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> KK's Dedicated Character page, hey! everyone else is doing it....
Kyoto Kid
post Jun 15 2006, 07:01 AM
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OK, Time for the sawed off one's contribution to this whole idea of "bearing all". After reading a number of other DCPs I decided, what the hell, why not? At this moment I am not at home and on a time limited system, as wll as not having all the details at my disposal. For one thing, KKs character story comprises about 66 pages of text alone (MSWord file - written in a narrative style), so it will take a bit to edit the Hacker's Digest Condensed Version.

I should have the basics down Thursday and an abbreviated version of her backstory on Friday (all PDT time zone).

Again, excuse any typos, the node I am at is not compatable with PHP Spell for some reaon or other.

Please, no responses until I get at least the basics posted.
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 07:52 AM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
For one thing, KKs character story comprises about 66 pages of text alone (MSWord file - written in a narrative style), so it will take a bit to edit the Hacker's Digest Condensed Version.

If anyone is expected to read this(we, thanks to the gods, get the short version), make sure it has awesome style and leaves the reader breathless, always wanting to read the next line.
There are many people out there who do not like to read, and even those who do do very rarely endure such a background story. I, too, had players in my group who wrote quite long backgroundstories for their characters, one around 80 pages, the other around 90.
I stopped after the twentieth page in both, telling them that it was just too boring to read. Our gamemaster never touched the manuscripts. :spin:
If there is anything in your story not contributing to the characterization or the story(which itself should be damn meaningful), cut it out.
I mean, Rip it out! Rip it out! Rip out the entire page!
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 15 2006, 08:34 AM
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...not to worry. I personally have trouble reading incredibly long posts. What I will post on her background will be extremely edited down almost to an outline.

As to the style of the original manuscript, I am a writer and used KK's backsory as an "exercise" in narrative writing. Her full story is basically a novella with fully developed supporting characters and settings. If someone is really interested in reading the complete version, I can send it as an email attachment (word.doc).

BTW, Kyoto Kid - The Making of a Runner is copyright © 2006 Amber House Art Works
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 08:48 AM
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Cool. :rotate:
Which genre? And would you call it belletristic?
Depending on your answers, I might be eager to read it. :D
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 15 2006, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
Cool.  :rotate:
Which genre? And would you call it belletristic?
Depending on your answers, I might be eager to read it.  :D

...Genre? well considering I look at SR as being somewhat SF it could fall into that category. However, her story is very, well, personal to the character (it was basically launched by several "why would someone be a runner" threads).

As to being belletristic, Yes it does fit this definition being that is is both entertaining and informative..

Oh and BTW, the title should be "...Character Thread" not "...Page" My bad for being raised by an anglophile.

Sidewalk = Pavement
Trunk (car) = Boot
Hood (car) = Bonnet

And yes I spell "colour" correctly.
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 09:19 AM
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I do not consider SR SF. SF once was a way to criticize society. Then Star Trek and Star Wars came, both considered SF by the public press because of the futuristic setting. However, they have nothing in common with the former SF.
Sadly, every film and book with a futuristic scenario is now considered SF.
Is Ghost in the Shell SF? Yes! It is philosophical, critical and uses the futuristic setting as a tool to make a deeper understanding of the essential themes possible.
Is Shadowrun SF? No! Big guns, dragons and magic! Pure escapism.
If I ever met a Shadowrun novel author on the street and he answered the question about his writing genre with "Science-Fiction!", I would like to slap him into the face and call him an arrogant fool. Actually, instead, I would say "I see." and walk away. :D
If they answered "Tragedy" or "Comedy", I would like to nod and tell them "You are not such a faggot, after all, but I do not like your novels.". Of course, instead, I would also say "I see." and walk away.
The science fiction we, in these times, know is not an actual genre. And SR is by no means science fiction.
Despite the fact that now, that I know that your story is belletristic, I am not interested anymore, I would still like to know the actual genre.
Melodrama, action, mainstream?

By the way, if an SR novel author answered my question with "mainstream", I think I would call out "Respect!" and go away. Maybe really.
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 09:53 AM
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Think we're in danger of hijacking this here thread, but I couldn't resist responding.
Not sure I agree.
SF is a broad church. Many people in the past have called fantasy works science fiction (although that doesn't happen so much anymore), and I can think of many many classic SF stories that can't really be called a social critique but certainly are an exercise in imaginative speculation. (2001, for example)
I must also say that I see elements of Shadowrun that certainly are a social critique.
I write, and I like to write sci-fi sometimes. Oh I can faff around and claim that it's 'speculative fiction', but frankly that's just semantic bullshit. Call a spade a spade. When you say sci-fi, people have an idea of what you mean, and that's all I require a label to do. So what if puffed-up literary types look down their nose at me? They look down their noses at everybody (and I look down my nose at them quite often!)
And what do you mean by 'mainstream' here? To me it means popular and acceptable to the masses. Because it seems to me that sci-fi and fantasy (and 'melodrama' and 'action') are both kind of mainstream at the moment.
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE
And what do you mean by 'mainstream' here?

Well, the mainstream genre. Looking at the TV-program of today, "about a boy" by nick hornby, this was a mainstream novel.
I find it hard to explain, since my english sucks. :P
Better search google for a definition, or the encyclopedia of your choice.
Literature designed, as you said, to satisfy a wide area of readers.
[by the way, here in germany, we have two TV stations that send a "daily melodrama" each evening, you could say. All produced in germany, and not bad at all, but I wonder how they have the budget to create so many of those.]

QUOTE
Many people in the past have called fantasy works science fiction (although that doesn't happen so much anymore)

I know... :(

QUOTE
I write, and I like to write sci-fi sometimes. Oh I can faff around and claim that it's 'speculative fiction', but frankly that's just semantic bullshit.

Then it is a literary exercise, I assume, nothing wrong with it. Just like Kyoto Kid did, as he said. He used his character background as an exercise for himself.

QUOTE
When you say sci-fi, people have an idea of what you mean, and that's all I require a label to do.

As long as the label is not misunderstood by 95%+ of the people, yes.
Misunderstood, or you could say its definition has changed throughout time.
When I say "I like science-fiction", 95%+ of the people misunderstand me, eventually it ends in some geeks showing up and asking me if I want to go to some Star Trek convention with them.
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 10:54 AM
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Some of this may be getting lost in translation then. ;)
Mainstream means what I said it means, and it has little to do with genre. I think the most common term for what you're talking about may simply be 'non-genre', i.e. grounded entirely in the real world. In the UK some people like to call it 'literature', because some people are snobs: they equate that term with 'having artistic merit' and anything that could be termed genre (or popular) could not possibly qualify. I'm afraid I've met lots of these people and they really are that stupid.
It's interesting to see what happens when a writer, who is popular in literary critic circles, dabbles in what I would call sci-fi. Margaret Atwood (eg Oryx & Crake) and Dennis Potter (Cold Lazarus) spring to mind. They seem to end up pleasing nobody. Neither of them would call those works science fiction, because they loathe all the negative popularist connotations (or loathed- Potter is dead). So they call it speculative fiction instead, as if that fools anybody.
Going the other way, the premier UK sci-fi short fiction magazine Interzone is so desperate to buy its way into the 'literary critic' circle that many of its stories these days are dull and pompous- and the magazine's popularity has taken a serious nosedive, thereby more or less crippling the short story sci-fi market in the UK.
Your talk about 'misunderstanding the meaning of sci-fi', I suspect, is related to all of this. You love it, you want it to get the respect it deserves, and you're prepared to try and sever any connection to works you think that others might deem unworthy. I can understand that, up to a point. But the snobs will still be snobs and the geeks will still be geeks, and the rest of us will still mill around in the middle saying 'No it's imaginative and it's worthy. Check it out!'
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 15 2006, 11:35 AM
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QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
I do not consider SR SF. SF once was a way to criticize society.

..if that is your definition what is 'SF', then SR still is SF.
Maybe not how some people play it - but the only real problem is... when will SR become reality instead of SF? ;)
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 12:11 PM
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QUOTE
I think the most common term for what you're talking about may simply be 'non-genre', i.e. grounded entirely in the real world.

Yes, could be. Here in germany it is called mainstream literature.

QUOTE
You love it, you want it to get the respect it deserves, and you're prepared to try and sever any connection to works you think that others might deem unworthy.

Unworthy is a hard term, but I admit you are party correct. Well, while I do hate Star Trek by heart, I enjoyed Star Wars. It was a nice movie, and my favourite is Episode III, could just as well ranked somewhere in my favourite 10 films of all times.
But it is not SF. Not Unworthy, but simply not SF. It is a fairytale, that's all. Brothers Grimm reloaded, in a way.

QUOTE
Going the other way, the premier UK sci-fi short fiction magazine Interzone is so desperate to buy its way into the 'literary critic' circle that many of its stories these days are dull and pompous- and the magazine's popularity has taken a serious nosedive, thereby more or less crippling the short story sci-fi market in the UK.

Sad enough, but they just can't satisfy those two groups of customers at once. They will have to understand that.

QUOTE
I'm afraid I've met lots of these people and they really are that stupid.

The word you are searching for is not stupid, but blind. The sad thing is they are not stupid, but they blind themselves. Which is kind of stupid, hah!
I am through with belletristic, though. The learning effect has decreased. The style seems to be not very diverse, and the stories have been told. Many times.
I even bought some pulp fiction and read it, since this was the one thing I had not tried yet. Of course, worse than everything else, but entertaining just as well.
I have been afflicted by a sickness, so to say, that does not let me enjoy reading anymore, he, but I will continue. Reading, I mean. And belletristic has few to offer for me, since the main aspect lies on entertainment.
Still, I am not blind. Eventually someday I will write bellitristic, too. I just want to give people a bit more to think about.

@Rotbart: Until you explain a bit more, I am forced to disagree. The system in shadowrun is working. None of the people that I play shadowrun with would agree on shadowrun containing critical elements.
Yes, you can interpret a lot into it, and indirectly there may be critical elements, but if only few people can spot them, the authors either failed - or it was not their intention. I assume the second.

[Let's all make a promise that we stop this discussion instantly when Kyoto Kid has posted his character. :D ]
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 12:40 PM
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[I promise! ;)]

QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
As to being belletristic, Yes it does fit this definition being that is is both entertaining and informative..

QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
And belletristic has few to offer for me, since the main aspect lies on entertainment

Belletristic is a fabulous word, and one that I didn't know. But I confess, even after having looked it up in various places, I don't truly understand what it means.
'Focussed on aesthetics rather than content' seems to be the general gist, but that is rather meaningless, since there are so many ways to define 'content'. I get the impression that it's meant to mean 'descriptive but without deeper shades of meaning or purpose', or 'beauty but no brains'. Is that what you mean by it, UP? That doesn't seem to tally with KK's definition: he says his story is informative (as well as entertaining). So surely it's not exactly belletristic?
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE (witness)
I get the impression that it's meant to mean 'descriptive but without deeper shades of meaning or purpose', or 'beauty but no brains'.

Nah, that's wrong. Belletristic is just a general term for middlebrow literature(I hope not to have come up with another obscure term :D). It is beyond pulp fiction, you know, the books you get at the supermarket, but still far from the highbrow-literature. Maybe you have heard of "Berlin Blues"(original title: "Herr Lehmann"; would be translated correctly simply as "Mister Lehmann" ;)). This is highbrow, and the only more or less famous(and translated, since I mostly read german writers) highbrow title coming to my mind at the moment.
Calling something "belltristic" is neither insultive nor a compliment. It is just a literature category. 95% of what can buy in bookstores is belletristic(or belletrism in english?), excluding books like "how to breed rabbits". English term for these missing again in my vocabulary, again.
You usually learn from belletristic, this is what seperates it from pulp fiction. Belletristic often has a message and always something between the lines. Pulp fiction has no message and nothing between the lines. Highbrow literature has something in between every single line, not always a message because of abstract theme construction that is not required to have a message. Also, what seperates highbrow from middlebrow literature is, that it is considered "boring" by the vast majority of people. I can't blame them, because if you do not read for reading's own sake, it is. You do not get entertained(okay, "Berlin Blues" is an exception there, it has its very complex theme playing in front of the background of a tragicomedy, if you want to use the term, which still might be wrong).
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 01:53 PM
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Interesting. On-line I found that belletristic means to do with the form of writing known as belles-lettres, and those are defined as 'literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content. Light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual subjects' [Intellectual without informative content?? Huh?] or as 'literature that is appreciated for the beauty, artistry, and originality of its style and tone rather than for its ideas and informational content. Earlier the term was synonymous with literature, referring particularly to fiction, poetry, drama, criticism, and essays. However, belletristic literature has come to mean light, artificial writing and essays extolling the beauties of literature.'
I guess your usage derives from this latter sentence, even though it hardly relates to the former definitions at all. I mean... what is 'artificial writing' meant to mean exactly?! ;)
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 02:21 PM
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QUOTE (Witness)
Interesting. On-line I found that belletristic means to do with the form of writing known as belles-lettres, and those are defined as 'literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content. Light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual subjects' [Intellectual without informative content?? Huh?]

Not without informative content, but it is secondary. "Aesthetic" seems to me as a wrong word. answers.com seems to want to impress the reader with a very elaborate vocabulary. They should speak of entertainment. Something aesthetic can entertain, and you can consider a belletristic novel aesthetic. Actually, 99% of all novels are belletrism. And novels are meant to entertain, although you always learn a bit, of course.

QUOTE
I guess your usage derives from this latter sentence, even though it hardly relates to the former definitions at all.

It is not my usage(If you read the feuilleton-part of your newspaper, you will come across this term on almost every page, as long as it deals with literature). Belletrism has a clear definition, and answers.com seems to have totally misunderstood what belletrism is.
Writing for the beauty of language or something I read there. Wtf? This is like the least what belletrism is. When you have read a few books, you will encounter the same sentences and phrases over and over. The casual reader wants to experience tension, not an interesting language.

QUOTE
I mean... what is 'artificial writing' meant to mean exactly?! ;)

Heh, whoever wrote this about belletrism, is just horribly wrong. Artificial writing means to construct new, even odd or grotesque figures of speech, characters, and plots. Or even working without a plot, working without characters, that is artificial writing, and considered highbrow, not belletrism. It is experimental writing.


edit: It is hard to define bellitrism directly, in the end. But everyone knows what you are talking of, if you do yourself. :D
As I said. Any book you will normally hear of and that is not a kind of "guide" for people(yeah, sorry, I just do not have the english word handy, "Sachbuch" in german.) is belletrism. Dan Brown, Joanne Rowling, everyone you hear in the normal press of is a belletristic author.
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
answers.com seems to want to impress the reader with a very elaborate vocabulary.

*cough* ;)

QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
(If you read the feuilleton-part of your newspaper, you will come across this term on almost every page, as long as it deals with literature)

Ah well it's true that I tend to try and avoid the literature sections of newspapers these days, as they tend to make me want to chew my own nuts off.

QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
edit: It is hard to define bellitrism directly, in the end. But everyone knows what you are talking of, if you do yourself. :D

Um. Yes. Your meaning was incumoungously clear. :grinbig:

EDIT: Somehow I am reminded of the Sokal affair!
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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE (Witness)
Um. Yes. Your meaning was incumoungously clear. :grinbig:

You know, I just was outside to catch another sunburn and thought about this sentence. What I thought was "that was some clean shit.".

The Sokal Affair is funny indeed. Never heard of it before.
Well, I think we are through with the discussion, let's set the topic free again. :D
Just a last question, why do you want to chew your nuts off when reading the literature-part of the newspaper? I assume because of the people who write it?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 15 2006, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
The system in shadowrun is working.

What system? 'The System'?
You mean the ultra-agressive capitalism?

QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
None of the people that I play shadowrun with would agree on shadowrun containing critical elements.

Given the mere (social) complexity of SR, that is very strange, since that is almost impossible.

QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
Yes, you can interpret a lot into it, and indirectly there may be critical elements, but if only few people can spot them, the authors either failed - or it was not their intention.

There is no real need to interpret, as SR is a classical example of SF portraying a future the writer hopes will not happen. ;)
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE (UndeadPoet)
Just a last question, why do you want to chew your nuts off when reading the literature-part of the newspaper? I assume because of the people who write it?


OK, last bit of thread hijack (sorry KK!)..
I just get very wound up by the 'highbrow' literary criticism crowd. For a field that is all about communication, it is rife with useless unnecessary jargon (ala Sokal) and crooked thinking. For a clique that usually claims to be rabidly left-wing, it is about as elitist as you could bear to imagine. It is full of cod pseudo-intellectual arguments that fall apart if you so much as breathe on them. It preaches all sorts of nonsense about 'proper English' while at the same time jerking off over James fucking Joyce and the like. Without any significant justification or consideration, it sneers at popular books, popular movies, all comics and all computer games- because of course they are lesser forms of made-up stuff. By and large it is instinctively anti-science and anti-reason. And for some reason it really really believes that cult literary figures such as Harold Pinter should be interviewed about politics- presumably because being a geriatric dramatist makes you perfectly placed to pass reasonable well-balanced deeply-considered opinions on the activities of everybody else in the world. It is preachy without being wise. It is hypocritical without being funny. It is a slave to fashion. Oh I could go on and on but I'm starting to froth at the mouth. ;)
Having said all this- I do like writing (all sorts), I do like reading (all sorts), I'm perfectly happy reading unpretentious criticism, and I do even find myself dipping into the literature sections now and then. I just always always regret it!
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coolgrafix
post Jun 15 2006, 04:06 PM
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Well said, Witness. =)
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 15 2006, 04:38 PM
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...well, looks like a few switches were thrown and this train has been totally derailed before it made it out of the yard.

Will attempt to set things back on the track later in a new thread.

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UndeadPoet
post Jun 15 2006, 04:44 PM
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We are sorry, Kyoto Kid... ;)
Heh, you might just as well start a new thread if you have finished the short version of the character background. You can call it "Character Thread" then, aye? :D

@Witness: I see, that surely sucks. Well, we germans do have better article writers than you, it seems. ^^
Try another newspaper. The big news are presented always the same, so if you do not like your newspaper for a particular part of it, try another one, if the article writers are that incompetent.
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 05:09 PM
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Sorry KK. I feel really bad, but then like UP says, you do get to name the new thread the way you wanted it! Still, I guess now I might as well continue this hijack a bit longer...

coolgrafix: cheers.

UP: I surely hope so. I always read a variety of different newspapers, whether online or print editions. The UK press is so partisan that it's the only way you stand a prayer of getting a balanced view (they're all run by anti-science humanities graduates though). And the self-styled 'literary intelligentsia' manage to spread themselves equally over all the news outlets in this country.

There is even a late night BBC program called Newsnight Review, in which a bunch of the aforesaid 'literary intelligentsia' get together with a sycophantic host and share their opinion about books, art exhibitions, plays, and art-house movies. Bonnie Greer and Germaine Greer have been regulars. If you know them then that probably sets the tone for you. I haven't watched it for a while, but certainly it used to be a great example of what I'm talking about.

For a while, it was actually very watchable and greatly amusing, because the producers seemed to have decided to bring in some slightly more mainstream stuff for the reviewers to tackle. On one notable occasion they had to review some blockbuster- I think it might have been one of the Lord of the Rings films- and watching those folks squirm as they tried to apply their cod intellectual bluster and literary rhetoric to such a simple-hearted film was hilarious. You've never heard such bullshit.

Sadly I think the reviewers have done away with the popularizing producer and the program has returned to its previous dull and 'worthy' form. More's the pity.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 15 2006, 05:55 PM
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...I wonder if Admin can change the name of this thread?

Make it... Shadowrun: SF or not SF? or somthing along that line
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Witness
post Jun 15 2006, 05:56 PM
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Yeah that'd be good. But then some bugger will just come along and hijack it to talk about something unrelated... :P
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