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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 14010 times)

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Offline Trieste

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #100 on: August 15, 2013, 01:36:32 AM »
It's probable that I'm doing the equivalent of talking to a wall, here, but I've got to try:

Y'all know that Russia isn't actually talking about the pink pleather crowd, right?

Russia is talking about the hug-my-girlfriend, hold-hands kind of crowd. At least according to their laws.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #101 on: August 15, 2013, 01:42:48 AM »
What is wrong with her not liking men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay?


Not liking in itself: nothing wrong with that.

Excusing the oppression of such people based on one's personal dislike: plenty wrong with it. Because it's a refusal to try to understand a) why those people might be acting like that, and b) whether their acting in a way one disliked was a valid recent to sanction violence against them.

A reasonably analogous example: I sympathize with middle-class black people who dislike the air of minstrelsy and performance-of-a-stereotype that inheres in a lot of "gangster rap." Where I part ways with them is that I don't think that kind of dislike was in any way an excuse for the murder of, say, Trayvon Martin.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #102 on: August 15, 2013, 01:47:48 AM »
Y'all know that Russia isn't actually talking about the pink pleather crowd, right?

Russia is talking about the hug-my-girlfriend, hold-hands kind of crowd. At least according to their laws.

Indeed. That's why I said to Dashenka earlier that this factor wasn't really relevant.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #103 on: August 15, 2013, 01:48:59 AM »
It's probable that I'm doing the equivalent of talking to a wall, here, but I've got to try:

Y'all know that Russia isn't actually talking about the pink pleather crowd, right?

Russia is talking about the hug-my-girlfriend, hold-hands kind of crowd. At least according to their laws.

Most likely that is true. From what I read clarifications are still being demanded by Governments and the IOC.

The debate here, I think, is the question whether or not the Olympics should be moved due to the homophobic law in Russia, and whether or not this law will be a threat to the athletes.

To me, the debate whether the Russian Law is a bad, homophobic stupid one (no debate at all, but hey), and the above mentioned consequences (assumed, desired or factual) are two (or three) seperate ones. Should a sports event be used to pressure a country into changing its internal politics?

I believe that the best way to defeat homophobic behaviour and at the same time educate the ignorant people is to go to the Olympics, and see lots of medals being won by GLBT people and all those other athletes who support them.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #104 on: August 15, 2013, 01:55:00 AM »
Should a sports event be used to pressure a country into changing its internal politics?

Also worth noting: the whole idea of the Olympic movement is based on the notion that a sports event should be used to pressure a country into changing its internal politics. That's what all the "brotherhood of man" rhetoric that comes with it is meant to do. I still think the notion that the Olympics is somehow apolitical is fallacious.

The question is whether one has faith that the Olympics' overarching message will necessarily prevail in the country that hosts it. This is where, unfortunately, the comparisons to Hitler and the Berlin Olympics of 1936 become uncomfortably relevant. Because what followed those Olympics -- arguably in part because of the way in which they emboldened and provided political capital for their host -- was the opposite of the Olympic message prevailing. It is reasonable to have doubts on this score as a result.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #105 on: August 15, 2013, 01:58:50 AM »

Not liking in itself: nothing wrong with that.

Excusing the oppression of such people based on one's personal dislike: plenty wrong with it. Because it's a refusal to try to understand a) why those people might be acting like that, and b) whether their acting in a way one disliked was a valid recent to sanction violence against them.

A reasonably analogous example: I sympathize with middle-class black people who dislike the air of minstrelsy and performance-of-a-stereotype that inheres in a lot of "gangster rap." Where I part ways with them is that I don't think that kind of dislike was in any way an excuse for the murder of, say, Trayvon Martin.

Understanding why something happens doesn't necessarily imply agreement, which is what you try to establish. You advocate that the majority needs to understand why these people act in such a fashion. But where is the counterpart? In that same vein it should be argued that those people should understand others don't want the beliefs or sexuality of that minority shoved in their face - especially in an environment that is already not receptive of their message.



Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #106 on: August 15, 2013, 02:01:48 AM »
In that same vein it should be argued that those people should understand others don't want the beliefs or sexuality of that minority shoved in their face - especially in an environment that is already not receptive of their message.

Oh, I absolutely guarantee you that they understand that. In a society where one is a violently suppressed minority -- have a look again at the picture of "Russian hospitality" Finn posted -- it is quite literally beaten into you. The more relevant question is: what could possibly drive someone to willingly risk that kind of punishment?

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #107 on: August 15, 2013, 02:11:30 AM »
Also worth noting: the whole idea of the Olympic movement is based on the notion that a sports event should be used to pressure a country into changing its internal politics. That's what all the "brotherhood of man" rhetoric that comes with it is meant to do. I still think the notion that the Olympics is somehow apolitical is fallacious.

The question is whether one has faith that the Olympics' overarching message will necessarily prevail in the country that hosts it. This is where, unfortunately, the comparisons to Hitler and the Berlin Olympics of 1936 become uncomfortably relevant. Because what followed those Olympics -- arguably in part because of the way in which they emboldened and provided political capital for their host -- was the opposite of the Olympic message prevailing. It is reasonable to have doubts on this score as a result.

I see the Hitler card played so often in this debate, and as usual when it is played the discussion comes to a screeching halt. "Look at WWII! Look at what Hitler did after the Olympics! They had Olympic Games. Hitler hated a group of people. Thousands and thousands died!"

I have seen that card played in discussions about the Islam, about orthodox religion, about women's rights, about LGBT. Pretty much in any discussion where a majority wanted to exclusd a minority. It's an effective way of silencing the more moderate people. "Agree with us, or you are supporting HITLER".

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #108 on: August 15, 2013, 02:13:10 AM »
I disagree. Dashenka has an opinion that differs from yours. She has stated at several points she disagrees with the law but believes in the right for countries to create their own internal politics. She has offered alternatives to moving the Olympics that, to her, are valid. You may disagree with her, but doing so by merely calling it  "spouting homophobic rhetoric like a geyser" instead of solid reasoning sounds like an attack on the person to defeat her arguments. Implying in the same vein that she might be suffering from Stockholm syndrome is another such tactic I disagree with. And I think Cyrano is aware his post can be read in that fashion, considering the edit.

Telling someone that they're saying homophobic shit isn't an attack on them.  If she doesn't want me to call her out on her homophobic rhetoric, maybe she shouldn't lace so many of her posts with open homophobia.

Telling someone that supporting draconian laws that outlaw the right of people to exist without fear is hateful is not a personal attack on them, either.  Her beliefs are awful, terrible, hateful, destructive, and saying so is not an attack on her, it's an attack on her beliefs.  If you happen to dislike (as I do) people who support awful, hateful, destructive behavior on a social level, that's an unrelated issue.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:14:20 AM by meikle »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #109 on: August 15, 2013, 02:15:49 AM »
I see the Hitler card played so often in this debate, and as usual when it is played the discussion comes to a screeching halt.

And that halt is where it's worth thinking about what the real relevance of the example is.

Someone had their club closed early and cries "Hitler"? Someone doesn't like vegetarianism, so anyone who supports it is "Hitler"? The relevance is questionable at best, and it's correct to cry foul.

Someone makes excuses for violently suppressing a minority, and writing laws that allow them to do this with relative impunity? They may not be directly comparable to Auld Adolf in every sense -- I certainly don't think Putin is on the verge of invading Poland -- but suddenly the whole "you're Godwinning the debate!" complaint becomess a lot less convincing.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:18:23 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #110 on: August 15, 2013, 02:18:56 AM »
Quote
I have seen that card played in discussions about the Islam, about orthodox religion, about women's rights, about LGBT. Pretty much in any discussion where a majority wanted to exclusd a minority. It's an effective way of silencing the more moderate people. "Agree with us, or you are supporting HITLER".

Moderate and "hide so that I don't have to acknowledge that you exist" are on opposite ends of the fucking spectrum.  That is ultra-conservative, "You have to suffer so that I can avoid the inconvenience of acknowledging you exist" rhetoric right there.  It's founded it hate, grown it hate, raised in hate, and it's the kind of statement that engenders more hate in the future.

It's the kind of thing that leads to believing that outlawing people from safe, loving, consensual lifestyles is a "moderate" point of view.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:21:33 AM by meikle »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #111 on: August 15, 2013, 02:21:25 AM »
Oh, I absolutely guarantee you that they understand that. In a society where one is a violently suppressed minority -- have a look again at the picture of "Russian hospitality" Finn posted -- it is quite literally beaten into you. The more relevant question is: what could possibly drive someone to willingly risk that kind of punishment?

Oh, if we want to talk about the fact there's enough wrong in Russia, we're soon done. Of course there is. There was plenty wrong in China, and you name it... I'm not going to google all the examples. The Olympics took place as planned, and as far as I know, no athletes were harmed in the process.

At this time, there is the World Championships taking place. I'd like to see how that is handled. If the Russian Government is able to guarantee the safety of the Athletes then, then a good step forwards is made towards  the Olympics.


Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #112 on: August 15, 2013, 02:26:45 AM »
Moderate and "hide so that I don't have to acknowledge that you exist" are on opposite ends of the fucking spectrum.  That is
It's the kind of thing that leads to believing that outlawing people from safe, loving, consensual lifestyles is a "moderate" point of view.

I believe you misread my statement.

I refered to Cyrano using that argument on 'me', and I consider myself a fairly moderate sort of person.

I find religious people who block my path, shove fliers in my face, and demand to know my religion in public an utter annoyance. My disagreeing to their right to harass me suddenly marks me as "ultra-conservative, "You have to suffer so that I can avoid the inconvenience of acknowledging you exist" rhetoric right there.  It's founded it hate, grown it hate, raised in hate, and it's the kind of statement that engenders more hate in the future."?

Wow.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #113 on: August 15, 2013, 02:28:15 AM »
I won't belabour why I find China or any other host country that hasn't openly threatened to arrest athletes a false equivalence, as I've already said it all up-thread. Have a nice night, all....

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #114 on: August 15, 2013, 02:29:17 AM »
I won't belabour why I find China or any other host country that hasn't openly threatened to arrest athletes a false equivalence, as I've already said it all up-thread. Have a nice night, all....

Sweet dreams, Cyrano. Thank you for an interesting debate :-)

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #115 on: August 15, 2013, 02:33:53 AM »
It's founded it hate, grown it hate, raised in hate, and it's the kind of statement that engenders more hate in the future."?

Wow.

You know that's not what I meant, but yeah, sure, why not.  If you hate the people around you and the way they behave, if they're not doing anything that hurts anyone, the onus is on you to plug your ears and cover your eyes, not to try to lock them in their fucking houses.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #116 on: August 15, 2013, 02:42:25 AM »
You know that's not what I meant, but yeah, sure, why not.  If you hate the people around you and the way they behave, if they're not doing anything that hurts anyone, the onus is on you to plug your ears and cover your eyes, not to try to lock them in their fucking houses.

So, hurting people is not okay, but harrassing them is... providing it is done by a select minority group?

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #117 on: August 15, 2013, 02:44:24 AM »
So, hurting people is not okay, but harrassing them is... providing it is done by a select minority group?

Yeah, the Russian laws are exactly the same as someone asking if you've got a relationship with Jesus.  JFC.

Let's consider the things you listed in your post:  Womens rights, LGBT, Islam, Ultra-Orthodox religions ... do you think these things are all interchangeable?  Are you laboring under the belief that homosexuality is a religion?  Are you so broken that you think that if I hold my girlfriend's hand, I'm forcing something on you?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:49:19 AM by meikle »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #118 on: August 15, 2013, 02:49:16 AM »
Yeah, the Russian laws are exactly the same as someone asking if you've got a relationship with Jesus.

Jesus fucking Christ.

If that is what you picked up from the debate, I would suggest you reread. I was discussing "behaviour" that might put people off and how disliking the behaviour does not imply hating an entire group of people. This in response to an accusation to Dashenka that her comment suggested homophobia.



« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:50:23 AM by Imogen »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #119 on: August 15, 2013, 02:49:43 AM »
I think it's a danger to the athletes for one very simple reason: Russia has placed a cultural norm into law and has threatened to enforce it (and I know it's under debate but I don't particularly care whether they're playing Reversi or not - they did threaten to enforce it, and we have no way of knowing in advance whether they will or not).

It isn't a universal cultural norm like "don't kill people", or even something black and white like "your arms and legs must be covered at all times while you are outside of your hotel room". They have put an unusual, insular, slippery, poorly-defined cultural norm into law. "Just don't be gay."

So they have a poorly-defined law, a slippery concept in general, and - by the way, have they set any kind of structured punishment for being gay? Is it like a tiered system? Can you be convicted of gay in the third degree? How is that different from gay in the first degree? Is there jail time involved? Fines? Where is the burden of proof in Russian courts?

I am certain that the Olympic athletes will be briefed on such things, if they have able handlers.

I am not altogether certain that supporters, visitors... foreigners, essentially... will be so well-protected. The danger to the athletes is heavy enough, but what about the danger to Plain Joe in the street? What if he's gay, and the poor, offended majority (really, are you fucking serious?) of Russians around him find that out? Jeering, catcalling - these things are frightening at home, but they are downright dangerous when you're on the home turf of the people who hate you. Given the national climate described, I am personally very afraid that a couple things could happen.

1. Someone is attacked and beaten severely. This happened to protesters, and there is no information as to whether it was with impunity or not but frankly I don't care. Someone can be hurt. Someone can be killed. Not just the athletes - not just the staff. It is clearly a volatile and touchy issue.

2. Quite frankly, all the attention shined at the Olympics is bound to draw people seeking attention - which includes pro-rights activists. So what happens when a protest, and possibly a counter-protest, happens right outside the Games... or along a crowded thoroughfare? Agitating in favor of deviant sexual behavior or whatever the hell the law says, is also punishable by law as far as I could tell. On a busy, crowded street full of potential spectators as well as protesters, arrests are likely to get messy. Again, this endangers people who are there to enjoy the Games, who have chosen to attend.

Choosing not to boycott is practically a health risk, for chrissake.

And please understand that when I say this, I am not making a commentary on the physical state of Russian jails or anything, but frankly I wouldn't want to go to my own country's jails and I more than certainly would never want to wind up in another country's jails. Ever. It makes things dangerous, it makes things complicated, and it makes them unsafe whether you are gay, straight, flaming, mellow, or anything in between.

If the Games shouldn't be used as a political mallet, then perhaps Russia should have taken pains to make sure that they weren't turned into one. Don't care if the bill has been a long time in coming - the point is that it came now and I don't thing think the Russian government is quite naive enough to think that the timing wouldn't affect worldwide reaction to it. As far as I can tell, they've fired the shot across the bow with this and they really have no right to bitch that the world heard the ka-boom.

Edit for typo.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:53:32 AM by Trieste »

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #120 on: August 15, 2013, 02:50:49 AM »
If that is what you picked up from the debate, I would suggest you reread. We were discussion "behaviour" that might put people off and how disliking the behaviour does not imply hating an entire group of people.

If your response to seeing someone ask, "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" is to ban people asking if you're religious, if your response to seeing me kiss a girl is to try to ban me from kissing a girl in public, if your response to seeing a transwoman wearing a dress is to try to ban wearing dresses if you don't look like a ciswoman, then yeah, there's no difference -- that is hateful, phobic, not even the least bit moderate behavior.

Dashenka's posts suggested homophobia because she says things like this:

Quote
You can be gay in Russia but you cannot promote it or walk about in pink leather suits with feathers on your head.

Because she thinks that it's okay to ban "doing anything gay" because it's not the same as "banning being gay", except you know, close enough.

Because she says things like this:

Quote
The vast majority of the Russians doesn't agree with homosexuality so there is a law to protect those people.

Because gay people are dangerous and the good 'normal' homophobes need to be protected from us.

Because she says things like this:

Quote
The customs are different from the 'western world' but you have to adapt to it and deal with it.

Because "shut up and deal with it, we can't help our hate" hasn't been part of the homophobe playbook since day 1.

Because she says shit like this:

Quote
I know I'm gay as well but I don't like these men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay and the fact they made a law about that, isn't all that strange.

Because "you can be gay, just don't be the kind of gay I don't like or go to jail" hasn't been part of the homophobe playbook since the gay rights movement started.

BECAUSE SHE THINKS IT IS OKAY TO SEND PEOPLE TO JAIL FOR BEING SEEN BEING GAY.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:58:09 AM by meikle »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #121 on: August 15, 2013, 02:57:15 AM »
If your response to seeing someone ask, "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" is to ban people asking if you're religious, if your response to seeing me kiss a girl is to try to ban me from kissing a girl in public, if your response to seeing a transwoman wearing a dress is to try to ban wearing dresses if you don't look like a ciswoman, then yeah, there's no difference -- that is hateful, phobic, not even the least bit moderate behavior.

As that was neither said nor implied, I can just shrug that one off. Same as "If you feel the Russians should change their laws, and you also agree that we should invade every country whose laws we don't agree with, shoot their people and murder the wives" ... You take a reasonable first part, and a jump in logicl, then add a whole string of bad to it that IF this... you might this, might that. To each their own in debating style, I guess.

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #122 on: August 15, 2013, 03:00:48 AM »
As that was neither said nor implied, I can just shrug that one off. Same as "If you feel the Russians should change their laws, and you also agree that we should invade every country whose laws we don't agree with, shoot their people and murder the wives" ... You take a reasonable first part, and a jump in logicl, then add a whole string of bad to it that IF this... you might this, might that. To each their own in debating style, I guess.

You're standing here telling me I'm wrong for saying that "It's okay to send gay people to jail if a bunch of homophobes agree that it's okay" is a fucked up, homophobic point of view.

I just want you to sit there and appreciate that you're defending 'it's okay to send people to jail for being seen being gay' as not being a homophobic stance.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #123 on: August 15, 2013, 03:04:10 AM »
I think it's a danger to the athletes for one very simple reason: Russia has placed a cultural norm into law and has threatened to enforce it (and I know it's under debate but I don't particularly care whether they're playing Reversi or not - they did threaten to enforce it, and we have no way of knowing in advance whether they will or not).

It isn't a universal cultural norm like "don't kill people", or even something black and white like "your arms and legs must be covered at all times while you are outside of your hotel room". They have put an unusual, insular, slippery, poorly-defined cultural norm into law. "Just don't be gay."

So they have a poorly-defined law, a slippery concept in general, and - by the way, have they set any kind of structured punishment for being gay? Is it like a tiered system? Can you be convicted of gay in the third degree? How is that different from gay in the first degree? Is there jail time involved? Fines? Where is the burden of proof in Russian courts?

I am certain that the Olympic athletes will be briefed on such things, if they have able handlers.

I am not altogether certain that supporters, visitors... foreigners, essentially... will be so well-protected. The danger to the athletes is heavy enough, but what about the danger to Plain Joe in the street? What if he's gay, and the poor, offended majority (really, are you fucking serious?) of Russians around him find that out? Jeering, catcalling - these things are frightening at home, but they are downright dangerous when you're on the home turf of the people who hate you. Given the national climate described, I am personally very afraid that a couple things could happen.

1. Someone is attacked and beaten severely. This happened to protesters, and there is no information as to whether it was with impunity or not but frankly I don't care. Someone can be hurt. Someone can be killed. Not just the athletes - not just the staff. It is clearly a volatile and touchy issue.

2. Quite frankly, all the attention shined at the Olympics is bound to draw people seeking attention - which includes pro-rights activists. So what happens when a protest, and possibly a counter-protest, happens right outside the Games... or along a crowded thoroughfare? Agitating in favor of deviant sexual behavior or whatever the hell the law says, is also punishable by law as far as I could tell. On a busy, crowded street full of potential spectators as well as protesters, arrests are likely to get messy. Again, this endangers people who are there to enjoy the Games, who have chosen to attend.

Choosing not to boycott is practically a health risk, for chrissake.

And please understand that when I say this, I am not making a commentary on the physical state of Russian jails or anything, but frankly I wouldn't want to go to my own country's jails and I more than certainly would never want to wind up in another country's jails. Ever. It makes things dangerous, it makes things complicated, and it makes them unsafe whether you are gay, straight, flaming, mellow, or anything in between.

If the Games shouldn't be used as a political mallet, then perhaps Russia should have taken pains to make sure that they weren't turned into one. Don't care if the bill has been a long time in coming - the point is that it came now and I don't thing think the Russian government is quite naive enough to think that the timing wouldn't affect worldwide reaction to it. As far as I can tell, they've fired the shot across the bow with this and they really have no right to bitch that the world heard the ka-boom.

Edit for typo.

My main problem with all of this, that they consist of speculation and assumptions. They may be correct, I don't know, and until there is a solid translation of the Russian law (which I believe people are working on) and a clarity on how this will or won't affect the athletes, nearly impossible to argue. It's impossible to say something won't happen. Even if I say no cow will ever fly, that is an assumption... a reasonable one, but still... if someone says "cows will fly one day".. then yeah, it could happen. And this is me exaggerating, and not comparing. It is illustrative of how hard it is to predict an event in the future.

What I do agree with is the enhanced risk now, after all the media attention and this having become a hot item, for activists to push the issue. With viewpoints taken and moods heated, I do agree that the risk is very real that the Olympics will be turned into a LGBT movement showcase, and that Russia will react badly. This worries me. And the debate is at a point where arguments such as "we are guests in another person's home, and act by their rules while we are here" are no longer valid. Not because they weren't valid in the first place, but because the risk of groups seeking media attention and thereby endangering others is becoming bigger each day.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #124 on: August 15, 2013, 03:05:31 AM »
You're standing here telling me I'm wrong for saying that "It's okay to send gay people to jail if a bunch of homophobes agree that it's okay" is a fucked up, homophobic point of view.

I just want you to sit there and appreciate that you're defending 'it's okay to send people to jail for being seen being gay' as not being a homophobic stance.

Funny, I can't remember stating any such thing, but you're allowed to your version, I suppose.