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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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The second most frustrating thing in the world, right after the forces of nature, is people. People like Brendan, who were overly sensitive and thought that it was some sort of personal attack on them every time someone didn't vomit sunshine and rainbows in their direction. In the years that they had been going to school together, Jae had yet to see Brendan develop anything approaching a spine, and it didn't look like that was going to change anytime soon.

Jae just barely bit back a sigh as he gave Brendan's painting a once-over. "It's not bad." It wasn't; not fantastic either, but it showed improvement over Brendan's earlier work that Jae had seen. "It's not going to blow anyone's mind, but there's always going to be someone out there who's a sucker for a portrait of a pretty woman in a dress." He could have gone into a more detailed critique, but Brendan just had to pipe up again.

What Brendan, and people in general, just didn't seem to ever get was that there weren't actually that many people that Jae held a genuine, active dislike for. Every little thing he did or said didn't need to be analyzed to pieces for evidence that he hated someone. He wasn't going to pour a ton of time and effort into trying to make them like him if he didn't especially like them. If anything, his brusqueness meant that he was mostly indifferent. It shouldn't have been any reason for people to take offense.

But then there were the people like Brendan, the ones who just looked so shocked and hurt whenever there was the slightest indication that someone might not like them, and they always looked at Jae like he'd done something fundamentally wrong and he should be sorry.

It pissed him off.

"I don't treat you any differently than anyone else. We've had classes together all through high school, you should know that by now."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Black Kingdom, Red Kingdom · East Wing