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Passions in Poetry

Is it wrong?

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aaron woodside
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0 posted 12-24-2002 03:17 AM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

First off, I hope I'm not considered a troll for this question.

Basicly I have a question that came up over on another forum.  The White-Wolf roleplaying forum's to be exact.

The question is, is it alright to let someone think what they want about an obviously wrong act, if they openly admit they would never do that act?  

The background went something like this.

A poster had a message about how he really enjoyed a certain animi cartoon.  Overfiend was the name of the movie.  Well he made a very "wrong" remark about how he enjoyed the rape scene in the movie.
After he said that a very intense flame war ensued, so bad in fact that the Moderator had to remove the thread.  This is big because the rules for posting on that website are very leniant.  The argument eventually came down to two camps.  Those who said that thinking anything like that is wrong to such an extreme, that the man should be put to death just for thinking it.  The other camp said that as long as the man did not go out and commit rape then it was alright for him to "enjoy" a fictional rape scene in a cartoon.  This camp also strongly disagreed with the you should be killed for what you think attitude of the first camp.

I will openly admit to being part of the second camp.  This is not to say that I do not understand rape or the effects it has.  I think rape is perhaps the second worst crime able to be commited after murder.  But if the guy wants to "enjoy" a rape scene in a cartoon, then he should have every right to do so, as long as he will never do it.  This lead to the argument about thinking something is as bad as doing it because it will desensitize you to the act.  But then what about the people who threatened to kill this poster.  I was actually physically threatened to be murdered just for defending this guys right to watch what he wants.

So what do you think?  Is it so wrong for a man to watch an obviously wrong act and enjoy it, as long as he he would never do, that his life should be threatened.  Or should the man have the right to watch that fictional act(it's a cartoon for pete's sake), knowing the act is wrong but still deriving some pleasure from it?

I would be much interested in hearing what everyone here has to say.

ex animo,
Aaron Woodside

There are no great men, only men in great circumstances.

Larry C
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1 posted 12-24-2002 09:12 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

What you dwell on is what you become!
Christopher
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2 posted 12-24-2002 01:40 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I don't believe that's the case Larry. An advantage we have is the ability to separate fantasy from reality.
fractal007
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3 posted 12-24-2002 02:09 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

IMHO anyone has the right to watch and enjoy anything on television.  I don't see, legally, why it would be wrong to make a statement like that.  However, when someone watches such a scene in the presence of others who obviously do not wish to view it then it is wrong.  Subjecting people to things that they should not have to see is, IMHO, very wrong.

I have not yet addressed the content of such a scene and whether or not it would be a moral act to enjoy it.  I do not believe I will make any arguments for or against it at this time, but rather I will pose some questions for you and the others here.

I am somewhat puzzled by your two possibly conflicting statements.  On the one hand you claim that you enjoyed viewing the rape scene.  On the other you claim that rape is among the worst possible crimes.  

Allow me to pose this question:

Suppose a man raped a woman in the street and a crowd came and stood around him and watched, obviously enjoying the criminal act.  Who do you believe performed the more just act:  The rapist or the spectator?  Secondly suppose that a cartoonist developed a scene in his cartoon in which a woman was raped.  Suppose that a group of people viewed that scene and obviously enjoyed it.  Who do you think performed the more just act:  The cartoonist for creating the scene in the first place or the viewer?

Finally, I must bring your attention to the root of the rape scene in the first place.  What do you think was the intent of that scene?  If it was to demonstrate something to you the viewer what do you think that thing was?  If it was to entertain then I submit once again to you the latter of my two questions in the above paragraph.

Finally, what makes a fictional rape scene any different from a real one from the perspective of the spectator?  What would be the difference between scene X, a real rape, and scene Y, a fictional cartoon based rape if spectator S enjoyed both scenes?

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

Christopher
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4 posted 12-24-2002 03:06 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
What would be the difference between scene X, a real rape, and scene Y, a fictional cartoon based rape if spectator S enjoyed both scenes?
With the ability to separate reality from fiction, can we not therefore separate our enjoyment as well? Is it not possible to enjoy it because it is fantasy, where if it were reality [you] wouldn't hesitate to intervene?

Not making any arguements on the main question, simply because I believe it's the wrong question.
Christopher
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5 posted 12-24-2002 03:07 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Not making any arguements on the main question, simply because I believe it's the wrong question.
Great. Now I'm starting to sound like Brad.
aaron woodside
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6 posted 12-24-2002 03:17 PM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

I didn't like the rape scene in the movie. I have never even seen that movie, nor do I care to.  I'm against rape on every level, but I am willing to except that someone else would "enjoy" watching it.

So as to what the rape scene was used for in the movie I do not know.  My guess is that since its an animi cartoon it was just an excuse to show nude cartoon women being subjagated to their male counterpart.

I do not like animi much at all, if you can't tell.

Chris- what Question would you prefer me to ask then?  

ex animo,
Aaron Woodside

There are no great men, only men in great circumstances.

Brad
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7 posted 12-24-2002 04:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Initially, this may seem like a tangent, but I'll try to bring it together later:

Ever seen "Das Boot"?

Did you cheer for the Germans?

Another problem is no one is asking why he liked the the rape scene. I like Yeats' "Leda and the Swan" but that doesn't mean I condone rape.

The argument, as presented, strikes me as unhistoricized, uncontextualized self-righteousness.

I guess it's just fun to play God when you can.
Caelestis
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8 posted 12-24-2002 05:41 PM       View Profile for Caelestis   Email Caelestis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Caelestis

Just a quick comment for now -- how is a rape scene in a movie any worse than a murder scene?
This is from the viewpoint that rape is a lesser attrocity than murder.
aaron woodside
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9 posted 12-24-2002 06:16 PM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

Well his reason for liking the rape scene, and I disagree with why he liked it, was that it represented to him the idealized aspect of manhood. And he admitted to getting off to it.  Not exactly good reasons I know, but my stance is that although I don't agree with what he is thinking, I do not have the right to punish him for what he is thinking, only if he acts upon it.  That is my question.  Is it alright to punish someone for what they are thinking, or should that person have the right to think what they will with out fear of punishment as long as they do not act upon those ideas.

ex animo,
Aaron Woodside

There are no great men, only men in great circumstances.

Brad
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10 posted 12-24-2002 10:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well then, isn't the problem a misunderstanding of what it is to be a man?

Christopher
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11 posted 12-24-2002 10:52 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

There was an interesting discussion on that a while back, Aaron: Thought -vs- Action
aaron woodside
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12 posted 12-26-2002 02:38 AM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

Brad- yes it could be, but the poster's idealized version of manhood was obviously not in accordance with the majority of the worlds.  So it leads back to if it's acceptable to condemn a person based on their expressed beliefs, opinions, and thoughts or if condemnation should be withheld until those thoughts are acted upon.

I haven't had a chance to read the other thread yet.  I'll get to it soon.

ex animo,
Aaron Woodside

There are no great men, only men in great circumstances.

Brad
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13 posted 12-26-2002 04:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Is it okay to tell someone when you think they're wrong?

Sure.

Is it okay to threaten someone with physical violence?

When is that ever okay?
Stephanos
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14 posted 12-26-2002 09:03 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think this question is more relevant that we might at first suspect, especially since our technology is getting to the point where "virtual reality" is virtually reality.  Do I think that a man should be imprisoned because he enjoys rape scenes in movies?  Absolutely not.  Civil law only can go so far, and judging private thoughts is not a duty of Civil magistrates, until these thoughs manifest in public display of action or crime.  

But don't you see, that this may be one of the problems?  Whatever is fostered in thought, or in private entertainment, tends to more often become reality?  Should we allow for virtual child pornography, thinking that it is okay, and that everyone has the ability to separate reality from entertainment?  I predict that there will be an unprecedented increase in actual child pornography and pedophilia as a result of this.  We believe it works for advertising, why do we deny it has the same effect in other ways?  Remember this the next time you see a Burger King whopper on a commercial and your stomach growls.  Illegitimate and hurtful lusts can also be introduced, cultivated, incubated, and then unleashed in society through media.  I don't blame every evil on this kind of thing.  But it's interesting that almost every kid involved in these recent school shootings, such as Columbine, has revealed a history of partaking of violence through video-games and explicit music ... coincidence?  There again, we have enough insight to sell our hamburgers this way, but God forbid, we don't want to infringe on anyone's rights.  One thing for certain, the virtual experience of anything cherished in the heart will only satisfy for so long.  It doesn't have the twang or the zip that reality ... flesh and blood experience ... provides.  There is no small chance that those who "enjoy" rape scenes may be emboldened to do it... Of course it doesn't seem like rape at first... After all "Yes" really means "No" with women these days right?  


Should we impose civil punishment for enjoying such things in entertainment?  No.  Is there a danger in enjoying such things and in propagating such things in the entertainment industry?  Yes.  Jesus said that if a man looked upon a woman lustfully then he has committed adultery with her already in his heart.  This says to me that there are spiritual and societal consequences to our entertainment choices.  


Stephen.    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-26-2002 09:05 PM).]

fractal007
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15 posted 12-26-2002 11:49 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Stephen:

"it's interesting that almost every kid involved in these recent school shootings, such as Columbine, has revealed a history of partaking of violence through video-games and explicit music ... coincidence?"

Possibly.  Are these things not quite rampant in our culture now?  However, I do concede that it may well be the case that such material is a contributing factor in the committing of violent acts.  However, I do not see that such material is that large of an influence simply because there exist such large numbers of people who indulge in it.  If it is a large factor then why do we not see hundreds of violent acts perpetrated by indulgant teens each day?  However, if anything is a major problem in this area it is critical thinking.  It seems that if there is a rise of crime resulting in some way[direct or indirect] from violence in the media then a lack of critical thinking on the part of those consuming such media may be to blame.  I always try to be thoughtful of what I am viewing on television or reading in books or listening to on CDs.  Not meaning to sound self righteous, perhaps there are some who neglect to be so thoughtful.

And, on a lighter note, concerning whether or not anime generally condones the exploitation of its female characters, I do not see that to be the case.  Though I am not a very large consumer of that material I do know of "Princess Mononoke" and "Ghost in the Shell."  Both of these are movies with strong female characters that would probably be quite capable of fending off a potential rapist with quite desasterous results for the prospective perpetrator of the crime.  

However, there is also the "Exsters"[sp], a series about a group of school girls who pilot elite military machines on their spare time as part of the activities of a club known as the "Etiquete Club." That series is known to portray some its female characters as being rather gullible and easily taken advantage of.  In fact there is even a scene in which a man sets up a potential gang rape so as to win the trust of one of the female characters.

So, it would seem that anime is a mixed genre with respect to its view of women.

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

Kosetsu
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16 posted 01-02-2003 02:40 AM       View Profile for Kosetsu   Email Kosetsu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kosetsu

quote:
But it's interesting that almost every kid involved in these recent school shootings, such as Columbine, has revealed a history of partaking of violence through video-games and explicit music ... coincidence?


And King Henry III of France, Louis XIV of France, and Napoleon all suffered from ailurophobia - the fear of cats. Does that mean that in order to become a leader of France, you must have ailurophobia?

-Adam
Stephanos
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17 posted 01-02-2003 10:46 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Kosetsu,

you wrote ..."King Henry III of France, Louis XIV of France, and Napoleon all suffered from ailurophobia - the fear of cats. Does that mean that in order to become a leader of France, you must have ailurophobia?"


     Thanks... I learned a new word!  I know many people with this ailment.  (I happen to like cats myself)


The answer to your rhetorical question is, as you expected ... "Of course not!".  You seem to suggest that explicit violence in media has the same relation to real violence, as the fear of cats does to authoritarian leadership.  You're pointing out that the latter two are so obviously without correlation that it would be ridiculous to make the connection, and then comparing my example to it.  One problem . . . You haven't made a case that the correlation between violence in media, and actual violence, is quite as absent as the correlation in your example.  


Stephen.  
Kosetsu
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18 posted 01-04-2003 02:21 AM       View Profile for Kosetsu   Email Kosetsu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kosetsu

As I have noticed, and was intending on expounding upon a bit. Think of how many teenagers you know. Now take that number, and think of how many of them play videogames and listen to most popular music.

Now, how many of those still would you believe to pick up an AK-47 and go shoot up half of their school?

Most teenagers I know play videogames. If not most teenagers, then by all means, nearly all male teenagers. And of course, as teenagers do, we play the most modern games, those fresh from the companies that pump them out. Let me tell you some of the names, with brief descriptions, of some of the hot videogames many of the people I know are playing.

Counterstrike - a spin-off of the Half-life series, this is a multiplayer first-person shooter. You divide into two teams, Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist. Obviously, the two are against each other. The easiest way to win? Kill all the other guys. The game is perfectly bloody, and in fact, you can get a rather nice view of someone's head being taken off by a 12 gauge shotgun.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance - though I've not played the game myself, the Mortal Kombat series is infamous for its bloody fight scenes, particularly the special moves each character can do at the end of a fight known as Fatalities. These generally consist of things such as burning your enemy into a crisp, ripping their spine and skull from their carcass, punching through their chest and devouring their still beating heart and so on.

Halo - a 1st person shooter, you're a cyborg super soldier carrying your ship's sentient computer. A lovely jaunt through space in which you get to blast a ton of aliens, with real alien blood spraying action.

The list goes on. I myself have played two of these games, and enjoyed them thoroughly. I've enjoyed other games with brutally violent combat. I'm also a pacifist, and have been all my life, though perhaps I did not know the term during my childhood.

Hunter: the Reckoning - this X-box game pits you against hordes of zombies and other horrors of the night, even including a psychotic possessed teddy bear that tries to hug you to death before it pukes acid on you. The intro scene to the Teddy fight has the bear brutally slaying the parents of its former owner (a little girl) before her very eyes.

My point is this. Nearly all teenagers have played videogames, and nearly all of those that have played videogames have played violent ones. Many of these do not just put a game down after finding its violent content. Videogames did not make those people go out and shoot their classmates. Neither did explicit lyrics in music, though perhaps that is a better arguement than anything one could try to pin on videogames. Those individuals killed their peers for whatever reasons. Most of them were mentally deranged. In many cases, they were picked on by classmates, something that I believe is far more dangerous than any videogame.

As for music, this is a harder thing to defend. Most popular music, except for some rock and some rap, don't have very violent lyrics. Even then, most teenagers I know can differentiate between a song and reality. When Eminem raps about killing his wife and stuffing her in a trunk, such as in his song 'Kim', most teenagers know that, "Hey, this is a song. Eminem is an artist that lives on controversy. Thus, he's controversial."

There are exceptions, I will admit. In fact, Eminem's own song "Stan" is about a fellow who takes the music too far. Eminem sings as the character Stan, a fan of Eminem who becomes angered and obsessed when he receives no reply to his fan mail. The song ends with Stan driving his car off a bridge with his girlfriend tied up in the trunk, killing the both of them.

I think perhaps music can have a greater impact than videogames because..well, face it. No one wants to see videogame designers. Very few people idolize the makers of their games, though a few hardcore fans may know the name of the person behind a long series of games or such. Not so with music. Anyone, even someone not a fan, can probably point out an Eminem song on the radio. We see the artists and musicians all the time, whether on commericals for clothes, or food, or even in their own movies. It's easier to believe, "Hey, this person has big world influence. If he says he's doing something, it surely can't be too bad, right?" than when you're dealing with a disc and a computer.

As I have said however, my defense was more of videogames than of music. The point of my French leaders to ailurophobia analogy was that one should not be so quick to blame something for a person's actions. Maybe videogames DID have an impact on those gunmen's actions. It is more probable that they did not. It could be like saying that I got in a car wreck because I bought a Big Mac a week ago. Maybe the Big Mac had some bad meat in it, so I became sick, and had recovered enough to return to work. However, I was still woozy, and didn't correct in time to avoid hitting a car that swerved out of my path. In some minor, round-about way, it may be in some part the Big Mac's fault, but it is also mine. I shouldn't have tried to drive if I was still feeling sick. As such, I should take responsibility for my actions.

-Adam
Ron
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19 posted 01-04-2003 07:47 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I'm also a pacifist, and have been all my life, though perhaps I did not know the term during my childhood.

Are you entirely certain you know the term now? Pacifism isn't just about what you do, but rather is about what you feel. There are many reasons to avoid physical confrontations, and pacifism is only one of those reasons. One shouldn't, for example, confuse fear or conviction with pacifism, because the former two are usually situational. Pacifism is rarely situational. A pacifist objects to violence not because he's afraid of being hurt, and not because he "thinks" it's wrong, but rather because he can't NOT object to violence. It makes him physically and unbearably uncomfortable. It hurts. No true pacifist would ever play a violent video game or watch a blood and guts movie. He couldn't.

I agree that video games and other media do not cause violence. They can, however, show us who is capable of terrible violence. The correlation between video games and school shootings isn't cause and effect, but rather effect and effect. Of course these kids played video games and listened to violent music long before they picked up a gun. The same tendencies that allowed them to pick up that gun would have inevitably driven them to earlier violent outlets. The games they played weren't a trigger, just a warning.

No, that doesn't mean that every kid who picks up a game controller is going to someday pick up a gun and start shooting people. It only means they could. It means they have the ability to disassociate from their victims enough to kill. Just like every soldier in every war ever fought. Fortunately, the gulf between the ability to kill and the willingness to kill is a wide one. And video games appear to tell us nothing about the anger required to bridge that gulf.

To return to the original question in this thread, it seems pretty obvious to me that none of us can judge another's thoughts. How could we? The only thing we can possibly judge is a man's actions.

However, the communication of a person's thoughts IS an action. The minute he opened his mouth and chose to convey his enjoyment of a rape scene, he opened himself to critical judgement. Righteous judgement, in my opinion, and for much the same reason we should discourage people from openly making ethnic slurs. Actions aren't just the result of thought, they also shape thought. What we allow people to say uncontested helps determine group dynamics because those words become social agreements on what is acceptable. Hate (and that's what rape is really about) should never be encouraged, not even by silence.

Phaedrus
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20 posted 01-04-2003 10:00 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Ron

quote:
I agree that video games and other media do not cause violence. They can, however, show us who is capable of terrible violence.

I donít agree, how can video games and other media show us who is capable of terrible violence?
quote:
No, that doesn't mean that every kid who picks up a game controller is going to someday pick up a gun and start shooting people. It only means they could.

Anyone who never picks up a game controller or who never watched a violent video is equally capable of picking up a gun and shooting someone. As a pointer or indicator as to who is capable of terrible violence and who is not video games and similar media are, in my opinion,  completely useless. If one violent person can be found who had no exposure to video games or similar media all you end up with is the obvious conclusion that anyone and everyone is capable of such violence regardless of what they do in their spare time.
Ron
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21 posted 01-04-2003 11:24 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You're right, Phaedrus. I never meant to suggest that ONLY video game players were capable of violence. However, it seems clear from the evidence that no one turns into a homicidal maniac overnight. The reality of their inner anger first expresses itself in fantasy, and that fantasy may or may not be in the form of video games.

Like Stephen, I recognize a correlation between fantasy and real violence. Like you, I do not think that correlation is of any useful value.
Stephanos
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22 posted 01-04-2003 11:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

This knowledge is only as valuable as the number of people who are willing to act upon it.  It can be of very useful value when it comes to how we raise our own kids.  If you see the correlation, you won't buy the game "Grand Theft Auto" for your kids.  Or if we have any influence on the world of entertainment/ media ... if we are musicians, actors, producers, writers, artists, etc...  we can make a difference by choosing to be more wise in what we promote.  It may be only a cup of fresh water in a sea of slime, but each effort is a start.


I guess what concerns me is when the correlation is not seen at all, or denied.  Garbage in = Garbage out.


Though I agree that a deeper question may be, why are such things entertaining to us?  But along with this answer, comes the fact that the actual entertainment itself augments the reason why.  


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-04-2003 11:50 PM).]

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