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January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)" 
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
The majority of major studio CEO and shareholders are trying to stifle homegrown creativity, censor the free exchange of information, think nothing of completely ruining the lives of ordinary people just to make an example of what happens when you cross them, and contemptuously do not even try to hide the fact that their political donations translate into bribery and extortion on a level that ordinary people cannot possibly hope to compete with. These people are literally willing to lie and cheat to create the illusion that their crusade to crush anybody who threatens their outmoded business model has any sort of rational basis whatsoever, playing the victim while raking in more money hand over fist than ever.

These are not creative people. These are not people with good ideas. These are not people who have made any improvements to either cinema or the world, except through maintaining the framework (badly, I might add) by which other people make and release movies.

Then there's George Lucas, re-releasing his own movies... in 3D! Oh no! And he indirectly caused the existence of the blockbuster release platform by making hugely popular movies that a lot of people loved, and by marketing them with a remarkably forward-thinking merchandising strategy that helped to form a cherished part of the childhood of nearly everybody posting in this thread! Will his tyranny never cease?!


Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:44 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
The majority of major studio CEO and shareholders are trying to stifle homegrown creativity, censor the free exchange of information, think nothing of completely ruining the lives of ordinary people just to make an example of what happens when you cross them, and contemptuously do not even try to hide the fact that their political donations translate into bribery and extortion on a level that ordinary people cannot possibly hope to compete with. These people are literally willing to lie and cheat to create the illusion that their crusade to crush anybody who threatens their outmoded business model has any sort of rational basis whatsoever, playing the victim while raking in more money hand over fist than ever.

Uh ok... :shock: <*slowly backs away from Ken*>

Ken wrote:
These are not creative people. These are not people with good ideas. These are not people who have made any improvements to either cinema or the world, except through maintaining the framework (badly, I might add) by which other people make and release movies.

They are business people- they are in it to make a profit. Again: how exactly is Lucas different from them nowadays?

Ken wrote:
Then there's George Lucas, re-releasing his own movies... in 3D! Oh no! And he indirectly caused the existence of the blockbuster release platform by making hugely popular movies that a lot of people loved, and by marketing them with a remarkably forward-thinking merchandising strategy that helped to form a cherished part of the childhood of nearly everybody posting in this thread! Will his tyranny never cease?!

Re-releasing films is a display of creativity? Really? We could talk about Red Tails, but the big criticism of the film is that it emphasizes visual effects over character development and coherent story. Does that criticism sound familiar at all to you?

P.S.: JB, you had to have been bored when you drafted these last 2 ReelThoughts articles, right? I mean, you had to know that this sort of discussion wasn't going to go with smiles and sunshine.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:06 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
johnny larue wrote:
The Occupy people weren't protesting "wealth" in and of itself, just certain kinds of wealth. Notice that they weren't occupying Apple or Derek Jeter; just those who they determined weren't worthy of their wealth



People will NEVER occupy Apple, because Steve Jobs has conned the world into believing he's done them a favour. That is if you consider selling you shiny white gadgets with double the price tag of the same product by a different company a favour.

Not only that, Macs have found unwarranted importance as THE computer to use in the art industry.

We should talk about the dozen or so other directors who are as bad or worse than Lucas. The guy gets a bad rap simply becuase of SW, not because he's actually done anything wrong as such. Unless by some weird logic we can now compare genocide to not meeting fan expectations! (the same weird logic that criminalises free speech, on that topic)


Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:33 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Also, James, why does posting here 'change' my grammar? I put TWO spaces after the end of a sentence and yet the posted message appears with one.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:34 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Ken wrote:
The majority of major studio CEO and shareholders are trying to stifle homegrown creativity, censor the free exchange of information, think nothing of completely ruining the lives of ordinary people just to make an example of what happens when you cross them, and contemptuously do not even try to hide the fact that their political donations translate into bribery and extortion on a level that ordinary people cannot possibly hope to compete with. These people are literally willing to lie and cheat to create the illusion that their crusade to crush anybody who threatens their outmoded business model has any sort of rational basis whatsoever, playing the victim while raking in more money hand over fist than ever.

Uh ok... :shock: <*slowly backs away from Ken*>

Ken wrote:
These are not creative people. These are not people with good ideas. These are not people who have made any improvements to either cinema or the world, except through maintaining the framework (badly, I might add) by which other people make and release movies.

They are business people- they are in it to make a profit. Again: how exactly is Lucas different from them nowadays?
Is this conversation happening in reverse?

Quote:
Ken wrote:
Then there's George Lucas, re-releasing his own movies... in 3D! Oh no! And he indirectly caused the existence of the blockbuster release platform by making hugely popular movies that a lot of people loved, and by marketing them with a remarkably forward-thinking merchandising strategy that helped to form a cherished part of the childhood of nearly everybody posting in this thread! Will his tyranny never cease?!

Re-releasing films is a display of creativity? Really? We could talk about Red Tails
I'm going to stop you right there, because you've somehow managed to misinterpret a crystal clear statement. Here, I'll walk you through.

Then there's George Lucas, re-releasing his own movies... in 3D! Oh no!

A statement designed to contrast the perceived wrongdoings of George Lucas with the actual wrongdoings of people who are actually bad and do legitimately bad stuff.

And he indirectly caused the existence of the blockbuster release platform by making hugely popular movies that a lot of people loved,

Obviously in response to the contention that the first Star Wars movie somehow killed good movies in the 1970s. Somehow, you interpreted it as a remark about Red Tails, which--as far as I can tell--is a non-sequitur response.

and by marketing them with a remarkably forward-thinking merchandising strategy that helped to form a cherished part of the childhood of nearly everybody posting in this thread!

This is what it is to be in the business to make money--the honest way. Not by threatening to cut off a long-standing supply of bribe money to politicians, not by chasing private citizens around with battalions of corporate lawyers, not by paying to have draconian legislation pushed through Congress.

I'm loathe to state the obvious, especially when I originally went out of my way to put it sarcastically, but here it goes:

Selling toys, making movies you don't like, and re-releasing movies you do like in circumstances that you disagree with are all utterly, Biblically irrelevant compared to any of that stuff.

-----

One thing I've been forgetting to mention: does anybody remember that awesome crowdsourced remake of Star Wars I posted about a while back? It's an excellent example of artistic expression in new media: highly creative, makes use of various existing elements, and a big red flag in terms of copyright law. Intellectual property lawyers from the MPAA (movie studios) and RIAA (record labels) shut this stuff down all the time, on grounds that it constitutes a threat to their legal claim to the material.

Instead of suing the guy behind this project, George Lucas's representatives flew him out to San Fransisco, expenses paid, just so they could give him Lucasfilm's official blessing and tell him how much they admired his idea.

The level of greed here is just astounding...ly low.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:19 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Selling toys, making movies you don't like, and re-releasing movies you do like in circumstances that you disagree with are all utterly, Biblically irrelevant compared to any of that stuff.

Allow me to sum up my retort: Hollywood studios focus more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. Lucas focuses more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. In that regard, they are the SAME. Your tinfoil-hat-worthy ranting about the evils of Hollywood studios doesn't change that one bit.

Ken wrote:
One thing I've been forgetting to mention: does anybody remember that awesome crowdsourced remake of Star Wars I posted about a while back? It's an excellent example of artistic expression in new media: highly creative, makes use of various existing elements, and a big red flag in terms of copyright law. Intellectual property lawyers from the MPAA (movie studios) and RIAA (record labels) shut this stuff down all the time, on grounds that it constitutes a threat to their legal claim to the material.

Instead of suing the guy behind this project, George Lucas's representatives flew him out to San Fransisco, expenses paid, just so they could give him Lucasfilm's official blessing and tell him how much they admired his idea.

The level of greed here is just astounding...ly low.

So did the makers of that Star Wars Uncut film create their version for commercial distribution? If not, then this entire point is moot, since it's the equivalent of an adoring puppy being given a paid-trip to receive a pat on the head.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:41 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Allow me to sum up my retort: Hollywood studios focus more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. Lucas focuses more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. In that regard, they are the SAME. Your tinfoil-hat-worthy ranting about the evils of Hollywood studios doesn't change that one bit.
Ad hominem.

Obama pledges to strike down Hollywood pet legislation. Movie industry execs threaten to cut off his campaign funding in response.

Chris Dodd: "Those [politicians] who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

The movie and music industries attempt to manipulate the rankings of popular search engine results and put pressure on the search companies to censor themselves.

Multiple examples of the movie industry either using or attempting to use its influence upon the government to suppress consumer access to new technologies on baseless grounds.

More of the MPAA using its influence to gain unfair representation in Congress.

SOPA
PIPA
ACTA--all the result of the corporate conglomerates that make up the entertainment industry, including the movie industry, buying and intimidating their way into preferential treatment of their interests by the law. If you want to couch it in Polysci 101 language, they are undermining democracy and, in effect, constituting a plutocracy.

I'm not making any of this stuff up. I'm not playing connect-the-dots. This is stuff that either already happened or is happening now. I don't think I'm overstating its importance--especially in contrast to the importance of movies about spaceships and magic powers, and pop-up book revisions thereof.

Quote:
So did the makers of that Star Wars Uncut film create their version for commercial distribution? If not, then this entire point is moot
No, it's not. Copyright litigation does not miraculously become impotent just because the accused hasn't made a dime from the alleged infringement. I realize that's the popular misconception, but nobody has to make a dime in order to get into trouble. What must be understood is that much of this stuff never even has to get into the courtroom. There is enough legal muscle involved that private citizens are typically forced to settle to the tune of a couple thousand dollars, or risk personal bankruptcy from fighting in court. It's beautiful how that works out--even if you can parry every technical they can throw at you, you still lose your ass no matter what.

That would have been the greedy option.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:47 pm
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Sigh...I see terms like "gouging," "greedy," "money grab," etc.

No one forces people to purchase Lucas' products. It's a two-way street. Consumers value what he produces more than the money needed to purchase them.

It confounds me to no end why the wealthy are vilified by a significant percentage of the population. Wealth is created by providing a product or service that others value enough to voluntarily pay for.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:59 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Allow me to sum up my retort: Hollywood studios focus more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. Lucas focuses more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. In that regard, they are the SAME. Your tinfoil-hat-worthy ranting about the evils of Hollywood studios doesn't change that one bit.
Ad hominem.

Sorry, no, you don't know what that phrase means, so quit using it as a retort.

Ken wrote:
Obama pledges to strike down Hollywood pet legislation. Movie industry execs threaten to cut off his campaign funding in response.

Chris Dodd: "Those [politicians] who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

The movie and music industries attempt to manipulate the rankings of popular search engine results and put pressure on the search companies to censor themselves.

Multiple examples of the movie industry either using or attempting to use its influence upon the government to suppress consumer access to new technologies on baseless grounds.

More of the MPAA using its influence to gain unfair representation in Congress.

SOPA
PIPA
ACTA--all the result of the corporate conglomerates that make up the entertainment industry, including the movie industry, buying and intimidating their way into preferential treatment of their interests by the law. If you want to couch it in Polysci 101 language, they are undermining democracy and, in effect, constituting a plutocracy.

I'm not making any of this stuff up. I'm not playing connect-the-dots. This is stuff that either already happened or is happening now. I don't think I'm overstating its importance--especially in contrast to the importance of movies about spaceships and magic powers, and pop-up book revisions thereof.

I didn't say you were making any of it up at all, hence my observation of your misuse of the phrase "ad hominem". My point is that none of that changes that Lucas and the Hollywood studios are fundamentally the same in that they all focus on the business side of the entertainment industry. The thing is, I don't disagree with you in any way on the evils of Hollywood, though I think your ranting is starting to edge the scary side. It just doesn't change that Lucas is a part of that system now, even if he himself doesn't push things as far as some of the asshole execs do. SOPA and PIPA can both rot in fucking hell forever, along with the assholes in Congress who support it.

Ken wrote:
No, it's not. Copyright litigation does not miraculously become impotent just because the accused hasn't made a dime from the alleged infringement. I realize that's the popular misconception, but nobody has to make a dime in order to get into trouble. What must be understood is that much of this stuff never even has to get into the courtroom. There is enough legal muscle involved that private citizens are typically forced to settle to the tune of a couple thousand dollars, or risk personal bankruptcy from fighting in court. It's beautiful how that works out--even if you can parry every technical they can throw at you, you still lose your ass no matter what.

That would have been the greedy option.

You ever hear of "Fair Use" legislation? No? Here you go.. Star Wars Uncut would easily fall into the "fair use" category precisely because it wasn't made for the purpose of making money. If it weren't for that, sites like YouTube would have been shut down almost before it started. Making a fan tribute film is hardly litigation worthy, even in the United lawsuit-happy States of America.

In point of fact, it could be argued that the reaction of Lucasfilm to Star Wars Uncut could be seen as giving a reward for fan advertising, hence increasing its profits, even if by a little bit.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:00 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
iamed77 wrote:
Sigh...I see terms like "gouging," "greedy," "money grab," etc.

No one forces people to purchase Lucas' products. It's a two-way street. Consumers value what he produces more than the money needed to purchase them.

It confounds me to no end why the wealthy are vilified by a significant percentage of the population. Wealth is created by providing a product or service that others value enough to voluntarily pay for.

It's not the wealthy being vilified just for being wealthy. I could care less that someone else has more money than me. It's how they got their wealth that determines how others look at them. For example, do you look up to someone who became wealthy by selling crack cocaine to children? After all, they're providing a product that others value enough to voluntarily pay for.

When people sell inferior products to gain wealth, they can and should be criticized. That there are people ignorant enough to pay for it doesn't change that fact.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:04 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
You ever hear of "Fair Use" legislation? No? Here you go.. Star Wars Uncut would easily fall into the "fair use" category precisely because it wasn't made for the purpose of making money. If it weren't for that, sites like YouTube would have been shut down almost before it started. Making a fan tribute film is hardly litigation worthy, even in the United lawsuit-happy States of America.


So the bit that refers to the amount of content used doesn't come into it? To my knowledge, only 18 minutes was cut out of the movie... and no other changes were made. I think you'll find that isn't fair use :P

Ragnarok73 wrote:
When people sell inferior products to gain wealth, they can and should be criticized. That there are people ignorant enough to pay for it doesn't change that fact.


Apple are guilt of this and yet, there we go. Nobody bats an eyelid.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:36 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
You ever hear of "Fair Use" legislation? No? Here you go.. Star Wars Uncut would easily fall into the "fair use" category precisely because it wasn't made for the purpose of making money. If it weren't for that, sites like YouTube would have been shut down almost before it started. Making a fan tribute film is hardly litigation worthy, even in the United lawsuit-happy States of America.


So the bit that refers to the amount of content used doesn't come into it? To my knowledge, only 18 minutes was cut out of the movie... and no other changes were made. I think you'll find that isn't fair use :P

There is a reason why the words "the factors to be considered" are used in the wording of that legislation. Also, what the hell are you talking about when you mentioned that "only 18 minutes were cut out of the movie"? I was talking to Ken about Star Wars Uncut, the fan remake of Episode IV. Thanks for providing an example of what happens when you join a conversation in the middle without having read the posts before it.

Dragonbeard wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
When people sell inferior products to gain wealth, they can and should be criticized. That there are people ignorant enough to pay for it doesn't change that fact.


Apple are guilt of this and yet, there we go. Nobody bats an eyelid.

Does this make Lucas any less guilty? Feel free to criticize Apple all you like.


Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:58 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Oh snap, looks like I opened a can of worms with this one. Occupy Lucasfilm! :D


Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:42 am
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Ken wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Allow me to sum up my retort: Hollywood studios focus more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. Lucas focuses more on the business side of films than on the artistic side. In that regard, they are the SAME. Your tinfoil-hat-worthy ranting about the evils of Hollywood studios doesn't change that one bit.
Ad hominem.

Sorry, no, you don't know what that phrase means, so quit using it as a retort.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I can't think of any purpose for dropping the phrase "tinfoil hat" into any argument unless the objective is to imply that somebody is being a paranoid wackjob--a clear case of arguing against the person's character, rather than the person's position. You may not have called me an asshole or a liar, but it's still an ad hominem.

Anyway, I'm tapping out of this conversation, as it does not appear to have budged much in the past couple pages.


Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:56 am
Gaffer

Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Actually, there was more home video version for Star Wars and Star Trek that you forgot to mention, James.

Before Betamax and VHS tapes there was Video Disc (oh man am I showing my age).

The Video Disc was a large, thin cartridge which housed a disc that looked pretty much like a vinyl record.
The media was read by a needle or stylus (yes, you heard right). Each side only held about one hour so you had to flip the disc.
To play the disc you would turn on the player, shove your cartridge into the slot until you heard a click and then retrieved the cartridge.
The internal mechanism would grab hold and keep the disc inside the player.

To flip the disc you would shove the empty cartridge back into the machine when it was ready, flip it over and insert as above.
When it first came out I loved it. I got to watch my favorite movies at home. Something we could never do before. In hindsight it was ridiculous. First, these were pan and scan versions, not wide screen and the picture quality wasn't that great. Second, the sound quality wasn't all the great, either. Usually just mono or basic stereo. Then, just when the movie was really getting good it would stop because it had reached the end of one side and you have to flip the disc. Worse, since it used a needle or stylus some discs had a tendency to skip in certain spots (my copy of Trek III always skipped through several seconds during the theft of the Enterprise, grrrrr.).

My parents and I owned about fifty or sixty on Video Disc movies before we finally bought a Betamax (then later a VHS and then later still a DVD player). And we have pretty much repurchased just about every title we owned on Video Disc several times over (Beta, VHS and DVD).

Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were released on Video Disc as was Star Trek The Motion Picture, Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III The Search for Spock. I think by the time of Return of the Jedi and The Voyage Home the Video Disc market finally collapsed and new titles were only available for Beta and VHS.

So you can add one more home video version to the George Lucas' greedy gouging. I'm sure he went out of his way to make us all buy up the Video Discs of his movies just to make us buy them again and again on tape and DVD later on. Jerk!! ;)


Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:45 am
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Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Quote:
People who like to blame SW for ruining movies tend not to realize that SW was a symptom, not a cause. SW was in the right place at the right time. If it hadn't been this film, it would have been something else.


I am not sure I can agree with that.That is like saying if there was no Hitler there still would have been World War 2 and it would have happened the exact same way.Those other films were big in their time but totally forgotten by the anyone under 25 now and they do not stride pop culture like the Colossus of Rhodes.They did not spawn 5 obscenely profitable sequels and a ginormous merchandizing empire that has been a perpetual money machine for 35 years.35 years! That must make every studio executive and producer drool to copy that formula and come up with a franchise idea.They have come up with Harry Potter and everything in it's promotion and merchandizing screams Lucas business school.Lucas played a big part in the destruction of the 60s Hollywood and saying it is just serendipity is not giving him enough credit.If Star Wars had failed and was something like the 80's Flash Gordon(still love Brian Blessed)and Lucas had gone back to making art films with no Indiana Jones in the wings or ILM pushing SFX movies you think Hollywood would still the look the same as it does today.I just can't see that.


Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:46 am
Profile
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Woah easy :-P got the wrong movie number!

It's not about quantity of guilt (if a crime has even taken place here?) but just that Lucas isn't the biggest conman that's been mentioned here, yet you're taLking like he murdered your childhood pet :-P


Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:49 am
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
TheTexasTwister wrote:
Then, just when the movie was really getting good it would stop because it had reached the end of one side and you have to flip the disc.


Whoa...holy flashbacks. We never had one of those players, but I remember seeing them at the mall at Sears or whatever and dreaming.

My friends still have a Laserdisc and they have the Star Wars trilogy in "CAV" format...whatever that is...I think the compression is very low and quality is higher. But that means having to flip the disc (their player plays both sides but you still gotta wait a few seconds for the laser to track around; it doesn't swap discs though). And you gotta do that every 20 minutes or so. :o I think Star Wars Ep 4 was on 3 discs; 6 sides. That was kinda jarring.

Lord of the Rings on DVD (extended editions) spanned 2 DVD's per movie. Even with a carousel player, I didn't like the interruption. My understanding is the new Blu Rays are the same. Is that right? (Sorry....a bit off topic here.)


Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:00 am
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Ken wrote:
Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I can't think of any purpose for dropping the phrase "tinfoil hat" into any argument unless the objective is to imply that somebody is being a paranoid wackjob--a clear case of arguing against the person's character, rather than the person's position. You may not have called me an asshole or a liar, but it's still an ad hominem.

Anyway, I'm tapping out of this conversation, as it does not appear to have budged much in the past couple pages.

To clarify: I was talking about your argument and how you were expressing it rather than you specifically. We all have topics that we are passionate about, but you were seriously starting to worry me with the kind of language you were using.


Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:32 pm
Post Re: January 31, 2012: "By George! Defending Lucas (Part 2)"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Woah easy :-P got the wrong movie number!

It's not about quantity of guilt (if a crime has even taken place here?) but just that Lucas isn't the biggest conman that's been mentioned here, yet you're taLking like he murdered your childhood pet :-P

You're misinterpreting my arguments. My exact point was that Lucas isn't much different from the Hollywood studios *regardless* of the degree to which they perpetuate their businesslike mentality in the world of filmmaking. I never mentioned crimes or even degrees of evil initially- Ken did. Seriously, you need to read ALL posts *fully* before you reply.


Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:34 pm
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