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Rant: This trendy little SUV hysteria is hypocritical

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
suvs

All points well taken. I'm not a fan of SUVs or pickups that are expensive toys. They fall into my definition of conspicuous consumption whith which I am philisophically opposed. One thing that hasn't been mentioned (unless I missed it which is entirely possible) is I've read that most of the energy, resources and evnironmental degradation consumed by automobiles is in their manufacture. It follows then that the bigger the rig the more use and degradation of the resources. I like the European approach to require or at least facilitate the total recycling of junk autos.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
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31
One of the local tree hugging organizations did a survey of MLA's last year for best and worst cars driven (fuel milage).

http://www.nbenrenb.elements.nb.ca/environews files/media/mediaarchives/02/dec/shedrivesasuvbaby.htm

It turns out that the minister of environment and minister of transportation drove the worst vehicles (expeditions)

the minister of environment justified it by saying that when she was at work she drove a hybrid, plus the road she had to drive was really bad and not really safe in teh winter. Made her constitutents really happy to know that she needed a gas guzzler because she could not get money for a new road. Guess that is why she got defeated.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,545
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25
jordanb said:
The thing about SUVs is that the only real reason why people buy them is to be seen driving them (soccer moms who don't want to "be the sort of person who drives a minivan," for instance). There exists a more practical vehicle for anything someone needs to do, so they're nothing but a status symbol.

Not only are SUVs just status symbols, but they're also dangerous to everyone else on the road. That's a sure recipie for rightous contempt.

So my mom really didn't buy that SUV because she wanted something with 4-wheel drive for the Wisconsin winters?!?

I will agree that some people may buy them as status symbols, look at the NBA. Every rookie runs out and buys an Escalade or a Navagator when they sign their first contract. Although most of them need a vehicle of that size to transport their entorage.

There are several reasons a person would buy an SUV that have nothing to do with status:

-Safety
-4-wheel drive (a big reason around these parts)
-Towing ability - would you tow a boat with a Civic?
-Passenger capacity - Ever try to fit four adults in a small econo-box car?
-Storage capacity
-Comfort
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,832
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25
Yes, we’ve all seen the glamour boys and rednecks in giant suvs weaving in and out of lanes at 90 mph. But these jerks drive trucks and little sports cars too. They’re just more noticeable (and can do more damage) in large suvs. To say all suv drivers fit a certain psychological profile is just plain stupid. Next time your on the road look at the percentage of suvs – does half the population of Denver fit this profile?

We may very well get a smaller suv (or a minivan) within the next few years. We will do the research, look at safety and fuel economy and not care about what people think about our decision. Smaller suvs offer fuel efficiency comprable to many sedans, 4wd, more room.

Get a map of the US and Canada and most of what you see experiences real winter. After sliding on ice my whole life (including into a police car) I sure would like 4wd for once. The points the anti-suv movement makes are relevant only to certain larger models and certain owners who are blissfully unaware that they don’t need them. Manufacturers are designing more and more crossovers to fill the gap between family sedan and gas guzzling monster so this issue will have less relevance as time goes on.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,545
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25
People say that SUV drivers are jerks who drive like maniacs. I have rarely seen that. Seems to me that around here the biggest jerks drive BMWs, followed by people who have watched "The Fast and the Furious" too many times with their tricked-out imports like Honda Civics and Acura Integras
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,589
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34
Repo Man said:
Seems to me that around here the biggest jerks drive BMWs, followed by people who have watched "The Fast and the Furious" too many times with their tricked-out imports like Honda Civics and Acura Integras

Like this?
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Seabishop said:

Get a map of the US and Canada and most of what you see experiences real winter. After sliding on ice my whole life (including into a police car) I sure would like 4wd for once. The points the anti-suv movement makes are relevant only to certain larger models and certain owners who are blissfully unaware that they don’t need them. Manufacturers are designing more and more crossovers to fill the gap between family sedan and gas guzzling monster so this issue will have less relevance as time goes on.

yabbut, 4wd only helps you GO, not STOP. And stopping a multi-ton behemoth on slippery roads is not what I would call easy or desirable. As far as I'm concerned the best winter cars are the AWD wagons like Subies, Audis, Mercedes, Volvos, etc that have ABS. There is a disticnt differnece 'tween 4wd and AWD in terms of function as well. 4WD is designed more for off road use, where AWD used slipping clutches and such to get traction to the wheels that actually HAVE it. My 4WD Trooper works like shit on snowy, icy roads. There's no variable torque to get traction to a sticky wheel. They all just spin.
 

Mud Princess

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4,895
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27
martini said:
yabbut, 4wd only helps you GO, not STOP. And stopping a multi-ton behemoth on slippery roads is not what I would call easy or desirable. As far as I'm concerned the best winter cars are the AWD wagons like Subies, Audis, Mercedes, Volvos, etc that have ABS. There is a disticnt differnece 'tween 4wd and AWD in terms of function as well. 4WD is designed more for off road use, where AWD used slipping clutches and such to get traction to the wheels that actually HAVE it. My 4WD Trooper works like shit on snowy, icy roads. There's no variable torque to get traction to a sticky wheel. They all just spin.

Good point. but don't forget the obvious: GOOD TIRES. A few years back, I slid into a road sign with my AWD Subaru Forester as I headed home during a snowstorm. Needless to say, I bought new tires right after that. People don't realize that good tires can make most cars road-worthy in the winter.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,899
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25
Mud Princess said:
Good point. but don't forget the obvious: GOOD TIRES. A few years back, I slid into a road sign with my AWD Subaru Forester as I headed home during a snowstorm. Needless to say, I bought new tires right after that. People don't realize that good tires can make most cars road-worthy in the winter.

Good point.

I've stayed out of this thread so far because I'm not really a anti- SUV. I do believe, however, that fuel economy needs to be raised and that most people who drive them are really rationalizing why they bought them in the first place. It's time to be start being honest with ourselves.

Having owned one of the "worst" of SUVs, I know how resource wasteful and really unnecessary they really are. Although I took it off-road muddin' a few times a year and occasionally pulled heavy horse trailers (activities I could have easily have done with a truck) , I know the real reason I drove it was because I wanted it...It was a beautiful vehicle, it was rugged, I liked sitting up above everyone else, and I looked good driving it. I admit that playing to personal vanity was my main motivation in buying that vehicle, so I'm not buying these arguements that others purchase them for crash safety and better mobility in the snow.

The last stats I remember seeing stated that a person in an SUV was more likely than to be killed in an auto accident than most sedan drivers. And as for SUVs being better for driving in the snow...when we had that wonderful 20 inches of snow this winter, I remember seeing an awful lot of hulking SUV's laying in the ditches of those unscraped Pennsylvania roads as I whizzed by in my all-weather-tire equipped, front wheel drive Honda Accord.
 
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Runner

Cyburbian
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566
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Chains are the answer for traction.

But on to a different point. I just read this today in an article by Scott Burns in the Houston Chronicle business section:

a recent J.D. Power and Associates quality survey produced a hysterical finding. The Hummer2 had more new owner complaints than any other car. Why? The new owners were disappointed in the 6,400-pound vehicles low gas mileage, a fact that suggests Hummer owner IQs may be perilously close to their cars mileage"

I could not have made that up...

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/scottburns/columns/2003/stories/071303dnbusburns.bfaea.html
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,589
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34
biscuit said:
The last stats I remember seeing stated that a person in an SUV was more likely than to be killed in an auto accident than most sedan drivers.

What is the statistical basis for this statement? ;)

Perhaps in raw numbers that is true. Everything else being equal, perhaps the average SUV owner drive more than the the average sedan driver and thus has a higher probablity?

In number of vehicles on the road that may also be true, since SUVs now outnumber sedans in annual sales, but on a per 1,000 miles driven basis I doubt that stat would hold.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,266
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25
you are biking or walking everywhere, living in a well insulated hemp home with out AC, growing your own organic chow, and you never ever consume a good God damned drop of oil

My God, I think you have described "the dwelling place of the Deity and the joyful abode of the blessed"
 
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donk

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6,961
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31
Chains are the answer for traction.

Don't forget about studs, and we wonder why our roads are so bad around here when people drive with studs on their tires into the summer.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
So, Unless you are biking or walking everywhere, living in a well insulated hemp home with out AC, growing your own organic chow, and you never ever consume a good God damned drop of oil you're a hypocrite to bitch about SUVs. Sorry, but that is the way I see it.

I want to be around when this place catches fire.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,986
Points
31
Re: Re: Rant: This trendy little SUV hysteria is hypocritical

Tom R said:
So, Unless you are biking or walking everywhere, living in a well insulated hemp home with out AC, growing your own organic chow, and you never ever consume a good God damned drop of oil you're a hypocrite to bitch about SUVs. Sorry, but that is the way I see it.

I want to be around when this place catches fire.

Downwind? ;)
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,370
Points
29
I agree the BMWs and tricked out cars seem to be the worst drivers though in this area you learn to fear a minivan with a diplomatic tag driven by women from SE Asia. I donno what the driving laws are there (if there are many) or if women dont drive much but heck im a woman driver and they still scare the snot out of me. God forbid one gets an SUV

around these parts you see far more minivans and BMWs than SUVs-no where to park the big truck like things.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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PlannerGirl said:
though in this area you learn to fear a minivan with a diplomatic tag driven by women from SE Asia. I donno what the driving laws are there (if there are many) or if women dont drive much but heck im a woman driver and they still scare the snot out of me. God forbid one gets an SUV


LOL, reminds me of living in married housing in grad school. Asians learning to drive was quite entertaining at times (sorry asians). I was sitting in my lawn chair one day watching a guy try to park. He kept pulling in and backing out with the wheel in exactly the same position each time. I drank a six pack while he performed the same manuver over and over and over. His wife was standing beside the car saying who knows what in Chinese.

I'll tell the story of the Arab barbecue across the courtyard another time.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,159
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27
you are biking or walking everywhere, living in a well insulated hemp home with out AC, growing your own organic chow, and you never ever consume a good God damned drop of oil

The Irish one said:
My God, I think you have described "the dwelling place of the Deity and the joyful abode of the blessed"


If you build it, they will come. I will at least.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,846
Points
24
Runner said:
Chains are the answer for traction.

But on to a different point. I just read this today in an article by Scott Burns in the Houston Chronicle business section:

a recent J.D. Power and Associates quality survey produced a hysterical finding. The Hummer2 had more new owner complaints than any other car. Why? The new owners were disappointed in the 6,400-pound vehicles low gas mileage, a fact that suggests Hummer owner IQs may be perilously close to their cars mileage"

I could not have made that up...

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/scottburns/columns/2003/stories/071303dnbusburns.bfaea.html

Yes. I actually know some who got one a few months back. And now he never drives it because the gas mileage is too low. So instead he drives the old family minivan around (so much for being cool). Now he is trying to get his company to shrink wrap it for advertising and mitigate some of the monthly lease costs.

Before this car he had a Lexus. I know what he makes and know he is always borrowing advances on his paycheck (lets say I know his boss very well, and his boss drives a 10 year old car).

This is what I am talking about in my rants. If you can afford it, then more power too you (as long as you don’t hurt anyone else). But it is just so sad to see so many people sucked in to the lure of it all like fish to a shiny piece of metal. Low financing, O% down, and the tax incentives, just encourage people into this trap.

This guy has no savings a family of five, a few leased cars and a BIG mortgage. All I know is if something happens to him, our taxes will be the only thing to feed his family. They will loose it all.

Where are the priorities?

I understand they are safer, EG. I understand your argument. So what do you propose, that we all go out and buy a Suburban? Is that the answer? Unfortunately it might be.

And as far as my rants, I don’t hate all SUVs. Smaller Hondas, Jeeps, Saturns, and such are really just roomy cars. It is the H2 and Suburban and Tahoe that consume the gas and run over people in Buicks (like me). Well at least when I get run over I won t owe anyone money, it is paid in full.
 
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Greenescapist

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1,167
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24
Anyone ever see the Simpons episode where they introduce that show's SUV, the Canyonero. It's hilarious, they show this hulking piece of metal driving through the forest, smacking down every tree in its path.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,846
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Greenescapist said:
Anyone ever see the Simpons episode where they introduce that show's SUV, the Canyonero. It's hilarious, they show this hulking piece of metal driving through the forest, smacking down every tree in its path.

Yes. Funny. There is also a new commercial (I think for a candy bar) where I guy is driving his new SUV through the neighborhood. It puts me on the floor. He is bragging, “biggest one ever made, the whole thing is a phone, I’m on the phone right now, conference call, over seas…” then he crashes into his house. It is hysterical.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
How about the candy bar commercial (I'm not sure which type) with the huge Hummer-like SUV that knocks down the garage and ends with a line about a satisfying crunch? Loved it.
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
591
Points
17
Speaking of commercials some one told me about this one for KIA where all sorts of SUVs start out on a course and they drop out at different challenges eg the mercedes won't go through the mud puddle. In the end, only the KIA is left.

I guess I am anti-SUV but understand the arguments made here, and I would not harass anyone for choosing to drive an SUV, its just my personal choice. I don't think larger vehicles are as prevalent here, I could be wrong though. For me, I don't think I need something with the size and power of an SUV for the type of driving and travelling I do.

Like some others, I mourn the decline of the station wagon. I look at vehicles which I would consider instead - CRV, Forester... and think realy, there not that much more room than my Golf considering I can't stack stuff on top of my dog!
 

SkeLeton

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If you're gonna rant about bad drivers... don't blame the car the bad driver is using, they're gonna be bad drivers in any car... although many prefer either SUVs or sports cars and riced up cars.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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Messages
2,507
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35
SUVs promote aggresive driving. Couple that with the fact that half these people are on cell-phones, and you have a 5000 pound murder weapon. 90% of the time someone cuts me off, doesn't use turn signals, rides by bumper, etc, it's a Goddamn SUV.

They pullute for more than regular cars and are subject to lighter pullution standards than cars. This is utter bull****.

SUVs are prone to rollover accidents. Over 2000 people died in rollovers last year.

SUV owners are generally more self-centered than the average car owner. They worry about their own safety/image and little else. Auto manufacturers know this and target these people with slick ads.

And there's a little thing called "Bumper Height Differential" which basincally says that while the SUV owner is likely to survive unscathed in a head on collision, God help the 5-year old girl in a sedan who gets decapiated when one of these death-machines plows through the car's windshield. And to top it all off, these accidents are usually the fault of the SUV owners.
 

Zoning Goddess

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OK, I'm one of the "soccer moms" that have been getting bashed right and left here. I bought my first SUV several months ago. Love it! I can cram in all my travel/camping equipment, beach stuff can stay in the back all summer, no problem. Just returned from a road trip, lots of room for "stuff", kid can access it from the backseat, etc. I don't waste gas. This is the first car trip, other than local camping trips, I've taken in 9 years. I average less than 600 miles a month on my car. I only run errands in multiples, to save gas. I never wash my cars, to save water: I wait to drive thru FL thunderstorms, which are better than any car wash. I never talk on a cell phone while driving, and never apply make-up in the car. We are not all bad.
 

Runner

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17
Zoning Goddess,
Just promise us you will never be involved in an accident with a small car (AKA: tin box), even if it is the other drivers fault, and all will be forgiven ;)
 

Zoning Goddess

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Runner said:
Zoning Goddess,
Just promise us you will never be involved in an accident with a small car (AKA: tin box), even if it is the other drivers fault, and all will be forgiven ;)

Haha. I am a VERY conservative driver, I let others merge all the time, am considerate of idiots changing lanes at the last minute, etc. I got the SUV for convenience, not aggression. I will only hit a tin box if some Yankee from New Jersey flips me off, then he's dead meat...
 

Super Amputee Cat

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Zoning Goddess said:
We are not all bad.

I am not saying you are, but for every person like you there are probably two A-holes that will cut people off in traffic, not use turn signals, tailgate, fail to merge, speed, weave in and out of traffic, yada yada yada...all while yapping incessently on the cell-phone.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Super Amputee Cat said:
I am not saying you are, but for every person like you there are probably two A-holes that will cut people off in traffic, not use turn signals, tailgate, fail to merge, speed, weave in and out of traffic, yada yada yada...all while yapping incessently on the cell-phone.

Agreed. But now I have a big enuf vehicle to frustrate the a-holes! hehehe...
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Here is a picture of why I would never buy a GM SUV, at least not this model of Blazer.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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Super Amputee Cat said:
I am not saying you are, but for every person like you there are probably two A-holes that will cut people off in traffic, not use turn signals, tailgate, fail to merge, speed, weave in and out of traffic, yada yada yada...all while yapping incessently on the cell-phone.

It is the people that do this, not the vehicle. I see more erratic drivers in cars here in Utah than in SUV's or trucks, and believe me, there are alot of them here.
 

jordanb

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I got this quote from someone else, I thought it was pretty good:

[ SUV drivers are ] insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous
about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often
lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be
self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors
and communities.
-- Keith Bradsher reporting on SUV automakers' own market research
 

Nero

Member
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248
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10
Zoning Goddess

Nontheless SUVs waste gas, period. Just for our convenience of hauling our "stuff" around. If we paid the TRUE cost of gas we may think differently.... but hey were Americans, who cares what the rest of the world thinks! We'll just have a little war every few years to keep the oil coming, kiddyup cowboy!
 

Super Amputee Cat

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35
Planificador Urbano said:
Zoning Goddess

Nontheless SUVs waste gas, period. Just for our convenience of hauling our "stuff" around. If we paid the TRUE cost of gas we may think differently.... but hey were Americans, who cares what the rest of the world thinks! We'll just have a little war every few years to keep the oil coming, kiddyup cowboy!

Yup. If people realized how unbelievably cheap $1.50 to $1.75 for a gallon of gas is (historically) maybe they would shut up every time gas goes up a nickel. Even during the 1950s and 1960s, gas was closer to $2.00 - $2.25 (adjusted for inflation).

I have a Ford Escort. I wouldn't mind paying $2.00 to $2.50 a gallon if that means getting some of these SUVs off the road. I would actually save even more gas because the roads wouldn't be so clogged with these nasty things.
 

el Guapo

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mendelman said:
Here is a picture of why I would never buy a GM SUV, at least not this model of Blazer.

Notice how GM has cleverly tucked the driver out of the way in this accident, thus assuring the safety of all involved. We almost bought a Pontiac Montana minivan until we read www.crashtest.com. Holy cow what a deathtrap!
 

boiker

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3,887
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26
hate to beat a dead horse

Weblink

consumers are really at fault for inefficent vehicles as much as the corporations.

if the market demands more efficent vehicles... i mean the ENTIRE market.. not just to environmentalist or concernd citizenery this stuff (ford's poor engineering) can be avoided.
 

RealistPlnr

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
I, too, am sick and tired of the SUV hysteria among fellow planners who believe there is one single lifestyle for anyone who calls themselves a "planner". I have had fellow planners say things like "planners aren't really supposed to drive SUVs" or "what happens when your SUV hits my smaller car "(foreign car, that is, in one person's case who said this to me!). I thought planners are "supposed" to be open-minded, free-thinking, pro-choice (not the abortion kind, necessarily). Just because I choose to allocate my scarce resources towards an automobile that fits my lifestyle (Northeast weather, active lifestyle w/rear seats almost always down for use as a sort-of enclosed pick-up), some view me as less than a planner. Yet 2 planners I know who have said such things live in old, energy inefficient homes, have foreign cars (one of which is a convertible luxury vehicle costing $40,000+).

Should we ban tractor trailers, because if they hit my SUV I'm dead? Should be we ban all automobiles because if they hit a skateboarder, they're dead? Where does the illogic end??
 
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