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2002-03-22 8:48 a.m.

I got a note on my guestbook today that really surprised me.

please kill yourself...sometime soon preferably...books are way too good for you...please don't touch them...don't touch another girl...in fact, don't even look at them...preserve innocence and purity...girls are not things, they are people...i am not some ugly nerd either...i have a beautiful girlfriend that i treat like a queen...anything less and i would deserve her...but anyway...please think about dying soon...or play in traffic or something...have your girlfriend strangle you with your stretchy shirtm, smash you over the head with your stupid guitar (you'll never change anything with it anyway) and bury you in the backyard as a warning sign to any other men she might someday meet...anyway...see you later -xsalingerx
I thought about it for a while, and I decided to send this person an email.

From: Justin Winokur
Date: Fri Mar 22, 2002 08:27:43 AM US/Pacific
To: mattstronghold@hotmail.com
Subject: Today today today

Hey there,

Your email address is linked to a note left at http://jwinokur.signmyguestbook.com

Which note? The angry, mean one, of course. I read it today and was a bit surprised by it. What a strange thing to write in someone's guestbook...

It got me thinking...

I am still not sure why I live in a world where people want to say things with intention to hurt or defame another individual on purpose. I guess I can see that it probably feels so much easier to tell someone you wish they would die when that person—prresumably far, far away on the other side of the world—does not seem real...you can not reach out and touch them, you know? Celebrities are perfect examples—it is easy to hate, loath, abhor a celebrity because they seem so unreal...so far away.

But, there are no celebrities here.

But, what if that person we give the finger to or call names out of our car window as we drive by or make fun of to their face turns out to be the doctor that saves your best friend's life, the producer of your favorite band's new album, or your girlfriend's best childhood friend? Then what? Would we have done those things to those people if we knew that they had the same favorite food, favorite band, favorite web site, same circle of friends, and same beliefs as us? Would we have acted the same way if we knew that the energy which we spread would in the end return back to us in some real and personal way? It is hard to say. Unless one is omniscient, one just can't know who is who out there—who is "cool" and who is "not".

So, what do we do? I don't know. I only know what I do. I always thought I would be safe and just act as if everyone was my family...maybe brothers, or maybe very distant cousins, the ones you have never even met before that your great–uncle talks about during Christmas. Just like my family, I don't really know them all, and I sure don't like them all—and they get a healthy teasing from time to time—but, seeing as we live in very close quarters, there is not enough room for kicking them, hating them, demeaning them. I mean, they are family, after all.

Maybe I am totally off base with this. What do you think?

Who knows, maybe you did not even write that note on my guestbook. Maybe whoever wrote it just used your address. People do that sort of thing sometimes. If you did write it, then thanks for reading my diary, and I apologize—I wish it could have brought you joy instead of whatever else it brought you. It sure brings me a lot of joy to write it. In any case, I hope I have not disrupted your day too much.

Sincerely,

Justin



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