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When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the... Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)
capitán
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:27:41 AM

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Jane Eyre
Chapter 6

“If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust; the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should — so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.”

---"Heathens and savage tribes hold that doctrine; but Christians and civilised nations disown it."

---"How? I don't understand."

---"It is not violence that best overcomes hate--nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury."

---"What then?"

---"Read the New Testament, and observe what Christ says, and how he acts; make his word your rule, and his conduct your example."

---"What does he say?"

---"Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you."



Sure, read the bible and follow its example.
Is not like the christians ever killed anyone.




Bully_rus
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:02:07 AM
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Young lady's feisty manners or the lack thereof.
pedro
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4:39:24 AM

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Thankfully she later found a talent for writing and abandoned her pugilistic ambitions.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 5:33:36 AM
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As pedro says, "thankfully she later found a talent for writing...," otherwise, Jane Eyre being written from Jane's point of view, we would have nothing to talk about. The character Jane Eyre is a governess and teacher, later a housewife.

Ms. Burns (get it, "burns",) the character capitan quotes, is a martyr who later dies young. Bronte pits Jane's Old Testament values of "an eye for an eye" against Burns' New Testament values of "turn the other cheek."

As Bully rus observes, the quotation develops Jane's (then) character, her "feisty manners or lack thereof."

The class should note that once again TFD picks a Christian theme to highlight for discussion. There are many quotable passages in Jane Eyre. Why choose this one? And on the same day, why choose White Christmas to spotlight "This Day in History?" Do you sometimes feel you are in Sunday School at this site?

aloe_vera
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:22:27 PM
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(I agree with MTC that "White Christmas" is a tad out of place on the cusp of summer. ;-)

But in regard to TQD, I would suggest a middle ground between Jane Eyre's view of meeting violence with equal or greater violence (unfortunately there are those elements out there that don't respond well to sweetness and light) and Mrs. Burn's "turn the other cheek". I think that only works best on other Christians... sometimes.
The middle ground, and from the same source, would be the Golden Rule: "do unto other's as you would have them do unto you". I think that is so basic, all of humanity can recognize the wisdom of it, and the world would find some peace were it to be ever seriously tried.

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” GK Chesterton
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:47:41 PM

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I've never felt like I was in Sunday School on this site, despite the quotes and word of the day. Certainly the quotation today would be the opposite of what would be taught in Sunday School.
And while I believe in living peacefully together, I also have no patience or tolerance for those who are willfully abusive.
I find I agree about as often as I disagree with some of the quotes presented, , so it never occurred to me to see some kind of pattern in them.

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
jcbarros
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:23:22 PM

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Holy Cornholio!
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 3:11:16 PM
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Daemon wrote:
When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)


There is a difference between revenge and self defense, and the quotation would have to be unreasonably stretched in order to attribute it the Old Testament value.
Of course, the objective of striking back should be to stop an aggression as it unfolds, whether at the same time it teaches the aggressor a lesson or not.

As to the New Testament teaching to turn the other cheek, it is up to each of our sense of self-preservation to set the limit to it. Some good Christians have set the limit in anticipation of the strike, in a rather cheeky interpretation of self defense.
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:49:38 PM
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Verbatim commented: "There is a difference between revenge and self defense, and the quotation would have to be unreasonably stretched in order to attribute it the Old Testament value."

Take a step back and look at the quotation in the context capitan has provided. In response to a young Jane Eyre's declaration (Quotation of the Day) Helen Burns recommends Jane "Read the New Testament, and observe what Christ says, and how he acts; make his word your rule, and his conduct your example." Helen could as easily have said, "Read the Bible," or "Read the Old Testament," but instead she specified the New Testament. Helen gathers Jane has read the Old Testament by the violent tenor of her comments. The Old Testament is rife with violence, indeed embraces violence. That's why Helen recommends Jane read the New Testament. Helen embodies New Testament values while Jane at this early stage of her life embodies Old Testament values in her violent response to injustice. It helps to know Bronte was the daughter of a clergyman. She laced her novel with Biblical quotes, allusions, and themes which get tied up in the development of Jane's character. So I submit the "stretch," in attributing the quotation to Old Testament values, if there be any "stretch," is not unreasonable.

FounDit remarked: "Certainly the quotation today would be the opposite of what would be taught in Sunday School." That's correct because nowadays Sunday Schools emphasize the New Testament, love and forgiveness. Kids are not taught, "an eye for an eye" for obvious reasons. But that's not the point. Today's quotation cannot be undestood in isolation, but in the context of the novel which, as we have just seen, entails a discussion of Christian doctrine. That's the point.

I agree with aloe vera that the world would be a better place if the Golden Rule were followed. Now if we could only transmute lead into gold!

Lastly, I agree with jcbarros that !



Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:50:47 PM
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MTC wrote: "Take a step back and look at the quotation in the context capitan has provided."

I have just read over the entire Chapter VI of Jane Eyre. Little context is dangerous once truncated.

Nowhere in that whole chapter is there any indication that young Jane Eyre's declaration (in the initially quoted excerpt) had been inspired by The Old Testament.
It is irrelevant what Helen Burns makes of Jane's statement, she is obviously submissive to the ill treatment of the cruel teacher Miss Scatcherd on religious grounds,
how could she understand that Jane has a legitimate distaste for it on her own precocious noble grounds? Jane, younger than Helen that she is, has a broader view of what
she had witnessed, so her statement-- and much more what was said in Chapter VI-- was not part of a Christian doctrine discussion, rather a generalized opinion of how one
should react to unjust treatment.

In my own comment "There is a difference between revenge and self defense, and the quotation would have to be unreasonably stretched in order to attribute it
the Old Testament value" I simply referred to the quotation asserting that it did not instigate revenge. Nor would it be reasonable to expect that young Jane's wishful thought
of striking back hard (at Miss Scatcherd, in particular) could have been realistic or reasonable under the circumstances of the episode.

If I were to be so bold, I would say that neither the Old nor the New Testament should have much to do with the quotation of the day, in the context of what young Jane felt,
Helen Burns' submissive nature and guessing notwithstanding.
Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:51:04 AM
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Passage from Bible have a few reasons, is it change young lady's mind?
pedro
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:29:02 AM

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The New Testament is quite old now, and the Old Testament is positively ancient. Any likelihood of an update?

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
MTC
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:59:33 AM
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"If I were to be so bold, I would say that neither the Old nor the New Testament should have much to do with the quotation of the day." You would have to be bolder than Brendan and blinder than a bat, Verbatim. (But like most of us, I doubt you are either.) There is very little in Jane Eyre that does not relate to the Bible in one way or another. The novel contains "176 spiritual allusions, at least eighty-one quotations and paraphrases from twenty-three books of Hebrew Scriptures and ninty-five from fifteen books of the New Testament." See The Bible in Literature at page 356. There's more scholarship on the Bible in Jane Eyre than Moses can waive a staff at, if you're inclined to probe deeper. Let me respectfully suggest that you broaden your search by reading the entire novel with a copy of the Bible at hand, in the event you haven't already. I think you'll find the subject quotation has everything to do with the Bible.

Verbatim
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 2:40:48 PM
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Having seen your most recent comment MTC at 2:59:33 AM on May 30, 2013, I have suddenly lost all interest in understanding your interpretation of the subject quote.
I have respectfully concluded that it is loaded with speculation as to the meaning of the conversation between Jane and Helen, even more loaded with words you attribute
to the characters, words nowhere to be found in the entire chapter I took the trouble to re-read. And yes, I have read the entire novel some time ago.

However, this comment you made earlier on the original quotation still ponders on my mind: "The class should note that once again TFD picks a Christian theme to highlight for discussion. There are many quotable passages in Jane Eyre. Why choose this one? And on the same day, why choose White Christmas to spotlight "This Day in History?" Do you sometimes feel you are in Sunday School at this site?"
Perhaps you are reading too much into TFD's choice? Intentions that are not there? This was the second time in a few weeks that you
advanced this sinister idea. You must know something the rest of us-- "the class"-- don't.
Hope2
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 3:26:06 PM

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These same quotes are on iGoogle every day. TFD uses the same source, I would guess.

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
Klaas V
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 3:56:27 PM

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pedro wrote:
The New Testament is quite old now, and the Old Testament is positively ancient. Any likelihood of an update?


For five books it's not allowed except for some rephrasing/retranslating. All the others we can add oe delete parts or even entire chapters. Some even did e.g. Tobit and other apocryphical books by the protestants. Only catholic and orthodox churches respect them.

With maybe the exception of the unasked there just isn't such thing available as a dumb question - Z4us
excaelis
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 5:43:31 PM

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Religion didn't enter my head when I read this, but d'you know what did ? CATFIGHT ! CATFIGHT !

Sanity is not statistical
MTC
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:26:34 PM
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You can disagree with my interpretation of the quotation, Verbatim. Reasonable minds may differ. But if your opinion is to be given any weight you will have to explain yourself better--not conveniently "lose all interest" when the going gets tough. What are the "words (I) attribute to the characters?" I didn't attribute any words to them. I argued that the quotation in context suggests Jane adheres to Old Testament values, and Helen adheres to New Testament values. In reading literature we are often asked to make inferences about the characters from their words and actions. They generally don't go around with signs on their foreheads. Interpreting literature is always somewhat speculative. As one of my English professors at Berkeley memorably remarked, "Just make a case for it." And that is what I have done in abbreviated form. You opined that "neither the Old nor the New Testament should have much to do with the quotation of the day" even though Helen responds to the quotation with a lecture on New Testament values, reacting to what Jane just said. But it is "irrelevant what Helen Burns makes of Jane's statement," you contend. If it is "irrelevant," Verbatim, then why did the author put it there? Authors frequently develop their themes through dialog. Readers cannot reasonably assume dialog is superfluous, especially in a serious work of fiction like Jane Eyre. What one character says to another cannot be ignored because it doesn't fit a given interpretation. Any reasonable interpretation must account for all the facts. As a law professor of mine commented speaking of essay answers, "Once, just once, you'd like to see an answer that addresses the inconvenient facts." You argue the quotation "was not part of a Christian doctrine discussion, rather a generalized opinion of how one should react to unjust treatment." I agree the discussion was sparked by the question of "how one should react to unjust treatment." But how can you reasonably ignore the two characters' contrasting answers to that question? Helen expressly says the New Testament should guide Jane in how to react. Jane doesn't label her opinion (characters seldom do) "Old Testament," but her "strike back even harder" reaction to injustice smacks of the Old Testament "an eye for an eye" ethic, contrasting sharply with Helen's "turn the other cheek" approach. Through her characters Bronte contrasts the answers to the problem of injustice given by the Old and New Testament. In the course of the novel and her personal development Jane will have to decide which answer to adopt. The important conversation between Jane and Helen from which the quotation is taken puts the leading character's development in a moral framework.

As for reading too much into TFD's choice of subjects and authors, I can only say Christian themes seem to come up in the quotations and articles fairly often. Whether TFD does this intentionally I doubt we will ever know for sure. But I think we must assume their editorial choices are not random. And we can make reasonable inferences. I will keep tabs on the selection of authors and content, and let the group know the results.
Verbatim
Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:39:14 PM
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MTC Wrote: " But if your opinion is to be given any weight you will have to explain yourself better--not conveniently "lose all interest" when the going gets tough."

Indeed I have done so by staying close to the spirit of the quotation which as I said before reflects Jane's altruistic concern for a fellow student persecuted by a cruel
teacher, hardly inspired by revenge but by a strong will to survive; she had done just that in spite of her own suffering from abuse at the hands of cruel relatives.

Jane Eyre has many themes and religion is certainly one, God is mentioned many times in the novel, but Christianity is not defined in terms of New versus Old Testament.
Jane, a mere 10 year old, has little patience with Helen's submissive Christianity and will in time, as the novel evolves, discover her own kind of faith in God.
Jane will treasure her brief encounter with Helen Burns but never accept her "turn of your other cheek" sort of creed, in her Christian forgiveness of later years.

The novel has been termed a Gothic romance, it is about love and survival, deliverance from evil and misfortune, triumph of clean conscience. It receives little justice when
such a juxtaposition of moral creed as is Old versus New Testament, is being made at the expense of all the other rich content, only because of the brief dialog in Chapter VI
where Helen suggests to Jane to read the New Testament. I challenge you to find actual words in the novel that will bring this up as a theme, the juxtaposition, in Jane Eyre.
I have found nothing in all the reviews I have read or in several other chapters I looked. So much for "when the going gets tough"!

Without the slightest concern whether my opinion is being given any weight, I hope this explanation will suffice until such time as you do some research of your own.








MTC
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:12:34 AM
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I have done a quick online search using "Jane Eyre and the Bible," and found two sources which support my point of view:

"So Jane, at least at first, is one of those people who can’t let anything go by – she has to stand up for herself and for a strict interpretation of moral laws. If Helen Burns represents New Testament love and forgiveness at this point, the child version of Jane Eyre represents an Old Testament code of justice as retaliation – "an eye for an eye"..."

(http://www.shmoop.com/jane-eyre/jane-eyre-character.html)


"(S)he (Jane) tells Brocklehurst that the Bible is her favourite reading and expresses a clear preference for the narrative, heroic and prophetic sections of the Old Testament, as opposed to the Psalms or the message of peace and love in the New Testament."

(http://www.crossref-it.info/textguide/Jane-Eyre/9/1087)

I'm sure more support could be found online with more effort and more time.

You state my interpretation "is being made at the expense of all the other rich content, only because of the brief dialog in Chapter VI." Hardly. I merely said that at this stage of her development Jane voiced Old Testament values. I did not say, "forever." Nor did I say Jane's words displaced all the other many themes in the novel. How you arrived at this misunderstanding escapes me.

Next, your repeated use of the odd expression "actual words in the novel" suggests an unsophisticated, literalist approach to literary interpretation. If the author spells it out , e.g., "juxtaposition," "Old Testament," "New Testament," it's there. Otherwise, "it," whatever "it" is, doesn't exist. Inferences from the text apparently don't count. But as I pointed out earlier, there is plenty of text to support my interpretation, even in the short passage we examined.

Regardless, I feel that I have been playing the lute to the cow for some time now, and so will close.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 2:56:03 PM
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MTC: Your hard work paid off. Thank you for the (other) sophomoric opinions which appear to match yours. I place a very high value particularly on the playfully sarcastic one from
Shmoop We speak student at Shmoop.com, your first choice. The other, is probably a valuable resource for cheating on home work, but I declined.

I can understand that you will not be bound by the author's words in this or maybe any novel: Your inference must take precedence, you know exactly what Bronte meant, never mind that she did not say it, right?
And how true what you said: "Next, your repeated use of the odd expression "actual words in the novel" suggests an unsophisticated, literalist (sic?) approach to literary interpretation." (My emphasis, my insert)
Unsophisticated indeed, devoid of sophism. Thank you for that, I am literally moved.

Now give yourself a pat on the back for your polite choice of symbolism, read this and be proud: "Regardless, I feel that I have been playing the lute to the cow for some time now, and so will close."
To that I will gladly abstain from retort, it would not be worth a mooh!
Cheer up, old chap, I meant you no harm. And stop dropping names like "Berkeley" or hints like "a law professor of mine", we know you have the education, just go on and apply it.
MTC
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 6:48:00 PM
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Calling opinions "sophmoric" or "sophism" doesn't make them so, Verbatim. But having provided no authority for your own opinions, I suppose slinging mud at the other man's opinions and authorities will have to suffice. And by the way, rashly referring to an online resource for both students and teachers as "a valuable resource for cheating on home work" which you "declined" might be considered defamatory under the law. Mud is always more readily available thean reason.

Since you challenged the spelling of literalist ("literalist (sic?)") I thought you might appreciate knowing how the word is correctly spelled and used, the way I spelled and used it, that is:

Definition of LITERALISM
1
: adherence to the explicit substance of an idea or expression <biblical literalism>
2
: fidelity to observable fact : realism
lit·er·al·ist\-list\ noun
— lit·er·al·is·tic \ˌli-t(ə-)rə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective

As for "Berkeley" and "law school," yes, I'm quite proud of my education and legal career. Others on the TFD site have similar accomplishments, I'm sure.

I think we have reached the point of diminishing returns in this discussion, so let's end it and go on to something more productive.


Verbatim
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 12:18:35 AM
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My dear MTC: I thought you closed our conversation with your insult directed at me: "Regardless, I feel that I have been playing the lute to the cow for some time now, and so will close." (in your post Thursday, May 30, 2013 9:12:34 PM, remember?)
The same post you said to me directly: "Next, your repeated use of the odd expression "actual words in the novel" suggests an unsophisticated, literalist approach to literary interpretation."
It is clear that you meant "lacking experience or worldly wisdom" by "unsophisticated", or perhaps "marked by a lack of refinement or complexity", yet I made light of it in my reply since there is a third definition in TFD.
I see what you mean by your caution: " Mud is always more readily available thean reason".

As to "literalist", I did not challenge your spelling, and as ashamed as I am now that I did not resist it, I thought I would gently point out your wrongful use
of it as a noun instead of an adjective, thus the (sic?) with a question mark.
It should have been "literalistic approach"... approach being a noun in your sentence MTC, but you did not catch it even when brought gently to your attention.
Instead, you presumed to teach me the correct use of the word you incorrectly used. Dear man, have some respect for words, this is a dictionary site, people might emulate you.

Now to a more serious insinuation of yours, I must correct your wrongful inference, vehemently, that I might have had any intent to make defamatory statements regarding anybody at all
as you remarked in your post to which I am replying now. It is wrong, period. I made light of cheating on home work.

However, I can't help but ask myself, never from you, what was the meaning of your post on May 24, 2013, a comment you made to a Quote of the Day from Sir Francis Bacon.
The comment, a definition from wikipedia, had no relation whatsoever with the quote, rather it appeared to be directed at someone having posted before you, someone who annoyed you to the extent of then appearing to insinuate that person(s) state of mind being bipolar, manic. I believe that was not productive, so, yes, please follow your own advice.

Thank you for the most interesting interaction, however little pleasant, we may want to avoid it in the future.






MTC
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 5:11:44 AM
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"It should have been "literalistic approach"... approach being a noun in your sentence MTC, but you did not catch it even when brought gently to your attention."

"Literalist" was used as a noun, not an adjective, Verbatim, e.g. "a literalist interpretation of the Bible," or "literalist art." The adjective "literalistic" might have been used, but wasn't. We wouldn't want others on this dictionary site to be misled by your "correction."

More could be said, but more than enough has already been said.
ithink140
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 5:40:15 AM

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Well at least verbal fistycuffs are better than belting the daylights out of each other.
I would rather my ego take bashing than receive a bloody nose.

It is very amusing to observe egos on the march in opposite directions, destined never to meet... I am sure I have done the same many a time. I have had a good laugh at myself after such encounters. I do so love the cutting remarks said with such enunciated politeness... they remind me of Oscar Wilde at his best... they are like the cut and thrust of swordplay. There is nothing quite like a polite cutting thrust.

All the above is said 'In the best possible taste.'


'Life is too short to be eaten up by hate.'
MTC
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 7:04:34 AM
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I appreciate the thrust of your remarks, ithink140.
Verbatim
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 1:17:12 PM
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Daemon wrote:
When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)


I wish to speak only of my own part which I have sadly played in the spectacle that took place for 3 days here.
I thought I was defending young Jane against the stigma of revenge implied to her words in the quote above. Upon further thought,
it looks like I may have given more weight to my own pride and vanity, as the spectacle degenerated into poor discourse.

To simply apologize for the role I have played in this would not be enough. Apologies are seldom pure of self-interest, that need we have to
restore our own feelings to normal by redeeming guilt. What I owe the readers is a profound apology for imposing onto them the spectacle,
if they happened to go on reading once they saw the folly of it. And thus I apologize.

MTC
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 2:31:37 PM
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Judging by the numbers who viewed what may hereafter become known as "The Great Spectacle," I believe it had at least some entertainment value. But seriously, it was an unseemly confrontation from which neither combatant has emerged unscathed, closer in spirit to "an eye for an eye" than "turn the other cheek." Certainly I don't feel good about it. And poor Jane is probably rolling in her grave. Anyway, the battered combatants have returned to their corners, healing waters will close over "The Great Spectacle," and a blessed measure of peace, serenity, and boredom will soon be restored to the forum.


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