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AlbertJayNock

Flannery O'Connor & XKCD

I recently finished reading The Complete  Stories Of Flannery O'Connor. One of the earlier stories, The Barber, is about a liberal college professor named Rayber living in the segregated south. He is constantly frustrated by this, especially when he visits the barber shop and has to listen to the barber and the other customers express their support of segregation. While O'Connor is clearly on Rayber's side ideologically, she doesn't portray him as perfect, and pokes some fun at his self-importance. I couldn't help but think of this now-famous XKCD cartoon:





Just as the stick figure in the cartoon won't  go to bed as long as  someone is wrong on the internet,Rayber would allow himself no rest as long as someone was wrong at the barber shop.

The resemblance of themes is uncanny when you consider that The Barber was written in 1947, many years before there was an internet for people to be wrong on. We really haven't changed as much as we think we have, even with something as truly revolutionary as the internet.
Maybe the internet is more like money and alchohol...it doesn't create new flaws in people, but merely amplifies what was already there.



FULL DISCLOSURE
: I have behaved just like the guy in the cartoon about 8 zillion times, many times in this very blog. And I will probably do it 8 zillion more times. I am just as human as any stick figure or character in southern literature.

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