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Lego's Stance on Moral Issues


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#26 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 08:11 PM, said:

Sex just happened to be one of those "acts" that several geisha took part in.
Not even. :/

Geisha were merely performers, but never prostitutes. The Memoirs of a Geisha movie even brings out that misconception with the whole "eel and cave" crap, which is was never true. But it did highlight the fact that during WWII, prostitutes did try to look like geisha, but never were geisha.

The only sexual thing they could be accused of would be mild flirting. After all, they did dance and sing for drunk businessmen.

-Omi

Edited by Omicron, 09 May 2012 - 08:18 PM.

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#27 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 08:17 PM, said:

Not even. :/

Geisha were merely performers, but never prostitutes. The Memoirs of a Geisha movie even brings out that misconception with the whole "eel and cave" crap, which is was never true. But it did highlight the fact that during WWII, prostitutes did try to look like geisha, but never were geisha.

The only sexual thing they could be accused of would be mild flirting. After all, they did dance and sing for drunk businessmen.

-Omi

Well, I don't know much about Japanese culture, just the things I research. According to Dictionary.com:

Geisha, n. a Japanese woman trained as a professional singer, dancer, and companion for men.

Either way, the little girl shouldn't be thought of as a prostitute in terms of what Lego was attempting to produce.

#28 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:25 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

Well, I don't know much about Japanese culture, just the things I research. According to Dictionary.com:

Geisha, n. a Japanese woman trained as a professional singer, dancer, and companion for men.

Either way, the little girl shouldn't be thought of as a prostitute in terms of what Lego was attempting to produce.
Companion moreso in terms of hanging with the guy.

I guess the kinda correct term would be escort, but not the sexual connotation of that word. Geisha can accompany you to theaters, restuarants, sporting events, etc. They are just for entertainment.

It's a slippery slope, and most people often do confuse them with being a common whore. :/

-Omi

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#29 gotoAndLego

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

Well, I don't know much about Japanese culture, just the things I research. According to Dictionary.com:

Geisha, n. a Japanese woman trained as a professional singer, dancer, and companion for men.

Either way, the little girl shouldn't be thought of as a prostitute in terms of what Lego was attempting to produce.

Where in that definition does it say prostitute? There are many non-sexual escorts in the world.
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#30 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 08:25 PM, said:

Companion moreso in terms of hanging with the guy.

I guess the kinda correct term would be escort, but not the sexual connotation of that word. Geisha can accompany you to theaters, restuarants, sporting events, etc. They are just for entertainment.

It's a slippery slope, and most people often do confuse them with being a common whore. :/

-Omi

Yeah, I can definitely see the correlation, but thank you for the information! At least I never made that mistake in the "real world," as I tend to not discuss Japanese culture, let alone geisha. :laugh:

View PostgotoAndLego, on 09 May 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

Where in that definition does it say prostitute? There are many non-sexual escorts in the world.

There are many sexual escorts in the world as well. "Companion for men" is questionable, perhaps. Also, another quote from dictionary.com regarding word history:

"1887, "Japanese girl whose profession is to sing and dance to entertain men;" hence, loosely, "prostitute," from Japanese, lit."

It goes on to say a little more, I still feel that this isn't relevant, as it still isn't terminologically referenced as a "geisha" by Lego.

Edited by LRDark, 09 May 2012 - 08:36 PM.


#31 daisy

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:40 PM

View Postsharky, on 09 May 2012 - 03:14 PM, said:

I thought the white face and red lips indicated geisha as well.  I may be totally wrong about that, but that's what I thought.

Yes but when did you first see a depiction of a Geisha - when you understood what they "really do" (edited to change that to "what you think they really do" as the above geisha conversation appeared while adding my response)or when you just thought they were some type of Japanese dancer.  Similarly americans frequently depict saloon girls doing the can-can in a family friendly way - when that definitely wasn't what they "really did" for a living.  And as a kid I saw geishas and saloon girls in a family friendly way. There are plenty of non TLG examples of the "lego veil" (or the Western theme park veil etc...) for these types of characters.

I think that is part of the key.  Most of the current TLG themes that are questionable have multiple versions of the source material. (With the possible exception of Indiana Jones - though since that only lasted 2 years, had a limited number of sets, and is no longer available from TLG - it may not have met current guidelines, and probably shouldn't be included in the arguement)

As far as the other themes, I doubt they would make batman sets if the only source material was the current Batman movie series. But "kid friendly" batman has been around a long time. Same with avengers.  I recall seeing the original Star wars in the theater. Based on it's release date I would have been at most 5 years old. The original movie was kid friendly, the newer ones were definitely darker. I haven't personally seen the rest of the source material for the other themes in question - but since they are based on children's books and amusement park rides they also meet the varied source material cconcept.

Varied source material provides opportunity for the "Lego Veil" as it has been referred to.  Single (and more obscure) source  material doesn't lend itself to that type of approach.

I don't think TLG has any reason to lie about the results of their review. C'mon if they said we won't make this because we don't think it will be profitable, don't you think people would argue that point too.

Edited by daisy, 09 May 2012 - 08:51 PM.


#32 Nagyzee

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:51 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 07:53 PM, said:

It is NOT a geisha to those of us who don't want it to be a geisha. Lego doesn't want it to be a geisha- they clearly say it is a Kimono Girl.

You are arguing against yourself here. By the same logic Lego could do any totally inappropripate figure / theme / whatever by simply renaming them.

I think if they thought that portraying a geisha didn't fit their brand image then they would have never done the Kimono Girl figure. Same with the Zombie, the vampires and so on.

#33 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:54 PM

View PostNagyzee, on 09 May 2012 - 08:51 PM, said:

You are arguing against yourself here. By the same logic Lego could do any totally inappropripate figure / theme / whatever by simply renaming them.

I think if they thought that portraying a geisha didn't fit their brand image then they would have never done the Kimono Girl figure. Same with the Zombie, the vampires and so on.

Why is a girl in a kimono inappropriate? It's an accurate (more or less) depiction of a traditional Japanese female. How else would it be?

#34 Nagyzee

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:08 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 08:54 PM, said:

Why is a girl in a kimono inappropriate? It's an accurate (more or less) depiction of a traditional Japanese female. How else would it be?

Okay, we can continue to play dumb here if you so wish. The reality however is that basically everyone (or at least lots of people) associates the Kimono Girl with a geisha. I'm sure TLG did take that into account when deciding to release the figure.

And where did I say that it's inappropriate? According to TLG a geisha-looking figure is appropriate enough to be released otherwise they wouldn't have released the Kimono Girl.

#35 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:16 PM

View PostNagyzee, on 09 May 2012 - 09:08 PM, said:

Okay, we can continue to play dumb here if you so wish. The reality however is that basically everyone (or at least lots of people) associates the Kimono Girl with a geisha. I'm sure TLG did take that into account when deciding to release the figure.

And where did I say that it's inappropriate? According to TLG a geisha-looking figure is appropriate enough to be released otherwise they wouldn't have released the Kimono Girl.

I really don't appreciate you stating that my opinion is "dumb." As I said- don't agree with me if you wish, but frankly, saying that everyone assumes someone in a kimono is a geisha, or a prostitute, is rather racist. Is everyone in a kiffeyah a terrorist? You're the one insinuating something naughty with a traditional Japanese garb.

My mistake; you didn't call anything inappropriate, but it seems like you feel that the kimono girl is inappropriate in the terms of Lego standards, when it's clearly not.

Edited by LRDark, 09 May 2012 - 09:16 PM.


#36 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:26 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 08:29 PM, said:

Yeah, I can definitely see the correlation, but thank you for the information! At least I never made that mistake in the "real world," as I tend to not discuss Japanese culture, let alone geisha. :laugh:



There are many sexual escorts in the world as well. "Companion for men" is questionable, perhaps. Also, another quote from dictionary.com regarding word history:

"1887, "Japanese girl whose profession is to sing and dance to entertain men;" hence, loosely, "prostitute," from Japanese, lit."

It goes on to say a little more, I still feel that this isn't relevant, as it still isn't terminologically referenced as a "geisha" by Lego.
Dictionaries always include misconceptions, and misusage of terms.

When I say companion for men, the examples I gave were example of what being a companion was.

Anyways geisha are not and never were prostitutes. They were paid to sing and dance, but not for sex.

And I'm sure Lego would have called the Kimono Girl a Geisha, but I'm sure they are just being clever with words, like calling the Native American/Indian figs Tribal Hunter and Tribal Chief, or the Statue of Liberty fig being called Lady Liberty, or Red Riding Hood being called Grandma Visitor.

-Omi

Edited by Omicron, 09 May 2012 - 09:27 PM.

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#37 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:39 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 09:26 PM, said:

Dictionaries always include misconceptions, and misusage of terms.

When I say companion for men, the examples I gave were example of what being a companion was.

Anyways geisha were are not and never were prostitutes. They were paid to sing and dance, but not for sex.

And I'm sure Lego would have called the Kimono Girl a Geisha, but I'm sure they are just being clever with words, like calling the Native American/Indian figs Tribal Hunter and Tribal Chief, or the Statue of Liberty fig being called Lady Liberty, or Red Riding Hood being called Grandma Visitor.

-Omi

I agree, but that's the "official" definition according to that. What else should we go by?

But it's not a geisha. She doesn't perform, officially. She writes haiku. Lego might've processed the thought of geisha, but that's not what she is officially. She wears a kimono. She has a white face. She writes haiku. She studies tradition. Everything else is speculation.

In addition, the Tribal Hunter is a hunter is most likely not called "Native American" due to the fact that not all Natives were hunters. It was giving him a profession, just as they did with the Chief. Lady Liberty is a common and correct name for the Statue of Liberty, so that bears no significance, as Lego didn't make up that name. The "Grandma Visitor" is rather odd, I agree, but I think it's to not step on anyone's toes giving it the iconic name of "Little Red Riding Hood," just as they did for "Sherlock Holmes," "Robin Hood," "Dracula," "Frankenstein," "Frankenstein's Monster," or "Neptune." I don't know the reasons for the odd names, but if someone would care to enlighten me, I would appreciate it.  :classic:

Edited by LRDark, 09 May 2012 - 09:44 PM.


#38 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 09:39 PM, said:

But it's not a geisha. She doesn't perform, officially. She rights haiku.
No, she is about Japanese tradition, as she writes haikus because as Lego puts it "The Kimono Girl’s most favorite tradition of all is haiku poetry. "

Meaning she has other traditional interests. And the implication is there.

And geisha keep tradition with their trade.

-Omi

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#39 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:51 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 09:48 PM, said:

No, she is about Japanese tradition, as she writes haikus because as Lego puts it "The Kimono Girl’s most favorite tradition of all is haiku poetry. "

Meaning she has other traditional interests. And the implication is there.

And geisha keep tradition with their trade.

-Omi

Again, you're making assumptions. There are plenty of other traditions that she could take part in. I'm not saying she definitively isn't a geisha; I'm just saying that any thought that she is such derives from the mind of the individual, not Lego themselves.

Also, to correct an earlier point of mine, the "Ocean King," apparently, was named "Neptune" in a Lego catalog, not that it really matters.

Edited by LRDark, 09 May 2012 - 09:52 PM.


#40 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:55 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 09:51 PM, said:

Again, you're making assumptions.
Just like you assumed that geisha sold themselves without actually looking into further and going by misconceptions?

Just sayin bro.

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#41 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:08 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 09:55 PM, said:

Just like you assumed that geisha sold themselves without actually looking into further and going by misconceptions?

Just sayin bro.

-Omi

I'm going by sources. I looked it up. I've researched before stating the information. You might not like what I found, but it is what I've found. How does this sound to you?

Mizuage: the act of a maiko (apprentice geisha) selling themselves to the highest bidder to mark their coming of age. The highest bidder had the right to deflower the maiko

While the maiko would believe that's not an act of prostitution, I think many of us would disagree.

As I said, I wasn't going to get into the argument because I honestly don't know a lot about it; all I was stating is that the Kimono Girl isn't the best choice for an argument against Lego's standard, as it isn't labeled as a geisha in any way, shape or form.

#42 lightningtiger

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:26 PM

Oh, man....research everyone, just a little research.

Right then the 'Kimono Girl', the outfit is called a Furisode......
(振袖): furisode literally translates as swinging sleeves—the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches (1,100 mm) in length. Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women, with colorful patterns that cover the entire garment. They are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.

The face painted white well......in the Edo Period (1603-1867) there basically only three colors for make-up: white for face powders, black for eyebrows and teeth and beni for lips. In the Edo period when women married they shave off their eyebrows.

No talk of geisha really, assume some are doing, gee I'm feeling like Yoda right now ! :laugh:

Lego has always had high morals, especially when it comes to modern warfare.....go figure their company was born out of the ashes of WWII it's a no-brain there.
With Cuusoo, I feel they are wanting fresh ideas....don't be all surprise that in two or three years we get a modular pub and a funky looking starship ? :wink:
Hence, no booze, no smokes, no sex, etc., child or more to the fact family friendly.....saves on legal costs too, offend no one hence no one gets dragged through the courts.
Just my two cents worth. :classic:

#43 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:34 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 10:08 PM, said:

Mizuage: the act of a maiko (apprentice geisha) selling themselves to the highest bidder to mark their coming of age. The highest bidder had the right to deflower the maiko

While the maiko would believe that's not an act of prostitution, I think many of us would disagree.
It's not.

Key words: "had the right". This is another thing that became misconstrued.

No different than a bachelor auction. Or escorting.

Also here is something to know:

Prostitution is illegal. Escort services are not. And mizuage isn't done anymore because of the connections you keep bringing up. And geisha are still around.

And I don't think Lego would care if they made a geisha fig or not. I, like every other person, consider the Kimono Girl a Geisha.

Quote

Right then the 'Kimono Girl', the outfit is called a Furisode......
(振袖): furisode literally translates as swinging sleeves—the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches (1,100 mm) in length. Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women, with colorful patterns that cover the entire garment. They are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.
I like how you told us that the Kimono Girl wears a kimono.

-Omi

Edited by Omicron, 09 May 2012 - 10:40 PM.

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#44 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 10:34 PM, said:

It's not.

Key words: "had the right". This is another thing that became misconstrued.

No different than a bachelor auction. Or escorting.

Also here is something to know:

Prostitution is illegal. Escort services are not. And mizuage isn't done anymore because of the connections you keep bringing up. And geisha are still around.

And I don't think Lego would care if they made a geisha fig or not. I, like every other person, consider the Kimono Girl a Geisha.


-Omi

And I, along with many others, still consider that prostitution, hence why I wasn't making an assumption. Especially when looked at:

Prostitute:a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.

To me, it's the exact same thing. Again, disagree if you wish, but I'm neither wrong nor making assumptions.

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 10:34 PM, said:


I like how you told us that the Kimono Girl wears a kimono.

-Omi

I believe he was stating that having a kimono means nothing about your profession.

Edited by LRDark, 09 May 2012 - 10:44 PM.


#45 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

To me, it's the exact same thing. Again, disagree if you wish, but I'm neither wrong nor making assumptions.
But it's not. It has nothing to do with opinion either.

-Omi

Edited by Omicron, 09 May 2012 - 10:51 PM.

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#46 LRDark

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:53 PM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 10:50 PM, said:

But it's not. It has nothing to do with opinion either.

-Omi

It has everything to do with opinion, as the "base" and "unworthiness" is defined by the individual. How is that not an opinion? Prostitution doesn't necessarily mean sexual activities, it just means performing acts which are deemed immoral by others. Geisha, to many, are prostitutes because of this.

#47 Omicron

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:58 PM

View PostLRDark, on 09 May 2012 - 10:53 PM, said:

Prostitution doesn't necessarily mean sexual activities,
ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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#48 Paul Boratko

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:56 PM

Speaking of Sexual Activities, I always chuckle when I go to shows and see these randomly placed in minifigs hands...

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Because I have yet to walk down past the Local Fire Brigade or Pet Shop here in my town and see someone standing outside of one of the shops holding a freaking Hot Dog 2 feet long with No Bun...
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#49 LRDark

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:05 AM

View PostOmicron, on 09 May 2012 - 10:58 PM, said:


This does not equate to my definition being incorrect. In fact, if you want to use Wikipedia...

  • "As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers (rather than prostitutes)..."
  • "Some [geisha] would have sex with their male customers, whereas others would entertain strictly with their art forms.[17] Prostitution was legal up until the 1900s, so it was practiced in many quarters throughout Japan."
  • "There is no doubt that coerced sex and bidding on a new geisha's virginity occurred in the period before WWII...
    —Liza Dalby, Do They or Don't They"
  • "Before the war, a maiko's virginity would be auctioned (the original "mizuage").[20][21] This was outlawed in 1959,[22] but has been reported as relatively normal in the 1990s,[23] and happening "on a limited basis" in 2001."
  • "In contrast, "machi geisha", who worked outside the licensed districts, often engaged in illegal prostitution."
  • "Mizuage (水揚げ) was a ceremony undergone by a maiko, where a man paid money for the privilege of having sex with the apprentice geisha"


#50 Omicron

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:12 AM

View PostLRDark, on 10 May 2012 - 12:05 AM, said:

This does not equate to my definition being incorrect. In fact, if you want to use Wikipedia...

  • "As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers (rather than prostitutes)..."
  • "Some [geisha] would have sex with their male customers, whereas others would entertain strictly with their art forms.[17] Prostitution was legal up until the 1900s, so it was practiced in many quarters throughout Japan."
  • "There is no doubt that coerced sex and bidding on a new geisha's virginity occurred in the period before WWII...
    —Liza Dalby, Do They or Don't They"
  • "Before the war, a maiko's virginity would be auctioned (the original "mizuage").[20][21] This was outlawed in 1959,[22] but has been reported as relatively normal in the 1990s,[23] and happening "on a limited basis" in 2001."
  • "In contrast, "machi geisha", who worked outside the licensed districts, often engaged in illegal prostitution."
  • "Mizuage (水揚げ) was a ceremony undergone by a maiko, where a man paid money for the privilege of having sex with the apprentice geisha"
"There are many misconceptions over what a geisha truly is because of the tumultuous past of artisans, prostitutes, and pleasure quarters in Japan. “The world of the geisha, the "flower and willow" world, are very separate societies that are shrouded in mystery. The myths that have been created by outsiders about the environment and the lifestyle of the geisha world have, for the most part, been able to grow unchecked. And because it is a very private, elite world, most people would be uncomfortable speaking about it”.

Prostitution was legal in Japan until 1958, which is another reason that people may be misinformed about geishas not offering sex to customers.[18] The two became especially confused after many of the professional prostitutes who catered to the occupying soldiers after World War II styled themselves as "geisha"; at a time when few true geisha were able to work, the counterfeit geisha usurped the meaning of the word in the eyes of many foreigners."

You've been usurped.

-Omi

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