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BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter

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GUEST,Mrr 23 May 00 - 02:39 PM
Vixen 23 May 00 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,James 23 May 00 - 02:56 PM
JenEllen 23 May 00 - 03:03 PM
Hollowfox 23 May 00 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Ickle Dorritt 23 May 00 - 03:58 PM
bbc 23 May 00 - 04:35 PM
JulieF 23 May 00 - 04:42 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 23 May 00 - 04:42 PM
Wesley S 23 May 00 - 04:48 PM
Bradypus 23 May 00 - 05:16 PM
Magpie 23 May 00 - 05:30 PM
MAG (inactive) 23 May 00 - 05:31 PM
sophocleese 23 May 00 - 05:46 PM
bobby's girl 23 May 00 - 06:18 PM
MAG (inactive) 23 May 00 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 00 - 06:23 PM
Hollowfox 23 May 00 - 06:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 00 - 07:18 PM
Penny S. 24 May 00 - 01:42 PM
Mrrzy 24 May 00 - 01:50 PM
Hollowfox 24 May 00 - 03:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 03:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 03:19 PM
Hollowfox 24 May 00 - 04:11 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 24 May 00 - 05:30 PM
sophocleese 24 May 00 - 08:42 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 09:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 09:01 PM
sophocleese 24 May 00 - 09:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 24 May 00 - 10:30 PM
Amergin 24 May 00 - 11:07 PM
Melani 25 May 00 - 02:35 AM
Melani 25 May 00 - 02:35 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 25 May 00 - 12:46 PM
Penny S. 25 May 00 - 01:22 PM
selby 25 May 00 - 02:29 PM
Hollowfox 25 May 00 - 03:09 PM
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Subject: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 23 May 00 - 02:39 PM

OK, I heard the rave reviews and ignored them; but then I read the book - and it seemed to me to be every bit as amazingly wonderful as the reviews had indicated. Just curious about this emerging folk-esque phenomenon - what do y'all think about the story, the author, any of the books? Or is it just me and about a million (other) children?


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Vixen
Date: 23 May 00 - 02:55 PM

I am not the person to ask.

I am hopelessly addicted and can't wait for book four.

V


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,James
Date: 23 May 00 - 02:56 PM

I read them and loved them...I hear they are being banned in some places because they are afraid the kids will all become witches and warlocks....ain"t the world odd.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: JenEllen
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:03 PM

Absolutely fascinating!!! And I'm for ANYTHING that gets folks interested in the printed word.
~Elle


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:22 PM

I love 'em. I just hope that this all doesn't go from a popular movement to an over-commercialized obsession. As my grandmother would say, I hope they don't make a religion out of it. (Little Mary Sunshine, that's me.) That being said, I see a similarity to the sudden popularity of the Beatles in the early 1960's. None of the pundits could exactly explain *why*, but everybody was just ready for the music, and it was well done. Same for these books. Rowling neither talks down (writes down?) to the reader, nor does she insert anything gratuitous. Not just violence, etc, but extraneous subplots. She plays by the rules of al good writers; she gives you all the information. Even if you have all the hints, the resolution is still a surprise. BTW, try the audio versions. They're unabridged, and Jim Dale is an excellent reader.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Ickle Dorritt
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:58 PM

Sorry don't rate them particularly-but that is because I fell in love with Alan Garner about 20 years ago. Now if you haven't read The weirdstone of brisingamen or the moon of gomrath or the owl service or even red shift-then you have no idea what you have been missing!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: bbc
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:35 PM

I haven't read 'em yet, but my (grade 4-6) students *love* them & many of them are not usually avid readers. That's good enough for me. I also have a very fundamental Christian friend who home-schools her 6 kids & she thinks they're great.

bbc (school librarian in NY)


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: JulieF
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:42 PM

Yes Alan Garner -those were the books of my childhood. Then I moved onto Ursula Le Guin--unbelievably brilliant book. I've just bought my daughter (15) a Harry Potter book for light relief during her English exams.

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:42 PM

Beebs, I envy you! You get to read them for the first time! My kids and I have re-read every single one and are panting for #4. Rowling's writing style isn't my favorite- Susan Cooper, JRR Tolkein, and others do better as far as that goes, but she's a great story crafter and lets you really care about her characters. So, bbc, bite the bullet so you too can chat about Muggles with your students!


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:48 PM

I don't know if you've heard but Rob Riener is supposed to be directing the movie. Steven Spielberg was interested but dropped out of the running.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Bradypus
Date: 23 May 00 - 05:16 PM

I was interested to hear that Jim Dale reads the audio version. In the UK, it's read by Stephen Fry, who also makes an excellent job of it.

And Dumbledore seems to enjoy music, even if the singing of the school song sounds even worse than most sessions ...

Bradypus


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Magpie
Date: 23 May 00 - 05:30 PM

I've only had the pleasure of reading the first one, since it is the only one published here in Norway. The translation is marvellous ( for once!) and I'm absolutely thrilled to hear that there are more of them. Lokking forward to it!!

Magpie


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 23 May 00 - 05:31 PM

Gee, this forum isn't one where I expected to find a topic which is alwyas hot at work.

#4 is due out from Scholastic on July 8, and you can reserve your copy at your bookstore of choice now; library waiting lists are already long. Yeah, here and there people are challenging Harry, but it's the same folks who kneejerk challenge most anything stimulating or creative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: sophocleese
Date: 23 May 00 - 05:46 PM

There was an excellent article in The Globe and Mail a while ago comparing Harry Potter to the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books but something niggled at me about them and I thought the article nailed it well. Alan Garner, Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones all write books with a little more to them than the Harry Potter books. I'll still read Harry Potter to the kids but I suspect that in five years the other books will be living in their minds more than Harry Potter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: bobby's girl
Date: 23 May 00 - 06:18 PM

I have really enjoyed the Harry Potter books, but I have to agree that the "Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper has them beat - also the books by Helen Cresswell like Moondial held my kids spellbound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 23 May 00 - 06:22 PM

If you like Cresswell, the Bagthorpe Chronicles, starting with *Ordinary Jack,* (not-fantasy - exactly) are a stitch. She nailed the dysfunctional intellectual family on a long skewer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 00 - 06:23 PM

The idea of the witches/wizards boarding school was developed pretty well in Ursula Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea, in a serious way, and in a more light-hearted way in by Jill Murphey, with brilliant illustrations by the author.

Copared with either of those I found Harry Potter somehow unsatisfactory. Admittedly,they aren't meant for my generation. But I got the feeling they were written looking down at times - "give them what they'll like", especially the stuff with the human family, where I think a lot more subtlety would have been better, rather thanthe caractaturing and sneering. I can't see them being up therte with the Narnia bbooks or Alan Garner in another generqation.

But then who can tell - one of the most brilliant series of children's books of the last century, which received rave reviews at the time, is now virtually forgotten, and long out of print, with libraries having disposed of their copies. I mean the Uncle books, by J.P.Martin - ,see this link and read an extract. (But I've just heard that the first two books are going to be republished in July. So that's solved my present problem for various people.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox
Date: 23 May 00 - 06:57 PM

I stand by my Beatles analogy. "It's not as good as the Real, Classic rock'n'roll of the 1950's, etc." Each author has their own flavor, and you're allowed to like more than one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 00 - 07:18 PM

Quite right Hollowfox. But sometimes, when you dig around, we find that what we really liked best about a book, or a type of music is an echo of something that started somewhere else, and we can follow the echo and find new riches. That doesn't mean we have to discard what first attracted us.

Oh and that book I mentioned should have been Jill Murphy, The Worst Witch and various sequels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:42 PM

The children at school are bitten, and it spread by word of mouth, which can't be bad (oh yes, so did Pokemon). I've read them. I agreed with some of the children that I would buy number three for them to read, if they also read Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones, and reviewed them both for me. they reckoned the DWJ was as good, and wanted to read more of her. But they are always either out of the shops, or out of print. Fortunately, her publishers are now slipstreaming on Rowling, and reissuing the Chrestomanci books, at least. Personally, I find them a reasonable read, but lacking on re-readability, which DWJ certainly does have. I don't like, very strongly don't like, the treatment of the Dursleys, who are cardboard cut out characters, with no potential for development as people. DWJ usually has much more complex characters, and the evil is much more subtle, and takes time to recognise. I can wait for No. 4 to come out in paperback. Meanwhile, I want the person who has The Philosopher's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets to return them to my bookhoard at once!

Sophocleese, can you post that article somehow? I think I would like to read it.

While I was going round Kentish churches hunting yew trees, I found one which had posted an article about the school which had banned them (see reasons above), with a notice asking for prayerful support for the teacher standing up for their beliefs. A second article had also been posted, arguing that it is important to read such books to learn where the boundaries of reality lie, or you take such things much to seriously in adult life.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:50 PM

Hey, this is turning out to be a good thread!

Anyway, I add my voice to Penny's, Sophocleese, I'd love to read what The Globe and Mail said a while ago comparing Harry Potter to the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I also found the kind of overall tone very similar. I had thoroughly enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia as a child; I find that attempts to read them as an adult are stymied as I am no longer oblivious of the overtones. But I first read Harry Potter as an adult and found nothing nauseating in it; I wish I'd read them as a child! I'd be a maniacal fan, not just one who found a discount hardback version in a doctor's office waiting room ...and took it ...which I don't even usually do with magazines. I'm trying to get up the courage to give it back, but I want to reread it first!


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox
Date: 24 May 00 - 03:02 PM

If you like DWJ, have you read Dark Lord of Derkholm? Great book. Anybody who's ever had to manage large groups of people (tour guides, festival coordinators, etc) will see themselves in one or more of the characters. I think I'll re-read it, come to think of it. //WARNING! The forces of evil are trying to kill any enthusiasm fro the Harry Potter books. Not the censors, but something even worse. Good Apple magazine (a magazine with ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms - some worthy of Dave Barry in their strangeness) laid out the framework for teaching a Language Arts unit (that's what they call "reading" this week) on Harry Potter. Including *shudder* questions to be answered in writing for each chapter. I can't think of a better way to kill enthuseasm for something than to make it an assignment with written questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 03:18 PM

"I don't like, very strongly don't like, the treatment of the Dursleys, who are cardboard cut out characters, with no potential for development as people."

Exactly - Penny puts her finger on what I meant when I talked about the feeling they were written looking down at times - "give them what they'll like"

The situation of a child with magical powers growing up in a non-magic family, with both of them being embarrassed and confused by the situation could have been treated so much better, in a way that could actually have been helpful, because that is just an exaggeration of the situation many children and parents find themselves in. It could have been even funnier in the process.

And if anyone says "Oh it's only a kid's book, it doesn't have to try to be helpful!" , no book should ever be "Only a kid's book". These are the most crucial books we ever read. The same way nursery rhymes are the m ost crucial poems.

And having a serious intent is different about the really good children's books. Including especially the nonsense ones. (And including Harry Potter - I'm objecting to a serious flaw in books which are pretty good, or it wouldn't be worth having a thread about them.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 03:19 PM

"I don't like, very strongly don't like, the treatment of the Dursleys, who are cardboard cut out characters, with no potential for development as people."

Exactly - Penny puts her finger on what I meant when I talked about the feeling they were written looking down at times - "give them what they'll like"

The situation of a child with magical powers growing up in a non-magic family, with both of them being embarrassed and confused by the situation could have been treated so much better, in a way that could actually have been helpful, because that is just an exaggeration of the situation many children and parents find themselves in. It could have been even funnier in the process.

And if anyone says "Oh it's only a kid's book, it doesn't have to try to be helpful!" , no book should ever be "Only a kid's book". These are the most crucial books we ever read. The same way nursery rhymes are the m ost crucial poems.

And having a serious intent is what is different about the really good children's books. Including especially the nonsense ones. (And including Harry Potter - I'm objecting to a serious flaw in books which are pretty good, or it wouldn't be worth having a thread about them.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:11 PM

I thought the treatment of the Dursleys was broad comedy, like characters in a Christmas panto.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:30 PM

Yes, Hollowfox, exactly. Anybody here read Roald Dahl? The Dursleys could have been created by him. Kids see themselves and others in black and white- he's good, she's bad, etc. It's marvellously funny to have the nasty Dursleys so incredibly, unrelentingly horrid. So much else in the books is ambiguous or redemptive- so many of those you think are evil turn out to be good, and vice-versa- but the Durselys are delightfully dreadful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: sophocleese
Date: 24 May 00 - 08:42 PM

Penny S. and Mrrzy, I spent an hour last night searching fo rthe article and came up blank. I know it was written about two months ago and I'll keep looking for a copy for others to read.

Hollowfox, when I was in grade nine there was a teacher in grade eight who had The Hobbit club. It was supposed to be for the brighter kids: they would read the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and write essays etc. about the books. My younger brother got the 10 page blurb about it and my Mom refused to let him join. She went through the description with a red pencil marking all the horrendous grammatical errors. I then went through it and corrected the inane, senseless errors and mistakes of plot and character. Anybody who started out in that Hobbit club with any enjoyment of the book would have come out of it hating it and terribly confused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:00 PM

Good LORD! Most of my friends had read the Hobbit AND the Lord of the Rings long before then....and my nephew finished them in third grade!


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:01 PM

I agree that the Dursley stuff is very reminsicent of Roald Dahl. That's what I don't like about it. With Roald Dahl, that's part of of the man's basic approach, and while I don't like it, it's consistent.

With Harry Potter it feels grafted on, as if someone said "let's give the little sods some Roald Dahl stuff to keep them happy, it seems to sell well!". Once you've got through the Dursley chapters I feel it all gets a lot better.

But don't lets getv too heated about all this. It could turn into a "guns" type dispute if we're not careful. I thinkm, it's best to concentrate on the things we like rather than the tnings we don't. And the school stuff I think is great. I get the impression a lot of peope in America don't appreciate how much about Hogwarts is standard English Public School, rather than fantasy. (That's why there's such a clash in my mind with the to-my-mind over-the-top Dursley stuff - apart from the odd bit of magic, the school stuff is essentially fairly realistic.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: sophocleese
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:08 PM

MMario, my grade four teacher read us the Hobbit in class. After the first chapter I found a copy at home and finished it that night; being polite I didn't tell the rest of the class how it ended. I read Lord of the Rings when I was in grade six and I can still remember how very frightened I was of the Nazgul in that first reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 24 May 00 - 10:30 PM

Hollowfox, *Dark Lord of Derkholm* is a stitch, especially at the beginning where they are all fighting about whose turn it is to host the battle and get their castle trashed.

-- MA


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Amergin
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:07 PM

To me nothing will ever compare to the enjoyment I get when I read the Chronicles of Narnia and the Tolkien books. Thos are some of my all time favorites. I've read them each more times than I can count...

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Melani
Date: 25 May 00 - 02:35 AM

Harry Potter is great fun for both kids and adults. I love them. The juxtiposition of the normalcy of shopping for school supplies with the fact that the school supplies in question are things like magic wands and books that have moving pictures, for example, is delightful. I am also eagerly awaiting the next one. For adults who like fantasy, try "Ship of Magic" by Robin Hobb, and the rest of that series. It was recommended to me by a very down-to-earth lady sailor who said it was the best book she ever read, and at one quarter of the way through it, I am inclined to agree. It's very realistic, with just enough fantasy to let you know you're in an alternate world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Melani
Date: 25 May 00 - 02:35 AM

Harry Potter is great fun for both kids and adults. I love them. The juxtiposition of the normalcy of shopping for school supplies with the fact that the school supplies in question are things like magic wands and books that have moving pictures, for example, is delightful. I am also eagerly awaiting the next one. For adults who like fantasy, try "Ship of Magic" by Robin Hobb, and the rest of that series. It was recommended to me by a very down-to-earth lady sailor who said it was the best book she ever read, and at one quarter of the way through it, I am inclined to agree. It's very realistic, with just enough fantasy to let you know you're in an alternate world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 25 May 00 - 12:46 PM

Yes, I do like the shopping parts, for that craziness applied to normality. And the complexity of some of the problems at Hogwarts.

If you like the Dark Lord of Derkholm - have you read "The Tough Guide to Fantasyland" which had me in stitches - and reading things out to a friend, which were appreciated.

Got to go to do techie stuff with a hexed hard disk.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 May 00 - 01:22 PM

I have used Harry Potter in the Literacy Hour- children read bits that they liked, and we discussed, and then wrote why we thought it was important to read books, especially fiction. I hope I haven't killed it for them.

In the days when we could read in large chunks like half hours, I read The Hobbit, and sang the songs to the guitar, (trying to sound harplike).

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: selby
Date: 25 May 00 - 02:29 PM

What about the Redwall Books?


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Subject: RE: BS: Non-Music: Harry Potter
From: Hollowfox
Date: 25 May 00 - 03:09 PM

Love 'em, selby. How about Hounds of the Morrigan b Pat O'Shea, and the works of Margaret Mahy?


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This Thread Is Closed.


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