Even in our own lives, we see patterns. Certainly my journal has had entries where I fell for someone, things didn't work, and I bled emo all about the place...and never mentioned the fact that several years before the exact same thing happened, but a few years passed and I moved away, and it was no longer an issue...just as happened with my bad situation in Raleigh. The details differ, of course, but the stories match on almost all the major areas. But enough of drama gone past.
We live our lives through patterns: this is our blessing and this is our curse. We can see groups and understand ourselves: entire disciplines of knowledge spring from this concept (psychology and sociology, much as I bash them both). Of course, some of the patterns are that we trap ourselves in death-spirals, and can't get ourselves to accept that we fit the mold perfectly ("No! He's *different!*").
I would just like to point out that, entirely by accident, I just had FIVE distinct punctuation marks in a row to write that sentence in line with my convention about using asterisks.
One pattern that I feel an especial need to point out is the near-universal praise of intelligence, accompanied by a hatred of the actual thing just as prevalent. Which of course sounds absurd: everyone wants to be smarter, right?
Well, sort of. People certainly wouldn't mind a more functional brain when they're sweating over a hard test question or trying to finish the design of their prototype whatchamajigger. But on the other hand, when you think about how people deal with their intelligence when they want to have fun, the answer is generally that they trash it. Really, in the vast majority of cases, when you want to hang out and have fun with your friends, want to really unwind, is it more common to get out a book of ordinary differential equations or a bottle of alcohol? Proust or weed? It's not that there's no fun in cerebral activities, but for visceral enjoyment, people (ranging from high-school dropouts to tenured professors) tend to like dumbing themselves down a little. Or even just have not-so-heavy-thinking conversations. Regardless of what anybody says about gems of wisdom or the unexamined life not being worth living, people generally have fun when their brains aren't working to full capacity.
Of course, the reason I'm amused by that fact is a very cerebral reason. Irony anyone?
The sad thing, of course, is that noticing the patterns doesn't always give you power to do anything about them. For instance, a good friend of mine just posted a very short, very cryptic message to an anonymous reader on his blog. Having done this exact thing myself in the past, I have a pretty good idea of what he's going through even though I have no idea the specifics of the situation...and I know that about all I can do is say here that I really do hope it all ends well for him.
This is of course the point in the game where I find out I completely misinterpreted and the whole point of the post comes crashing down around me, but you have to live out your pretensions every now and again, yes?