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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:51 am 
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Good points, Curi. Many of the characters are flawed, human, warped, in short-- real. Yes, Malcom has problems of a sexual nature, but he's also a doctor who does something in the book besides want to have sex with Gloria. HJ and Nellie both do more in the book than Ursula/Silhouette even though the male minutemen outnumber the females five to two.

RLS wrote:
... she's still in many ways more of a plot function than a character, and her role as object of desire is more important than it is for any other character in the book. Women don't generally enjoy much scope in adventure comics, and as I see it, Moore and Gibbons weren't as successful in demolishing gender stereotypes as they were in revising other tropes of the genre.
If I ever think I want to say anything serious, I'll just ask RLS to say it, and it will come out better than I would have said it.

DD, I agree that these things are rarely intentional. The most well-intentioned civil rights leaders, womanists, and liberation theologians are subject to the systemic forces that filter their view, shape thier/our perceptions, limit creativity, etc. I don't know exactly why Moore found it harder to develop the Spectres because they didn't have penises. I'm just disappointed that this was another potential area in which they could have really made much more groundbreaking progress than they did.

Oh, and I am a Trek fan from way back in the day. My wife was a Star Wars fan, and she taught me how to enjoy a good mythic romp, so I got into that, too. Ready for another laugh? I even built a full suit of wearable stormtrooper armor and joined the "501st Legion." When the new movies came out, I sold my plastic pants to a guy in Hong Kong for a hefty profit.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:17 am 
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Mannie Bothans wrote:
Ready for another laugh? I even built a full suit of wearable stormtrooper armor and joined the "501st Legion." When the new movies came out, I sold my plastic pants to a guy in Hong Kong for a hefty profit.

I say "more power to you," but somewhere I bet Vynson is rolling his eyes :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:40 am 
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RLS wrote:
If you look at Moore's original proposal for Watchmen (when the Charlton characters were still the subjects of the proposal), he admitted that he had fewest ideas for Nightshade; at the same time, he had a strong sense of how all the other characters would work.

"All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, theyre quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name"

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:33 pm 
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holtor wrote:
"I did it 35 minutes ago."
Moore repeats this line in a different book at amost the same time...

Miracleman #16, p. 7, ...
Warpsmith: "A molecular level. We teleported them into the sun 15 minutes ago."

Holtor, I don't see how you consider this quote from Miracleman to be repeating "I did it 35 minutes ago."

It's especially confusing, since on another site you didn't believe the portrayal of Adrian and the mariner had any references to Jesus. You mentioned that Adrian didn't have 5 holes in him instead of the 2 drawn, and the mariner was facing the "cross" in the wrong direction. Yet you come to the conclusion that "we teleported them to the sun 15 minutes ago" repeats "I did it 35 minutes ago." Holtor, you're smart, but you have be confuzeled.

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 Post subject: See More
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:29 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
Such as Rorschachs journal? I've wondered if the New Frontiersman knew what they had, and found out the implications in it were true, would they still share it with the world?

I'm sure they would. And I'm sure it wouldn't matter. The New Frontiersman is like the Limbaugh Letter meets the National Enquirer. No one would take it seriously.

The wonderful irony is that Hector Godfrey greatly admires Rorschach and declares him a patriot and a national hero. And Rorschach obviously admires Godfrey's editorial stance. And yet, when Seymour begins to read Walter's journal, Godfrey says it sounds like the Son of Sam.


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 Post subject: Black and Veidt
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:48 pm 
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RLS wrote:
They'd have a dilemma: Veidt's squid killed all the African-American characters in the book (except Sally's nurse in California), and the only two gay characters, and driven Dan and Sally to disguise themselves as blonds with Anglo-Saxon names, all of which the far right New Frontiersman could only approve; on the other hand, they now have to hold hands with the Russians.

Obviously, Veidt did not engineer the squid to take out the only black characters we happened to be following in the story, so I don't think we can infer any Aryan Nation leanings from this. I think rather, this is part of Moore's deconstruction, illustrating the way comics have used minority characters.

Of course, the Millenium poster at the end is different and brings this issue to the forefront in a really creepy way. But, I have to wonder, does Veidt have such leanings or is he using that issue in this campaign to further his agenda? He certainly was not a very "nostalgic" person, but knew just how to manipulate that theme to his advantage.

Looking at his tastes in music and his altruism toward Indian famine, etc. I doubt seriously that Adrian Veidt is a racist or sexist any more than he is homosexual. He is aware of such things, but sees them as beneath him. I don't think he discovered Hira Manish's art accidentally. I think he really liked it.

I think Moore planted this issue in the book quite purposely to point out the way minorities were handled by comics and other media. There is certainly too much there to dismiss... the blonde Sam and Sandra Hollis speak volumes as the Eastern European Juspeczyk and Dreiberg disappear into western homogenization. But Dan picked the identities, not Adrian. I think Moore was commenting on "US" rather than Adrian. I don't think Moore was trying to portray Veidt as genocidal. He's an equal opportunity mass murderer.


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 Post subject: Silk thread count
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:41 pm 
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This is a terrific thread and I want to compliment everyone who's contributing to it. Some really smart comments.

As a fan of the original Star Trek series, I think you have to joke about it. The FX were mostly horrid, but there was much coolness too. Gene Roddenberry used the show and the network to make much larger points about what was going on at the time. Lt. Uhura was a strong black woman who was fearless, beautiful, and proudly female. She was groundbreaking. She was as strong a character as any male but still blatantly female and sexy as hell. We mustn't confuse sexy with sexism.

In Watchmen, Moore doesn't shy away from the sexuality that defines his characters. Rorschach detests women because he detests his own sexuality. This is due to a wet dream he had at the Charlton home when he was a pubescent orphan... a dream which starred his whore of a mother and one of her johns. The shame of this dream and of his beginnings defines him and the self-loathing that keeps his limited intelligence focused outward... the usual sight range of an absolute moralist.

Veidt's sexuality is the least apparent, or, being conspicuously inconspicuous, perhaps the most apparent. He views people as his inferiors. Mating with a human would be like humping a chimp for him. Thus he remains an autosexual.

This is, I think, an interesting point of view for understanding Veidt. Imagine yourself an animal rights champion who loves chimps, but you see that in their current environment, they are destroying themselves. You have tried to save them one by one, but you can't. They won't let you. So you come up with a plan that requires you to kill a chimp in order to save a thousand chimps. Would you do it?

Laurie has long interested me because I have often thought that Moore shortchanged this character. But lately, I'm not so sure.

She is not very educated, and yet she wins the attentions of two very educated males... Jon and Dan, both of whom care about her beyond her sexuality. They aren't after "one thing" only. Laurie goes back to her real name after her mother lacked the courage to embrace her Polish heritage during WWII... an understandable if disappointing stance... a hypocrisy that Silhouette teased her about... and, obviously, the Nazi Hooded Justice hated her even as he saved her... for being female? For being Polish?

But Laurie is stronger than her mother. Like Jon, she's a pinball of a character bouncing through the story at the manipulations of others... but, we don't really hold that against Jon... not because he's male, but because he is godlike and this creates an interesting irony. In Laurie, it does not. But her psychological journey is interesting nonetheless. She is thematically tied to every major character in the book and is, in many ways, the center. Moore pulls this off subtley without ruining the effect of the comic book deconstruction of the second stringer female.

I can't make up my mind about Laurie. She requires more thought.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:34 pm 
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About Laurie...

I suppose she is supposed to be an average "adult" male comic-reader's dream. Tough, sexy and actually very faithful and loving. A heart of gold inside those sooted lungs.

Trouble is, I find Gibbons' women to be a little manly rendered, and have never connected with her in the sense I mentioned above.

It will be interesting to see her personified in the shape of a Swedish female. I am married to one of those. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Quote:
Vynson wrote:
t3cii wrote:
Such as Rorschachs journal? I've wondered if the New Frontiersman knew what they had, and found out the implications in it were true, would they still share it with the world?


I'm sure they would. And I'm sure it wouldn't matter. The New Frontiersman is like the Limbaugh Letter meets the National Enquirer. No one would take it seriously.

The wonderful irony is that Hector Godfrey greatly admires Rorschach and declares him a patriot and a national hero. And Rorschach obviously admires Godfrey's editorial stance. And yet, when Seymour begins to read Walter's journal, Godfrey says it sounds like the Son of Sam.

The funny thing is, on a few counts, the New Frontiersman have come pretty close to the truth. Such as the mentioned disappearances of a number of artists and writers such as Hira Manish and Max Shea (who were on the island), as well as the growing number of people in the scientific field. They also touch upon the vandalized body of Robert Deschaines. With the involvement of the journal, would they be able to draw a link between them all and come up with the answer?

One other question I have is, if anyone had been given Rorschachs journal and the information he had, if you followed its trail and found out where it led, what would you do with it?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:27 pm 
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Vynson wrote:
Looking at his tastes in music and his altruism toward Indian famine, etc. I doubt seriously that Adrian Veidt is a racist or sexist any more than he is homosexual. He is aware of such things, but sees them as beneath him. I don't think he discovered Hira Manish's art accidentally. I think he really liked it.

This may come as a shock to some, to others, it may be very obvious. Adrian Veidt is a psychopath. I know what some of you may say, "psychopath? Come on. Like Charles Manson?" Well... yes, and no. Manson did not have the social status as Veidt did, so he comes off more crazy than our billionaire genius. But let's look at what a psychopath is:

psy·cho·path
n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Let's look at that closely. "Agressive, perverted criminal behavior." The brutal murder of three million new yorkers is just that. "Without empathy or remorse" - Yes. It was for the greater good. To "save" humanity from itself. There's no remorse from Veidt on this action. In fact, when do we see Veidt ever get emotional?

It's wonderful that Alan Moore gave us so many heroes with "damage." It's what separates his crimefighters from the likes of Batman or Superman, which are so "antiseptic." In fact, only a ture psychopath could concoct and perpetrate such a diabolical plan as Veidt. Very deep stuff.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:40 am 
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Quote:
One other question I have is, if anyone had been given Rorschachs journal and the information he had, if you followed its trail and found out where it led, what would you do with it?


Interesting question. Because that is what the book is, in effect. An ultimate edition of Kovacs' journal.

I would start a website and get posting!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:07 am 
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DoomsdayClock wrote:
psy·cho·path
n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Let's look at that closely. "Agressive, perverted criminal behavior." The brutal murder of three million new yorkers is just that. "Without empathy or remorse" - Yes. It was for the greater good. To "save" humanity from itself. There's no remorse from Veidt on this action. In fact, when do we see Veidt ever get emotional?

The moral dilemma in the story would be greatly simplified if one could dismiss Adrain as being a sandwich short of a picnic. For that reason I do not like this theory vey much, albeit it has many good points.

When he gets his secretary killed, it looks like he tries to comfort her before. Maybe he does feel sorry for her. I agree that he does not appear to get very emotional about his mass killing in chapter XI. But with someone exceptionally intelligent, that does not necessarily mean anything. Because he knew since many years that eventually he would commit this act, it was entirely presnt and clear to him since a long time, so maybe he got used to the idea a long time ago. Maybe when he first devised his plan and set it in motion, he felt the emotions heavier and cried himself to sleep every night. We simply do not know. He claims as much to Jon.

Also he is not anti-social in the sense of "feeling discomfort in the presence of others"...he is very eloquent in conversations, his interview is splendid etc. It is just that he does not have such a high opinion of most people, which he shows already in his youth when leisurely sitting on his parents' tomb stone.

Let me put it another way...if you take someone extremely intelligent and capable, and mentally sane, coming up with this scheme to save the world, believing in it and seeing no alternative; with the true intention to do his best for his fellow beloved humans. Would he behave very different from Veidt?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:50 pm 
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holtor wrote:
Let me put it another way...if you take someone extremely intelligent and capable, and mentally sane, coming up with this scheme to save the world, believing in it and seeing no alternative; with the true intention to do his best for his fellow beloved humans. Would he behave very different from Veidt?


That's a series of hypotheticals that doesn't necessarily describe Veidt, as you suggest. And I'm of the opinion that any sane person would discount the scenario that Veidt concocts. I think it's important to read with heightened skepticism every statement Veidt makes or that other characters make a propos of Veidt: in fiction there are only propositions, not truth-claims, and I don't think we have to accept, for instance, that there were no alternatives to killing 500,000 people. Nor do I think we have to accept that the path to armageddon was as inevitable as Veidt claims: I can't help but notice that prior to Veidt's meddling, the world was soldiering along, and that the intensification of Cold War hostilities followed the departure of Manhattan, which Veidt himself engineered. It may seem to simplify the novel's moral dilemma if we understand Veidt to have orchestrated events to make nuclear war inevitable without his intervention, but in my estimation the moral dilemma is fairly straightforward if Veidt's rationalizations are to be believed. If human extinction is inevitable unless you sacrifice a small percentage of the population, then with tears and weeping you toss the sacrifices to the squid. But if in fact Veidt's plot is the cause of the problems - if he not only cuts the knot but ties it in the first place - the question is more interesting; it becomes: why have so many readers of the book been so ready to accept Veidt's logic? Is he that charismatic, or are we just corrupt? That's the moment when, as Vynson suggested earlier, the book becomes a commentary on us. Are we so ready to effect regeneration through violence (to use Richard Slotkin's phrase) that we won't interrogate the self-justifications of a mass murderer?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:24 pm 
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RLS wrote:
Nor do I think we have to accept that the path to armageddon was as inevitable as Veidt claims

I think it is generally agreed upon on this board that Veidt's plan fails. I am merely suggesting to put yourself into the position of someone who *does* believe in this plan (before all the events in 1985 take place) and to see whether he would act like Veidt or not.

RLS wrote:
why have so many readers of the book been so ready to accept Veidt's logic?


Optimistically I doubt that many do so. But it happened not that long ago that a nation actually did decide to throw a nuclear bomb on a large city. Maybe that answers your question.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:52 pm 
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My sentences may have been misleading; I wasn't wondering whether Veidt's plan to save the world succeeds, but rather whether his diagnosis of the global situation prior to his intervention was correct. He declares that nuclear armageddon is inevitable; I wonder if that's the case. If it isn't, then his intervention does not save billions of lives, and the mass murder of New Yorkers loses its justification.

"Optimistically I doubt that many do so." Really? You're more optimistic than I am; on the Paramount board and elsewhere I've encountered a lot of people who take Veidt's self-nomination as global savior at face value, and who excuse the attack on New York as difficult - "we weep for New York" - but necessary.

"But it happened not that long ago that a nation actually did decide to throw a nuclear bomb on a large city. Maybe that answers your question."

On two large cities, no less, and in the second instance with considerably less justification than the first. But does it answer my question? I'm not sure; how exact do you think the parallels are? To my mind, one first has to decide whether Veidt was trying to short-circuit the endgame between the US and the USSR or was responsible for it. Not to flog dead calamari.


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 Post subject: Re: Silk thread count
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:17 pm 
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Quote:
Laurie has long interested me because I have often thought that Moore shortchanged this character. But lately, I'm not so sure.

She is not very educated, and yet she wins the attentions of two very educated males... Jon and Dan, both of whom care about her beyond her sexuality. They aren't after "one thing" only. Laurie goes back to her real name after her mother lacked the courage to embrace her Polish heritage during WWII... an understandable if disappointing stance... a hypocrisy that Silhouette teased her about... and, obviously, the Nazi Hooded Justice hated her even as he saved her... for being female? For being Polish?

But Laurie is stronger than her mother. Like Jon, she's a pinball of a character bouncing through the story at the manipulations of others... but, we don't really hold that against Jon... not because he's male, but because he is godlike and this creates an interesting irony. In Laurie, it does not. But her psychological journey is interesting nonetheless. She is thematically tied to every major character in the book and is, in many ways, the center. Moore pulls this off subtlety without ruining the effect of the comic book deconstruction of the second stringer female.

I can't make up my mind about Laurie. She requires more thought.[/color]
[/quote]

The reason I think that the character beds both of them is because they all feel a kinship towards one another. It's the same thing with tribes. Laurie grew up in the environment of heroes. They believe that they understand each other on that level, and assume that no one else could understand them for that reason.

Jon's relationship didn't work out with his first wife. Something he chalks up to her being out of the loop. Slowly he realizes that it's not it. He is no longer human anymore. As for Dan, he is lonely as hell in his love life. Then along comes Laurie who he knows (you got the comfort zone thing right there) and that has been dumped before, by a god-like thing nonetheless.

Some of the dialog in the flashbacks is not that authentic and a little stereotypical, but in most of it she is a full bodied character.

The justice character is very vague. I am guessing that it was more a moral issue. At a time like that it was seen that the woman was asking for it. So he was probably viewed it as more bailing her out than rescuing her.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:12 pm 
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holtor wrote:
The moral dilemma in the story would be greatly simplified if one could dismiss Adrain as being a sandwich short of a picnic. For that reason I do not like this theory vey much, albeit it has many good points.

The truth is, being a psychopath doesn't mean your visibly crazy or prone to violence. In fact, the theory is many men in power, especially corporate millionaires and business leaders have psychopatic tendencies: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

holtor wrote:
Let me put it another way...if you take someone extremely intelligent and capable, and mentally sane, coming up with this scheme to save the world, believing in it and seeing no alternative; with the true intention to do his best for his fellow beloved humans. Would he behave very different from Veidt?

I honesly don't see Veidt as a selfless savior. I feel he does what he does out of ego. Out of the hubris that he feels he's the only one smart enough, strong enough and resolute enough to put forth this plan. I think he really believes he's doing it for the good of humanity, but his ego is the driving force here.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:48 am 
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DoomsdayClock wrote:
The truth is, being a psychopath doesn't mean your visibly crazy or prone to violence. In fact, the theory is many men in power, especially corporate millionaires and business leaders have psychopatic tendencies: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

That theory would explain a lot of ongoings in our world ;) Concerning Adrian, have a look at the more scientific description of this illness:

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

Some parts fit more or less ("lack a sense of guilt or remorse","willingness to con and manipulate others","deficits or deviances in [..] interpersonal relationships, emotion","Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love"). But many other symptoms are very different from his personality:

"deficits or deviances in [...] self-control" Adrian has a very high dgree of self control
"a willingness to say anything without concern for accuracy or truth" Now, Adrian lies and manipulates, but very often he displays a very clear vision of the world.
"Their behavior is impulsive and irresponsible, often failing to keep a job or defaulting on debts." Adrian is anything else but impulsive and "failing to keep a job"
"psychopaths are also careless in the way they treat themselves" Adrian is quite narcistic about himself and tries vividly to stay in the game.
"Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience" One can argue whether his master plan was good judgment, but overall he shows that he can very well predict his capabilities.
"Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without" Nope, Adrain is rather reserved.
"Failure to follow any life plan" Yeah right.

Thus, close, but no match. At best a 50% match, I'd say. Later the article distinguishes between "Primary" and "Secondary" psychopathy, with the first one sounding a bit more like Adrian. But the match is again not perfect, and the description is too short to get anything conclusive from it. I read the corresponding text in the french and german wikipedia
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathe
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathie
[edit: completing URLs]

the german text being very different from the english one, but still not matching very good with Veidt. The french entry is far too short and amusingly mentions as one of the two main methods of diagnosis: The Rorschach test :]


Last edited by holtor on Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:27 am 
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holtor wrote:
Some parts fit more or less ("lack a sense of guilt or remorse","willingness to con and manipulate others","deficits or deviances in [..] interpersonal relationships, emotion","Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love"). But many other symptoms are very different from his personality

I don't think he's a "dyed in the wool" psychopath. He has many of the important characteristics. Let's just say he has major phychotic traits (like those CEO as discussed in my original article)

As far as the links go, its a default of the board. I'll raise the quota to 5...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:26 pm 
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He's not dyed in the wool. I think he is a despot. Almost all self styled rulers develop an almost paternal feeling for the people they rule. They make decisions that impact so many, most of them forget what it's like to be a regular person.


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