snOw-DU: A Contemplative Walk Around Campus

Snow falls in front of Dominion House, Old Dominion University
Snow falls in front of Dominion House, Old Dominion University

First of all, whoever told me a couple months ago that it never snows here, you are a liar. Consider yourself called out.

It snowed yet again here in Norfolk, beginning yesterday afternoon. This morning NAS Oceana reported 8 inches, while the airport reported 5.6. From what I saw, it was probably closer to 6 around here. School was cancelled again, which makes the second Wednesday in a row, which is bad for me as the News Editor of the student newspaper because that means several stories got cancelled, once again. So far it’s been like pulling teeth to find more than 2 stories a week, and get them covered (well), but whatevs. I’m the only person on campus complaining. amiright?

After digging my $3 boots- that I bought at a thrift shop when that song was still cool- out of the car, I hiked around campus snagging pictures and talking to people…

The ice sheet on the water at the end of 48th St. Kids were sledding down the large hill in the background.

(I apologize for the weird tint to the pictures. As/if I edit them I’ll replace them)

Kaufman Mall, Old Dominion University.
January 29, 2013
oranges for eyes, coffee in hand..
Old Dominion University students building snow… mounds?

The main thing I noticed as the snow began to stick yesterday, was the level of work the snow-clearing crews were putting into keeping pathways clear. Even as snow had hours more to fall, and inches left to accumulate, they were out scooping, snow-blowing, and salt-spreading.

The cleared sidewalk next to Whitehurst
The (perfectly) cleared sidewalk next to Whitehurst

Today as I was making the rounds, I stopped and chatted with a few. I’m just going to entirely leave names out because A- I don’t know anything about their contracts, and the last thing I want is to get a anyone fired, and B- I’m terrible with names and only remember a couple anyway… (sorry)

The first thing that struck me, as I observed crew after crew, was the type of person laboring- usually of color, older, small, and female.

Stopping and chatting with the third group, I was made aware that many of these workers were the housecleaning personnel. Not grounds-keeping, not maintenance, not specifically snow-clearing, but housekeeping…

The reason I’m surprised by this isn’t because I expect a certain kind of person to do this work or something, but I feel like exhausting, essentially, little old ladies, to do work that many students do not, and will not appreciate at all, is uh…

kinda fucked up.

A worker clears snow from the sidewalk in front of Dominion POD
A worker clears snow from the sidewalk in front of Dominion POD

I asked one of the women when they had come in, and she said that it was last night, and that they were still going… I’m not sure if that means these were still the same crews going when I walked out of the student center at 9:30pm, or if they had come in afterwards. Regardless, it was 3 in the afternoon when I talked to her…

Prior to being enlightened of the entire situation, I walked up on the first group I came to, which was made up of 3 small, older women clearing off the steps of the one of the buildings. It was almost a totally absurd sight. It just looked impossible that these women could possibly clear what was a huge amount of snow off of these steps. It seemed… futile.

I tried not to be obvious, snapping a couple pictures, and as I walked by said “geez! you guys are making overtime for this, right?”

One of the three paused and smiled, kind of hesitated, and answered something to the effect of “oh yes, honey. you know we are.”

The others kind of nodded.

I walked across the mall field, on a pathway that was completely cleared, which was weird because there were no classes. Almost nobody was even outside, let alone walking through campus…

The second crew i encountered looked completely, doggedly exhausted. They were cleaning off the steps and patio of the education building- which again, seemed pointless as there were no classes, no students, no reason to make it such a high priority.

I was probably one of only a couple people that entered the 9-story BAL Building all day. I snagged a couple pictures from the top floor of the school and surrounding area…

From the 9th floor of the BAL Building, a section of campus
From the 9th floor of the BAL Building, a section of campus

As I was walking back towards the mall, the second crew had made it to the side of the building, and was stopped. Tired eyes watched me- the lone student pedestrian- walk across the spotless, painstakingly-shoveled and brushed pathway. A couple were embraced. It was hard to tell if it was for warmth(none of them wore university-issued jackets) or if they were holding each other up. If there was one crew that HAD worked all night, this was it… And why?

The third crew had just started clearing the front of the next building over. That was where I talked to a couple of the workers who were waiting for the snowblower to clear what it could before they started spreading salt.

A worker clears the sidewalk with a snowblower, Old Dominion University
A worker clears the sidewalk with a snowblower, Old Dominion University

“Why don’t you jump in there and let me take pictures of you?” one of them called, over the snowblower. “Here, you can even have my shovel!”

I laughed, approached the woman, and sparked conversation.

As we watched the man operating the snowblower struggle to push the machine across the packed snow, I asked them if they were getting paid overtime, to which the woman laughed in my face.

The woman next to her explained that they didn’t know, and that essentially they wouldn’t know until they saw their pay checks. Many of them had either not left the day before, or had barely made it in on uncleared or barely-cleared roads. One woman, they said, had gotten sick and had to leave early.

They all looked beleaguered and tired- their job seemed endless, thankless, and pointless.

And they were housecleaning ladies…

The woman that laughed in my face told me to put that in my story. I didn’t say I was writing one, but I guess curious white kids with cameras, disobeying social norms, can only mean so many things.

A couple years ago- before traveling, seeing, experiencing, learning- before hundreds of hours of race, class and labor issue-related podcasts, interviews, and lectures beamed into my ears while cutting thousands of pizzas for less than a penny-a-piece- I wouldn’t have given the clearing crews a second thought.

To the younger, more insecure and less informed me, these are just employees, and I am just the college student. We have socially-defined roles. I wouldn’t have wanted to rock the boat, but just skate by, socially flying under the radar.

And the terrible part about that is that it almost provides a feeling of superiority. If I want to walk across their backs, hey I paid tuition here. I’m entitled to it…

Thanks for painstakingly clearing all the sidewalks so I can take pictures..

But that’s not reality. Reality is that the system isn’t inherently just.

Reality isn’t that the market is an all-knowing, all-fairly-compensating god, or that boot strap pulling-up and real sincere hard work are all that it takes to make enough money to survive.

Reality, in this country, in 2014, is much, much more complex than that.

I would’ve wanted to do this as a story for the paper- there’s room for it, now that half my stories are cancelled. But stories need answers and statements, and most of what I have are questions, and uneasy uncertainties about labor practices and compensation at this university.

And I know it’s not just the snow-clearers. The previous Wednesday, I talked to a tired woman in one of the food service positions who said she takes 2 buses and a train to get to work, even in the snow, even on days that the university is closed.

Unlike many college students, I know  how it feels to not be able to call out of work, even in legitimate instances, because you simply can’t afford to miss it.

She also laughed when I asked about extra compensation for snow days- when all “non-essential” staff stay home, when students literally don’t have to leave their beds.

I have no idea what ODU’s lower-tier employees get paid- I hope it’s several dollars above minimum wage, but I don’t know.

I tried to look up extra compensation in the human resources handbook, but all I could find was overtime- over 40 hours a week. That same handbook specified that “regular status” employees are only guaranteed 30 hours a week- what’s essentially the low-wage industry standard.

It’s definitely an issue that I will try to find out more about. As somebody who believes in a better, more fair, less shitty world, I don’t want a degree from a university that doesn’t pay it’s workers fairly, or that exploits their economic circumstances.

For conscious students, I think this issue is just as important as campus sustainability, ethical investing, or any other environmental or social justice concern.

It is the same system after all…

At the end of the day, for the secondary education institution to be legitimate, to be ahead of the rest of the lagging country, to be progressive, to make a real positive influence on the world, or even the surrounding community, it has to be able to improve the lives of the people it employees, not just the ones that pay tuition.

On a lighter note, “snOw DU” is pretty good right?

On the Phil Robertson Situation

Because I’m from a Southern, semi-rural suburban community, my Facebook news feed was ripe with anger today, concerning the suspension of Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, from A&E over comments he made in an interview for GQ concerning homosexuality. Most of the statuses and comments expressed anger at the fact that this seemingly negligible situation was receiving front page coverage while more meaningful stories of substance were being ignored. The rest, for the most part, were frustrated at what they perceived as a violation of free speech on the network’s part.

The first thing I want to address(before you decide this is irrelevant and click out) is the importance, or lack of importance, of this story- as a supposed nation of free people, forged by the blood of hundreds of thousands, arguably millions, we should certainly be upset about a violation of our inherent rights. But I think there’s another reason. Members and allies of the LGBT community, know that the language Robertson used, and the biblical paraphrasing he used to sort-of justify it, is problematic, blatantly homophobic, and dangerous to certain individuals.

So was this a violation of free speech? (un)Fortunately, this kind of thing happens frequently enough that there have been substantive discussions already. To be brief, it is not- Robertson retains his right to speak about whatever godly or ungodly things he wants to, and to be sure, this event will open up many more avenues and vehicles for him to do so. Duck Dynasty boasts an audience of 14 million, and I would assume the vast majority of fans will not change their opinion of the show, or the family, based on what A&E does. If anything this will boost merchandise and book sales much like firearms every time the media discusses gun control. Where some people get… confused, is in the fact that Robertson cannot speak on one single network, but if speech on any given network were guaranteed to all American citizens, TV would probably be even worse than it already is… but who’s to say?

So uh, whatever Sarah Palin.

There are enough examples in recent memory of actors, personalities, commentators, etc being vilified by groups across the political spectrum including campaigns to get them removed or for their sponsors to drop support, to say this is just the “tyranny of the left” as one Facebook commenter put it, is partisan and lazy.

If anything, this does show the absolute control media organizations and their producers have over programming and what the public actually sees, especially on “reality” shows. I think that that is something to be discontent with, but to only recognize it in this one instance is ludicrous. For many free-market conservatives that might be angry, perhaps A&E’s seemingly ruthless actions can serve a glimpse into “tyranny” brought upon not by a government, but by a business entity.

So what did Phil Robertson say? I actually went and read the full article, and I gotta say, the vast majority of it was.. entertaining kind of. Coming from where I do, I can easy relate to the family and their way of life. I know these kinds of people. I’m related to them. I work, learn, dine, and drink beer with them. Robertson talks about god and nature in an interesting way, although I doubt he would be one to bring up that whole “stewards of the Earth” thing in relation to environmental degradation, overpopulation, or climate change, but hey.

When asked about what he saw as “sinful” in relation to modern America:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Ok so this is sort-of expected as a lazy, bible-ly, anti-gay answer: Compare all relationships that aren’t between one strong, married man and one virgin-until-married woman to mindlessly having sex with anything and everything with a pulse, and by the way, they’re totally hopeless. It’s thoughtless and degrading towards completely normal, loving, devoted, monogamous people.

As a side thought though- I like that he includes “the greedy, “the slanderers,” and “the swindlers,” in the group of people not going to heaven. (Watup Wall St., DC politicians and lobbyists, and psychopathic corporate asshats). When one of the Dynasty sons come out as gay and they have to deal with it christly, maybe I’ll like this guy… No wait nevermind.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?”

How does this even come up in conversation?

This will be the killer soundbite clip on The Daily Show tomorrow night.

C’mon bro! You gotta love the pussy bro! How can you not love pussy bro!? Nothing else is pro-bossible!

Here’s where we can all agree- This is blatantly homophobic in that it otherizes and therefore dehumanizes LGBT people, not based on a religious text, but on the only thing Robertson thinks defines gay men. This is the stuff of ignorant and insecure bullying that literally destroys and ends lives.

I don’t want to say that Phil Robertson is Hitler leading a holocaust against a certain type of person- although in the article, he blames Nazism, as well as Pearl Harbor, Communism and islamism on a lack of Jesus… We don’t need to talk about that right?

It’s more complex than that, and this is where people will lose what I’m conveying.. This country has an incredibly shameful history of mistreating “other” people: creating an “us versus them” narrative where we are the righteous chosen and the indians, or blacks, or immigrants, or poor, or gays are not even human. The poor deserve poverty because they are lazy. The blacks deserve Jim Crow, slavery, or prison because they are insufficient. Women are too feeble-minded to vote, own land, or speak. Gays brought God’s plague- HIV/AIDS- upon themselves and therefore we should ignore their suffering and do nothing while they face terrible afflictions and death, just as we did in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

We forget that we are all one family- not just based on religion, but on common humanity. Christ said to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love even our enemies.

 So where do Phil Robertson’s statements fit into this?

Robertson has stoked the fire of indifference and hate towards the LGBT community with his words. As painless as they may feel to you, this is fodder for insecure young people to bully, tease, and dehumanize any kind of different person. The suicide rate of gay teens is five times higher than their peers. Is this “what Jesus would do?” Is this your idea of God’s love? Literally bullying people until they kill themselves.

Although kids that bully are not innocent, they’re only a product of their parenting, and of the larger society. This statement is just one little potential piece of the puzzle that is a person’s worldview.

I’ve often heard “christian” people repeat the phrase “we hate the sin, but love the sinner.” And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but its almost always in defense of a statement or action that is homophobic. If religious organizations want to even appear like they care about LGBT people, they have to acknowledge what groups like Westboro Babtist Church do, and what their own organizations and policies have done, and say “This is wrong. We are completely against this.” And frankly I don’t see that very often.

Edit note- I have to wake up in 6 hours and have Bronchitis. Hopefully I’ll edit/finish this tomorrow… If not, don’t be a dick.

Guns on Campus

A while ago, I wrote in this blog about the Feinstein gun bill, and gun violence in general. Although this is far from the issues I care about most, I think, ultimately, it’s an interesting subject, and the debate is really important. The first piece I wrote for the ODU student newspaper, The Mace & Crown, was a rebuttal to an opinion piece another student wrote about allowing conceal/carry on campus. Although this version is much shorter than what I had originally ended up with, I personally learned a hell of a lot researching it and I think there’s a couple good knowledge nuggets up in there. It didn’t end up in the paper, probably because it was 3 days past deadline(which I didn’t realize at the time), so I’m posting it here…

Sex, Drugs, and (Gun) Violence: Some Things Don’t Belong on Campus

             “Teenage schoolboys kill 12 schoolmates and teacher.””32 dead at Virginia university, in deadliest school shooting.” “12 killed, 58 wounded in movie theatre shooting.””12 killed, in Navy Yard shooting.” Uncertainty, danger, and tragedy plague headline after headline. Since 2009 we’ve experienced about one mass shooting a month.

Story after story- troubled (young) male amasses large amount of ammunition, easily acquires several weapons, attacks random group of unassuming innocent people. The shocks become irkingly less intense with increased frequency.

 532 people were killed last year in Chicago alone- more than troops killed in Afghanistan in the same time period… but we are made largely unaware of this fact because, I fear, our society has accepted it. The inner-cities, the impoverished urban areas- that’s where it’s “supposed to happen.” Not prestigious college campuses, or shopping malls, or elementary schools in Connecticut, or military bases in Texas.

But the reality of gun violence is bigger than headlines, more complex than one-liners, and will not condense into cheap sound bites.

The argument has been made that we should allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus, or at least keep them locked up in their dorms or vehicles.

I disagree with this sentiment. it’s too easy to get a conceal-carry permit and even easier to get a gun; and even if it were only small a minority of gun-carrying students that didn’t strictly adhere to firearm safety and storage, there’s too big of a risk for careless accidents, especially in the midst of alcohol and other substances, which are prevalent in college culture.

I’m not one to blanketly condemn others for experimenting with, or even abusing, illegal substances and/or alcohol, but we should limit our means to maim and kill ourselves as best we can in such scenarios. For many of us, this is a time of finding and establishing our limits, a time rife with uncertainty, with mistakes, and with accidents.

One of the biggest misconceptions about college campuses, is that they are inherently more prone to mass shootings, because they are “gun-free zones.” The first fallacy to point out in this myth is that gun-free zones are not more prone. According to a recent study by the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in the last four years, less than a quarter of mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones. The second myth is that shooters specifically target these places strictly because there are no guns there. The magazine, Mother Jones, points out as part of an on-going, “in depth investigation” into mass shootings, that of the 62 events over the last 30 years, “not a single case includes evidence that the killer chose to target a place because it banned guns.” In fact in the majority of cases, the killer chose the place clearly based on a connection to it- a school they were, or had once, attended, a workplace they had been wronged in, a place of worship for which they harbored deep-seated hatred, etc.

In his opinion piece, Sobey brings up the instance of the Virginia Tech tragedy as a failure of the school to allow students to defend themselves. While an armed student may have been able to take down the shooter, saving lives, in fact not one of the 62 past mass shootings were stopped this way. Even in the other three examples he cites of gun-wielding civilians stopping shootings, Sobey fails to mention that in each case the shooter was stopped by either military personnel or current or former law enforcement- not employees and run-of-the-mill students, not to mention completely untrained, incompetent, gun-wielding students.

Tim Murphy recently wrote a piece for Mother Jones titled “How I got Licensed to Carry a Concealed Gun in 32 States Without Even Trying: I was clueless, hungover, and totally worthless with a firearm. Four hours later I was officially qualified to pack heat.” The title alone gives a pretty good summary of the article, in which Murphy details exactly how easy the process is, even for someone that knows nothing about guns. He can’t even properly load bullets into the magazine and yet the conceal-carry permit he received is valid in this state, and would allow him to carry an improperly-secured, loaded, unsafety-ed, handgun onto this campus, if we decide to allow guns. If you believe this campus should give up its “gun-free”dom, perhaps your first concern should be increasing regulations and restrictions- making sure only those with extensive training are allowed to wear guns on their hips…

Powershift 2013

After two days back in Virginia- waking up after a full night’s sleep, sitting through classes that don’t inspire me or make my blood boil, and being surrounded by people that could give a fuck less about fossil fuels, sustainability, or environmental injustice- I can say that Powershift was actually really great. And I say that with a healthy distrust for big (even environmental) organizations headed by white men and/or more-mainstream liberal organizations like

So first off, Pittsburgh. I’m sorry, I just always thought you would be dirty, at best. This city is fantastic! I saw some of the coolest architecture I’ve ever seen there, as well as a really thriving arts scene. I don’t actually know much of anything about local politics, but they were apparently the first city to ban fracking, as well as exhibiting a number of progressive, green infrastructure projects. The convention center itself is actually the first green convention center in the world and featured many encouraging elements such as hundreds of solar panels on the roof, and an impressive recycling/composting system. This really is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to as well.

Also Anti-flag is from there…

The (in)famous giant rubber ducky!!!
The (in)famous giant rubber ducky!!!
The Allegheny River at sunset

The first night we missed the keynote speeches, but spent hours walking around looking at the different tables, talking to the people from different organizations. They ran the gamut of encouraging Pittsburgh tourism to ending capitalism…

It was really encouraging looking at the different groups of young people, from literally all of the country, sitting, talking, exchanging ideas, spreading awareness. There were mohawked punks and long-haired, bare-foot hippies and stoic indigenous representatives, and faith leaders, and radical anarchists, and average-looking students. There were green tech executives and ex-coal miners. There were artists and rappers, and occupy-era social media legends. It was a really great moment of “aha! these are our people!”

I really liked that none of the panels or speeches involved proving climate change or skepticism(save for the panel on how to talk to CC skeptics). As a movement, a nation, and as humans in general, the sooner we stop giving legitimacy to fossil fuel industry-backed “skeptics” and disinformation, the better. (if you disagree with that, that’s a whole-nother post..) I was also pleased to see a lot of the focus on impoverished communities and indigenous peoples fighting tar sands, fracking, pollution, environmental degradation, etc- important voices that are, too often, not represented. Being more inclusive and less white/middle-class was also a major theme, although the ability to pay for the registration and travel still reinforced that trend…

I missed it, but during one of the keynotes an indigenous woman was cut off during a speech. I don’t know if it was a time issue or something more nefarious, but it seemed to highlight the divide between the big-box environmental groups and the more radical, smaller ones. During a speech by a, black, ex-Obama organizer, a section of the audience stood up chanting “The EAC (Energy Action Coalition- the main organizer of the event) doesn’t stand for me!” There was at least one speaker that resigned in a show of solidarity.

Similarly, somebody put up a banner in front of the snack bar that read “Don’t support Coca Cola,” and promoted local, sustainable food over the corporate, Convention Center-contracted company. In one of the panels I attended on capitalism and the climate, one of the panelists- a more radical, indigenous organizer- broke away from the pack and argued against using solar cells because they are made from copper, which is just as destructive as other extractive processes. This was really interesting because it blew up one of the two big paths to energy sustainability that virtually everyone else was calling for.

I was kind of surprised more instances of protest within the conference didn’t occur, with such a huge variety of people, organizations, and opinions. That being said, many of the speakers and workshops surprised me too- there were(really, really good/ productive) anti-oppression workshops that focused on male privilege, white privilege, and class divide as well as panels on ending capitalism and what to do if you get arrested protesting. It wasn’t all just a “lefty” feel-good, flower power, tree-hugging fest.

With such a huge focus on sustainability, and food, it was a wonder that nothing sustainable/environmentally-conscious was offered. Somebody brought up that Food Not Bombs had provided food at a similar, smaller, event. Somebody else pointed out that they could have had food trucks, which could’ve provided a wide range of dietary options and supported small businesses. On Saturday, a colleague and I wandered through downtown looking for anything that provided good vegan/vegetarian food for over an hour.

Maybe I just have an over-affinity for the days of Occupy, but I would really like to see something with this content, and size, happen in a more-democratic, more-egalitarian, grass-roots fashion, with no registration fees or costs, but suggested donations, allowing environmentally-minded people from every walk of life to attend. Similarly, I feel like many of the panels were not as productive as they could have been, strictly because of the time constraints.

A couple of the highlights for me were the male priviledge workshop- I don’t remember the speaker’s name, but he(and he was very adiment about not assuming a person’s preferred gender, so this shows how much I listen..) completely kicked ass. A lot of time was given to audience members voicing their concerns and ideas, and I feel like it was really productive, especially to anybody that hadn’t ever thought about sexism before; and the “Social Media All stars” and photography panels. There was an interesting panel on connecting the “School to prison Pipeline” to environmental justice that featured at least one member of the Dream Defenders- one of my favorite movement-organizations right now.

Really though, my biggest complaint is that I couldn’t attend absolutely everything.

members of The Overpass Light Brigade take the stage behind Rev. Yearwood.
members of The Overpass Light Brigade take the stage behind Rev. Yearwood during the Saturday keynote.
ODU student, Tynell Johnson, with Kandi Mosset of The Indigenous Environmental Network. Mosset spoke at the Saturday keynote address.

everything you need to know about the Feinstein Gun Bill

“Assault Weapons Ban of 2013”
can be read in full text here—->
Unlike the Health Care Bill, its only two pages long, so whatever crazy BS NRA gun nuts make up about it should be easily debunked… by reading.

Here are hi-lights:
– It bans the “sale, transfer, manufacturing, and importation of” [assault weapons], excluding “any weapon that is LAWFULLY POSSESSED at the date of the bill’s enactment.” so Obama’s socialist, sharia-law, death-panel, white-people-hatin’ regime is not “coming for your guns,” just the ones that are on your wish list.
– Other exclusions include: any “manually operated” (bolt, pump, etc) gun; antique weapons (Grandpa has nothing to worry about except dementia); and weapons used for law enforcement.
– There are 157 specifically named weapons this bill bans… which isn’t that bad considering 2,258 are still totally legal.
– It bans all semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns that have at least one military feature ( ie. pistol grip, forward grip (just save it for COD), rocket launchers, folding/telescoping stocks, etc) AND (except semi-auto shotguns) accepting detachable magazines.
– It  eliminates “easy-to-remove bayonet mounts” (I’m sorry but if you take away bayonets from the good guys ONLY BAD GUYS WILL HAVE BAYONETS!!)
– It bans any gun or magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. 5 for semi-auto shotguns.
eliminates “aftermarket modifications and workarounds… including bump or slide-fire stocks,” (I personally know some people in Texas that will be VERY angry about that.)
-requires background check on sale or  transfer of grandfathered weapons (not totally sure if this closes the “gun show” loop hole, but I hope it does.)
– and last but not least, the NRA must be disbanded and all hard-working, white americans taken to FEMA camps… but seriously, remember the part about excluding current weapons. I feel like I’m going to have to repeat that a million times.