David Thompson
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August 27, 2014

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Anna

You could argue that New York City after the Occupy movement experienced a positive change in social atmosphere, a democratisation of artistic space, and a revival of its radical mojo.

Just don't mention the riots, rapes, stabbings and massive bills for cleaning up afterwards.

ACTOldFart

On the very day that it is revealed that, in Rotherham alone, some 1400 children have been sexually abused and molested by 'asians' (and we all know what that stands for), this genius calls for a community which is "ethnically mixed and tolerant and hospitable to women".

Jesus.f&*^ing.Christ. What.a.f%$#ing.moron

David

Just don’t mention the riots, rapes, stabbings and massive bills for cleaning up afterwards.

Madam, please. You’re harshing his buzz.

Lancastrian Oik

You could argue that New York City after the Occupy movement experienced a positive change in social atmosphere, a democratisation of artistic space, and a revival of its radical mojo.

You could, but you'd be talking bollocks.

David

You could, but you’d be talking bollocks.

Yes, it’s a tad fanciful. Especially when you consider that one of the last features of the New York “occupation” was a vehement and popular counter-protest by local residents and small business owners who demanded that the noisy, obstructive parasites be scraped from their parks and streets, along with their squalid shanty towns, 24-hour drum circles and piles of excrement.

But according to Mr Mason, the Occupiers weren’t just the usual collection of misfits, inadequates and pretentious narcissists. Instead we’re to believe that they’re part of a “new global revolution,” a “wave of revolt… sweeping the planet.” Yes, a few bandana-wearing wankers swearing at the police and setting bins on fire is just like Tiananmen Square.

Likewise, Mr Mason described the 2011 London rioters – mostly career criminals with records as long as your arm – as indulging in some “political trailblazing.” In his mind, the looting, arson and beatings of the elderly were a “massive political demonstration against the capitalist state.” The “so-called ‘rioters’” – his words - weren’t just predators, thieves and opportunist thugs; they too were part of this “global revolution,” giving it to The Man.

A less romantic view of Occupy and the kinds of people it attracted is available here, here and here.

Lancastrian Oik

On the very day that it is revealed that, in Rotherham alone, some 1400 children have been sexually abused and molested by 'asians' (and we all know what that stands for), this genius calls for a community which is "ethnically mixed and tolerant and hospitable to women".

No trams, a rubbish cycle lane system and a general lack of agitprop theatre. Oh, and you probably wouldn't want to swim in the canals.

However, Rotherham does seem to have successfully combined two of Mr. Mason's criteria in that it had a thriving "...ecosystem of....plain old sleazy heterosexual hangouts" under the control of "old-style...working-class cabbies".

Robert the Biker

"working-class cabbies, who’ve been persuaded to give women and ethnic minorities equal access to the trade"

What a stupid tosser, even for a lefty cretin. Anyone who can do 'the knowledge' can get a black cab licence, it's just that many asians prefer the minicab route since it i s less regulated and basically has no 3 to 4 year 'apprenticeship' learning ALL the streets and routes.

Sam

So his perfect city would have 'non-chaotic' slums, political unrest, lots of hipster tosspots and 'a feminist government recruited in Scandinavia'. (All blondes?)

JuliaM

"Though currently maligned, hipsters are crucial signifiers of a successful city economy. "

Ahahahahahahaha...

*breathes*

...hahahahahaha'

rjmadden

It worries me that this man somehow got employed as an economics editor.

David

(All blondes?)

If you pull at that thread the whole thing will come unravelled.


It worries me that this man somehow got employed as an economics editor.

I imagine the adult world will be something of a shock for Mr Mason. When he eventually lets go of his nostalgia for the student union bar and actually encounters it.

Stuck-Record

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

A grown-up wrote that? Jesus.

It's akin to the kind of thing I used to hear when I was 16, "And when we're older we'll get a house we can share, and there'll be loads of dope and we'll just jam and paint and stay up talking all night. It'll be so cool!"

Patrick Brown

I have no idea why people are still talking about "Occupy" as some kind of vital political movement. Even ignoring the violence and criminal activity that marred it, it was spectacularly politically incoherent. It had no message, no objectives, and offered no solutions or alternatives. It was, in short, a political tantrum.

Patrick Brown

Also interesting that he's so tolerant of slums. In my ideal city, there'd be housing of a decent standard affordable to people on a low income bracket. But there are probably too many slum landlords heavily subsidised by Housing Benefit on the Guardin's payroll for that to fly there.

Watcher in the dark

"ethnically diverse poor communities, who refrain from fighting each other"

Nice idea. Utterly unreal, but cosy. The sort of vague idea that warms the cockles of an eliet lefty heart as he/she/it sips champagne with their own kind.

Trouble is, er, the trouble. As most poor communities are pissed on by socialists (no, don't worry, it is in their left-dangling genes) in order to keep the masses subservient and deny them opportunities to get out of the mire, then those held down by the corruption of socialism often turn to violence. As these urine-drenched peasants can't get to the luxury-loving, hypocritical and very-distant elite, they fight among themselves and each other. But remember, this person's dream is that his utopia should have "poor communities."

Most sensible people (for example, non-sovcialists) would prefer people not to be poor.

Lancastrian Oik

Also interesting that he's so tolerant of slums.

But his slums are UN approved "staging posts for upward mobility, self-policing and non-chaotic".

So they wouldn't be slums at all, just human zoos for spectating hipster progressives like Mason whilst simultaneously being a sort of benign PC purgatory for the deserving poor before the upward mobility kicked in.

jimmy

Munich is impressive, but it's relentlessly bourgeois...

Even its gay people are yuppies.

I don't even...

I suspect I don't live on the same planet as these people.

tidbit

So what this guy wants is a Dirtbag Disneyland?

Tim Newman

Lefty government? Check.
Slums? Check.
Racial mix? Check.
Trams? Check.
Seaside? Check.
Hippies? Check.
Massive ecosystem of gay, lesbian, transgender, BDSM and plain old sleazy heterosexual hangouts? Check.

So when does he move to California?

jimmy

from cif

Most of the things you just mentioned are in Melbourne, and to a lesser extent, Sydney: huge cafe culture, huge gayness, huge ethnic population, trams (in Melbourne), theatres (Melbourne again), small bar scene, lot of hipsters, etc etc.

What is it about expensive coffee, gayness (huge), ethnics and hipsters being so important?. Can people be any more pretentious?

DH

...a heavily regulated taxi system, as efficient as Uber but under the control of old-style London working-class cabbies, who've been persuaded to give women and ethnic minorities equal access to the trade, and who are banned from giving you their opinion.

This seems a peculiar priority. Especially considering that he's proposing a basket case economy propped up entirely by vintage clothing stores, gay pubs, creative microbusinesses and BDSM dungeons, while global chains and global elites are banned from investing.

Mal

Oh boy. Talk about desperate to get laid.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Though currently maligned, hipsters are crucial signifiers of a successful city economy. Their presence shows it is possible to live on your wits...

I can't speak to other than US hipsters (and my apologies to other countries for yet another cultural disaster we seem to have exported), but here their presence only shows it is possible to live like a perpetual college sophomore on trust funds and parental loans.

David

huge gayness,

Does he mean the place should have a conspicuous number of gay people - or a more typical number of gay people being hugely gay, i.e., very gay indeed? Or gay people who are actually huge and tower above everyone else while being gay in proportion with their innate hugeness?

DH

Then there's the tricky question of how one would actually measure gayness. I'm sure Mr Mason would ensure that the city council had a team of officials working on that, though.

David

See, now I’m picturing giant gay people stomping around those non-franchise coffee bars and “slums of hope.”

Lancastrian Oik

Third paragraph: he quotes a study- "More than half the cities surveyed had seen a fall in living standards, due to "heightened unrest in the wake of the global economic crisis, which has undermined many of the developmental gains that cities may have experienced through public policy and investment". That's like uh, real unrest, as opposed to the nebulous fuckwittery which emanates from the "Occupy" movement.

In paragraph four- " The unrest that has swept many cities in the so-called emerging market countries, from Rio to Kiev to Istanbul, is actually a measure of how the new middle classes in these countries aspire to make things better." Yes - it looks very much indeed that these "new middle classes" don't want to reside in a dysfunctional shithole. Bicycle lanes, huge gayness, sleazy heterosexual hangouts, hipster economics be damned. These guys just want to be able to get to work relatively cheaply without being shot at. They also showed the "Occupy" poseurs how they do things downtown.

"(E)quating political instability with negativity is perverse". Yes, unless it's your subway station that's on fire, or it's your job to clear away some "Occupy" protestor's carrier bag full of excrement.

What an utter, utter tool.

Chris N

If you can't manage money, economics, nor reality all that well, just manage the news.

David

“(E)quating political instability with negativity is perverse”. Yes, unless it’s your subway station that’s on fire, or it’s your job to clear away some “Occupy” protestor’s carrier bag full of excrement.

Ah, but like his buddy and fellow Occupy booster Laurie Penny, Mr Mason is titillated by riots and “radical” thuggery, and things like this. It gets him very excited and, one suspects, makes him feel young again. Provided it’s happening to someone else, obviously. That’s the stage of moral and psychological development that he’s stuck at. It’s where he feels righteous.

matt

Oh, can that city appear somewhere soon. I want to go there and watch the beta-male hipsters have their iPhones and girlfriends stolen by ambassadors from ethnically diverse poor communities. Can't. Wait.

DensityDuck

He's namedropping Uber because it's hip these days. If this were 1997 he'd be writing about how there should be plenty of cyber cafés because they're the forefront of the politically-aware and -empowered global interconnected society, or some BS like that.

I'm amused by his idea that a slum could be "self-policing" while also being the inclusive, tolerant, diverse community that he dreams of. You get the idea that this man does not actually know what a slum *is*, although I'm sure he could rattle off a political-fantasy definition of the term. "A slum is an urban region characterized by primarily working-class poor who have been forced into marginal living spaces through collusion between property owners..."

sackcloth and ashes

'Such neighbourhoods… are home both to hipsters and ethnically diverse poor communities, who refrain from fighting each other'.

Pauline Pearce - the Hackney resident who became famous three years ago for confronting looters wrecking her neighbourhood during the London riots - has a somewhat different take on this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11014543/White-hipsters-not-black-looters-are-now-threatening-post-riots-London.html

Charlie Suet

How embarrassing it must be to get an erection every time you hear the sound of broken glass.

Paul Mason deserves our pity.

Jonathan

"..See, now I’m picturing giant gay people stomping around..."

Gayzilla?

David

Gayzilla?

Pretty much.

David

And this item of ephemera from earlier this year seems strangely relevant.

Hal

. . . . Wow. But, not the least bit surprising, actually.

. . . former Trotskyite and Workers’ Power enthusiast . . .

Former, My. Ass.

He's namedropping Uber because it's hip these days.

. . and all the other observations that everyone's made . . .

Munich is impressive, but it's relentlessly bourgeois...

Even its gay people are yuppies.

Of course a rather inconvenient observation that Mason the hipster would like to ignore is that the "yuppys" are now the hipsters.

Getting absolutely everything all the time requires lines of credit that can only be supported by ongoing fraud, and while the weak and the deluded remain totally happy to commit this fraud, someone else still has to support that fraud as well. When supporting banks that had been staffed by the equally weak and deluded started collapsing right and left, the yuppy ran out of equally weak and deluded suckers to scam.

Thus the yuppy then migrated over to being the hipster, where the hipster fantasy now involves cheap alcohol or something that looks like it, a cheap bar or event or something that looks like it, and bizarre costuming that is mass produced if new, or cheap and easy to get at if used. The weak hipster gets the identifiable blob to anonymously disappear into, and the deluded hipster gets the delusion of being admired that can be paid for with scrounged up pennies, or mommy and daddy's credit card, or something that looks like it.

A friend of mine had a specific note when seeing hipsters rather apparently like Mason, when seeing a debacle of them congealing at an event. She states that hipsters are proof of the autonomic nervous system. When some git is clearly too stupid to remember to breathe, something has to be preventing asphyxiation.

In probably related news, in San Francisco, there are the issues of a two-year-old killed in traffic.

To note several of the stories, available through Google news, and to quote from one; "The light was green for vehicle traffic the entire time," said police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza. . . . Esparza said there's a chance that the driver may not have known he or she had hit anybody, but that there is bound to be some type of evidence.

. . . . Investigations are still continuing, from what I read. Based on what I keep seeing hipsters do, I wonder what the odds are that the "driver" of the car was actually a hipster that was also intently staring at a phone and never saw or felt anything when the two-year-old was hit . . .

Hal

Ah yes, and for a further examples of hipsters ignoring reality . . . and cell phones . . .

ac1

Next week the BBC will announce a flat-earther will be the new geography correspondent.

Elrond Hubbard

Mason's utopian cities, where we'll all be eternally free and eternally young.

Jimmy

btw the Munich and 'even gay people are yuppies' is from the comment section where people are comparing the gayness of cities, not the article. I felt that may have become blurred.

Bart

"it has entire neighbourhoods designed around hipster economics"

The ideal city would base its economy on part time barista work and living off your parents' trust fund. Says the economics editor of a major broadcasting company.


"a heavily regulated taxi system, as efficient as Uber but under the control of old-style London working-class cabbies, who've been persuaded to give women and ethnic minorities equal access to the trade, and who are banned from giving you their opinion."

Interesting. Every other aspect of this city is all about "democratic political culture" that "calls them regularly to the streets, to loud arguments in small squares", and streets plastered with "ever more inventive propaganda against sexual harassment, domestic violence and general sexism". But the working class must content themselves with being loveably patronising Cockney stereotypes who sit in meek silence while serving the city's hipster elite and who are explicitly forbidden from expressing any opinion.

Hopelessly impractical, obnoxiously condescending and borderline Stalinesque in its intolerance of any hint of dissenting opinion. Good to see the Guardian's opinion section upholding the standards we've become accustomed to.

Shiggz

"So what this guy wants is a Dirtbag Disneyland?

Posted by: tidbit | August 27, 2014 at 13:15"

Brilliant observation and perfectly stated!!! That sums up the subconcious endgoal of most bubble leftists i have talked with.

But can we identify and neutralize what happens in their life to make adults crave a dirty disneyland as a "utopian" existence?

I think until we start identifying how creatures of the left are created out of otherwise normal kids (im sure we all have friends that turned into lefty nutters) we have zero chance of defeating their psychosis.

David Gillies

This bizarre fantasy city seems to be some sort of mutant chimaera of Rent and Oliver!. The whole article is fractally stupid; as you zoom in, further vistas of stupidity open up, like the Mandelbrot set. Just to take one spectacular nugget of idiocy, consider the idea of a heavily-regulated, yet efficient Uber. That's oxymoronic, as well as just plain moronic. If Uber were regulated like ordinary taxis, it wouldn't be Uber (which is why the rent-seekers and featherbedders are so mightily agin it). His idea of hipsters being signifiers of a vibrant economy is true inasmuch as seagulls are a sign the fishing fleet's in harbour, but they don't actually do anything. Sure, they might have the latest iPhone, but not a single one of them knows anything about surface acoustic wave filters or Objective C or metallurgy or ergonomics or marketing mix modelling. A hipster-based economy cannot produce iPhones; it can only consume them. What a maroon.

David

Speaking of Ms Penny and her legendary mental cutting beam, this review of her latest book may amuse. Writing in The Baffler, Sarah Burnside, a Guardian contributor, tells us that Laurie’s writing is “compelling,” “exhilarating” and “hard to argue with.” She then gives us a flavour of its contents:

“Public ‘career feminists’ have been more concerned with getting more women into ‘boardrooms,’ when the problem is that there are altogether too many boardrooms, and none of them are on fire,” she writes.

It’s a “work of consciousness-raising.”

An extract of Laurie’s book was poked at here.

jimmy

I guess it's hard to argue in a boardroom when it's on fire?

Patrick Brown

Elrond Hubbard: "Mason's utopian cities, where we'll all be eternally free and eternally young."

Not to mention eternally extroverted. Even the thought of the endless clubbing (segregated by sexuality of course) he seems to envisage makes my teeth itch.

His idea of a "perfect city" is one that revolves around him.

DH

You could likely make a fortune out of people like Mr Mason by opening a sort of left wing Westworld, with simulated street battles with the police instead of the gunfights and transgender nightclubs instead of the 1875-style bordellos.
I'm taking this to Dragon's Den - that Evan Davis looks like the sort of chap who'd appreciate something like that.

Kevin B

"a heavily regulated taxi system, as efficient as Uber but under the control of old-style London working-class cabbies, who've been persuaded to give women and ethnic minorities equal access to the trade, and who are banned from giving you their opinion."

So part of the heavy regulation is that instead of doing 'the knowledge', the cabbies do 'the ignorance'.

Stuck-Record

Maybe in MasonWorld© if there aren't the requisite number of gays or 'ethnics' in a particular area, the commissars could have them bussed in, or something.

Who cares if they want to live there. It's for the good of MasonWorld©

Smudger

This guy needs to discover those video games where you get to play City Planner and/or God.

That or just stop being a complete fucking tool.

Jeff Guinn

How would he write that drivel without passive voice?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Munich is impressive, but it's relentlessly bourgeois...

Even its gay people are yuppies.

How dare those people live their lives in a way I don't like! And don't those gay people know they're supposed to live much differently from the straight people?

What a bunch of vile collectivist bigotry.

David

Regarding Laurie and her journalistic standards, this may amuse.

How very egalitarian of her.

Connor

How very egalitarian of her.

Haha. So basically, "Know your place and don't talk back".

David

So basically, “Know your place and don’t talk back”.

Pretty much. And in that respect she’s behaving like many other self-described “radical” egalitarians. Given who she is, and who her peers are, it’s hardly a surprise; but it is interesting how someone who says she wants a “revolution” to “bring the whole thing crashing down” is so eager to use the credentials and social status she claims to despise whenever it suits her vanity. Or whenever she’s losing an argument.

jimmy

Haha. So basically, "Know your place and don't talk back".

The ouroboros takes another suffocating bite.

Rafi

How very egalitarian of her.

Now she's demanding apologies from people who said (politely) she sounded a bit full of herself. :-)

https://twitter.com/PennyRed/status/505336253534203904

David

Now she’s demanding apologies from people who said (politely) she sounded a bit full of herself.

Oh dear. It’s funny how her blunders are so often followed by a cascade of indignation and hole-digging. Laurie seems to regard her vanities as political, and therefore something to take pride in. And so if you snigger at her conceit and incoherence, this is waved aside as some nefarious attempt to silence female journalists or women in general. It’s practically megalomaniacal.

Bart

"Adam. I am a journalism fellow at Harvard. Please do not lecture me on the appeal to authority fallacy. I meant humility. No wait - press ethics."

David

It’s a strange thing to watch unfold. However polite her male critics are, and whatever the issue of disagreement is, they can – and will - be construed as “mansplaining” and promptly dismissed. And if other people, including women she claims to admire, point out how disingenuous she’s being, this leads to further indignation, claims of harassment and being “punished,” demands that they apologise and, often, fits of depression. Hers is a head you really wouldn’t want to be trapped inside.

ac1

http://www.worldoftropico.com/en/
Paul Mason Island?

David

Paul Mason Island?

Does it have enough political unrest, though? That being the first thing you hope for when looking for somewhere new to live. Everyone wants a neighbourhood enlivened by rioting.

Henry

The piece Laurie is commenting on* is called "Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes"

I made my usual observation that you can't accurately call it "misogyny" when one man says something nasty about - or does something nasty to - one woman. Furthermore the casual chucking about of the "m" word is part of the religion of the present-day feminist movement: "you must believe that there is misogyny all around"

I often say this online but I may as well be pissing into the wind for all the thinking I've caused inside anyone's heads. Responses here included a cascade of F-words, denunciations of my idiocy, 3 or 4 separate definitions of 'misogyny', some of them circular, most of them constructed after the event to suit the poster's initial gut prejudice, the usual hilarious non-sequiturs.

Anyway, the whole exchange was drowned in the nearly 10,000 comments. 10,000. Epic.

* predictably "it's all about the misogyny, there are no other issues to see here"

Tim Newman

Anyway, the whole exchange was drowned in the nearly 10,000 comments. 10,000. Epic.

Minnow showed up?

Also, I like Laurie's assertion that she was lectured endlessly about press ethics. That is simply a lie, as anyone reading the exchange can see.

Anna

That is simply a lie, as anyone reading the exchange can see.

*shocked face*

jimmy

But it’s hard to self-identify as “a gamer” when there’s also a large swathe of that community apparently committed to presenting us all as a bunch of hateful sociopaths. It’s like being a moderate Muslim in the middle of the continuing ISIS takeover and oppression of Iraq. A few weeks ago, I’d have said that was an extreme analogy, but given the events of the past week, it’s become clear that it’s actually really fucking appropriate.

No it is not. Any person who honestly believes this is a dick and has a poor grasp on reality.

For example I don't remember the last time I attended a mass execution at the latest gamer expo, chanting "OWNED BITCH" as I fired my AK into the naked, prone body of another human being, lined up like cattle.

For god's sake, I just want to punch this guy right in his fat mouth.

jimmy

Want to know what's worse? My wife posts on facebook regularly. She speaks farsi, and often receives threats from afghans and other middle-east denziens of the area to tune of "I hope ISIS rape you and kill you". The difference is, if we were to shift back to Iran, this threat would have some sort of credibility as Iran borders a conflict area. The posters don't know she isn't in Iran. That's REAL fear and intimidation. Not the back and forth on youtube and twitter these 'gamer' pukes think is important.

Hal

The piece Laurie is commenting on* is called "Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes"

Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Also, I like Laurie's assertion that she was lectured endlessly about press ethics

Siiiigggghhh. I've told y'all a hundred million times, never exaggerate!!!!

Here. Have a lovely video of 100,000 bricks dancing like water. It's even got really nice music, without a single glottal stop.

jimmy

I await the new COD with coin-collecting-farming-features and candy crush intermission.

This whole affair with 'girls are gamers too' has become quite disingenuous. I've watched a grown woman sink hours and hours in farmville and candy crush style games, while neglecting her children in the process. The father of the household did the same but played games like skyrim, fallout and magic the gathering. Which of those types of games are more likely to go under the social justice microscope?

Patrick Brown

"But it’s hard to self-identify as “a gamer” when there’s also a large swathe of that community apparently committed to presenting us all as a bunch of hateful sociopaths."

It's not "a large swathe of that community". The people "presenting [gamers] as a bunch of hateful sociopaths" are a small cadre of entryist feminists, picking on a group of approval-seeking men.

Here's how you do it. You find an activity that's male-dominated because it's historically been seen as nerdy and unfashionable and so hasn't attracted many women. Atheism. Science fiction. Gaming. Comics. The men involved will have grown up with feminism and will feel that male-dominated groups are bad, so will hold endless convention panels on "women in x" and fret about what they can do to encourage more women to get involved.

You present yourself as the voice of women, tell them, and the world at large, that they're all creepy misogynist bastards who drive women away with their constant misogyny and sexual harassment. One or two examples of bad male behaviour is sufficient to tar an entire community with the same brush.

The men involved will compete to self-flagellate, denounce each other and de-sexualise themselves in the hope of appeasing you. It will, of course, never work, because bullies don't let up while their bullying is still working, and the most effective way to bully an approval seeker is to keep dangling your approval just out of reach.

Men in nerd culture need to realise the following things. One, feminists do not represent women, and doing what they want will not result in a greater appeal to women - quite the opposite in fact. Two, approval-seeking attracts abusers, so don't be an approval-seeker. Three, it's all right for an activity to be male-dominated. All sorts of activities, from choirs to book groups to soap operas to celebrity gossip to Fifty Shades of friggin' Grey, are female-dominated and nobody seems to regard that as a problem or try and paint the women involved as man-haters who drive men away with their sheer, cackling, moustache-twirling evil. People like what they like, there's no sense arguing with reality.

jimmy

Three, it's all right for an activity to be male-dominated.

Heresy!

Spiny Norman

All sorts of activities, from choirs to book groups to soap operas to celebrity gossip to Fifty Shades of friggin' Grey, are female-dominated and nobody seems to regard that as a problem...

Female-dominated arenas are deemed "safe spaces" and are supposed to remain testosterone-free. At least according to the conventional feminist-approved media narrative.

anonymous

when not hoping to “overthrow capitalism” with communist computer games about collective farming - Mr Mason is the economics editor of Channel 4 News.

Bravo sir.

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