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Postby Jesse » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:46 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:
dansez dansez dansez wrote:That makes sense. Its like trying to sound cool but not having it.

I know you are not fond of Neil Gaiman, but that was a rude thing to say to Belial. Was it your intention to be insulting to him?


I hope so, because right now I am looking for reasons to lack responsibility in my handling of dansez.

Dansez, I realise you are new here, but all I seem to see from you is attacks on Gaiman without real quantification. I have no problem with you disliking an author, but give an actual reason. I brought up several points about Stardust in the other thread you felt it necessary to bring this up in, which you summarily ignored.

Saying "He's got the intent but it doesn't work." is not a literary criticism. Actually, it's not much of anything at all. Explain to me why it doesn't work, or is it, in fact, nothing to do with the writer and his abilities, and more to do with your own perception of it?

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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:10 pm UTC

So I have to quantify my dislike or.. you'll go medieval on my ass? That's more than a little absurd. I'm actually not going to qualify my opinion, just because of how you've decided to approach me.

Let's talk about Ayn Rand. Her cult won't be offended.

Hammer wrote:
dansez dansez dansez wrote:That makes sense. Its like trying to sound cool but not having it.

I know you are not fond of Neil Gaiman, but that was a rude thing to say to Belial. Was it your intention to be insulting to him?


How am I insulting him? He just said someone else wrote it.
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Postby Hammer » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:22 pm UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:How am I insulting him? He just said someone else wrote it.

So, you were not deliberately insulting him. Good.
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Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:45 am UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:I'm actually not going to qualify my opinion, just because of how you've decided to approach me.


Ah, good. Now I don't feel bad at all about being a dick to you in future.

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Postby gmalivuk » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:08 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:
dansez dansez dansez wrote:I'm actually not going to qualify my opinion, just because of how you've decided to approach me.


Ah, good. Now I don't feel bad at all about being a dick to you in future.


Yeah, it's cute how he decided to take the "high road" and "refuse" to explain his (apparently) baseless opinion because you weren't playing nice...
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Postby william » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:48 pm UTC

I decided to PM him asking and right now I am deciding whether or not I should post his response. Belial, is it okay if I do this?
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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:33 am UTC

wow.

I sent you a private message and now you're asking someone else if you can post what I said? That's just terribly bad form. Private messages are supposed to be private.

But here's what I wrote last night at two in the morning.

Y'know, its two in the morning and I'm in a good mood, so I think I will.

His writing is pretentious, like bad fan fiction. I think the thing is that he thinks he can be epic and grand, like he's Virgil or Dante. Anyone who thinks they can write about gods in their twenties is putting on airs. I didn't like Tolkien either, but at least he started with a children's story before going on to the heavy stuff, and that was in his fourties. (Yeah, I know he started writing about the mythos in the late 1910s, but he didn't publish that.)

You can't really blame him though. His father's a high ranking scientologist, so I'm sure Hubbard's crap influenced him.


There was more I wanted to say, but I didn't remember to include it and I don't have time to think of it all again.

I'm still a little taken aback at the way you guys decide to treat new members (or does everyone get this?), but, hey, I'll try anything twice.
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Postby Bakemaster » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:41 am UTC

How old do I have to be before I am allowed to write about pitbulls?

This is very important. I want to write about pitbulls but I am concerned about the consequences if I am not old enough. I don't want any trouble!

Perhaps you should send me a certificate to let me know exactly what I can write at my age. That's 22 years, 9 months. Make sure you sign it dansez dansez dansez so we know it's official.

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Postby Phi » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:53 am UTC

I've read both Anthem and Atlas Shrugged, but I haven't read The Fountainhead yet.

On Atlas Shrugged:
I believe that this book is unbelievably repetitive. By the time I got to the John Galt speech, I was already tired of reading the same thing rephrased in different ways ("Society is dumb, be capitalist, be capitalist, be capitalist, communism sucks.") Had I read the John Galt speech before the actual book, I probably would have been more excited. I almost stopped reading the book when I got to the speech it was so ridiculous. It was basically a summary of nine hundred pages in fifty. Thanks, Rand.
Also, the fact that it takes almost halfway through the book to get into anything worthwhile turns me off. It should not take that long to develop character/plot.
However, I still believe that some of the passages were very worthwhile. The "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need" was a great, albeit long, speech. It was a valid point against how communism works. I believe in a lot of philosophy that was put into that book, but I do not entirely agree with everything she says. You can't take everything she says as fact or as the thing you should believe.
As for being selfish, I wouldn't describe what I took out of that as being selfish (I mean, she was describing being exactly that, but that's not what I left the book with). I would describe it more along the lines of "Yes, I will help you, but only because it makes me feel good." If something does not benefit me in any way, why should I do this? Work gets me money, I enjoy listening and helping people with problems, but why should I do menial labor for free if I do not believe in the cause? Nobody is forcing me to do this, am I going to be working here so that other people will think better of me? I do not care what others think of me, so I deem the task as unimportant.


It could be the teenage angst talking (hours upon hours upon hours of having to clean the backyard and gardens), but that's what I believe. Also, I'm narcissistic. I don't feel "invincible," but I feel like I am much more intelligent than a lot of people, including and especially my peers. My only excuse is that I'm a teenager at seventeen.

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Postby Belial » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:58 am UTC

Anyone who thinks they can write about gods in their twenties is putting on airs.


Unlike people who are too cool for such things. No airs there. No siree.

I would say something about all of this being off topic, but....eww, ayn rand.

Edit: Now that I read your PM without sleep deprivation and car-trip-induced mind fog, I see you were saying he wasn't *old* enough to write about gods. That makes *even less sense* than how I initially read it.
Last edited by Belial on Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:45 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Malice » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:31 am UTC

Ghona wrote:Bringing up Heart of Darkness isn't helping your side, you know.

dansez dansez dansez wrote:That's how I feel about Gaiman's stuff. He's got the intent, but it doesn't work.


Heart of Darkness is amazing; to Conrad's credit, whatever you might say about him or his writing, at least he made his point and told his story in about 100 pages instead of about 1000, like Rand.

Also, Gaiman's not very good, except in Sandman.

And the spinoff is excellent and not written by him at all.

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Postby taggedunion » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:27 am UTC

I somewhat liked Heart of Darkness. Not studying it in English class would have greatly improved its appeal, especially with the seemingly minute deconstructions and analyses we had to perform on it. Oy. But if anything, it allowed us Apocalypse Now.

I quite enjoyed American Gods, but that's the only work of Gaiman's I've read. Nope, not even Sandman.
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Postby william » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:45 am UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:I'm still a little taken aback at the way you guys decide to treat new members (or does everyone get this?), but, hey, I'll try anything twice.

No, we only treat the people who decide to act like jackasses this way.
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Postby Jesse » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:47 pm UTC

To bring up a point of Gaiman, he likes to try different things. He's the kind of writer that often, you may like one thing he writes, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy the next thing he brings out. So far I've liked everything, but then I'm very in tune with his mindset and worldview (Something he shares a lot of with Tori Amos, who is also my favourite musician).

Literarily, he's nothing special. He often derives from how well-read he is himself, writing his own stories from the backs of older masters, which is something I myself enjoy. As a storyteller, I love him, he has a way of captivating me and bringing me into his worlds that other authors often fail to do, but that is an individual thing that doesn't carry to the rest of the population. I can easily understand why Malice wouldn't like him (Although I still don't agree with the term overrated, that implies that he isn't as good as people say, which is wrong. People say he's a good storyteller, not the greatest literary wordsmith since Shakespeare), but dansez is just looking to be as pretentious as possible and isn't really posting anything worth a response.

Also dansez, we're quite good to new members here, it's just every so often we get someone who seems to enjoy trying to annoy other members and be generally insulting. We deal with those as harshly as we like.

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Postby Narsil » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:38 pm UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:wow.

I sent you a private message and now you're asking someone else if you can post what I said? That's just terribly bad form. Private messages are supposed to be private.

But here's what I wrote last night at two in the morning.

Y'know, its two in the morning and I'm in a good mood, so I think I will.

His writing is pretentious, like bad fan fiction. I think the thing is that he thinks he can be epic and grand, like he's Virgil or Dante. Anyone who thinks they can write about gods in their twenties is putting on airs. I didn't like Tolkien either, but at least he started with a children's story before going on to the heavy stuff, and that was in his fourties. (Yeah, I know he started writing about the mythos in the late 1910s, but he didn't publish that.)

You can't really blame him though. His father's a high ranking scientologist, so I'm sure Hubbard's crap influenced him.


There was more I wanted to say, but I didn't remember to include it and I don't have time to think of it all again.

I'm still a little taken aback at the way you guys decide to treat new members (or does everyone get this?), but, hey, I'll try anything twice.


Wow. I was about to defend you there, but god damn, you just went and did that.
There's no "age" you have to be to write anything, and saying that makes you sound like, well, a moron, to be frank.
The man has been writing about gods for a while. It's how he got his fame, with the "Sandman" series. If anything, American Gods was a less epic undertaking. But that's digressing fro the point. How old must one be to write about gods? What about lesser deities? How about just people with magic powers? How old do you have to be to write about that? You obviously are more well-read on these legislations than I.
The man wasn't "trying to be as epic as" anyone. Where the hell would you get that from? He told a story. People can take what they want from it, like it or dislike it. But what they can't do is act like they've done a lot of research and discovered Neil Gaiman for the fraud he is.


As for the very last sentence, get off the god damn cross. No one is predisposed to treat anyone like anything, you decide how that works with your actions. Be nice and you'll be treated as such, be a jackass, and well, you will not be long for this world.
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Postby the Cow » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:03 pm UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:wow....


Your criticism seems more than a little contrived to meet unstated criteria. You seem to only apply this "standard" to works that you already do not like as a post facto justification for your dislike. On the other hand, other works, those that you enjoy, are not (I suppose) suited to the same measure.

All well and good. I'm fine with your dislike for Gaiman or anyone else. But it seems unfair to hold him to such an unusual standard. Of course he is pretentious. That is half the fun. And it is meant to be fun. You seem to be the only person, here (or anywhere else I've seen) taking it so seriously that you can't accept that.
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Postby Narsil » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

Damn, Cow, you strapped on some ass-kicking boots for the book thread today.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
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Oh... that.

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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:15 pm UTC

Words removed.
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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:25 pm UTC

lol
words removed (I broke down a timeline of events to justify my behavior and referred to the esteem so many of you hold Gaiman in as a hagographic cult)

I hate to leave you guys thinking I'm a jackass, but since I'm clearly not going to enjoy myself here, I guess I have to. I really hoped I'd like it here, I need something to do when I'm not turning my nose up and being holier than thou.

I strongly suggest you read Jorge Luis Borges (Andrew Hurley's translation is the best if you don't speak Spanish!) if you want some good fiction, and for a comic that'll change your life you should read The Invisibles backwards and tripping.

Toodles.
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Postby Belial » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:38 pm UTC

I am angry that was deleted. I was looking forward to quality entertainment.

Thwarted by the other mods, again.
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Postby the Cow » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:46 pm UTC

I saw the post before it was deleted. dansez dansez dansez presents his side of the issue. He feels that the forumites have not treated him well. He states that he gave his opinion of an author and that the local "cult" of that author have been, to a degree, persecuting him for it.

I suspect that from his perspective it was an accurate listing. He did not attempt to take on any other perspectives.
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Postby Hammer » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:50 pm UTC

FWIW, I wrote him a PM attempting to explain why people were so angry with him and suggesting he try for a fresh start. If you don't understand that you've insulted people, it's hard to deal well with the vitriolic responses. Hopefully, that the case here.
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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:51 pm UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:I hate to leave you guys thinking I'm a jackass, but since I'm clearly not going to enjoy myself here, I guess I have to.


Damn. It's almost like I feel guilty for upsetting someone enough for him to take his toys and go home. Only, not.

I'm sure there are plenty of forums out there where people are more tolerant of your brand of asshattery (asshatry?) than we've been. Goodbye and godspeed.

Or, if Hammer's PM was as well-written as many of her posts were, and you understand exactly why you've been pissing people off, you're welcome to stay here and try a fresh start.
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Postby Hammer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:41 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:you're welcome to stay here and try a fresh start.

That's good. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why his original statement caused such an uproar. Hopefully, we don't actually need people to leave because we don't all like the same books. Malice seems to be allowed to stay.

I agree that he was somewhat blunt and overly general in the way he expressed his personal dislike, but he's only 16 years old. I don't think he's got much experience with literary critique. Hopefully, he'll learn by example, if he survives. :D

I read some of his other posts, and he's not so bad. Maybe we don't need to kill him just yet?
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Postby Jesse » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:16 am UTC

It's not his original statement that caused the uproar for me, anyway. It's that he brought it up in two threads, ignoring anyone said in the old thread, then, rather than actually answer anything in my post he decided to focus on the opening line to use as an excuse to, yet again, not answer the question.

When Malice brought up an opinion that lay contrary to mine he got asked questions, and responded and we actually agree on a lot of things. Dansez chose to avoid the questions.

I've nothing against letting him stay at all, the only one who brought up him leaving was himself.

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Postby Malice » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:53 am UTC

Hammer wrote:Malice seems to be allowed to stay.


Oh, good. I hate being ejected from fora at high velocities for my opinions on fantasy writers.

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Postby McLurker » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:57 pm UTC

The worst thing about Atlas Shrugged is its fans. The book is incredibly bad, but fans of Rand's ideology feel the need to worship it, and persuade other people it is the best book ever written. See the amazon reviews if you need a good laugh.

It's like Christian Contemporary Music. Pure crap, but its followers must support it- not because of the quality but out of a sense of loyalty.

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Postby Khonsu » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:06 am UTC

Marbas wrote:For those who don't know: Going Postal was a rebuttal and parody of Atlas Shrugged.
THIS MAKES ME LOVE PRATCHETT EVER SO MUCH MORE.

I'm all for John Stuart Mill ethics and such, but dear God, Ayn...NO. JUST NO. I really lost a ton of respect for, say, Alan Greenspan and Angelina Jolie and the rest when I found out they were Objectivists.

Mental_floss mag recently did an issue entitledVol 6, Issue 3: "Think Bigger–Genius Ideas Within Your Grasp!" and their monthly MASTERPIECES article was on Atlas Shrugged. It was excellent in explaining why Rand believed as she did, but I still don't think that excuses a cruelly individualistic view of the world in a grown woman. It's one thing to value the individual over the herd, but when the oppressed in your culture are suffering? You should try to help in some way. Also, being completely uncompromising in your "art" even if it makes you a fucking liability is sort of childish if it's, say, architecture.

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Postby Marbas » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:45 am UTC

Khonsu wrote:
Marbas wrote:For those who don't know: Going Postal was a rebuttal and parody of Atlas Shrugged.
THIS MAKES ME LOVE PRATCHETT EVER SO MUCH MORE.


Actually if you read the later posts you'll notice that this is not true! I screwed up... :oops:

I are sorries.
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Postby Nyarlathotep » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:15 am UTC

re: dansez, I believe it was more his attacks on the actual people than on the author himself that was the problem.

See, one can say, "I don't like author XYZ" but it's something rather different to say, "I don't like XYZ, therefore I don't like the people who don't like XYZ"

For example, "I dislike Tolkien. While the world he presented is an interesting and well-built one, his work is extremely difficult to read to the point of absolute obscurity. His work has value; however I, personally, do not care for it."

As opposed to, "What do you mean, you like Tolkien? The man was a hack. His stuff is just a bunch of pretentious garbage which was all really taken from old english myth anyway. Like, he stole from Beowulf and whatever. Besides which it's an absolute snooze to read. How can you like that crap? God it's awful. what are you, one of those freaks who puts on elf ears and speaks in whatever the fuck that language is?"

The latter is a (somewhat more extreme) version of what I was seeing in Dansez' posts. Particularly the bit about accusing the Gaiman fans of being a cult.

Yes, we REALLY REALLY REALLY like Neil Gaiman, partly because he appeals to us types who like obscure literary references. In some ways, his work's almost like mythology fanfic. you don't read fanfic for its literary value (god help you if you do) or because it's great literature - you read it because you "get" the subject matter and becuase you find it entertaining. There's a story being told. Gaiman just happens to tell the tale quite well and appeals to people like us.

(Wait, I just compared Gaiman to fanfic. I should probably be shot for heresy. Ewww. Or possibly clawed by raptors.)

Which is no reason to go around calling us a cult. Yeah, some of the fans are pretty hardcore... but then you'd have to find a problem with every OTHER fandom out there (... some of which I DO have issues with)

and now I'm rambling completely off topic. I guess to link back to the original: would one consider Bioshock some sort of Ayn Rand fanfic? :o
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Postby zenten » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:09 pm UTC

I read one of her short stories, and I tried to get through the novel about the architect. Man those books were horrible. Horrible people doing horrible things to each other for no reason, with really bad writing.

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Postby Belial » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:37 pm UTC

and now I'm rambling completely off topic. I guess to link back to the original: would one consider Bioshock some sort of Ayn Rand fanfic?


No, in Rand fanfic, the horrible objectivist society on the bottom of the ocean would've worked out JUST GREAT. Bioshock is like...Rand anti-fanfic.

I'm not all the way through the game yet (I'm in the crazy artist's theatre at the moment), but the big objectivist/randian in the game, Andrew Ryan, is portrayed as a sociopath who is so dedicated to his philosophy that he's practically soulless, and incapable of seeing how his practices are both immoral and counterproductive to keeping his society together.

The whole setting, as you find it, would seem to be the result of a violent backlash *against* a solidly objectivist leader. You could even read in the message that this is the *natural* result of an attempt to impose strict objectivism on a populace.

In other words, it's not very complimentary of Rand's philosophy, unless things take a big turn later in the game that I'm not aware of.
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Postby Barbie » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:34 am UTC

I read Atlas Shrugged a while ago, and I agree with opinions above: the writing was dry, the book was repetitive and much longer than it had to be, and the characters were somewhat inhuman.

It seemed like Ayn Rand presented her ideas through fiction so that she could use a contrived form of social pressure to convince the reader that her ideas were valid. The protagonists were successful, fullfilled, and "moral" because they were objectivists. As with any book, the reader can lose sight of the fact that they are fictional characters in a fictional universe.

That said, I would still advocate reading some Ayn Rand to get exposed to a perpective that most people would not defend, due to real-life social pressure. Arguments about philosophy are often radical ideas that are based on a simplification of reality. That doesn't mean you can't take something from them.

It is worth noting that Ayn Rand does not present pure egoism. The people in Galt's Gulch had to pledge that they would never live their lives for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for them. Also, rationality is fundamental to the philosophy. As I interpret it, we are to act selfishly if and only if we are not doing so at someone else's expense, and even then, the action must not only be hedonistically selfish, it must be rational.

To be honest, that doesn't sound like a bad framework to me. In my opinion, the real argument should be more about whether or not this ideal is achievable for real human beings.

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Postby RockMuncher » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:55 am UTC

I like Rand, from what I've read. Of course, I read her books mainly for entertainment, and the rather unique (if slightly flawed and extremely repetitive) perspective of her philosophy. I like the way she seemed to have an understanding of large corporation style thinking, though she takes it to absurd extreme. I even like her absurd extremes.

Personally, I don't have to agree with the philosophy of a book to enjoy it.... otherwise my great affection for "Hannibal" would be a whole new level of disturbing.

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Postby Narsil » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:12 am UTC

Even after all these comments, I am not deterred from reading the book. It sits on my shelf, waiting for me to finish other books as we speak.

Part of me wants to read the book to see a challenging philosophy and decide if I like it or not.
Part of me just wants to say I've read a 1,200 page novel.
Spoiler:
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Postby Bakemaster » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:24 am UTC

Um... how about reading some Socratic dialogues and The Stand, instead? I mean, if those are your two major motivations.
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Narsil
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Postby Narsil » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:17 pm UTC

Because I've heard a lot of good and bad about this book and I'm tired of being out of the loop.

Also, Stephen King sucks.
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EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:21 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:Also, Stephen King sucks.


King may have uninspired plot (like Rand) but at least his characters are pretty realistic (unlike Rand's) and enjoyable to read about (again, unlike Rand's).
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Postby Victorkm » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:11 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Um... how about reading some Socratic dialogues and The Stand, instead? I mean, if those are your two major motivations.


Replace "The Stand" with "Battlefield Earth"

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Postby notyouravgjoel » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:07 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:Part of me just wants to say I've read a 1,200 page novel.


Read Les Miserables instead. I'm sure you'll find it much more pleasing.


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