Gentleman 1: “The author’s piece is poorly composed. It goes on quite a while, but it makes only point x. Still, I believe that point y, also made by the piece, is well taken.”

Gentleman 2: “I agree on both counts. The piece is long, considering that it makes only point x. And point y, also made by the piece, is worthwhile.”
Gentleman 3: “Sirs, if I may, I would like to introduce an easily disproven belief I happen to hold. The author certainly would have benefited from taking it into account!”
Gentleman 1: “The poor author lacks mental discipline. I find my thoughts can be compressed quite easily into stylized emblems based on the smile face. Here is one.” [He presents it.]
Gentleman 2: “My thoughts share the same enviable trait. I will present a smile-face emblem as well.” [He does.]
Gentleman 3: “I would present such an emblem, but I have lost interest and am now watching Battlestar Galactica.
Yes, I have been following a message board thread, the same one referenced by Noah Berlatsky down in the middle of his Barry Allen post. I guess I should have known what I was in for.

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