. . .(the book, not the movie)

I was sitting in my desk chair, thinking of something to node, and a thought occurred to me: Noding can be harsh. Sometimes, when you've stayed up all night long, when your last adrenaline rush has hit, when your head is throbbing, when you say to yourself, "One more damn node!", and your dear, sweet, pathetic head goes entirely blank, Everything can be a monster that reaches into a man's mouth and tears out his tongue, thereby making him silent forever more.

Without a tongue, a man can't talk. He is like a eunuch, he cannot partake in the orgy of words. He tries to speak. All that comes out is blood and silence and moans.

So why, then, does a man node, when noding is such a harsh mistress? I don't know why you node. Only you can answer that. But I know that half the reason I node is for the right to vote.

Do these images conjure anything up for you? For me, it made me think of the novel Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. Consider: the populace reside in a society in which, in order to vote, a man must go to war. In that world, Voting is a privilege, not a right; you don't have the right to express your opinions, to help dictate government policy, to, in the long run, control your fate (but, then again, are we not all fortune's fool? Does controlling your fate really matter in the long run? For the sake of sanity, we must deny fatalism).

Consider: In the world that is Everything, voting is a privilege, not a right. A man does not come in with the right to vote; he's got to earn it, in a manner of speaking. To be sure, the method of earning said right is silly and screwed up. To be sure, voting is not all it's cracked up to be. But, damn it, it offers some small bit of control.

And isn't that what it's about, in a way? A little control, a little power over opinions, a little glory, a little dissemination? I'm going to die one day. The garbage I left on Everything isn't all that's going to be left, to be sure. I'd be surprised if Everything in any way, shape, or form was around then. But maybe in the mean time, before I go, I can unload some of this stuff, maybe pass some of it on, and maybe set a few things around here right in my mind by voting.

No, wait! Everything isn't like Starship Troopers! It's like a video game (isn't it?)!

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