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Poll

Moment Of The Week Time!

I wish I could eat cupcakes.
- 2 (4%)
Being hated because of what you are is still painful.
- 0 (0%)
It gives ALL of us hope that one day we will be fully accepted.
- 0 (0%)
We're still working on racism, sexism, homophobia....
- 0 (0%)
We are aware that "one day" may in fact be "another rung up the evolutionary ladder."
- 5 (10%)
Who knows what humanity will be like in 50 years?
- 1 (2%)
That is the beauty of being post-Singularity. We do not know!
- 1 (2%)
I hope when they finally invent hoverboards I'm not too old and decrepit to enjoy them.
- 4 (8%)
Momo, you're with me today. Marten, I have a special tast for you. (Huh?)
- 0 (0%)
Fresh crop of interns (including REDHEAD GIRL!)
- 2 (4%)
Tai is HIGH AS HELL right now.
- 3 (6%)
"Permission to get high as hell and go watch Adventure Time with Ms. Hubbert?"
- 10 (20%)
I'm, uh, I'm Marten and I guess I'll be... showing you around today?
- 1 (2%)
This is the front desk... a library computer...
- 1 (2%)
This is a bookshelf! (Is this some kind of weird hazing ritual?) (Shhh!)
- 4 (8%)
Redhead: "Um, we KNOW what a BOOKSHELF is. We're all graduate students."
- 2 (4%)
OH, uh, well I - I'm not really a LIBRARIAN. I - WHAT?
- 1 (2%)
I'm not a librarian! I just work here!
- 2 (4%)
Okay, this is DEFINITELY some sort of hazing ritual, and I do NOT appreciate it.
- 1 (2%)
Am I the one being hazed?
- 10 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 46


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Author Topic: WCDT: 2201-2205 (4-8 June 2012) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread  (Read 73599 times)

Is it cold in here?

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...the point is, she just automatically assumed she was being hazed because Marten's stammering all over the place and not really going into the process of working in a library.  So why exactly would she assume she was being hazed rather than, I don't know, ask Marten if he was just nervous for whatever reason or if he was also a recent hire?  She didn't bother to get info, she just jumped to conclusions and thought the worst (and in fairness, I did too). 

It may be an early indication of her life history that she went to a worst-case scenario.  Could also be a matter of each successive sentence adding to the pile of resentment that started when her boss said she was too stoned to do her orientation.

Asking Marten if he were nervous or something would have been way better! It would also be way above-average people skills, especially for someone that age.

I wonder if she's one of those people who thinks the world works logically and that things happen for reasons. It can take more than a few decades of life to get over that idea.

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My original statement had nothing to do with hating on women

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pwhodges

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While I disagree that she is a 'bitch' per se, I think such situations can be handled better.  I mean sure she knows what all of this stuff is, [...]

Um, surely you realise that my comment was not directed at people pointing out that the redhead was being aggressive in her response to Marten, but at the thoughtlessly sexist language that had been used in those instances to express the criticism of her?  OK, there are many worse expressions of sexism that still occur in much of society; but it is the continued acceptance of the simpler ones like those that we saw earlier that provides a toehold for the worse cases to continue - it's a case of starting as you mean to go on, so we try to reject prejudiced language as soon as it starts.  I am not supposing that there was any sexist intent in either of the posts; but language has a way of leading thoughts on.
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"This is a bookshelf". Ha-ha. This is the first time since the start of the comic where I've come to wonder if Marten might be, what's the nice way to put it? mentally challenged?
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Schmorgluck

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Panic makes anyone mentally challenged.
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cesariojpn

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"This is a bookshelf". Ha-ha. This is the first time since the start of the comic where I've come to wonder if Marten might be, what's the nice way to put it? mentally challenged?

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techkid

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I, for one, don't see anything wrong with what Ginger said. She reacted defensively, to be sure, but also assertively and politely. She didn't shriek like a banshee and beat Marten over the head with a broom. The only part you can see as being too intense is her 'WHAT?!', which I see as incredulity/shock rather than actual anger.  'and I do not appreciate it' strikes me as remarkably restrained and polite. Is it the emphatic use of capitalisation that some people are perceiving as 'bitchy'? Or is it her too-close close-up in panel 2?

For that matter, I think it's quite a sad state of affairs when your first reaction to an opinionated woman being assertive is to brand her a 'bitch'. I think we're all perfectly capable of describing someone's behaviour far more accurately (e.g: 'defensive, hostile, aggressive', what have you) without having to resort to gendered slurs.

Maybe some of us are forgetting that we're being sympathetic to Marten because we know him and his intentions, without considering the viewpoint of the girls. If some random 'librarian' tried to instruct me with:

"This is the front desk"
"Here we have a library computer"
"This is a bookshelf!"

You can bet I'd assume he/she was being condescending, and it wouldn't be too far of a leap to assume something like hazing was going on. Something's definitely off. Did Ginger leap to a conclusion? Yes. Would it be fair to expect her to give Marten the benefit of the doubt and assume that Marten merely doesn't know what he's doing? Not really, with the kind of bull he's (unintentionally) pulling.

Agreed. If any of us encountered anything like that (and without knowing their background as much as we do Marten's), anyone's first reaction would be "they must think I'm an idiot!" Could Ginger have reacted less harshly? Probably, but considering how some people would and have reacted to similar circumstances, I'd say Marten got off lightly (she didn't take the express to Expletive-ville, after all).

Marten's just going to have to get his shit together for round two, is all.
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Akima

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Redhead is a bitch, I can tell already.
My original statement had nothing to do with hating on women, so knock that crap off.  I would've said the exact same thing had it been a heterosexual Anglo-Saxon male.
Oh sure, I hear "heterosexual Anglo-Saxon males" being called "bitches" when they express their opinions all the time. :roll:
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Oh sure, I hear "heterosexual Anglo-Saxon males" being called "bitches" when they express their opinions all the time. :roll:

I have. Maybe its a cultural difference, but where I live, I've heard exactly that.

Also the whole "x needs to get laid", while perhaps seemingly recalls the days of belief in 'hysteria' I've heard referring to both women AND men who are acting really uptight. Hell, I've heard it used directed at me (a caucasian/native american mixed male) when I've gotten pissy over things. Its a sort of "Dude, you need to get the stress off" comment to a lot of people.

As for the comic itself, this is what we know that she knows about the situation:

She is a graduate student.
She knows that Marten has been thrown into training without any preparation or forewarning.

And she is DEFINITELY being aggressive. Its not the words, check out her body language. Panel 1: the Crossed arms and stance. Panel 4: She is WAAAY up into Marten's face. Dude, the only time anyone is that close in on my face they are either going to kiss me or are being incredibly aggressive. Invading people's personal space, ESPECIALLY when they are as obviously flustered as Marten is not cool.

Honestly, she shows an incredible amount of self-centered thought. She completely ignores the existing evidence, knowing Marten was thrown into this unprepared and without warning, Marten's stammering around stupidly, Marten's body language, and assumes that SHE Is a target. Self-centeredness is a somewhat shitty personality trait.

That being said, maybe she had a bad morning already. I mean, acting self-centered in ONE instance doesn't make you a bad person, but she isn't really getting off on a good foot here, and it has nothing to do with her gender, it has to do with her attitude.
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techkid

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I'm going to try and stop Flame War 3 before it begins...

Sorflakne: be careful with your words. This ain't how grown ups are supposed to behave, so don't antagonise the situation further.

Akima: Slips of the tongues happen, and it isn't something to excuse or just sweep under the carpet or whatever. pwhodges has reprimanded him for his poor use of the language. Don't antagonise the situation further, either.
Oh sure, I hear "heterosexual Anglo-Saxon males" being called "bitches" when they express their opinions all the time. :roll:
No... we call them "tossers".
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Tellusora

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I agree that Marten's flustered stammering makes it obvious that he's unprepared, but these people are operating under the reasonable assumption that Marten is a librarian, who has been entrusted the position by a senior ('You could use the extra responsibility', indicating that Tai thinks he's capable of handling it.)

Marten does nothing to halt that idea in its tracks, and continuing to spout inanities desperately then finally revealing that he's not actually qualified ('Aren't you more qualified' =/= I am unqualified) seems like a deliberate let-down. So yes, I can see how it can be construed of as a prank. And it doesn't have to personally malicious either, since this perceived 'hazing ritual' could be someone else's idea and put Marten up to it. In Ginger's eyes, it's not 'this librarian is the instigator of a hazing ritual and is deliberately mocking us', it's 'this person is complicit in a hazing ritual and we the interns are its victims'. The irresponsible mastermind could well be Tai, or anyone else. She doesn't seem to be personally offended by Marten.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect at least some modicum of competence and knowledge, even from an unprepared 'intern-trainer'. Surely Marten should have cleared the air before digging himself a hole. That is possibly the silliest training lesson I've ever seen.

About her posture: Yes, she's definitely invading his personal space in panel 4, and that's out of justified incredulity/anger/demand for answers. (WHY is someone who doesn't know what he's doing in charge of training us?)
Her posture in panel one is defensive, not aggressive. Crossed arms is a sign of being fed up and is a protective reaction. Only panel 4 is aggressive.

And yes, maybe she had a bad morning, or maybe just bad experiences overall. As others have said, it's possible that she's previously been the victim of bullying and reacts pre-emptively to potential threats. If this actually WERE a hazing ritual, and everyone involved acted exactly the way they do now (including flustered Marten), I think her reaction would be entirely appropriate. The only reason we're all up in arms is that we KNOW it's not hazing and Marten's not intentionally being condescending. Not everyone is capable of calmly absorbing all the available data, processing and analysing them, then producing the most carefully measured and diplomatic response.

 So while her reaction isn't ideal, it's relatively light. No one's swearing, yelling, getting physical (other than in-your-face in panel 3 - anyone else remember when that witch poked Penny with her cane and everyone got heated up?). The situation is tense, but not explosive. The worst it's gotten is the not unreasonable leap-to-conclusion, and a 3-second invasion of personal space. I think that's getting off pretty light.

What Marten needs to do now is explain the situation, as he should have done at the beginning before the drama could begin (and before it worsens).

PS: Good god. Look at this wall of text!
« Last Edit: 10 Jun 2012, 21:00 by Tellusora »
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Sorflakne

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I, for one, don't see anything wrong with what Ginger said. She reacted defensively, to be sure, but also assertively and politely.
Assertively?  Yes.  Politely?  No.

She accused Marten of hazing.  In today's world, what with the death of that college drummer and crackdowns on hazing around the country, that's not an accusation to be used lightly.  What if she had gone straight to the Dean with her accusation instead?  Marten would've been screwed.

Quote
Um, surely you realise that my comment was not directed at people pointing out that the redhead was being aggressive in her response to Marten, but at the thoughtlessly sexist language that had been used in those instances to express the criticism of her?
Two random thoughts:

1. Would the negative reaction to the post(s) calling Redhead a bitch have been as strong if Redhead were a male?
2. Would there have been a negative reaction if a female had made the exact same post?

Quote
For that matter, I think it's quite a sad state of affairs when your first reaction to an opinionated woman being assertive is to brand her a 'bitch'.
She accused Marten of hazing without fact-finding first.  See my previous post and the beginning of this post.

Quote
I think we're all perfectly capable of describing someone's behaviour far more accurately (e.g: 'defensive, hostile, aggressive', what have you) without having to resort to gendered slurs.
Again, without this current foresight, I would've used the term had it been a guy.

Quote
Oh sure, I hear "heterosexual Anglo-Saxon males" being called "bitches" when they express their opinions all the time.
I've been called a bitch a few times.  Last time it was actually a woman who said it.  Non-joking manner I might add.

Quote
As for the comic itself, this is what we know that she knows about the situation:

She is a graduate student.
She knows that Marten has been thrown into training without any preparation or forewarning.

And she is DEFINITELY being aggressive. Its not the words, check out her body language. Panel 1: the Crossed arms and stance. Panel 4: She is WAAAY up into Marten's face. Dude, the only time anyone is that close in on my face they are either going to kiss me or are being incredibly aggressive. Invading people's personal space, ESPECIALLY when they are as obviously flustered as Marten is not cool.

Honestly, she shows an incredible amount of self-centered thought. She completely ignores the existing evidence, knowing Marten was thrown into this unprepared and without warning, Marten's stammering around stupidly, Marten's body language, and assumes that SHE Is a target. Self-centeredness is a somewhat shitty personality trait.

That being said, maybe she had a bad morning already. I mean, acting self-centered in ONE instance doesn't make you a bad person, but she isn't really getting off on a good foot here, and it has nothing to do with her gender, it has to do with her attitude.
This.

Quote
Marten does nothing to halt that idea in its tracks, and continuing to spout inanities desperately then finally revealing that he's not actually qualified ('Aren't you more qualified' =/= I am unqualified) seems like a deliberate let-down. So yes, I can see how it can be construed of as a prank. And it doesn't have to personally malicious either, since this perceived 'hazing ritual' could be someone else's idea and put Marten up to it. In Ginger's eyes, it's not 'this librarian is the instigator of a hazing ritual and is deliberately mocking us', it's 'this person is complicit in a hazing ritual and we the interns are its victims'. The irresponsible mastermind could well be Tai, or anyone else. She doesn't seem to be personally offended by Marten.
So why didn't she just call out Tai in the beginning when Tai said in front of everyone, "I'm high as hell right now." and that she was going to be in the back watching cartoons?  I mean, does that sound like a competent boss to you?
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pwhodges

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1. Would the negative reaction to the post(s) calling Redhead a bitch have been as strong if Redhead were a male?

Perhaps.  It's not a usage I've come across, so I'm not sure.

Quote
2. Would there have been a negative reaction if a female had made the exact same post?

I have not considered your gender in this matter; only the words on the page.
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Schmorgluck

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PS: Good god. Look at this wall of text!
A pretty wall, if I may. It spares me the hassle of having to word my thoughts, by simply plusoneing* you.

What Marten needs to do now is explain the situation, as he should have done at the beginning before the drama could begin (and before it worsens).
Who knows? Maybe Ginger will propose a callback prank at Tai. That would be awesome. I mean, Marten is obviously being pranked, even though I haven't quite yet forfeited my initial idea that Tai is trying to expand his dating pool. Tai is prone to do shit like that. She's the kind of person who can be mildly malicious at times, like everyone can, but is able to bring out disastrous results just by being not quite crafty enough to foresee the actual result of her ploys. So maybe she's trying to help Marten, or maybe she's just having fun at his expense, or maybe both. No matter the answer, what she's doing is irresponsible. I like the character enough to give her the benefit of the doubt. But she deserves a callback nevermind her intent. A playful callback has my preference, but it's just me.
.
*I love making verbs up on the fly, it really is one of the best perks of the English language.
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cesariojpn

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Also, Jeph tweeted that Marten has slept with 3 people since the strip started. I can only remember Dora and Padma. Who am I forgetting??

This one. Yes, I am counting that.

Wait, when did Sweet-Tits bag Marten?
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Omega Entity

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That was the chick that asked Marten out (who he promptly informed he already had a girlfriend), and then ended up going out with Steve. I can't remember what her name was off the top of my head, but I do remember she was in school for Marine Biology or somesuch, and was technically jailbait for the first couple of dates that she and Steve went out on.

Or I have my characters crossed. Someone please hit me with the correction mallet if I'm wrong?
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Sorflakne

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Also, Jeph tweeted that Marten has slept with 3 people since the strip started. I can only remember Dora and Padma. Who am I forgetting??

This one. Yes, I am counting that.

Wait, when did Sweet-Tits bag Marten?
In Dora's dream :P
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Barmymoo

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OmegaEntity, you have got your characters crossed - you're thinking of the red (as in ginger) haired girl Cosette, rather than the red (as in London bus) haired girl who crops up as a background character all over the place and is generally felt to be SweetTits.

On the intern question, I can totally imagine a scenario where the ginger-haired intern has been so nervous and excited and wound up about this internship that she is immediately jumping to its defence when something seems to be threatening her vision. I have reacted similarly in the past to people treating me like an idiot, and I suspect that as a librarian intern at Smif college she probably is something of a feminist. In a situation where a man is in a position of authority (or appears to be so), I am often on the defensive against being patronised due to extensive past experience. Her reaction could be similarly-based.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

pwhodges

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I'm pretty sure that we have been told that the girl in the dream is a random girl, not Sweet Tits.
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Omega Entity

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OmegaEntity, you have got your characters crossed - you're thinking of the red (as in ginger) haired girl Cosette, rather than the red (as in London bus) haired girl who crops up as a background character all over the place and is generally felt to be SweetTits.

On the intern question, I can totally imagine a scenario where the ginger-haired intern has been so nervous and excited and wound up about this internship that she is immediately jumping to its defence when something seems to be threatening her vision. I have reacted similarly in the past to people treating me like an idiot, and I suspect that as a librarian intern at Smif college she probably is something of a feminist. In a situation where a man is in a position of authority (or appears to be so), I am often on the defensive against being patronised due to extensive past experience. Her reaction could be similarly-based.

Huh. Could have sworn that she had that dream after the freakout over Marten being asked out by her. Hold on, lemme do an archive dig.

EDIT: Alright, yep. Definitely had my chars crossed.
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jwhouk

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WCDT: 2201-2205 (4-8 June 2012) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread
« Reply #319 on: 10 Jun 2012, 17:01 »

Gonna need help with this week's WCDT. can't post a poll via tapatalk.
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Is it cold in here?

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Any of the moderators can add a poll. Just let us know what it should be.

Cross-species? I like the idea. Florence from Freefall could make a guest appearance. As an organic AI she'd be different from both the humans and the AnthroPCs. Watching her interact with Mieville could be really fun.
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I'm pretty sure that we have been told that the girl in the dream is a random girl, not Sweet Tits.
It don't think it has been confirmed either way in comic, so calling her Sweet Tits is neither right nor wrong...although Dora wouldn't know it was her.
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Sorflakne

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That was the chick that asked Marten out (who he promptly informed he already had a girlfriend), and then ended up going out with Steve. I can't remember what her name was off the top of my head, but I do remember she was in school for Marine Biology or somesuch, and was technically jailbait for the first couple of dates that she and Steve went out on.

Or I have my characters crossed. Someone please hit me with the correction mallet if I'm wrong?

The technically jailbait Marine Biology character was Ellen.

The one who asked Marten out when he was dating Dora was Cosette.

And Dora in this comic looking her best, lol.

I miss the blonde with black tips look on her...
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jwhouk

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I got it. I actually had some free time to get on the 'puter.
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
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I felt CompSarge was merely joking around. Sorflakne on the other hand felt hostile.

I was joking around, I swear!  :psyduck:  No bigotry intended!
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Mr. Doctor

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Note that I said "felt hostile"... I hardly believe it was like that either. Words are funny.
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I feel so verbed right now...
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Method of Madness

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That's what happens when you Schmorgluck.  You get verbed.
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They call me Mr. Madness.

Quote from: Polonius
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MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
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That's what happens when you Schmorgluck.  You get verbed.
Noun verbing is excellent, and not a new thing at all.

Consider: Plough (a field with a plough), Roof (a building with a roof), Shell (the enemy with shells), Thatch (a roof with thatch), Sail (a boat with a sail), Map (territory and record it on a map) etc. etc. etc.
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"But me no buts"

Often attributed to Shakespeare, but actually from Henry Fielding.  However, Shakespeare did write: "Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle", and: "Thank me no thanks, nor proud me no prouds".

Here is a collection of instances of this construction
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )
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