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Author Archives: paddyK

Turning A No Into A Yes

Me and the boy just watched How I Met Your Mother, season 3, episode 13, entitled “10 sessions”.

It follows our hero Ted as he goes to a tattoo removal clinic. The doctor is female and “hot” and Ted feels a “vibe” between them. So he asks her out and she says no. She can’t date him as he’s her patient. Ted asks if she will date him after the treatment. She tells him sorry, but no.

And then THIS happens.

Ted goes to his friends (mixed male and female) to get their advice on how to convince this lady to go out with him. As they discuss it, not one of them says, “Um, Ted, she said no, dude”. Her answer is not allowed to be absolute. Ted is a “nice guy” so the lady doctor must be mistaken. Or married. Or lesbian. Or confused. Hell, there must be SOMETHING wrong with her.

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So over the course of Ted’s ten removal sessions, he and his friends plot wacky and hilarious ways to get her to say “yes” to Ted. But they all fail and the bewilderment from Ted just grows. Why doesn’t she want to date him, damn it?

(I could take a very long aside here on Ted’s friend Barney, the loveable misogynist and player, who you just want to stab with an ice-pick. He’s arrogant, sexist and petty and yet they all love him anyway. Good old Barney. You massive, suit-wearing shit.)

ImageAnyway, at the last session, Ted asks the doctor out again and finds the reason she won’t date him. It’s not that she just DOESN’T FUCKING WANT TO, it’s that she is a single mom and has no free time. So Ted manufactures a quick 2-minute date where they dash around town and do some fun stuff. And finally, for Ted’s persistence, she kisses him. Conquest is ON.

This right fucking here, THIS, is the problem with the view of women in culture, media, television, all of it. A woman simply can’t say “no” to a man and mean it. She must be wrong. She must be “convinced”. And this aggressive, objectifying and shitty behaviour slides right by in a “normal” sitcom. It’s everyday stuff. Nothing out of the way. Even the women in the sitcom agree it’s fine to do it.

What sort of a generation of men are we making, feeding them this behaviour as normal? Jesus Christ.

In order to avoid a stroke, I shall now sign out. But first, here’s the closing line of the episode. Hang on to your hats. Ted says to camera, in a voiceover: “And that, kids, is how you turn a no into a yes.”

No further comment required.

/ p

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Culture, Ranting

 

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Your Inner Geek

So I just watched that episode of Big Bang Theory about the One Ring. While it was fun, the description of the male characters’ behaviour as “geeky” came up several times. And it made me realise that this whole “I’m proud to be a geek” movement is really starting to annoy the tits off me. I’ll now tell you why.

A geek is basically a fan of things that aren’t cool. And who decides what is cool? Cool people do and always have done. By calling yourself a geek to somehow “reclaim” that word you are just adding to the idea that there are different kinds of interests – cool ones and geeky ones. And some are more important than others.

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When I was in school I got shoved around for liking “stupid” things like fantasy and science fiction. Whereas my thuggish peers who liked football had no such problems. They knew piles of stats, they collected sticker albums, they treated football like it mattered. They even dressed up as the players, cosplay if ever I saw it. For some reason that was all okay. But making a joke about Star Wars was grounds for a thumpin’. Which was odd, as discussing in massive depth some men kicking a sphere around a field was fine.

Football isn’t the only thing. There’s music. Sport. Cars. Soap operas. Movies. Classical Music. Wine. Very rarely if ever do you hear fans of these activities described as “geeks”. Most usually they are “fans” or sometimes “experts” or even “connoisseurs” even when the level of pointless trivia involved is mind-blowing.

ImageA geek is simply a person with a burning interest and unreasonable level of knowledge in some area. That makes you a “something” geek, whatever the thing in question is. You cannot be just “a geek” in the same way that you cannot be “a fan” without first saying what you are a fan of. By buying into this current usage, you are essentially saying – “yes I agree with you that my interest is of less worth than yours but I’m anyway still okay with that, if it’s alright with you and the cool people, sir.”

Well fuck that shit. All interests are just as valid, be they tattoos, curling or Pokemon. If you want to show “pride” then stand up for yourself instead and demand that all interests are taken just as seriously. They are, when it comes down to it, all equally disposable and useless.

From now on, I will call every geek a geek. Sports geeks, wine geeks, opera geeks. Geekery, all of it, and nobody should be offended by it. And if they are, well, tough. I think it’s also time to remove that desperately proud and apologetic “I’m a geek and proud of it!” from your various online profiles. It says precisely nothing. Because we’re all geeks, every one.

(Except for, you know, the poor and hungry. Although they might still like football.)

/ paddy

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Culture, Ranting

 

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A Bouncing Baby Book

Breaking with my tradition of not blogging at all, I decided to mark this day with a blog post.

So. After three years of planning and thinking and a frantic four-month workathon, my new book is finally done. “Done” as in the first draft, which needs editing, polishing, poking and all that stuff. But still, I am sitting atop a pile of 117000 words, more or less in the right order, and they feel very comfy indeed.

I shall not reveal so much about this book, as the title and the idea are pretty unique. Suffice to say it’s an urban fantasy adventure kind of thing with some horror and it’s got a lot to do with dreams.

Some inspiration.

Some inspiration.

The last two weeks I have worked in a blaze and did fully one quarter of the book. That’s 27000 words in two weeks, which for me is a hell of a lot of words. I’ve been getting up early to write before work, going home every evening to write after work, and my son probably thinks I am now part of the kitchen table as whenever he comes home from school, there I am, slouched over, squinting on the screen.

When I put the last word on the page at 7.35 this morning, I stared at the screen, with no idea how to react. And then I started to cry. I’m not sure if it was from relief, or happiness, or exhaustion, but cry I did. Nothing has felt this close to having a baby than actually watching my son’s mother having an actual baby.

Now I’m ploughing right into the next book (not a sequel to this one) which, for once, I will plan meticulously before writing. I suspect this might be the best way for me to work as with a plan I’m free to just write and not look back. And the new-born book will be put in a drawer and allowed to ferment and steam for six to eight weeks like a Christmas pudding. Because that’s what you gotta do.

And finally, here’s some music I listened to a hell of a lot while writing this — a seven-hour long ambient piece called “Somnium”. So put it on, float away and watch this space. (Or, better yet, this twitter space where I tend to post more than once every three months.)

/ paddy

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Life

 

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Agents In The Mist

Literary agents are furtive creatures. In my years of sending stories and novels to them, I never got one to show any interest. This used to concern me. Perhaps they were just stupid, and didn’t see my obvious talents. Or perhaps I was just a talentless hack who’d serve society better if turned into glue. But finally, after another round of head-shakes, I decided to bite the bullet (ow) and go meet them. In London, that is, where all the agents live in a sparkly cave lined with the skulls of failed supernatural romance authors.

Literary-Agent-Cat-Iz-On-Da-Job

I booked passage on White Thrash Airways and bought a ticket for the Getting Published Event. Click the link, and you’ll get the idea — talks, lectures, tips and a chance to meet actual people working in publishing. Now I won’t tell you too much, as you should bloody well go there and find out for yourself, but I did learn many valuable things. Here’s a few of them, minus the best ones which I plan to hold tight and safe in my sweaty grasp.

1. To get an agent just write a good book and don’t be an idiot.

2. If you sent your book to ten agents, and they all say no, it just isn’t good enough. Rewrite, or do another one.

3. You need to know what your book is about, and what sets it apart from others.

4. Stop using bloody adverbs all over the bloody place. Just use a stronger verb instead.

I also met a great group of people who were immediately easygoing and friendly. And I realised how much I miss being always surrounded by my own language. Being an alien does suck.

So what next? Well, I realised the book I brought with me wasn’t good enough, so instead of trying to massage it into shape I’m just going to focus on my new book, which is 60% done, and a whole lot better. Plus it has a central idea that I can explain in a few seconds and make an agent’s eyes glaze over with glee.

There’s nothing more to say, really. I think I’ve finally understood how I am supposed to write, and have a plan for how I will continue. And that information is worth any number of hours in cattle-class on Ryanair, surrounded by ignorant, drunk, farting Swedes from the country, all of them called Lasse.

/ paddy

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Life

 

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Vanilla Sex And Chocolate Sex

I’ve always been vaguely irritated by the phrase “vanilla sex” and now I’ve worked out why.

For those of you who don’t ever read anything ever, vanilla sex means “normal” sex. You know, the whole act of putting it in and out and shaking it all about. Making the beast with the two backs. Shagging. Bouncing on the naughty trampoline. And so on.

More precisely though, it means “normal” sex when talked about by people who would really like to point out that what they do isn’t “normal” sex. That the basic act just doesn’t get them off as they are complicated and edgy. Hence vanilla, supposedly the most boring of ice-cream flavours, although personally I find chocolate more boring.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 500

Now everyone may do whatever the hell they like in the bedroom, as long as it’s done between one or more consenting adults. I have no protest there. What bugs me is the vaguely disguised snobbery, the insinuation that my sex is boring whereas your sex is dark and interesting. I bloody hate snobbery. I don’t like wine “experts” telling me how their drink is superior to beer. Or literary book snobs who look down on science fiction because it’s “far-fetched” while reading every unlikely detective story or magic realism novel that exists. Or music snobs who look down their noses at what other people are enjoying, totally convinced those others are “wrong” but don’t yet realise it.

latex-ponyBut sex is sex. If some people get off sufficiently on “normal” sex – and there’s a hell of a lot to do in that area – that’s fine. But if your senses have become so dulled, and your excitement pathways so hard-triggered that you can only get off if somebody is dressed like a latex horse, then I think the problem is yours and not mine. (Although, it must be admitted, latex is very nice.)

If you think I’m being too sensitive, think about this. Have you even heard the phrase “vanilla sex” being used by a person who isn’t into kinky sex, or used in a way that isn’t sneery or condescending? I haven’t. People who say “vanilla sex” almost always do it with a slight edge of superiority. They may not say it flat-out, but to them I am boring, and they are not.

Well, if you claim I’m boring, I claim the opposite. I claim my mind is expansive and creative enough to enjoy the feelings and act of sex without accessories, whereas your poor deprived noggin requires props and a lot of effort to feel what I feel. Just because I can get off on the basic act of copulation, and you need props or mindsets, that doesn’t make you more “complicated” than me. It just makes you different.

So enough of the “vanilla”. What I enjoy is sex. What you enjoy is sex with an added layer of mind-games, scenarios and props. So fuck away, just don’t look down on how I do. And let’s all try to live in sticky slippery salty harmony.

/ paddy

 
22 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Obscura, Ranting

 

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Spit Or Swallow

I’ve had a problem with swallowing, for a good many years. It usually went like this. I’d begin to eat dinner (it was usually dinner) and after the first few mouthfuls I would feel the food getting stuck, like there was an obstruction deep in the tubes.

I tried various things to clear it. Waking back and forth, jumping up and down, running in a circle, lying on the floor. Nothing helped. I discovered that drinking water just made it worse, as it piled up after the obstruction and almost suffocated me.

throat3In one of those situations I couldn’t swallow saliva either, and had to spit it out. You’d be amazed by how much spit your body actually produces. Fucking buckets of it.

It lasted about twenty minutes and then, quite suddenly, the obstruction would simply vanish, as if nothing had happened. And everything was normal again. Except that I didn’t really feel like finishing my dinner.

It drove me mad. My son got used to seeing me stomping around the flat during dinner, thumping on my chest, wheezing for air and swearing like a sailor. For years I thought it was because I ate too fast, so I tried eating slower, but it still occasionally happened. It began to feel like a curse. Perhaps God was punishing me for being right in all those theological arguments. Or just for being so damn good-looking.

Then, a few years ago I discovered, because of hay fever, that I now had food allergies, mainly to carrots, apples and hazelnuts. I decided the swallowing problem was an allergic reaction in my throat and tried avoiding suspect foods. That didn’t help much either. It still happened, even with foods I knew I had no problem with.

throat1

Finally, after a lot of research, I realised it might be some kind of acid reflux. The first few mouthfuls, upon reaching an empty stomach, might cause acid to rise and make the tubes swell up. I figured water might help. And, what do you know, it did.

Now if I begin to eat and feel the obstruction happening, I run to the sink and drink a lot water really fast, before the swelling has become too bad. There is a moment of sharp pain, and then nothing. Tubes open, problem solved.

So the solution, after all my worry and effort and discomfort, was simply to drink a nice, cold and totally free glass of water.

How nice it would be if all of life’s problem’s were so easy to solve.

 / paddy

 
18 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Life

 

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Erotic Refugees Are Go!


Hurrah! After an unspecified volume of blood, sweat, tears, semen and coffee, my dick-lit novel Erotic Refugees is finally on the kindle ebook store!

Cover2-medium

Writing the bloody book was a walk in the park compared to working out how to publish on the damn kindle store. At some points it was like magic. I mean, who designed this rancid, stinking system? It was insanely hard to use and hid vital information at every turn.

Anyway, now it’s done. So welcome to the humorous and sexually invigorating adventures of Eoin Kelliher and Rob Maher, two love-hungry expats in Stockholm who decide to make a dating website with a nasty twist. With lots of expat jokes thrown in. And shagging, naturally. And Guinness.

So go on, my precious readers. Do the decent thing and give something back for the years of cutting commentary I’ve been handing out for nothing.

If you have a kindle, you can buy it directly from the device. If you don’t you can still read it using the kindle reader app on smartphone or iPad or Tab or whatever you have. However, you’ll have to first buy the book on the amazon website, and when you start up the app, it’ll download it for you.

And hey, some glowing reviews would be very nice too. Assuming you like it. Which you will.

(Here’s the link, if you missed the two up there: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJ2ZC3O)

/ paddy

 
24 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Culture, Life

 

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Roller Coaster Gröna Lund Sunday Bonus Combo

On the last Sunday of September (yes, in the past) I managed to combine all four of my least favourite things. Being around lots of screaming people, standing in very long lines, being very high up and having my cash pulled out through my nose by professional money-extractors.

Yes, I went with the lad to Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s tivoli/amusement park place, where people scream with joy as they spin and gyrate and move up and down. Kind of like in my bedroom. Ahem. Anyway. I hadn’t been there for years and that Sunday was the last day of the 2012 season. And as the boy’s now 13 I figured maybe he wouldn’t want to be seen there with his old man in the future, so it could be my last chance to go with him.

And, what can I tell you, it was fun. I love a good roller-coaster, and we went on four different ones, several times on each. They had a wooden roller coaster called Twister with a near-vertical drop that was increbible. The “Blue Train”, basically a ghost-train, was also excellent. There was a few rides I wouldn’t dare to go on, and you wouldn’t get me anywhere near one of those free-fall towers. But thankfully the crowd was smallish and the number of squealing and identical teenagers (seriously, are they clones?) was quite low.

And now I’m on youtube looking at roller coaster point-of-view videos from all over the world. Which is as good as thumb-up as you’ll get.

/ paddy

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Life

 

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The Price Of Awesome

I just watched a guy jump out of a tiny box at 40km altitude and plummet to Earth to break some kind of record or other. And it was awesome, as are all attempts at pushing human limits and bringing some sense of wonder into this grey and generally shitty world.

And meanwhile, on Facebook, whingers are whinging. In the comments to a status update made by Wil Wheaton, one lady said the following:

RandomIdiot: all of this money…could have been spent here on earth to help the homeless, feed children, house and cloth those in domestic violence……this makes absolutely NO sense to spend all of this money for something like this. ..to what end??????money! money for red bull. makes me sick.

These people piss me the fuck off. These “feed the children” whingers who always pop up when stuff happens they don’t understand or agree with. You know what’s good about this particular event? Maybe a few kids somewhere will see it and think: “wow, that’s awesome, but what did all those big words they used really mean?”

Then maybe these kids will get an education and do something awesome for mankind one day. And not just rabbit on about how we should all be feeding the hungry, while then not doing it themselves.

And even if that doesn’t happen, this is still AWESOME. Just like the LHC, the Mars Curiosity rover, or sending people to the moon. It expands out minds. It makes us proud. It shows us what we as a species can do when we really try.

There are a great many things that money is wasted on in this world. Stupid TV shows. Homeopathy. Religion. Shoes. Fucking magic crystals. Not to mention bailing out banks when they gamble with your money and lose it (which lately cost the US something in the very general region of 700 billion dollars).

Note: I think we should be feeding the hungry. But we can do this and other things too.

Now the person who wrote that comment talks a lot about magic crystals on her Facebook page. She also mentions “our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies”. So money going to Red Bull is bad, but money spent on magic that doesn’t work, and can actually harm people, is good? Lady, you’re a fucking joke. Now go away.

Give us our sense of wonder. Give us the moon and the stars and a world that fascinates and intrigues. Give us all those things that open our eyes and make us share something as humans. And shove your fucking crystals, your magic beans, and your tarot cards in whatever hole most appeals to you.

/ paddy

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Science, Society

 

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Totally Not Gay

Advertisers (may the good Lord have mercy on them) are skilled at creating need where no need exists, and will spin the most incredible lies to make it happen. I’m particularly interested in how they pretend to “break taboos” to make new markets for their shiny bullshit trinkets. Like, oh let’s say, cosmetics aimed at men.

Razors and shaving gels are basically cosmetics and are sold in a very specific way. Which is the following. Show a rugged NOT GAY man in his clean and shiny AND NOT GAY bathroom. He’ll be shaving and – NOT GAY! - moisturizing and occasionally slapping himself in the face in a very NOT GAY manner. Probably while thinking of fighter planes or racing cars or horses – NO, NOT HORSES! GAY! – sorry, sailing ships, all while wearing a self-satisfied grin. Maybe some teeth will be broken. You know, from all that manly fighting.

And then – and here’s the crucial part – a hot chick will appear in time to smile and kiss him and rub a very definitely feminine hand across his clean manly jaw. This scene is vital just to dispel the final shreds of doubt about this guy POSSIBLY BEING GAY. And then maybe an explosion, just for good measure. A good orange and red and pi – NOT PINK! – explosion. Yeah. Yeah! Fuck it YEAH!

But now these ads have been vastly out-manned by the manly, masculine, macho, straight and quite definitely hard ad for this new product – nail varnish for men. Here’s the ad. It pretty much speaks for itself. Drop your jaw now, it’s easier that way.

(If the link’s broken, just do a search for Alpha Nail. Yes, you heard me. Alpha fucking Nail.)

What an utter and total cock. He’s NOT GAY though, as shown by, oh, pretty much everything in that ad. Now I’ve been dabbling with using nail varnish for years, for special occasions. I quite like it. I know other men who do too. And we don’t require a 5o-megaton high-octane flesh-neck-screaming moron to get us to do it.

I hope this product fails. Because buying a ballsy for-men product isn’t “hard” or “manly”. You know what’s ballsy? Walking into a shop and buying “ladies” nail varnish just because you want to. And putting it on, just because you want to. And ignoring what rugged insecure nitwits on TV are telling you about how and in what way you should “be a man”.

And hey, why not finish off with this, which sums up marvelously how ads aimed at men and women are different.

/ paddy (as gay as the next man)

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Media

 

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Ikea’s Invisible Woman

Today there’s been a storm in the Swedish media (and most others too) about Ikea. Apparently they’ve been airbrushing women out of their catalog for the Saudi Arabian market. The Saudis don’t like looking at photos of women. Especially not women hanging out at home and having the audacity to WEAR PYJAMAS. The filthy tramps. Pyjamas! What will the children think? Or maybe they’re not allowed to think at all? Phew, close one.

So, anyway, Ikea doesn’t feel it should take any responsibility for the way their oil-rish customers would very much like to shit on human rights. They’re just there to sell furniture, they say. Very nice, Ikea. How useful that your corporate “ideals” are exactly the same ideals that will earn you lots of money. What a very happy accident. Let’s suck money out of a country that oppresses half of its population, while rabbiting on about “female empowerment” in other areas. Areas, by another amazing co-incidence, that will ALSO earn Ikea lots of money. Wow!

Screw you Ikea, you corporate slug with your shitty furniture and your high opinion of yourself, using your power and influence for nothing good whatsoever. Take your carefully constructed “we care” bullshit, insert it firmly into slot B and turn it a full revolution. Either direction is fine.

Click through the photos in the Swedish newspaper (first link above). There’s a photo showing some Ikea designers, and the same one in the Saudi catalog but with the single woman removed. I bet she’s happy about that and can’t wait to work for Ikea again.

But I have a solution for Ikea. Just release the catalog without women or men or any people at all, and instead put all the people on separate stickers. Then we can have a jolly old time putting in people of whatever race, sex, or flavour into any situation we desire. Imagine it! Grinning babies in ovens. A line of men’s heads on the top shelf of a Billy. A woman showing her hair. A scary man hiding under the children’s bed.

And presto – suddenly nobody is offended! Endless fun and chuckling for all! Except for the ones who have to suffer for it, in a country Ikea will do nothing whatsoever to improve. Unless, of course, there’s a profit in it for Mr. Kamprad. Then it’s all steam ahead, and corporate bullshit to maximum. Cash ahoy, mateys!

(Photos above were nicked from here, where there is also lots of other good photos.)

/ paddy

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Media, Ranting

 

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Tintin And The Massive Tit

Occasionally an article in a newspaper makes me so mad I just … just want to … dammit.

And here it is. And here tooAnd here in English. (Warning – it’s from The Local.)

This enormous cockwallop is the “artistic leader” at Stockholm’s culture centre (big building, middle of town, can’t miss it). And he has decided, in his beardy wisom, to remove all books that have “racist or homophobic” bits. Starting with Tintin.

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Well, regardless of your view of Tintin and colonial literature, here’s some news for the sideways-cap wearing wonder. Which, as a “culture leader”, he damn well ought to know. You can’t ban books. I repeat. YOU CAN’T FUCKING BAN BOOKS. This is the one golden rule that we may never forget. You ban books, you’re a fucking dictator, or a fanatic.

However, this dopey-eyed git thinks he can, because it’s all in a “good cause”. He’s doing “the right thing”. Yeah right, like nobody has ever thought that before. And now he’s got his staff running around like his little minions and scouring the shelves for books that don’t fit his fucking defintion of “okay”.

ImageSure there are racist bits in old books. But surely they have to be written with racist intent in mind to be really racist? And perhaps instead of banning them, we could use these books to start a discussion? Explain to kids: “here’s how things were back then but now we see it like this. What do YOU think?”

But God forbid that people would be asked to decide for themselves. Instead this little hispster emperor will fix it so that no children or parents without money can make up their minds for themselves. Nice one, your majesty.

I have a serious plan to get a bunch of people together, buy all these “forbidden books” and sneak them back onto the shelves, one by one. Because we DON’T FUCKING BAN BOOKS to protect the poor innocent woman and children from their evil ideas. We just fucking don’t. Not now, and not ever.

And, let me add, none of this has anything at all to do with this cock getting exposure for his “music career”. He is a “rap artist” apparently. And I bet he’s just excellent. Really, I do.

/ paddy

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Culture, Ranting

 

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