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  Ball point pen on today's newspaper On Death, Without Exaggeration It can't take a joke, find a star, make a bridge. It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, building ships, or baking cakes. In our planning for tomorrow, it has the final word, which is always beside the point. It can't even get the things done that are part of its trade: dig a grave, make a coffin, clean up after itself. Preoccupied with killing, it does the job awkwardly, without system or skill. As though each of us were its first kill. Oh, it has its triumphs, but look at its countless defeats, missed blows, and repeat attempts! Sometimes it isn't strong enough to swat a fly from the air. Many are the caterpillars that have outcrawled it. All those bulbs, pods, tentacles, fins, tracheae, nuptial plumage, and winter fur show that it has fallen behind with its halfhearted work. Ill will won't ...

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