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Author Topic: James Russell  (Read 18577 times)
Ray
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« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2008, 11:36:18 AM »
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Don't worry Ray, there's a dick in the numero uno, you're not seeing things..well you are seeing "things" but you know...

I also see a stripper pole, complete with stripper(ish) person (the shame of that stereotype of a woman in a mini skirt sort of grinding on a pole..reprimand me). It's a stripper pole would be unwieldly by any stripper's standard...That girl looks like she's about to fall! Her balance is wrong plus she needs some climbing shoes and some chocks to accomplish this. Most strippers would run at the sight of that thing.

Funny how a discussion of the phallus brings on the denials and shushings, general frowning.

Mark DS..nonsensical? It's pretty darn obvious. I could bring you twenty teenage boys, teenage girls, grown up men and grown up women women who would laugh and KNOW what it was they thought was going on here.

Is it wrong that they bring that baggage to it? Not at all and I think the discussion of commercial work vs. art is an empty one without a long rest on the subjects of sex, eroticism, phallic symbols. On and on, c'mon, what kind of art are you folks looking at??

A huge part of the basic vocabulary of art, through history, has much to do with eroticism.

James knows he hasn't invented a new vocabulary here...you could go online right now and find a bunch of images with a monolith, or phallicky looking object with a figure draped over it in a sexually suggestive way. Car ads, a woman's hand on a beer glass..the list goes on and on and most folks GET this right away...it's been beaten to death in discussion, forever,  confirmed and with an official stamp.

Ray is correct, the vocabulary here, whether James intended it this way or not, is pretty damn obvious. We are not in control of how the audience responds to the work and that is the beauty of the entire thing....

Like Bernd and Hilla Becher suggested...we are ALL the same but we are all a little bit different. Some folks saw the phallus in their groupings of water towers etc..phallic, manly structures..who gives a flip and I'm sure they got a giggle from that and smiled a bit.

I choose to think it's expected and in some ways a profound statement on the power of symbolism. If you see a phallus in the big number one with the girls leg clutching up..is there anything wrong with that? The image, IMO, begs for that type of, perhaps, over simplification..This is one of those images that you might see discussed in an edition of Sex and Advertising.
James I'm sure when you guys were shooting this project there was more than one joke made by the various crew members..male and female. If your crew didn't make any jokes about it then  go look for another crew.   

The subject might be off topic in the context of this thread but when i saw the image i knew immediately it would pop up...if it hadn't i would have been very surprised and disappointed. Amusing to me how a bunch of folks are resisting this and tucking their shirts in very carefully.
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Pete,
Such eleoquence needs repeating. I'm in complete agreement and couldn't have expressed it better.

The attitude of some members of this forum is also an eye opener   .
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Pete JF
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« Reply #61 on: August 15, 2008, 11:46:44 AM »
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OK, my last word on this tangent, because I can't justify more time on it: My simple, "naive" interpretation is that the number "1" is there so that you associate it in your brain with "Phase 1", and the model livens it up with human interest in order to attract people and engrave it in their memories within that 4 seconds attention span so much discussed here. Other than that, James Russell has very adequately explained the etiology of this image so no more really needs to be said about that.
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Mark,

i think your interpretation is a bit thin. The model is a girl in a miniskirt with her leg sort of running up the shaft of this number 1...that "human interest" suggestion that you tossed out is clearly painted with sexual interest. If they had wanted to keep it as literal and human interest-ish as you suggested, they might have used a guy..a hipster dude who looked like a photogapher or whatever...It MATTERED to the people involved in this project enough to cast a slim girl and wardrobe her in a short skirt...in editing there was a decision made as to the gesture. I'm sure they had plenty of other takes that were less suggestive...guaranteed.

You have to keep one thing in mind..the commercial photo industry has a long history of being a man's realm..this demographic still persists. Many extremely talented female photogs but the man thing persists.

 There is no coincidence that this "figure" is a slim wearing a mini...the main demographic here, men, are gonna look a bit longer than 4 seconds..maybe.

I'm also a bit veklempt at the suggestion that no more should be said about this...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #62 on: August 15, 2008, 12:43:12 PM »
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I see I'm being challenged here, so I'll respond this once more, to make several things perfectly clear:

(1) My interpretation of the image is what I said it is; I'm entitled to that view without being accused of naivete, just as you are entitled to your interpretation, and I'm entitled to say whether I think that iinterpretation makes sense to me - which it doesn't - notwithstanding all the philosophizing over it here.

(2) Personalized notions of "embarassment" have nothing whatever to do with it. As far as I'm concerned it's an objective issue about how one interprets an image, and what one thinks the intention of the montage may have been.

(3) When I said I was entering MY last post on this tangent, that referred only to my self-control over what I do - it has no implications for what other people post; so there is absolutely nothing censurious in this and no reason for anyone to feel "verklempt" about it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
woof75
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« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2008, 01:13:39 PM »
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Well, some people seem to divide everything into either good or bad. Are you one of those?

The Webster's definition of crude, first two words:

Unripe; immature.
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Thats very insightful of you Ray.
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samuel_js
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« Reply #64 on: August 15, 2008, 01:48:58 PM »
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Well maybe my sex cells are damaged because I never found anything sexual in that image...

Anyway, thank you James and Michael for the article, very inspiring.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2008, 02:16:34 PM »
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Hi,

I think that with digital we are striving to get maximum detail. Film had an S-curve which made the images more snappy but lost shadow detail. Also film was clipping the highlight softly. I guess that we could emulate all this digitally, but than we would loose the shadow detail. So my point is that digital is probably more exact then film, we could give up some of the advantages of digital for film look but we probably don't want to do this.

I sort of started to think about this when I was testing some filters, perhaps Alien Skin. I could set different film looks on my images.

- So I spent half an hour to get my shadow detail right.
- Then I applied Velvia look. The picture looked snappy and my shadows went black.

Best regards
Erik

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Actually, I said film was a romantic notion of the past.   To some extent I believe that.

Cameras, that's another thing as with some cameras there are things you can shoot or shoot  in a way that you can't with digital, i.e. the Fuji 680, an 8x10 camera, a 6x7 RZ or Pentax 6x7.  Those cameras had a certain look that can be emulated by digital but not exactly repeated.

It's interesting, last week I spoke to an Art Director for about an hour about a project.

One question he had, or more a statement he made was most photographers he knows shoots film for themselves or for editorial but shoot only digital for commerce.

He asked if I shot digital and I said I actually embrace digital capture.  I think that answer kind of threw him as he was use to the NY mindset where many photographers or a certain level only shoot digital with an outside tech and turn it over for someone else to process, color, retouch  and purpose.

I said I think digital is a much more intimate learning experience than film.  In the film days I could or wouldn't shoot a film and process it in 6 different labs, with 6 different processing routines.

I would never have looked at hundreds even thousands of frames of film at 100% and learned the nuances.  With digital I have done that.

I think there are very few film looks I can't achieve with digital and better yet, dozens of looks I can achieve that I never would have had the opportunity to try with film.

Also digital offers opportunities film never did, especially in commerce or high pressure situations. 

With digital I can get the base idea into the can and then go on and expore newer or maybe even images with more risk, because I know the base image is covered.

With digital I have a "polaroid" that is way more detailed and accurate than any film proof and I have it in about 2 seconds.

I can adapt, correct and see the results now, rather than even wait 60 seconds and kind of translate the polaroid look into what film will do.

Yes, there were/are some interesting films and like digital cameras and backs some were more suited for some styles than others, but not all films were really beautiful and not all films worked for some situations.

To me film is a romantic notion of the past and though digital has a way steep learning curve and takes a huge monitary and time investment, it's well worth it.

As far as switching from Leaf to Phase.  We'll at first I didn't really switch, I just added a Phase back to my contax's.  The main reason was at the time the Leaf software was "challanged" and the Phase was faster and more stable.  I stay quite busy and I needed stability and speed.

I understand LC11 is a much improved tethering software now.

Also I needed even slightly higher iso.  The Leaf was great at 200 but only up to 200 (the A-22) where the P-30 would go to 400, but not much more than 400.

Had the A-22 gone to 400 iso clean I would have kept it and probably still bought a P-30 but waited for lc11 to become mature. 

Both backs are different and offer different looks.  At times I found the Leaf very "film like" whatever that means at times I find the Phase  quite nice.

They are very different backs.

Now, back to this art director's comments.  I asked him to go onto my web site and pick out the two images he thought best represented film.  The two he slected were shot with the A-22.

Whether that means anything or not I'm not sure.

JR
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pss
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« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2008, 02:56:39 PM »
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Don't worry Ray, there's a dick in the numero uno, you're not seeing things..well you are seeing "things" but you know...

I also see a stripper pole, complete with stripper(ish) person (the shame of that stereotype of a woman in a mini skirt sort of grinding on a pole..reprimand me). It's a stripper pole would be unwieldly by any stripper's standard...That girl looks like she's about to fall! Her balance is wrong plus she needs some climbing shoes and some chocks to accomplish this. Most strippers would run at the sight of that thing.

Funny how a discussion of the phallus brings on the denials and shushings, general frowning.

Mark DS..nonsensical? It's pretty darn obvious. I could bring you twenty teenage boys, teenage girls, grown up men and grown up women women who would laugh and KNOW what it was they thought was going on here.

Is it wrong that they bring that baggage to it? Not at all and the discussion of commercial work vs. art is an empty one without a long rest on the subjects of sex, eroticism, phallic symbols. On and on, c'mon, what kind of art are you folks looking at??

A huge part of the basic vocabulary of art, throughout history, has much to do with eroticism.

James knows he hasn't invented a new vocabulary here...you could go online right now and find a bunch of images with a monolith, or phallicky looking object with a figure draped over it in a sexually suggestive way. Car ads, a woman's hand on a beer glass..the list goes on and on and most folks GET this right away...it's been beaten to death in discussion, forever,  confirmed and with an official stamp.

Ray is correct, the vocabulary here, whether James intended it this way or not, is pretty damn obvious. We are not in control of how the audience responds to the work and that is the beauty of the entire thing....

Like Bernd and Hilla Becher suggested in there work...we are ALL the same but we are ALL a little bit different. Some folks saw the phallus in their groupings of water towers etc..phallic, manly structures..who gives a flip and I'm sure they got a giggle from that and smiled a bit. they understood that it was exactly what they were suggesting when they compared industrial designs...it was a human thing in the end and it carried through to the various responses people have to their images.

I choose to think it's expected and in some ways a profound statement on the power of symbolism. If you see a phallus in the big number one with the girls leg clutching up..is there anything wrong with that? The image, IMO, begs for that type of, perhaps, over simplification..This is one of those images that you might see discussed in an edition of Sex and Advertising.
James I'm sure when you guys were shooting this project there was more than one joke made by the various crew members..male and female. If your crew didn't make any jokes about it then   might need to look for another crew.   

The subject might be off topic in the context of this thread but when i saw the image i knew immediately it would pop up...if it hadn't i would have been very surprised and disappointed. Amusing to me how a bunch of folks are resisting this and tucking their shirts in very carefully.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215262\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

i don't know where you live but nowhere i have called home (some places in europe, NY and LA) would anyone even think twice about this....or see anything more sexual in it then tons of other advertising....every soda bottle has hot girls/guys around it!
you choose to see a stripper on a pole....great! i guess you would completely loose it on a topless beach....or pretty much anywhere in brazil or in spain or italy during summer vacation.....
as freud said...sometimes a cigar is just a cigar....

i actually walked by the large standup version of this at samys in LA....right next to a rack of photobooks and the covers on display were SCREAMING sex in comparison....even the portrait books.....

my concern would be more that (as someone here mentioned as well) the 1 actually looks computer generated....which is a pity....but like james said....this really would have called for the location (and the bigger budget) and it probably would have looked more "real" in the environment......and probably less phallic and would have saved some people from having near heard attacks.....

a can of soup can be made sexual and a naked body can be made very unsexual....i think that james succeeded in making drawing the line here quite clearly.....

if someone sees a 1 and automatically thinks penis..well...here is 1 for you.....and another 1....
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Pete JF
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« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2008, 03:31:30 PM »
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Thank you, PSS... please read more carefully before you post.

You're post is correct but totally misdirected..I don't think that English is your first  language so i wont push..just take the time to read and grasp.

I understand what you are saying but you are responding to me as if I disagree..as If i'm saying that this ad is wrong and immoral, over the top and excessive..I actually think its WAY to tame..I think if you're gonna go for something like this then toss in some copy that reads...

__PHASE 1, THE BIGGEST **** IN THE POOL__  

And then drive the image a bit further..it's kind of watered down IMO...

Oh yeah..thanks for all the 1's you gave me at the end of your post..I could always use a few extra.
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Rob C
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« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2008, 03:51:47 PM »
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Hellīs bells, guys, weīre just chatting about a picture.

I might have missed something because I canīt view the video - wrong device in my PC - and all that I can see on the monitor is a small and indistinct image not much bigger than a thumbnail. That being the case, perhaps there was something in the video that made more of the shot than the still pic illustrates on its own, but I doubt it. If anything, on my screen, if it has to look phallic, it looks more like a somewhat flaccid member than one all ears and listening hard to what the lass might have to say.

Perhaps it was just an unfortunate and not particularly inspiring concept. Having looked a few times at Jamesīs site, I hardly think any blame hangs from his shoulder - you know, like a necktie, as was posted - but thatīs life.

Rob C
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Pete JF
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« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2008, 04:23:47 PM »
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Exactly..chatting about a picture.

I'll speak for myself, I'm not blaming James in any way. I'm offering opinion..personal and subjective. And, it is very much process related.

I agree about the -1- .It doesn't really have the type of stature that I would expect from a company who's holding up their finger and saying we're number one! It's sort of chunky and inadequate looking. The shape and look of that number 1 was talked about quite a bit during this shoot, no doubt..perhaps it was done this way to lessen the possibility of the implications were rattling about?? Perhaps no.

See, the whole article was written about the process..the crew, the client, the folks involved..The process of point A to final Image, retouched and mastered for printing.

Decisions like wardrobe, casting, hair, make up, set building, lunch, editing and coming up with the final select, or selects (if this was a composite) were discussed, batted around. Probably some samples shot and changes made.

All along the way..for most high profile commercial jobs, this is the way it happens. You step back sometimes and say to yourself..."I can't believe I just spent the better part of half a day talking about whether that shirt  implies responsible or irresponsible". Strange discussions that only happen on photo sets or film sets.

Sometimes it works out great and everyone is thrilled..other times it doesn't and things get staus quo'd, homogenized and mediocrified, politically corrected. "Ok, lets go with the fro but we need to make sure the wardrobe doesn't suggest a savage or a hooker, climbing a pecker".  

This goes on every step of the way. This whole process of discussion has every sort of bearing on the phallic discussion here..think through it and use some common sense. This point was brought up somewhere along the way during this project...strike me dead with a monolithic #2 if I'm wrong.

Mark DS, you choose to interpret this the way you like..that's fine..

The only challenge I offer is for you to recognize the validity, even in the slightest sense, of the potential connotations here. If you can't you might be much much older than I and still rooting for the Victorians  
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James R Russell
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« Reply #70 on: August 15, 2008, 07:52:46 PM »
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I assume the originator of all this silly talk was started by that one person that runs through all of these forums like an arsonist hiding in the bushes, just waiting to burn down anything he can.

That's why I block him, but then someone quotes his mess or gets caught in the contagion and I mistakenly read it.

So, once again to be clear.

It's just an advertising photograph, plain and simple.  It shows the phase #1 brand, it shows a model in custom wardrobe because we could highlight how well the camera holds color, textures and different fabrics, next to skin tones.

Gender was not a thought.  If there was a way to put a male model in 12 different colors and material and not make him look like he belonged in Cirque Du Soleil we may have gone that way.  

Had there been time or budget for multiple models and sets we definitely would have gone that way.  

In fact nothing mentioned in this thread was ever discussed by the client, the agency or my studio.

The people at Phase One, their advertising agency and my creative staff are way above doing anything that is implied by these strange assumptions and would not have time for it anyway.

We are all to busy for that type of thought.

The people at Phase One are proud of their name, proud of the branding of the #1 and if anyone sees anything other than that then their just making it up.  

I wrote the article for LL to give credit to the people I work with and to give some insight into the process of a commercial project.

I guess that is forgotten now that the sad little arsonist has struck again.

Few photographers would share this information.  Plain and simple.

In fact this is the reason most photographers will not share on an open forum, especially one that allows anonymous postings.

I hope Michael closes this thread because it is going nowhere.

JR
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Ray
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« Reply #71 on: August 15, 2008, 08:17:11 PM »
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i don't know where you live but nowhere i have called home (some places in europe, NY and LA) would anyone even think twice about this....or see anything more sexual in it then tons of other advertising....every soda bottle has hot girls/guys around it!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215308\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree with Pete's response on this point also. To point out the sexual connotation and underlying sexual significance behind an image is not the same as disapproval of sex as a subject for art or advertising.

You are quite right that such images with obvious sexual connotations are commomplace nowadays and it's true that many viewers do not think twice about it.

However, the photographer taking the shot has to think twice about such matters, if he knows what he's doing. Likewise, anyone commenting on an image should (hopefully) think twice, otherwise the comment is likely to be very superficial, along the lines of, 'Nice! Great shot! Lovely! Neat!' etc.
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Ray
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« Reply #72 on: August 15, 2008, 08:27:09 PM »
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I hope Michael closes this thread because it is going nowhere.

JR
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I think what you mean, James, is that the thread is not going your way.

That you would prefer a thread to be closed down because it's not going your way, is an interesting reflection on you.
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« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2008, 08:28:38 PM »
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Even if I think long and hard about it, I can't think of anything wrong with the image. Does it do it's job? Yes. Does it complete the requirement of branding and quality? Yes. Does it make me want a new back? Yes. Would I be proud of the image if I had shot it? Yes.

Good work James.
Good work phaseone.
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Ray
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« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2008, 08:55:26 PM »
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Even if I think long and hard about it, I can't think of anything wrong with the image. Does it do it's job? Yes. Does it complete the requirement of branding and quality? Yes. Does it make me want a new back? Yes. Would I be proud of the image if I had shot it? Yes.

Good work James.
Good work phaseone.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215376\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's certainly eye-catching, and that's an essential ingredient of a good advertisement. People who have never heard of Phase One, or who have only vaguely heard of Phase One, might be tempted to check out what Phase have to offer.

Those who are in the market for a DB will likely already be aware of Phase One, and such an advertisement will probably not affect their decision one way or another.

I would have thought an image with a greater emphasis on high tech qualities and associations would have been more appropriate, but that's not James' fault. He was given a brief. The concept for the ad was from Phase, so I believe.
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Ray
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« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2008, 09:01:33 PM »
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I might have missed something because I canīt view the video - wrong device in my PC - and all that I can see on the monitor is a small and indistinct image not much bigger than a thumbnail. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215322\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Same here. After downloading the video file, I just got an unresponsive QuickTime logo in the centre of the screen.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2008, 09:52:05 PM »
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Oh man, Ray, don't you ever tire of the symbolism?
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michael
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« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2008, 10:05:32 PM »
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Say goodnight Gracie.

Michael
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