Lock down amusement, a pointless debate :-)

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My granddaughter likes Baby Shark but it’s not worthy of comparison to Beethoven.
It could be argued that at least Baby Shark got finished! ;) It also depends who's made the confit duck leg. :whistle:
 
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So you're just as confused as the rest of us! :naughty:
You carefully missed out the line about the opinions I don't think are valid.
It's unlikely there are many here who are convinced an image is good just because X say's it is. So yes I would be just the same as the rest of US. :D
 
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I understand now that most of my images are just challenging. I realise now that I have been deleting the wrong images and should have kept the deletions for a new book.

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Another interesting soliloquy.

I think the photographer that inspires me the most is Vivian Maier. She never wanted to be famous for her work, never wanted to be accredited as an artist, never wanted likes on Instagram, never wanted to sell a print, never wanted to convince others that she was a "great photographer", and didn't enter any competitions (afaik). Her motivations were purely "take what I like". And when I look at her work that was published by someone else who "found" it after she had died, I think it is incredible. How many other "unrecognised" great photographers are out there with drawers full of negs, or hard drives full of jpegs?

She was a nobody, but the major difference between her and many others (most of the amateur photographers today??) is that she was happy and content with her work. I really do think that whilst I can improve my visual literacy, I must remember to "think what I think" and not always let other preconceptions sway me. Let others judge what I enjoy doing and if they judge it to be challenging rubbish, so be it! Better that, than to make stuff that they rate highly, but I find boring.
 
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Lockdown must be getting to Justin Jones too! Thanks for posting @Ed Sutton I probably wouldn't have noticed that he had posted another video

I think the photographer that inspires me the most is Vivian Maier. She never wanted to be famous for her work, never wanted to be accredited as an artist,
I find that quite problematic. If she didn't want to be credited for her photography during her lifetime, does anyone have a right to do so after her death?
 
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I find that quite problematic. If she didn't want to be credited for her photography during her lifetime, does anyone have a right to do so after her death?
I wonder what was behind her reluctance to put her work 'pout there'. Lack of opportunity, impostor syndrome, or had no interest and really did take the photos for herself? Whatever the reason I wish I hadn't bought the first book of her photos in a fit of excitement when it came out. Mostly because I've gone off that kind of old school street photography, and because I can now see how derivative she was.

If anyone would like the book I'll stick it in the classifieds along with some others I haven't looked at since I bought them. Pentti Sammallahti anyone?
 
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does anyone have a right to do so after her death?
If you have Amazon Prime there's a doc on there about her which is great (Finding Vivian Maier). They interviewed the kids she looked after. I was left with the impression that she would not have been impressed with what they did with her work based on what those interviewees said. And John Maloof who made the film (and discovered her negs) was happy to show those interviews. There was a fair bit of commentary on her as a person which I wasn't that interested in, and was obviously biased (because she wasn't there to offer her side of the story) and I left that bit. I found the photography fascinating though.

It's well worth a watch.

End thread derail :)
 
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If you have Amazon Prime there's a doc on there about her which is great (Finding Vivian Maier). They interviewed the kids she looked after. I was left with the impression that she would not have been impressed with what they did with her work based on what those interviewees said. And John Maloof who made the film (and discovered her negs) was happy to show those interviews. There was a fair bit of commentary on her as a person which I wasn't that interested in, and was obviously biased (because she wasn't there to offer her side of the story) and I left that bit. I found the photography fascinating though.

It's well worth a watch.

End thread derail :)
I don't have Prime (bites tongue to avoid rant about the evils of amazon :) )
 
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That's the one! Well sourced. Another for the Videos thread.
Quality didn't seem great and there are Spanish (?) subtitles, but it's free to view until it gets taken down!
 
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In this latest video I think he admits that the amount of attention he gives to photos is all down to who took them.
I just watched that and the Alex Soth video and sometimes It's hard to tell whether people have ascended to new heights or just wondered off the map completely. In a similar vein to the Eggleston stuff I've got a copy of Robert Adams Tree Line, which won a Hasselblad award so I can only assume that a consensus of experts saw something in it but I find it challenging, it interests me more as a curiosity than as a collection of good photos.

I am also inclined to think that some of these artists are just seeing what they can get away with, Martin Creed and his paper balls for example and the curators are happy to play the game because controversy drives visitors to the galleries and drives sales. And to some extent I play along too because I like to go and see what all the fuss is about and often end up actually liking the work, again I think the art world knows that if something, anything, is displayed in a gallery it takes on a degree of reverence. In that sense galleries are bit like churches, they create a certain expectation that the mind fills.

And I wonder if that's the thing with Justin Jones, some things are selected by curators and elevated to gallery status and that is Justin's base line, it would risk some sort of personal diminishment if he were to like something that wasn't seen as high art by the gallery high priests.
 
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As usual I am in two minds on this as with so much else and I was struck when watching the Soth on Eggleston video that Soth wanted people in the pictures. To some extent that is obviously Soth's comfort zone but also Justin in other videos has bemoaned the lack of "humanity" in a lot of photos.

And there's the thing, I can see a case for saying that was exactly what Eggleston was doing, he was photographing an absence, or just the merest trace of humanity.
 
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And I wonder if that's the thing with Justin Jones, some things are selected by curators and elevated to gallery status and that is Justin's base line, it would risk some sort of personal diminishment if he were to like something that wasn't seen as high art by the gallery high priests.
Perhaps he simply has a narrow view of 'photography'? He has admitted in one of the videos that he is interested in it as art, rather than as anything else. That seems to me to be his angle of attack.

But for me it is the varied ways in which the medium can be used that makes it so interesting to study. A photograph is a photograph regardless of who made it, how, or why. It becomes art when put in an artworld context. Again regardless of the who, how and why. Photographs can be easily repurposed in ways which paintings cannot. Perhaps because of their (genrally speaking) verisimilitude to what they are photographs of.
 
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Perhaps he simply has a narrow view of 'photography'? He has admitted in one of the videos that he is interested in it as art, rather than as anything else. That seems to me to be his angle of attack.

But for me it is the varied ways in which the medium can be used that makes it so interesting to study. A photograph is a photograph regardless of who made it, how, or why. It becomes art when put in an artworld context. Again regardless of the who, how and why. Photographs can be easily repurposed in ways which paintings cannot. Perhaps because of their (genrally speaking) verisimilitude to what they are photographs of.
Absolutely agree and I think that's what irritates me about him, he has some good and interesting stuff to say but he is so dismissive of 90% of what photography is and there is no need, it's not a zero-sum game, he could tell us what he thinks is good without having to run everything else down.
 
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In this latest video I think he admits that the amount of attention he gives to photos is all down to who took them. I think his dad's pictures are rather good. :giggle:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQYIMbwL-pk
I'm not going to watch this one because I don't want to give him the traffic, nor hear his voice any more: if he can only assess as good the images that he's told are good then I want nothing to do with him.

I wonder who the Vivien Eastwood and Malcolm McClaren were for the art world?
 
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If you have Amazon Prime there's a doc on there about her which is great (Finding Vivian Maier). They interviewed the kids she looked after. I was left with the impression that she would not have been impressed with what they did with her work based on what those interviewees said. And John Maloof who made the film (and discovered her negs) was happy to show those interviews. There was a fair bit of commentary on her as a person which I wasn't that interested in, and was obviously biased (because she wasn't there to offer her side of the story) and I left that bit. I found the photography fascinating though.

It's well worth a watch.

End thread derail :)
Just watched it, a really interesting and engaging documentary, it's a shame that the parts in France were subtitled in in Spanish :) it's all Greek to me

and because I can now see how derivative she was
Derivative?
 
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I'm not going to watch this one because I don't want to give him the traffic, nor hear his voice any more: if he can only assess as good the images that he's told are good then I want nothing to do with him.

I wonder who the Vivien Eastwood and Malcolm McClaren were for the art world?
Westwood? Irony? But, well Jamie Reid but I suspect that the YBAS for whom punk would have been a formative influence are more well known, Tracey Emin, Damien Hurst, etc.
 
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Westwood? Irony? But, well Jamie Reid but I suspect that the YBAS for whom punk would have been a formative influence are more well known, Tracey Emin, Damien Hurst, etc.
I suspect the punkification to sell a bit of tat happened a long time before the young buggers at school appeared. ;)
 
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Derivative?
As in you can see where she's got her 'style' from. I'm sure I read or heard that she was far from unfamiliar with what was going on in the US photography world. But I am pretty jaded with the whole black and white film era 'street photography' scene which is great in an of-its-time way but looks dated to me now. I say that as someone who thought it was the pinnacle to aim at in the '70s/'80s and again when I got back into taking an interest in photography in 2010. Since then I've realised how photography has moved on since I dipped out of it. I'm even thinking that HCB ultimately held that kind of photography back.
 
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Yeah but ... was she derivative or just doing a similar thing, what the painting art world might call "school of". There were certainly some photos in that documentary that stuck me as pretty outstanding and more engaged than just copying someone else's style.
 
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Yeah but ... was she derivative or just doing a similar thing, what the painting art world might call "school of". There were certainly some photos in that documentary that stuck me as pretty outstanding and more engaged than just copying someone else's style.
I'm not saying they're bad. I just don't think they're all they first came across as - amazing photos by a naive hobbyist. I think she was doing what young artists do - copying a style. But she didn't get beyond that. Rather like Peter Dench today. :exit:

Maybe I'm just feeling jaded with the whole street photography thing, and old black and white street photography in particular? It doesn't impress me the way it used to.
 
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Completely unrelated to this thread and photography in general I came across this today but some of it, particularly the thoughts around "aura" seemed relevant.

Slightly hard going to read for such a short piece (my brain must be tired from the day) but a couple of things leaped out:

Our fine arts were developed, their types and uses were established, in times very different from the present, by men whose power of action upon things was insignificant in comparison with ours. But the amazing growth of our techniques, the adaptability and precision they have attained, the ideas and habits they are creating, make it a certainty that profound changes are impending in the ancient craft of the Beautiful. In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art.
and

In the late-twentieth-century television program Ways of Seeing (1972), John Berger proceeded from and developed the themes of “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935), to explain the contemporary representations of social class and racial caste inherent to the politics and production of art. That in transforming a work of art into a commodity, the modern means of artistic production and of artistic reproduction have destroyed the aesthetic, cultural, and political authority of art: “For the first time ever, images of art have become ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial, available, valueless, free”, because they are commercial products that lack the aura of authenticity of the original objet d’art.
Taking these 2 together, have we replaced objects of beauty, authority, veneration and rarity with objects that are base, crude, vulgar and distainful, and now venerate them as if they had the aura of authenticity to which he seems to refer. The punkification of art. Is it any wonder that art causes so much friction?
 
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Completely unrelated to this thread and photography in general I came across this today but some of it, particularly the thoughts around "aura" seemed relevant.

The shorter precursor to this, three essays written in 1931, is available on the kindle (translated into English) for £2.00.

 
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The shorter precursor to this, three essays written in 1931, is available on the kindle (translated into English) for £2.00.
Thanks, it's got to be worth £2

Slightly hard going to read for such a short piece (my brain must be tired from the day) but a couple of things leaped out:
I agree, there is a lot to digest.

Taking these 2 together, have we replaced objects of beauty, authority, veneration and rarity with objects that are base, crude, vulgar and distainful, and now venerate them as if they had the aura of authenticity to which he seems to refer. The punkification of art.
Isn't the point about the aura of authenticity that we feel a much stronger connection with the work created directly by the artist rather than a copy of it, no matter whether the work is beautiful or not? Besides is anyone going to do beauty, authority, veneration better than Giotto, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Faberge? Photography killed off commercial pictorial and portrait painting and artists moved on.
 
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Photography killed off commercial pictorial and portrait painting and artists moved on.
It did, but is the output of Gilbert and George the best alternative we can come up with? I was also stepping away from the authenticity of production, because TBH I don't believe it to be relevant in an age where the producer rather than the product is the most important thing.

I hope someone CAN produce work in the modern age that matches the greatest of previous ages, though if anyone did I'm sure they'd be carefully and deliberately ignored.
 
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See the Jonathan Meades video I posted elsewhere. The main issue I have with conceptual art is it's lack of new ideas, with a few rare examples there hasn't been much that is original and sets a new direction in the last 80 or 90 years.

TBH I don't believe it to be relevant in an age where the producer rather than the product is the most important thing.
For me it is intensely relevant, I don't know why but there is nothing like seeing the real thing. Just one example, the caves at Altamira, I would make every effort to go and see the real cave art but that is no longer possible for perfectly understandable reasons and has been replaced by a copy, we holidayed in Asturias a few years ago and we didn't bother going because I really had no interest in seeing a copy, even if that was a perfect replica. We could solve a lot of the problems in the middle east by, say building a copy of Jerusalem somewhere else but I don't think the religious would buy into that idea.

And wasn't it always the case (or at least for a very long time) that the producer mattered? People commissioned da Vinici because he was Lenonardo, they wanted him, not someone else.

I hope someone CAN produce work in the modern age that matches the greatest of previous ages, though if anyone did I'm sure they'd be carefully and deliberately ignored.
CAN and DO! within 20 miles of where I live there must be a dozen galleries selling such work and the art I choose to hang on my walls is exactly that. In fact the vast majority of galleries are showing "beautiful" figurative work. The NPG exhibits the Taylor Wessing Portrait exhibition every year. Tate Britain would be showing Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at the moment, last year they had a David Hockney retrospective.
 
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The idea of artworks as single immutable objects which have some kind of magic to them is so passé, :exit:

IIRC Duchamp's Fountain was destroyed and what we see in museums now are copies - here is more than one. Emin's unmade bed is never displayed the same twice. And in the case of old/ancient works we aren't seeing them as they were made. Pigments discolour, paint shrinks, varnish cracks, restoration gets bodged. In some cases paintings have been cut down.

But, yes, seeing a painting is different to seeing a reproduction of it. There's the issue of scale for one thing. Paintings have a fixed size, mostly larger than a computer screen or a page in a book. Paintings have three dimensionality, which is flattened in reproduction. Depending on technique you can see the way the paint was applied by the painter. There's a small Van Gogh which on close inspection you can see the stars in the sky were made by pressing the open end of a tube of paint on the canvas. Other paintings reveal the finger prints of the painter. Paintings do have a 'presence'. I've admired paintings from books and been even more impressed by them when seen for real. Photographs are different.

Photographs are flat. The only change that can be made to them is scale (discounting colour or tone variations from different printing processes). I've seen photos in galleries of pictures familiar from books, magazines or the web and the only difference has been scale. Most have been larger than I imagined, which makes a difference if the picture has a lot of small but important details which aren't obvious at a smaller size, some have actually been smaller than I'd expected. Scale can alter how we view photographs, but not all photographs need to be seen at a specific size.

What I like about photography is the very fact that a photograph is infinitely reproducible in a form as near as dammit identical to the ''original. More so with digital printing than darkroom prints as all manipulation is stored in a file so if the output sources are all set up the same the prints will be, no matter where in the world they are printed. Trying to make photographs into objects d'art by limiting the number printed is daft.

Having said that photographic prints can be talismanic. I think this applies more to personal photographs than to 'art' photographs. I'm thinking of the increasingly dog-eared photos of loved ones people carry around in their wallets or the old family photos which have little meaning to anyone outside the family.
 
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The thing with conceptual art is that it's the concept not necessarily the object that matters and may be the destruction and recreation of the Fountain actually enhances it's status a concept?

On the other hand there are repros of the Mona Lisa everywhere but people still queue to see the real thing, a print by Don McCullin is a print by him, as he wanted it, as he printed it. Its a personal thing but for me that sense of connection really does add something to the experience. Even for photographers that don't print their own work it's fair to assume they reviewed the final print, hanging plan, book, whatever and the finished product is as they wanted it.

That seems to be something that troubles Soth in his video about Eggleston, i.e. that an editor put the book together rather than Eggleston himself.
 
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I agree that 'the artists hand' matters with a painting, and with a selection of pictures for a book which is intended to be a 'work' in itself, because those are the baseline creative processes. And I do care who has done the cropping if a photograph has been cropped. I couldn't care less who has made a print otherwise. That's angels dancing on pinhead territory for me. A photograph is either good or bad as a picture regardless of how nicely or poorly it's been printed/reproduced.

Of course, romantics might think differently. ;)
 
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Would you care to elaborate on this, please!

I've only just come across this thread, and I have read through most of it now. It's coming across as one of the most well-mannered discussions on the nature of "art" that I've ever seen on here! So well done to all concerned.
 
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His jealousy toward Thomas Heaton and Michael Kenna's success sounded familiar) could it be that he is simply unable to read a landscape and draw life and pleasure from the natural world? It may be that all the 'ordinary' and ignorant people require no special skill to feel the thrill of a beautiful dawn, carefully recorded, feel joy at a wisp of cloud being blown across a landcscape covered in wild flower, or sense the power of a snow-capped mountain range lit but the setting sun. Just a thought.
Exactly what i felt when I heard him speak. I felt especially sorry for Thomas Heaton; one might suspect that he seems to do things specifically to make videos about it. As in "oh, I just bought this such and such a camera and ......" But for one thing he has toned down his subject matter and processing quite a lot recently and many of his landscapes are on the "quiet" side, perhaps compared to his earlier stuff.

I'm not sure if the narrator really was comparing the painter responsible for those ghastly colourful daubs (Bob Ross?) and the landscape photographers like Heaton responsible for that page full of rather beautiful looking colour landscapes. Surely not?

I just think it's a shame that people like the narrator cannot enjoy more than one style of photography - the sunsets and colourful mountain landscapes that he seems to despise and the more thoughtful, conceptual work of people like Fay Godwin. As some of you may know, I'm a big fan of both styles.

Edit : maybe not jealousy exactly.......
 
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I just think it's a shame that people like the narrator cannot enjoy more than one style of photography - the sunsets and colourful mountain landscapes that he seems to despise and the more thoughtful, conceptual work of people like Fay Godwin.
I guess it is the same sort of tribalism, or what Freud called the narcissism of small differences, that makes people have fights at football matches. As I have said elsewhere in this thread that is what disappoints me about this guy, he has some interesting things to say but his dismissive attitude spoils the good parts somewhat.
 
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:LOL:

I had to put down my copy of Tyger, Tyger, set aside my peeled grapes and get off the chase long just to post that emoji ... time for a lie down.
I hope you were wearing your smoking cap. :D
 
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Paintings do have a 'presence'. I've admired paintings from books and been even more impressed by them when seen for real. Photographs are different.

Photographs are flat. The only change that can be made to them is scale (discounting colour or tone variations from different printing processes). I've seen photos in galleries of pictures familiar from books, magazines or the web and the only difference has been scale.
I agree that 'the artists hand' matters with a painting, and with a selection of pictures for a book which is intended to be a 'work' in itself, because those are the baseline creative processes. And I do care who has done the cropping if a photograph has been cropped. I couldn't care less who has made a print otherwise. That's angels dancing on pinhead territory for me. A photograph is either good or bad as a picture regardless of how nicely or poorly it's been printed/reproduced.
Unfortunately, I don't have the vocabulary to explain myself very well, but maybe I am one of the romantics you speak of, as I have a different view on this.

I have a broad interest in "photography" from an expressive art form through to its much wider social and cultural history, but I'm probably still moved the most by black and white landscape type images, which I feel have virtually no "presence" on the computer screen, gain some "presence" in well reproduced books, but can have a noticeable presence with a strong emotional connection when experienced as original prints. With the quality of the print, making or breaking this experience because these photographs rely so heavily on subtle relationships between tone, geometry and lighting to work.

For other photographs the emotional experience or mental challenge "relies" heavily on the subject and how well the photographer has seen and captured the moment, but for the photographs I refer to above, the subject plays only a minor, if still recognisable, role, and it's a more abstract combination of textures, tones, shapes and lighting that drives the emotional reaction and enjoyment. For these types of photographs I don't think a photographer "needs" to make the final prints, but I do think they need to be in full control of what the final print will look like, and for me, I would be losing the most expressive part of the photographic process if I got someone else to print my landscapes.

I don't disagree at all about their being a much greater difference in presence with paintings from book to gallery, but I certainly get similar feelings with (some) photographs, of increased presence when seen as prints, and that the quality of the printing and presentation (choice of paper texture etc) can be a crucial part of achieving this presence.
 
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Would you care to elaborate on this, please!

I've only just come across this thread, and I have read through most of it now. It's coming across as one of the most well-mannered discussions on the nature of "art" that I've ever seen on here! So well done to all concerned.
Is this familiar? It's absence in the discussion is probably why the thread has remained polite and attempted to be serious and constructive.
Pookeyhead.jpg
 
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I'm not sure if the narrator really was comparing the painter responsible for those ghastly colourful daubs (Bob Ross?) and the landscape photographers like Heaton responsible for that page full of rather beautiful looking colour landscapes. Surely not?
It looked like a direct and equivalent comparison to me. The thing is that, although BR's paintings weren't likely to appeal to us, they probably DID help a lot of people develop a desire to paint for themselves, to become expressive and creative in a way that Hockney, Matisse or Bosch never could have.

I have to be careful that I don't allow my personal preferences to simply define what is *acceptable* art and what is not, in my own eyes. If I do that then I've fallen into the same trap as Justin whatsisface, and that's a complete waste of potential.
 
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