The Sopranos Vs. The Wire

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Really, haven't all the polls just been leading up to this moment?

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 15 November 2008 04:57 (ten years ago) link

Really curious about the results of this one. I went for The Sopranos.

Jouster, Saturday, 15 November 2008 05:19 (ten years ago) link

The proper food picture for the wire would be lake trout

Albert Jeans (Hurting 2), Saturday, 15 November 2008 05:21 (ten years ago) link

Check your head Whiney we already did this poll: Who is HBO's KING DAVID?

Leee, Saturday, 15 November 2008 05:57 (ten years ago) link

Xpost. OTM!

Never got the appeal of the Sopranos. Never saw much behind it, really. The Wire is the best show I've ever and probably ever will see in my life, though.

Their time's limited, hard rocks, too (mehlt), Saturday, 15 November 2008 06:02 (ten years ago) link

I'm voting for the Sopranos because i think that the character development is more intense than any show in the history of television, and maybe only beats the The Wire in that because it doesn't have 7 billion characters to slog through in every ep

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 15 November 2008 06:08 (ten years ago) link

I don't get people who don't get The Sopranos.

Jouster, Saturday, 15 November 2008 06:57 (ten years ago) link

anyone who votes sopranos doesnt know shit about shit

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:00 (ten years ago) link

I watched the Sopranos in real time as it aired, with long gaps, while I watched five seasons of the Wire recently over a couple of months so they both feel totally different to me. Right now I have to say the Wire.

a better command of the mummy language (joygoat), Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:04 (ten years ago) link

most otm thing nabisco ever said was when he observed that half the time the sopranos was just spinning its wheels - lotta great moments, sure, but way too much filler

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:12 (ten years ago) link

Half the time? Get real. I disagree, regardless.

Jouster, Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:27 (ten years ago) link

sopranos is just better, sorry.

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:52 (ten years ago) link

both awesome but the wire at it's worst >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> sopranos at it's worst

eman, Saturday, 15 November 2008 08:10 (ten years ago) link

superfluous apostrophes amirite

eman, Saturday, 15 November 2008 08:12 (ten years ago) link

Score one for Pretty Tony

Peter "One Dart" Manley (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Saturday, 15 November 2008 11:12 (ten years ago) link

i've only seen season 3 and 4 of sopranos vs. all of the wire, so i'm saying the following with a v. limited perspective.

way too many characters on the sopranos just annoy me--tony (half of the time), janice, a.j., uncle junior, especially paulie (wtf?), others. i think i have a thing against italians and their speech patterns though, so whatever. i like what i've seen of the sopranos more than all the italian mob movies i've ever seen though, whatever that means. like, i kind of hate godfathers i and ii and goodfellas. boooooriiing.

the wire otoh has a v. special place in my heart. i think it's more overtly dramatic than the sopranos, with character development that leaps over the nuances of the sopranos, but it just feels more.. relevant? contracting jobs (who the fuck cares) vs. drug wars, etc. i don't know.

Matt P, Saturday, 15 November 2008 11:39 (ten years ago) link

oh boy, ix-nae on the 'speech patterns' comment above which sounds a little weird. i think what i'm getting at is in the italian-americans vs. native-americans on columbus day episode. i.e. i don't care about your bowling-shirt-wearing noveau-riche bada-bing jfk-loving blabla when there are sweeter things to talk about.

also i'd rather see d. west or l. reddick or lester or kima or omar or marlo or d'angelo get half-naked and laid over another half-bald fatass or nj guido scoring and then acting retarded. the combined IQs of characters on the wire >>>>>>>>>> combined IQs of characters on the sopranos.

i'm still going to watch all of the sopranos, because i like it a lot, so in re to my comments feel free to murder me and drop me into a quarry csi-style i mean pry open abandoned project apartments, leave me on the second floor, and re-staple the plywood with a nail gun you bought at home depot.

Matt P, Saturday, 15 November 2008 12:07 (ten years ago) link

lol

Matt P, Saturday, 15 November 2008 12:38 (ten years ago) link

i almost said goombah

Matt P, Saturday, 15 November 2008 12:41 (ten years ago) link

btw the pine barrens episode of sopranos may be equal to or better than anything on the wire, just for the photography.

Matt P, Saturday, 15 November 2008 12:49 (ten years ago) link

Any TV programme is going to suffer when compared to the Wire, frankly.

Chopper Aristotle (Matt DC), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:07 (ten years ago) link

and the sound design, which was written into the script!

i agree with matt's comment about the collective IQ on the wire - just about everyone on the sopranos has got almost curb your enthusiasm levels of tunnel-vision self-regard

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:14 (ten years ago) link

woops xpost

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:14 (ten years ago) link

wire pwns will pwn poll no competition

sopranos birthed the genre - dont say oz plz plz - but the wire perfected it w/season and series long narrative arcs

and if you vote sopraons yr a racist

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:15 (ten years ago) link

i only saw one episode of sopranos and had no interest in ever seeing it again

ketchup dood (harbl), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:19 (ten years ago) link

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:20 (ten years ago) link

i'm racist toward italians and new jersey though

ketchup dood (harbl), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:20 (ten years ago) link

The Sopranos had some truly great episodes. The first few seasons, in particular, were classic. But it also had so many dull and repetitive episodes and the quality went so far downhill, that it absolutely does not deserve to win. The sheer abundance of "Tony has a wacky dream" episodes, should automatically disqualify it.

The Wire, on the other hand, maybe had its ups and downs, but overall was consistently great from beginning to end.

I hope The Wire trounces The Sopranos.

Moodles, Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:37 (ten years ago) link

Maybe I should get a new login, cause I wanna vote for both shows. I love'em both equally. I'm a lover not a hater when it comes to these shows.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 15 November 2008 14:46 (ten years ago) link

btw the pine barrens episode of sopranos may be equal to or better than anything on the wire, just for the photography.

― Matt P, Saturday, November 15, 2008 7:49 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

OTM

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:33 (ten years ago) link

also for the snakes

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:38 (ten years ago) link

the last season of the wire was pretty awful

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:48 (ten years ago) link

just putting that out there

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:48 (ten years ago) link

btw the pine barrens episode of sopranos may be equal to or better than anything on the wire, just for the photography.

― Matt P, Saturday, November 15, 2008 12:49 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark

YES

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:51 (ten years ago) link

i mean, not objectively awful, but a pretty big drop-off.

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:52 (ten years ago) link

yeah i hated the last season for the most part but the rest of the seasons made up for it. now i can't actually remember if i've seen the sopranos because i don't know how i would have seen it. i just remember something about bears and i'm not sure when or where i watched it but i got bored.

ketchup dood (harbl), Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:55 (ten years ago) link

i didnt see the last season of the wire tbh, but i didnt see the last season of the sopranos either

sopranos is funnier, possibly more great moments (in a visceral sense) than in wire, but wire suits me more i guess. mainly the thing i never 'got' wrt the sopranos was how relatable the characters were supposed to be - like, that's supposed to be the strength of the show, right? how human and understandable and universal these subhuman monsters were? idk, i never felt any connection with any of them, and the only characters i had affection for were the funny ones (paulie, ralphie before he killed the stripper, furio before he turned into a puss). the incredible savagery of these ppl stuck with me a lot more than their humanity. that was probably the point to some degree, but it wasn't fun to watch imo~

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Saturday, 15 November 2008 15:57 (ten years ago) link

agreed on s5 wire - tho i thought the last few eps were good

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:07 (ten years ago) link

they werent supposed to be likeable! i mean, they were supposed to be charming on the surface, i guess, but they all plumbed the death.

i guess there's something i like more about the sopranos' storytelling, it was more ambitious, more theatrical in a way, than the wire, which was very good at being straight-up layered journalistic narrative but was maybe too unwavering in its tone, or something. and ya, i thought the plain-jane look it had, the unobtrusive cinematography, had something going for it, but i want more sometimes.

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:07 (ten years ago) link

also nobody on the wire can touch gandolfini, or falco for that matter. not even close.

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:08 (ten years ago) link

(again, that's a format thing, as none of the performers on the wire had nearly as much screen time due to its total ensemble-ness)

s1ocki, Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:09 (ten years ago) link

thats true ^ but the sopranos just got soooo redundant is the main problem i have

and the wire was so much greater in scope - portrait of an american city ffs!

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:12 (ten years ago) link

i guess there's something i like more about the sopranos' storytelling, it was more ambitious

― s1ocki, Saturday, November 15, 2008 11:07 AM (17 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

this is just completely insane

ketchup bro (ice cr?m), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:26 (ten years ago) link

xxxpost, yeah, but no one ever can anyone touch Omar.

Their time's limited, hard rocks, too (mehlt), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:29 (ten years ago) link

thats true ^ but the sopranos just got soooo redundant is the main problem i have

ugh yes, this really drove me nuts by season 2 - so many episodes felt like artificial ways of extending the show's lifespan, it made me feel like i was being fucked with - w/the wire every episode felt like it had a porpoise~

http://www.chinahearsay.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/Porpoise1.JPG

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:30 (ten years ago) link

the fact that the wire always seemed more ambitious to me was a big point in its favor, but i think i see where slocki's cummin from\

ಥ﹏ಥ (cankles), Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:33 (ten years ago) link

The Wire (the first season of the Sopranos is really the only one that to me competes at this level.) I am feeling lately that Mad Men is getting to this level of TV as well.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 15 November 2008 16:40 (ten years ago) link

Also, I think the time displacement that someone else mentioned upthread comes into play here -- (that the show happens in the early 2000s, but is based on events from at least 10 years earlier) ... like the part in Season 1 where Lester says, "c'mon, none of you have been in the military?" (when explaining the rope measuring trick) ... thinking that this could be an actual historical anecdote, with the historical Lester having been drafted and served in Vietnam, whereas TV Lester got me wondering, "I wonder how he ended up in the military? Did he enlist to get GI Bill college benefits?"

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:09 (one week ago) link

Isn't there a scene where Bunk explains to Omar why he became a cop? Also, a thing I've got from a lot of what I've read post-blm is that the black neighborhoods aren't anti-cop in theory. These areas are in fact under-policed and over-policed at the same time, and are in desperate need for help getting the rate of violence down.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:33 (one week ago) link

I think it's a complete fantasy to have a politically progressive show focused on 'the inherent power and violence of policing, and being a cop' since that is in fact not a politically progressive idea. Not really. Art that focuses on that tends to be more right wing, such as The Shield or Training Day. Power fantasies.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:36 (one week ago) link

Yeah that scene. Not all black ppl who live in black neighborhoods share the same opinions re cops

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:37 (one week ago) link

It strikes me more as a libertarian viewpoint than a progressive one.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:37 (one week ago) link

Uh it’s a marxist tenet?

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:38 (one week ago) link

Um, not in any Marx I've read? He envisioned a dictatorship of the proletariat. And of course, most socialist societies, or welfare state societies, are quite heavily policed.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:41 (one week ago) link

Althusser definitely focused on it — police as instruments of the repressive state apparatus.

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:43 (one week ago) link

Althusser had weird views on crime...

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:46 (one week ago) link

I mean ... most if not all of the left in the US sees police as inherently repressive, state sanctioned violence. ... Also most violence directed at people of color

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:49 (one week ago) link

Like ... idk look at the left’s criticism of Kamala Harris for example

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:51 (one week ago) link

Yeah, well, I guess at this point you should have figured out that I don't consider most the US left that progressive...

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:55 (one week ago) link

Jokes aside, I see Althusser in my mind more as a French structuralist like Foucault. And I've always seen that strain as more deconstructionist rather than marxist, located in a specific historical reality after the war in Algeria and may 68. The fight to weaken dominant strains of society more important than traditional 'marxist' battles.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 21:59 (one week ago) link

Pretty sure Marx would agree that in a capitalist state, the law enforcement arm of the state is structurally violent against the oppressed proletariat

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:04 (one week ago) link

Especially when they carry guns the purpose of which is to kill people!!

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:05 (one week ago) link

Yes, but that is a problem with the capitalist state. Which, I'd argue, David Simon and The Wire agrees with.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:08 (one week ago) link

But the show, in focusing on the exceptionalism of “the good ones” is problematic if you maintain that they see it that way

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:11 (one week ago) link

I think the closest it gets to making that criticism is when Prez decides not to be a cop anymore, and Colvin’s speech about “the hammer”

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:14 (one week ago) link

But The Wire might be the tv show in history that focuses the least on 'exceptionalism of “the good ones”'

Anyways, I found an article I read a few days ago, and Simon is quite explicitly anti-capitalist: https://archives.cjr.org/cover_story/secrets_of_the_city.php?page=all

“How can you report on a place like Baltimore, where one of every two black males is without work,” he said, “and in any way regard the economic structure as being viable?”
...
Simon believes that we’ve agreed as a country that our economy can thrive without 8 to 10 percent of the population. Thus, in his view, those without the education and skills to get by are inevitably going to turn to the only viable economy in their neighborhoods—the drug trade. To contain that problem and its attendant violence, he believes, the war on drugs has morphed into a war on the underclass. In both the viable and unviable America, Simon argues, capital is more valued than human lives, whether you’re an expendable tout in a drug organization, a cop trying to put good police work over statistics, a stevedore trying to pull in a full week of union wages, a teacher trying to educate rather than teach to the test, or, as the new season of The Wire argues, a reporter trying to capture the complexity of urban life rather than haul in sound bites.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:20 (one week ago) link

I am not arguing that he is pro-capitalist. However, there is a difference between the tout in the drug trade and the other examples cited: the tout is likely to end up in jail or get killed... sometimes by cops. The others are likely to be reduced to worse working conditions and potential homelessness... the kid in the drug trade can actually die.

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:27 (one week ago) link

And any of these characters (except for the cop) are way more likely to end up in jail or victims of police violence if they are not white

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:28 (one week ago) link

Yes the tout in the drug trade belongs to the 'unviable America'. I really don't get what you're arguing anymore.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:35 (one week ago) link

I am trying to figure out how you rationalize that being anti-cop in America is somehow not progressive or leftist

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:39 (one week ago) link

Closest it gets is probably when Prez refuses to co-operate with his old mates in the cops and give them some info on the kids. Still not *particularly* close.

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:46 (one week ago) link

Like there is that scene where the squad is comparing cops to drug crews, and comments that when the drug boy screws up, he can get killed, whereas the consequences for cops are way lighter ... it’s definitely gallows humor, kinda... but definitely played for laughs

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:49 (one week ago) link

It's also like, we're talking about a US tv show (not that uk or elsewhere ones are much, or any, better lol), and the fact that it is way way more sympatheitic to cops than is actually warranted by real life, is still consistent with it being a show that is way way more realistic about cops than virtually any other show :-(

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:50 (one week ago) link

Incessant pro-cop propaganda on tv shows over decades probably more insidious and damaging politically than fox news or uk tabloid press put together

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:53 (one week ago) link

films also i guess

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:53 (one week ago) link

pro cop propaganda in moving images

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:54 (one week ago) link

idk if this used to be a problem w zoetropes

Camille Paglia is on my partner's NextDoor (Bananaman Begins), Saturday, 12 October 2019 22:54 (one week ago) link

the fact that it is way way more sympatheitic to cops than is actually warranted by real life, is still consistent with it being a show that is way way more realistic about cops than virtually any other show :-(

yeah ... this got me thinking about one of the scenes that I thought was really funny, which is when Santangelo and a few other patrol cops round up a half dozen drug dealers and drop them off in the forest to walk back home ... they don't beat them, they don't shoot them, they don't arrest them ... and my enjoyment of that scene is from the fact that this wouldn't happen in real life. It's a mean trick, but it's not dehumanizing and violent. In real life, these guys would be beat, shot, or incarcerated.

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:10 (one week ago) link

I think this is partly why Season 3 is my favorite -- because it presents this alternate reality (or a glimpse of it)

sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:13 (one week ago) link

I am trying to figure out how you rationalize that being anti-cop in America is somehow not progressive or leftist

― sarahell, 13. oktober 2019 00:39 (fifty-eight minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Yeah, we're definitely going around in circles. The Wire is absolutely and by far the tv show ever that is most critical of American policing?

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:39 (one week ago) link

But it's true is not against the principles of solving murders and surveilling people.

Frederik B, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:41 (one week ago) link

Have you seen “When They See Us” ?

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:13 (one week ago) link

Or Seven Seconds?

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:16 (one week ago) link

The Wire is absolutely and by far the tv show ever that is most critical of American policing?

The Shield, which is basically premised around "what if the Rampart scandal never ended", would like a word

Simon H., Sunday, 13 October 2019 00:29 (one week ago) link

When They See Us, sure, but I'd still say five seasons of The Wire makes it a wider criticism.

The Shield, no way. Not only is it about a few bad cops, and has most of the other cops constantly trying to stop them, it also makes sure to show that the illegal actions of Vic Mackey might just be the only way to help with crime today. The only time an extra-legal way of policing actually seems to work on The Wire, it's when Bunny legalizes drugs in season 3.

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 11:29 (one week ago) link

yeah ... this got me thinking about one of the scenes that I thought was really funny, which is when Santangelo and a few other patrol cops round up a half dozen drug dealers and drop them off in the forest to walk back home ... they don't beat them, they don't shoot them, they don't arrest them ... and my enjoyment of that scene is from the fact that this wouldn't happen in real life. It's a mean trick, but it's not dehumanizing and violent. In real life, these guys would be beat, shot, or incarcerated.

― sarahell, Saturday, 12 October 2019 23:10 (yesterday) link

Given that the shows writers include ex police beat reporters and ex cops I think it’s not unlikely they plucked that incident from real life.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Sunday, 13 October 2019 12:59 (one week ago) link

there is no question this actually happened. i remember this happening in 2009 https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-xpm-2011-05-02-bs-md-ci-officer-misconduct-closings-20110502-story.html

Prosecutors said the officers were working overtime near the Gilmore Homes housing complex when they picked up Shawnquin Woodland early in the evening of May 4, 2009. The officers were accused of driving him to a dangerous corner in East Baltimore, and pushing him out of the van while saying, "Thanks for the information."

When the officers later returned to their patrol area, prosecutors say they picked up Michael Johnson Jr. and left him at Patapsco Valley State Park. It was raining, and a Howard County police officer who responded to the boy's call to 911 for help testified he found the teen with no shoes, socks or cellphone.

it is kind of funny (not in a haha way) how these and other incidents are portrayed as joeks for the most part, and the drug dealer characters just deal with it. in real life it's a lot sadder. this one happened post-wire, but it's reasonable to assume it was far from the first time this had happened. also the unit that did this (VCID) was repackaged as GTTF and many of its members are now in federal prison for robbing people.

forensic plumber (harbl), Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:14 (one week ago) link

these and other incidents are portrayed as joeks for the most part, and the drug dealer characters just deal with it.

yeah! you're right! And the casual portrayal and "acceptance" by the drug dealer characters contribute to us seeing it as funny and laughing, whereas, what if the dealers reacted differently, or the show portrayed how it really affected them

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:23 (one week ago) link

Isn't that what season four is? The dealers take it as part of the game (though not always, Bodie throws a punch in season 1. They do react), but then we see how it impacts kids

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 19:28 (one week ago) link

true -- we do see how it impacts kids -- but it's like, once someone is an adult? Like, think about how jail is depicted. In Season 1, you see it as threatening to Bodie (at that point, still a juvenile), and then Season 4, you see Namond scared of baby booking ... except for Omar almost getting shivved, you don't see a whole lot of trauma ... all the adult males are soldiers who only think about the day they get out. You have Avon playing playstation and getting KFC (?) delivered ... the guard that fucks with Weebay's porn and fish is about the most traumatic thing you see. Cutty seems pretty well adjusted psychologically after doing 15 years. ... Compare this to how prison is depicted in OZ.

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 19:56 (one week ago) link

I feel like you're missing the point of both The Wire and Oz with that comparison...

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 20:04 (one week ago) link

D'Angelo gets killed in prison as well, btw

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 20:07 (one week ago) link

As does a whole bunch of people when Avon taints the dope. But that isn't really the point. The point is, as you say, that the people we follow are soldiers, who are protected inside. The whole point of Emerald City is that there is no one dominant faction, making them all fight for power all the time.

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 20:14 (one week ago) link

I'm sorry for being a dick about this, btw. I get way too excited when I watch The Wire. On penultimate episode, so good. MY NAME IS MY NAME!

Frederik B, Sunday, 13 October 2019 20:34 (one week ago) link

Uh dude, not to put too fine a point on it, but would you just stop being condescending.

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 21:27 (one week ago) link

that's a very big ask!

calzino, Sunday, 13 October 2019 21:31 (one week ago) link

Like think about all the issues the inmates in OZ had over the course of the show (outside of the factional power struggle and violence), what of this do we see in the Wire?

sarahell, Sunday, 13 October 2019 21:34 (one week ago) link


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