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Willie the Quillie?

Post by Ann » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:03 am

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As I googled for a picture of a man with a quill, I found this image. A man holding a quill, dressed up as, well, as William Shakespeare. (Or as we think of William Shakespeare.) So is this a good portrait of Will? Was the Bard a real quillie, a man frequently seated at his desk, effortlessly wielding his ink-dipped quill?

If you ask me, the answer is no. No way! Judging from what we know about Shakespeare, we have every reason to believe that the bard was quite unwilling to write. He wrote as infrequently as he could get away with, or so I think anyway.

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But does that mean that he was useless as an author? Does that mean that he couldn't produce texts that have been held in extremely high regard over many centuries? I don't think so at all.


The man you can see at right is Benny Andersson. He is the composer of all the ABBA music. While I'm not asking you to agree that Andersson is necessarily a great composer, but he is clearly a prolific one, and he has been extremely commercially successful. He has made his mark, no doubt, whether you like his music or not. Here is an example of his music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwac8FeG ... re=related

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Yet for all his success, Beeny Andersson can't read music. He can't read musical notation. All right, I can't guarantee that he hasn't eventually learnt how to do it, bur for the longest time he wasn't able to. He composed all those ABBA songs and wasn't able to write a single one of them down. If you had a way of tracing who had originally written down the ABBA songs, you could prove that not a single sheet of ABBA music was actually written down by Benny Andersson himself. And you could conclude, therefore, that Benny Andersson didn't write any ABBA music because there exist no sheets of ABBA music in Benny Andersson's own hand.


So you could conclude that Benny Andersson hasn't written the ABBA music on the grounds that he hasn't written it down. But your conclusion would be wrong.


I think it is similarly erroneous to conclude that Shakespeare hasn't written the Shakespeare plays and sonnets on the grounds that he isn't the one who has written them down.

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Will, the family man?

Post by Ann » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:53 pm

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Roland Emmerich questioned Shakespeare as a writer because he didn't teach his daughters to read, he didn't write anything about the death of his son, and he never seemed to have written any letters to family in Stratford when he was in London.
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But Shakespeare may not have been as much of a family man as this 19th century engraving suggests. His wife Anne Hathaway was eight years older than him. She was pregnant when they married, and this may have been the reason for the marriage. But, as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Hatha ... akespeare) points out,
As a husband Shakespeare offered few prospects; his family had fallen into financial ruin, while Anne, from a family in good standing socially and financially, would have been considered a catch.
So William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway because he had made her pregnant and because she had money, not necessarily because he loved her. It is hard for us to say how much he loved her or not, but for many years she was clearly nowhere near the center of his life.

What about his children?

It seems almost certain that Anne Hathaway was illiterate. Shakespeare's daughters didn't learn to read and write. Please note, however, that girls would not normally have received any formal schooling in England during the 16th century. So if Shakespeare's wife and daughters were illiterate, why should he write to them? Particularly if he himself wasn't fond of the act of writing?
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What about Hamnet, his only son who died at the age of eleven? Didn't Shakespeare grieve for him?

He almost certainly did, and he probably expressed much of his grief over his son in his most famous tragedy (along with Romeo and Juliet), Hamlet. The similarity between Hamlet's name and Hamnet's makes it hard to think that Shakespeare wasn't constantly reminded of his dead son when he wrote that tragedy. Hamlet is a complex and tragic character, and the iconic scene when the young prince speaks to a skull is perhaps the most memorable scene in the history of theater. It creates an extremely stark contrast between life and death and offers us a bleak reminder that death is waiting for us all.

(And as for Roland Emmerich's objection that Ben Johnson wrote a beautiful poem when his son died, but Shakespeare didn't do anything similar for his son: well, how many of us "ordinary" people know anything about Ben Johnson's poem about his son? But doesn't "everybody" recognize Hamlet with the skull?)

But to summarize, Shapespeare may not have written home precisely because his wife and daughters were illiterate, and it probably didn't occur to him that his daughters should have an education. They were small town girls, and it probably never occured to Shakespeare that schooling might have improved their chances in life, much less that either of them might have become learned and important women like Portia, the heroine of The Merchant of Venice.

But records actually show that Shakespeare regularly returned home to Stratford during his London years. As for his grief over Hamnet, he probably expressed that in his plays.

Ann
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by geckzilla » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:59 pm

I'm not sure you should really be doing all the work, Ann. That video was so obnoxiously one-sided that it is an obvious troll.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Ann » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:00 am

geckzilla wrote:I'm not sure you should really be doing all the work, Ann. That video was so obnoxiously one-sided that it is an obvious troll.
The video was obnoxious, I agree, but it made me ask myself a few questions about Shakespeare. Hope you don't mind if I continue, geckzilla.

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Will, the team player

Post by Ann » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:52 am

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I have previously argued that Shakespeare didn't write down the Shakespearean plays and sonnets. If I am right about that, then Shakespeare can't possibly have been the kind of "literary creator" that you can see in the picture on the left. That man is dirty and ragged, obsessed, totally locked inside his own world and completely concentrated on writing down his thoughts on his paper.

And he is totally alone.
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If you ask me, Shakespeare was probably nothing like that.

This, if you ask me, was Shakespeare.




The ant furthest to the left is Shakespeare. He boldly went where no ant had gone before.

But he could go there thanks to the other ants, who helped him.

Who were the other ants, the people who helped Shakespeare?
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Shakespeare started out as an actor. As a writer - or as a "literary creator" - he started out as a producer of working material for his theatrical company. He wrote plays so that he and the people belonging to his theatrical company would have any plays to perform.

Isn't it likely that some of the other actors belonging to his theatrical company might have helped him creating these plays?
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Isn't it possible that one of the other men belonging to the theatre company might have been Shakespeare's "secretary", taking down what Shakespeare dictated to him?

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Shakespeare seems to have been "too knowledgeable" about things that a person from his social background and with his limited schooling shouldn't have known much about. But Shakespeare's best-known patron was Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton. Isn't it likely that the Earl of Southampton might have provided Shakespeare with some important information about the aristocracy, information that Shakespeare could put to good use in his plays?

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Shakespeare probably never left England, but a third of his plays are set in Italy. Isn't it possible that he might have known someone who knew a lot about Italy?


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Shakespeare seemed to have a broad knowledge about a lot of things. Isn't it possible that he might have picked up much of it from the other men in his theatrical company, from his patron, and, not least, from the simmering, vital, growing, cosmopolitan London he lived in during his most creative years?


To the left you can see a woman selling "broadsheets", probably a sort of newspapers, at the swarming Royal Exchange of London. Here people from all walks of life and from countries all over Europe came to make business and just generally to meet and mingle. Can't Shakespeare have been able to pick up some of all the ideas and knowledge that London of his day must have been full of?


The Royal Exchange of London, 1644.
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Shakespeare didn't come up with all his plots himself. In fact, he may have come up with few of his own plots, just possibly none of them. The tragedy of Hamlet is based on the legend of Amblett or Amleth, told by the 12th century Danish historian, Saxo Grammaticus. Shakespeare might not have known the original legend of Hamlet himself, but a friend or acquaintance of his might have told him.

That's why Shakespeare was a team player, not a solo artist.

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Re: 10 reasons

Post by geckzilla » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:26 pm

No, I didn't mean it wasn't allowed, just saying it's probably a waste of time given that most trolls don't really care to have a discussion. They just want to rile you up.
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Beyond » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:12 pm

I've always found Shakespeare to be rather boring, so i stay away from it and it's hard to understand english. I prefer the Native version of Shake spear, as long as they're not shaking it at me :!:
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Ann » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:48 pm

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Shake Spear, why not? I found a lot of alternative spellings of Shakespeare's name on the internet. Shaxper...Shaxpere...Shaxberd...Shakspere. Why not Shake Spear?
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Shax-berd with a skull. :arrow:
Note his shaxy be(a)rd.
Or is that a shaxy b(e)ard?
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Or a shaxy bird, perhaps an ex-parrot? Disguised as a skull?
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I know! Shax-bear! Bear-baiting was popular in the days of Shakespeare!



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No, wait! Shax-BEER! Where the man used to quench his thirst! With some shaxy beer! (Even though they's misspelled the name of the pub since the days of Shax-beer!)

Shaxy, man! Sheers!


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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Beyond » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:35 pm

Ann, i don't think you quite got it. A picture is worth lots of words. Here's a picture.
IndyVsNatives_5517.jpg
The Natives version of Shake spear is quite active and exciting,
IF you're not the one they are Shaking their spear at :!: :!:

I can't understand what they say either.
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Re: Willie the Quillie?

Post by neufer » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:14 pm

Ann wrote:
As I googled for a picture of a man with a quill, I found this image.
A man holding a quill, dressed up as, well, as William Shakespeare.
(Or as we all think of as William Shakespeare.)
As I googled for a picture of a Jesus Christ, I found this image.
A blond Anglo-saxon gentile holding a lamb, dressed up as, well, Jesus Christ.
(Or as tradition has taught us all to think of Jesus Christ.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ashbourne_portrait wrote: <<The Ashbourne Portrait is one of the numberless portraits that have been falsely identified as portrayals of William Shakespeare. Charles Wisner Barrell argued [in Scientific American (January 1940)] on the basis of x-ray evidence that the portrait originally depicted Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford and that this was evidence that Oxford was the true author of Shakespeare's plays. In 1979 the coat of arms was rediscovered following restoration. It was identified as that of Hugh Hamersley (1565-1636), Lord Mayor of London in 1627 [24 years after Queen Elizabeth died].

In 1979, the Folger commissioned Peter Michaels to restore the portrait. In removing the overpaint, he uncovered the coat of arms, and his assistant Lisa Oehrl made a sketch of it, unaware of the sitter's identity. It was Lilly Lievsay, Folger cataloguer of manuscripts, and Folger curator Laetitia Yeandle who, on the basis of this drawing, linked the image of the sketch conclusively to the armorial coat of Hamersley. The restorative work also clarified the date, which had been tampered with to yield the year 1611 (when Shakespeare was 47). Beneath the second 1 of that date a 2 is clearly visible, indicating it was executed in 1612, 8 years after Oxford's death when Hamersley was 47 years old. Above the date is written aetatis suae.47 (aged 47). He had not, at that time, been granted his coat of arms, and art historian William Pressly conjectures that they were either included in anticipation of the honour, or painted in later.

The original alterations to the Hamersley painting, to make it look like what people would expect of a portrait of Shakespeare, is thought to be the handiwork of Clement Kingston, who was also a painter. Some Oxfordians, though disappointed, quickly accepted the results, and claimed partial credit for the new findings.

The identity of the sitter is, however, still believed to be de Vere by some Oxfordians. In this regard, in 2002, the New York Times reported a claim by painter and Oxfordian Barbara Burris "that the fashions the sitter wears in the painting date to about 1580, when Hamersley would have been 15 and Oxford 30, and when [the painter] Ketel [who returned to Holland in 1581] was actually working in England.">>
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Beyond » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:46 pm

neufer wrote:As I googled for a picture of a Jesus Christ, I found this image.
A blond Anglo-saxon gentile holding a lamb, dressed up as, well, Jesus Christ.
(Or as tradition has taught us all to think of Jesus Christ.)
Gee, neuf, i must need glasses. When i went to your link, i saw a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned, robed man holding a too small of a shepard's staff and a lamb. Maybe the contrast and brightness settings on my monitor are too low :?:
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:32 am

Art wrote:
As I googled for a picture of a Jesus Christ, I found this image.
A blond Anglo-saxon gentile holding a lamb, dressed up as, well, Jesus Christ.
(Or as tradition has taught us all to think of Jesus Christ.)
Image
Excuse me, Art, I thought Jesus Christ was off this Asterisk*?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ashbourne_portrait wrote:
<<The Ashbourne Portrait is one of the numberless portraits that have been falsely identified as portrayals of William Shakespeare.
Well, Art, the man was an upstart. He made quite a bit of money, to be sure, but how could he have afforded to have numberless portraits made of himself?

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Re: 10 reasons

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:40 am

Beyond wrote:
Gee, neuf, i must need glasses. When i went to your link, i saw a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned, robed man
Try this one then.
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Re: Will, the team player

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:49 am

Ann wrote:
Isn't it likely that some of the other actors belonging to his theatrical company might have helped him creating these plays?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Isn't it possible that one of the other men belonging to the theatre company might have been Shakespeare's "secretary", taking down what Shakespeare dictated to him?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Isn't it likely that the Earl of Southampton might have provided Shakespeare with some important information about the aristocracy, information that Shakespeare could put to good use in his plays?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Isn't it possible that he might have known someone who knew a lot about Italy?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Isn't it possible that he might have picked up much of it from the other men in his theatrical company, from his patron, and, not least, from the simmering, vital, growing, cosmopolitan London he lived in during his most creative years?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Can't Shakespeare have been able to pick up some of all the ideas and knowledge that London of his day must have been full of?
[c]No.[/c]
Ann wrote:
Shakespeare might not have known the original legend of Hamlet himself, but a friend or acquaintance of his might have told him.
[c]No.[/c]
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Re: Will, the team player

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:54 am

neufer wrote:
No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
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WOW!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Faints at cleverness and subtlety of argument!!!




















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Re: 10 reasons

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:54 am

geckzilla wrote:
That video was so obnoxiously one-sided that it is an obvious troll.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Will, the brown-noser

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:44 am

If the title isn't allowed, please change it to "Will, the ingratiating flatterer".
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On of Roland Emmerich's points is that Shakespeare wrote almost exclusively about the upper classes, even though he himself didn't belong to them. At the same time, he all but mocked the simpler people of society. Emmerich said that Shakespeare couldn't have done that without being a traitor to his own class.

Perhaps he was a bit of a traitor of his own class, then. But I think Shakespeare mostly laughed at the illiteracy and general coarseness of the lower classes. Subtlety was not for them, because they lacked schooling and had never lifted their eyes above the beer mug at the local pub. I don't think that Shakespeare really felt that he was one of them, at least not during his London years.

Is there a reason why Shakespeare should have ingratiated himself with the upper classes? Yes, there are several reasons. First of all, Shakespeare's profession as an actor was by no means a firmly established or a wholly respectable one during the 16th and 17th centuries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Chamberlain's_Men wrote:

This connection with the Burbages makes the Chamberlain's Men the central link in a chain that extends from the beginning of professional theatre (in 1574, James Burbage led the first group of actors to be protected under the 1572 statute against rogues and vagabonds) in Renaissance London to its end. (In 1642, the King's Men were among the acting companies whose lives were ended by Parliament's prohibition of the stage.)
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So the law of England allowed the professional theater in London to exist over a period of seventy years, between 1572 and 1642. That's not such a very long time. And even the legal protection during those seven decades was not enough to ensure that the actors and their theatres would escape harrassment from London authorities. That's why the Globe Theatre was built south of the river Thames, beyond the jurisdiction of the Mayor of London, so that the Mayor couldn't close it down.
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Given how unsure the existence of the professional theater of London was in the first place, the actors and acting companies needed protection from aristocrats and royals. That's one of the reasons why Shakespeare clearly flattered King James I in Macbeth, for example. He also sought, and got, the protection of the Third Earl of Southampton. He probably wouldn't have received that kind of favors if he had written plays about heroic peasants, who were perhaps plotting to overthrow the king.

Flattery of the mighty ones may get you a long way.





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Re: Will, the brown-noser

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:01 am

Ann wrote:
I think Shakespeare mostly laughed at the illiteracy and general coarseness of the lower classes. Subtlety was not for them, because they lacked schooling and had never lifted their eyes above the beer mug at the local pub.
  • 1) Shakespeare's entire family was illiterate, coarse, & lower class.
    2) Shakespeare, himself, lacked schooling.
    3) Shakespeare was supposed to have gotten his knowledge at the Mermaid Tavern.
    4) Subtlety is clearly not for Ann.
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by geckzilla » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:12 am

neufer wrote:
geckzilla wrote:
That video was so obnoxiously one-sided that it is an obvious troll.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Don't_be_a_dick
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Re: 10 reasons

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:16 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: Will, the brown-noser

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:20 am

neufer wrote:
Ann wrote:
I think Shakespeare mostly laughed at the illiteracy and general coarseness of the lower classes. Subtlety was not for them, because they lacked schooling and had never lifted their eyes above the beer mug at the local pub.
  • 1) Shakespeare's entire family was illiterate, coarse, & lower class.
    2) Shakespeare, himself, lacked schooling.
    3) Shakespeare was supposed to have gotten his knowledge at the Mermaid Tavern.
    4) Subtlety is clearly not for Ann.

1: Not his entire family! Only the female members of it. They did not belong to the aristocracy, and women not belonging to the aristocracy generally received no schooling during the 16th and 17th century. But Shakespeare's son Hamnet probably attended school before he died at eleven.

2: He did not lack schooling! He attended the Startford grammar school. And then he went on to the school of the big city of London!

3: :?: :?: :?:
4: :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

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Re: Will, the brown-noser

Post by neufer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:38 am

Ann wrote:
1: Not his entire family! Only the female members of it. They did not belong to the aristocracy, and women not belonging to the aristocracy generally received no schooling during the 16th and 17th century.
Your whole argument is OXymoronic.

If he was adopted by aristocrats (which is a ridiculous idea in the first place) and learned to look down with contempt upon the type of folk that his family represented then he never would have returned to his family in the last six years of his life.
Ann wrote:
2: He did not lack schooling!
He attended the Startford [sic] grammar school.
And then he went on to the school of the big city of London!
Did the Startford grammar school teach him how to spell?
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Re: Will, the brown-noser

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:44 am

neufer wrote:
Ann wrote: 2: He did not lack schooling!
He attended the Startford [sic] grammar school.
And then he went on to the school of the big city of London!
Did the Startford grammar school teach him how to spell?
He could spell (or his secretary could). I can't.

As for why he returned to his family at the end of his life, I'll come to that, Art. Later, though. Patience. Patience.

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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:53 am

Art wrote:
Ann wrote:
1: Not his entire family! Only the female members of it. They did not belong to the aristocracy, and women not belonging to the aristocracy generally received no schooling during the 16th and 17th century.
Your whole argument is OXymoronic.
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The skating park in Oxie, south of Malmö. Ah, the morons of Oxie!

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(But there are some smart people of Oxie, too. This is the observatory of Oxie! Yeahh!!)











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Re: 10 reasons

Post by Beyond » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:08 am

neufer wrote:
Beyond wrote:
Gee, neuf, i must need glasses. When i went to your link, i saw a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned, robed man
Try this one then.
This one comes a little closer to your original description because of the blue eyes, but the hair isn't really blonde, there's no lamb or sheppard's staff. But because of the blue eyes, i can assume that the complextion is not middle east.
Well, i guess your Quotidian Quotationist words are just toooo powerful for pictures to live up to. :lol:
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