WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

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Sassy_Cat
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by Sassy_Cat » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:58 pm

I agree, bravo.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by BeyondtheEllimist » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:08 pm

I will not claim to have read this whole thread, mainly because after reading just a few posts, I could feel my blood boiling. Had I continued to read every post, the odds are I would be unable to control what I type here and there is a good chance it would have included death threats toward those who don't like HP.

Now, I realize people have their own opinions about it, and that some people seem to loathe it with a passion. I will, however, say my piece.

First of all, focusing on Capnnerefir's(Yes, I capitalized it. Deal with it. Or ban me. You're just advocating the suppression of free speech by doing that.) anger towards the allegorical nature of the series: I don't see why that matters. Jekyll and Hyde was an allegorical masterpiece.

Second of all: Harry Potter is the reason I'm alive to type this. I was in a really dark place when I was younger. I've been in and out of suicidal phases since I was seven. I saw myself in Harry. We were both ostracized loners. And yet, seeing how Harry made friends and found his place gave me hope that I could find my own. The Harry Potter books showed me that things could end better. I owe J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series my life. You can hate it all you want. I disagree with those opinions so wholeheartedly that debating it with me would end in a cataclysmic event. But I love those books because they helped me through the darkest time in my life.

Chew that over. These books that you hate SAVED MY LIFE. I'm not going to try to change your minds, because that's clearly futile, just give you a perspective that shows that even things that you may not like can have good results. Maybe that little personal tidbit can help you to appreciate that even things you can't stand have merits.

That's all we have time for before I lose control and go into a rant that would make the Apocalypse seem preferable in comparison. I'm going to spare you that. Unless you ask me to go into rant mode.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by capnnerefir » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:55 am

Let me start by making something perfectly clear, Beyond:
I'm very, very glad that these books saved your life. Regardless of what I think of them, anything that saves anyone's life is a good thing. If Mein Kampf saved your life, there'd still be something positive in that. Saving a life is always a good thing, regardless of how it happens. I'm glad that these books gave you hope and helped you through dark times in your life.

Certainly I would say that if my hatred of the series offends you, you should probably not read this thread. While I like intellectual discussions about the series merit and lack thereof, I'd rather not be involved in emotion-driven arguments. I prefer debating to fighting.

On a broader note, I'll say that I do admit that people reading this series might get things out of it that I don't. Everyone is different, and any piece of literature will speak to people in different ways. I might have said something to the contrary before in this thread - if so, I formally retract that. this was allow written years ago, and I've become more reasonable and cerebral about the subject since then. While I believe I still stand by most of what I said, I reserve the right to change my mind. Anyway, like I said: two people can get incredibly different things out of the same story. I realize that a lot of people find this story easy to relate to - obviously that's a large part of it's success. and I'm glad it has helped people, I'm not going to hate it because of that.

My problem with this series - at least these days - is that it's simply a bad, bad series. The literary quality of it is terrible, regardless of what emotional impact it might have on its readers. I could barely finish the first one when trying to re-read this series, and I'm almost afraid to start reading the second one. Speaking from the standpoint of a literary critic, it's just plain awful, and that's my main issue with it. You might like it - that's fine. Obviously millions of people like it. Millions of people might find that they can relate to the characters and the story. And, yes, it may even have saved millions of lives. And, at least these days, I'm not going to tell anyone that they should despise it due to the literary quality (although I certainly do). All I'm saying is that I feel it is important that people do acknowledge that it's a piece of trash. Holding it up as a masterpiece of literature drags all the rest of literature down and makes it possible for things like Twilight to become million-dollar successes.

An aside on allegory: Allegory can be used to great effect to illustrate a point. My issue is not with the use of allegory to make a statement - it's the depiction of an allegorical morality that is never questioned by any relevant voice in the story's universe. Allegory as a device is certainly present (Voldemort is evil, Dumbledore is good, so proper morality is demonstrated through their differing actions), and that's fine - stories tend to work best like that. And while you do get some great stories that deviate from that (i.e. Animorphs), most don't and that's fine. Allegory is a literary device that's in the toolbox of all writers, and they're free to use it. My problem is with the allegorical morality of the universe - everything is either good or bad. There's nothing pragmatic about it, nothing situational. While some characters might argue against this - maybe even some of the important characters like some of the background members of the Order of the Phoenix - they're all characters whose opinions we're supposed to disregard when compared to those of the protagonists. If Harry or Hermione or (especially) Dumbledore disagrees, then the other person is wrong. There's no moral grey in Rowling's world. And while it's one thing to believe that, the start of this post and the previous one display very clearly the impact this series can have on people. I can't accept millions of children believing that there's no moral grey. That's a horrible, disgusting thing to teach people and it infuriates me.

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by Sassy_Cat » Sun May 13, 2012 3:44 pm

Started to reread the books, and it dawned on me:
I hate the movies, most of the time, the books are decent.
I realized one more thing:
The wording sucks in the books.
A very pregnant pause.
What did she do, flip through a thesaurus and pick a word at random? Really.
Otherwise, I was half-wrong earlier.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by BabelFish42 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:05 pm

This is awesome, capn. Even though I disagree with most of it. No, scratch that. This is awesome because I disagree with most of it. I love finding intelligent people who completely disagree with me. I’m kinda surprised that NO ONE, in 19 pages of posts, has posed any serious counterarguments. Well, better late than never.

So… I guess being a Cassie fan already puts me in the extreme minority. Anyone who’s going to hate me for my opinions already does, so I’ve got nothing to lose, right? I might as well come out and say I think JKR is an amazing writer, and I love the Harry Potter series. Bite me.
capnnerefir wrote:The Chronicles of Narnia was originally conceived as satire. Lewis wrote up a rough draft and slapped it on the table in front of Tolkien and said, "This is what you believe. A story for children."
Really? That explains… a lot, actually. I’m fascinated by Lewis’s nonfiction works, but I always thought his fictional stories were overrated. Not bad, just not that awesome, especially The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which is easily my least favorite of all his books. Either way that it was conceived, whether as a satire or a Christain allegory, he was trying to make a point, trying to get a message across. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think in Lewis’s case, the message always ends up taking priority over the story itself, and the quality of the storytelling suffers as a result.

Also, I know the forward you’re talking about, the one where Tolkien explains why he dislikes allegories. I love that piece of writing. First read it when I was 13 or so, and I loved it. It was like, yes, finally, here is someone putting into words exactly what I feel about stories like Chronicles of Narnia, but have never been able to articulate.

Anywho, moving on to the HP stuff…

1) Allegory
capnnerefir wrote:I can't accept millions of children believing that there's no moral grey. That's a horrible, disgusting thing to teach people and it infuriates me.
Couldn’t agree more. This is exactly why I hated series like Redwall by Brian Jacques so much when I was a kid. Good guys, bad guys, nothing in the middle, that is an AWFUL mindset to teach anyone, especially a child.

So I’m with you on that. The whole Pure Good vs. Pure Evil is a trope I despise. I can tolerate certain amounts of it, which is a good thing I suppose, because it’s very difficult to find any work of literature without some sense of “good” guys and “bad” guys. But I don’t think JKR creates a world devoid of moral ambiguity. The HP universe is certainly no worse in that area than many, many other works of fiction. To me, the series has only a tolerable amount of Pure Good vs. Pure Evil undertones.
capnnerefir wrote:There can be no denying that every single character in Harry Potter is allegorical. Good characters are good and evil characters are evil…. No good character ever does anything even remotely evil. Sure, a few of them (i.e. Fred and George) engage in some harmless mischief from time to time; the operative phrase being "harmless mischief". That is certainly not evil by any stretch of the imagination. The worst thing any good character in Harry Potter does is skip a few classes and get busted by a teacher who always happens to be a villain; the good teachers let the good characters off the hook.
Now this is where I completely disagree with you. There are plenty of imperfect, morally ambiguous characters in these books. As one character explains, “the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.”

Some examples...

Dumbledore:

We’ve got WAY more dirt on him than we ever see with Gandalf. Even as an old man, he’s manipulative to the extreme; JKR herself describes him as “a very Machiavellian figure.” He's basically been plotting Harry's death the entire time. As a youth, he’s arrogant, power-hungry, and hateful. He despised Muggles and was obsessed with plotting a way to conquer them. He teamed up with the guy who later become the Wizarding World’s equivalent of Hitler. And he was at least partially, if not completely, responsible for the death of his own little sister.

Other people on this thread have argued that we never find out any of this till the last book, so therefore it’s just something JKR pulled out of her butt. Dumbledore’s a politician, they say, so realistically, we should’ve known about all this dirt much sooner.

Um, no. Not if Dumbledore was painted as a public hero for long enough. Like Lincoln, or Ghandi, or MLK, or, if you want a fictional example, Elfangor. You almost never hear any dirt on those people (though it’s there for all of them if you dig hard enough) because society has glorified them to the point that they’re like demigods or something. They’re untouchable. Anyone who tries to criticize them gets shushed because we adore these people. Society craves heroes it can look up to, and we get very defensive when anyone points out their human flaws. I’m pretty sure this is what happened with Dumbledore. He defeated Grindelwald. He saved the Wizarding world. And after that, they gave him all sorts of honors and awards and put him on baseball cards, and that was that. He became a Public Hero, and anything sketchy he might have done earlier in his life got swept under the rug.

Snape:
capnnerefir wrote:
panzerfreeman wrote: And Snape who seemed so evil turned out to be good.
DEUS EX MACHINA!
Your shouting does not convince me, capn. :P He was a wonderfully ambiguous character throughout the series, from book 1 when he saved Harry’s life, all the way through to the end.

The Marauders (James, Sirius, Lupin):

Harry’s dad and godfather were stuck-up, arrogant, bullies. Their behavior in Snape’s memories is downright disgusting. Even Harry walks away from that thinking every bad thing Snape ever said about his father was probably true.

And Lupin’s no better, because he just sits by and lets it happen. A werewolf of all people (someone subjected to terrible prejudice and mistreatment in the HP universe) should know better. He really should have done something. I love Lupin. He’s my favorite character in the whole series. But one of his most glaring flaws is that he’s a complete wimp when it comes to standing up to his friends. He likes to be liked, and he cares more about pleasing his friends than doing what he knows is right. He’s also got a bit of a martyr complex.

As for the older version of Sirius, he’s far from perfect too. He almost seems to be stuck in the mindset of a 20 year old, like his emotional development just totally stopped once he went to Azkaban. He’s reckless and immature. And he’s a hypocrite. I love this character too, but it’s true. He’s very “do as I say, not as I do” with Harry, and his actions don’t always match up with his stated beliefs. For example, he’s the one who says, “if you want to know what a man’s like, look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” when he’s criticizing the way Barty Crouch mistreats his house-elf. Yet Sirius treats his own house elf like crap; he’s verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. It’s also Sirius who says “the world’s not split into good people and Death Eaters,” and yet he seems to view his own family that way. In Sirius’s mind, his relatives are either good guys or irredeemably evil, with no room for anything in between. Sirius is a person who voices a lot of lofty ideals, but doesn't live up to them. In other words, a hypocrite.

Ron:
Harry’s best friend is the magical equivalent of a racist, as least as far as his attitude toward elves and werewolves is concerned. That’s a pretty glaring character flaw in my book.

Regulus Black:
Here we have a Death Eater who was okay with killing Muggles, but couldn’t stand the idea Voldemort leaving his house elf to die a gruesome death. He was also brave enough to stand up to Voldemort and destroy one of the Horcruxes, even though he knew this would cost him his life.

Kreature:
He betrayed the “good” guys, kept calling Hermione a filthy mudblood even though she was one of the only people who was nice to him, and was responsible for Sirius’s death. But this was all pretty understandable, considering where he was coming from, and later he ended up helping Harry and his friends.

Then there’s Mundugus Fletcher, Peeves, the Centuars, the giants, the giant spider Aragog, Barty Crouch Senior, Karkaroff, Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour, Griphook – are they good guys or bad guys? Hard to tell, because it’s really not that simple. Rowling’s universe is not a place where people always fall into neat categories of good guys and bad guys.

I could go on to talk about Harry, Hermione, the Dursleys, the Malfoys, and plenty of others, but hopefully this is enough examples to get the point across. The Harry Potter universe is overflowing with deeply flawed “good” guys and sympathetic “bad” guys.

I find it interesting that you bash HP, but love LOTR. I always thought the lines between good and evil were much more clearly drawn in Tolkien’s Middle Earth than JKR’s world. Yes, there are beautifully ambiguous characters like Gollum and Boromir, and our “hero” Frodo was all set to become the next Dark Lord at one point, but those are just a few individual exceptions. On the whole, the Death Eaters are a much more sympathetic group of bad guys than the Uruk-Hai. JKR reminds us that, for all their faults, the Death Eaters are still human, and some, like Regulus, are even admirable. The orcs, on the other hand, are nothing more than filthy monsters who need to be exterminated. There are NO good orcs. Ever.

2) Pervasive Immaturity
capnnerefir wrote:It is undeniable that Harry Potter never grew up. And I feel it is completely unnecessary to list the ways in which the Animorphs changed by way of comparison.
The Animorphs were FIGHTING A WAR. A desperate, bloody, guerilla war against enemies who literally hid inside the bodies of innocent bystanders. Enemies who they destroyed, not with nice, clean, shoot-from-a-distance weapons like guns or spells, but with sharp claws and pointy teeth. Of course that had an enormous impact on them. One of the central themes of the series was how war changes people. So it’s hardly fair to compare Animorphs to HP and complain that the HP characters didn’t change as radically as the Animorphs did. Well, duh, of course they didn’t.

That being said, the HP characters did change over the course of the series. Take Hermoine for example. She starts off as a bit of a brat. She’s a stuck up know-it-all and a goody-two-shoes. As she gets older, she becomes a lot more tolerable and much more of a rule-breaker. She also goes through a phase where she’s annoyingly fanatical about house elf rights, but she matures in that area as well.

I don’t want to take the time to go through each and every character (though I can if somebody really wants me to), but I think the kids we see in the 7th book are clearly older and more mature than they were when they were 11. They have changed, not just the main 3, but the more minor characters as well. No, it’s not as extreme as what we see with the Animorphs, but I think that’s realistic. The 16-year-old Animorphs in the final arc are almost unrecognizable as the same 13-year-old kids we saw in the first books, but that’s because they grew up under very different circumstances. The changes that most people undergo as teenagers are generally much more subtle; less like what we see with the Animorphs, more like what we see with the HP characters.

As for Harry never growing to question his mentors and parental figures (what you talked about in the “Spiritual” paragraph), that simply doesn’t match up with what’s in the books. What he sees in Snape’s memories pretty much destroys the hero-image he had of his dad and Sirius. His faith in Dumbledore gets severely shaken in the 7th book when they learn about his past. Lupin was another character he’d always looked up to, but he’s so disgusted with his behavior in the 7th book that he calls him a coward. I’d say Harry definitely grows up in this regard. He learns to question, and even flat-out disagree with, his elders, and he realizes the people he hero-worshipped as a child aren’t so perfect after all.

As for his social maturity…
capnnerefir wrote:He was loved by everyone in House Girffindore. But he despised everyone in Slytherin for no other reason than that they were from Slytherin. That, in and of itself, shows an incredible, lack of social maturity. And it isn't like he went out of his way to befriend the other two houses, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. No, no, no. They weren't worth his time.
Um, he DATED a Ravenclaw, remember? Throughout the series, he had a number of friends from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. And by the end of the series, they were quite a few Slytherins who he respected – Slughorn, Regulus Black, Severus. Heck, he even tells his son, in the (admittedly cheesy) epilogue that there’s nothing wrong with being sorted into Slytherin. So I’d say he clearly does get over his anti-Slytherin prejudice, and there was no real prejudice against any of the other houses in the first place.

Let’s see, what else? Mental maturity:
capnnerefir wrote:He still has the same decision-making process that he had when he was 11: "Will this please my surrogate parental figures?" Never once did he decide to make a decision on his own.”
Right… how many times did Harry get yelled at for breaking some rule or taking some stupid risk that his elders never would’ve approved of? Breaking into the Department of Mysteries in book 5 is the most obvious example that comes to mind, but that’s just one of many.
capnnerefir wrote:When he was told "Hey, dude, Voldemort's around," did he question it? Absolutely not. Did he think that maybe, just maybe, Voldemort had a point? That the world would be better without us muggles ruining things? Nope; he just did as he was told.
Well, I think the way Voldemort and his followers were going around MURDERING PEOPLE was a bit of a turn off. The average person doesn’t usually stop and ask him/herself if maybe, just maybe, groups like the KKK and the Nazis have a point. By your definition, does that make them mentally immature too?

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with saying, screw you man, I don’t care if you’ve got a plan to create Heaven on earth, the way you’re going about it is so hopelessly effed up that I will never, ever agree to work with you. Who cares what Voldemort’s ends were? His means were so messed up that they never would have been justified by his ends.

Last, but not least, there’s emotional (by which you seem to mean sexual) maturity.
capnnerefir wrote:The male body reaches physical maturity (and thus sexual reediness) at the age of 15; at that point, because of pure biology, he has only one thing on his mind. This is a scientifically proven fact. I find it impossible to believe that Rowling was unaware of this; of course, what else could explain this lack of interest in Harry?
I’m wondering if we read the same series. Harry angsted and lusted for Ginny like nobody’s business in book 6. Ugh. I was getting really sick of it, to be honest. Before that, there was all the awkwardness with Cho, which started when he was 13, and before that, he was too young.
capnnerefir wrote:She even had a homosexual in her book. She tells us. We'll have to take her word for it, since there is absolutely no evidence of it anywhere in any of her books.
Again, are you sure you read the same books that I did? Remember everything with Grindelwald? That was very clearly sexual.
capnnerefir wrote:The basic point of this particular section of my rant is this: his relationships never progressed beyond those of a young boy. Anyone who tells you that sex is not part of a mature relationship is someone who has either never had sex or who wants to keep you from having it. Yes, it is possible to have a mature relationship without sex; but not a realistic one.
Well, later you admitted couples can decide to hold off on sex and still have a mature relationship, so I won’t argue with you on that. As for why Harry and Ginny never got more intimate, or even discussed the possibility of doing so in front of an audience of readers, well, they really weren’t together very long. They dated for a few weeks in book 6, then temporarily broke up when Harry decided to go off hunting Horcruxes at the end of that book. So either there wasn’t enough time for sex to become an issue for them, or else Rowling decided to not to make a big deal out of it, considering the age of many of her readers. I think the first reason is more likely, but if it’s the second, I can still respect that.

Phew… are we finally done with that one? Good. On to number 3!

3) Abuse of Archetypes
capnnerefir wrote:Rowling herself claims that her characters are original creations and unique people. I read this in an interview she gave and promptly vomited blood on the newspaper (that is completely true. This series does indeed cause me physical illness). Not only is she lazy enough to write such an allegory, she is foolish enough to not realize what she's doing!
Where are you getting this? I’d bet money that whenever she said her characters were “original,” she just meant they weren’t based on actual people. (For instance, some people were speculating once that one rather annoying character was based on her ex-husband, and she was very quick to respond that that wasn’t true.)

JKR studied English in college and received a Bachelor’s in Classics. She knew exactly what she was doing with archetypes. She was well aware that her characters were based on archetypes, and I don’t remember ever reading or hearing anything where she claimed otherwise. In fact, a very quick internet search revealed this:

JKR: Yeah, well, I think if you take a step back, in the genre of writing that I'm working in, almost always the hero must go on alone. That's the way it is. We all know that, so the question is when and how, isn't it? If you know anything about the construction of that kind of plot.

Interviewer: The wise old wizard with the beard always dies.

JKR: Well, that's basically what I'm saying, yes.

That author? Nah, she has no idea what the hero’s journey is, or what archetypes it involves. No way.


4) Selling out

She had the entire 7 book series outlined from the beginning. Before it was ever even accepted by a publisher. Before she had any hopes of becoming rich and famous. Not to mention, with a fanbase that large, it is literally impossible to please everyone. So I’m not sure where you get off saying she ‘sold out’ by just telling the public whatever story they wanted to hear.

And no offense, but why would she need to do that in the first place? The first three books alone made her so much money that she was basically set for life, so why even bother ‘selling out’ on the last four? It’s not as if people would’ve stopped buying them if they didn’t like something she wrote. Well, maybe a few people, but not most. At that point, the franchise was so successful, Rowling pretty much could write whatever the hell she wanted and still be selling books by the millions.

Some other quotes that came up in the same internet search:

“a lot of people aren't going to like the death very much, but that was always what was planned to come”

“See, I'm aware that Half-Blood Prince will not delight everyone... I mean, if it didn't, I haven't done my job right.”

This does not sound like an author who’s devoted to pleasing the public at the expense of the story.

5) Lowering of Standards

Matter of opinion. That one only applies if we agree that the books really are as godawful as you claim they are.
capnnerefir wrote:This is the reason why, if given the choice between stopping the holocaust and stopping Rowling, I honestly do not know which I would choose.
Wow… That is an awfully harsh thing to say. Look, I’m big on the importance of literature and art in general, since it absolutely does shape the way society thinks (and thus acts) in very real and powerful ways. But I would never, ever make that comparison about any work of literature, no matter how much I hated it, unless I really thought it was inciting people to commit genocide or some other atrocity. So I hope you made that remark tongue in cheek, or that you’ve relented a little since then. If not, well, you have a right to your opinion, but that strikes me as ridiculously over the top.

So… I doubt anyone, even capn, actually read this whole tl;dr rant of mine, but if you did, thanks. And capn, if you’re reading, thanks for giving me something to argue about. :) I am a giant dork, so I actually enjoy this sort of thing.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by BSerAkafanofblake » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:07 pm

My words exactly.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by BabelFish42 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:29 pm

Wow. How about that. Someone actually did read it. :)
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by BSerAkafanofblake » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:02 pm

As ducky once said
Yep yep yep.
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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by Sadaf » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:43 pm

Okay so I don't hate Harry Potter but let me be clear HarryPotter has nothing on Animorphs ethically. In my opinion there are two parts to ethics one part is no one is perfect the second part is no one is complety evil. Harry Potter and a lot of other modern books have the first part I will give them that but the second part no. I mean seriously no bad guy ever does anything good they never have any reason other than racism for their evil so no one can feal bad for them and that is part oc why I love Animorphs. I feal so bad for the yeerks I pity them for needing to make themselves blind slugs to give up hurting other animals where as humans can live a completly healthly fairly normal life as a veagan who hurts no other animal. I feel bad for the yeerks and I love that so whereaspeople who say Harry Potter is better than Percy Jackson or Animorphs I let have their own opinion while pointing out why I like Animorphs and Percy Jackson better I will never let anyone say Harry Potter has half as much ethics as Animorphs

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Re: WHY I HATE HARRY POTTER

Post by YeerkSalad » Sat May 02, 2015 8:17 pm

I read it, BabelFish. I agree.
I'm way more active on RAF. If you want to contact me, go there.