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Flashback Friday! Remembering Captain Underpants

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Growing up, my elementary school(s) always had library period. My mom used to read stories to me all the time so I was one of those geeky kids that was really into reading. The libraries at our school never seemed to have much that I’d be interested in reading. I remember usually playing it safe and reading Goosebumps, Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield books. That is until one day I saw a book that would begin my obsession with my first book series: 

Captain Underpants. 

I watched basically every super hero related show possible growing up: Power Rangers, Spider-Man, X-Men, Ninja Turtles, you name it I watched it. As a kid I would always write comics with my older brother and his friend, so I related with the overall premise of Captain Underpants: two comic book loving kids hypnotizing their mean principal Mr. Krupp into the crime fighting Captain Underpants.

The concept as a kid was hilarious, and the books had some of the most hilariously named villains. Who could forget the likes of Dr. Diaper, Professor Poopy Pants, and Turbo Toilet? The action was always highlighted with these clever flip pages where the reader flipped them back and forth to simulate the action that was occurring at that time.

I devoured these books as a child, and I remember  always looking forward to get the little pamphlets the school got from Scholastic to order books.It was always a good day when I could order the next Captain Underpants book. There was no way to find out as a kid when the next one was coming out, *Read In Old Man Voice* Back in my day we had no confangled internet contraption. *Back to Whatever Voice You Were Reading In* WE HAD TV AND NEWSPAPERS BUT NEITHER OF THOSE GAVE TWO FUCKS ABOUT CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS BACK THEN.

Anyways, I was absolutely hooked on Captain Underpants all the way up until the spinoffs started. I didn’t really grasp the concept of a spinoff until I read The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby

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Damn you Super Diaper Baby… Damn you.

…I hated it. 

It was all in comic book form as if George and Harold drew them themselves and it just wasn’t nearly as funny anymore because of the artform. At that point I knew it was time to find a new book series, but I will always have a soft spot for Captain Underpants. Tra la laaaaaaa!!

PS: Word on the street is that they’re making a Captain Underpants movie soon and Professor Poopy Pants will be the main villain!! Is it weird that I’d totally go see it now that I’m 22 years old? Probably. Better question though: Do I really care? Nope. 

Ten Best Movie Sidekicks

Sidekicks. They are all over the place in pop culture helping some of our favorite heroes overcome seemingly impossible odds. No matter how much we love our heroes, more often than not they need those trusty sidekicks to stay afloat. What happens though whenever the sidekick is as lovable if not more so than the main character? That’s where this list comes in. This list is to honor those sidekicks in movies who have been either more likable, cooler, or are the sole reason the hero isn’t six feet under. Without further ado, here’s my list of ten favorite movie sidekicks. 

Honorable Mention: Lee Christmas (The Expendables Trilogy)

"I now pronounce you man and knife!!!"

Starting off my list is my favorite Expendable. Sure Stallone’s character Barney Ross is the leader of the mercenary group and he has had his fair share of awesome moments, but his second in command Lee Christmas is cooler in every single way. Christmas never got friendzoned throughout the trilogy (Ross was three separate times), Christmas enjoys getting his hands dirty using knives over firearms, AND he can really pull off wearing a beret.

10. Watson (Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows)

(As he’s choking someone) “Relax, I’m a doctor.”

When one thinks of sidekicks, most are inclined to instantly think of Dr. Watson. Watson is the perfect counterpart of Holmes, he’s brilliant, can handle himself in a fight, and he keeps Holmes in line… when possible. Holmes never admits it, but Watson is undoubtedly his best friend and there’s secretly a close bond between them. Also, I don’t think anyone else in the universe could put up with all the shit Sherlock does.

9. Chewbacca (Star Wars Episode III, IV, V, and VI)

"Rrrrrrrrrrahalskjdg;lkhgelkhbea;lkj" 

It was between Chewy or R2-D2, but I had to go with the Walking Carpet himself in the end. Chewbacca is Han Solo’s literal wingman and has helped him get out of several sticky situations throughout the original trilogy. He’s extremely loyal to Solo and goes to the extent of being Jabbba The Hut’s “prisoner” in order to get Solo’s frozen ass back! Also, who doesn’t love the wookie roar!? 

8. Q (James Bond Series)

Bond: “They always said the pen was mightier than the sword.”

Q: “Thanks to me they were right!”

Sure James Bond has saved the world like what? Thirty times? Consider this for a moment: how successful would Bond be without the help of Q and all of his crazy gadgets? The leader of Q Branch has been giving Bond countless tools to help him in his mission to stop threats to the world we live in. Countless actors have played him over the years, but regardless the actor, Q has always been Bond’s biggest asset.

7. Alfred (Christopher Nolan Batman Series)

Bruce Wayne: “People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?”

Alfred Pennyworth: “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”

I had to specify which Alfred I was referring to because I haven’t seen many of the old Batman movies, and Michael Caine plays the part so well. Caine’s Alfred is the perfect back up to Bruce Wayne. There’s a great bond between the two characters and Alfred always knows what to say to Bruce whenever he needs guidance. He’s also not afraid to tell Bruce when he’s in the wrong. Also, how can you forget Alfred’s tearful scene at the end of The Dark Knight Rises? That’s the sign of a true sidekick.

6. Dug (Up)

"I have just met you, and I LOVE you!"

Ahh Man’s Best Friend, always reliable. No dog is quite as loyal or lovable as Dug. Although initially enemy to Carl Fredricksen and Russel, Dug was sent by his master to acquire “The Bird” aka Kevin and take it as his prisoner. He initially finds Carl, Russel, and Kevin and follows them so he can take Kevin as his prisoner. As the story goes on though, Dug realizes who he should truly be loyal to and stands up to the other dogs that bullied him. He saves Carl, Russel, and Kevin’s lives several times throughout the movie! Also, he is undeniably hilarious and adorable. If Dug got his own movie, I’m pretty sure everyone in the universe would see it. 

5. Genie (Aladdin) 

"You ain’t never had a friend like me!" 

As great as Dug is, the ultimate Disney sidekick belongs to none other than the all powerful Genie! Hands down one of the funniest characters Disney has ever written thanks to Robin Williams’ wild brand of comedy, Genie is one of the biggest reasons why the film Aladdin was so successful. Genie makes all of Aladdin’s wishes come true throughout the film and even breaks his genie code to save Al’s life. Sure he used one of Aladdin’s wishes, but he decided to save his friend on his own free will! Unquestionably hilarious and a real lifesaver (GET IT!?), Genie is the best Disney sidekick.

4. Spock (Star Trek Series)

"If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." 

Both Leonard Nimoy Spock and Zachary Quinto Spock give stellar performances (again with the puns), but in every version, Spock is the ultimate back up to ol’ James Tiberius Kirk! Kirk is ambitious, leaps before he thinks, and is always raring for a fight. Spock is literally the exact opposite, and that in no way is a bad thing. Putting the two together makes for a nearly unstoppable team that CAN boldly go where no man has gone before. 

3. Ron & Hermione (Harry Potter Series) 

Hermione: We can’t just stand here. Who’s got an idea?

Ron: Don’t ask us. You’re the brilliant one!

Yes I’m putting two people together for one spot, but it’s only because each person of these two are equally important. If you read the books or saw the movies, then you have to know that if Ron and Hermione weren’t around, poor Harry Potter would be absolutely screwed. Yes he’s ridiculously lucky at times, but that only gets you so far. Ron’s courage and Hermione’s smarts got Harry through so many obstacles and are responsible for why the series is so damn long! 

2. Donkey (Shrek)

Shrek: WHY are you following me? 

Donkey: Oh, I’ll tell you why. ’Cause I’m all alone / There’s no one here beside me / My problems have all gone / There’s no one to deride me! / But ya gotta have friends… 

Shrek: STOP SINGING! Well, it’s no wonder you don’t have any friends! 

Donkey: Wow! Only a TRUE friend would be that cruelly honest! 

Shrek is one of my all time favorite movies, and was one of the first movies I remembered word for word as a child. Donkey was always one of my favorite characters in the Shrek movies. He was (dare I make one more pun) stubborn as a mule, sang at random, could fight almost as well as Shrek, AND he had a dragon wife. But what puts Donkey so high on the list of sidekicks for me is his complete and total acceptance of Shrek. From the moment the two meet, Donkey considers Shrek his friend regardless of how much Shrek pushed away. Donkey never thought Shrek was scary unlike the others and saw the good in him. That’s why this sappy guy loves Donkey!!

BUT THERE IS ONE WHO IS GREATER.

1. Samwise Gamgee (Lord Of The Rings Trilogy)

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

One Sidekick to Rule Them All, Sam is literally the best friend that anyone can ask for. He dropped everything in The Shire and traveled across Middle Earth to help his friend bear his burden. He tolerated all the harshness both Frodo and Gollum threw at him because he knew what was at stake. Lets also not forget him going full badass mode against Shelob when Frodo was totally screwed? HE PHYSICALLY CARRIED FRODO UP MOUNT DOOM! There are so many points throughout Lord Of The Rings that Sam should’ve and could’ve given up and gone home, but he kept on keeping on! You know why? Because he’s the best sidekick ever. 

New Music Tuesday!!!

"The Devil In I" - Slipknot

A day late I know, but bear with me people…

I can’t begin to say how glad I am to have Slipknot back!! Most times whenever bands go off  the grid for long periods of time they end up returning a shell of their former self and their new music sounds terrible. Not Slipknot though. They’re back and they are just as amazing as they always have been!! 

Slipknot’s new material has had the recipe for failure: Jordison was kicked out as drummer of the band and Paul Gray passed away years ago. How could Slipknot return to their former glory? Well, by acting like nothing has changed of course! Taylor’s vocals are sharp as ever and he’s written a lyrically dark song that rivals those on the Iowa album. Slipknot’s mystery drummer has taken up the role nicely for the album and dishes out some impressive drum work. 

The opening of The Devil In I pumps you up so much it carries the adrenaline all the way to the chorus which is so catchy you can’t help but sing along. 

The Negative One was an extremely successful song too making Slipknot 2 for 2 with hits for their upcoming album! Hopefully the rest of “.5 The Gray Chapter” is as heavy and dark as this! I have faith.

9/10

Emmy Predictions 2014: Who I Want To Win!

This is hands down the most excited I’ve been for the Emmys in years!! So many of my favorite shows are nominated: Breaking Bad, House Of Cards, Game Of Thrones, American Horror Story, True Detective Big Bang Theory, and a new favorite Orange Is The New Black are all in the running to take home awards tonight! Here are my hopefuls!! 

Best Drama Series: Breaking Bad

Who I’d Be OK With Winning: House Of Cards, Game Of Thrones, True Detective

This show is my absolute obsession and it finally won this award last year. The last eight episodes of the show were arguably the best of the series so if Breaking Bad doesn’t win I’ll be shocked. 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama: Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards)

Who I’d Be OK With Winning: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)

The competition is vicious this year, but as much as I love Cranston as Walter White, he’s won this award enough. Matthew McConaughey has a really good chance of winning too, but no character was as delightfully terrifying as Frank Underwood was this year. If you can get me to root for a character so evil, you’ve got my vote.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama: Robin Wright (House Of Cards)

Admittedly I’ve never watched the other shows so I’m a little bias, but Wright won last year and her performance in the current season has surpassed it on all levels! The competition would have to be mind blowing to win.

Supporting Actor: Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)

Who I’d Be OK With Winning: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Before you present any kind of counter argument, did you see his performance during his trial this season? Did you see him in The Children? If you did, then there really isn’t any argument to present. That being said, I’m always rooting for Pinkman. Yeah! Emmys Bitch!

Supporting Actress: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)

Who I’d Be OK With Winning: Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones) 

This is another one of those nominees where they left me speechless. Simply watch Ozymandias and get to the point where she fights Walt in the house and is left screaming in the street covered in blood. If you don’t get chills you need to be checked for medical issues. That being said, Lena Headey played the role of extremely stressed mom well. I’d be surprised if she won, but I wouldn’t be mad if she did too.

Outstanding Directing: Chapter 14 (House Of Cards)

Which I’d Be OK With Winning: Felina (Breaking Bad), Watchers Of The Wall (Game Of Thrones), Who Goes There (True Detective)

There are plenty of solid nominees this year for this category, but of all the episodes present I don’t think any were as brilliantly directed as Chapter 14 of House Of Cards. The pure fear throughout the episode all the way up to the insanely shocking ending, but the best part of the episode came with the very end with Frank finally welcoming back the fans. 

Outstanding Writing: Ozymandias (Breaking Bad)

Which I’d Be OK With Winning: Any of them

Ozymandias was the best hour of television that I have ever seen. I had never felt so emotionally drained from an episode until that episode came out. That being said, all the nominees are absolutely phenomenal so if any of the others win, I’ll be somewhat surprised but not disappointed. This is the one category that I think could go any way. 2014 was just that good of a year.

I’m totally out of time the show is about to start so here are my guesses for the other categories

Comedy Series: Louie

Lead Actor In A Comedy: Louie CK

Lead Actress In A Comedy: Julie Louise Dreyfuss (I want Schilling to win)

Supporting Actor: Andy Braugher (I don’t watch any nominees)

Supporting Actress: Kate Mulgrew 

Directing: Lesbian Request Denied (Orange Is The New Black)

Writing: I Wasn’t Writing (Orange Is The New Black)

Best Miniseries: Fargo

Best Miniseries Actor: Martin Freeman

Best Miniseries Actress: Jessica Lange

Supporting Actor: Alfred Molina (why not)

Supporting Actress: Kathy Bates (she’s fierce)

Directing: The Crocodile’s Dilemma (never watched any)

Writing: His Last Vow (again, total guess)

The New Leaf Diaries - 8/23/14

Date: August 23, 2014

Time: 11:07am

Dear Diary,

Today was an extremely eventful day! Probably the most eventful so far. The day began with Westeros holding a ceremony for the ever so glorious completion of the new fountain!!! With a project completed, I’ve already begun a fundraiser to build something called a Reset Center. What it does I’m not sure, but it sounded a lot more useful than the other projects that could’ve been considered. It costs an astronomical 368,000 bells to build so the thing had better be worth it. 

I had two particularly amusing interactions with citizens today. For example, Derwin is really getting into the whole “being a covert Hydra agent.” as you can see below.

Also I found an item laying on the ground that someone dropped so I ran around Westeros trying to find the rightful owner. I went through everyone, but nobody claimed it as their own. It took over an hour, but apparently I had forgotten to ask Amelia the Eagle if she had lost it. It turned out she had, and the item in question was… well I’ll let you decide how much to judge her.

After collecting bells to put towards the incoming Reset Center, I finally got my first visitor from one of my real world friends Joe! FINALLY I COULD GET MORE FRUIT VARIETY!!! I went to the train station and Porter gave me a ride to Joe’s town Nephilim… because that’s a pleasant name.

After he and I exchanged various gifts, I ran around Nephilim to meet his villagers. I met characters like Kiki the Cat, Rod the Mouse, and Rasher the Pig. The characters in Joe’s town have an incredibly different personality and vibe compared to mine. It’s crazy to think how two people that own the same game can have two completely different games. But that’s what makes Animal Crossing New Leaf so amazingly addicting. Also, Joe doesn’t know this but I dug up three of his fossils and took them back to Westeros with me… tee hee.

After messing around with the people of Nephilim, Joe and I decided to go to Westeros where he could enjoy the pleasantries my town had to offer. While he roamed, I planted the new fruit he gave me and set up the new cactus he got me. Joe then came to visit and we had cuddles because you know, that’s what bros do.

We then decided to end our time together with a trip to The Island. While at the Island we continued our genocide on balloons, scavenged for furniture, and even went deep sea crab hunting! Joe then raped The Island for all the fruit it was worth then we were on our way home, but not without first hearing another hilarious song by Kapp’n! 

Joe then headed back home to Nephilim to do God knows what leaving Dids all alone. But as Kapp’n says…

Flashback Friday: Star Fox 64

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to post something every weekday. Not only have I wanted to post something every weekday, I wanted each day to have certain category. 

Monday: Meme Monday

Tuesday: New Music Tuesday

Wednesday: Web Video Wednesday

Thursday: (Top) Ten Thursday

But until today I haven’t found an idea for Friday that I’ve really liked. As you can tell by the title of this post, I’ve decided that Fridays will be Flashback Fridays where I bring back nostalgic bits of the past that people grew up with. Now bear with me, I am a 90’s kid so I apologize that almost all of the flashbacks will be from that decade. To start off this category I’m remembering one of my all time favorite video games both as a kid, and as an adult now: Star Fox 64.

Star Fox 64 came out in 1997 and I to this day remember my first experience playing it. It was Christmas morning and my brother and I got three games that year: Super Mario 64, Bomberman 64, and Star Fox 64. I remember playing the games in that order as well. My older brother was eight and I was six. My brother got to play all the games first because he was kind of a bully back then, but I remember thinking how fun Mario Kart 64 and Star Fox 64 looked. Bomberman 64 (though I now consider a great game) looked difficult as shit and my six year old brain didn’t know what was going on. 

Eventually my brother got bored of playing so I got to have my fun. Having just watched my brother play through the first three levels I already knew how to beat them. The first dozen times we played through the game, we ALWAYS lost Falco in the first level and we never knew about the second boss in Corneria. We always fought that ape and his giant walking machine that was one of the lamest bosses ever. 

"I’M GOING TO CRRRUSH YOU!!!"

The next big memory of the game that still resonates in my mind is the final encounter with Star Wolf. After beating the same exact path hundreds of times and fighting the fake Andross, we finally figured out by chance that the other planets on the map weren’t just there for show. As idiotic as that sounds now, this was huge for us because it made Star Fox exciting again! 

Until we got to Star Wolf at Venom.

To be blunt they bent us over and raped us good and hard endlessly. It was hair rippingly difficult and I remember it taking my brother and I countless attempts to beat them.

"Yes you did Pigma… you asshole."

Once we finally beat Star Wolf we thought we had the game beat. Pssh Andross? We beat his ass like 4000 times this’ll be easy. We shot him in the eyes a dozen times„ shot bombs in his mouth and he started falling apart. We THOUGHT we were facing robot Andross again.

Never had we been so wrong.

I’m sure I’m not alone whenever I say that Andross’ “true form” caused many hours of rage and anger for fellow 90’s kid gamers like myself. The concept of the boss is simple: shoot his eyeballs then shoot the (as we called it back then) green mushy thing at the bottom. Sounds easy enough, but the second you start shooting at him, HE CHASED YOU. Not only did he chase you, but that bastard could teleport too!! To make it even worse whenever he caught you, more often than not you’d lose one if not both of your wings to your Arwing. THIS meant you only had one puny laser to stop this behemoth of a final boss!!

"Laugh at my pun! Then I shall kill you."

I will always remember the day we beat Brain Andross. Me, my older brother, his friend, and my younger brother who was now 3 or 4 and old enough to appreciate the importance of that battle were in the basement playing. Brain Andross was defeated and we all cheered so loud my mom came down and yelled at us all! But the game wasn’t over yet, suddenly Fox’s father appeared and we were greeted with the final escape of the game which was nothing but intense. Emerging from the game TRULY victorious after years of playing felt absolutely phenomenal. 

I to this day love everything about Star Fox 64: the fact that you could create your own story each time was great, all the characters except Slippy were so cool, and the graphics back then were great! The multiplayer was fun too, and over the years I’ve become pretty skilled at the game. I’ve held the highest score in the story mode in my fraternity since I played it sophomore year. 

The game is still pretty huge, it’s considered one of the best Nintendo 64 games and it even got a remake when the Nintendo 3DS came out. Phrases like “Do A Barrel Roll” and “Can’t Let You Do That Star Fox” are now famous memes on the internet! If that doesn’t speak for the game’s popularity, I don’t know what does.

Star Fox 64 will always hold a special place in my heart for being not only a big part of my childhood, but for also being one of my all time favorite games! 

The New Leaf Diaries - 8/22/14

Date: August 22, 2014

Time: 10:30am

Dear Diary,

The gods of Animal Crossing blessed Westeros with a glorious rainbow today! The weather phenomenons the game randomly has makes each day a little bit more exciting. It was a glorious day of harvest as well! Westeros now grows four different fruit: cherries, lemons, lycees, and coconuts! Soon the darians will be on the way meaning even more bells for me!!

I spent my day fishing, bug catching, and fruit picking at both The Island and Westeros, but I did get to interact with some of the people of Westeros too and I had one particularly hilarious chat with Derwin the Duck. We now have a brilliant new code phrase!!

Cut off one head, two more return in its place. 

After gaining an impressive amount of bells I was finally able to fully pay off for the new fountain Westeros has been planning!! Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up to the completion of my first completed public project!! 

PS: Kapp’n is still hilarious.

The New Leaf Diaries - 8/21/14

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Date: August 21, 2014

Time: Ass Crack Of Dawn

Dear Diary,

I’m typing this entry a day late, it was a busy day but I obviously made some time to make sure Westeros didn’t fall into a pit of darkness.Besides doing the usual bell gathering, mingling with townfolk, and paying off my public fountain project, nothing exciting happened really.

That is, besides the character I stumbled upon during the day and night.

While I was fishing on the beach, I found what appeared to be a sailor washed up on the beach. At first I was confused by him, interacting with the sailor in anyway had no effect other than the hilarious things he stated. Eventually as the day went on I looked up online as to how to get him to awaken. Hilariously enough all you had to do was talk to him repeatedly in a quick fashion. He awoke and introduced himself as Gulliver and said that he fell overboard on a boat. He couldn’t remember where he was going though and I had to tell him where by using the vague things he remembered about the country. It ended up that Gulliver was on his way back to Thailand. He said he’d mail me a reward when he got there.

Other than that, nothing really noteworthy happened so here are a bunch of snapshots of the shit Gulliver says. He definitely gives Kapp’n a run for his money when it comes to Favorite New Leaf Character!

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Ten Awesome Songs With A Message

Music is one of the most popular forms of expression, it conveys emotions like anger, happiness, and sadness. It can be a very active form of protest as well, but almost all music is written to send out a message. That’s what this list is for: to highlight some of the best songs that convey a message effectively! This isn’t my definitive top ten, this is merely a list of ten songs that effectively get their point across to their listeners while also staying true to the band’s style! Enjoy!

#10

Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden

What better way to start off the list than with some good old fashioned American guilt!? Run To The Hills is about how Native Americans lost their land to invaders that slaughtered, imprisoned, and raped natives. All the natives could do was “run for their lives.” It’s a very effective reminder to its listeners as to how America got what is now known as the “Land Of The Free and Home Of The Brave.”

Ten Awesome Songs With A Message

#9

B.Y.O.B - System Of A Down

There aren’t many bands that voice their opinions quite as well as System Of A Down does. B.Y.O.B is one of the many classics the band has released over the years and questions why the common people fight for their countries and for their countries while all these leaders do is lie and live with their wealth. Back in the day, leaders fought in wars alongside their people so… what happened to change it to the way it is now? Well that’s the point of the song I suppose. 

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