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#13387 The Sound of Music - MERGED

Posted by Rufus on 20 January 2018 - 04:05 PM


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#13386 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 20 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

Modulations in language
Behind, between, and beneath the dialog. Scenes are built with it. It's about bringing the depth of the dialog to the surface using subtext. Exposing the tensions and interplay between the characters. Would you rather see a character completely transparent from the start? Characters are built using subtexts and summaries in conjunction with one another. Noticing these things can be appreciated more on second and third readings of any work. Consider these questions:
How does the scene get it's legs going, and how does the characters development build throughout its course? 
How can we tell if any underlying stakes are involved, and what can be learned about the relationship between the characters over the course of scenery already seen? What do characters have in common? Does a character know what he/she wants to achieve? 
Subtexts in scense
All characters enter into scenes for a reason. Not every character knows what he wants. Hidden goals are revealed through the sub-text. There might be a good chance for misunderstandings and communication breakdowns to occur. This is where twilight language gets involved. It's all in the sub-text.
Look for diction changes, tone modulations, and rhetorical devices in scene dialog. What underlying sub-texts in the language can be seen? Pay attention to words. What kind of words is the character using? What kind of differences in timber (or mode modulations) does a character use to get what he/she wants? Use a poker scene as an example. All the interactions in dialog along with some summarizations in body language can make subtle sub-texts stand out.
Narrators count on the reader to find the subtexts.

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#13385 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 20 January 2018 - 01:19 PM


I like how you imply that reading a good book is like listening to a great symphony. All the parts and pieces coming together to form a coherent listening experience. Rhythms and structures are what constantly drives us forward. Let's hope the stories told in the future will have a patient rhythm to tell the story of our present. Our media tells them so fast the beats per minute make it difficult to keep up.
Just a question but I was wondering why people can listen to a song over and over again but find it difficult to re-read short stories and books the same way?



I think it might be the electric ear worms. They travel really, really fast...




Reading books has its own sense of syncopated beats all layered inside. I guess a reader has to slow down the BPM a bit to really listen to the symphony within.


My last post looked at chapters and how they provide structure and pace throughout an entire book. We've already caught a glimpse of chapters as clusters filled with scenes and summaries from that post. Today we'll bring the microscope in and look inside a chapter and see what makes it tick and pulse.
Scenes are influenced by the dialog. A reader can feel like they're watching the characters without any filters from the author or narrator.
Summaries are comments by the storyteller that set the scene, analyze a character, and the tell general surroundings.. Summary activates the readers senses as it conveys a lot of information by using a few short sentences and paragraphs. Summary describes what the characters are doing and not saying in the dialog. Try replacing summaries with scenes of dialog and see what happens. Can a description be conveyed by using dialog along? Dialog gives us the characters direct reason for action. Especially during long discourses between characters. Tension builds and summary is used to release it. Summary breaks the dialog into beats, or stages and allows the reader to stop and think about the characters actions.
Ever notice how dialog and summary have their own kind of beat going on inside a chapter? Each chapter is like a song in a concept album...

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#13362 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 18 January 2018 - 03:26 PM

Chapters, parts, and patterns...
All fiction and non-fiction today is divided up into parts and chapters. It gives long works structure for the narrator to describe the scenes chained together within chapters. Chapters give breaks to the reader and a chance to go back and re-read a section of interest. Maybe even begin asking the myriad of questions described in previous posts and coming up with a few of your own.
Ever ask questions like why are some chapters small and others large? Are there any rules or a general consensus as to how chapters should be formed? 
Yes: It's best that an opening chapter(s) in a book should be short to introduce the main character and describe setting and scene then end with a disrupting event. This gives a reader a clue into what to expect.
Coordinating and arranging chapters and parts is a thoughtful arrangement and skill by any author. Style always plays a heavy part in this process. Sometimes chapters are even and sometimes clustered about. 
Let's take a look at where the idea of chapter and verse division comes from. Of course, it's the Bible. Originally it wasn't divided in any way at all. It's thought it was preceded by the use of epigraphs. Only later commentators put them into verse and chapter when they copied them. 

Stephen Langton (c. 1150 – 9 July 1228) was an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Canterbury between 1207 and his death in 1228. The dispute between King John of England and Pope Innocent III over his election was a major factor to the crisis which produced Magna Carta in 1215. Cardinal Langton is also credited with having divided the Bible into the standard modern arrangement of chapters used today.



They did this to keep an order of reference for themselves and those around them. Later, other writers began mimicing this style and by the 19th century our current form of reading and writing styles are currenty established in our own modern society.  
In those days books weren't usually printed whole like they are today. Publishers had better ways to market a tale. They were published in installments and chapters. Later releasing them in larger parts. Charles Dickens was one of most popular authors who used chapters to tell a story to the public. They were released in installments with a couple of chapters each week. 
How would an author keep his readers interested in a long work when it's presented like that? That's where chapter formation and main characters come in with major events to change the scene to another part. Major twists, revelations, or other character shifting events are what gives the story a beat. Look for major event chapters. These lead to another part in the story. Sometimes the beat is strange and unorthodox. Modern writers like to play around with these structures giving us a myriad of formation and pattern twists. I hope this post gives you some reference into what to look for in refining your own artist sense in reading. 

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#13357 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 17 January 2018 - 11:34 AM

All the above questions and elements in story telling give us the tools to add to our fun when reading a short story. They also provide us a basis to explore longer novels. Today's focus will be on pre-reading to help readers choose books to purchase or read from the library. 
Walk into any book store and what do you find? People perusing the isles pre-reading blurbs, looking at covers, trying to decide on what book to buy.
An artful reader knows what to look for when it comes to authors and characters, but what about the structure of the novel? I think I've mentioned a few good questions to ask yourself on some of the previous posts.
Short stories are good for a single sitting read through as they never take much time to read. They focus more on one or two characters with action inside a limited space of time. They hardly ever include sub-plots. A short story is like a good song.
Novels take a while to read. Sometimes days and even weeks. They have multiple characters and they allow an author to flesh out the roundness of the main players in greater detail. Narration can be devious and filled with devices to put a little meat on a flat character or two. Novels can have an almost unlimited time span. Main characters can be seen from birth to death and beyond. Novels offer multiple plots and sub-plots and sound like a full fledged album of music.
Pre-reading at the library or bookstore helps to pick out which book you might be interested in. Pictures on the cover and blurbs on the back are never enough for a pre-read. Notice how advertisers use genre and the names of authors to draw in a reader. Look inside and see how many parts is it divided into. Do any the chapters names catch your eye? When you begin reading a novel spend at least half an hour on it and ask a few questions: 
Can you find a master plot? 
Are the characters and settings drawing you in? 
Is the narration first person or third?
Does the first sentence give away the genre?
Those are just a few questions to ask yourself. You'll find many more when you explore the art of reading. Here's a few more questions to ask yourself when choosing a new book (or an old one):
Would you read a badly reviewed novel from a popular author or a perfect short story?
Would you rather read a classic novel or a modern one?
Would a recommendation from a teacher, librarian, or a friend make difference in your choice of book?

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#13347 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 16 January 2018 - 02:23 PM

Master Plots and Genres
The Protagonist and the antagonist. 
The hero's journey (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings) and a stranger comes to town (Cat in the Hat). 
Master plots are recurring story types like the old rags to riches tale told over and over. These are called cultural myths or master narratives. Only the story patterns change. They are universal and tend to go in and out of style as culture dictates. Master plots look at cultural practices and historical trends. Discovering and re-discovering universal truths. At the very beginning of a story the reader will be thrown off balance and taken on a journey or introduced to a strange element or figure. A destabilizing event is the antagonist that begins the adventure. 
Master plots are not necessarily literately in nature. They can be framed in any genre. A genre is todays critical term defining a type or category. They also extend out into other media and ideological forms. Fiction and non-fiction are the two basic distinctions. Nonfiction gives us the facts and tells the truth. Fiction puts the reader in touch with their emotions and can enlighten all our efforts in learning the larger truths of life. Fiction provokes thought by delving into the universe and discovering old plots and re-writing new ones. Finding a larger story and framing a plot to make it interesting to the reader.
Genres are usually in opposition to each other. Or at least they're supposed to be. Westerns are not horror stories and science fiction tales of fantasy are not legal thrillers. Right? Well, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. It really doesn't have to. The master plot will tell the moral of the tale if it's told well and with an interesting framework. Crossing the lines and stirring the pot by mixing genres together is a common practice. Try this little trick when picking up an unfamiliar book at the library: Read the first sentence and try to guess the genre or do it without looking at the picture on the cover or reading the blurb in the back nor any of the reviews to give it away. Can you guess which genre? Titles and authors can be a dead give-a-way so just pick a book at random and see if you can guess the type of story by playing that little game. 
In closing, here are a couple of questions to ask about some of the books you've already read:
How many stories in any genre follow the pattern of 'the journey' or the 'stranger'?
What are your favorite examples of these two forms of Master Plot? 
...till next time...

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#13337 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 15 January 2018 - 12:19 PM

When plots become stories...
What is the difference between a plot and a story?
Everyone likes a good story. Stories are basically a chronological order of a group of events to give readers information about the characters and their events. A plot twists the order to give it an angle. A narrator can then put a tale into an order by cherry picking events to show cause, effects, and resolutions all to make the story more interesting. The very word 'plot' itself is a tricky one, isn't it? It could be defined as a conspiracy to distort a story. 
Try this next time you read a book for a second or third time. Take all the story elements and list them into chronological order. Are there elements in the plot not in the story? Is there a sub-plot that is not necessary? What about important story elements not included in the plot? Do you think the story could have been told without the careful plotting created by the author? Or was he sloppy in delivery? Did each part fit together to form a coherent whole? 
All stories begin with a beginning, middle and an end. Aristotle taught us that with his little book 'Poetics'. That dude has certainly left his mark in history in so many ways. Anyways, let's go into what he has to say about what makes a good plot stand out.
Here's an overview of Aristotles Poetics for reference:
Basically, Aristotle explains that we all learn through imitation. Listening to stories, looking at pictures, imitating gestures and words, etc. He believed it was a natural process and the result was to learn how to take apart stories and see how they were constructed.
The wheels always turn in a good story so we need A beginning. It introduces the characters, a setting, and a bit on their situation. The protagonist is introduced and we're given some details on his character. Everything is cool in the beginning. All is well and the reader is basically shown scenes that are stable in relation to the scenes surrounding the players. The beginning is a place where we get to know the people, places, and things and their characteristics. After a while an event will occur to throw all this into something interesting. Something to fling the characters off balance, launching them into opposite directions, and preventing or instilling in them a need for action.
This brings us to the middle. A place where everything goes awry. The characters are forced into new situations and face challenges so the reader can get a better sense of what the characters are up against. The antagonist is seen in a better light. Slowly being revealed to the reader. Things may get worse before they get better. What can happen next?
The ending is where all the conflicts seen at the beginning and how they're worked out in the middle resolve themselves. Most endings settle themselves either comically or tragically. Although, an open ending leaving some questions unanswered seems to be a trend. Leaving it open for sequels and spinoffs of all kinds. 
Keeping track of all the twists and turns in a plot can be difficult on your first time through a book. Learning the basics from 'Poetics' helps to keep it in mind though. Plus, it'll begin to make re-reading more rewarding, it'll add more discovery, and it'll ask more questions in the mind of the reader.
I'll close this post with a few questions for readers to consider:
What makes a great beginning?
Are there any stories, novels, or movies that grab your attention right at the start? Is there anything common?
What makes a great ending? Is it really the hardest part of the story to get right? 
What stories have powerful beginnings, a meaty middle, and a really shitty ending?

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#13266 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 12 January 2018 - 02:02 PM

Time for a few notes and questions about characters. Without them the reading process would be for naught.
What makes them interesting, why are they fascinating, and what makes them stick in our minds and hearts?
What embodiments do they possess which make them smart, full of feeling, what motivates them, their memories and desires, their fantasies and their foibles.
In short, what makes them tick. Both their good and bad attributes are important to these decisions.
E.M. Forster gave us some dintinctions to look for in his book 'Aspects of the Novel' to help define the process of character development.
These are the forms for lead and secondary characters:
Ever notice that niceness almost always prevails at the end of a book? 
Do characters have to be perfect? 
What sort of characters stand out? 
Does an aspect of a flat character bring out the roundness of of the lead character? 
Is the character interesting enough for you to be interested in what happens to him in the story? 
What would you like to see happen to a particular character? Why?
Do the internal struggles and conflicts resolve themselves? 
Does the crisis a character faces reckon itself with the past? 
How do the good attributes change to bad and visa-versa? 
Why are some characters round and others flat? 
Does the character surprise you? 
Does he convince?
Look for any juxtaposition to monitor your impressions over the course of a characters development. 
Is the image of the self what you want verses what you want to want? Example being: The Ginger vs. Marianne dilemna
These are just a few things to look for in your reading of characters. When you start asking these questions it'll open the door to a greater understanding of where your own character development can go through the course of your own life story. Understanding how characters develop as a reader may help tell the tale. Characters and how they interact are what drives any story or narrative. Without them there would be no life worth living...

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#13256 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 11 January 2018 - 01:47 PM






I've always enjoyed the narrative style from a good author. It brings the story teller in as a character. A narrator oversees a story's moral value or not. Knowing a bit about the narrative style helps to entice the reader into a more thoughtful discourse. 
Refining our reading of the narrator helps to capture our senses within the story. Usually, there are two types of person a narrator can be: 
The first and third. Yes, I know, grammar school English. Big deal. Right? Not so. Each has its own flavor in telling a story. So what are their differences?
First Person Narration captures the readers imagination by creating a sense of intimacy. It can force a reader into a more active roll by feeling the characters story. It is a direct telling and leaves the reader to figure out what the motives in the story are. First Person likes to ask 'why do we tell stories?" He is the I - the one closely observing the action.
Third Person Narration can be laid back and more relaxed. A free and indirect style. The reader knows the narrator is objective. Sort of like an omniscient know it all. Third Person keeps a certain distance from the reader. With third person an author can provide insight that is unknown to other characters in the story. Sorting through all the twisted images and putting sense to it all.
Third person can also capture language from one or more characters to give it a first person type of feel. Combining both at the same time allowing the reader to be inside and outside of the character at the same time. Sometimes it's possible to shift between these two narrative characters.
Then there are more unusual narrative possibilities to ponder. The use of the 'we' narrator is practical sometimes as an alternative choice. It's a first person plural narrator.
So the next time you pick up a book. Read a ways in and ask yourself if this is first or third person. How would the feel of the story change if it were told the other way around. 
How narrative moved beyond literary analysis
John Lanchester offers a brief take on this phenomenon in the London Review of Books:
"Back when I was at university, the only people who ever used the word ‘narrative’ were literature students with an interest in critical theory. Everyone else made do with ‘story’ and ‘plot’.  Since then, the n-word has been on a long journey towards the spotlight – especially the political spotlight. Everybody in politics now seems to talk about narratives all the time; even political spin-doctors describe their job as being ‘to craft narratives.’ We no longer have debates, we have conflicting narratives. It’s hard to know whether this represents an increase in PR sophistication and self-awareness, or a decrease in the general level of discourse."
In 1947 it was another Brit, George Orwell, who posited a direct relationship between political corruption and the misuse of language. But Orwell’s attention was fixed on language at the level of words and phrases: the use of euphemism to veil unspeakable horrors; empty slogans meant as a substitute for critical thinking; pretentious jargon designed to lend authority to special interests. While Orwell wrote many powerful narratives – fiction and nonfiction – he showed little interest in theories of political narratives in the way Lanchester describes.
The use of narrative for political purposes was not invented in this century or even the last. It is a standard lesson of Shakespeare scholarship that the Bard’s history plays, such as the Richard and Henry plays, tilted the historical record in favor of the Tudor dynasty (the family that gave England Queen Elizabeth I), an act of political dramaturgy that provided the playwright cover and, no doubt, financial rewards.
The long journey of narrative described by Lanchester took many professional stops before it arrived so conspicuously in the barrio of spin-doctors, speech writers, and other political handlers. For decades now, narrative theory has wended its way through the worlds of medicine, law, and business management, just to name the most obvious arenas.

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#13245 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 09 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

Would you like a reading?
Reading is always full of questions.
There are many things to consider in the art of reading. Authors, narrators, and characters just to name a few. This post will focus on Authors and why readers discern their own favorites. It'll ask many questions for the critical reader to consider. First, we'll start with these:
How to we get to know an author?
What do we really need to know about the real life of the author to enjoy the work? 
What is the relationship between what we think we know about an author reading their books to the real life person?
What bias' form in your mind?
How does the figure of the author begin to make his presense known in the story?
How does he materialize on the page?
What kind of person writes particular kinds of stories?
Is the aim to instruct? Entertain? Both?
What does an author leave unsaid?
Will the author be a good influence or a bad one?
Does it help your reading experience or is it a hindrance?
Authors are like characters in their books. They are not all seeing masterminds creating stories to fool a reader. The authors character will show over the course of the book. A good author asks questions, explores their possibilities, and is willing to lose control. He materializes on the page in the language, form, and structure inside the work itself. The 'implied' author is implicit in the story. He becomes a person we like. 
Consider a few more questions:
Do we have too much expectations from an author?
How does this influence our approach in getting to know an author? 
What are the striking qualities throughout the piece that distingquish the authors presense? 
Does the voice of the story teller stand out?
Is he judgemental, humorous, gentle, hard, etc.? 
Do any of the characters portray these different qualities?
Are all the characters treated fairly?
Which ones are treated badly?
There is more to reading than just extracting information from and about an author. Think about the man who suffers and the man who creates. A mind that frames, develops, and polishes a story provides a rendering or translation of the man who suffers.  
A good author does not nesessarily begin a story with a theme or message. A message or moral does not need to come first. It is better to inform rather than confuse readers with undefined symbols and metaphors. Some authors start with ideas that transform information into questions without answers. Making it a process of discovery. Characters often rise up in the process and finish the story. 
An author constantly learns and uses all the fancy tricks available in the toolbox of communication. The hard part is learning how to use the tools. Reading helps us to do this. Practice makes perfect.
After all, it's the reader who is the final critic of the work. Learning the many tools for an artful reading is crucial to a successful experience.

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#13224 Would You Like a Reading?

Posted by Rufus on 08 January 2018 - 10:20 PM

Expanding the definition of fun.
Writing is a medium of language. Artful reading enlarges our sense of language and understanding.
Most of todays reading is done to extract information and discard it once it's used. Artful reading takes the time to appreciate a thoughtful phrase or a nifty turn of words. 
Here are some questions to consider:
What do you bring to your reading?
Is there an anticipation?
Ever re-read a paragraph because you thought it was beautifully put together; just for the simple pleasure of it?
How about Laughing out loud at some unexpected word play? 
How many times do you return to a book you've read before and found new nuggets of understanding?
Are the words casual?
Any disquises in fallacy?
What is the mood?
Is it formal or informal in language?
Literary fiction is alive and well. Classic literature gives us the examples for the many tools used by the past masters. Modern masters have taken this classic approach and added many more mediums of language to communicate our current modes of story telling. Humans have come a long way since the old fireside stories of the past.
Techno friction is a huge and growing epidemic. How many juxtapositions are artificially driven?
Confusion is a common approach to story telling. Juxtaposition is a common device used to portray a decent set of twisted images. A good writer will show the viewer all the twists and turns. Sometimes they're multi layered and offer new directions to explore when re-reading a particularly favorite book or story.
This thread will play in tandem with this one:

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#11404 Rhetorical Devices Used in Literary Logic

Posted by Rufus on 04 September 2017 - 03:34 PM


A related term...


Polysemy - One word used to describe different things. Also can include phrases, symbolic poetic imagery, and different forms of jargon. Example: Look up the word monster in webster. Then look up the same word in an old law dictionary. Some words have up to 30 meanings. They're meant to hit the senses on a deeper level. They are always done on purpose (this is the main difference between the above related homophones) and are especially used in an historical sense; over time words change their meaning but can still be twisted to serve more than one purpose of meaning.
Perhaps this is why it is difficult to teach these in class. It relates to etymology (origins of words) which takes time and study. Worthy study for a greater historical sense in meaning. 
Often, judging how Polysemes are related makes them ambiguous and vague in nature. I think this works with all languages in one form or another as problems arise when non-native speakers learn a new language. At least it's seen when learning English. Inside information can be conveyed using this device. 





I found this post about 'twilight language' to be apt:



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#11249 Rhetorical Devices Used in Literary Logic

Posted by Rufus on 19 August 2017 - 01:05 PM

Shall we speak of hubris this morning?


This is a literary concept designed to show a characters ignorance and pride. These types of characters usually have over inflated egos. They hold positions of power that cross examine their own moral codes and they usually break them and form new ones. They delight in causing shame in others just for the fun of it. Revenge is not hubris. Hubris is when one thinks themselves better than another. Sometimes it becomes so great as to leave an individual thinking he is equal to god. Always leading the character to try and defy nature and bring about destruction for everyone concerned.



Hamartia - Ultimately, hubris is a flaw in the personality that brings about tragic or negative results. We see stories with characters like this all the time. Rocket the Raccoon in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie is one such example; he steals batteries at the beginning of the movie thereby setting in motion massive blowback that creates the tension for the rest of the movie. Underlying his faux pas of thievery is the inner pride within himself that causes harmful actions.
Hamartia is that flaw bringing about the humiliation. Small defects bringing about tragic results. The audience will see the fear the character feels; past all the pride and foolishness he projects. Knowing the character has both good and bad qualities gives the viewer a sense of pity and perhaps empathy with his/her plight. Using hamartia encourages the moral purpose of the story to shine through. As we see the hero overcome the inner plight within.

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#11137 Rhetorical Devices Used in Literary Logic

Posted by Rufus on 06 August 2017 - 02:11 PM

The Palindrome effect
Palindromes are words and sentences that read both forwards as well as backwards. These take a bit of thinking to create. Usually for entertaining purposes. But, they do have an esoteric aspect. Their use can be traced to ancient and modern Magic spells because of the reversibility they offer. You'll find extensive use of the palindrome effect in numbers too. Great for poetic rhythm effects and they're seen in religious texts as well.

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#11135 Rhetorical Devices Used in Literary Logic

Posted by Rufus on 06 August 2017 - 01:57 PM


“Folks, our nation’s hen houses are on the attack. If we don’t act now, it’s no more fried egg and cheese biscuits for us. No more fried chicken. No more chicken noodle soup. No more Wendy’s Spicy Chicken sandwiches. It’s gone. All gone. As soon as these bastards get their hands on our chicken, the only thing we’ll have is either Curried Chicken or Chicken Tacos. And who eats that shit? This is America folks. If we let ISIS and illegal Mexicans get to our chickens, it’s over folks. The American dream is dead. But, I’m here to tell you folks, I’ve read on Twitter and Facebook that the best thing we can do to keep the chickens safe is guarding them with nature’s top assassin. The fox. The fox is a ruthless killer, heartless, and he’ll snuff out anyone trying to hurt our nation’s precious hens. God bless foxes, and God bless America!” said Trump. The crowd of news reporters and farmers erupted in a thunderous applause.




:smiley-laughing024:  :Good_Post:  :FunnyShit1:  :GoldenSmile1:




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