Angry Over Diversity In Children's Show, NRA TV Depicts "Thomas & Friends" In KKK Hoods

Submitted by: skeeter01 2 months ago in News & Politics

Using a jarring image to blast increased diversity on a children's TV show, a National Rifle Association online show depicted characters from "Thomas & Friends" in white, Ku Klux Klan-style hoods on burning train tracks.

Host of NRA TV's "Relentless," Dana Loesch went after the classic children's character Thomas The Tank Engine after its maker, Mattel, joined forces with the United Nations in efforts to increase gender diversity and representation on the program and include new characters from around the globe.

Loesch, a conservative spokeswomen for the gun rights group, specifically called out one new character – Nia, a steam engine from Kenya.

"That's where it gets really strange to me," Loesch says on Friday's episode. "Am I to understand this entire time that Thomas and his trains were white? Because they all have gray faces. How do you bring ethnic diversity? I mean they had to paint what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia's engine."

The program cut to an image with three trains wearing white hoods and tracks on fire. "Fair, I get it," Loesch sarcastically says. "Thomas the Tank Engine has been a blight on race relations for far too long. Clearly this is overdue."

Source: USA Today
There are 71 comments:
Female 971
I love the white guy comments on here. Y'all are so utterly used to being the stars of the majority of whatever is presented on TV or in movies, you take all that face time completely and blindly for granted.

Let's get super racist and sexist for a moment and talk to the elephant in the room. Basically, you as white guys tend to (and I'm going from lots of personal experience here.) as we all do, identify with characters resembling ourselves. White men run the entertainment industry, therefore, it's a lot easier to sell them a show starring someone they can identify with rather than, say, a story about a 300 pound black lady. There seems to be a deep and unspoken assumption that the "strongest and fittest" should be represented, and the others don't really deserve it because they are not running the show.

And let's say for a moment you are assuming black women lack the capacity to run a movie studio or a television network. They still are part of the nation, they still, as human beings want to see a version of themselves reflected in their entertainment. Someone to not just "show white people", but someone they can uniquely identify with. Why would they want to watch white men? What would they get out of that?

But, for whatever reason, there are not many black women running the show. That does not mean they don't deserve to see themselves reflected in popular entertainment, and of course that goes for many other types of people as well. So, move it on over, hound dog, and get used to other people giving a shit about being represented. Stop acting, as Conservatives say "all butt hurt about it", and justify your stance with nonsense masking ugly truths about your pouting behavior.

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Male 158
thubanstar 

Sooooo many generalizations in this. If you wanna just work on generalizations and "lot's of personal experience" then any conversation is going to degrade very quickly into name calling. Show some evidence and speak in specifics, I say this because NONE of your "you white guys" statements apply to me ... a "White guy". 
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Female 971
demarc01 I was referring to the "white guy" comments which lack understanding of the situation. Just because I can't present my case like a lawyer from Harvard does not negate the fact that there are; 1. White guys writing comments. 2. Most of them are very disparaging of the issue. 3. I believe they are wrong. .

Some people don't want to see another side, so they nitpick. You doth protest too much.
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Male 158
thubanstar Eh. I just like to discuss things in specifics. There are, I'm sure, white guys writing comments. I'm sure there are guys (and gals) of different ethnic backgrounds writing comments. Personally I could make a few assumptions on the backgrounds of some posters, I really try not to however since I don't believe it add's anything to a discussion. If someone wants to relay their background as some evidence in a discussion I'd be willing to take that on board, that's about as far as I'd go. I personally don't care about peoples race, colour, sex, sexual pref, level of wealth .... people are people to me and each should be taken as an individual with individual opinions, experiences and feelings. 

That you find some comments disparaging and you believe they are wrong is a valid point of view and I'd have no issues with you making that specific case against the people you feel are doing that, hell the chances are I'd actually support you in it. To just make a general post against all "White guys" however is going to get a reply from me, as a "White guy".

Rest assured though that although you think I "doth protest too much" I am also there to protest when I see people saying *All X-people are criminals* or *All X-people are perverts* etc etc. 

Generalizations just bug me.
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Male 1,688
thubanstar The books were written in 1945, at that time? England (the place it is set in) was mostly white. Thus it reflects the times (and standards) it was created in.

The problem isn't adding a female African negro (they already have a black engine eh? and female ones) to the cast: they can add whomever they like! The problem is claiming the other trains are all whites. Clearly Thomas is Blue!

(http://ebid.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_big/4/7/3/1392479169-22407-6.jpg)
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Female 971
gohikineko Blue power!
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Male 279
thubanstar while I agree wiith you that minorities should be better represented, I grew up watching Thomas the tank engine, and never once have I considered any of the trains to be white. I always thought they were just talking trains. The introduction of a "black african" train is weird to me. why dont they just make the conductor black or something?
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Female 971
aegis1294 But the real question is, why does anyone care? Why do you think black people want to been seen in media? Is it just to piss off white people? Because I get the idea over and over in these responses that people are threatened by all this, but don't want to admit it. Why? 

You may ask "Do we have to make an issue of race?". Yeah, we probably do, until non-whites feel equal. "But Thubanstar!" you cry, this will never happen! They will never be happy! We will always have to compromise and see their face where we don't think it's all that important! It's just annoying!!"

Some day, probably about 100 years from now, we will be a much more interbred society. Everyone will be related to everyone. Everyone will have a brown ancestor or two and no one will notice race that much because it won't be a hot button topic anymore. That's when all this will stop. Time and love may heal some wounds.
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Male 1,688
aegis1294 Does Kenya even manufacture train engines? I don't think so... but IDK.
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3,633
Still think the NRA is only interested in teaching gun safety?
If I have said it once, I have said it 1000 times. Fuck the NRA, true patriots have landed on the GOA or other organizations that have the same goal in mind...leave me alone.
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Male 140
But wait isn't Thomas the tank engine face grey...I though KKK was against people/thing of colour
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Male 2,737
I recently and I think on this sight saw a thing about two guys that had made up a poster of themselves  and placed it in a MCDonalds window. It had been there several weeks before they brought it to the attention of the web. This by itself was an amusing little tale. 
  But it could not be left at that, it was then revealed that the two guys had noticed that many races were represented in the adds on the walls. And their being Asian noticed that they were not represented in any of them so they put up the poster. Well this was to bad because as one that goes to great lengths to not watch commercials one thing I have noticed in the last dozen years or so is the sometimes over representation of races other than white. I'm truly sorry that they felt left out or the advertisements. But at only about 5.5 percent of the population there is by representation less of them than most races in America. 
  Just because there here does not mean that they have to be represented in every  friggin advert, in every  friggin city, in every friggin store.
  Every carton on TV does not have to represent every person and or race in the world.
And I believe that that show had female creators already.
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Female 971
casaledana The clueless is strong with this one.
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Male 7,138
Well at least they are finally being honest about why they want the guns.
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6,813
What the hell are these morons talking about I don't even understand the show. Thomas and his friends are all part of the Transcontinental Railway. They're all trans. on top of that they're all ambiguous / non-gender conforming.
Last time I looked they all come in different colors.
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Male 1,688
dm2754 I think it's the Island of Sodor eh? Not connected to the mainland. 
And they are mostly boys, but there's female train cars as well. As for race? They're trains! They are black, grey, blue, green, white... very diverse!

The books the show is based on were written in 1945: this is a classic example of applying modern SJWs morality to history... it's just stupid. Like trying to put women and blacks into the story of Dunkirk... preposterous!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Railway_Series

Oh, there is a bridge to England, at least in the books... show too? Never saw it before, lolz! Learn something new at IAB eh?
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Male 1,976
dm2754 "What the hell are these morons talking about..."
I know. It's often hard to tell what a moron is talking about.
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Male 1,688
So... comedy and satire is illegal now? Oh, only if it offends snowflakes, I C. Gotcha!
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Male 6,291
gohikineko wait this is comedy? good one 5cats
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Male 1,976
gohikineko "...Oh, only if it offends snowflakes..."

Now, now. We've talked about this name-calling thing before. If you didn't want people to connect with you, you wouldn't be commenting here. All of us here write enough stupid things that you could spend all the spare time you allot to this site just commenting on those things. You write stupid things, and I'm sure you would agree that doesn't make you stupid. You don't have to waste valuable bandwidth writing meaningless personal insults. It makes you look as though you aren't willing to take the time to think things through.
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Male 9,314
gohikineko Was anyone arguing that conservative comedy and satire are or should be "illegal"? No, no one was. But here you are, ridiculing this nonexistent position. If you were to stop employing strawman arguments, I think the number of comments you make on a weekly basis would drop by half.

I watched the NRA clip. I thought the new train, Nia, was adorable. I also thought Dana Loesch's heaving, sighing, and exasperation over the issue was silly, backward, and predictable. "OH MY GOD!" she was, in essence, exclaiming for her conservative audience. "So outrageous. How dare a minority character be included in a children's cartoon!"

To answer Loesch's question as to whether Thomas, being a cartoon train, could be seen as having an ethnic identity, the answer is: Yes. His speech and facial features made it clear he was male and was not of African or Indian ancestry. I don't know how you could suggest otherwise. Considering that children of all backgrounds, including girls, watch Thomas & Friends, adding some trains with different ethnicities, and a female train or two, makes perfect sense.

I'm sorry to see that it's offending Loesch. "I hate everything," Loesch comments at the end of her segment. "I hate this space rock sometimes," she says, with a big sigh. Isn't she the one being the snowflake here?

Take a deep breath, Dana. Everything's going to be all right.
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Male 158
squrlz4ever 

"Yes. His speech and facial features made it clear he was male and was not of African or Indian ancestry. I don't know how you could suggest otherwise."

Can't really agree with this. Since the show is dubbed over in other countries, I can agree that he's depicted as *male* but that's about it. Since with a French dubbed accent he could be French, with an African dubbed accent he would be African /shrug. 
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Male 1,688
squrlz4ever Seriously? You do know what happens when the snowflake mobs (also called SJWs) get offended? They attack the person(s) without reason or mercy until they are destroyed, banned or 'apologise' and even then they may continue.

Thomas is not white, he's BLUE! This is ginned-up nonsense to make people outraged!! over nothing. Assigning race to a train is well worth getting annoyed about: it's pure garbage: exploiting a popular show to push an anti-white agenda.

Last time I checked, Kenya didn't manufacture train engines, although I could be mistaken... she may be 'from Kenya' but she was made somewhere else. Maybe India? I think they make trains there, they make a lot of stuff eh?
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Male 10,084
squrlz4ever I think the NRA's point is: in the name of Political Correctness they are inserting Gender and Race issues into a program that I thought until this time didn't even HAVE Gender and/or Race.  (in other words, generating a issue where there was not issue to begin with.)

I think it was an attempt of reductio ad absurdum.  
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Male 871
megrendel may I ask what is so bad about political correctness?  If people are going to be labeled, why can’t they select their own labels?  If people do not celebrate a holiday, why must they be wished a happy (or merry) whatever?  Is it not the decent thing to treat people with consideration?  I can’t wrap my head around why people hate Political correctness so much. What is so terrible about being a decent, considerate human being?
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Male 10,084
skeeter01 Because Political Correctness is an attempt at speech control.

You can label yourself anything you want.  You do not get to force others to call you what you wish to be labeled. Label yourself as a male/female/ham sandwich, No one cares.  But attempt to force them to participate in your delusion will only piss them off (and the fact that you need that validation demonstrates in who’s mind the problem lies.)

If you chose not to celebrate a holiday, when someone wishes you ‘Merry’ whatever have the balls to say ‘I do not celebrate X but thank you for the kind thought’ rather than deciding to be offended and pitch a hissy. The former gets your point across with the person treating you decently. The latter just makes them think (correctly) that you’re a fragile little child and they will treat you accordingly.

Political Correctness is the exact opposite of treating someone as a decent, considerate human being..
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Male 871
megrendel Speech control?!?  A person or a group of people indicating their preference of one label over another is speech control? If someone wants to be called a ham sandwich, you are well within your rights to not oblige him that courtesy, but that doesn’t make him the asshole.  He may become an asshole when he gets offended, but his assholiness is a direct result of your refusal to grant him the courtesy he requested.

Same goes for the merry x scenario.  While I have my doubts about how common it is for people to “pitch a hissy” over being given the wrong holiday greeting, why risk that confrontation when you can convey the same message by saying something more generic?  Is it really that difficult?
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Male 10,084
skeeter01  If someone wants to be called a ham sandwich, you are well within your rights to not oblige him that courtesy

Except, of course, in certain area calling them by anything other than a Ham Sandwich is considered a hate crime, can get you fined and is in some places illegal (even though the truth is that they are, in fact, not a ham sandwich). That IS the definition of speech control, and it’s in the name of political correctness.

And 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas.  I should not have to worry about the precious feelings of someone who are so incapable of controlling their emotions that mere words offend them to the point of having PTSD, even if they WERE the majority. 

I have Muslim coworkers.  I don’t get offended when they tell me Ramadan Mubarak, and they don’t get offended when I tell them Merry Christmas. But the new we’re all sane adults who recognize the well wishes and respect each other’s beliefs.
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Male 1,688
megrendel Indeed, and making satire of something so outrageously stupid is "fair game" not being a snowflake ones self... otherwise EVERY satire is just angry snowflakes? Comedy and humour will go extinct then...
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Male 1,976
megrendel "I think it was an attempt of reductio ad absurdum."

That's always a good thing, but what does all this have to do with the core mission of the NRA? I believe that is the question raised by this post.
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Male 1,688
semichisam01 It is bad that NRA TV has diverse programs? Lolz! Make up your mind, is diversity good or bad? (hint: it's a joke ok? A play on words to be specific)
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Male 10,084
semichisam01 what does all this have to do with the core mission of the NRA?

What does Music Television have to do with people living on the Jersey Shore?  I thought MUSIC was their core mission. (I know, hasn't been for decades.)

In this case, pointing out "diversity for the sake of diversity" pushed by the UN is and example of UN overreach, which is a worry for people to believe in the 2nd Amendment, as the UN is not a big fan of the US's Bill of Rights.
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Male 9,314
megrendel I agree with you. I think you're correctly describing the NRA's point. Also, you'll notice I didn't take any issue with the NRA's portrayal of Thomas and his friends with KKK outfits: That was their satirical attempt to depict the mindset of liberals, and it was, obviously, a joke and I have no issues with their attempt at humor there.

The problem here is that I think Dana is blind to her own bias.

Allow me to illustrate this with an example: Let's imagine a white soccer mom decides to create a little play on a miniature stage for her children and their friends using empty wooden thread spools as the characters. Not surprisingly, all the characters have white voices, including the ones she voices with a deeper tone to indicate they're boys. Not surprisingly, all the characters have white person names, like "Susan" and "Elizabeth" and "John." Also, all the things the wooden spool characters talk about are things a white soccer mom would be familiar with.

Then, one of her children's friends picks up an unused wooden spool, "walks" it onto the stage, and says with her own Indian-American accent, "Hello! I am Nupur! And I came here from India."

The mom drops character and exclaims, "What? Why do you have to make this something about race?"

The point of this imaginary scenario of mine is that if everything is shown from the perspective of one person's race, that person probably won't realize the extent to which race is a factor.
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Male 2,130
squrlz4ever 

I get that you don't have to like the satire or any other part about this but since Mattel decided to make this a racial issue. Why do they get a pass for race inequality but the NRA get's blasted for going to an extreme to point it out?

You seem to be quite one-sided lately and it's not on the side of sanity; it's the left wing line you're towing here.
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Male 9,193
insaneai toeing. Sorry, I can't help it.
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Male 1,976
insaneai "it's the left wing line you're towing here."

I love it. You have squrlz4ever towing something on a line. I don't know what a squirrel would be towing. The squirrels in my walnut grove carry things in their cheeks. 

It's possible that you meant 'toeing the line'. I gather that you toe a different line, and feel personally offended by disagreement. You even suggest that anyone who toes a different line than the one you've chosen must be insane. I hope you can understand that that is not a healthy attitude.
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Male 9,314
semichisam01 Mmmmmmf! Ish berry difficult!

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Male 9,314
insaneai Whoah. How is the NRA pointing out inequality here, as you claim? The NRA is not pointing out inequality with this segment. Rather, they're responding to diversity in a knee-jerk fashion.

Also, you sound offended that I'm voicing an opinion and seem to think I shouldn't; I'm not sure why. Moderators are not expected to have no opinions, only that they express their opinions civilly.

Lastly, I'd like to hear your explanation as to how I am "not on the side of sanity." Seriously: I'm listening, AI.
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Male 2,130
squrlz4ever you're projecting.  Im amused.  Thanks for the laugh.
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Male 9,314
insaneai No, I'm not projecting. In this instance, I asked you a direct question ("How is the NRA pointing out inequality here, as you claim?") as part of a productive debate. Rather than answer, you've chosen to evade the question with a sneer.
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Male 2,130
squrlz4ever You projected :

Also, you sound offended that I'm voicing an opinion and seem to think I shouldn't;

And asked a question:

How is the NRA pointing out inequality here, as you claim? 

I didn't make that claim.  Your reading and comprehension skills are lacking, severely.  This is why I think you're on the wrong side of sanity.  Your responses seemed like canned left wing talking points but have no relevant context outside your imagination. 
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Male 9,314
insaneai Oh, OK. Have a nice evening, AI.
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Male 2,737
megrendel     I could not have said it better. Diversity is fine but it is getting injected some times or many times for no really good reason except to play the "I'm diversified ticket".
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6,813
gohikineko
yes. People that been arrested and fined the UK. It's also a hate crime to ask someone there ethic  origin.
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Male 6,291
dm2754 i terk derp to terk derp to perp.. oh  god
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Male 9,193
dm2754 My ethic origin. Probably Montaigne, Hume...
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Male 9,193
dm2754 Well, that's a bit better, but to be honest if I were marking that at a tenth year level, C+ at best. Even the second attempt you managed four errors in twenty words.
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Male 9,193
Male 9,314
dm2754 Like LordJim, I'm a little puzzled as to what you're saying. 

What you wrote:
"People that been arrested in find in the UK. It's also a hate crime to ask someone there at the origin."

My best guess at what you're trying to say:
"People have been arrested and fined in the UK. It's also a hate crime to ask someone there where they're from."

Am I close?
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Male 9,193
dm2754 Seriously, what is it with your command of English? Sometimes you put together entire coherent paragraphs, other times you are barely comprehensible. Such as this.
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Male 2,294
LordJim I can attest to the autocorrect shenanigans when I use my phone.  The blasted machine is possessed.

It is to the point where I can’t “uncorrect” it.
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6,813
LordJim sometimes the autocorrect changes words just as i hit send.

And then there  is the editing problem on this site. Meny have complained  about it.

Like this   testtestitte ting testing  te t
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Male 1,688
dm2754 You have trouble editing? Works great for me... 
Maybe it's your browser? I know I cannot +1/-1 in IE, have to use Chrome to do that... same for changing my profile too, I think? 
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Male 1,976
dm2754 Not 'meny' people will believe that autocorrect is involved. 
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Male 2,294
semichisam01 see?  It happened again!
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Male 6,309
semichisam01 Scotch?
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Male 1,976
broizfam "Scotch?"
No, thanks. I'm deriving.
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Male 2,294
broizfam yes please: a Macallen 18 would be delightful:)
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Male 9,193
dm2754 I don't find that plausible. 
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Male 4,445
LordJim Not excusing dm2754, but IAB isn't very mobile friendly. Sometimes words typed just don't appear, or end up being typed multiple times.

I know a while ago, back when the site was came back from being dead, I made a similar "complaint" and Sunny did say he was going to look into it.
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Male 10,084
DuckBoy87 Not excusing dm2754, but IAB isn't very mobile friendly. 



Obvious, but still needs to be pointed out regularly.
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Male 4,445
megrendel Can I be promoted to General Knowledge?!
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Male 1,976
DuckBoy87 I think you have to hold the rank of Major Screwup first.
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Male 10,084
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Male 4,445
semichisam01 Rest assured, I've held that rank many-a-time before!
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Male 2,294
DuckBoy87 thank god the comments section wandered into the absurd - it was refreshing.  

The original post and comments were the same old tripe.
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Male 1,976
woodyville06 "...thank god the comments section wandered into the absurd..."

Oh, we have our moments of deep thinking and philosophy, but you can always count on us to circle back to our core values.
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Male 6,291
woodyville06 i had a bean burrito tonight
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Male 2,294
rumham Taco Bell?
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Male 9,193
Thomas the Tank Engine is actually quite sinister if you pay attention. And Thomas is a major arsehole.
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Male 45,293
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