Manvotional: Thoreau on Media and Information Consumption

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 2, 2013 · 38 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals

 manreading

From “Life Without Principle”
By Henry David Thoreau

Just so hollow and ineffectual, for the most part, is our ordinary conversation. Surface meets surface. When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post-office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.

I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day’s devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.

We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial, — considering what one’s dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had, — that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.

All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire, — thinner than the paper on which it is printed, — then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin, —

“I look down from my height on nations,
And they become ashes before me; —
Calm is my dwelling in the clouds;
Pleasant are the great fields of my rest.”

Pray, let us live without being drawn by dogs, Esquimaux-fashion, tearing over hill and dale, and biting each other’s ears.

Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair, — the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish, — to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself, — an hypæthral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind’s chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind’s inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us, — the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts’ shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide? When I have been compelled to sit spectator and auditor in a court-room for some hours, and have seen my neighbors, who were not compelled, stealing in from time to time, and tiptoeing about with washed hands and faces, it has appeared to my mind’s eye, that, when they took off their hats, their ears suddenly expanded into vast hoppers for sound, between which even their narrow heads were crowded. Like the vanes of windmills, they caught the broad but shallow stream of sound, which, after a few titillating gyrations in their coggy brains, passed out the other side. I wondered if, when they got home, they were as careful to wash their ears as before their hands and faces. It has seemed to me, at such a time, that the auditors and the witnesses, the jury and the counsel, the judge and the criminal at the bar, — if I may presume him guilty before he is convicted, — were all equally criminal, and a thunderbolt might be expected to descend and consume them all together.

By all kinds of traps and signboards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were, — its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.

If we have thus desecrated ourselves, — as who has not? — the remedy will be by wariness and devotion to reconsecrate ourselves, and make once more a fane of the mind. We should treat our minds, that is, ourselves, as innocent and ingenuous children, whose guardians we are, and be careful what objects and what subjects we thrust on their attention. Read not the Times. Read the Eternities. Conventionalities are at length as bad as impurities. Even the facts of science may dust the mind by their dryness, unless they are in a sense effaced each morning, or rather rendered fertile by the dews of fresh and living truth. Knowledge does not come to us by details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Yes, every thought that passes through the mind helps to wear and tear it, and to deepen the ruts, which, as in the streets of Pompeii, evince how much it has been used. How many things there are concerning which we might well deliberate whether we had better know them, — had better let their peddling-carts be driven, even at the slowest trot or walk, over that bridge of glorious span by which we trust to pass at last from the farthest brink of time to the nearest shore of eternity! Have we no culture, no refinement, — but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil? — to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kieren Underwood November 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Oh the amount of times I have expressed these thoughts in my head. Only now I can read them through the words of a master.

Thank you for posting Brett and Kate!

2 O'Dougan November 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Indeed a thoroughly thought-inspiring article, but wouldn’t this contradict many doctrines held by art of manliness in a way. I mean, man seceeding from daily life and shutting himself off from the world contradicts Roosevelt’s zeal for everyone being involved in the administration of their country or the support given in this site for reading the papers and being well informed. Just wondering, don’t mean to make offense.

3 Brett McKay November 3, 2013 at 12:37 am

@O’Dougan-
I think he uses strong language to make his argument, but I don’t read this as Thoreau saying you should shut yourself off from daily life and the world and not be well-informed. This may be because I read this essay right after finishing a biography of him, and in his own life, that’s not how he lived. While we often think of Thoreau as being in total solitude during his two years at Walden, if fact the cabin was only 2 miles from Concord village. He had visitors all the time and there were even 25-30 people in his cabin at one time. And he would often go back home or to the Emersons for dinner to eat and catch up about local and national news. Throughout his life he was a voracious reader and liked to learn about new theories in science and philosophy as well as history and religion. He also liked to attend and lecture at lyceums. And he paid some attention to current affairs as well. He wasn’t a social butterfly, or very engaged with the larger world, but he wasn’t a recluse either.

I do admit I admire more the man of action, the man of the world, like TR was, but I also think there’s something to be said for the withdrawn philosopher type. It’s a different kind of manliness, but he still has an important role to play. The writing the philosopher produces can inspire and help direct the man of action.

Anyway, so I read this as Thoreau saying you shouldn’t spend your time consuming trivial information — gossip and inconsequential “news.” Instead you should seek out meatier matters, and spend more of your time learning by making hands-on observations in nature, learning by direct experience, rather than through the passive consumption of media. A lot of what filled newspapers, then and now, was really fluff masquerading as issues of importance. If Thoreau were around now, I think he’d say to spend less time checking our Facebook “news” feeds, and clicking on headlines that promise a peek at some side boob, and more time hiking in the woods.

4 Timo November 3, 2013 at 3:54 am

The way I see it, he condemns the mere reproduction of news. Most news sources don’t distinguish triviality from consequential news. If you reflected on what you read, you would hardly direct your attention to trivials because there’s nothing to ponder about except the fact itself. If you think actively about what you read and pour the news into the unique mold of your mind, you will not hear yourself repeating junknews because your mind is just not applicable to it. Instead you will automatically only produce thoughtful thoughts on subjects of consequence or ambiguity. Triviality just doesn’t lend itself to mindful reflection.
If it is a habit to reflect on news, junk is automatically filtered. I believe he’s frustrated about the mindlessness and unfilteredness he has to endure from his fellow man.

5 Jef November 3, 2013 at 4:55 am

Thanks for breaking it down, Brett. As a non-native speaker of English I find it very hard to grasp exactly what he is trying to convey, but still I find that reading his words is like listening to classical music. It makes your brain operate on a higher level and makes you feel cultured.

6 Sugapablo November 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

I have struggled with this sentiment for some time. I read the news, watch the news, and invariably wonder how much of it DIRECTLY affects my life. I find most of it does not and unnecessarily upsets me.

I wonder were the balance is between being well informed and being burdened with useless information and taking on unnecessary stress.

I think if you look at much national news coverage, of shootings, natural disasters, kidnappings, etc., the coverage can more accurately be described as “morbid fascination” rather than “news”.

7 Steve P Brady November 3, 2013 at 6:52 am

One of my goals for 2013 was to spend more time reading serious, thoughtful analysis of current affairs and less “news.” The idea is that while day-to-day stories may change, the essential nature of the current world doesn’t, and deeper thinking about the bigger issues of the day will actually be much more edifying than keeping up with the latest twists and turns of the U.S. Congress or the Euro-zone.

Its has been an interesting year. I cut out cold turkey most of my “news” reading in favor of books. This wasn’t easy as I used to be someone who kept Real Clear Politics permanently open on my computer so I could see the latest as soon as it happened. Instead, every Saturday I have skimmed The Atlantic and The Wilson Quarterly websites for any interesting and in depth articles.

It has been almost a full year, and I don’t fell like I missed anything. Actually, by spending some time with meatier prose and analysis and then giving myself the week to mull it over I feel I have a better grasp of things this year than I ever have before.

8 Dave November 3, 2013 at 7:23 am

I appreciate the sing image of this article. Thank you McKays!
I’ve conducted my own though experiment over the last year. I was on current events overload going into the last election. Fully consumed by the happenings. I knew every conversation and happening the moment it occurred. I likely accounted for a majority of traffic on Drudge and realclearpolitics. After the election, I realized in disgust what a waste of my person this was. I whiplashed in response by eliminating access to daily news. Stopped cold turkey. I now don’t see the daily events. When important things occur, they find me.
In the meantime, I’ve deepened my involvement in my family, my work and my church. I’ve read many more books of both fiction and non fiction. All matters of less singnificance to the world, and would never show up on Drudge (hopefully). But to me it’s been a revelation. I have a greater sense of control over who I am. I can focus on what matters to my life in a way not experienced before. A media fast, even a media expulsion is eliminating toxins from the mind. Could agree more with this great thinker.

9 NT November 3, 2013 at 7:38 am

There’s news and there’s packaged news product similar to cheese product…I think I came up with a genius description just now? :)

Anyway, with the access we have to information it really only takes 10 minutes to know the news of a good portion of your city, state, country, and world. After that – live your life!

10 SteakArmstrong November 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

I don’t feel that I have read anything this thought provoking in a long while. Thanks for the post, I did enjoy finding new words to add to my vocabulary.

11 Shannon Oliver November 3, 2013 at 7:47 am

Excellent retort Brett! Bravo! I love this site. Thank you.

12 Pat November 3, 2013 at 8:37 am

The takeaway for me is Thoreau’s observation, “I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.” It is easy to be seduced by the salacious and the trivial because they seek out the base tendencies in all men, and frankly there is comfort in languishing in meaningless–it requires so little effort. I agree that Thoreau is not saying to remove yourself entirely from the day-to-day but to be selective and to pursue information and knowledge for edification.

13 Andrew November 3, 2013 at 8:49 am

Years ago, I would read the newspaper from cover to cover each day, and listen to talk radio at work, and I became depressed by the state of the world. Then one day, I turned my back to all of it, and wow, did my mood and outlook on life improve!

That was over 20 years ago, and to this day, I have found that I always manage to learn what is really important to my daily and long-term existence, without bogging myself down with the trivialities that are on everyone’s lips today and yet forgotten in a week.

14 josh_k November 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

My paraphrase (said somewhat tongue in cheek):
“Miley Cyrus twerking is not news. Go for a walk and listen to the birds instead. Which do you think will do you more good in the long run?”

15 RSM November 3, 2013 at 10:14 am

After I read this, I counted 11 open tabs on my browser, of which at least 4 were useless, 5 were of questionable value and two which have some direct pertinence to my life. It’s amazing how quickly I can be drawn to the trivial. Filtering and selectivity – that’s what Thoreau was about and you stated it well Brett. Which biography did you read?

16 Wilder Man on Rolling Creek November 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

Brett and Kate – I’m on sabbatical from Wilder Man on Rolling Creek, but I take time to read the blogs of others. I appreciate O’Dougan’s words. He illuminates a legitimate argument about Thoreau’s perspective, and highlights my own perspective. Quickly, I will point out a few items. I experimented when I was in college with the newspaper. I ended my subscription, and within one week I found myself less depressed, less agitated. The other piece is that because I am a psychotherapist working with high-risk folks and marriages in trouble, my whole being requires in depth thought and discourse that I will never find in the news. Lastly, there will always be Thoreaus and the Desert Fathers that … may / may not take things in the other extreme. This is a great post. And my reply is longer than what I anticipated. Apologies.

17 Alejandro Cárdenas November 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

“If Thoreau were around now, I think he’d say to spend less time checking our Facebook “news” feeds, and clicking on headlines that promise a peek at some side boob, and more time hiking in the woods.”
That is true reading of a philosophers mind, let us not take every word as a ball and chain. Instead let the knowledge sink in your mind, and aprehend the true meanings.

Thank you Brett!!

18 Bucolic Buffalo November 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

When I was a young man, I learned that it is OK to shut yourself off from TV news, radio and newspapers in order to free your mind from (mostly) useless clutter. I still observe a news “fast” every week, checking the Sunday papers to catch up on current events. Perseverating on issues that you have no control over produces anxiety. I make it a rule to not watch TV news, read papers and (especially) listen to talk radio during the week. I know that if something really important happens, I will hear about it in a timely fashion. I find that I have much more time for real interaction with people and my business. Interesting essay, thanks for posting!

19 Drew Danburry November 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Another great article. Thanks for posting this!

20 Derrick November 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I started reading the news after Sept 11, I was a federal worker at the time and news consumed a good portion of my reading time… l was thinking that even today, I pop the news App open befoelre I roll out of bed to see if any craziness has gone down in the world… Perhaps it is time to let some of my consern go.. Thanks for the great thought provoking post!

21 Stevo B. November 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I think there is a deeper element to this passage that must be considered. A man can be immersed in daily life without clinging to its turbid twists, turns, ups, and downs. I once heard a spiritual man express this thought as such: “No thought in itself is wrong, it is what we do with that thought. It is our responsibility to capture it the moment it enters the intellect, examine it, and cast it out if it is not worthy to enter deeper into our mind and thusly the heart.” That same principle can be applied to news and media. There is nothing wrong with seeing a headline, but it is what we do with that headline and accompanying story that defines the kind of thoroughfare we allow in our own heads.

I especially enjoyed his thoughts of the fellow at the post office with an arm full of mail. We can liken that image to our email inboxes. Connection with people is undoubtedly a blessing for the average man is a social creature. However, our definition of ourselves and status should not be based on our connections. Connections should uplift us and make us well rounded. If we require constant input from friends and acquaintances we are nothing more than instrument shaped by their design and ideals.

22 Mr.Marnier November 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I think we can distill this colourfully written prose into a fairly simple dictum -stop consuming unimportant media.

Useless, trivial media is the focus of this writing I believe.

I think it’s important to be well-informed, but you have to define what “well-informed” means.

Does a burgeoning RSS feed from a vast melange of resources, one that pings you with updates every 30 seconds on everything from Britney Spears airbrushed buttocks, to the extra-marital exploits of some unknown politician serve to keep you well-informed? I’d say no.

I saw some sage advice on the subject some time ago, I cannot recall where – it recommended asking yourself of news – “will this matter 10 years’ from now?”

I find this helpful, will a plane smashing into the financial heart of a major city matter in 10 years’ ? yes.

In contrast, a tourist bus that crashed in mexico, sad as it might be, will it matter in 10 years’? probably not.

23 Brett McKay November 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Great comments everyone. I liked your comment about a lot of news being more “morbid fascination” than actual news, sugapablo. A insightful and very true way to put it.

@RSM-
The Days of Henry Thoreau: A Biography by Walter Harding. Not one of the best biographies I have read in that style-wise it didn’t have that engrossing, page-turning quality that the best do, but still very informative. Thoreau is a familiar name to most, but I really didn’t know much about his actual life. It was interesting to read about him as a flawed human being rather than a symbol of individualism and simplicity; in some ways he was less likeable and admirable than I would have thought, and in some ways more interesting and inspiring. Human through and through I guess!

24 Timothy November 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm

What an insightful piece. I read it this morning and then just hours later I found myself clicking on a link about a young woman who dressed up as a victim of the Boston Marathon. I could immeditely feel Thoreau tapping me on the shoulder and asking, “Why do you care about how some random person in some random place had a tasteless costume? That’s not news, it’s gossip.” Seriously though, why do we waste our time with such drivel? Very convicting.

25 Mark November 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Very good and deep. It instantly brought my mind to my converstaions with friends on Friday nights over a few drinks. And once there it humbvled me as I realized as Thoreau made me realize, so much of what isd passed between men is gossip. I wonder if I only allowed myslef to contribute to a converstaion only if it were my own thoughts and findings, not just a reproduction of the latest You tube sensation or sport caster opinion, I wonder if I would allow myself to speak ?

26 Nick November 4, 2013 at 8:12 am

I’ve continually love Thoreau because his philosophy was always applicable.

I think we can take his lesson even further than side boob logic; most political news is in fact not news, it’s “pundits” (and I use that term VERY loosely) taking jabs at someone else’s completely legitimate view. I personally long for the days of “just that facts” journalism.

27 Sharkshooting November 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

“I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.”

That line hurt me. How many times have I looked past important thoughts? How many times have I let the Atlanta Falcons score color my mood? I’m almost ashamed to say…

28 Big Jim Cole November 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

If he was this concerning during “those times “then we would have to entertain the idea that Orwellian proportions have been breeched.

29 African Hound November 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Excellently written, but to a large extent I disagree. While much news is trivial and shouldn’t bother your mind for more than a few fleeting moments, suggesting that a cataclysm in another part of the world is irrelevant because it does not affect you directly is pure selfishness. We are not islands of tranquility but all interconnected in ways we often don’t realise. By all means don’t let the details of the kardashians bother you for a second, but I’d love to see Mr Thoreau’s face when the price of his bread shoots up because of some “trivial” national crisis he was unaware of.

30 Adam November 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Prescient piece indeed. When I read Walden I agreed wholeheartedly with his lamentation that he never could talk with anyone who had read Homer and I thought, we live in a great society today where anyone who likes Homer can congregate online. You can have conversations of anyone and everything with people of the same interests all over the world, like this website.

Brett, your comment on Facebook “news” feeds and tantalizing headlines speaks of true wisdom. I’m glad you could extrapolate from the essay, it reminds me of the constant pressure that feels like you’re missing out if you haven’t watched the news or read the blogs for the day. Do I even remember what I read 2-3 days ago? I can think of nothing off the top of my head, I can barely recollect why I thought such readings were so important, which is why I devoted November to catching up on one of the greatest classics “War and Peace” as an alternative to wasteful information hording.

31 Alex Wang November 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Brett,

I think the best example of a hybrid “man of action”/”withdrawn philosopher type” was John Muir.

I think Scotland’s doing something to celebrate him, coinciding with their environmental protection campaign.

Please do a series on Muir soon.

32 Max November 5, 2013 at 1:15 am

I think he’s not really speaking of news as in “The News”. I think he’s more directing his argument to the daily type of consumption we all chase. The false sense of becoming an “intellectual” by knowing a bunch of stuff about things. I think what he was really referring to was the idea that a brain is made up of more than just factoids – its not all just a succession of news stories, catalogued nicely and up for recall. The mind is more abstract than that, more vague, deeper. By turning our upmost attention outward trying to absorb every name and date, every headline, every occurrence large and small, we are ignoring the mind itself. And the mind is more important than the daily slideshow BECAUSE it is abstract. Its where Beethoven’s symphonies came from. Its where Holden Caulfield sauntered in from a sun washed horizon. Its where Theodore Roosevelt’s tenacity breathes. Its where great things truly begin and take shape and eventually emerge to become apart of the world’s identity. But by ignoring it in favor of being Informed, people are ignoring their own potential to be a creator, not just a consumer. To let their “living kernel” bloom.

33 Boyd November 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Brett — Thank you for posting articles like this. Thoreau has never been high on my reading list but this article hits home with me. We spend too much time on the paper-thin vanities of entertainment and the pomp of professional politicians trying to think for us and not enough on what is truly important. We need to concentrate on what really matters. As Thoreau says, “Read not the Times. Read the Eternities.”

34 Buddy November 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Oh my goodness, I needed to read this today. Thank you for posting this brilliance.

35 Tim November 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Another great post. While reading it, I was reminded of this interesting quote from Sherlock Holmes, in which he explains his impression of the brain. “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

36 Jeff November 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

Of course, we are reading Thoreau’s words on the made for consumption Art of Manliness website. We wouldn’t know what Thoreau said without mass media.

37 Dusty Weathers November 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm

“Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst; for the talk of worldly affairs is a great hinderance, although they be discoursed of with sincere intention; for we are quickly defiled, and enthralled with vanity. Oftentimes I would wish that I had held my peace, and that I had not been among men.”
Thomas Kempis

38 Jaime November 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

Excellent post…I am a fan of Throeau and was not aware of this piece he wrote. I couldn’t agree more and how valid it is for today. It is an important warning against meandering through news, television, or the internet thoughtlessly. Settling on the trivial and surface for days on end and thus losing the treasure of a whole day to the utterly meaningless and vain. Thank you again.

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