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New Comic: Either potentially interesting or offensive

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  • Hugh Davis
    http://www.holycomics.com/ Apparently inspired by Captain Marvel, this new comic features a superhero powered by Jehovah. The writer said in an online
    Message 1 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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      http://www.holycomics.com/

      Apparently "inspired" by Captain Marvel, this new comic features a superhero
      powered by Jehovah. The writer said in an online interview that he felt this
      would elevate God to the same comic status as Norse or Olympic gods,
      pointing out that Thor has done more to spread Norse mythology than any
      mythology class or book.

      Given one of the Muslim villains is a terrorist named "Sodom," my gut
      reaction says this will lean to the offensive side, but I'll reserve
      judgement at this point.

      Hugh Davis
    • Cai Cherie
      The Rowling backlash has begun. And good it should, since anything so popular should be questioned. But I m going to play angel s advocate here. I am going
      Message 2 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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        The Rowling backlash has begun. And good it should, since anything so popular should be questioned. But I'm going to play angel's advocate here. I am going to contend that Rowling is actually a better, more complex author than even her usual advocates contend. I'm practiced at this since my teen-age daughter, head, heart and senses deep in a Margret Attwood novel, has taken great delight in pointing out to me Rowlings failings.

        What I have found interesting is that these failings are the exact same ones that my daughter took great pleasure pointing out to me after reading "David Copperfield," (D.C. is one of my favorite novels -- thou just as "unsophisticated" as the Harry Potter books. And as with so many with the Potter books, first and perhaps best read as a child.)

        Think of it -- Dickens, a strong writer if there ever was one, created totally induvidualized characters who were so vibrant and archetypical that many of them have lived independent lives since. Dickens displayed extrodinary descriptive inventiveness-- names, characters, incidences and objects so strange yet pleasing that they are unforgetable. He has been popular (thou often unfashionable among the literary chi-chi) since Pickwick. He has been reviled for flat main characters who don't change enough (actually, what they do is develope, remaining uniquily themselves while growing in understanding and action,) for black and white thinking about good and evil (yet Steerforth is more weakly selfish and vain than evil, while Heep's ill-doing, thou consiously self-chosen and therefor an outright evil, has roots, thou not excuses, in some of the class injustices that Dickens faces and explores. Heep operates as what David might have become if David's heart had been less generous
        and his head more calculating. Hmmm-- abit like Harry Potter and Tom Riddle?) Both Dicken's streangths (leading to charges of too much weary-making invention masking lack of depth) and these two supposed weaknesses have been charged against Rowling. The objection agaist Dickens that is irefutable, that he was a sexist pigglet with inadequately-imagined female characters, is true of most 19th century authors and many early 20th century ones as well. Its a generic failing and Dickens's one great failing that Rowling, thanks to the simple accident of having been born female and now rather than then, is free of.

        My guess is what really can rile people about Dickens (thou thankfully my daughter missed this one) is the sincerety of his characters. People who aren't sincere can't imagine realistic characters who are. The possibility that such characters exist throws their world out of wack, since it suggests that they have turned therir backs on a primary and possible virtue. While too great sincerity has not been a charge anyone at Mythlore has thrown against the Potter characters, it is one that I have heard elsewhere.

        To put it far too simplisticely, Rowling was fathered by Chesterton and grandfathered by Dickens to emerge as ... totally herself. I feel blest to be around to read her. What she wrights about is the forming of character, the education of an induvidual who is both extrodinary and everyperson(as is every soul,) whose main gift is the ability to love.

        She is a strong author with a definite taste, which means her streangths are very strong and her weaknesses obvious. Some have a yen for her work more than others. People who enjoy her most probobly prefer Dickens over Thackery. I not only look gratefully forward to the last Potter book(-must- find out what is going on with Snape and if it follows my suspicions) but to what Rowling writes afterwards. She is still reletevly young. If the Potter books are a bit like Dickens earlier stuff, just think of what might follow. I'm sure whatever she writes withh be thouroughly unique and suprising, yet (groan, groan) I nevertheless have great expectations for our mutual friend.

        By the way, speaking of generosity, I have come to see these posts we write as gifts. We are trying to give something to each other. So before writing anything -- I ask myself -- is this something I want to give? I think its a helpful question to ask oneself before posting. I hope you don't mind this gift.

        Cai







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      • Walkermonk@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time, saraciborski@tds.net writes: Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David s scathing one
        Message 3 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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          In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
          saraciborski@... writes:

          Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
          to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love
          all the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best
          of the lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and
          the themes are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging
          portrayals of some delightful characters, both children and adults.
          What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
          occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
          story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but
          his mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents),
          ingenuity, loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities
          that develop as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him,
          had Rowling stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.

          Sara Ciborski



          -------------

          Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
          experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is enjoyable -- sweet,
          quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more for me, I enjoyed the third
          and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In fact, I was actually angry about
          the fifth one. It had a couple of really good scenes, but the overall
          structure and the ending conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated
          on me. And then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really
          feel strongly about it.

          Thanks for your post!
          Grace Monk



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Croft, Janet B.
          Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It s character that does it for me, and there is that Dickensian way with both the eccentric and sympathetic
          Message 4 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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            Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It's character that does it for
            me, and there is that Dickensian way with both the eccentric and
            sympathetic characters, and even (or perhaps especially) the villains.
            And there's the background, the elaboate twists and cliff-hangers, the
            sense of a whole elaborate and crowded world. Thank goodness she's gone
            light on the death-of-Tiny-Tim sort of pathos that ruind Dickens for
            many people. I know David doesn't like Dickens much, and maybe that's
            the difference -- Dickens people and those who aren't Dickens people may
            have different reactions to Rowling.

            I didn't like Harry much in Book 5 either, but now I find him more
            sympathetic...











            SPOILER ALERT







            Though I am getting REALLY TIRED of heroes telling their girlfriends
            that it's too dangerous to be with them. Let the girl make up her own
            mind how much danger she's willing to face, fer heaven's sake! Though I
            can't see Harry's girl sitting meekly at home and staying out of
            things... She'll find a way to fight by his side.


            Janet Brennan Croft

            -----Original Message-----
            From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            Of Walkermonk@...
            Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:27 AM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] HP6-a different view


            In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
            saraciborski@... writes:

            Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
            to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love all
            the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best of the
            lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and the themes
            are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging portrayals of
            some delightful characters, both children and adults.
            What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
            occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
            story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but his
            mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents), ingenuity,
            loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities that develop
            as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him, had Rowling
            stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.

            Sara Ciborski



            -------------

            Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
            experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is
            enjoyable -- sweet, quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more
            for me, I enjoyed the third and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In
            fact, I was actually angry about the fifth one. It had a couple of
            really good scenes, but the overall structure and the ending
            conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated on me. And
            then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really feel
            strongly about it.

            Thanks for your post!
            Grace Monk



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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            Links
          • Debra Murphy
            I think Janet s is an astute observation. Rowlings has always reminded me of Dickens more than anyone, and it s a wild-and-woolly type of imagination,
            Message 5 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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              I think Janet's is an astute observation. Rowlings has always
              reminded me of Dickens more than anyone, and it's a wild-and-woolly
              type of imagination, especially with characters, that I find
              enormously attractive.

              My kids (aged 7 to 24) and I all love HP, and some of us are going to
              be re-reading the entire series in the next year in order to put
              together our own scenarios of how we think JKR will finish it all up.

              I, too, was somewhat annoyed with Harry in book 5, but felt it was not
              only important for the boy's character arc as an adolescent, but may
              also have plot significance which will only be illumined in no. 7.
              Loved number 6--Harry's maturity, the tightness of the plot, and the
              maddening cliffhanger about a certain character-who-will-not-be-named.

              Debra Murphy



              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Croft, Janet B.
              > S
              >
              > Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It's character that
              > does it for me, and there is that Dickensian way with both
              > the eccentric and sympathetic characters, and even (or
              > perhaps especially) the villains.
              > And there's the background, the elaboate twists and
              > cliff-hangers, the sense of a whole elaborate and crowded
              > world. Thank goodness she's gone light on the
              > death-of-Tiny-Tim sort of pathos that ruind Dickens for many
              > people. I know David doesn't like Dickens much, and maybe
              > that's the difference -- Dickens people and those who aren't
              > Dickens people may have different reactions to Rowling.
              >
              > I didn't like Harry much in Book 5 either, but now I find him
              > more sympathetic...



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            • David Bratman
              ... I m curious as to what generated that remark, for two reasons. First, the Rowling backlash, which I d define as an illogical burning resentment against
              Message 6 of 30 , Jul 29, 2005
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                At 08:22 AM 7/26/2005 -0700, Cai Cherie wrote:

                > The Rowling backlash has begun.

                I'm curious as to what generated that remark, for two reasons.

                First, the "Rowling backlash," which I'd define as an illogical burning
                resentment against the books for having the temerity to be popular, has
                been around since the first book. It sounds like you hadn't noticed this;
                if not, where have you been?

                Second, I don't recall anything on this list that could fairly be described
                as part of a "Rowling backlash." Certainly not from me: I went out of my
                way to say that I liked the first book and still do, and my post was merely
                a report that I found book 6 to be turgid and overweight.


                I find it interesting that the defenses of the book 6 that have come in
                since my post are not really disagreements with the problems I cited with
                it. I'm not sure if I should infer an acknowledgment that these problems
                are there, but the emphasis has been on why people who've enjoyed it have
                done so anyway, and what I might be lacking that I did not do so.

                The consensus seems to be that I'm just not that much into the characters.

                Well, it's true that the qualities I most admire in fiction are captivating
                prose and a compelling plot, not the personally-appealing qualities of the
                characters. But on the other hand I do expect the characterization to be
                moving: this is the reason I can't get into Thursday Next - the prose is
                great, but I can't figure out who these characters are or why I should care
                about them.

                And more relevantly there's this: it appears that among most Harry Potter
                fans the least-liked book is number 4. But that one was my favorite after
                number 1. Why? Because unlike numbers 2-3, where everything in the book
                was at the direct service of the plot, in number 4 there was room for the
                characterization to live and breathe and go off in directions of its own.
                I felt that this time I really got to know Harry and his friends as people.

                So I respectfully deny any implication that I have trouble dealing with
                books whose greatest virtue is the characterization. I wouldn't have
                thought, from what I read of it, that in-depth characterization was HP6's
                particular virtue anyway.

                I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                endings. Narnia works because the books are different kinds of stories
                about different characters. But if you keep writing story after story
                about the same characters, the tendency is to just keep throwing more and
                bigger problems at them. I don't find the position of "Well, Harry's an
                interesting character; how's he gonna handle THIS doozy?" to be sufficient
                to keep me reading. There's no closure, no satisfaction, the created world
                tends to collapse in on itself and the improbability level starts climbing,
                and a terrible sense of ennui rises up.

                The end of a singleton Harry Potter book would have given off an air of
                Harry settling down at Hogwarts after learning his way around, and yeah
                that brush with Voldemort was dicey, wasn't it? Maybe, since Rowling is
                trying to turn towards more adult stories, she could have written one
                sequel set in year 7 or after graduation in which Harry and Voldemort have
                a second and final showdown, and whose beginning would allude to the
                successes and minor adventures of the intervening years.

                David Bratman
              • Debra Murphy
                This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it is one
                Message 7 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
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                  This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it is one of the most heartbreaking endings in literature. Not overtly tragic, like Tess of the d-Urbervilles, sure; Bilbo is happy, Sam, Merry & Pippin all seem to end up fine, in spite of the Scouring of the Shire (the very thought of which kills me), but it seems to me that happiness is almost hard-wired into those characters' nature.

                  Frodo, however, about whom we most care, has wounds that will never heal, and he is so broken he has to leave his beloved Shire for a measure of peace and healing--for me, his sailing into the West, though it may literally be a kind of "riding off into the sunset", has nothing of the happy-ever-after feel, or at least a sense of clusure, that I normally associate with that ending--say, the ending of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. On top of that, add the passing of the Elves, the preview (from the appendices) of what's to shake down in the lives of Aragorn and Arwen...yikes, I find it so painful in a way, that the older I get the harder time I have re-reading it.

                  Debra Murphy

                  ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
                  From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>

                  >I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                  >on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                  >happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                  >story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                  >sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                  >efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                  >undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                  >end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                  >of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                  >endings.


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                • David Bratman
                  Maybe Dave , whoever he is, thinks that LOTR has a purely cheerful ending, but David, the person you re replying to, said specifically that the book has a
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
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                    Maybe "Dave", whoever he is, thinks that LOTR has a purely cheerful ending,
                    but David, the person you're replying to, said specifically that the book
                    has a very mixed ending. The point of distinguishing "happily ever after"
                    and "riding off into the sunset" is that they're different. An ending
                    could be both at the same time, but "riding off into the sunset" is not a
                    subset of "happy ever after."

                    Even the happiest endings for Tolkien's characters have a bittersweet tinge
                    (Sam will always miss Frodo, and Tolkien goes out of his way to remind us
                    that Aragorn is mortal; other authors writing adventure stories have their
                    characters miss the excitement and comradeship of their adventuring days
                    but know they can never return).

                    I haven't seen the Indiana Jones film you mention (the first one was boring
                    and tedious enough, full of sound and fury signifying nothing), and I
                    vaguely recall they're not in chronological order which confuses things,
                    but it's already a series of sequels, and aren't they always threatening to
                    make yet another one? That doesn't sound like a story with real closure to me.

                    The point, though, is that the kinds of endings I'm referring to do have
                    closure. More things may happen to these characters (see the "riding off
                    into the sunset" ending of _The Princess Bride_), but we're not going to be
                    told of them. The story is over, no sequels. No worthwhile novel could be
                    made of the further adventures of Merry and Pippin, and what happens next
                    to Frodo is literally unimaginable by fallible mortal.

                    If a story does have real closure, an author wishing to write another one
                    has two choices: 1) get around the closure by writing a different story; 2)
                    undercut the closure. The first choice can work; the second almost always
                    retroactively destroys the effectiveness of the original. The third choice
                    is to avoid giving closure in the first place. Rowling knew she'd be
                    writing more HP books, so she avoided making closure noises at the end of
                    book 1 that she'd later have to undo, but the result is that the story
                    doesn't end.

                    David Bratman




                    At 07:02 AM 7/30/2005 -0700, Debra Murphy wrote:
                    >This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of
                    >LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it
                    >is one of the most heartbreaking endings in literature. Not overtly tragic,
                    >like Tess of the d-Urbervilles, sure; Bilbo is happy, Sam, Merry & Pippin
                    >all seem to end up fine, in spite of the Scouring of the Shire (the very
                    >thought of which kills me), but it seems to me that happiness is almost
                    >hard-wired into those characters' nature.
                    >
                    >Frodo, however, about whom we most care, has wounds that will never heal,
                    >and he is so broken he has to leave his beloved Shire for a measure of peace
                    >and healing--for me, his sailing into the West, though it may literally be a
                    >kind of "riding off into the sunset", has nothing of the happy-ever-after
                    >feel, or at least a sense of clusure, that I normally associate with that
                    >ending--say, the ending of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. On top of
                    >that, add the passing of the Elves, the preview (from the appendices) of
                    >what's to shake down in the lives of Aragorn and Arwen...yikes, I find it so
                    >painful in a way, that the older I get the harder time I have re-reading it.
                    >
                    >Debra Murphy
                    >
                    >---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
                    >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                    >
                    >>I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                    >>on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                    >>happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                    >>story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                    >>sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                    >>efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                    >>undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                    >>end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                    >>of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                    >>endings.
                    >
                    >
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Mike Foster
                    As the tomcat said when he kissed the skunk, Though it s been grand I ve enjoyed about all of this that I can stand . No offense & I ll come back later, but
                    Message 9 of 30 , Aug 6, 2005
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                      "As the tomcat said when he kissed the skunk, 'Though it's been grand
                      I've enjoyed about all of this that I can stand'."

                      No offense & I'll come back later, but after an eight-armed twelve-hour
                      day of tweaking & polishing & printing out two papers for Brum, getting
                      23 days of England>Geneva>Burgundy region>Alps packed into one carrion
                      bag, and getting my Gilbert magazine piece on Brideshead Rev. by E.
                      Waugh from nada to down from 756 to 706 words with 106 still to be cut
                      by Sunday night, I am as toasted as a crumpet.

                      John Updike was in Peoria speaking right after Rabbit At Rest was
                      published in '99? and I asked him if we had seen the last of Rabbit.

                      JU: 'Well, he wasn't looking very good the last time I saw him'

                      Balderdoodahdash; there was
                      a prequel in the New Yorker within months.

                      But carry on & carrion. I'll be back. I go to watch Scorpio rising
                      over the corn crib at Foster's Farm with a wee glass of plonk.

                      Take good care of that kitten, Berni.

                      Cheers,
                      Mike




                      Walkermonk@... wrote:

                      >
                      >In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                      >saraciborski@... writes:
                      >
                      >Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
                      >to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love
                      >all the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best
                      >of the lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and
                      >the themes are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging
                      >portrayals of some delightful characters, both children and adults.
                      >What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
                      >occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
                      >story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but
                      >his mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents),
                      >ingenuity, loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities
                      >that develop as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him,
                      >had Rowling stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.
                      >
                      >Sara Ciborski
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >-------------
                      >
                      >Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
                      >experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is enjoyable -- sweet,
                      >quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more for me, I enjoyed the third
                      >and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In fact, I was actually angry about
                      >the fifth one. It had a couple of really good scenes, but the overall
                      >structure and the ending conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated
                      >on me. And then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really
                      >feel strongly about it.
                      >
                      >Thanks for your post!
                      >Grace Monk
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Mike Foster
                      I second Ms. Monk s motion. Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis and perhaps is second only to Tolkien. Rank rash dismissal of her
                      Message 10 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
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                        I second Ms. Monk's motion.

                        Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                        perhaps is second only to Tolkien.

                        Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a retired
                        ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                        "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there were a
                        lot of people who were skeptical."

                        Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                        finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should not be
                        sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.

                        As Pogo the possum used to say:
                        "Rowrbazzle!"

                        Cheers,
                        Mike

                        Walkermonk@... wrote:

                        >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                        >WendellWag@... writes:
                        >The Harry Potter
                        >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on
                        >everything.
                        >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between good and evil,
                        >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the sacrifices
                        >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is quite low compared to
                        >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the sole province
                        >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The situations
                        >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the faint of heart
                        >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the situations
                        >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't always correct either. But
                        >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books aren't my
                        >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's contemptuous one-line
                        >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                        >
                        >
                        >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which she said
                        >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either _The Lord
                        >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                        >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately loses points
                        >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at least read "The
                        >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder which one(s)
                        >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews and other
                        >statements about Lewis.
                        >
                        >Grace Monk
                        >
                        >
                        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                        >Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • WendellWag@aol.com
                        In a message dated 10/3/2005 11:47:03 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, mafoster@direcway.com writes: Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds
                        Message 11 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 10/3/2005 11:47:03 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                          mafoster@... writes:

                          Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                          perhaps is second only to Tolkien.


                          Oh, I think that Rowling's names are superb. If only the other aspects of
                          her books were as good.

                          Wendell Wagner


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Lezlie
                          Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...) I like Rowling OK-- don t get me wrong. I just wish she d stop saying dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the
                          Message 12 of 30 , Oct 6, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                            I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop saying
                            dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                            conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                            while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                            information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not know"
                            any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                            much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy* fan
                            after all.)
                            Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving elfish
                            critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is compete
                            claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                            skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                            *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                            Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                            the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better. Personal
                            taste, you know...

                            Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                            Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era (for
                            a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that is).

                            Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot on,
                            spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that he
                            has done his research – no question—.
                            On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                            her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche has
                            become) I guess. Lezlie



                            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                            > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                            >
                            > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                            > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                            >
                            > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a retired
                            > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                            > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there were a
                            > lot of people who were skeptical."
                            >
                            > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                            > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should not be
                            > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                            >
                            > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                            > "Rowrbazzle!"
                            >
                            > Cheers,
                            > Mike
                            >
                            > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                            >
                            > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                            > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                            > >The Harry Potter
                            > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on
                            > >everything.
                            > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between good
                            and evil,
                            > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the sacrifices
                            > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is quite
                            low compared to
                            > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                            sole province
                            > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                            situations
                            > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                            faint of heart
                            > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the situations
                            > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't always
                            correct either. But
                            > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books
                            aren't my
                            > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                            contemptuous one-line
                            > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which
                            she said
                            > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either
                            _The Lord
                            > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                            > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately loses
                            points
                            > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                            least read "The
                            > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder which
                            one(s)
                            > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews and
                            other
                            > >statements about Lewis.
                            > >
                            > >Grace Monk
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                          • Pauline J. Alama
                            I think one of the reasons that stories about teenagers are popular - - whether the teenagers are named Harry Potter, Buffy Summers, Wart/Arthur, Theseus, or
                            Message 13 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I think one of the reasons that stories about teenagers are popular -
                              - whether the teenagers are named Harry Potter, Buffy Summers,
                              Wart/Arthur, Theseus, or Perceval le Galois -- is that
                              adolescence/coming of age/whateveryouwwannacallit is an important
                              time in most people's lives, a time when we became the people we
                              are, and made some of the choices that have formed the rest of our
                              lives. Rather than dismissing HP because it's "teen lit" one might
                              more fairly say that part of its compelling appeal for many,
                              including many adults, is because of its honesty in portraying the
                              struggles and follies of adolescence. I know that in reading HP 5 I
                              kept saying, with a rueful groan, "Oh, yes--I remember being 15." A
                              couple of friends who are teachers found that book a bit of a
                              busman's holiday, becuase Harry seemed too much like their students.
                              Why make a weakness out of one of the series' strenghts? I admire
                              the candor and perceptiveness with which Rowling captures the
                              nuances of adolescents' mood swings, foibles, and triumphs. And she
                              never cheats. She never gives Harry insights inconsistent with his
                              level of maturity. She never steps out of POV in the Harry-POV
                              chapters to deliver Authorial Wisdom (except indirectly through a
                              more mature character's dialog). I think point of view is very
                              important in fiction, and Rowling's skill at this technique is not
                              often enough praised.

                              Pauline J. Alama
                              THE EYE OF NIGHT

                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                              >
                              > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                              and
                              > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                              >
                              > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                              retired
                              > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                              > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                              were a
                              > lot of people who were skeptical."
                              >
                              > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                              > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                              not be
                              > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                              >
                              > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                              > "Rowrbazzle!"
                              >
                              > Cheers,
                              > Mike
                              >
                              > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                              >
                              > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                              > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                              > >The Harry Potter
                              > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped
                              on
                              > >everything.
                              > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                              good and evil,
                              > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                              sacrifices
                              > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                              quite low compared to
                              > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                              sole province
                              > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                              situations
                              > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                              faint of heart
                              > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                              situations
                              > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                              always correct either. But
                              > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books
                              aren't my
                              > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                              contemptuous one-line
                              > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which
                              she said
                              > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                              either _The Lord
                              > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                              > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                              loses points
                              > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                              least read "The
                              > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                              which one(s)
                              > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                              and other
                              > >statements about Lewis.
                              > >
                              > >Grace Monk
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                              > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • Pauline J. Alama
                              I wouldn t say Rowling s folklore was off (by which I suppose you mean inaccurate ), but that she has decided to do different things with the folklore. As
                              Message 14 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
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                                I wouldn't say Rowling's folklore was "off" (by which I suppose you
                                mean "inaccurate"), but that she has decided to do different things
                                with the folklore.

                                As Pete Seeger said of folk music, that's what makes it folk --
                                everyone sings it in their own way.

                                Pauline J. Alama
                                THE EYE OF NIGHT

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lezlie" <lezlie1@z...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                                > I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop
                                saying
                                > dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                                > conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                                > while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                                > information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not
                                know"
                                > any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                                > much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy*
                                fan
                                > after all.)
                                > Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving
                                elfish
                                > critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is
                                compete
                                > claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                                > skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                                > *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                                > Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                                > the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better.
                                Personal
                                > taste, you know...
                                >
                                > Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                                > Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era
                                (for
                                > a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that
                                is).
                                >
                                > Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot
                                on,
                                > spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that
                                he
                                > has done his research – no question—.
                                > On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                                > her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche
                                has
                                > become) I guess. Lezlie
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                > > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                > >
                                > > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                                and
                                > > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                > >
                                > > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                                retired
                                > > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                > > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                                were a
                                > > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                > >
                                > > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of
                                the
                                > > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                                not be
                                > > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                > >
                                > > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                > > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                > >
                                > > Cheers,
                                > > Mike
                                > >
                                > > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                > >
                                > > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                > > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                > > >The Harry Potter
                                > > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names
                                slapped on
                                > > >everything.
                                > > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                                good
                                > and evil,
                                > > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                                sacrifices
                                > > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                                quite
                                > low compared to
                                > > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                > sole province
                                > > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                > situations
                                > > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                > faint of heart
                                > > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                                situations
                                > > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                                always
                                > correct either. But
                                > > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP
                                books
                                > aren't my
                                > > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                > contemptuous one-line
                                > > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in
                                which
                                > she said
                                > > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                                either
                                > _The Lord
                                > > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                > > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                                loses
                                > points
                                > > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                > least read "The
                                > > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                                which
                                > one(s)
                                > > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                                and
                                > other
                                > > >statements about Lewis.
                                > > >
                                > > >Grace Monk
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                >
                              • Lezlie
                                All I can say is this: I don t like Pete Seeger s expurgated renditions of old folk songs, either. His orgiinals are fine, very sing-alongable -- So, there
                                Message 15 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  All I can say is this: I don't like Pete Seeger's expurgated
                                  renditions of old folk songs, either. His orgiinals are fine, very
                                  sing-alongable -- So, there you have it. Matter of personal taste, I
                                  *suppose*.

                                  There are Other authors I like better, even for youth, but Rowling
                                  serves a very important purpose in the literacy battle. And, that
                                  battle, we cannot afford to loose. More HP, I say! Bring them on!

                                  Lezlie

                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Pauline J. Alama" <PJAlama@e...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I wouldn't say Rowling's folklore was "off" (by which I suppose you
                                  > mean "inaccurate"), but that she has decided to do different things
                                  > with the folklore.
                                  >
                                  > As Pete Seeger said of folk music, that's what makes it folk --
                                  > everyone sings it in their own way.
                                  >
                                  > Pauline J. Alama
                                  > THE EYE OF NIGHT
                                  >
                                  > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lezlie" <lezlie1@z...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                                  > > I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop
                                  > saying
                                  > > dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                                  > > conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                                  > > while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                                  > > information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not
                                  > know"
                                  > > any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                                  > > much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy*
                                  > fan
                                  > > after all.)
                                  > > Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving
                                  > elfish
                                  > > critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is
                                  > compete
                                  > > claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                                  > > skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                                  > > *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                                  > > Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                                  > > the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better.
                                  > Personal
                                  > > taste, you know...
                                  > >
                                  > > Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                                  > > Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era
                                  > (for
                                  > > a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that
                                  > is).
                                  > >
                                  > > Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot
                                  > on,
                                  > > spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that
                                  > he
                                  > > has done his research – no question—.
                                  > > On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                                  > > her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche
                                  > has
                                  > > become) I guess. Lezlie
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                  > > > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                                  > and
                                  > > > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                                  > retired
                                  > > > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                  > > > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                                  > were a
                                  > > > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of
                                  > the
                                  > > > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                                  > not be
                                  > > > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                  > > > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Cheers,
                                  > > > Mike
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                  > > > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                  > > > >The Harry Potter
                                  > > > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names
                                  > slapped on
                                  > > > >everything.
                                  > > > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                                  > good
                                  > > and evil,
                                  > > > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                                  > sacrifices
                                  > > > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                                  > quite
                                  > > low compared to
                                  > > > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                  > > sole province
                                  > > > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                  > > situations
                                  > > > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                  > > faint of heart
                                  > > > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                                  > situations
                                  > > > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                                  > always
                                  > > correct either. But
                                  > > > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP
                                  > books
                                  > > aren't my
                                  > > > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                  > > contemptuous one-line
                                  > > > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in
                                  > which
                                  > > she said
                                  > > > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                                  > either
                                  > > _The Lord
                                  > > > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                  > > > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                                  > loses
                                  > > points
                                  > > > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                  > > least read "The
                                  > > > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                                  > which
                                  > > one(s)
                                  > > > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                                  > and
                                  > > other
                                  > > > >statements about Lewis.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >Grace Monk
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                  > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
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