The Cerebral Vortex
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The birds overhead continue gliding upward on the thermals rising from the earth, their shadows growing smaller and dimmer as they rose further and further into the stratosphere. The waves of people begin gathering around the dais set up in Autzen Stadium for the momentous occasion. The turnstiles spin with anticipation as the FanNation masses congregate to pay tribute to their newest Hall of Famer. Bigalke steps up to the podium, the crowd hushed and waiting with nervous energy to hear the eclectic and obscure speaker make his first public speech after the votes were tallied and his ascention to Hall of Fame status was determined...

 

My friends, my enemies, you hordes gathered before me, I come here today not to proselytize about obscure sports or to spill one of the patented ranting screeds which brought me to this point, standing before you awash in the regalia of Hall of Fame status. Honestly, I never expected when I joined this site and started using it faithfully on the occasion of my twenty-fifth birthday that I would ever find myself standing on a podium aside those legends of FanNation. Yet here I stand, looking out on these teeming masses, all turned out in my honor. It truly brings a tear to my eye to know that so many people have come to enjoy my writing over these past few months...

 

I came out with my own voice from the beginning. Back last December 5, I was nothing but an old burned-out debater years removed from his greatest argumentative feats. I had ditched competitive discourse for the comforting tedium of the kitchen... yet all these thoughts continued swirling through my mind. That nagging voice inside kept telling me that I could be so much more than a line cook, toiling night after night in triple-degree heat to serve rubes food far better than they deserved. I have long known that a writing streak ran thick through my veins, that the printed word would be my outlet to greater things. Even as I went into the culinary field, I knew I would someday be published. It even appeared as one of my five goals which every student was required to write down as we neared culinary-school graduation...

 

But I fell off the face of the planet for a while. I cooked my way across the country, living a strange reality which anyone who has deigned to put on a white coat and apron will instantly understand. Something, though, was missing from the equation. I had penned little save some cycling screeds unread by any eyes but my own. I was wallowing in the troubles raised by futile move after futile move. A change was in order... 

 

So I moved to Eugene, taking a job with the University of Oregon and with the sincerest intention of becoming a Journalism School student. Yet as I took the pen and the notebook back into my hands, it became quickly apparent that if I am to discover and realize this dream, I would have to stake my own path. Just like my fellow trendsetting Gonzo journalist, drug abuser and sportswriter extraordinare Hunter S. Thompson, I would need to start steering my unique path to use the written word as a tool for change and a tool of mayhem and as a musical instrument which, in the right hands, can sing notes far more soulful than any symphony...

 

The cerebral vortex we know lovingly as the internet would be my vehicle to achieve these means. I wandered around, writing on various sites. I still do -- Helium has been very good to me -- and I have even had the privilege of seeing my byline in print since starting back on this path. Yet there is still much work to do. It is sites like FanNation that allow me to spin myblend of the obscure and the analytical in such a way that helps to hone my craft, and I am thankful every minute for that opportunity...

 

Hopefully this Hall of Fame induction will lead onward into the future to yield even greater rewards. After all, when we are in pursuit of a dream it is futile to rest on our laurels, to take comfort in accolades granted for past achievements. I march forward, thankful for this recognition but recognizing at the same time that such a distinction is only as good as one's next work. Thank you all for your patronage, your companionship and your criticism. Without them all I would be but a fraction of the man who stands before you humbly today...

 

The crowd stands as one and roars its applause. Bigalke steps down from the dais and begins walking through the crowd, gleefully interacting with everyone congregated...

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