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Monday, December 11, 2017

Our Changing Society


Thanks to the Duke of Pedalonia, who left this comment at this blog post by FreeThinke — and thereby called to the attention of readers at that thread just how drastically our pop culture has changed and is still changing.

Read the Real Clear Life essay to which the Duke of Pedalonia linked: Should Classic Films Be Judged By Today’s Cultural Standards? We can no longer "thank heaven" for little girls. Excerpt:
...Let’s put aside the fact that in an era when women don’t cotton to the term girls, we really are discussing female juveniles: our daughters, or perhaps our past selves. In fact, as we watch Chevalier stroll through the sumptuous sets of the Bois de Boulogne, the Alan Jay Lerner lyrics are even worse than I remember: “Each time I see a little girl; Of five or six or seven; I can’t resist a joyous urge; To smile and say; Thank heaven for little girls.” Just wow – and how can this guy sing and smile at the same time? Pedophilia has never looked, well, so gleefully appealing.

Because let’s face it, the musical, based on the Colette novella, centers on the unsettling practice of grooming....
Read the rest HERE.

Before commenting, please pause for a moment to consider this about the film Gigi:
A 1958 musical film version, starring Leslie Caron in the title role, with a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and a score by Lerner and Frederick Loewe won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Read many more details about the film HERE.

Consider again the essay to which the Duke of Pedalonia linked at FreeThinke's blog....

Should classic cinema productions of yesteryear be judged by today's "more modern and more enlightened standards" and, therefore, become films, parsed to that point that these films can no longer be enjoyed?

Additional reading: Is Song of the South too racist to screen?

Also see: Song of the South and NAACP: Is 'Song of the South' unavailable on video in America because of NAACP threats? at Snopes.

Note: Song of the South received numerous accolades — including two Oscars, one of which was for the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah."

108 comments:

  1. The author of the Gigi essay is bordering on lying. Chevalier's character "Thanks God for little girls" because they grow up to be beautiful women. Nowhere is pedophilia even hinted at.

    Also, she says the Caron character spends years "grooming" Gigi, also a lie, or she may actually believe it, thanks to the grossly-distorted ideological lenses she look at life through.

    More cultural Maoism on the march

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    1. Chevalier thanks "Heaven" not God. Haven't had coffee yet.

      The cavalier attitude of the adults in the movie about kept women and loose morals all for fun was a bit jarring, especially coming from the pleasant and rakish Chevalier, but I think that is what the movie intended.

      That woman's article is one more piece of evidence on display why people on the left should not be dictating anything.

      How can we trust "solutions" coming from the left when they can't even provide us an honest assessment of what the problem is?

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    3. How can we trust "solutions" coming from the left when they can't even provide us an honest assessment of what the problem is?

      The problem is OBVIOUS, sf. It's "Trump..." ;)

      Full disclosure - I'm also helping the liberals to re-arrange the Titanic's deck chairs.

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    4. Mr ducky is ever the good Hegelian...

      “…I am a good Hegelian. If you have a good theory, forget about the reality.” ― Slavoj Žižek

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    5. About Thelma Adams:

      The author of the bestselling novel "The Last Woman Standing: A Novel of Mrs. Wyatt Earp" is a leading New York based feminist writer and film critic who hasappeared on NBC's The Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, WNYC, WAMC and Sirius Radio . She has written extensively for O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Parade, The New York Observer, Interview magazine, The New York Post, Us Weekly and Yahoo Movies.

      Wikipedia lists these as her alma mater: Alma mater: Columbia University, UC Berkeley, and UCLA.

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    7. FT,
      DISMISSED?

      If only!

      Her views are becoming more and more typical in our culture today.

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  7. Compared to Elia Kazan's Baby Doll or Kubrick's Lolita the character Gigi lacks any real sense of agency.

    Throughout American film the nymphet has held considerable power and used it. FreeThinke's choice of Gigi as an example is almost benign.

    Too bad the French version is unavailable. Might make an interesting contrast.

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    2. To amplify and expand Ducky's observation:

      Throughout all of human history the nymphet has held considerable power and used it.

      John the Baptist would be a good witness to that.

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    4. FT, Yes, but without the extra-Biblical stuff.

      "Salome" sounds like a wonderful piece of artistic creativity, but the sparse details we glean from the Gospels, while lacking the lurid details you describe, nonetheless give witness to enduring and eternal human nature.

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    5. Ducky,

      Gigi lacks agency because this is a Hollywood movie and she's the eye candy (although most of the movie is stunningly beautiful recreation of french impressionism).

      She "lacks agency" because she is not the main protagonist. Gaston is.

      Her very lack of agency is critical to the story. It's also important to note she made the decision earlier that Gaston finally arrives at.

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  8. I'd be interested to read what the writer thinks of Taxi Driver

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    2. Duck,
      Good point.

      She alludes to "Pretty Baby," though.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Predictable that there would be attacks after tRump announced the embassy move.

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    3. lol! It's Trump's fault??? Like the perp never would have built the bomb had Trump NOT recognized Jerusalem...

      You racist liberals are so self-important. You believe that a Moslem can't even fart unless a Westerner has given him a bean...

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    4. Note to conservatives. From here on out, all Arab attacks are a result of Jerusalem. It's the Left's "new" blame-the-victim talking point.

      According to the Left, you're now supposed to "believe the women" (hysterics) but NOT those (hysterics) injured by Islamic knife or explosive attacks.

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    5. The liberal Left has succumbed completely to "Trump projection". Every reported evil now has a cause...

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    6. Thersites, Thank you for the excellent takedown. You saved me some typing.

      The left also thinks the California wildfires are caused by President Trump rejecting the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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    7. Ducky,

      How dare those wild Jews declare themselves a nation thousands of years before the United Nations existed to issue them the stamp of approval.

      It was equally presumptuous of the Jewish people to declare Jerusalem their capital thousands of years ago.

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    8. That was very presumptive of them, sf! :)

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    10. FT,
      The relationship between us and the Jewish State from what I've been able to observe over sixty-odd years is with Israel is largely ONE WAY ––i.e. WE GIVE, THEY TAKE.

      Israel remains the only non-Islamic nation in the Middle East, and that fact often intersects with our own national interest in the Middle East.

      Furthermore, certainly Israel, like any sovereign nation, SHOULD act in that country's own interest.

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    11. Other than oil, what are our interests in the Middle East.

      The charade that we have some intent to promote democracy is long gone.

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    12. FT,

      Nobody GAVE anything to Israel. They were there first, and latterly have taken back their land and successfully defended it.

      Duke it out? They have, on various occasions, and they have beaten all their enemies.

      So, your analogy of the US and Native Americans is inapt.

      It is also helpful to recall that the conquering Muslims purposely build a mosque atop Jerusalem's most holy Jewish site. Had Israelis possessed the same barbaric triumphalism, they would have destroyed that mosque when they took back the territory from Jordan and herded all the "Palestinians" stinking up the place back to Jordan where they belong.

      Yeah, Israel sometimes appears cruel... until you compare their actions to all their Muslim neighbors.

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    13. They were there first? No Canaanites or other Semitic tribes?

      Most of Israel's Jewish population has European roots.

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    14. Of the Jews, Christians and Muslims, the Jews were there first. Thank you for the clarifying question.

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    15. Trivia question:

      Who carried out the largest-ever mass slaughter of "Palestinians?"

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    19. FT,
      I don't expect you to recant.

      But I am weary of being beaten around the head with this argument you make over and over again.

      I know the argument inside and out.

      I know what you believe.

      I DO NOT BELIEVE THE SAME.

      All I'M sayng is that the Jews ought to fight for what tey believe to be theirs WITHOUT any help from Outside Influences –– that means US.

      UNLESS IT IS IN OUR INTEREST -- THE AMERICAN INTEREST.

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    20. SF,
      Of the Jews, Christians and Muslims, the Jews were there first.

      Yep.

      What, exactly, is the Muslim claim to Jerusalem? HERE is one answer to that question.

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    21. FT,
      One thing is for sure....

      It is futile for you and I to discuss the topic over and over again. For 1400 years, the matter of who "owns" Jerusalem had been debated -- and fought over in various wars.

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    23. FT: by the way, SF didn't label your argument INEPT, but INAPT. To me at least, that seems less resentable.

      SF: I think I disagree, if I remember the history correctly the UN literally gave Israel part of its land, which Israel subsequently defended and expanded in the late '40s.

      FT: I don't see you being stifled, but surely you can appreciate that your highly repetitive style (eg. didadin ad nauseam) would be understandably warying to some blog owners.

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    24. FT,

      SHUT UP YOU ANTI-SEMITIC IDIOT

      We give, they take? Why don't you purge your house of all the telecommunications gear invented in Israel in the link above so your dumbass will be off the Internet?

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    25. FT,
      I'm supposed to SHUT UP, LEAVE, and WITHDRAW from the field without another word.

      I NEVER SO STATED!

      I realize that you are offended by two of my above comments. But what am I supposed to do? Ignore your comments completely and, thereby, indicate my agreement with your comments?

      Look. Yesterday evening, I came home after hours of teaching to (1) fetch the mail, (2) feed the cats, (3) find that Minxy has eaten a big hole in the clothes hamper, (4) fix Mr. AOW dinner, and (4) call 9-1-1 because Mr. AOW fell after eating his dinner. At last, I sit down to the blog here, only to find that you've presented your case not only repetitively but also with a tone of acerbity -- to the point that you very nearly called SF and me stupid ( you and AOW have simply "bought" the self-serving myth the Jews have perpetuated about themselves since time immemorial.

      Think logically about the situation here at this blog, and answer me this:

      Would you allow someone to behave in that manner at YOUR blog?

      PS: If I wanted you gone, I'd have deleted every one of your comments.

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    26. TC,
      Please don't call other commenters "stupid."

      I'm not sure that FT is an anti-Semite in the traditional sense.

      Whatever. He believes what he believes -- as do we all.

      As for inventions from Israelis...yes, indeed!

      I say the same for the Jewish retinal surgeon who saved my sight in 2013 -- against all odds: I had two tears in the macula. This young surgeon invented the tools to save my eyesight. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that my retinal surgeon invented the method and the tools while interning in Israel.

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    27. Wow! I guess I missed a lot in my absence...

      I certainly did not mean to offend our friend FreeThinke, but when people make analogies, I zero in on them, analyze them, and provide my critique.


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    28. Jez,

      Using the UN declarations as a standard, we can easily agree Israel is not in compliance.

      My point was a historical one. Jerusalem has been Judaism's Holy City (capital) for over 3,000 years.

      In my opinion, Muslims make claims against Jerusalem out of their hatred for Jews and their desire never give them a moment's peace.

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    29. @McDuck....

      Leave it to Muslims to fight an actual War on Christmas. He chose the location because of its Christmas-themed posters, recalling strikes in Europe against Christmas markets, he told investigators, and set off the bomb in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and elsewhere, several law enforcement officials said. (Snip)Christmas terror has become ubiquitous in Europe. On the 5th of December, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy planted a nail bomb in a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen. The Muslim boy left the nail bomb in a marketplace filled with jolly plastic Santas bearing knapsacks of presents and booths full of chocolates

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    30. No mention of "Trump" or "Jerusalem", McDuck.

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    32. TC,
      Not need for all that. The matter is closed.

      FT has deleted his comments during my absence today as I was pursued by yet another day at the doctor and pharmacy.

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    33. [i]Not need for all that. The matter is closed[/i]

      So is my fist.

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    34. Your fist is closed? Is that a threat?

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    35. Try not to cry out in pain without permission. That pisses me off.

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    36. A bully and a sadist. With anger issues. Toxic.

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    37. You forgot to mention that I think collateral damage is fucking hilarious.

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    39. Typo! Should read, "Is there a war going on here?"

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    40. You missed the Missiom Accomplished banner?

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    41. TC,
      If the mission is accomplished, then the war is over.

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    42. War is right! FLamethrowers and F Bombs. Why do I always miss out on the good stuff?

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  10. Human sexuality isn't about "the act". It's all about the fantasy surrounding the act. THIS is what makes films with a "younger-than-legal" participant so controversial, and so taboo. To "express" elements of the underlying fantasy in words... is to "eroticize" and extract the "act's" surplus value for immediate "pleasurable(?)" consumption. Verbalization replicates and violates the taboo social value and results in a transgression all by itself.

    What do I mean? Watch this, and tell me if you do or don't agree... (ps - sorry if the subtitled version linked isn't in English. Below is a translation:

    Zizek- There is in Ingmar Bergman's Persona
    a wonderful scene where Bibi Andersson tells to mute Liv Ullmann, a story about small orgy on a beach which took place years ago. This scene is so erotic precisely because Bergman successfully resisted the temptation of a flashback. No flashback. Just words. Probably one of the most erotic scenes in the entire history of cinema.


    Katarina unbuttoned his trousers and started playing with him. When he came she took him in her mouth. He bent down and started kissing her on the back She turned around, took his head in both hands and gave him her breast.

    The other boy got so excited, so he and I started again. It was as nice as the first time. Then we swam and parted.

    When I came back, Karl-Henrik had returned. We had dinner together and drank the red wine he had with him.
    Then we slept together. It's never been as good, before or since. Can you understand that?

    Zizek: Although sexuality seems to be about bodies, it's not really about bodies. It is how bodily activity is reported in words. The ultimate sexual seduction resides in words.

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    1. The very fact that a participant is underage violates the coordinates of social acceptability rendering the entire "fantasy" unpalatable to the typical hysteric unable (or more likely, unwilling) to put the fantasy into words.

      btw - That's why Zizek's analysis is titled "The Pervert's Guide to Cinema". Why? Because an analyst puts the heretofore "unspeakable" fantasy into words.

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    3. Ambiguity in language is one way around the taboo... ;)

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    5. I am one of those females who had the same figure at age 14 as I had when I was 21 (and now, for that matter).

      In times gone by, I'd have been married around age 15.

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    6. FT,
      That doesn't mean that Mae West should be used as a guideline for sexual behavior.

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    7. Mae West intended her remark as a joke, not as legal or emotional advice. Interesting comics must consider not only how they themselves intend their jokes, but all the various they might be taken.

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  11. FT typed in:

    This PRESUMPTION of GUILT the power-mad Feminazis have inflicted on Society has dne incalculabe harm

    And in this respect....Companies with male supervisors are going to be hesitant to hire women, IMO.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences

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    2. I agree, FreeThinke. We're in a period where our institutions are reacting without any thought to due process.

      In the case of Moore you have a fanatic who has defied the state and federal courts, called for the revocation of all but the first ten amendments, voiced support for dominionism and hinted that he favors the death penalty for homosexuality.. In other words. if you have any belief in democracy this religiously insane freak should be rejected out of hand.

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    3. FT, Yes, I agree with you and AOW.

      This current hysteria lacks some fundamental principles of western society:

      - Presumption of innocence
      - Right to face ones accusers
      - Due process

      We don't know who is lying, who is truth-telling, and who is sincerely relying upon (all-too-human and common) inaccurate or distorted memories sincerely held.

      The common standard emerging seems to be somewhere between "she's crying so she must be sincere" and "anyone who doesn't believe her is a troglodyte who must be banished to Siberia.

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    4. I knew if this thread went on long enough a nutlog lefty would mention dominionism...


      The people of Alabama don't think much of shameless affirmative actions scammer Senator High Cheekbones either, but its not up to Alabamians who serves as Massachusetts senators, is it?

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    7. I've read Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience but I'm unfamiliar with Emerson's.



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  12. So what have we decided about the question at hand.

    Is art to be censored due to changing norms?

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    1. No.
      But in commercial art, the audiences decide. If they find it queasy to observe a brilliant actor whom they know to be a pervert, they will not support his productions. That is not censorship.
      I think it is valid to consider contemporary artists as a separate case: if in broadcasting a recently deceased artist's work, his living victims are confronted with his unwelcome image I can support a moratorium on mainstream publication of his oeuvre -- particularly if his work was not significant anyway. But if we discover a long dead master committed terrible crimes I can separate his work more easily, as his victims are no longer around to be triggered by it.

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  13. What's really going to bend your noodle is when you realize Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a movie about racism and only valuing racial differences if they can be exploited.

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  14. Duck has reminded us of the following, and we need to get back on track relating to the topic of the body of the blog post:

    So what have we decided about the question at hand.

    Is art to be censored due to changing norms?

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    1. FJ,
      The market or the education-media complex?

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    2. The latter mostly serves to offset the power of the former...

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    3. Always: To the extent that education-media informs public taste, yes. But is the alternative -- presumably a tepid media and an agnostic education; or a public that obstinately rejects all news and lessons -- preferable?

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    4. ...and with a television tax, you get lots more BBC channels for watching AbFab re-runs. :)

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    5. ...although for non-partisan 24/7 Trump bashing, nobody beats NPR.

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    6. btw - I do prefer a Hays Code to the Stewart Test.

      One is voluntary. The other is arbitrary.

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    7. Jez,
      To the extent that education-media informs public taste, yes. But is the alternative -- presumably a tepid media and an agnostic education; or a public that obstinately rejects all news and lessons -- preferable?

      Thank you for addressing the topic of the body of the blog post.

      I posit that the media complex in partnership with academia shape and control public taste. Not good, IMO, in that the public often doesn't bother to think for themselves.

      On the other hand, pablum isn't any good either.

      Balance is needed!

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  15. One of these days, Trump's gonna have to dump the rest of McConnell's Senate Fredocons...

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  16. Prairie Home Companions archives have been expunged by Minnesota Public Radio.
    Soviet Style.

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    1. Ed,
      Yes.

      Orwellian, too.

      Has anything untoward even been proven against Garrison Keillor?

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    2. No need to prove anything anymore. Thanks to the evils of mass communication an accusation is the same as a conviction today. No need for due process. We are rulled by the media. Nothing more to say.

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