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Yes, I didn't think anyone would notice my absence though, and that the void would quickly be overcome with SCRABBLE® chatter.

I've been bummed by the level of jingoism and paranoia on other Fool boards I read, to the point where I don't want to hang out much on the Fool anymore, and opted for a livejournal account. Mind you I haven't put any SCRABBLE® content on there myself, but on there are SCRABBLE® communities ranging from devoted "kitchen table players" to 1800+ experts like David Weisberg. Livejournal people aren't concerned about putting a daily dose of kneejerk mindless rhetoric on the board to gain enough recs to earn them a free account for a year.

I will step up on my virtual soapbox though, in the interest of being on topic, and claim that one of the things I really enjoy about my SCRABBLE® scenes, virtual and real, is that the players know enough to keep silent or turn the talk over to more agreeable subjects. I'm geographically located where I can play both people from my country and my adopted country, and I LOVE the feeling of being accepted and appreciated in both countries. I have SCRABBLE® friends spanning from far-right conservatives to avowed communists, and from all points of any issue spectrum you can think of, and really, over a game, none of that matters at all.

The aspects that matter to me are trying to find the best play, enjoying the company of my opponent (especially if he's a very handsome man who sincerely welcomes me back to SCRABBLE® competitive play after my infant-induced absence -- this has happened twice, and I make a conscious effort to stay at the expert level so I can enjoy these people's company and great games), and keeping SCRABBLE® enjoyable, learning something new in strategy, or in vocabulary.

Don't confuse this with the manic "GBF" (Goodbye Forever) posts by constant Fool posters whose hearts and minds have been played with and abused. I saw that something harmless and funny (okay there may have been some harm because it was true) was removed from the Humor and Urban Legends board, but diatribes against people's religions, political viewpoints, sexual orientations, and genders get recommendations and onto the "Best Of" list. I've been seeing that people I had on my "Buddies" list have been slandering people like me.

I've been on the boards since December 1997, and the Fool policies are shifting so this isn't a happy place for me to be anymore. I'll just leave it at that.
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