Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is not your friend. In fact, sometimes the enemy of your enemy is the Goddamned Devil himself. That possibility eluded me entirely. I was caught with blinders on, folks, and I played right into the palm of the greatest enemy of all. Why? I underestimated that enemy. I did not think that it possessed the intelligence or character necessary to make all of the other problems I faced into comparative non-issues. And frankly, I was right about that. What I didn't account for, what escaped my analysis completely, was the fact that the enemy I faced wasn't a person or organization, but a phenomena, a behavior. When I ran into that circumstance, I first tried to sabotage the whole affair. Defining that sickening, saturated behavior as unacceptable should have prevented it from infiltrating the kind of parties that could do damage under its influence. Well that simply didn't work. My own character, but more so, my late reaction and indifference mandated the failure of that approach. So I tried something more blunt. I doubted the effectiveness of going at it like that, but I met with what I thought was a positive reaction. Of course, at this time I still didn't recognize that what I was combating wasn't something I could reason with or directly harm. It's not that I didn't see the reality of the situation, it's quite simply that I couldn't. I still operated under my blind, realist paradigm. Actors made things happen. Actors were responsible for events. As long as I understood the actors, and the roles they played, I believed I could predict their future behaviors, and thus predict the outcome of most crises. I still live by that mantra, and I don't doubt its validity. But there is a blind spot, and that's what I encountered. And so now we're at the brink, and I understand the hopelessness of this situation. There is no recourse or salvation available. Is that my fault? I realize now that it is, at least in part. As much as I wanted to combat this menace, I was swept up in it just as much as the rest of us were, and in my attempts to wipe it out I think it only grew more severe. Moral of the story? Melodrama is only melodrama to people that think it is. Don't go believing that it's just something for the melodramatic, because underneath that veneer of ridiculousness lies a network of actors who believe totally in its power, and thus make its power real.