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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » New Politics and Relationships

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Author Topic: New Politics and Relationships
KittenGoddess
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As I'm sure we've all noticed, the current political situation in America is extremely violate right now. The recent tragic events have brought the possibility of war to a generation of Americans who have never had to deal with anything like that.

So my question is, have these recent events and the new political situation affected not only you, but your relationships with your friends, family, or significant other(s)? If so, then how? This question applies not only to those of us living in America, but to everyone.

~KittenGoddess
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"Not everything in this magical world is quite what it seems"

"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together!"


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BruinDan
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It is frightening, I'll tell ya that much. Especially for someone who falls in that magical 18-25 year old male category, this has sure been interesting.

Aside from the horrors which we've all seen and had beaten into our memories permanently, I think that the small upsides are the ways that people have come together. We had a vigil at UCLA on Thursday, and thousands of people turned up just to hug one another and cry. I had never seen my friend cry before, the stereotypical "macho man" even breaks down in times like these.

In the past several days, LAPD has reported a 70% decrease in "Crimes Against People." Basically, people are too busy coming together and talking about this mess to fight with or kill one another. I know it can't last, but that is at least a small positive in this whole ordeal. Personally, I know I'm trying to take less for granted as best I can. Knowing that your life is fragile, that your hold on this world is very tenuous at best, is a sobering reminder that we are all mortal. Thousands of people who woke up Tuesday morning didn't return home that night...and it could have happened to any of us, really.

The most frightening part of all this is the fact that while the United States has not, and probably will not, revert to a Draft...people are leaving left and right. I said goodbye to three friends yesterday, and am meeting one for a "last supper" tonight before he leaves. Three of the four of them have orders to go overseas, one is reporting to his division in Alabama for some training before being deployed. No longer are these characters in a Vietnam War book, these are friends of mine I raised hell with in high school. And who knows, those are the friends who are on "Active Duty," but what about the Reserves? Several other friends, and even myself, are subject to being "called-up" by virtue of our Reserve status. Will we be called? I dread checking the mailbox these days, I come home from school or work and just don't even want to look.

In short, yes...this has changed my life. I've read some people who say that this hasn't changed their lives much, and that is okay too...but for me and my friends, this is a new reality. You guys take care of yourselves...

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Milke
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I seem to have responded to this totally differently than most of my freinds. I don't want retaliation, I don't want anyone even considering revenge until every last trapped, living (even if badly injured) person, has been freed, and I'm sick of hearing how every ethnic group that isn't black or caucasian is somehow to blame for this. One American guy I've been talking to on ICQ for several years actually told me that he never wanted anything to do with me again after I said that American civilians deserved to be attacked and killed just as much as civilians in any other country. *sigh* It's true. And he just didn't get it.
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Gumdrop Girl
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well, my boyfriend and i are on the same political plane. but i have noticed that i can't stand to be around people whose opinions are radically different on mine right now. frankly, i don't want to hear it. but i do, and i clench my teeth and feel like yelling at them that they're so wrong. but what good would that do? last thing this country needs right now is fragmentation. so when the topic comes up with my friends who have already expressed opinions that conflict with mine, i simply say i don't want ot talk about it and change the subject. it's better than fighting.

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A waist is a terrible thing to mind.


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Confused boy
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I suppose it is really just human nature to see a terrorist attack on your country to be completely different from an attack on another country. The ironic thing is certain attacks perpetrated by the US Air Force could be considered to be terrorist strikes in other countries. And even more ironic, to some minds was the World Trade Centre even a civilian target? I mean I find the name of the towers pretty scary to be honest.

Of course, I cannot really speak. I was quite shocked when I discovered that I had been within about 20 yards of an activated IRA bomb (it was discovered and destroyed later before it set off). I mean I had nothing to do with the IRA or Northern Ireland. But if I had been shopping a day or even a few hours later I could have been killed in the name of a unified Ireland.

I seriously do not believe that a direct attack on Afgahnistan is likely. The Russians never got full control of it and they are right next to it. Far more likely will be economic santions until the Taliban hand over this person who is supposed to be the mastermind behind it. But even that will not stop terrorists, they will simply rally under a new leader. There is no easy answer.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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John Doe
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Confused boy,
what is scary about the name world trade center. World trade is essential or everyone would be dirt poor. Yes some nations have benifited more from world trade than others, but with out it all countries would be at the economic level of the current basket cases, Afganistan being one of them. Economic sanctions would not hurt the Taliban very much but would hurt the common people.
The suggestion that the WTC was not a civilian target is quite frankly absurd, and more than a little insulting to the people who worked and died there.

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lemming
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We've been talking a lot, holding each other a lot. We've been arguing quite a bit about various fine lines, politically; I've been worrying, though as Danny said, it's not likely, about the draft. I think that supporting the military in any sense is like being on the front lines - but that's my opinion, and I'm not about to force it on anyone else. I don't want anyone at all to have to be killed or hurt in these actions, on either side.

my parents, home in Houston, have been very supportive. my mother's denying the whole thing happened, but my father and I have talked a lot about it. we cope by focusing on the technology of the attack - the flight data recorders, the cockpit voice recorders, the architecture of the WTC and the security of Pentagon airspace.

I think it's made us all confront our fears, and realize how we react to these things that happen and how to take comfort in each other.

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com.
"Aiyiyi, I'm your little butterfly/Green, black, and blue make the colors in the sky..." --Smile.DK, "Butterfly"


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LilBlueSmurf
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I feel like i'm alone w/ my views. I don't want revenge. I don't think it's right to kill another countries people b/c they killed ours (ours as in N.Am) ... Two wrongs don't make a right. Ever.

My bf and i got into a great big fight about this on Tuesday when it happened. He wants revenge. He thinks everyone should have to go kill all those people that supported it and who were celebrating and the guy that supposedly did it ... While all the evidence so far is pointing to him, who really knows what happened? Those people on the plane. And they're all dead.

My dad is pretty much along the same lines as Trev (my bf). He gets really really irritated when i even mention that i don't agree w/ him. Or say something that he doesn't go along w/. He actually raises his voice, and he rarely does that.

I talked to my mom about it for a long time last nite. Apparently two of the hijackers trained at her bfs work. She thinks the one person responsible for this should pay for it w/ his life, but does'nt think it's worth killing everyone else who supports him and happens to live there too.

There is only about two people who share my views. One is a friend that i talk to only on ICQ now since he's at college, and another which goes to my school and looks like she's gonna go crazy when someone even suggests revenge. It makes me sick to my stomach. Literally.

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--Hollie West
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I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.


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KittenGoddess
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It really is quite frightening. I can say that all this has made me appreciate my life that much more. Even being able to get out of bed every morning seems like a gift. A gift that alot of people can no longer have. I feel a great deal of sorrow for the people who are trapped or deceased, and for their families.

I do worry about my friends alot too. The idea of having a war is terrifying. I've got a friend who is practically a brother to me, he's in the army. He and his wife are expecting their first child in a couple of months. I wonder if he'll be able to see his baby's birth. I worry about my other friends too who are in similar situations.

~KittenGoddess

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"Not everything in this magical world is quite what it seems"

"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together!"


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Daisyluv
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For me personally as this sounds rude and I don't mean for it to be but I don't wanna hear about it anymore. Like in the sense that the news would be reporting the same story every ten minutes. I don't need to hear that thousands are assumed dead, I can figure that out myself and a couple times hearing about it is ok but enough is enough.
And its scary I have a friend who lives 5 hours from me and is in the Army reserves here in Canada and I was talking to him on Thrusday and hes on 48 hour alert. Its like he could be taken away at any time and who knows what could happen then.

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Dzuunmod
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A number of things:
First, I could see the name of the towers as being sort of frightening, not because they stand for world trade, but because the name shows a sense of global dominance (without consulting the rest of the world) on the part of the United States.

I can see how they might not necessarily be viewed as a civilian target, also, in that they were a financial nerve centre. They could have been seen more as an economic target, rather than a civilian one.

I agree with the sentiment Milke expressed about other ethnic groups. I was disgusted to read an editorial in the National Post on Saturday, which essentially said that racism against those who appear to be of Middle-Eastern origin is excusable, because of the circumstances. "...it is hard to get worked up about the occasional slur directed against North American Muslims when body parts are still being unearthed in New York and Washington," they wrote. As my partner pointed out, now is the most important time for tolerance. When temperatures are running high, it's key that people keep a clear head.

What I hope to see come out of this is a more global view on the part of the 'have' countries. I'd like to see certain world leaders, now that they perhaps have a better understanding of human suffering, say that they'll consider intervening in other conflicts around the world, where their nation's direct interests aren't at stake.


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John Doe
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Duz,
What is the difference between and economic target and a civilian one? A shopping mall is an economic target, the electrical system is an economic target, your local bank branch is an economic target, the supermarket is an economic target. The distinction you make between an economic target and a civilian one just does not make any sense.
The fact is that NY is a global center of commerce and trade. people all from all over the world choose to to trade in NY. They are free to conduct trades in London or Frankfort or Toronto, or Kuala Lampur for that matter, yet they trade in NY because it is the biggest and most liquid market around.

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Confused boy
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Well I may not agree with the more extreme views of anti-capitalism but I do understand that there is evidence that world trade is not improving everybodies lives. Americans certainly, Japanese probably. Taiwanese? Not so sure? What about those in Indonesia, China, Kenya, Mozambique? Its not exactly clear cut WORLD TRADE IS MOST DEFINATELY GOOD FOR EVERYONE.

And maybe not to those in the buildings but to some those working in the World Trade Centre are the warriors of capitalism. Spreading their way of life everywhere and by definition destroying other ways of living.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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John Doe
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Oh come on, not sure if world trade has helped Taiwan, you can't be serious. Look at the relative economic position of those countries which have fully integrated themselves into world trade to those who have isolated themselves from it. Look at the wealth of south korea vs. the wealth of north Korea.
Even the sweat shop worker along the boarder in Mexico benifits. if they did not, then those factories would stand empty because nobody would work in them. The question is not, are they better off than Americans, it is are they better off than they would otherwise be. They freely choose to work in those factories since the alternative of living in a poor dusty village with very little food is worse for them. Does the owner of the factory benifit more than the worker, sure, but there is still a benifit to the worker, and in percentage terms, the worker might even benifit more (ie going from $50 per month to $100 per month is an increase of 100%, going from $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 is an increase of only 20%, even though the $ increase is 4000x larger for the owner than the worker.
The problem is not that there is too much world trade, but that there is not enough, the problems of the countries that you mention is that they have been relatively isolated from world trade.
Before the advent of capitalism, life for all humans, was in the words of Tomas Hobbes, "Nasty, Brutish and short"

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Lynne
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Uh, Confused Boy, American capitalism isn't exactly one of those things that you can just shove down peoples' throats. If it -- and all the trappings of American culture that come with it -- is flourishing in third world countries, it's because a large number of people there wanted it to. That's how capitalism works, by definition. Coca-Cola, for example, isn't going to be sold in regions where people don't buy it. If a country is inundated with Coke, however, it's because lots of people there are buying it and thus actually want it.

Can it be considered tyranny of the majority? Well, I'm willing to grant that some would consider it that, but even if it is, it doesn't mean that it's the fault of American businessmen -- the problem would lie with the majority in question.

[This message has been edited by Lynne (edited 09-17-2001).]


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Rizzo
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I realize this is somewhat off topic, but Lynne, I think American capitalism is something you can force down people's throats. It's naive to think that things are the way they are because everyone wants it that way. Big corporations have more money to spend on advertising which is sometimes misleading or manipulative. In this case, more people buy a product not because they like it better than any other similar product, but because powerful messages influence them.

Anyway, I agree with several of you who feel retaliation is not going to help. It sickens me the way people think that terrible, immoral acts of violence are suddenly okay when a war is declared. How do we live with this kind of inconsistent thinking? One day killing people is bad and you have to go to jail. The next day you're a hero for killing people. Please.



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Confused boy
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You see... there is a reasonable variation in opinion here. I think that proves its not a clear cut thing. I am incapable of arguing this very complex topic well but all I wish to do is prove that there is always room for debate on this subject. Argument is important as I would never want one way of thinking to be the one that is just assumed to be right, not even my view!

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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KittenGoddess
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*waves hands*

'Scuse me, folks! Hello!

Can we all please play nice here? This thread wasn't started so there could be a theological/philosophical discussion of the evils/presumed evils of capitalism. If you wanna argue about that, then start another topic about it.

My origional question still stands. Have these recent events and the new political situation affected not only you, but your relationships with your friends, family, or significant other(s)? If so, then how?

If you wanna post about that, then please do. If you wanna argue about capitalism, then do it somewhere else.

Thanks,
~KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Advocate


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John Doe
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Rizzo,
advertising could get someone to buy their first coke, but if they did not like it, they would be unlikely to buy the second (I will agree that this does not hold up in the case of tobacco where there are adictive properties, but it does for almost all other products).
The essence of capitalism is freedom. You freely decide what you wish to buy and what you wish to sell, and at what price you wish to make the transaction. Since both parties make the transaction out of their own percived best interest, they both come out better off than if they had not made the transaction. Thats why it is so common for both the saleperson and the customer to say thank you after the deal is done.
"It is not through the goodness of the heart of the butcher or the baker that we recive our meat and bread, but out of their self interest"
Adam Smith
Loosly quoted

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lemming
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John Doe,

I realize that you posted only two minutes after Kitten stepped in, but I must reinforce her point:

Your message deviates from the purpose of this thread. Please take this discussion elsewhere, if you feel you must, but do not continue it here.

KittenGoddess is an Advocate and her rules are backed up by the rest of us.

Thank you.

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com.
"Aiyiyi, I'm your little butterfly/Green, black, and blue make the colors in the sky..." --Smile.DK, "Butterfly"


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Maharet
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Most of what I was thinking of saying has mostly been said in the above posts, but I'd just feverently like to say that's it's so nice to know that there really are people outside my family who also think that mass relaliation is a bad idea!
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sapphirecat
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Around here, lots of stuff has been cancelled/postponed. UB sponsored some busses to NYC and some blood drives. My SO and I are desperately wishing that Bush decides not to blow Afghanistan off the map. (For those in disagreement, consider the fact that we didn't blow Michigan off the map when Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City. Or that you wouldn't like being blown up because someone disagrees with Bush.) All in all, the only physical effect is to increase our hugging. Emotionally, I can't say right now, and it's going to change over time anyway.

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-- Sapphire Cat

Condense soup, not books!


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Confused boy
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It appears we are somewhat limited to how many topics on the attack we can make. For me I have not been directly affected by the bombing though I know people who have. Basically, its caused an awful lot more political debate to suddenly appear out of nowhere between friends online and offline. I wouldnt miss it for the world. It is well worth being called "potato eating Communist ******" if I am allowed to come back with "Fascist paper tiger." Its what friendships are made of.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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John Doe
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Lemming,
why are you jumping down my throat here, its pretty obvious that I didn't read KG's post before mine got posted, I was busy composing mine when hers was posted. Why in particular are you directing this at me. I will admit, that this has sort of gotten off on a tangent from the start of the thread, but that is not all that unusual around here. In the past when somebody has made an offensive comment, generally people will call them on it. Quite frankly I was surprised that I was the only one who called Confused boy on this topic. i for one found the comment that the WTC was not a civilian target to be very offensive to the memory of those who died there, including I might add, two guys I grew up with.

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KittenGoddess
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John Doe,
lemming wasn't meaning to jump down your throat about it. Just to make sure that since your post showed up after mine that everybody else didn't just decide 'hey, he's not listening to her, why should we?' I'm sure no offense was intended to you.

I know that alot of threads in here tend to stray off topic. That is something that those of us who moderate this forum have discussed during our break from the boards. While some users may enjoy these diverions that lead to heated discussions and rile everybody up for one reason or another, many other users are turned off by this. That's why you'll probably notice that only certain members of our community post here. And we'd like to keep this friendly to everybody. If you've got any more questions about this, or comments reguarding posts by those of us who moderate this forum, please feel free to direct those to one of us, or Miz S by email.

Keep up the discussion everybody, I'm very happy to see so many on topic posts!

~KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Advocate


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Confused boy
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Its the heated debates that often make the topics so long. I am sure some of you will remember how long some discusions involving Baptist got. For me, this is a useful training ground for my debating skills in a place where you are not going to be persecuted for your beliefs as long as you do not insult people.

I am sorry for your loss and everyones loss and I am just thankful the members of my extended family that live in New York were safe. I do believe that the WTC was a civilian target, I just meant that to some people it is not, and it is understandable (if not true) considering its name. If it came to a straight fight between Afgahnistan and the US (which I hope does not happen because of the massive casualties on both sides which will be caused) I would support the US without hesitation. It is just necessary to understand how other people see the world or a lasting peace will never be possible.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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TheCagedOne
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Well, I know that the effect this whole situation has had on me, my family, and my friends is practically nil compared to some...but here goes. At first I had similar reactions to most, disbelief, sorrow, grief, fright, and eventually anger. It wasn't until later that the idea of a full scale war hit me, and that scared me a bit too. It hasn't affected my relationships with family or friends too much. We all helped each other deal with this however we could. A friend I work with had two brothers pulled alive from the wreckage. It took over a day to find them. The support we all gave him kept him sane. What's great to see is that kind of support happening on a nationwide, even global basis. Maybe we'll all learn something from this like we're supposed to. Then again, maybe we'll continue the kind of racism I saw at my campus, when a middle-eastern student was being chased through the parking lot. Just seeing something like that makes this whole thing harder to deal with. Hopefully we've all got people we can talk to and turn to that can offer help and support.
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Beppie
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With most people I know it hasn't changed my relationships with them all that much, but there are two exceptions. I do think I have developed a better sense of understanding with one of my RL friends due to talking about the tragedy, and more significantly I have become a lot closer to someone that I was already close to over the past week, due to the fact that this whole thing really makes you appreciate having the people that you care about.

Other than that though, I don't know if my relationship with anyone else has changed- most of my friends are divided into two groups- people who felt deeply affected, and people who thought it was horrible, but it didn't touch them as much- being part of the former group, I guess I might have spent more time talking to my other friends who had the same reaction, but they're all still my friends nonetheless.


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