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Gunzen Pipple
Gunz dunt
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Gill
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Youzhly
Wit gunz
Internot
Sorry if I’m a bit late with this news, but I guess I was asleep at the switch. It’s about buying stuff on the internet. We shouldn’t do it.

I know. I should have said something back in the 90s. I remember ordering my first iMac (a teal egg-shaped wonder) online and having it arrive the next day on my doorstep. It was cheaper than I could have gotten it at a store, and there was no driving, parking, or interacting with strangers. A miracle delivered by our modern age!

Part of me knew then that it was all too good to be true. There would be some price to pay for this miracle, some reckoning to balance the scales. But I was too smitten by the ease of the transaction to listen to the warning signals. I did not want to question my good luck.

But now, twenty-plus years later, the bill has come due. Brick-and-mortar outlets are withering, malls are collapsing, globalization is in full swing, and the robots are coming for us. I’m not saying that this is the end of western civilization, but I am hinting at it very strongly.

We are all responsible for the pickle we find ourselves in, but allow me to confess my own complicity. I was seduced, as I have said, and it has taken me two decades to face up to what I have done. I could take all the goods I have foolishly acquired, haul them to the dump, and start fresh, but that seems extreme. Besides, I just got my latest iMac, and I love it.

Which is part of the problem. I’m pretty far into this thing now, and almost every purchase has been perfectly satisfactory. Refunds and exchanges have been easy, too, deepening my dependence on this brave new system. But enough of my excuses. I’m sorry. For the lost jobs, for the cratering of civilization, for the extinction of the human race. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

But I’m keeping the new iMac.

Sorry.
Taking Acception
“It is unacceptable.”

You hear that phrase a lot these days, whether we’re talking about one of the many offenses delivered to us by this modern world or some fresh outrage fulminating out of the President’s Twitter account. The assertion is always accompanied by the firmest intonation and soberest of facial expressions, as if we have truly reached a point past which we cannot go.

But it seems we always do. Go past the outrage, that is, and on to ever more outrages and even more troubling states of affairs. And when we arrive at these new junctures, there will always be someone who will step forward and very seriously declare that the new situation is “unacceptable.”

I have no quarrel here with people taking this kind of offense. We need to take a stand in these situations and confront our tormentors. My gripe is that these speakers, after they have stood up, just sit right down again. Perhaps they expect others to take on the risks involved with actual action. When you say something is unacceptable, however, it creates a fair expectation that you are prepared to act on your expressed displeasure. Okay, I’ve reached my limit, this declaration seems to say, and now I will step up and put a stop to it.

Otherwise, it’s bullshit. You are making a tacit promise to act, but you do not. “Unacceptable” ends up meaning exactly the same as “acceptable,” only with an added layer of hypocrisy. Suddenly, everything you say is suspect.

So please, can we stop using the term “unacceptable” unless we really mean it? Either we are willing to follow through or we’re just flapping our gums. And if you decide to keep saying it anyway, I will call out your usage as lame, insincere, hollow, and totally bogus.

I will not, however, say that it is unacceptable. I guess I’m not ready to make that kind of commitment.
Yes and Not No
Let me say right off the top that I am dead set against planning ahead. It is foolhardy, wasteful, and runs counter to all that I hold dear.

“What?!” you are no doubt exclaiming. “What could possibly be wrong with planning?” And my answer to you is, “nothing.” Planning is vital to achieving a positive outcome in any undertaking. Oh, you might stumble into some small successes on luck alone, but it’s hard to imagine any project that doesn’t involve some kind of preparation. So it is not planning that I object to. It’s planning ahead that troubles me.

The thing is, all planning takes place ahead. If you find yourself planning behind, I must tell you that you are wasting your time. Everything you are planning has already happened. It’s written in stone and in indelible ink on titanium steel. Indeed, you might be doing something that isn’t even a thing.

It’s the same with advance planning. The essence of all planning is that it is done in advance. Even if you’re throwing together some slapdash plot at the absolute last moment, that moment occurs before the plot is implemented — even if that is only a fraction of a second later. Anything you might come up with later is not planning, it’s regretting.

So, are we in agreement? There is no need to speak of advance planning or planning ahead. Like “gathering together,” these concepts are redundant, repetitive, superfluous, and overly extra redundant.

I can sense that we are now of the same mind on this question. That said, I absolutely refuse to mutually agree.
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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee