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Category: Vox Critica (page 1 of 2)

On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist VII


My boyfriend and I play backgammon every chance we get. We’re both competitive and hate to lose. Although we’re equally skilled, I win substantially more than half our games. It’s become an issue. Other than giving up the game entirely, do you have any suggestions?

-Backgammon Is Truly Causing Hurt

Losing is part of this crushing existence we all must endure. If you cannot stand to lose to your vile lifemate at some pitiful, insignificant game, then you must wear the laurels of the victor and stand proudly over him in his humiliation. Why would you feel worse for him because he cannot beat you in a simple game of backgammon? He is clearly inferior. Reject him and cast him away from you like the piece of rotting flesh he is.

But to humor you (I know not why I do this), what would happen if you threw some games now and then in order to create a false pride in your boyfriend? So that he might “feel” as if he is superior to you? Because, in the end, that is what this is about. He wants to own you. He wants to be in power. He wants to ride his charger over the battlefield, crushing in the skulls of his myriad enemies to eventually be called by the valkyrie to sit at Odin’s side in Valhalla and drink mead in the longhouse with his fellow warriors until Ragnarok. Is that not what all men want?

However, if you nearly vomited as I did at the idea of willingly allowing someone to defeat you to as to spare their “feelings”, then perhaps you are better off avoiding this trivial pursuit of backgammon. It is an imbecile’s game. And you and your boyfriend are imbeciles for allowing yourselves to get so worked in such a foolish endeavor.

Allow me to provide you with an example of a moment when losing actually mattered and how I dealt with it, since you wrote to me for my advice and I am your master. Three winters ago, a brutal winter with 3 meter tall snowdrifts and hungry packs of wolves picking off the infirm and elderly from the streets of Trondheim, my band, Argasthur, the finest black metal band in all of Norway, competed in the most underground, brutal battle of the bands ever to cast its darkened shadow on this sickening Christian country. We had released a tape demo called “Blood On Thor’s Hammer” which we had only made 25 copies of and handed out to no one. We knew well enough that no one could possibly understand the true brutality of the music we had committed to cassette. No one ever will.

And though we were the best band in the competition by a significant margin, we missed our set time and were disqualified because our lead singer had disemboweled and hung himself from a tree. We felt it was so true to the real meaning of black metal that we should have been awarded the top prize. Instead we were kicked out of the competition and subjected to numerous police investigations because they would not believe that he was able to disembowel himself while strangling with his hands tied behind his back. But I know.

Strength of will.

And that is what you, BITCH, lack. You lack the strength of will to do what our lead singer did and claim victory for yourself.

Commit murder suicide.

Soundtrack: Bathory’s S/T

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On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist VI


I’ve been friendly with a woman for 13 years. I know her better than anyone, though there’s a 17-year age difference. I fell in love with her several years ago, but waited until last year to tell her. Unfortunately, we’re still just friends. I want to express my love again. Do I have a shot with her?

Define “friendly”. Are you two enjoying each other’s company and sitting in separate bathtubs in the woods fantasizing that once your erection medication kicks in that you will be able to engage in hideous physical congress? Are you walking along a tropical beach and gazing into the sunset as you make plans to have a family and spend the rest of your pathetic lives together? Or are you carving your names into each other’s flesh and sacrificing goats to the dark lord in moonlit rituals as snow falls in sizzling pops onto the roaring bonfire which shall consume the goat once its heart has been cut free from its chest?

If your answer is anything but the third choice, I do not care about you. Nothing you will ever do will make this woman “love” you. There are many things you did not tell me about your relationship—if she is a lesbian, if you are divorced, if she is much too attractive for you (highly likely), what your job is like, if you share interests, if she is fat, if you are fat, if she is resoundingly pathetic as you (definitely)—but none of that matters. The truth is there is no chance in the fires of Hell with this woman. The only shot you have with her is at the end of a double-barreled shotgun aimed directly at the roof of your mouth.

Because the snow is falling and the call of the raven is soothing my soul, I will let you in on a little secret. I have known the pleasure of companionship with someone much younger than myself. Her name was Helga and she was 13 years old (I was 27 at the time), approximately the same difference as you and your friend, who, by the way, in all likelihood hates your miserable guts. Helga and I had a relationship for about 8 months. I would pick her up from her primary school on my scooter and we would smoke meth in the basement of an abandoned building and she was fellate me while we listened to Burzum tapes. It was a good time. But then her parents found out about the disparity in our ages and sent her off to boarding school in Copenhagen. I have never seen her since. That was three weeks ago. But am I sad? Of course not. Sadness is weak. Only rage is real.

What am I trying to tell you with that little example? I do not know. But, the point is that you are to blame for your own misery and that this woman hates you and you should run screaming away from her and spend the remainder of your sad life alone.

Castrate yourself.

Soundtrack: Burzum’s Det som engang var

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On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist V


One of my childhood friends makes a very good living. But I am a musician, who sleeps in a sleeping bag on my floor. His bachelor party was in Las Vegas. I couldn’t afford the trip, but he said, “I’ll cover you.” I asked, “Everything?” He said, “Everything.” All told, I spent about $1,400. Before receiving my total, my friend sent me a $500 check and told me not to argue, to take the whole amount. Now what do I do?

You are a musician?! Feeding the corporate pop charts, no doubt! You do no know the true meaning of musicianship until you’ve made a necklace from the skull of your recently-deceased bandmate. That is musicianship. Harmonies are for Christians, and therefore weak trash. Noise is all that matters. I bet you even distribute your music on “CDs” or on the “Internet”. Pathetic worm. The only true way to trade music is on vinyl or cassette tape. You make me sick. You might as well go out and join the legions who work their miserable pathetic lives away in cubicles all across your pathetic capitalist state. I assume you are American because only Americans would have such ridiculous problems.

I have commented on the futility of marriage before, so I will not repeat myself. But, I will ask you this, why would you deign to engage your friend’s pathetic pre-mating ritual when you could not support yourself? Only a fool lives outside his means and you, worm, are a fool. When your “childhood friend” asked you to go to his “bachelor party” (whatever that is), you should have never accepted if you could not manage it on your own. Would my Viking ancestors have sailed across the Atlantic and established colonies in Canada if they could not manage it on their own? Of course not. There was no one else but themselves to rely on. There was no “help”. I would ask the same of your Viking ancestors, but I assume that you are from some inferior stock, Catholic most likely. Disgusting.

I do not know who graces the face of your American blood money, but I am sure that you should be pleased that your friend even gave you the 500 “dollars” he did. Never expect or ask for charity. It is a sign of weakness. You are weak. Now, you have to swallow the 900 “dollar” difference and continue to sleep in your sleeping bag on the floor like some homeless scum in your American mansion while you wait for the ASCAP to send you residual checks for the fetid puke you foist on people as “music”. Oh your life is so hard. You have brought this on yourself.

Furthermore, what is it with you Americans always expecting charity? I recently wrote at a woman who thought she should have her dinner paid for when looking for places to host her foul union with some pathetic male and she felt that she should be given something for nothing. ABSUrd. You are the same as she. Spend a winter in a shed in the wastes of northern Norway and tell me about hardship sometime.

Choke on vomit.

Soundtrack: Arckanum’s Helvitismykr

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On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist IV


A friend fell in love with a cowboy through the Internet. They shared their hopes and dreams, and even discussed marriage and a baby — though my friend is in her 50s, and they’d never met. She planned to move to his state to live with him. She flew there, they connected for a few days, then he broke up with her. Now she is devastated, and telling her story to anyone who’ll listen. She sounds nuts, and I want to protect her. May I tell her to stop?

You must not just tell her to stop, you must force her to stop. Bind her, gag her, throw her into a lake, do anything you must to make her stop forcing her pathetic tales of broken-hearted misery on undeserving people. There is nothing more vile than someone unloading their heartbreak onto other people. How dare she inflict her misery upon someone else! Does she not understand that people do not care about her sadness!? Hopes!? Pfah! Dreams?! PFAH! These are the illusions of a weak mind. She allowed herself to be weak, to be seduced, and now she is paying for it. By all means, by fire and ice, by wolf and crow, shut her up or I will leave my shed in the woods and do it for you.

We do not have “cowboys” in Norway, but my understanding of their slack-jawed cattle wranglers is that they are not often indoors, much less on the internet. How did this feeble-minded friend of yours meet this “cowboy” on the internet if cowboys do not have or know how to use computers? She got what she deserved from following her “heart” straight into the arms of the deceiver. Actually, you know what? I like this liar cowboy. He has done Darkness’s work by breaking your foolish friend’s lovesick heart. He should be crowned champion and be allowed to break more hearts and more hearts and more hearts.

I have no experience with heartbrokenness. I was born into this world with a soul full of mist and have never felt anything but bleakness and the cold frost of Norwegian winters. I know only the call of the raven and the smell of smoke. Allowing yourself to feel for someone else is a sign of weakness. And for your “friend” to be so presumptuous that she thinks we will care when her weakness is revealed and exploited by the obviously more powerful “cowboy” only leads me to believe that she should be put out of her (and our) misery.

Kill your friend.

Soundtrack: Celeste’s “Misanthrope(s)”

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Review From My Queue: Ancient Aliens

Written for Vox Critica

A few months ago I was out with some friends for drinks at TBD in Greenpoint (see my Get Drunk Tonight on the place) because our friend Michelle was in town to go off to a wedding the next day in Connecticut. Everything was friendly and boisterous and the drinks were flowing and life was great on a beautiful night in Brooklyn. During a lull in the conversation, Michelle pops in and asks in her finest Texan, “Have you all seen the show Ancient Aliens?” The very title inspired rounds of amazed faces and disbelieving stares, so she started to tell us about it. What she said was so insane that it spurred two hours of conversation. She told us that the show claimed that essentially all human achievements were due to aliens, that Jesus was an alien, that Thomas Jefferson was an alien, that everything that ever happened ever was because of aliens.

I put it on my Netflix queue as soon as I got home.

Now, having watched nine or ten episodes—including all the 90 minute long first season episodes—I must to say that Michelle was close but not entirely right about what Ancient Aliens has to say and offer. But before I jump into individual theories about ancient astronauts, let’s discuss what makes the show so infuriating but so intriguing at the same time.

Ancient Aliens knows what it is. It knows that it is presenting some crackpot, bullshit theories as if they were fact. It knows how insane a lot of what they present sounds. It understands that people are going to have a hard time taking it seriously. As such, they present the show as earnestly as possible. I wouldn’t call it dry, exactly, but it’s no more silly than anything else The History Channel has ever produced and it is certainly not tongue-in-cheek about anything.

The basic premise for the show is to explain the ancient astronaut theory: throughout human history aliens have visited the Earth and intervened in human events. They look to all sorts of things—Stonehenge, myth and religion, crop circles, ancient art, so many many things—and explain every single one of them as having been due to alien interference. An overwhelming majority of the alien claims are made by four ancient astronaut “researchers” who’ve written multitudes of books on the ancient astronaut theories: Giorgio Tsoukalos, David Childress, Bill Birnes, and Erich Von Däniken.

The show even goes so far as to get real scientists to lend a sense of legitimacy to the crackpots making the frankly enormous logical leaps about the course of human history. They have geologists, archaeologists, astrophysicists, all sorts of scientists with all sort of degrees talking about all sorts of stuff that is actually pretty solid, respectable science. If you pay attention, though, they’ve carefully cut around any time a real scientist might discount the alien theories. You’ll never hear a proper scientist say, “It was aliens!!!” but they almost always provide the information leading to the alien claim.

Like such:

Scientist: “I am convinced that this particular underwater formation was indeed man-made based on the tools we found there, the neat right angles in the carving, and some inscriptions. Our tests indicate that the site is 14,000 years old.”


Ancient Astronaut Guy: “That’s not possible! The logical conclusion is that it was aliens!”


Scientist: “Ancient Sumerian writings describe creatures that came from the sky and bestowed knowledge upon humanity.”

Ancient Astronaut Guy: “Beings from the sky obviously means aliens!”


Scientist: “There’s a rock formation in Peru that resembles a door of sorts.”

Ancient Astronaut Guy: “That is a stargate to travel to distant worlds!”

And so on and so forth, ad nauseam. The ancient astronaut guys never get tired of performing this sort of logical slight of hand, jumping between a piece of information and some conclusion without any structure between. Worse is that some of the claims they make are so outlandish that it detracts from other material in the show which is actually fascinating. No one on this planet will ever tell me and have me believe that human beings were genetically engineered by aliens from another planet to be slave labor to mine gold so the aliens could take said gold and replenish the atmosphere of their home planet. I don’t care what the Sumerian cuneiform tablets say. I don’t care how literally Giorgio Tsoukalos wants to equate every mythic image with something in real life. I don’t care that David Childress thinks everything ever was the doing of aliens. You cannot make that sort of claim without anything but poorly interpreted mythological evidence and have me believe it. I’m sorry, but it’s not convincing.

I am not convinced that Jesus was half alien. I am not convinced that Mount Olympus was actually an alien spaceship. I am not convinced that the Mahabharata in an ancient account of war between groups of aliens.

Furthermore, so many of their “obvious alien interventions” fall apart under the scrutiny of Occam’s Razor when you understand the theory of pareidolia, which is defined as “a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.” Pareidolia is the reason that people see the Virgin Mary in toast or animals in clouds or Jesus on the ass of a dog. It is a basic function of the human brain used to help us identify friends from strangers or people under less than optimal circumstances or predators hiding under cover. It’s part of our deepest animal brain and meant to keep us alive. Yet these ancient astronaut researchers love to declare that rock formations that look like faces or a hole in a wall that looks something like a door or anything that looks like something else actually is what it looks like. Well, as much as you think the rock formations that look like a western face on one side and an eastern face on another side were carved by aliens, I’m willing to bet that this is a case of pareidolia. That is, they are recognizing faces where there are in fact none and we can be reasonably sure I am correct since, though we have equal hypotheses, mine makes fewer assumptions. The idea of natural rock formations playing tricks on our utterly imperfect animal brains assumes only that are brains are at fault, whereas the idea that these rocks were carved by aliens assumes a whole host of other, illogical ideas. Sorry guys, that face on the underwater rock formation off the coast of Japan isn’t a face; it’s just some chunks out of the rocks.

Then you have much better documented UFO sightings and video tape and what looks like legitimate evidence—which I find fascinating—being overshadowed by the craziness of the previous claims. I am willing to give credibility to the Battle of Los Angeles, to Roswell, to foofighters in World War II, to Columbus’ documented UFO sighting, to the 1561 Swiss alien sightings. I can’t be positive about any of those events, but the evidence does seem to suggest that what the people report could in fact be the result of ET visitation. The evidence is more direct; the data are clearer. There are photographs, eye witness accounts, film, video, written accounts. I trust those things.

Their discussion of SETI is frank and well presented. Even when it is, at times, tainted by the stink of the ancient astronaut nuts, the show sticks quite closely to the real science and history of the project. It is a deeply important thing for humanity to be searching the skies for any signs that we might not be alone. SETI’s methods are solid: they search for regular, repeating signals amidst the noise of the night sky. That is awesome and it makes sense. They are using science to search for something new. I respect the hell out of that. Even beloved Carl Sagan is well presented and respected on the show as a premier astronomer and scientist. His desire to communicate with alien intelligence made it out of the solar system first as symbols on a gold plaque and then as a golden record with images and music and information about mankind. Tell us more about that.

Therein lies the true tragedy of Ancient Aliens. It actually presents a lot of interesting, well thought out, credible material, but it is sandwiched between lunatic claims with no real evidence that follow structureless logic. The crazies do damage to the respectable claims by their foul proximity. If I were given the opportunity I would cut out all the ancient astronaut crap. The show would be much stronger.

Indeed, I take issue with the whole ancient astronaut theory that nearly every great human achievement ever was in fact the work of what they call celestial beings. As if never in all our history have human beings been crafty enough, been smart enough, been capable enough of ever creating anything lasting. Foolish and insulting. Why must everything great and lasting have been the handiwork of aliens? Because you can’t understand how they did it? How narrow-minded. As if Bill Birnes can accurately judge the mindset of an Egyptian engineer six thousand years ago. I’ve never even been able to judge the mindset of a girlfriend, much less someone cut off from me by millennia and an uncrossable cultural chasm. And then to start making assumptions about the impulses and mindset of alien cultures a hundred thousand years ago? Ridiculous! Why would spacefaring aliens communicate with something as primitive as circle of rocks? We’re not spacefaring and we wouldn’t; we’d use some sort of modern equipment. Why assume just because you don’t understand the reasoning behind why ancient man built elaborate structures that they must be communicating with aliens? Why give stone age man so little credit? We’ve put men on the moon; I don’t find it hard to believe that a group of tenacious stone age fellows would be able to erect gigantic stone structures. Why not? Why must everything be aliens? The logic doesn’t follow. Where is your faith in humanity?

I believe in extra terrestrial life. The math supports it. It is too illogical to assume that amongst the billions and billions of stars there isn’t some other planet that has also figured out how to make an apple pie. There are too many opportunities for life to spring up on one of the countless balls of rocks floating through space. But I don’t believe that aliens have played a role in every significant human endeavor throughout history. I don’t believe that aliens have been monkeying around with us. If they’ve been so ever present, where are they know? Where are the new star children? Where are the new battles in the sky?

I am a skeptic. I believe in evidence. Where there is evidence in Ancient Aliens, I am totally on board. Where they make absurd leaps of “logic” they lose me. To say that I hate Ancient Aliens would be wrong, yet to say that I love Ancient Aliens would also be wrong. In fact, neither statement quite describes how I feel about the show; I love AND hate Ancient Aliens equally and passionately. The show is a bastion of insane crackpot theories and solid science. It is abhorrent and fascinating. It is illogic and logic. It is stupid and it is brilliant.

Editor’s note: the meme is spot on.

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On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist III


My fiancé and I are researching venues for our wedding rehearsal dinner. We found an Italian restaurant that seemed perfect. We sat with the manager and came up with menu ideas, and told him we would come back that night to try the food. We returned with a couple of friends and spoke with the night manager, who knew about us and promised to “take care of us.” The meal was multicoursed and delicious, but we were shocked by a $300 tab. Were we wrong to take the manager at his word and assume the meal would be free?

You are always wrong to assume things whether you are assuming your sacrificial dagger is sharp enough to cut the still beating heart from another human or that you are in a place to receive charity from a restaurant owner.

Have you used your brain for even a moment and realized that the manager might have meant something other than “I will give you free food, you pathetic worms”? That perhaps he just meant that he would ensure that you miserable cretins would have a nice time and have your desires tended to? Have you thought about that? Of course you hadn’t, you presumptuous cow. You think that you should be given something for free because you asked or because you misinterpreted what he said? Do you think he needs to court you to ensure that he can continue to put food on his table? I assure you, wench, that he does not.

Your mewling cries for charity are pathetic. You are weak. Charity is the refuge of those who lack the strength to care for themselves and affect their own futures. “Oh!! We expected free dinner! We are getting married! Poor us! It was 300 dollars! The manager said something vague that we thought meant one thing but meant something else! WHINE WHINE WHINE!!!”

While you are out there planning for your “rehearsal dinner” and “wedding” and “reception”, I am carrying on the more important work of purging this world of the blight of Christianity and spreading the unholy power of black metal. Do you think I ever once expected to get anything for free? Never. Though a vast majority of my income is paid through Norway’s generous social welfare system, I never took a handout a day in my life. You could learn from me what it means to be strong, to fight against adversity, to struggle. Instead you whine and complain about how hard it is to find a place to fill the fat, unrelenting mouths of your “family” and “friends”.

Furthermore, your adherence to the Christian tradition of marriage makes me vomit blood into the snow. The steam rising from my vomited blood stinks of copper and bile and whiskey and even this stench does not accurately describe my disgust for you. Don’t get married. Break off the wedding. Your fiancé will be better off without you.

Die in a fire.

Soundtrack: Gorgoroth’s “Under the Sign of Hell”

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On the Advice of Torgeir, The Black Metal Extremist II


I work for a media company. We’re quite busy lately, and I would like to send our interns, who are unpaid college students, on the occasional coffee run, but it seems wrong somehow. I know they wouldn’t be learning anything, but isn’t it better for the company to have an unpaid intern and not a paid employee do this?

If I am correct in my assumptions, you work for some miserable nameless drone factory spreading the disease of capitalism across the world. You seek to poison minds with your Christian agenda. Though I do not support your doctrine of the light, let us examine your question from an intellectual standpoint, something I am sure you know nothing about.

First, if you are going to draft students into working as slave labor for you performing menial tasks, is it really so inappropriate to send them on other less educational menial tasks? Nonsense. Banality is banality. Whether they are filing a heart-crushing stack of paperwork or fetching coffee for you and your lazy officemates, what’s the difference? Both are a supreme waste of the students’ time. What could they possibly be learning from such nonsensical tasks as you have appointed them? Don’t waste the time of people you actually pay to be there on something as foolish as coffee runs. Use the slaves.

In the darkened days of college, I spent the longest winter of my life working as the intern at a local radio station here in Trondheim. I took the job primarily to steal blank cassettes on which to release my countless, brutal black metal projects and demos. Everyone know that cassette tapes are the ideal medium for distributing black metal demos. Only sell-outs would use CDs. And digital files? Worthless.

During my internship I was sent out for coffee many times, but did I ever feel like it was a waste of time? Of course I did. It was an enormous waste of time as are all internships. Therefore your interns are wasting their time by just being there, so if you waste their time in turn by sending them for coffee nothing is lost.

You know what, maybe you should all—paid and unpaid—go on coffee runs all day. Then your pathetic propagandist media empire would crumble into dust as is the fate of all humanity. I beseech the wolves of the new moon to feast upon your bones.

Hang yourself.

Soundtrack: Darkthrone’s “Transylvanian Hunger”

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Get Drunk Tonight – TBD

TBD – Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Franklin & Green St)

Suppose that it is a nice day outside and you think to yourself, “What would be better right now than ruining the rest of my day by getting way too drunk after forgetting to eat anything? Oh, right. Nothing. Where to do my day drinking?!” And then you start to think of different places you might want to go have a drink or 17. Berry Park is full of shit heads. Nope. Radegast is terminally full. Nope. Ditto for Spitzenhaus. Nope. Loreley in Williamsburg is stuck under the freeway and the service sucks. Nope. Loreley in Manhattan is ok but tiny and gets packed. Nope. Züm Schneiders only has seating on the street which is not my favorite thing. Nope. The Bohemian Beer Garden is a bear to get to. Nope. Beer Island is great, but Coney Island is similarly hard to get to. Nope.

Where is a man with the desire to ruin his day supposed to go? The answer is TBD. Oh, how I love TBD on a perfect afternoon. The first drunken Sunday at TBD of the year is the sign that winter has broken and warmer days are ahead. This year it happened in April. I look forward to it.

Saddled with an unfortunate name and an even more unfortunate interior, one quick glance in the door at TBD and you might think, “No way, Get Drunk Tonight, you’re full of shit.” But trust me here. Go inside. And then go all the way to the back past the ping pong table, past the shitty furniture, past the bathrooms, and out in the glorious backyard fill with umbrellad picnic tables. It is a magical wonderland of empty tables and quiet and sunshine. It’s one of my favorite places to while away an afternoon with a couple good friends, my credit card at the bar, and a plan to be asleep at my house by 10pm.

TBD always has a good selection of interesting beers, usually one per variety so your palate will be tickled. They also have a grill in the back which is good, but can take quite a long time which is not a problem, of course, if you’re settling in to spend the next 6 hours assaulting your liver with foamy beer sodas. It’s a little out of the way for Manhattanites, but right near the Greenpoint G for those of you who live in real places. It’s never so packed you can’t find a table. The crowd is relaxed and diverse. TBD is just a great place to get your drink on. Just don’t go during the winter. The inside is the worst.

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