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Pockets
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#1 Post by Pockets » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:03 pm

jml98 wrote:Btw, japanese people, I've found, HATE chinese people. They are always the butt of jokes, but you can tell they aren't REALLY kidding.
This is a racial statement also. Why not delete this comment also? :? Is this message board to be only about the surface beauty of LiT and Japan? If so, I am very disappointed that we can't have open and honest discussions about the truth as mature and enlightened adults. And why should the Japanese hate the Chinese? After all, it was the Japanese that occupied China and committed what many in the international community as the Rape of Nanking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

And over the last two months, I've watched two indie movies about life as young Chinese young women trying to balance their heritage with the Western culture they are living in. Once takes place in NYC and the other is set in Canada. The movies are Saving Face and Double Happiness. In both, all can see how these Chinese people living in the North America have their little prejudices against the non-Chinese. In both movies, the prejudice is not the main theme, but it is part of the makeup of the older generations. And what their parents say to them is what I also heard from my own mother growing up. Of course, all of that when set in the movies comes off as more humorous, but it also sadly mirrors the truth and why there are Chinatowns and such tight knit Asian communities outside of Asia.

And here is just one article commenting on the Asian beauty ideal of lighter colored skin:
http://raceandgender.typepad.com/race_a ... ening.html

And I don't hate the Japanese or the Koreans or any other culture, but as a woman, I am and will be more sensitive to any of their past and current male chauvinistics attitudes and tendencies. And being Chinese, just adds another dimension to my opinions in terms of cultural clashes. For most of my life, most of my friends consider me a "banana" or as white-washed a Chinese person as one can get because I grew up in a Boston suburb with nary another Asian family in sight. Boston's Chinatown was a foreign land to me back then and still is for me today.

And I do wish to visit Japan some day. But I will use commonsense and be wise about my movements over there as if I were in the Paris with the gypsy kids in the subway systems. The Japanese have crime in their country just as any other country does, they just cover it up well. And they don't consider rape a crime. What's disturbing about the Lindsay Ann Hawker is that not only she didn't take this guy chasing her a day earlier more seriously, but also that the police found him in his apartment and he still managed to elude him and he is still missing. I have a few woman friends with plans to visit Japan and I've warned them to be careful over there. Japan is such a beautiful perfect looking place and the people are very polite, but it's important not to let ones guard down and treat Japan like a clean Disneyland or Oz with the population being cute munchkins. And as to to my male friends, I feel that it's important never to flirt too obviously with the cute girls over them and to make sure that it's all about politeness and respect.

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=1445

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#2 Post by Pockets » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:16 pm

There are several Double Happiness movies in the imdb movie database. It's the 1994 movie with Sandra Oh starring in it.

Double Happiness:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109655/

Saving Face:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384504/

I'm sorry if some of you object to my life observations, but much like it's socially acceptable for someone like Chris Rock to make humor out of his heritage, I'm not sure why I can't express my opinions that are based on my heritage and my own life experiences. Once, at 2am at a Pilot gas station in NJ, I was told very seriously by a retired Caucasian trucker that I would never be as American as he was, this after he asked me where I was from and my telling him in my perfect unaccented English that I had been born in Manhattan. I've also been called a Jap and a gook, this all within the last ten years and in the Boston area. The color of ones skin will always be a factor in how others observe you. Sometimes this prejudice is actually flattering as there are also good stereotypes about Asians, like how studious and hard-working we are supposed to be. We also age more gracefully, I still don't have any cellulite or wrinkles on my face. And Oprah Winfrey loves to say "black don't crack" another observation that the darker skin tones age better (sun does a terrible thing to skin). Again, I don't resent these prejudices and stereotypes and I'm not at all angry about them, but just accept them as part of the human condition. And I do think that it's better to talk them out, then just pretend they don't exist and ignore them.

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#3 Post by Ithildriel » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:42 pm

Pockets wrote:
jml98 wrote:Btw, japanese people, I've found, HATE chinese people. They are always the butt of jokes, but you can tell they aren't REALLY kidding.
This is a racial statement also. Why not delete this comment also? :?
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#4 Post by Bob_san » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:48 pm

Pockets, I found the content of those posts objectionable and making me uncomfortable for two reasons. One is that they were way off topic and taking the post into a subject matter area that was as I said way off topic.

Second your statement about America the land of the white folk was as ridiculous as it was objectionable. Maybe it was that way in 1950 but now America is a pretty melted pot. You live in Boston and should as much any large city urban dweller know that. By 2050 caucasians in America will not be a majority anymore.

Then while your statement about certain Chinese people not liking dark skinned people was a somewhat interesting observation, I found it somewhat disturbing and it didn't belong in that thread! I don't even want to see a seperate thread about that topic. You can talk about WWII and how the Japanese did blah blah to the Koreans and the Chinese, I happen to know a lot about that as I have a friend who married a Korean woman and he told me about all those atrocities. I also know there were and continue to be atrocities carried out all over the world in the name of politics and religion and that there continues to be hate and prejudice of all kinds everywhere. However I really don't want to know about it here. I don't want to hear about things that divide people. This forum and my philosophy are about the things these cultures now have in common, about the things that can bring people together and create peace and understanding and exchange between cultures. I also feel that this is what some of the LIT film is about and what attracts people to the film and the forum. Now am I going to delete every post someone puts up about that subject? Well no only those I find offensive or objectionable. And yes its completely subjective!

Issues have arisen which are not about you stating your opinion but how you say it. Ith has tried to explain this to you until I imagine she must be blue in the face but you don't get it. I read 52's post about open and sensitive people and you responded and made a statement that was absolute in its terms about couples. You didn't qualify it with something about on the whole or on average or there is a tendancy. This is just how you are and how you come across. I feel your statement about the old fashioned or whatever Chinese people not liking dark skinned people was as people have characterized some of your statements before, stereotypical and in those absolutist terms.

You also said something that I found very revealing. You said:
this board has the dynamics and politics of a small office. And some people get along with each other better than others.
Honestly this was never the case until you joined. And I think I can say absolutely but I won't I'll say I think probably most people would never make that analogy about this forum. I think most people would view it in the spirit of the film and in which it was created in that it is like a Lounge or a friendly neighborhood coffee shop (not Starbucks!). A place to kick back and hang out with friends, a like minded community of folks relaxing and enjoying together things they have in common and can share.

And that's it. I'm not going to argue minutia or go back and forth with quotes about this or that with you or anyone. After three years here I think it's already been made clear how the forum is run and administered. I think I have a higher tolerance for latitude of opinion and personal expression than a lot of people here who first objected to your posts however now I think I have found my limit with you and my concern now is not only with my feelings about it but how it must be affecting other members of the community as well.

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#5 Post by Bob_san » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:12 pm

Now going back and reading what you wrote about traveling to Japan and women's specific issue about travel in Japan with respect to Japanese culture and law, I think that's a very useful and interesting topic to talk about and for people to know. Ideally people traveling to a different culture will read many guidebooks and web sites and know although they want to enjoy themselves, there is danger and unexpected situations that will arise. They need to be aware of these things and how to handle them and what to watch out for. No one should travel anywhere with a Disneyland idealist point of view. In fact if you read the dirt on Disneyland that's out there, you will come to find that even in Disneyland, there is a dark and disturbing side.

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#6 Post by Bob_san » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:41 am

The other thing, Pockets, is don't get me wrong, I think you have interesting things to say and I've enjoyed reading a lot of your posts. You remind me of an Asian woman I was very good friends with many years ago. If we knew each other in real life we might be friends. However this is a written medium where what people say and how they say it is all there is to see. And every now and again you tend to say things in certain ways that people find offensive or objectionable and you're finding out the limits of the the parameters of discussion in this forum.

I think what people or I find objectionable and not so interesting are absolutist statements that can be read as stereotyping or worse. You talk about the Truth but what is the truth? When someone tries to talk about what is the truth there is only their side of it that we are hearing. Earlier you talked about a personal experience you had with someone who made racist remarks to you. This was far more interesting to read about than blanket statements about a certain people or race. It's your personal experience and narrative of it, and as you relate it, I don't find that objectionable in any way. You mentioned traveler awareness and themes raised in movies. Great but there's a difference between talking about those from a personal standpoint of one's experience and making blanket statements about whole peoples. I'm thinking you may hear what I am saying but not understand what distinction I am making about what you've said or why I or people would find one thing objectionable but not another.

People often say the French hate Americans. I've been Paris twice. What would my experience of France be if I went with a preconception of how I would be treated by people there based on my home country? Or religion for that matter because after all they say the French are very anti-semitic and I am Jewish? Well I went to Paris and I have to say I can't recall meeting anyone who wasn't friendly and helpful or was rude. I'm sure that somewhere there were people who don't like Americans etc. but if I met them they certainly didn't act that way towards me or my wife. When I traveled there I went with an open mind with no preconceptions about how any one individual was going to treat me. If I ran into something then I would just deal with it on that basis but not make it universal to all French people.

I've had some bad experiences with aggressive Asian guys and one was Korean. I told this to my friend who married a Korean woman and I said at the time I was very young and I couldn't help but wonder if that's how they all are "over there". He was completely taken aback and said of the six years he had lived in Korea that men over there were nice and polite to a fault.

I was living in Boston for 25 years and was surpised when friends would visit from the midwest and say how cold and rude they found people to be. I said I didn't realize it because I was used to it but on the whole that not everyone there was like that. Then recently a friend from work went to a conference in Boston and I told him look you may find people there much different from what you're used to in the west. When he came back he told me that his experience there was very positive and that people were so nice and friendly and helpful.

So there you go. The "truth" whatever it is is often very subjective as far as I can see.

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#7 Post by 52FM » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:15 pm

We're having a tough time here in effect deciding what we want this board to be. I think it's clear that overall it's not to be construed as a wide open almost anything goes board like the soapbox on IMDb is. Frankly, I see it more like another board I go on occasionaly that is Disney related. Not that we don't discuss more mature or adult topics (obviously) but that the respect meter is notched up a bit more.

We can debate this all day and not agree on what any of that means specifically. I like it this way becuase I find myself thinking deeper and more carefully - while I still let in generalizations and maybe in prejudgements - I try very hard not to (considering that the audience would feel it innaproriate) and I LIKE that a lot.

Pockets has a life perspective different than many if not all of us. I think that is refreshing and I think everyone feels that too. I hope she sees that what we are saying is that her delivery in the eyes of many is not appropriate to this particular forum and we (at this rather small cocktail party or coffee shop) would like her to be aware of that. The party or coffee shop is too small for us to simply move to another conversation (as Pockets suggested in one post). Especially when the subject seems to get changed so easily and often as part of the conversation. So I'd ask Pockets to keep that in mind.

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#8 Post by Pockets » Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:13 pm

Bob_san wrote:Second your statement about America the land of the white folk was as ridiculous as it was objectionable. Maybe it was that way in 1950 but now America is a pretty melted pot. You live in Boston and should as much any large city urban dweller know that. By 2050 caucasians in America will not be a majority anymore.
I don't believe that I intended to say outright that America was the land of the white folk. But sadly, even in Boston, we are not a melted pot of many peoples. All of my life, I have been asked by strangers where I was from. In my childhood, it was also simpler and I was asked if I was Chinese or Japanese, but by college, these strangers would get more clever and ask if I was Vietnamese or Laotian. Once at a rock club, I was asked "what are you anyway?" in the same tone as one might ask an odd insect. To which I replied, "what difference is it to you?" Then the girl quickly apologized and said that her brother had married "one of us." Anyway, over the years, I usually tell people very seriously that I was born in Manhattan... and I wait. And then, they have to ask where my parents are from, to which I play very dumb and say "oh... my parents are Chinese." So while white people don't own America, at least you are all melted together and unless your last name is very unusual, you will never get pestered for your heritage. And at the moment, the white Christian conservatives are a very strong force to deal with in politics, in part because they are so well organized.

And I don't think that in 2007 you can consider America truly a melted homogeneous mixture of races and cultures yet. It's still a very lumpy mixture with some lumps of Chinatowns, then in Framingham, MA the town is now enforcing a rule that international flags (mostly from the Brazilian community businesses) are not allowed to be placed at equal height to the US flag, and with 9-11, all Muslim and Islamic groups are under close scrutiny. Then in the South, when I am at a flea or antique market or store, it's not uncommon to hear some asking if they can jew the price down... and I know that it's become just a verb to them and it's not a racial put-down. And one of my Pakistani friends working in an IT firm in CA was called a sand n*gger by a coworker two years ago and he's a very clean cut, polite, well-spoken, geeky with glasses kind of guy.
Bob_san wrote:Then while your statement about certain Chinese people not liking dark skinned people was a somewhat interesting observation, I found it somewhat disturbing and it didn't belong in that thread! I don't even want to see a seperate thread about that topic.
And to clarify, it's not just the Chinese who have a prejudice against those with darker skins. It's also the other Asian cultures like the Japanese, Koreans and Philipinos. Heck, this prejudice has been noted agmonst the African-Americans. And if I went off on a tangent talking about WWII it was only to point out that the Japanese have no real reason to hate the Chinese.

I suppose I only have several other points to say about this whole mess. One was that from my point of view, the friction between Ith and I started in that Asian woman attraction thread. Congruous made a comment first, and it was more about his perception of my attitude towards Pitman. How could he know that we had also discussed this all by PM, my opinion was asked for AND I was repeating myself over and over to him while he was trying to make a case for this Chinese woman liking him as a possible boyfriend. Then I feel that Ith came in to defend Congruous and it snowballed from there. And that is my honest take on it.

Also, this message board has various subsections including one entitled "Japan & Japanese/Asian Culture"... which also led me to think that it was okay to discuss aspects of Japan and other Asian culture in greater depth.

And whatever section that Ith quoted is a generic one that is found on every internet message board and its interpretation is left to the individual admins and mods discretion. And generally, lounge topics are where the more controversial and possible off message board topic threads end up.

Lastly, I just wanted to say in all of this upheaval, I have had side discussions with several of my offline friends just to get some feedback from them. They are all longtime friends and we are brutally frank with each other. One woman is in her 50's and a student counselor at a PA girls college. Another woman is almost 60, was in the army during Vietnam and later counseled war vets, now she lives in Iowa in a small farming community and sells antiques. There is another woman who is from my high school graduating class, worked in Portland city hall in the housing authority and now works for the state legislature. All these women are very strong, independent, well-educated and... Caucasian. Anyway, I talked with them about the jist of these threads and my other world views. None of them think that I am stereotyping or racially discriminating against anyone, or find these topics offensive. In addition, I get most of my topic fodder from cnn news, Oprah and NPR radio. NPR radio is my favorite station on the dial. And I start with them and then follow the internet links from there. I really think that our country is better off when we air these topics out, rather than say someone is stereotyping, throw up our hands in disgust and walk away. I don't post these topics for shock value, but more just to get everyone's grey cells thinking about them.

The Asian women attraction thread started out as more an effort to get non-Asian men to think about why they find Asian women so desirable and whether or not their ideal Asian woman has any basis in reality. And just last week at my boyfriend's garage, a new employee who is black, offended the Vietnamese worker there by announcing that in the next year, he wanted "to get me one of them" meaning he wants an Asian girlfriend, just like the models he saw at the import car show. My boyfriend found that remark offensive too as my being Chinese has nothing at all to do with why he first wanted to date me.

Oh yes, and I didn't mean to be patronizing in calling this a tiny message board. I realize that this board was more of a hopping place when the movie first came out. And then every time the movie shows on cable, there are ripplets of new viewers to the board.

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#9 Post by Ithildriel » Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:45 pm

Pockets wrote:
Bob_san wrote:Second your statement about America the land of the white folk was as ridiculous as it was objectionable. Maybe it was that way in 1950 but now America is a pretty melted pot. You live in Boston and should as much any large city urban dweller know that. By 2050 caucasians in America will not be a majority anymore.
I don't believe that I intended to say outright that America was the land of the white folk. But sadly, even in Boston, we are not a melted pot of many peoples. All of my life, I have been asked by strangers where I was from. In my childhood, it was also simpler and I was asked if I was Chinese or Japanese, but by college, these strangers would get more clever and ask if I was Vietnamese or Laotian. Once at a rock club, I was asked "what are you anyway?" in the same tone as one might ask an odd insect. To which I replied, "what difference is it to you?" Then the girl quickly apologized and said that her brother had married "one of us." Anyway, over the years, I usually tell people very seriously that I was born in Manhattan... and I wait. And then, they have to ask where my parents are from, to which I play very dumb and say "oh... my parents are Chinese." So while white people don't own America, at least you are all melted together and unless your last name is very unusual, you will never get pestered for your heritage. And at the moment, the white Christian conservatives are a very strong force to deal with in politics, in part because they are so well organized.

And I don't think that in 2007 you can consider America truly a melted homogeneous mixture of races and cultures yet. It's still a very lumpy mixture with some lumps of Chinatowns, then in Framingham, MA the town is now enforcing a rule that international flags (mostly from the Brazilian community businesses) are not allowed to be placed at equal height to the US flag, and with 9-11, all Muslim and Islamic groups are under close scrutiny. Then in the South, when I am at a flea or antique market or store, it's not uncommon to hear some asking if they can jew the price down... and I know that it's become just a verb to them and it's not a racial put-down. And one of my Pakistani friends working in an IT firm in CA was called a sand n*gger by a coworker two years ago and he's a very clean cut, polite, well-spoken, geeky with glasses kind of guy.
Bob_san wrote:Then while your statement about certain Chinese people not liking dark skinned people was a somewhat interesting observation, I found it somewhat disturbing and it didn't belong in that thread! I don't even want to see a seperate thread about that topic.
And to clarify, it's not just the Chinese who have a prejudice against those with darker skins. It's also the other Asian cultures like the Japanese, Koreans and Philipinos. Heck, this prejudice has been noted agmonst the African-Americans. And if I went off on a tangent talking about WWII it was only to point out that the Japanese have no real reason to hate the Chinese.

I suppose I only have several other points to say about this whole mess. One was that from my point of view, the friction between Ith and I started in that Asian woman attraction thread. Congruous made a comment first, and it was more about his perception of my attitude towards Pitman. How could he know that we had also discussed this all by PM, my opinion was asked for AND I was repeating myself over and over to him while he was trying to make a case for this Chinese woman liking him as a possible boyfriend. Then I feel that Ith came in to defend Congruous and it snowballed from there. And that is my honest take on it.

Also, this message board has various subsections including one entitled "Japan & Japanese/Asian Culture"... which also led me to think that it was okay to discuss aspects of Japan and other Asian culture in greater depth.

And whatever section that Ith quoted is a generic one that is found on every internet message board and its interpretation is left to the individual admins and mods discretion. And generally, lounge topics are where the more controversial and possible off message board topic threads end up.

Lastly, I just wanted to say in all of this upheaval, I have had side discussions with several of my offline friends just to get some feedback from them. They are all longtime friends and we are brutally frank with each other. One woman is in her 50's and a student counselor at a PA girls college. Another woman is almost 60, was in the army during Vietnam and later counseled war vets, now she lives in Iowa in a small farming community and sells antiques. There is another woman who is from my high school graduating class, worked in Portland city hall in the housing authority and now works for the state legislature. All these women are very strong, independent, well-educated and... Caucasian. Anyway, I talked with them about the jist of these threads and my other world views. None of them think that I am stereotyping or racially discriminating against anyone, or find these topics offensive. In addition, I get most of my topic fodder from cnn news, Oprah and NPR radio. NPR radio is my favorite station on the dial. And I start with them and then follow the internet links from there. I really think that our country is better off when we air these topics out, rather than say someone is stereotyping, throw up our hands in disgust and walk away. I don't post these topics for shock value, but more just to get everyone's grey cells thinking about them.

The Asian women attraction thread started out as more an effort to get non-Asian men to think about why they find Asian women so desirable and whether or not their ideal Asian woman has any basis in reality. And just last week at my boyfriend's garage, a new employee who is black, offended the Vietnamese worker there by announcing that in the next year, he wanted "to get me one of them" meaning he wants an Asian girlfriend, just like the models he saw at the import car show. My boyfriend found that remark offensive too as my being Chinese has nothing at all to do with why he first wanted to date me.

Oh yes, and I didn't mean to be patronizing in calling this a tiny message board. I realize that this board was more of a hopping place when the movie first came out. And then every time the movie shows on cable, there are ripplets of new viewers to the board.
I am Caucasian by pretty much any definition. I am a somewhat swarthy brunette, and have often been asked 'what are you anyway'. I have been mistaken to be anything from Hispanic, Italian, Greek, Indian (from India, not Native American) and probably a few others that I am not thinking of at this moment. In my life only one person has ever guessed that my primary heritage is Armenian, despite the fact that there is a large Armenian population in the city that I live. I never considered it pestering, but my point is that interest in someone's heritage is not unique to Asian's. My maiden name was very common, as my paternal grandfather's name was changed when he landed in Massachusetts. It was actually changed to a variation of his cousin's first name, so no remnant of the original name remained once they came to America.

As for any friction left between you and I, it is only there if you want it to be there. No amount of validation from your friends and family is going to change the fact that some of your posts have made me uncomfortable, which as I have repeated a few times, I will not be pointing out again. As for your opinion of me, and your repeated attempts to turn me into some kind of villain in this scenario, I'm comfortable enough with who I am to be ok with the fact that you find me a disagreeable person. I just wish you would let it go.

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#10 Post by Tombo » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:07 pm

Can we stop this now,please? :)

Tom xx

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#11 Post by Bob_san » Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:53 am

Tombo wrote:Can we stop this now,please? :)

Tom xx
Tombo, I'm sorry if this bothers you or anyone but I split this bit off from the main post where it started so that it would not disrupt that thread. I moved it here so that these things could be discussed in a more appropriate forum. This is not a flame war, it's a debate/discussion over points of view and administrative procedures. It's become clear that currently these types of discussions are necessary to achieve some ends. As the admin, what are my options? 1) adminstrate with no comment or explanation, 2) ban anyone I disagree with, 3) try and resolve issues in a democratic manner.

I'm not a dictator nor do I want to be! I prefer to have a democratic forum and community although in tough spots I have to be judge and arbiter. I planted this garden and it needs to be tended to and cared for as best I know how. I created and maintain this forum not out of ego or desire for profit or for quantity of members but out of love for the film and a desire to share that with other like minded people. I would rather spend my time here reading and adding to posts than explaining in lengthy detail to someone how and why they posted something objectionable. I also have a lot of other things to do in my life.

And given that after reading what Pockets responded I really could reply at length and some of it might even be interesting to other people. But I realized that Pockets seems to be closed minded about certain things and what I have to say would be largely ignored. It seems to me that often Pockets would rather just talk than listen. So therefore as I said I have other things I need to be doing. I already stated my position and will continue to act accordingly and I cannot be responsible, for after taking what I feel was a great deal of time and effort to explain and clarify this forum, someone who does not understand or may not be willing to be amenable.

In the spirit of the democracy as it has been all along and there have only been a handful of times that I have had to excersize any moderation, if there is something that a good number of people feel they want to discuss, someone could perhaps post a poll and ask if it's something people want to discuss. And then they could engage in that discussion. As long as there is nothing objectionable as far as I am concerned and as long as it meets what would be considered the contemporary community standards here in this forum then it would be fine. This post can be considered the thread of record for any questions or issues with current or future moderation of what may be considered objectionable material.

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#12 Post by Congruous » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:16 am

Pockets wrote: I feel that Ith came in to defend Congruous.
Defend me from what?
"Are there no more arrows left?"

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