Nothing disrupts your notions of the nature of people and places like actually experiencing those people and places. And who wants to have their notions disrupted? Not me, that’s fer sher. Because then one thing leads to another. Did you ever notice that? Things keep leading to other fucking things. Meet a homeless person, a biker, an illegal immigrant, a hedge fund manager, and then you start caring about them, and you start seeing them as you pass them on the street, and then you start having to accommodate them into your worldview, and things don’t look so black and white any more, and suddenly you see that life is no longer a stately procession through orderly, clean streets lined with familiar faces discreetly shouting huzzahs in your general direction as your measured gait carries you to the funeral home, but a chaotic mess of stinky humanity in which you find yourself cheek by jowl by ass with--let’s see, what’s the worst thing I can conjure up?--an Ames, Iowa Sunday-school teacher who poled her straw for Michelle Bachman and who thinks evolution is a hoax and Obama is a Socialist. Man, that’s a tough one. But it’s my duty to open my eyes and see this person for who she really is. Sigh. This really sucks.