2nd Round Debate:Gazrok v Loki:Sex and Violence in Popular Entertainment.

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posted on Oct, 13 2003 @ 03:57 AM
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OK,We are into the 2nd round.Both have proven their mettle.


Each debator will have one opening statement each.This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each.There will be one closing statement each and no rebutal.
No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words.In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom.Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only 1 image or link may be included in any post.Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

The Debate topic is:Sex and Violence in Popular Entertainment is only an accurate reflection of our Society.

Gazrok will argue for this proposition and he will open the Debate.

Loki will respond and argue against this proposition.With the argument that on the contrary sex and violence in popular entertainment influences society and makes it more violent and immoral.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours.However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this.

Defaulters will not be excepted in the next Tournament.The winner will receive 5000 ATS points the loser(on condition of completion)will receive 2500 ATS points.This on top of generous points allocation for Debate forum posts.

This Topic will be opened on Sunday Oct 19th Evening GMT and the debate may start.

I wish you both goodluck.

The winner of this bout will face the winner of the OIMD v Tassadar contest and will fight off to find our official Challenger to our Champion,Ktprktpr.

[Edited on 13-10-2003 by John bull 1]




posted on Oct, 20 2003 @ 06:59 PM
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Loki may post and open this debate.



posted on Oct, 21 2003 @ 03:40 AM
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There isn't really any doubt that heavy exposure to televised violence, and sex, as has become our cultual norm is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime, and the general decline in society as a whole. The evidence for such claims comes from both the laboratory, as well as real-life studies. Television violence affects people of all ages, of both genders, at all socio-economic levels and all levels of intelligence. The effect is not limited to children who are already disposed to being aggressive, or those whom are mereley impressionable youth. The fact that we get this same finding of a relation between television violence and aggression in children in study after study, cannot be brushed aside. The cause and effect relationship of television violence and aggression, even though it is not very large, exists. . . I have come to believe that a relationship exists, between the amount of pure violence, and and unedited explicit content that a mind consumes, is directly proportional to that person's amount of aggressive behavior. Examples of this can be seen with such incidents as a child watching a movie, and the next day, attempting to imitate an action which takes place within said movie. The tragedy at Columbine High School was linked to violent video games, which two young men, Eric Harris, and Dylan Klebold were very much obsessed with. I submit to you, that not only does violent media have an effect on modern youth, but It directly influences them to respond in an aggressive manner, leading to crime, and various other unwholesome outlets.

One may argue that that is the sort of behaviour that influences violence in media, but the relationship is one way, and of quite the opposite relation. Violent media encourages youth to act out in an aggressive manner, therefore creating higher demand for violent media, to sate the hunger of the youth it has already corrupted. I leave you with this question. How is it that there are far fewer deaths by homicide in other countries? Because the way that we, as a society here in America view media, is as just that. Media. We regard it to be uninfluencing on children, and that ends up being our downfall. There are over 12000 murders per year in America, by guns alone. It's time we stand up and realize that violence in media is destroying our society.



posted on Oct, 21 2003 @ 10:48 AM
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First, I'd like to start with an apology to my opponent, Loki. I was called out of town rather unexpectedly over the weekend thru Monday, and was unable to post my opening statement yesterday. Perhaps he truly is the god of mischief???


All kidding aside...television and the media in general have always had one goal...to give the audience what it wants. The reason that there is so much sex and violence in the media is public demand. To suggest otherwise is akin to putting the cart before the horse.

My opponent would have you believe that exposure to sex and violence in the media is the cause of society's ills. If this were true, then surely, wouldn't the majority of us be serial killers, rapists, and criminals? No, of course not. I've watched many such programs myself, as have all of you no doubt. I've played video games where I can blow someone apart with a rocket launcher. I've watched a dirty movie or two in my day. Does this make me go out and try to imitate what I saw on screen? Am I a psychopathic killer? No, and neither are most of you (hopefully), yet you have all been exposed to such media as well. So why aren't we all violent sexual deviants? Simple. We know the difference between reality and fiction. We know the real life consequences of such actions, so of course, no sane person would do such things. And this starts to get to the crux of the matter.

Individuals who imitate stunts or crimes they see on screen, etc. aren't sane. They lack the ability to properly distinguish between fiction and reality. It is this lack of sanity that is to blame for their actions, not the media's portrayal of sex and violence. Columbine (as cited by my opponent) is an excellent example. He would have you believe that these kids committed their crimes because they played some violent video games... Oh my god! I've played Doom, Quake, Mortal Kombat, MDK (Murder Death Kill), etc. too! Oh no! Perhaps I too will go out and mow down my friends with a machine gun? No, of course not. Isn't it a much more plausible scenario, that many teens face a time when they contemplate suicide....especially those being tormented by others (whether real or perceived), and they then want to take their tormentors with them? Of course it is. These were troubled youths, who obviously had social issues responsible for their crimes, not those trying to imitate games they've played.

Simply put, sex and violence in the media do NOT make otherwise normal people go out and commit crimes, and violent acts. There is always another underlying reason for such crimes, and the media is simply being blamed as a scapegoat. To argue otherwise, is to assume that we must all be raving lunatics, upon exiting a showing of a Hollywood slasher flick.



posted on Oct, 21 2003 @ 11:29 AM
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in 380 B.C. Saint Augustine lamented that his society was addicted to gladiator games and "drunk with the fascination of bloodshed."

Thats right. We're not the first country to fall victim to the Influence of violence on our fragile minds. Let me just open by giving you a few statistics..

Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 (Barber, Benjamin. Harper's. Nov 1993: 41)

Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1,023 (Nielsen Media Research, 2000)

So, with the influence of television alone, the average american youth ingests 13% more popular media than they do school. Then, you figure in the fact that a very high percentage of youth are allowed to play violent, gory, and graphic video games, you can safely assume that the violence that they ingest with all of this media overflow is going to have a proportionally large effect on the way that they deal with problems.
Studies have shown that children who watch violent television programs are roughly 7 times more prone to violent behaviours than a child who watches non-violent programming.I'm going to quote here..


From the FTC:
The FTC released their report on September 11, 2000, and their findings seem to confirm what many have suspected for some time.

The Executive Summary of the report reveals, "Scholars and observers generally have agreed that exposure to violence in entertainment media alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act and that it is not the sole, or even necessarily the most important, factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes and violence." However, the report goes on to say, "The Commission's literature review reveals that a majority of the investigations into the impact of media violence on children find that there is a high correlation between exposure to media violence and aggressive, and at times violent, behavior. In addition, a number of research efforts report that exposure to media violence is correlated with increased acceptance of violent behavior in others, as well as an exaggerated perception of the amount of violence in society"


So, it's not as if this is a new phenomenon, by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, society has become more and more violent, as media has become more and more graphic.

However, this issue isn't centered on violence alone. Let us talk for a moment about the influence on, shall we say, vocabulary? It is a well known fact that we here at ATS have a language filter, so that we can protect some of our younger conspiracy nuts. I for one support this fully. I wouldn't be sure what to think if my younger siblings went around talking the sort of way that would make a sailor blush. However, Modern media has been remiss to address this issue. You see, on network television, very few words are bleeped out, only the worst are not said. However, if a child's parents have a subscription to say, Cinemax, then it's no holds barred, T&A, and the F-Word spewing out every five minutes. I submit this to you...

borgman.enquirer.com...

What we are seeing here happens every day in america. It's a shame, to be certain, but it's the truth, as much as we fear it.

I challenge you to find one child who hasn't seen a television commercial, and spouted it off from memory. How are the violent, lewd, and inappropriate acts found elsewhere on TV any less influential?



posted on Oct, 21 2003 @ 02:54 PM
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I don't think that anyone here would dispute that television, and the media have influence. Of course they do. But there is a big difference between influence, and being cited as being responsible for the sex and violence in society today. Sex and violence are in the media because they sell. If there wasn't a market for it...you wouldn't see it. Therefore, it is the "effect", not the "cause".

Even my opponent has conceded (in his citations), that watching violence doesn't cause violent behavior:


From the FTC:
"The FTC released their report on September 11, 2000, and their findings seem to confirm what many have suspected for some time.

The Executive Summary of the report reveals, "Scholars and observers generally have agreed that exposure to violence in entertainment media alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act and that it is not the sole, or even necessarily the most important, factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes and violence."


However, the second part of the argument, refuting the above is using faulty logic:

"However, the report goes on to say, "The Commission's literature review reveals that a majority of the investigations into the impact of media violence on children find that there is a high correlation between exposure to media violence and aggressive, and at times violent, behavior. In addition, a number of research efforts report that exposure to media violence is correlated with increased acceptance of violent behavior in others, as well as an exaggerated perception of the amount of violence in society"

This is just another example of putting the cart before the horse. Lets use an example to illustrate this. Man A is a golfer. Man B is a tennis player. Man A enjoys watching golf on television. Man B can't stand it. Of course the more violent children watched more violence on television, and played more violent video games...that's what they were into! To state the above Commission's quote, is similar to saying that watching all of that golf on television, is what made Man A a golfer! Does this sound absurd? Of course it does, but that is just what is being stated.

My opponent has spoken of comparisons between the US and other countries, in respects to violence in the media. I would like to first address how sex is represented in the media of those other countries. A US citizen would surely be shocked at the level of sex shown on regular (not paid) television in Europe. The reason? Simple. Their media reflects their attitudes towards sex. Violence is more taboo in Europe, so therefore it is shown less. Sexuality however, is more accepted, and thus is more readily seen on regular television programs, and even commercials. This is a prime example illustrating that the media does not cause national behavior. It is solely a reflection of the people's wants, and what sells. It is the direct "effect" of national attitudes, and a reflection of them, not the "cause"....



posted on Oct, 21 2003 @ 03:39 PM
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I now move into rebuttal.

My opponent has not come to the realization yet that with the influence of graphic entertainment comes desensitization. That is, we become desensitized to the graphic nature of the programming that we are watching. It happens with all aspects of graphic entertainment, including violence, vulgarity, and sexuality. It's a sad, sad day when a child can watch a man's head be chopped off, and there be a joke about it, which is then laughed at. Then, still wiping the tears of laughter away, the child begs for more. This is the effect of early exposure to violent entertainment. Entertainment which society has deemed as acceptable.

This is just another example of putting the cart before the horse. Lets use an example to illustrate this. Man A is a golfer. Man B is a tennis player. Man A enjoys watching golf on television. Man B can't stand it. Of course the more violent children watched more violence on television, and played more violent video games...that's what they were into!

What my opponent fails to realize in this instance is that the quote I had posted beforehand did not use circular logic, as he has done here. What the article was pointing out is more of a cyclical relationship. More violence on television leads to greater influence on children, which leads to greater acceptance of violent media. This is not a 'Chicken and Egg' type of quandary. This is merely an illustration of the destruction of modern society through graphic means of entertainment.

Sexuality however, is more accepted, and thus is more readily seen on regular television programs, and even commercials.

I understand what my opponent is driving at here, unfortunately he has assissted my argument in this statement. Sex in these european countries works in much the same way as violence does in america. People are familiarized with it at a young age, they become desensitized towards it, and they are influenced to behave in the manner that they see their role models behave.

I don't think that anyone here would dispute that television, and the media have influence. Of course they do. But there is a big difference between influence, and being cited as being responsible for the sex and violence in society today. Sex and violence are in the media because they sell. If there wasn't a market for it...you wouldn't see it. Therefore, it is the "effect", not the "cause".

This is merely the effect of desensitization, and to a lesser extent, addiction. People who watch violent entertainment their entire lives are apathetic towards it when it happens in real life. The sad part of it is, they are more empathic with the television characters that it happens to, rather than their fellow man. This is the ultimate effect of desensitization, and since the advent of the television, violent entertainment has become more and more graphinc, and more and more accessible. Therefore, desensitization, and apathy have been on the rise.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I reiterate my basic argument.

Graphic entertainment, that is, violence, vulgarity, and sexuality in socially accepted entertainment is the cause for youths behaving in ways detrimental to the advancement of society. This includes, but is not limited to, crime, imitation of bad influences witnessed on TV, rampant unnecessary cursing, and various other behaviors that society has deemed acceptable in entertainment, but not in real life. Long-term exposure to such graphic entertainment leads to desensitization, and apathy for one's fellow man, resulting in a higher demand for graphic entertainment, starting the cycle over once more.


I leave you with this. Senseless violence for the sake of entertainment.




[Edited on 10-2-2004 by Loki]



posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 09:46 AM
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If this desensitization argument were to hold water, then it would have to be true through the ages. Yet, it is not. Take for instance, the cartoons that our parents watched as children. Tom and Jerry, Roadrunner, etc. would feature rather gruesome portrayals of violence...(heck, I can remember more than a couple of instances when Tom would be diced into cubes of meat!) Yet, oddly enough, our parents didn't become desensitized to violence, and start shooting up their high schools. Even my opponent mentioned the gladiatorial games of Rome. Did we suddenly reverse direction on our moral compass? Surely, if we were so blood-thirsty then, and ever increasing violence in entertainment led to desensitization, then we would certainly have anarchy by now!

No, it isn't desensitization that is responsible for modern crime and apathy towards violence. It is the lack of parental supervision. In our parent's day, typically only one parent would be working, while another stayed home and raised the children. In modern times however, this is simply not the case... With today's economy, both parents are now in the workforce, leading to less supervision and upbringing of the children... Thus, the youth of today are left to their own devices, and then get into trouble. They adopt gangs as pseudo-parents, and turn to violence...not because they watched TV, but because their parents simply aren't there enough to guide them.

If anything, depictions of particularly gruesome violence can actually dissuade violent acts. For example, how many can recall the beach invasion scene of "Saving Private Ryan"? Surely, this is one of the most violent scenes I can ever recall seeing in my lifetime. Limbs blown off, blood, gore, etc. Did this "desensitize" me to such violence? Certainly not. It served to educate on the horrors of war, and certainly made me see how important it is to find nonviolent solutions in lieu of warfare.

In order for entertainment to be successful, the audience must be able to at least partially identify with the material being presented. It is because of this factor, that art is imitating life, and not the other way around. Television and movies cater to what the public wants, because that's what will sell. Just as Shakespeare's plays accurately reflected the morals and attitudes of his day...likewise, our entertainment reflects today's morals and attitudes, just as entertainment has always done throughout the ages. Entertainment that tries to push societal norms too far, quickly finds its way to obscurity, if not boycott or banning. It is society's attitudes towards sex and violence that dictate how it is depicted in entertainment, not the reverse, as my opponent would have you believe.



posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 11:26 AM
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I'd like to start this post off by countering statements made by my opponent in his previous post.


No, it isn't desensitization that is responsible for modern crime and apathy towards violence. It is the lack of parental supervision. In our parent's day, typically only one parent would be working, while another stayed home and raised the children. In modern times however, this is simply not the case... With today's economy, both parents are now in the workforce, leading to less supervision and upbringing of the children... Thus, the youth of today are left to their own devices, and then get into trouble. They adopt gangs as pseudo-parents, and turn to violence...not because they watched TV, but because their parents simply aren't there enough to guide them.

I'm sure that my opponent will agree with me that parental influence is one of the most powerful of all. Even I, in my own life find myself telling people what my mother once told me long ago. The influence of parents is the greatest of all, whether one wants to admit it or not. I'm sure each and every person here has done this, at one point or another in their life, especially if they have children of their own. They repeat something that their parents told them, years ago, word for word, despite the fact that they swore they wouldnt turn into their parents, am I right? This in mind, my opponent has stated that children adopt television as a fill-in parent. To me, this means that children get an undue amount of their early childhood education from the "Idiot Box", which influences them later in life to behave in manners similar to those observed, as would be expected from a child (Citing imitation of role models, in this case the television.)



In order for entertainment to be successful, the audience must be able to at least partially identify with the material being presented.

I'm not entirely sure that's true. Take for example the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, called Collateral Damage. It grossed fairly big at the box office, and sold well on DVD, and video. Allow me to outline the basic story. A man's family is killed when a Colombian assassin plants a bomb, and his family become innocent bystanders, and victims of the blast. In turn, Schwarzenegger goes to the Columbian rainforest to exact his revenge. I don't know about you, but none of the people I know have ever dealt with a situation even close to that. I know that none of my neighbors are waging a personal war in Colombia, but now that this movie is on the shelves, they would swear up and down theyd try something like that, if they were put in Arnie's situation. How could your average american citizen relate to that? How is it possible that they know what it feels like to have a Colombian Cartel destroy their family, and be entertained by the repercussions? The answer is that they can't. This is simply violence for the sake of entertainment, and nothing more. Just because it entertains the masses, doesn't mean they can relate to the story. Empathy is not a prerequisite, therefore apathy becomes the consequence.

I'd like now to steer this toward the second major aspect of this argument, Sex in entertainment. I have a quote here from a recent study done by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, or the CMPA.


Whatever point of view you take on sex in entertainment, our study reveals that it is a pervasive aspect of popular culture. As with portrayals of violence, depictions of sex are often devoid of context. Sex in popular entertainment is often sex without strings, consequences or emotional impact. From the research into the effects of such messages, there is an emerging sense that sex without context can be just as harmful as violence without context. Such depictions may give young viewers very unrealistic views on sex and a skewed perspective of how it fits into the fabric of life.


This is exactly what I've been saying all along. The ever-present use of these sorts of messages in entertainment is causing a breakdown of society in general. This can be seen with ever-increasing reports of rape. Remember a few years ago when the Date Rape drug, rufenol(sp?), was on the news every other night? That was the effect of the sex out without context, as illustrated in this quote. Such things have a very grave influence on the youth in our society.

We as a people need to understand this, and make better choices for our entertainment.



posted on Oct, 23 2003 @ 08:20 AM
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This in mind, my opponent has stated that children adopt television as a fill-in parent. To me, this means that children get an undue amount of their early childhood education from the "Idiot Box"...


Ah, now words are being put into my mouth....
I never mentioned, or implied that children are adopting television as a fill-in parent (though doubtless some are). Instead, I mentioned how without parents home to guide them, they can turn to gangs (and just deviant youths in general) as parental fill-ins and these children are the ones responsible for the violence. Nobody worries much about the child who comes home from school and starts watching TV or playing video games. These aren't the ones going around jacking cars, knocking over liquor stores, or raping women in dark alleys...and that is why the idea that the media causes such behavior, quickly falls apart.

Likewise, I mentioned how, to be successful, entertainment must be at least partially identifiable to the audience. My opponent countered with the following:


How could your average american citizen relate to that? How is it possible that they know what it feels like to have a Colombian Cartel destroy their family, and be entertained by the repercussions?


True, most don't identify exactly with this, but partially? Of course. What American doesn't identify with the sense of loss of those who lost family members to foreign terrorists. Who cannot relate to that? While doubtful that anyone in the audience experienced Arnold's character's situation exactly, certainly, there is the ability there to relate to his character's emotions...and that is where this partial identifying comes into play.

All that is needed, to see that violence in entertainment isn't responsible for violence in society, is to look at yourselves and those you know. Do you (or them) watch horror movies? Do you play violent video games? Do you watch action movies? Now, do you go out and knock over convenience stores, mug people, or commit violent crimes? No, I didn't think so. And regardless of what any scientist who never leaves his lab believes....this simply isn't the case.


But this is only part of the argument. For purposes of this debate, sexual attitudes are likewise being blamed on the media. Just as blaming the media for society's violence is grasping at straws...it is equally so when speaking of sex. My opponent stated the following, after citing a study by the CMPA, that spoke of sex in entertainment...


This is exactly what I've been saying all along. The ever-present use of these sorts of messages in entertainment is causing a breakdown of society in general. This can be seen with ever-increasing reports of rape.


If this were true, then certainly, with the amount of sex on European television, rape would be a sheer epidemic there!
In the States, it's a big deal if an actor shows his bum on television. In Europe, full frontal nudity (something even eschewed in most Hollywood movies), is commonplace. Surely, this must create nations of purely sex-crazed fiends! No, of course not. Have you ever watched a show containing sex without content? Have you seen shows of sex without strings? Do you then, have warped views on sex? As with violence in entertainment, all one need do is to look at themselves, and those they know, to decide their position on this issue, and realize how absurd the idea of the media responsibility is....



posted on Oct, 23 2003 @ 09:34 AM
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OK,Closing statements please gentlemen.



posted on Oct, 23 2003 @ 10:11 AM
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Before I begin, I'd like to say that I've enjoyed debating Gazrok very much. His arguments were strong, and posessed signs of a well-thought-out battle plan

However, I must still remain by my original statement that the graphic nature of modern entertainment has steadily caused the ever-progressing downfall an decay of morals and basic values in modern society. This in turn leads to increased violence, vulgarity, and sexual deviancy among youths of the nation. I have proven over and over again how this is true, and how children take an undue amount of influence from the television.
Programming regarded as commonplace, or 'OK' in this nation is becoming more and more graphic, and less and less desirable to allow youth to watch, in my opinion. There is just too much at stake to allow children to watch ultra-violent television programs, such as their safety, as it pertains to real-world perceptions, and others' safety, as youths try to imitate their television role models.
How many teenagers have tried to re-create the stunts seen on MTV's 'Jackass'? The sheer number of children attempting to imitate such a show, only indicates the number of children with the images seen of such shows floating around in their long-term memory. Whether these children act upon these influences, in a general sense is no longer in question. The question is now 'When will a child act out in such a manner, that we will be forced to review what we think about modern entertainment?'
Thank you all for listening.



posted on Oct, 23 2003 @ 12:20 PM
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Thank you for the compliment Loki, it is returned in kind. I too, have enjoyed the debate very much. We agree on many points, including the following....


"Programming regarded as commonplace, or 'OK' in this nation is becoming more and more graphic, and less and less desirable to allow youth to watch, in my opinion."


I would agree wholeheartedly with this statement. However, it is not the purpose of this debate to discuss the quality of current programming. My esteemed opponent sought to convince you that current programming and the media is the cause of the violence and sex in society today. His position being, that the treatment of sex and violence in the media, is somehow responsible for the same, in today's world. If this were the case, then it would be a first for history. For the history of entertainment is one of always reflecting the current views and attitudes of its audience.

The best evidence of my viewpoint is you, the reader. You, and those you know, have watched bodies being butchered in horror flicks. You have played games where you blow someone up with a rocket launcher. You've likely seen movies with gratuitous sex and violence. Has this then made you some kind of violent sex fiend? No, of course not. You, like myself, indulged in such entertainment because it was what you wanted to see at the time. It was the effect of what you, the public wanted....not the cause of society's ills. It may not be the answer we all want to hear. Sure, we'd like to all have a scapegoat. But the bottom line is, sex and violence sells. It sells because that's what the audience wants. And because its depiction in entertainment is the direct effect of the sex and violence in society, there is no way that it can be blamed as the cause.

Thank You.



posted on Oct, 23 2003 @ 12:32 PM
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Thanks guys.Great job.


I've already sent u2u's out to the judges.





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