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District, Paly vow changes after hazing article

Original post made on Dec 13, 2007

Concerned school officials have reacted swiftly following publication of an article on high-school hazing, which described teenage athletes getting dropped on the ribs and being forced to eat a hot dog rolled in chewing tobacco, among other abuses.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 13, 2007, 5:30 PM

Comments (55)

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Should common sense prevail,
this foolishness we should curtail-
whadya think?
after all-
somebody's likely to get an eye poked out-
calm down kiddies-
while violence is all you see on tv-
there truly is more to life than idiotic rites of passage-
hit the books- not each other!


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Posted by Pareent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

Amazing what a bit of publicity can do.


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Posted by Been There
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 13, 2007 at 7:53 pm

If the hazer is a stud athlete, and the hazee is an underclassman, nothing will happen. The parents of the hazee will demand, of the administration, that nothing happens to embarrass their kid. The coach will think, "No proof, no complaint, no foul".

Been going on for decades. Won't stop.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by agree
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 14, 2007 at 12:54 am

this kind of behavior has no reason to stop and will not stop until people realize that is a team building activity


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 5:52 am

Anyone who submits to this crap is not much of a man and is beyond salvage. Those who haze are cowards hiding behind the gang and likely latent you know whats.


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Posted by joe
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 6:59 am

The teams involved in this should have the sports discontinued for at least four years until all the bad apples are out of school and a fresh start can be made. The coaches should be fired as well.


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Posted by Cluetrain
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2007 at 9:02 am

Anyone who thinks that the kind of hazing described is "team building" needs to have their head examined.

Another phrase for hazing is "sanctioned bullying" - the overt submission of one person to the power of another, to get something (usually peer approval).

So, someone should be subjected to humiliation to become part of a team - to gain the acceptance of his/her peers? That's teamwork? That's mentoring by elders, for entry into the tribe? Please. Get a clue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by the correct Cluetrain
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:02 am

What hazing does is it makes the person being hazed feel more a part of the team after it is done. It builds a bond between piers that strengthens friendships. It is typical people that live here dont understand it.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:29 am

Cluetrain

There are many initiations that could take place which could teambuild without the type of aforementioned scenarios.

How about, rookies washing the boots/uniforms/ of team in large buckets outside the gym; cleaning the bleachers with mops and sponges; cleaning up after a practice with vegetables (cauliflowers, etc.) kicking stuffed t shirt dummies from one of the field to the other with an additional penalty for the one coming in last. These I have seen done before on teams and work well with plenty of laughter and picture taking and no one gets too offended.


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Posted by Cluetrain
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:39 am

"What hazing does is it makes the person being hazed feel more a part of the team after it is done."

You mean that's how *you* felt? So you enjoyed the role of victim? Sounds pretty weak to me.

btw, the word is "peer", not "pier"


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Posted by give us a clue, cluetrain
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:43 am

Cluetrain: "It is typical people that live here dont understand it."
Where are you from where people do understand it? I can't think of any group of enlightened adults who would look favorably on such despicable behavior.


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Posted by wrong cluetrain
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:45 am

Oops, that was directed at "the correct Cluetrain" of Charleston Meadows.


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Posted by the correct cluetrain
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:07 am

No I actually never needed to be hazed but I saw it happen and can say it works. Dont assume situations you have no clue about.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:08 am

Sorry, I think I got the wrong heading on my post, I should have addressed correct Cluetrain.

Gets confusing, doesn't it.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:16 am

Gangs are for cowards, and initiations are for wimps. I lack any desire for the friendship that seeks to hurt or humble me. In my salad days, I would not consider those who would try a good risk.
There is very litle seperation from the hazing listed to making your missus pull a train.


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Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:52 am



I can not believe there are so many girly men here.

Boys will be boys, they hang out in teams, they have rituals to build team cohesion be it in school, military, business, church, politics etc.

Men have done this in every culture in every age and will continue to do so
As long as the rituals do not cause physical harm they are functional and build individual character and team cohesion.

The reality is that on any team some people will have been excluded some will have been included. That life.

Sororities have more vicious psychological hazing rituals than fraternities .


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Posted by the correct Cluetrain
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Thanks Jill you seem to know what you are talking about. I wish I could say the same for the other people who post here. It is part of life and I fear the day that people stop doing these team building rituals


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 1:24 pm

My subordination to any team is one of goals, not person. This worked pretty well as an infantry drill instructor and combat infantryman. Not too well in sororities, I guess. Read the Dolittle commission report, and the reaction of Gurkahs to abusive "leadership".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Joe-

Your solution punishes 95% of the kids for something that a small group has done. Also, it seems to me that many of these events happened at players houses with parents present but no coaches.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Wow! The activities described in the article are not team building rituals . . . They are dangerous and mean-spirited. What Jill and Cluetrain do not seem to understand is that this type of behavior tends to escalate and when it does, someone gets seriously injured or dies.

I don't understand why the athletic director or coach of any team that engages in this type of behavior is still employed at Palo Alto High School. Get rid of anyone who turns a blind eye to this type of behavior. Does anyone believe that the coaches and athletic director didn't know that this was going on?


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Posted by PA mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Hazing is simply bullying as a group. Is bullying ok because it does not cause physical harm? If it was a random group of boys making a couple of kids eat garbage at lunch, would you feel differently? If a bunch of white kids slammed a couple of hispanic kids into a wall, breaking a rib or two is that ok? Because these kids represent a team, its called hazing, instead of assault?

High school kids should remember that they are also role models, younger kids look up to them. Is this what they want to be "admired" for?


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Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm



you are making mountains out of molehills and worrying about storms in teacups.

What is interesting in some of the overreaction is that it has brought

the prevalence of anti boy and anti male prejudice from some women.

I thought that died with bra burning-- but obviously not in some parts of Palo Alto



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 2:38 pm

" I can't think of any group of enlightened adults who would look favorably on such despicable behavior."

give us a clue, although I don't support hazing, I find it a bit amusing to hear your comment. A number of adult 'team building' exercises involve humiliation, including screaming in public and various self confession rituals. The current PC hysteria has a lot of humiliation built into it.

I suggest that you climb off your high horse...it is a long way to the ground.


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Posted by Cluetime
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:06 pm

jill, "I can not believe there are so many girly men here"

People with ideas like jill are the real problem, in that they propound and invent what they think are universal ideas about manhood.

There is a difference between initiation, and submission to random humiliation that is not controlled. The ignorance shown here - by some - between those two very different kinds of peer-bonding, is pretty stunning. And these people claim to be educated?


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Posted by give us a clue
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Dave, we may be riding the same high horse. We both don't support hazing, and neither of us are finding fault with adults who choose to participate in 'team building' exercises which might involve humiliation. (Although I'm with Walter on this one - those groups are not for me.)

"the correct cluetrain" insinuated that people around here aren't likely to understand hazing. I'm asking, which type of people ARE likely to support it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by REX
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Dog beaters and spouse abusers.

Hazing is a way of beating them into submission and show them their proper place on the team.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:31 pm



Normal blue blooded Americans support normal male activities like benign hazing and team building. Its been going on for thousands of years and will continue for Darwinian reasons.

Now some of the hazing done by Native American and African tribes was and is exstream involving mutilation and risk of death.

Some people are clearly using this issue at Paly to further their anti- boy/ anti-male bias - (so yesterday, I remember that silly Androgyny House at Stanford when I was an undergrad-- nobody takes that nonsense seriously anymore- )

Fortunately there are enough healthy mothers and fathers here to put a stop to that anti-male bias real fast.



agenda




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cluetime
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2007 at 3:50 pm

"Some people are clearly using this issue at Paly to further their anti- boy/ anti-male bias"

Looks like we have another victim of the "let boys be dangerous to themselves and others" movement. Sad.

There's a lot of things that boys can do - speaking as a former boy - that don't require inflicting humiliating pain on someone else, to prove their manhood. Heck, why not send your kids out for a boar hunt with bow and arrow and a canteen, in Texas? Cluetime.

btw, what's "benign" hazing? Give us one example.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:05 pm

jill is right, to an extent. Various rights of passage into manhood have been going on for thousands of years. Thousands of boys have died in the process, and never made it to manhood. So be it.

However, we are in a different time and place. Boys DO need to pass into manhood, and it won't be by becoming feminized and nurturing. They seek a male identity. In my view, there should be such rights of passage that are sanctioned by our schools. As an example, the coaches should have a ritual affair around the pool, or the diamond, or the football field or the campground with the underclassmen being made to face their own fears, but with a humorous ending to it.

If the adults don't lead it, the juveniles will, and it will be much worse.

JMO


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by wouldntwanttohappentome
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm

i honestly think nothing will be done about them. in school there was a guy#1 on the football team that put poo in another boys backpack. one boy admitted to doing it just to get guy #1 out of trouble. the admitting boy got kicked off the team and the guy#1 stayed on the team. thats a perfect example of how kids, or coaches, will screw this up and either nobody gets in trouble, or the wrong person does.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm

"Normal people know what they mean by normal rites of passage and team building." Jill, well said. Just need to get you on board as a normal person with respect for others. And hunting (Texas or elsewhere) is a primitive activity unless happen to need the kill for food.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 5:05 pm

An appropriate rite of passage is to challenge the boy to do a man's challenge. Army survival training is an example; drinking oneself insensible is not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 14, 2007 at 5:16 pm



I agree with walter.
We need to instill more of the warrior spirit among our boys.
More involvement in ROTCs would be a start.
I think ,as an alumna, that the lack of ROTC at Stanford is an outrage, Stanford should loose it federal funding.

We should emphasize the heroism in our successful war on terror and build up our sense of pride in the military, we are going to need them.

Also the military has lots of experience in helping adolescent boys turn themselves around and become proud courageous men.


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Posted by PA mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

Jill - I think you are just trying to stir up trouble on this forum.


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Posted by Anonymous Coward
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 15, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Here's some excellent information and research on hazing

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:13 pm

I strongly oppose those who appear to condone hazing at Paly. It's juvenile (childish in a nasty way) and can be dangerous. I don't think it has anything to do with true leadership or group motivation. It's about supposed power and domination in a sick way. It must be stopped immediately as per the new administration response.
At a minimum, if you try to counteract with some of the semi-less-harmful activities, it's a poor way to spend one's time.

It could lead to these guys doing progressively worse stuff as they move to college and are accustomed to this type of behavior which is NOT ok - what we see in some college fraternities, which periodically lead to unnecessary tragedies. How about the idiocy of making a guy drink copious amounts of water? What is the possible purpose in all that?


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Posted by another mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Jill is trolling and if truly a Stanford grad, then Stanford needs to ramp up it's English department: "exstream"; "Stanford should loose it federal funding." And yes, by all means let's bring back ROTC - let's give all that male bonding and teambuilding some weapons so they can rape and kill innocents all together in one swell non-girlyman activity.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2007 at 5:10 am

Let me see; Leadership, courtesy and drill, marksmanship, small unit tactics, first aid, sanitation - it was a while ago but I don't recall any classes on raping and killing innocents. I do recall my first pledge, still binding on me today,
"I, Walter E. Wallis, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."


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Posted by citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 9:15 am

hazing or no hazing-
wallly- this thread has been a healthy outlet for you-
some of your better work-
you're not so bad for a curmudgeon!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RVR
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 16, 2007 at 10:28 am

Walter, well said; we need to put you on hazing patrol.


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Posted by citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 11:03 am

for the record- walter has been on patrol for quite some time-
you don't need to worry about that one-


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Posted by another mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 3:03 pm

I agree, "citizen", this has been a good outlet for Walter.
I beg your pardon, Walter, I did not in any way mean to imply that all military personnel assault and rape innocents.

But, I feel that I must ask, in light of your post, is there any place in military training that teaches you what NOT to do? I was referring to the servicemen who raped a girl in front of her parents then killed the whole family. They probably took the same oath you did and you gotta admit there's nothing in "defending your country" that sanctions that behavior. I know, I know, there will always be the few bad apples - tell that to the young woman.

In the State of California, teachers must take that exact oath and it appears that the Paly coaches, in spite of the oath, sanctioned hazing. My son was hazed and in spite of what Jill continues to spew, it did not make a man of him. He got there on his own, including forgiving the monsters that ruined football for him. I am proud that he did not succumb to this idiocy and become one of them.

There's got to be a better right of passage, or team building activity that's all I was trying to say.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2007 at 3:26 pm

If the Army were ever to tolerate sexual harassment to the extent any university does congress would shut them down. Professors argue for the right to pluck cherries while soldiers do 20 years hard time for the same thing.
That soldier who raped the girl and killed her family is receiving punishment far in excess of what they would get in civilian life. I doubt that colleges read the reefs and shoals to their acolytes the way the military does. When unimpeded by Feather Merchants the military corrects its own.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2007 at 3:48 pm

another mom,

I agree with Walter. The military is MUCH tougher on its own, compared to our public union members. Perhaps you have forgotten a little incident at Jordan a couple of years ago. You are probably in denial about college professors that give favors for favors (I could easily name some names, but I will keep my powder dry for now).

Anti-hazing rules, by themselves, fail to understand the 'boys-will-become men' umbrella. That is why the coaches should run the initiation rights. It can, and should, be a fun thing, but trying to squash it via mommy guilt trips will not end it.


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Posted by jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 16, 2007 at 4:43 pm



If a US general did what Clinton did when he was in office the general would be in jail. If any US CEO acted like Clinton they would be out of a job and unemployable as a CEO.

I am not surprised by the vitriolic anti military sentiments expressed on this post but it is still shameful and unpatriotic.

We have an allegation in a student newspaper and it leads to all sorts of anti-boy anti-male,anti-sports and anti-military sentiment.
What is the underlying theme here?

It reminds me of what happened to the Duke lacrosse players last year.

They were demonized by the faculty and the dean of Duke no evidence and non of these people has apologized well over a year later.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 5:06 pm

did somebody just say something?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 5:58 pm

You guys are great. I never said that the military doesn't punish it's own (*my* own, actually, I pay for the lot of them) severely. Personally, I think we'd all be better off if the punishment fit the crime, but that's off topic...

No institution should tolerate sexual harassment, especially not the schools (wow, Dave, where did you get that I'm in denial about professors?). I did not forget about the little Jordan incident either. It was inexcusable and I'm very sorry that the statute of limitations expired before she could take him down. But boys will be boys and men will be men, right, Dave?

Actually, our schools are the place where we should be teaching that harassment of any sort is intolerable, otherwise where can you possibly draw the line? I'm not laying any mommy guilt trip on anybody that isn't guilty - if the shoe fits, wear it proudly - like a man...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2007 at 6:23 pm

"But boys will be boys and men will be men, right, Dave?"

Not exactly, mom. Boys want to be men. They will try all sorts of things to achieve that goal, whether you like it or not. It is best for the coaches to control the passage. You platitdues will not get it done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2007 at 8:28 pm

The Germans have a term for those who need to join gangs - Halbstark. Someone who has come into the strength of a man but not the judgement.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 16, 2007 at 10:57 pm

It's sheer and utter nonsense to claim hazing and abuse promotes "team building." It doesn't, and those who engage in hazing and bullying should be severely punished. Take the pain up enough and this behavior will stop.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by a PALY STUDENT
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 16, 2007 at 11:45 pm

Jill--

I am confused by whether or not you actually READ the article in question. The Viking article which spotlights these hazing activities can be found at Web Link.

Now that that's taken care of...I am compelled to ask how anyone could see physical abuse as a bonding experience. The article IS NOT discussing the days that teams make underclassmen dress up in hideous outfits or the parties where seniors shave the soccer players' heads. These initiation activities draw attention to a group, a team, and, yes, prove to be fun, memorable, and team-building.

But what of the violence described in the article? Alienation? Intimidation? The only way this strengthens a team is by knocking the voice out of the victim, making him too scared to speak up and thus forced to comform. And he is now a so-called proud and worthy member of a team, because he has been brutally robbed of his individuality, his voice, and his dignity?

I think not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Terry
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 17, 2007 at 1:08 am

How does this relate to the fact that they brought in a "turnaround" principal for Paly? There appears to be regular illegal activity, which, presumably, the district is culpable for given that it has been written about in the past as well. What's up with that place?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jill
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 17, 2007 at 2:32 pm


Paly Student

I read the student news paper article.

It contains a series of allegations

These allegation are being investigated

When we have evidence of lack of consent etc then judgments will be made by adults.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Hey Jil

You're crazy

This article shows multiple students coming forward and describing each incident, even those who committed them, while also acknowledging that hazing is a problem and a tradition at Paly. While you may be skeptical, I go to this school and play on sports teams and can say that abusive hazing definitely exists.

This is not at all like the Duke lacrosse team in any way. The lacrosse players adamantly denied their role in the crime, while dozens of players in the article came forward and admitted that they hazed their teammates.

Let the adults investigate it? Really? You think the adults will be able to corroborate these stories? How? Oh and you need evidence of "lack of consent"? Yes I'm sure the guy really wanted to get hit in the balls multiple times. That sounds fun.

The only question that you are avoiding is whether you think that it is ok for a student to get punched in the balls or have to eat a cake covered in pubic hair. And from reading this thread, it sounds like you condone that.

But what do I know, I'm just a 17-year-old "girly man".


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