House, or a capital building, most of us. Nearly all of us are just ordinary, work-a-day people who live and work and shop in a fixed location. We experience history on the small and domestic scale.

It matters. Someone needs to write it down.

And—thank you for noticing.

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I'm not a member of any club or group and fit no box, whatever you say. Some people need to grow up and if someone doesn't greet them with a trumpet overture of love just suck it up and grow up and move on without making assumptions about strangers you know nothing about. Sheesh, we do feel entitled, don't we? Always offended so easily? Best, Brendan Hanrahan, UK Society of Editors, full member

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Readers, this is also a good illustration of a Cluster B approach. Notice the way Brendan distorts what I wrote to make it sound melodramatic and ridiculous.

Notice that he creates a strawman out of me, then proceeds to set it alight.

Finally, the cheap sarcasm, the "we," the "offended so easily?"

And of course, the Very Important Sign Off Showing My Professional Credentials.

It's textbook.

It is also a good illustration of why the psychologist and author George K. Simon frowns on the term "passive aggression." He says, and I agree, that that is a bad descriptor. This behavior is better described as veiled or covert aggression.

There is nothing passive about Brendan's typical socially abusive reply. He's on the offense, and he's working affirmatively to be nasty. He means to do that. That's not passive. It's just thinly veiled with the gauze curtain of I'm A Respectable And Credentialed Person.

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I was on the fence about what he wrote, but when I saw he was a full member of the UK Society of Editors, I immediately agreed with him, and have now canceled my subscription to your Substack in protest of your disagreeableness.

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That sounds blunt-force phallocentric with wheel covers on the testiculars.

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Derrrrrp!

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Yes, agreed, being extra nice also encourages codependency, the thinking that if only you can make the other person happy, you’ll be happy.

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Codependency requires that you sell yourself out and self-betray for the other.

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Josh, sorry to see that you had to close off comments to your post from yesterday about "Capture the Flag." I hope my comment was not part of the problem. At any rate, I can relate to your frustration in being polite to the person working the checkout line. I've worked that side of the line in my younger days and also waited tables. It's rough going - for every nice person you meet there are at least ten others who are dolts, if not a__holes. Having done that to earn a living, I give these folks a pass thinking that maybe they started out "being human" but were beaten down by the dregs of humanity. These days as sort of a sociological experiment I take the initiative of being personable. Some managers apparently require the checkers to say one of two things - they never seem to say both. One is "How are you?" delivered in a monotone so flat that it must have taken years to perfect. The second is likewise a question but also delivered like a declarative statement: "Did you find everything you were looking for?"

This is where my experiment begins. I say in my best stage voice, "I'm OK. And how are YOU today?" with a special emphasis on "You." More often than not, the checkers are jolted out of their coma, he or she looks up at me, usually blinking in the way people do when regaining consciousness, and stammers, "Uh, oh, I'm fine." If the second expression is used - there must be a rule about not using them together - "Did you find everything..." I answer, "Oh yes - and MORE!" If the checker is even partially conscious the person becomes aware that i made a funny and they respond with a knowing smile in acknowledgement of my riff on impulse buying. All this takes place in under a minute especially if I have only a few things. As I grab my stuff and move along I have a bit of satisfaction thinking that perhaps I turned a robot into a human being - at least for a moment.

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Thanks Bob. Oh no, your comments are always welcome. There are just some essays where I think better of opening up the discussion:)

I'm cracking up imagining you doing this in person at a cash register.

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You have this amazing ability to give incredibly clear and concise words to these disjointed, nebulous feelings of unease I often experience from being out in the world these days.

You say exactly what I'm feeling, what I'm experiencing, with such precision so often. And I love you for it. There. I said it and I don't care who knows it.

Thank you. Thank you for being a human out there. Someone who truly understands and is unafraid to say it for the world to hear. I feel your passion and I feel your pain. I've read comments on your posts where people think you're being possibly over the top. I know you're not. See, I don't just *live* in Brooklyn, I'm 50 and I'm actually *from* here. This tells you 2 things: I come from a time when this place was difficult and produced tough people, who took no shit, who could see it coming from a mile away. It also tells you I'm in the deepest, bluest of the blue, wokest, most ridiculous places in the country... just like you. Your observations are 100% correct.

People who want to argue that you're just talking about "very online stuff" couldn't be more wrong. If you live in a deep blue area, this has bled into every personal interaction you have *in real life*.

Since I left the bubble, my neighbors don't talk to me anymore. Any time I've tried to have a calm, rational conversation with another adult here, it's gotten really ugly.

From the time I expressed to one devout Branch Covidian neighbor that I had no intention of taking the shots that were still being developed at the time, unless they could prove they were safe (oh, look at that, turns out they weren't... who could've seen that coming?) to a recent exchange I had with a fellow parent from my daughter's play group that got so bizarre, it left me shaken for days. The subject? Can you guess??? This grown-ass, middle-aged white WOMAN, a mother of 2 children, "birthing person and chest-feeder", was sitting on a park bench, pontificating about a friend of hers who has an 8 year-old child (natal male) whom she socially transitioned as a 6 year old, who didn't feel safe at one play group because... wait for it... the facilitators didn't want her to read a book about trans kids at story time to their children. They didn't kick her out, they didn't ask her to take her Transhausen-by-Proxy crazy self or poor, confused child out of the group. No, they simply told her "no, we don't think that's appropriate for the group." Apparently "no" is not allowed. She sat there clutching her proverbial pearls at how transphobic this group was, how unjust it was that her brave, virtuous friend had been so maligned, smugly telling me that we live in the most transphobic, homophobic, racist country in the world. She even relayed a story about (I kid you not) her gay brother being a transphobe himself because he won't comply with the trans narrative, bigot that he is! (The horror!) Then this WOMAN finishes with her coup de grace...the spiel, you know the one, about how "gender is a spectrum, puberty blockers are magic because they just pause puberty, etc..." we've all heard it, they all read from the same script. She was so pleased with herself that she didn't notice I wasn't nodding in agreement.

Thing is... even a year or two ago, I might have believed the same things, fallen for the same bullshit, but I woke the f*ck up. And I made the mistake of telling her so.

I quietly and respectfully told her that sex is a binary, not a spectrum. How you present in the world has nothing to do with your biological sex. Puberty blockers are medical malpractice and harmful to young children. And I told her that her brother is correct and that maybe she should listen to the lived experience of a "G" in the LGB+++ alphabet soup they've tacked onto the rainbow flag. Maybe someone *from* the so-called "community" has some valuable insight that she, a privileged, white, straight, "cis" hetero-normative woman in Park Slope, Brooklyn might benefit from hearing. You can imagine how the rest of this conversation went. We didn't yell, we didn't argue. I saw the look come over her face when she realized I wasn't buying what she was selling. You'd think I just shit my pants from the look of horror on her face. She immediately jumped up, made an excuse about being late for an appointment, collected her daughter, and literally ran out of the park.

She stopped texting me for play dates, even though our daughters adore each other and they're too young to care about any of this bullshit. My husband was very exasperated with me because he's much better at shutting his mouth, even though he agrees with me. He was raised in a Jehovah's Witness family, so he knows how to keep his trap shut for fear of repercussions.

So yes, Mr. Slocum, you are not imagining that these real-world interactions are changing you. Making you more distrustful, making you second-guess every exchange. Thank you for observing these things, reflecting on them, and trying to come out a better person for it, despite the nonsense you see around you.

Now you know why I love you and why I'm honored to have your presence in my life and I'm not afraid to say how much I need to hear your voice and appreciate that I'm not alone out here! Thank you!

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Thank you so much. Thank you for saying that you see it too. And thank you especially for saying that I articulate things that you're thinking. I honestly believe that's one of my skills, and I genuinely think we need to bring these things out into the open.

That others like you see these things, and tell me so, helps me fight the creeping feeling that I'm crazy. My whole life I've been told I was making stuff up, or exaggerating things. It's a long-time wound, frankly.

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You are going SANE in a world going CRAZY! It ain't you, my friend! Keep fighting the good fight, we are with you!

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She’s exactly right about your super power. I intuit or “feel” when something (or someone) is wrong long before I can articulate why. I’m often reminded of the song “Killing Me Softly” and the lines about “singing my life with his words” and “I felt he’d found my letters and read each word aloud”. You’re in my head!

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founding

Josh has a bunch of very nice, intelligent, grounded in reality, and all-round good people friends like you that it makes me so happy for him, and for me, because I kinda get to coast along on his coattails and enjoy them, too

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We're all in this together! :)

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May 4, 2023Liked by Josh Slocum

Glad to know that there are islands of unapologetic sanity out there. Clearly you and Josh are those islands. I live in a small flyover WI town which, while infected with the many mind viruses, seems to be combating them reasonably well. Most people I interact with are still individuals, not captured intersectional automatons or apologists. There is hope.

Thank you both.

Stay strong.

Visit WI.

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In my opinion, you did the right thing. We need to tell these people that they're wrong and they need to see that they're not surrounded by people who agree with them.

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I am frequently thankful that I no longer live in New England because I believe you. That statement makes me sad on several fronts. There are certainly pockets of this behavior where I live, but it is not the norm. Unfortunately, when one has to interact with “customer service” by phone then I imagine I have entered some yet unnamed circle of hell.

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founding

Is it just me or are most human interaction in heavily Wokified areas seem heavily superficial?

I’m noticing a few major differences between the “woke” and “non-woke.” One is the woke’s reliance on credentials and signaling virtue. That’s not to say the non-woke don’t do it either but the woke seem keen on judging people first through those lenses, and of course on whatever immutable characteristic and/or new classification their priests in activdemia cook up.

A key example of this is this ridiculous LA Times column where the author, a snobby woke elite with a vacation home in the mountains, is trying to reconcile with the fact their “Trumpite neighbors” shoveled the snow out of their driveway. They’re generally puzzled at the whole thing and how to reciprocate.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-02-05/trumpite-neighbor-unity-capitol-attack

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founding

P.S. if you need a laugh, Yuri has written something about wokish and unwokish Asians.

https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-stop-asian-hate?s=

I think there’s some overlap here.

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lololol

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founding

Josh, I hope you are working on a manuscript for the book you need to write. You have an excellent ability to describe your experiences and interactions with people and the milieu in which they happen. Who knows. Maybe you will actually cause a change for the good, though it's doubtful that the people who need to change would ever read it. But I would!!

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I agree with you and I attribute the insensitiveness of employees on the cell phone. It's more and more apparent that those that grew up in the age of cells phones are more and more selfish and rude that is IF you can get them to take the phone out of their faces. It's like entitlement.

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"Am I obsessing over little things that don’t matter? Is it all 'in my head?'”

I hardly think so. You're just more alert. If you'll forgive me for saying so I, like you, have a habit of coming in first at playing spot-the-asshole. The reward is to be treated like a jerk who isn't as smart as the cool kids but time and time again I've been proven right. Example: The moment Sam Harris started a podcast on Dave Rubin by frontloading it with personal attacks instead of just criticizing his positions and failed to invite Bret Weinstein on his show over their disagreements regarding covid (while hanging out with machine whores like David Frum), I knew that something had gone horribly wrong way before his notorious meltdown. Or, while still a Democrat, upon getting the first email from the Clinton campaign entitled "Ready for Hillary?" as if her victory was a foregone conclusion and we'd better get used to the idea of her becoming president, I knew the implied towering arrogance spelled trouble. I still thought she was going to win but could see that the ambient certainty of her enjoying a crushing victory was misplaced. In both examples the evidence of trouble was always there. People just didn't pay attention.

So, you're good at spotting assholes and brewing trouble. As long as you don't get cocky and keep an eye out for indications that maybe you're wrong, you'll do fine and render a necessary, if grossly underappreciated, service to the world.

Keep up the terrific work and wouldn't it be nice if you were just as good at picking stocks?

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Member 3741 actually. Child

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Your FULL MEMBER went blunt force phallocentric, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you going to wax and shine your testiculars today???

TROLL

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