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Dear Reader, CHECK ONE: ☐ Rich ☐ Poor ☐ Male ☐ Female

☐ Democrat ☐ Republican ☐ Straight ☐ Gay

☐ White ☐ Black ☐ Asian ☐ Other

Only those who pass this Rorschach test of an acceptable identity may be granted safe entry. If your interpretation of yourself does not match the identity perceived and preferred by society, you become nothing more than an other. Society does not shine brightly upon others. Behind walls and in closets are the others. These huddled masses yearn to breathe free, stuck in the limbo of life and death and wait to be spirited away into a crowd of nameless shapes and faces. We draw these boxes, these boundaries, just as we draw lines on a map. We wrap meaning around words to create language, make laws to define the norms of our society; We even frame our art and cage our animals. We are keenly aware of our personal space and the dangers of crossing the picket line. We feel safe behind our fences, but we wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. We sacrifice on the stones of Terminus and marvel as Hermes moves freely between the mortal world and the divine. We ride along with Don Quixote as he blurs the imaginary with reality, and we know if we live in West Egg or East Egg. We applaud the protective force field of Wakanda, but we frown upon the Districts of Panem. We build Great Walls, and we sometimes tear them down. We shackle our brethren and ship the lepers off to Molokai, but we applaud Jackie Robinson walking onto the field and photos of Barbara Bush cradling babies born with AIDS. Though we are of the Earth, the Heavens blessed us with infinite potential. Crafted of stardust and chance, we decide whether to open our hearts or close our minds. Some may think it’s only beyond the orbit of our Pale Blue Dot that can we defy gravity, break the fourth wall, shatter glass ceilings, and cast off our chains, but we make the rules, and Dear Reader, we can break the rules. Sincerely, The Eclectic Staff

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