May 23, 2000
7:45 AM   Subscribe

Is it just me or has Roger Ebert gone fully looney? I was reading his review of "Dinosaur" and came across this criticism: "A dinosaur, even one that spoke English, would be unlikely to know what that line implies." What? Do you mean.... uh.... What? The whole review is like that.
posted by y6y6y6 (47 comments total)
The review seemed to make sense to me. Ebert was praising the realism of the movie, and the reality that it's a Disney movie, and therefore terribly innacurate, came as an unfortunate suprise to him.

It's just a well-done backhanded compliment. In the midst of praising the animators for the excellence they've acheived (although the previews I've seen don't warrent such praise in my mind, but I'm notoriously anal about my CGI) he berates Disney both for personalizing animals (which I don't agree with) and for propogating the rediculously outdated belief that dinosaurs and mammals co-existed, which I applaud him for.

Even fantastical stories can use SOME grounding, and despite the fact that it's generally harmless children's entertainment, there's no reason that grounding the entertainment in reality should be so unheard of.

Disney's long been lambasted for taking extensive creative freedom with popular mythology, folklore and actual history; Ebert's just doing more of the same.
posted by cCranium at 8:10 AM on May 23, 2000

Good points. I understand where he's going. There are just so many wacky sound bites.

"Most younger kids probably assume that dinosaurs can speak" What???

"If you are an animal in a Disney picture, you can speak, but only if you are willing to sacrifice your essential nature." Really? Huh.

"If there is one thing I think I know about dinosaurs, it's that sentimentality for the underdog played no part in their decision-making." Okay.....

These things just make no sense to me. I've heard other reviewers make the same comment about the harsh contrast between the realism and the Disney factor, so I'm sure it's a valid point. But Ebert seems to be trying to be so cerebral about it. And IMHO he trips and falls rather badly.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2000

Well, I haven't seen the movie, and I'm no great fan of Ebert, but I have trouble understanding your objections. I found the review lucid, and I sympathize with Ebert's feelings.

I have often objected to mistakes in Children's films (a genre that I love) only to be told "what's your PROBLEM? It's a CHILDREN'S move!!!" This implies that children's films, fantasies, and fairy tales shouldn't be held to the same critical standards as other forms of storytelling. But why not? If I watch a movie, I don't care if the intended audience is six or sixty. I just want it to be GOOD.

Sometimes people confuse fantasy with "anything goes." It is NOT true that anything goes in a fantastic story. What if Bugs Bunny suddenly ran across the screen in the middle of "Star Wars"? Clearly, even a movie like "Star Wars" has rules that it must follow or the story gets messed up and becomes less believable.

I will never forget my shock when, in the middle of the movie "Babe," the pig (who was supposed to be male), rolled over on "his" back and exposed multiple tits. You can accuse me of being overly analytical, but the fact is I was being exactly the opposite of that--I was emotionally evolved! Then the rules of the world were violated, and I was ripped out of the movie and started thinking about things like "I guess they had to use a female, because they didn't want a pig penis in a children's film."

As for Ebert's comments about computer graphics, I often have the opposite view--that they are not real enough. People seem to think that they look so real that you can't distinguish them from reality, but I don't think the technology is that advanced yet (except sometimes when it is used to render mechanical forms). In any case, I can always tell when I'm watching compute animation. But it does look MORE real than traditional animation.

The question is: is this good or bad? What does it mean to storytelling when you can create something that looks almost real? And I think this is what Ebert is addressing. When you make a fake animal look almost real, what traits of the real-life animal do you expect it to have?

Okay, I've gone on long enough. But I would like to add that the phrase "monkey on my back" (which was what Ebert was referring to in your quote) means (or originally meant) a drug habit. I agree with Ebert that most dinosaurs and children (and maybe some adults) probably wouldn't get the reference.

posted by grumblebee at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2000

"A dinosaur, even one that spoke English, would be unlikely to know what that line implies." What?

Well, here he means, that even if dinausaurs could talk, what they're saying wouldn't make sense to them, the values, dialogue, can only be human. I see where he's going.
posted by tiaka at 8:35 AM on May 23, 2000

Re: Disney's artistic freedom - True. I heard so many people comment on "how sad" the end of "Pocahontas" was. I tell them too pick up an encyclopedia and see what *really* happened to her...and watch the depression begin (tee hee)...

Re: Dinosaur - I took the kiddies to see "Toy Story2" a few months back, the preview for "Dinosaur" sacred the hell out of my toddlers (maybe me too...but I ain't talking).

Re: Dinosaurs talking english - Well, most people take for granted that almost every alien in "Star Trek" speaks perfect english. It's about time this stuff irks someone else besides me. :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 8:35 AM on May 23, 2000

Jeez. It is just me.

It's never good to find that out. I'll just be over here... eating dirt. [pout scuttle scuttle scuttle]
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:47 AM on May 23, 2000

Ahh, but every alien in "Star Trek" speaks perfect english because of the universal translators, that will occasional allow the odd klingon curse-word to come through uninterpreted. :-)

It's a peculiarity that's been explained, and one of the earlier (First season, I think) episodes of TNG addressed it with Picard on some planet with an alien that talked in parable. (c'mon, geeks, you all know which one I mean. Heh... I wonder how many can remember the names of the two mythological/historical figures ".. on the island.")

Woah. Tangentalization.

Anywho, the Star Trek folks at least made an attempt to explain it, as with many of the other human-like alien issues.

Personally I think most of his sound bites in context make sense, but Ebert's pretty much always been wacky.

I actually just spent a bit of time wading through some of his more recent reviews (the Battlefield Earth one had me chuckling aloud...) and I don't really see an overall trend of Ebert losing his mind. In fact, he writes the kind of reviews I wish I had the ability too.

posted by cCranium at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2000

What bothers me most about Star Trek's linguistics is that, as you said, ALMOST every alien speaks perfect English. If they all spoke perfect English, I MIGHT be able to accept this as a convention of the "Star Trek Universe." But sometimes they do make an alien speak a made up language. They do this when it helps them tell a specific story. This is a REALLY cheap trick.

I wonder how long it will be before someone tells us to "lighten up"?
posted by grumblebee at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2000

Oh, I forgot about the "universal translator." It seems to crash at convenient moments. Maybe it was designed by Microsoft.
posted by grumblebee at 8:56 AM on May 23, 2000

I think people long ago have bothered telling Trek fans to 'lighten up', and if they haven't, well, they should know they're fighting a losing battle.
posted by cCranium at 9:02 AM on May 23, 2000

Hm. To me, it's just silly that he spends so much time berating Disney for making the dinosaurs speak english -- or for making them speak at all. In Japan, they'll speak Japanese. In Germany, they'll speak German. In Brazil, they'll speak Portugese. The movie is for kids, people. What else are you going to have them speak? Dinosaur?

It's the same think with Star Trek. It may be bothersome that they all speak the vernacular, but unless you plan on reading subtitles every week, it makes sense to dream up a universal translator.

"The Hunt for Red October" exemplifies another way to go about the language thing in film: in the beginning the Russians speak Russian, and you read subtitles. (Sean Connery's Russian sounds so cool -- but probably really poor -- with his hip lisp.) Somewhere in the first 20 minutes, suddenly they're speaking English. But they're really speaking Russian. Or something.

But in this particular case, IMHO, the technique failed. Not miserably. Just enough to bug me. The reason is simple: Alec Baldwin's character speaks both Russian and English. So does Sean Connery's character. Several times in the first part of the film, while the Russian is still Russian, they both speak Russian *and* English.

So after they switch to English and Russian-as-English, how are we supposed to know what language they're actually speaking?

Anyway, I agree entirely that Disney's propensity to bend history at will is frustrating and wasteful. But I'm not sure what they're supposed to do when it comes to language. In this sense, I agree with y6y6y6. Some of his points are silly. Over-critical. But that's what he's paid to do.
posted by jeremy at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2000

That is, "Some of Ebert's points are silly..."
posted by jeremy at 9:13 AM on May 23, 2000

A small point: Mammals and Dinosaurs did coexist, though probably not the kinds of mammals portrayed in the movie. Mammals developed about the same time the dinosaurs did, but for most of the "Reign of the Dinosaurs" they were more or less like shrews, occupying small ecological nitches. Most of them would have been monotremes, by the way.

In fact, one of the most interesting ecological facts about the Triassic is that for a while, the "mammal-like reptiles" dominated, and were replaced by the dinosaurs! (Which is why the traditional belief that "the dinosaurs died out because the mammals came along and out-competed them" is total nonsense.)

My source for this is Stephen J. Gould, who is in a position to know.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2000

Hey, did any of you see the dinosaurs thing on the Discovery channel? The CGI is similar to the Disney stuff (not perfect, but pretty damn good) and the idea is exactly the same: live-action film of landscapes with CGI dinosaurs running around.

It's exactly what Ebert was hoping for, though. No English-speakers in the bunch.

And I thought it was a very cool idea: they presented it as if it were any other nature documentary.

Plus, you start in the early days of the dinosaurs, and as Steven Den Beste says, there were, in fact, mammal-like reptiles running around.
posted by jeremy at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2000

since stephen j gould was alive to play with the dinosaurs, can he also give us the definitive answer about whether they could speak english or not? =)
posted by mmanning at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2000

>What if Bugs Bunny suddenly ran across the screen in
>the middle of "Star Wars"? Clearly, even a movie
>like "Star Wars" has rules that it must follow or the
>story gets messed up and becomes less believable.

<!-- include jar_jar_binks_joke.txt -->

posted by alana at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2000

Its a kids film, dinosaurs talk because there wouldn't be a story if they didn't. I mean, if it was a documentary then I'd understand if they didn't talk, but I think its heck hard to tell a story idea through the screen (to little kids) if they didn't talk
posted by r-boogie at 9:37 AM on May 23, 2000

[..]I wonder how many can remember the names of the two mythological/historical figures[..]

At least one. Darmak and Jalad at Tenagra.

Hey, I didn't ask be able to remember this stuff, I just do. <scowls defensively> <lurks off>
posted by Freakho at 9:38 AM on May 23, 2000

Basically, the gist of Ebert's complaint is that the dinosaurs were anthromorphised. If you're going to that level of detail to make the dinosaurs look as real as possible, why undermine all that work by having the dinosaurs not only talk, but speak the kind of bland Disney-ish fodder that they do? Why make these wonderfully rendered creatures so banal?

It would have been interesting to see if the story had been played out without ANY dialogue.
posted by solistrato at 9:40 AM on May 23, 2000

Jeremy, I think Ebert's objections to the English issue are more subtle and interesting than you give him credit for. If you read his review closely, you'll note that he DOESN'T object to cartoons in which animals speak English. But the ballgame changes when you use extrememly realistic CGI. Part of your brain thinks "they look exactly like dinosaurs, so they must BE dinosaurs." It is then jarring when they don't ACT like dinosaurs. It's like when you watch a movie that you know very well dubbed into another language. "That guy looks just like Clarke Gable. Why is he speaking GERMAN?!?" You expect Clarke Gable to SOUND like Clarke Gable. And I don't think it matters whether or not you are watching the American release of "Dinosaur" or some other version. The point is not that they speak English. The point is that they SPEAK.

(Altough, it is also jarring that they speak slangy English. I don't mind wathching historical fiction films in which people from another country all speak English, like "Dangerous Liasons", because the convention is set at the very beginning of the film and never waivers. But I hate it when characters from other periods all the sudden say "Go for it!" or "Let's stick it to the man!" or whatever. Unless it's a purposefully campy film, that's very jarring. For an example of this, rent the otherwise good period movie "Impromtu" and watch the kids. They do a lot of hand-slapping and "Yesssssss!" stuff. Yuck!)

What could Disney have done? They could have chosen NOT to use CGI. Cartoon dinosaurs speaking English would have been much less jarring. Which is what I think is so interesting about Ebert's comment--whether you agree with it or not. The point is, we have this new CGI technology. Now what should we do with it? Is it ALSWAYS a benefit to storytelling or does it sometimes detract? Almost no one is asking these questions.
posted by grumblebee at 9:41 AM on May 23, 2000

I have seen Dinosaurs and loved it and I'm certainly not a child. It was just really great. The computer animation was amazing.
posted by FAB4GIRL at 9:48 AM on May 23, 2000

No one's asking these questions yet because it's only recently that they've come up at all.

This whole hyper-real animation thing is still fairly new.

When Tron came out (gawd, almost 20 years ago already), it was hailed as the cutting edge in animation, a technological marvel.

Ditto for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I mean, really. How could anyone do better animation-wise than that?

Then Toy Story, and there's others, but now we're here.

It's only now that it's an issue at all. Ebert's essay (while it probably could have used one more rewrite before he actually published it) brings up a point that animators are going to have to address.

But then again... Remember Quest For Fire? Sometimes prehistoric "reality" isn't always the way to go.

I don't know if I'm qualified to answer these questions, but I'm with Ebert, in that I think I'll know a forced conceit when I see it.

posted by chicobangs at 9:56 AM on May 23, 2000

There was a review of it in this weeks "New Yorker" (can't link to it, because it isn't online) in which the reviewer, David Denby, critisized it for being visually UNinteresting. Sometimes I find that with thses films, once you get past the Wow-look-what-they-can-do-with-cgi-now! thing, the ACTUAL film itself isn't that stunning. Denby was especially down on the real-life backgrounds, which he didn't think were very inspired (he wasn't against the use of real-life backrounds--he just thought they weren't well-photographed).

By the way, Disney HAS made a movie about dinosaurs that had no dialogue. Check out the Stravinsky sequence in "Fantasia."
posted by grumblebee at 9:58 AM on May 23, 2000

Disney takes "extensive creative license".

You mean, like pushing lemmings off cliffs?

And don't even get me *started* on Pocahontas and John Smith. Pocahontas was, what; 12?
posted by baylink at 10:01 AM on May 23, 2000

Has anyone scene the trailers for "Rocky and Bullwinkle"? What do you guys think? To me, the CGI/3D look is a BIG mistake. It would have been so much more fun had they chosen a flat-cartoon technique and mixed that with live actors.

By the way, I'm not totally against CGI. I thought it was great (and mostly unnoticable) in "Titanic" (which in general I hated). And I loved it in "Toy Story" too. It's interesting to compare those two films. In "Titanic", the CGI was so successful that you couldn't tell it was there at all, so it just aided storytelling. In "Toy Story" the look was purposefully cartoony--yet very appealing. "Dinosaur" seems to fail because it is caught between these two extremes.
posted by grumblebee at 10:03 AM on May 23, 2000

Not to beat a dead horse (iguanodon, whatever), but even though mammals and dinosaurs *did* co-exist, the ones in this movie didn't (I checked this with a paleontologist friend this weekend). Iguanodon is an early cretaceous dinosaur (and died out long before any trace of meteoric activity, mind you), while lemurs don't appear until the Tertiary (after all of the dinosaurs are gone from the fossil record). But that's ok, because lemurs are cute and cuteness is an important part of storytelling, whereas any hint of scientific accuracy is not. Right? (Although it's possible that I am just too geeky to understand creative license. I mean, I carry a periodic table around in my wallet.)
posted by iceberg273 at 10:16 AM on May 23, 2000

Geez, iceberg273, lighten UP! It's a CHILDREN'S movie!
posted by grumblebee at 10:20 AM on May 23, 2000

Sorry. It's just that my fiancee just spent a week trying to teach natural history to her elementary school class and having to un-Disneyfy the kids. [iceberg273 goes off to join an untight geek support group].
posted by iceberg273 at 10:24 AM on May 23, 2000

typo. uptight geek support group.
posted by iceberg273 at 10:26 AM on May 23, 2000

I learned a lot of great stuff from Disney. Almost everything I know about African American culture, I learned from "Song of the South."
posted by grumblebee at 10:27 AM on May 23, 2000

You can't be too much of a geek if you have a fiancee.
posted by grumblebee at 10:28 AM on May 23, 2000

I think a point that Ebert was also trying to make is Disney's pickiness in giving some animals the ability to speak, and generally following the "cute and fuzzy makes inteligible" theory (with the exception of some of their villanous characters).

If you're going to personify a few of the animals, why do 'em all?
posted by cCranium at 10:59 AM on May 23, 2000

It would have been interesting to see if the story had been played out without ANY dialogue.

When I saw the first trailer (the whole egg sequence), there wasn't a lick of dialogue, and it was beautiful, and it WORKED!

Somewhere down the line I found out it was a Disney, and started to worry. I feared the worst: Singing! Word is, there's no singing though, so at least that's something.
posted by smeat at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2000

Man, I'm really weighing in late on this one...

A few years ago I saw The Bear (I can't remember who directed it), which was an excellent example of storytelling without verbal dialogue. Most of the plot centered around the adventures of an orphan cub that befriends a huge adult grizzly. It was all live action with real animals, no D.B Sweeney voice-overs. It was almost as if removing the dialogue freed the storyline. And yet you couldn't miss the typical Disneyeque themes - friendship, teamwork and self-esteem good, greed and misguided ambition bad.

It would have been nice if Disney had decided to chuck the one-liners and just let the dinosaurs be animals, and let the story to the talking. I think it would have added a nice, Fantasia-like sense of wonder to the whole.
posted by scottandrew at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2000

According to Salon's review, the original story for Dinosaur was by Walon Green, the cowriter of Peckinpah's uberviolent The Wild Bunch, and Paul Verhoeven, the director of Robocop and Starship Troopers had tried to develop the concept into a movie a while back.

That would have been a more interesting movie, I think. Oh yes. And I'm not even a huge fan of The Wild Bunch.

(I think I'll leave my comments about the Salon redesign for the appropriate thread.)
posted by snarkout at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2000

> I think a point that Ebert was also trying to make.....

No. The point Ebert was trying to make was that IF dinosars could talk, they wouldn't say things like that. What seems to bother him the most isn't that they are talking, but that they are talking "out of character" (quotes mine).

And I still say that argument is looney.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:22 AM on May 23, 2000

[Watch as Jon pounds his point into the ground while his peirs shake their heads]

It's like saying, "IF my hair was made of green spinich, I certainly wouldn't style it like that. That would make no sense. Spinich hair should only be styled thusly..."
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:26 AM on May 23, 2000

I know how to speel peers. Yes I do.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:27 AM on May 23, 2000

"I don't know if Disney has a house rule about which animals can speak and which cannot, but guidelines seem to be emerging. The rule is, if you are a predatory carnivore, you don't talk, but if you are a pacifist, a vegetarian or cute, you do. In "Tarzan," the apes spoke, but the leopards didn't. In "Dinosaur," all of the creatures speak, except for the vicious carnotaurs. A Faustian bargain seems to be at work: If you are an animal in a Disney picture, you can speak, but only if you are willing to sacrifice your essential nature."

This paragraph basically proves my point, so I'm not going to bother arguing the "cute=good, talks mean=bad, growls uninteligibly" bit I brought up a post or two ago.

It also addresses the sound bite about the animal's essential nature. Basically, he's personifying Disney's creatures even more, and saying that to get a talking part, the cartoon entities have to 'sell out' and make themselves cute, cuddely, or otherwise appealing to your average 10 & under child. :-)
posted by cCranium at 11:35 AM on May 23, 2000

I hate it when CGI meshes sell out. I think that if real dinosars were in this movie they wouldn't put up with this type of bigotry. :)

There I used a smiley. Enjoy it. You won't see another. :) (besides that one. :))
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:00 PM on May 23, 2000

>No. The point Ebert was trying to make was that IF
>dinosars could talk, they wouldn't say things like that.
>What seems to bother him the most isn't that they are
>talking, but that they are talking "out of character".
>(quotes mine).

>And I still say that argument is looney.

Why is it looney? Maybe I misunderstand you, but you seem to be implying that because talking dinosaurs don't realy exist, if you make up a story about talking dinosaurs, you can do anything you want and it will still be a good story.

If this is what you mean, I disagree with it. There are always rules you need to follow to create a good story. If I create a story about flying elves and then write a scene in which an elf starvs to death because the only food nearby is on the other side of a mountain, I have created an ERROR! Why didn't the elf fly over the mountain?

On Star Trek, when the transporter breaks and somebody is trapped on a planet, WHY DON'T THEY USE THE SHUTTLE CRAFT?

If a dinosaur--even a TALKING dinosaur--lives in prehistoric times, why would he know how to talk about modern concepts using obviously modern terminology.

On the other hand, it's FINE for the Flinstones to go bowling, because they don't live in a prehistoric world. They live in a made up world that is basically modern with some prehistoric trappings. The characters in the Flinstones follow the rules of their world. The charaters in Dinosour should do the same.

As I said, I havrn't seen the film, so maybe they DO follow the rules of their world. Maybe the writer/directors have managed to create a world that blends modern and prehistoric elements that makes sense. This is certainly possible. Ebert's point is that in his opinion the world doesn't make sense. There main characters are dinosaurs, and through they DO talk, they seem in other ways to be real dinosaurs--yet in other ways they are not like real dinosaurs, and the rules are inconsistant or contradictory.
posted by grumblebee at 1:34 PM on May 23, 2000

"On Star Trek, when the transporter breaks and somebody is trapped on a planet, WHY DON'T THEY USE THE SHUTTLE CRAFT?"

usually because of tectonic interference, or atmospheric electrical storms or something.

posted by cCranium at 1:55 PM on May 23, 2000

> There are always rules you need to follow to create a good story.

I agree, especially in children's movies. For instance it's good to have talking critters, good/bad guys, silly humor, etc. Of course it's also important to talk to your audience. Ebert wants them to say dinosaur types of things. What the hell would that be? So a monkey climbs on top of a dinosaur, and it should say..... What?

> The charaters in Dinosour should do the same.
I agree that it might have been really cool if they'd left out the talking and made it very historical, but that wasn't the movie they were making. They were making a Disney movie. You know..... The Lion King? The rule with a kids movie is to play fast and loose with the facts. Maybe you don't like it, but I don't know why it should be a surprise.

To me Ebert is saying, "I know it's a Disney movie, but dinosaurs should always act like dinosaurs. They're acting like people. What a dumb idea." I think this sort of strategy would have swept away most of Disney's best films. "I like the mouse thing, but you have it talking. Mice don't really do that."

> Why is it looney? Maybe I misunderstand you.
I'm starting to wonder myself. It's probably just me. What? Did you hear that? Those voices? Ummm.... I gotta go.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:18 PM on May 23, 2000

No, I don't think that dinosaurs have to talk like dinosaurs--whatever that would be. I think that a movie must either conform to our expectations or present us with an interesting alternative that makes sense. By "makes sense" I mean that it has to set up its own rules and follow them.

Some examples: our expectation when watching "The Wizard of Oz" (even if we've never seen it before) is that it will have a happy ending. If Dorothy got killed by the wicked witch, that would violate our expectations without challanging us in any interesting way.

If a sofa starts talking in the middle of "The Godfather," our expectations are violated. "The Godfather" is set in a world that basically follows the same natural laws as ours.

If the sofa in the dancing hippo scene in "Fantasia" starts talking, our expectations are violated. This scene is NOT set in our world. It is set in a world in which animals move and dance and wear clothes like people. But ONLY animals act like people, not furniture. And nobody talks.

In "Beauty and the Beast" it would not be out of place for a sofa to talk.

In the cartoonish "Lion King", the animals look like a cross between real animals and cartoon people--especially in their facial expressions. So there is more that they can do or say without violating our expecations.

The dinosaurs "in Dinosaur" look like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, Walking with Dinosaurs, and the Natural History Museum displays. This sets up certain expectations. And it is okay to violate these expectations if the result is interesting and makes sense.

It is not OK to violate these expectations because you can't think of any other way to tell the story. It is better NOT to tell the story then to tell it badly.
posted by grumblebee at 4:21 PM on May 23, 2000

I think they told it well so why are you all whining about it? LOL! It is good and its the Number 1 movie. If you don't like it toooooooo baaaaaaad! ;-) I enjoyed it!

posted by FAB4GIRL at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2000

It is good and its the Number 1 movie.
Not, of course, to imply that the two have anything to do with one another.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:21 PM on May 24, 2000

Usually those two facts DO have a connection. The Number 1 movie usually sucks. Does it suck because it is the Number 1 movie or is it the Number 1 movie because it sucks?
posted by grumblebee at 3:49 PM on May 24, 2000

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