"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling


"Foolish mortals. Even my shallowness has hidden depths."

When it comes to popular culture, I like to consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. Sifting through the myriad novels, comics, movies, tv shows, music, magazines, etc. in search of the best on offer has been a lifelong obsession with me.

It could be argued that there's not much point in the exercise but I believe in being true to one's enthusiasms. Besides that, doesn't who and what we love serve to define us in some way as human beings? No? Bah. Your lackluster taste in literature and film belies your station and has marked you as surely as favors from the Donner Party.

"Opinions are like assholes. We all have 'em." Yes, so I've been told. Yet my ass has been greatly admired in its time. My opinions as well. May we stake the same claim for yours?

I thought not.

But relax, child. Breathe easy. Do not fear my arrogance too much. I am here and all will be made well. When we are finished, we may not be simpatico on all things (that can be so boring), but let us at least agree on this:

1. Everything means something, whether we are aware of it or not.

2. Your right to hold an opinion is only so strong as it is an informed opinion. The market on uninformed opinions fell out long ago and has never recovered value.

3. The woman of my dreams, if she is to be of any quality, must have a love for the music of Leonard Cohen and something approaching a mild detest for one of the following: a) The Grateful Dead b) The Eagles c) Forrest Gump d) COPS and e) So-called "reality shows." This is a dealbreaker.

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