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Old 15th December 2002, 11:21   #1
Some1
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"broken windows, open locks; reminders of the youth we lost"

Is it better to be innocent and naive, or experienced but cynical? If you could go back, would you? If not, then why does society go to such great lengths to preserve innocence, and do you approve of such practices? And if you answered "no" to the second and "yes" to the second part of the third, then do you see the hypocrisy inherent in your response, and can you justify it?

Me, I'd go back in a heartbeat.
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Old 15th December 2002, 11:28   #2
Bilbo Baggins
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It depends upon the situation that you find yourself in.
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Old 15th December 2002, 11:31   #3
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...doesn't everything?

(or to be less ambiguous, "Thank you Mr. Generic Universal Response")
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Old 15th December 2002, 11:32   #4
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Is is impossible to be both?? I still feel both depending on my surroundings. And I'm being serious here. I'm 47 and there are times I feel like I'm in over my head, yet there are times I am in situations where I'm totally in control. (Never here on the forums of course .)
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Old 15th December 2002, 11:35   #5
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Originally posted by Some1
(or to be less ambiguous, "Thank you Mr. Generic Universal Response")
Bilbot.
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Old 15th December 2002, 11:43   #6
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Originally posted by Some1
...doesn't everything?

(or to be less ambiguous, "Thank you Mr. Generic Universal Response")
Are you determined to be a contentious prick?
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Old 15th December 2002, 12:24   #7
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I think that depends

(on what you mean by "prick", of course)

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Old 15th December 2002, 14:37   #8
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I personally think that in general the more informed you are, the better off you are. Sure, "ignorance is bliss", but you can get in a lot of trouble that way. The more information you have, the more likely you will be able to make decisions to protect yourself and those around you.


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Old 15th December 2002, 15:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aquila Blue
I personally think that in general the more informed you are, the better off you are. Sure, "ignorance is bliss", but you can get in a lot of trouble that way. The more information you have, the more likely you will be able to make decisions to protect yourself and those around you.
I agree with you Aquila. I think it's vital to be well-read and also to be very knowledgable on many other topics. The more info you have at your disposal to better you will be at anything in life (except maybe playing sports).

"Welcome to the Island of people who know too much."..."Did you really think balloons would stop him?!"
See what I'm listening too.
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Old 15th December 2002, 15:27   #10
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I would rather be well informed (though that doesn't necessarily entail being cynical).

I also think that it is important to have a period of innocence. I don't think people who never go through a period of innocence ever develop properly.

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Old 15th December 2002, 15:31   #11
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If your not well informed, you could do loads of bad stuff unintentionally.
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Old 15th December 2002, 16:10   #12
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Re: "broken windows, open locks; reminders of the youth we lost"

Quote:
Originally posted by Some1
Is it better to be innocent and naive, or experienced but cynical? If you could go back, would you? If not, then why does society go to such great lengths to preserve innocence, and do you approve of such practices? And if you answered "no" to the second and "yes" to the second part of the third, then do you see the hypocrisy inherent in your response, and can you justify it?
Experienced and cynical, definitely. I wouldn't go back to being innocent and naïve for all the tea in China.

Society only really goes to lengths to protect the innocence of children - which I believe on the whole is a good thing, and in no way hypocritical - the weight of the world isn't a burden which kids should have to shoulder.
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Old 15th December 2002, 18:58   #13
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Re: "broken windows, open locks; reminders of the youth we lost"

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Originally posted by Some1
Me, I'd go back in a heartbeat.
Then do it. It is possible to to be experienced without being cynical, and it is possible to rediscover your awe for the world after one has become cynical (trust me - I've done it).
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Old 15th December 2002, 19:25   #14
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There is a time and place for both.
It is unfortunate that many in the quest for knowledge/experience are burned and that causes cynicism...
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Old 15th December 2002, 19:40   #15
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There are no benefits to cynicism.

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Old 15th December 2002, 19:50   #16
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Old 15th December 2002, 20:36   #17
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Re: Re: "broken windows, open locks; reminders of the youth we lost"

Quote:
Originally posted by c2R


Experienced and cynical, definitely. I wouldn't go back to being innocent and naïve for all the tea in China.

Ditto.

It's Plato's Cave Analogy- the person who has only known the dark will inevitably have his eyes burned by the light if he comes out, but it in the end it is healthier for the person.

Anyone who, after having 'experience' would prefer innocence is what I would call the ultimate hedonist.
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Old 15th December 2002, 21:26   #18
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Are you determined to be a contentious prick?
Wow, your grasp of the blatantly obvious is astounding...

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It is possible to to be experienced without being cynical
Relativistically speaking, no it isn't...while it's possible to have varying degrees of cynicism, the inexperienced person will always have a lesser degree than the experienced. So while it may be possible to become less cynical, it's not possible to go back to the same spot you were before, without somehow giving up your knowledge and experience at the same time.

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Anyone who, after having 'experience' would prefer innocence is what I would call the ultimate hedonist.
Hedonism rules!!!
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Old 15th December 2002, 21:33   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Some1
Relativistically speaking, no it isn't...while it's possible to have varying degrees of cynicism, the inexperienced person will always have a lesser degree than the experienced. So while it may be possible to become less cynical, it's not possible to go back to the same spot you were before, without somehow giving up your knowledge and experience at the same time.
I just don't see how cynicism and experience are related. What if your experience has taught you that the ultimate truth about reality is that it is one based on love?

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Old 15th December 2002, 21:38   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by hestermofet
What if your experience has taught you that the ultimate truth about reality is that it is one based on love?
Ha! That's umpossible!
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Old 15th December 2002, 21:47   #21
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I just don't see how cynicism and experience are related. What if your experience has taught you that the ultimate truth about reality is that it is one based on love?
The cynicism comes (generally speaking) in the belief that you have come to the "ultimate" truth...such a thing leads to a tendency to look at other people and go "poor ignorant fools, if only they knew the truth like I did," or to hold some other viewpoint which elevates oneself above others who have yet to reach the "ultimate" truth, or who have reached a different version of the truth. Take Xerxes for example, and his attitude towards people who don't like capitalism and socioeconomic responsibility, and you'll see what I mean.

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Ha! That's umpossible!
See rm'...?

And screw you sexreX!
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Old 15th December 2002, 21:48   #22
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God: My dear fellow, I could no more choose to give you free will than I could choose to make an equilateral triangle equiangular. I could choose to make or not to make an equilateral triangle in the first place, but having chosen to make one, I would then have no choice but to make it triangular.
Mortal: I thought you could do anything!
God: Only things which are logically possible

-Ray Smullyan, Is God a Taoist?

Love being the underlying truth to reality is not a logical error, therefore, is possible.

sidenote: Xerxes, Is God a Taoist? is something you really should read. I'll scan you the best part.

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Old 15th December 2002, 21:49   #23
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How could you not be cynical in a world where people are basically evil and self serving, I say.

And screw you too, (loath)Some1.
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Old 15th December 2002, 21:51   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Some1
The cynicism comes (generally speaking) in the belief that you have come to the "ultimate" truth...such a thing leads to a tendency to look at other people and go "poor ignorant fools, if only they knew the truth like I did," or to hold some other viewpoint which elevates oneself above others who have yet to reach the "ultimate" truth, or who have reached a different version of the truth
Then we have different definitions of "cynicism". I don't (nor does the American Heritage Dictionary) equate cynicism with a condescending attitude. You can be naive, and still be condescending to others. Cynicism is to hold a negative attitude, and to assume people to be disingenuous.

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Old 15th December 2002, 21:56   #25
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Cynicism is to hold a negative attitude,
Condescension IS a negative attitude...by thinking that you are above other people, you are implicitly making the statement they they possess less inherent ability, skill, or intelligence than you, which is essentially the same as saying "other people are inept and stupid," which is just as bad as "people are basically evil and self serving."

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and to assume people to be disingeneous.
Same thing that I said above...by assuming that you are above other people, you make the implication that they are below you for whatever reason, either because they lack the intelligence to find the "truth," or the moral fortitude to find the "right" truth, or because they have been blinded to the truth by greed, or whatver.
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Old 15th December 2002, 22:03   #26
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Condescension is only one kind of negative attitude. I meant in a more general, impersonal sense. And no, disingenuity is NOT the same thing as thinking you are better than others because you know the truth, and they don't.

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Old 15th December 2002, 22:18   #27
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Condescension is only one kind of negative attitude.
Well, however you want to look at it...the point is that generally, experienced people have it, while "naive" people don't.

Quote:
And no, disingenuity is NOT the same thing as thinking you are better than others because you know the truth, and they don't.
disingenuity

\Dis*in`ge*nu"i*ty\, n. Disingenuousness. [Obs.] --Clarendon.
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Old 15th December 2002, 22:48   #28
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Innocent Minds

I can't stand how some parents will lie to their kids about reproduction 'To peserve their young minds.' As if they won't find out later. Plus, when they do, they will realise that the parent has lied to them and may feel resentment and distrust.

In Neopets I find it stupid that you're not allowed to use 'offensive' language. It's not like anyone hasn't heard the word 'Fuck' before. (And did you know, 'fuck' originally meant to sow seeds!! Fuck the world, fuck the world... )

I completely understand the point of not using profanities in abundance... But really now, after all, they are only words.

just as feathery as ever
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Old 16th December 2002, 00:24   #29
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Going back would certainly be tempting; forgetting everything that I've seen...

But, in the end, I wouldn't be able to. Experience leads to knowledge, which forms the basis of power. I'd be a fool to give that up.

Flypaper for the walking wounded since 1997
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Old 16th December 2002, 01:49   #30
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Some1, I don't know what the hell you are talking about. It's the ignorant that so often hold a condescending attitude.


Cynicism: An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others

It is entirely possible to gain experience and not become cynical. If you choose to focus on everything negative, then you will be a cynic. If you choose to focus on everything positive, you'll find yourself basking in the love of and for mankind.

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I can't stand how some parents will lie to their kids about reproduction 'To peserve their young minds.' As if they won't find out later. Plus, when they do, they will realise that the parent has lied to them and may feel resentment and distrust.
That's just foolish. If a child is old enough to ask about reproduction, the s/he is old enough to hear the truth. Perhaps not the entire truth, and then again perhaps so, but whatever s/he is told should be true.

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Originally posted by White_Raven
And did you know, 'fuck' originally meant to sow seeds!!
Descended from the Latin "fuccant", which carries the same meanings and connotations. It was always a "dirty word". As a side note, some lingusts claim that the word descended directly from the German "ficken", "to penetrate". "Ficken" currently carries the same connotations as "fuck".

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Old 16th December 2002, 04:03   #31
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It is entirely possible to gain experience and not become cynical. If you choose to focus on everything negative, then you will be a cynic. If you choose to focus on everything positive, you'll find yourself basking in the love of and for mankind.
Aside from oversimplifying things and being overly sentimental, you seem to have missed the part where I said I was talking about cynicism in a relative sense...we could sit here and debate all day about what does and what does not constitute a "cynical" attitude, but the point is that no matter how much an experienced person chooses to focus on the positive, they are still AWARE that the negative exists, so relative to somebody who has no concept whatsoever of the negative, they are a cynic...for example, an experienced person, even one with an unusually positive view of humanity, is not likely to walk alone through a slum at night while carrying a wad of $100 bills in the palm of their hand in plain view, because no matter how positive their perceptions of other people are, and how much they try to focus on the "good" things, they are aware of the fact that there are people out there who would quite willingly beat the crap out of them and steal the money...however, an "innocent" person would quite blissfully stroll through the slum with the money in hand, because they have no idea that there are people out there who would do anything to get their hands on the cash, so the "innocent" person is less cynical than the experienced one. You may personally consider the experienced person's views to be realistic, or practical, or whatever, instead of cynical, but this is irrelevant, because it's only the relative level of cynicism that we're looking at, and a person who's aware of the negative but refuses to actively focus on it is still a cynic relative to the person who has no concept of the negative whatsoever.
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Old 16th December 2002, 06:06   #32
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I'm a cynic and pretty happy with it. No I wouldn't go back to being an innocent kid, that sucked big time. I'm sure people try to preserve innocence so that marketing people have free run over the virgin pure minds of the weak and innocent. An easy buck I'd say.

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Old 16th December 2002, 06:16   #33
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1. Your choice of the word cynicism is a unfortunate one. You are referring to sense, or ration. Being sensible or rational is not the same thing as being cynical.

2. Naïveté is not the antonym of ration. Experience is the opposite of Naïveté

3. Naïveté is not the antonym of cynicism. Optimism is the opposite of cynicism.

It is entirely possible to be naïve and cynical, or experienced and optimistic. It might be difficult to be both naïve and sensible, simply due to the lack of experience, but that doesn't mean that a naïve person can't still be cynical, and it certainly doesn't mean that an experienced person has to be cynical.

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Old 16th December 2002, 16:05   #34
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Now, some of what you guys are saying is going directly over my head, but I'm trying to understand. Can I put in some tentative questions?

Quote:
no matter how much an experienced person chooses to focus on the positive, they are still AWARE that the negative exists, so relative to somebody who has no concept whatsoever of the negative, they are a cynic
Is being educated the same thing as being cynical? I mean, you can be naive and still be cynical, can't you? Why does education have to bring cynicism?

Webster's defined cynic as
Quote:
a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest
.

So, I don't see how these things relate. Maybe I'm too ignorant. I'm going to try and answer the first questions to the best of my ability now.

Is it better to be innocent and naive, or experienced but cynical? Once again, I don't see how the things relate, but I'm going to try and take a stab on how you're using the words. I think I'm innocent, but also not when it comes to some things. I find that I'm happier, and quite frankly, I like being happy. I tried for a while to "educate" myself in the way that you seem to be describing, and I ended up jaded, annoyed at my fellow man, pissy and depressed. It's not a good time. If being innocent means that you have a positive outlook on life, I guess you have your answer to that question.

Why does society go to such great lengths to preserve innocence, and do you approve of such practices?

I think society puts weight on innocence, because it's pure. Once you mess with it, you CAN'T go back. No matter how much you try, it's impossible. Realistically speaking that is. While I don't know what you're refering to here: sexual or just mentality, I think I would prefer people to be educated, but choose to stay 'unblemished' in the sexual sense. In the mental sense, I'm not sure. I find myself thinking so in some situations, but in others thinking that we should educate more. I think that's a personal decision for you to make.

If I am being hypocritical, please point it out: I'm probably just confusing myself.

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Old 16th December 2002, 20:26   #35
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Originally posted by Curi0us_George
That's just foolish. If a child is old enough to ask about reproduction, the s/he is old enough to hear the truth. Perhaps not the entire truth, and then again perhaps so, but whatever s/he is told should be true.
I very much agree on that point. Sure parents don't have to go into all the details, but the truth should be told. For example, I think I was 4 or 5 when I first asked my mom about it, and basically I got my first lecture on the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance. (no wonder I turned out the way I am eh?)


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Old 18th December 2002, 10:52   #36
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Is being educated the same thing as being cynical? I mean, you can be naive and still be cynical, can't you? Why does education have to bring cynicism?
Like I said, it's all relative. With experience/education comes the knowledge that there is indeed a negative side to things, and regardless of whether or not you focus on this negative side and become a cynic by the dictionary definition, by simply knowing that it exists you have become more inherently cynical than the person who still has no concept of the negative.

...but I give up, between Curi0us_George arguing semantics and all the hang-ups between what the dictionary says and what I'm saying it's all pretty pointless now. This thread gets to go into my circular parade of failure...

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there's nothing here,
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Old 18th December 2002, 11:17   #37
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No, I would never go back. I’ve seen too much, heard too much and experienced too much to ever go back to how I was. It will never happen, and I give you guys permission to put a bullet in my head if I ever get the “All the world loves me just because I love them” attitude

Being innocent doesn’t go hand in hand with being young, yes when your young your innocent, but after that when you grow up, if your still innocent and you refuse to accept the facts that this world is out to get you in anyway it can then you are no longer innocent, you are stupid.

That’s my view, accept or decline, I don’t care.

Cynicism will always rule, you will never get disappointed and when things are going to hell around you and the stupid people are screaming at you and anyone else that’ll listen because they can’t take what's happening, at least you would have had some preparation time, some psych-up time so you can sit back and die happily in the knowledge that you were right all along.

Then you get to the pearly white gates of heaven and go “oh shit” before you burn forever in the eternal fires of hell. (sorry about that, just a small paranoid delusion of mine )
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Old 18th December 2002, 11:34   #38
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Cynicism will always rule
Mountain ranges
Mourning red bay at the bridges
Stab up at the coming blue horizon
Grey slides loosely off rooftops
Lands on the Incan desert ground and dies
A flock of little men touch down on the surface of the porch light
Bronze fist soldiers return
To watch the twilight across the faces
Skylights ignite and explode
Scattering shards of April around the room
No one even lives here
We're too busy crashing our cars every morning at the same house
Paving the same roads
Unwilling to walk them
And even when we extend ourselves, its only to be included
In a world that's standing still
And so often we don't struggle to improve conditions
We struggle for the right to say "we improve conditions"
And so often we form communities
Only to use them as exclusionary devices
And we forget that somewhere man is beside himself with grief
And somewhere people are calling for teachers
And no one's answering
Somewhere a man stands, walks across the room, and breaks his nose on the door
And somewhere these people are keeping records
And writing a book
For now we can call it "The Book About the Basic Flaw
Or "The Book About the Letter 'N'"
Or "Any Title That a Book About a Man That No One Cares About Might Have"
And as we turn the pages we call out the sounds of nothing
The sounds of a vanishing alphabet
Standing here waiting...
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Old 18th December 2002, 11:46   #39
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That’s nice man, very nice.

Is it a song? A poem? Or something else of your own concoction?
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Old 18th December 2002, 11:55   #40
Some1
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It's a song actually..."Where the Circle Ends" by a group called Thursday. They're a good band if you like emo (and not the dashboard confessional stuff they popularize on MTV...REAL emo, with discernable hints of the genre's hardcore roots...though this particular song is acoustic, most of their stuff isn't).

EDIT: and the title of this thread is actually from another one of their songs...they're good at making poetic sounding lyrics.
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