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Sunday, November 4, 2018

The scapegoat

My author has a backlog of things to write about. Thousands of pages that he's bookmarked with one bookmarking tool or another, wanting to share them. And he rarely does it. Why?

Why is that? I ask him.

"I don't know," he says. "There's just something that stops me?"

"Perhaps it's me?" came a voice.

"Who are you?" my author asked.

"I'm your scapegoat," said the voice. "

"In the Bible, a scapegoat is an animal which is ritually burdened with the sins of others, then driven away," said the voice, quoting this Wikipedia article. "I represent all the forces that prevent you from doing what you'd like to be doing. That way you don't have to figure out what they are.

"The truth is that you don't really need to figure out what you have to do in order to change," the voice continued. "All you need to do is to change, there's nothing stopping you. But people need reasons. They ask: what caused you to change. So you need a scapegoat. I'm your scapegoat."

"So all I need to do is to drive you away, and I'll be able to post something?" my author asked.

"Yep," said the scapegoat. "I'm not going to claim to be a one-and-done kind of scapegoat," the scapegoat cautioned. You might have to conjure me up or another one like me and drive it away to keep the process going."

"But it will work?"

"Yep," said the scapegoat, try it and see.

"How do I drive you away?"

"Be creative," says the scapegoat. "I'm cooperative. I'll play along."

"Okay," I said. "Scapegoat, begone!" I said it aloud.

And the scapegoat was gone.

My author turned to me and said: "I think I'm going to post something. But first I'm posting this and then I'm grabbing dinner."

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