Death, Gender, Lonely, Math, Media, My favorites, race, Socialism

In Which I Qualitate/Quantitate

Don’t read this until you are ready to READ this. By that I mean, click on all links. You don’t have to read them, but they are an important part of the narrative. But do read the last link. It is the most important and is a news story and provides context.

c) I’m pretty sure that everything I think has been thought before.

That is simultaneously comforting and terrifying.

Often times our world is misled by what we think we think though. We then suffer under the great injustice that is our own misconceptions of ourselves. Specifically, the fact that 4 million more people watch Modern Family than The Middle. Both shows analyze the changing definition of the American dream, but one does it through shallow analysis of obvious xenophobia and one does it through thoughtful revelations about the inhumanity inherent in a capitalist society that refuses to empathize with struggle. Modern Family is a person who has not listened’s analysis, The Middle is someone who paid attention’s analysis.

1. I have had arguments with three people who have stated their frustration with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Each of them went like this:
Them: “I agree with what they’re saying, I just don’t know what they’re saying.”
Me: “Have you been down to Zuccotti Park?”
Them: “No” and a bunch of more words that don’t matter.

2. I have a belief that Taylor Swift is doing the more harm to American society than Lady Gaga – specifically that Taylor Swift is doing the most harm and Lady Gaga is doing the most negative harm (negative used in the mathematical sense). This belief is challenged often. Typically those conversations go like this:
Me: “Don’t ask, don’t tell would have been repealed 3 years earlier if it weren’t for Taylor Swift.”
Them: “That’s ridiculous” They’re right “Lady Gaga isn’t even saying anything. She’s just the same mindless pop that we’ve had forever.”
Me: “Have you heard her new album?”
Them: “Um..” and a bunch of defensive lies about how they have an appropriate sample size that don’t matter.

3.

2. Frankie Heck – Patricia Heaton’s character on The Middle is a true hero of the Michael Moore union version of socialism. She is a lighthouse that shines light through all the cracks in the American Dream. Hard work equals hard work, but having money equals having money. Surrounding her is pain and suffering that is solely the gift of a desire for things she is told she deserves. And yet this could all be solved with a simple sharing of some wealth. It doesn’t need to be opportunity because we don’t all need to the freedom to try. We need the freedom to succeed. And success is not defined by being in the 1%. Then only 1% of us, necessarily succeed. I aim for 100%.

I like to play a game called turn concepts into rants for socialism in as few sentences as possible.

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My favorites, race

Descriptioning

Below the word “Brooklyn” read the words “New York.” The clarifying cities arced in opposite directions creating a circle of letters fonted in a way to make them look possibly Asian – nay: possibly martial arts. In the center of the circle sat the description: “100%” in a font less reminiscent of karate and more reminiscent of Microsoft Word. Below this tattoo lay another that detailing a Cuban and American flag embraced through a set of claws that gripped to the hump of his outer bicep as though the strength of their national pride would cause the flags to fly off like a scared bat on the subway.

He cracked his neck without using his hands. He took brief manly naps without releasing his scowl. He thought periodically about re-shaving his head and beard without checking the length with his hands.

The only black pair of pants he owned were draped around his lower half. They had three white stripes down the side that Adidas had deemed necessary to promote their type of pants. Everyone else at work had fully black pants and often made fun of him for wearing athletic wear in a restaurant where all the servers wore dress pants. Luckily he was only a busboy. He had been told when he was offered the job that everyone wore black pants while working. He incorrectly mistook “black” for a description of color as opposed to formality, and purchased the Adidas athletic legwear that was hanging next to the black sneakers he bought when he confused sneakers for shoes.

In sixth grade his class was taught the difference between a square and a rectangle. In eighth grade he understood it. For two years he would describe all four sided shape with four right angles as squares. Side length meant nothing.

In ninth grade he fell off a skateboard and broke his leg. It hasn’t healed completely. At times he can walk regularly, but at times his knees buckle so he keeps a cane nearby in case his bones make mistakes. Though the mistakes are rare, they’re drastic. Collapsing in the middle of times square is too scary to risk. A cane just makes more sense.

His co-workers make fun of his cane too. They think it an affectation because he rarely uses it. It’s too much work to explain the rarity with which he needs help walking.

No truths/words can save him from being the weird Cuban from Brooklyn, New York who wears athletic shoes and pants inappropriately and carries an aesthetic orthopedic cane.

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comedy, Gender, Media, My favorites, race

I Could Have Accomplished More if I Was Black

When I saw Win a Date With Tad Hamilton I was pissed. I wasn’t just mad because the movie was clichéd representation of gender norms in 95 minute form, but also because I wasn’t in it.

Topher Grace had stolen my life. I was supposed to be the too scrawny to be attractive awkward guy that ended up with the girl in the end but only after losing her multiple times to hunkier men who weren’t all bad, but weren’t as good either. When I said life in that first sentence of this paragraph I meant movie-life. I meant the person I was so good at pretending to be when I was 18 that I figured people would want to watch me on TV screens being that person. I wasn’t that person.

Though at 18 I was much dumber than I am now, I still knew that with that power came great responsibility and once I became famous for being nerdy but not too nerdy, awkward but somewhat charming, and vaguely depressed but only because I didn’t have you in my life I would have to find some way to subvert those expectations. Maybe I would also be gross because we aren’t comfortable enough with grossness as a society. Maybe I would be surprisingly cocky because it’s stupid that we find lack of confidence attractive only if it’s teamed with bumbling sentences and small muscles.  Maybe it would be simply be extreme leftist politics because these vanilla figures of teen-idolatry never took a real stance.

I’ve grown. Both in my understanding of teen movie worship and in facial hair. Both make my desire to manifest as a tween heartthrob only to  subvert any desires tweens had for me less appealing. Most importantly Drake came along.

He was on Degrassi. He didn’t quite always get the girl. Then he joined the most badass group of rappers in the US. Sings with the most badass chicks in rap. Had a video that prominently displayed boobs as its main feature. But most importantly he was still cute.

The whole time!

He was soo cute. He still is. Nobody looks cuter when he moves his gaze slowly from her thighs to her boobs.

He’s doing what I wanted to do, but so much better.

The key to the socially awkward, doesn’t get laid guy who gets the girl in the end is that he induces “awws.” Is that when you look at him you can’t help but crinkle your eyebrows and hold back a smile that says “man, I wish you were doing better.” Is that you root for him no matter what he does. Topher Grace, Shia Lebeouf, That dude from Can’t Hardly Wait, Jason Biggs. They all did it well, but then did nothing after. Drake does it while being a part of Young Money – rapping with Lil’ Wayne, Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and every other person associated with the badass part of rap. A part of rap associated with drugs, tits, fucking, and gang violence. Yet he’s playing Topher Grace in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.

Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is trying to do the same thing, but why he won’t succeed is because he has two names. Drake is Drake – he is no longer Aubrey Graham who was in a wheelchair in Degrassi. Donald Glover will always stay an actor because he refuses to let go of his acting persona (Not that I think that’s bad, I think he’s a great actor). He’s just a shitty person with amazing taste.

I don’t want to go on a rant about how confused I am about my feeling about the Derrick Comedy star.

Drake is incredible.

Watch this video and try to not understand what I’m saying:

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comedy, My favorites, race

I’m a Jewish?

This bout with unemployment has led to a surprisingly productive couple of days. I haven’t been writing very well, or applying to jobs, or doing things that are productive, but under an alternate definition of productive that just means “make things,” I’ve been mildly productive. And mildly is still surprising.

I built a shelf. It is partially held together by a piece of rope and a bent nail. It is awesome.

I made a piece of art in my room. By art, I mean I took my menorah and nailed it to the wall. Then I took this awkward bulb of plastic that I had laying around and nailed that over the menorah. It now looks like I’m making a statement about my Judaism. Somehow I’m trapped? But I can still see the relics? Light shines in? But not too much light? About 8 days of light?

Because of its placement across the room but still within my “incredibly visible” area, this piece of “art” has made me think about my relationship to my Jewishness.

Within these parenthesis is my entire set of thoughts on how I relate to my Judaism: ( )

I am ethnically a chosen person, and based on name and neurosis people know that about me. I was not barmitzvahed or circumcised or gone to temple except for other people’s barmitzvahs. I was raised without religion by a woman raised without religion and a man raised very Jewish, so Jewish is the closest I have to religion. But that is as relevant as saying I was raised in America and therefore I feel most in touch with American slavery. I am as close to religion as I am to slavery. Jewishness has formed what people say about me and has formed how people act around me and has formed how comfortable people are around me, and yet I am in now way Jewish. I am as Jewish as I am German. I am as Jewish as I am from Yonkers. I am Jewish as I am a basketball player.

Despite the fact that I have in no way identified with Judaism at any point in my life, and despite the fact that I haven’t aligned myself with Jews any more than any semitic Woody Allen fan, people’s perceptions of Judaism and me have changed because of each other.

One of the things I hate most in comedy is when people rely on Jewish words to get laughs. Saying Hanukkah is not funny. Discussing the fact that you ate Latkes is not exciting. In episode 2 of the best show of all time David Wain is eating dinner with a family that has been identified as Jewish. He begins by saying something to the effect of “This is some great Rugalach. These latkes are to die for. I guess what I’m trying to say, Mrs. Feldman is that this is the best Jew food I’ve ever had.” I think this line gets to the heart of my feelings about Judaism. Saying that you like cereal isn’t a funny thing to say, and therefore saying that you like Kugel shouldn’t be funny either. People have made it funny though by laughing inappropriately at it. Nobody laughs when you say “Burrito.” Nobody laughs when you say “Fettuccine Alfredo.” We should all learn how to make cottage cheese blintzes because they are delicious, not because it is funny to say you can make “cottage cheese blintzes.”

I am barely more Jewish than my mom – who is from Sweden, but if people keep referring to me as Jewish I have to refer to myself that way too, and it’s hard for me to turn down the laughter I get just by saying my last name is “Greenberg” – probably because I’m Jewish.

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Gender, Nostalgia, race, Socialism

Recycley Unproductive III (Politics?)

On one subway ride and walk out of the subway I wrote four short essays. Here they are!

Sarcasm and Symbioticism
They were the odd couple. One guy’s zip up hoodie was white. The other’s was black. One guy wore blue jeans, the other word dark blue jeans. One gelled the little hair he had and placed on top a pair of Gucci sunglasses. The other donned his Armani sunglasses on hair that was too short to gel. One wore Adidas – black with white stripes. The other Nike – white with black swoosh. You couldn’t find two people were more different.
Don’t Call it a Construct
People told her that she looked like Rashard Lewis. He was a basketball player only recognizable by face to the general populous in her home town of Orlando because he was on every billboard facing the camera but hiding behind a basketball extended out in front of him at the length of his arm. She thought Rashard Lewis was cute, but she didn’t have high self-esteem.

Rashard Lewis had a little goatee. How could she look like a man with a goatee? Did she look like a man enough that people could easily imagine her sprouting facial hair?

When Rashard Lewis was a teenager he was called the “tallest bitch on the court.” He was 6’6,” but his face resembled many of the women that his teammates tried to hit on. He responded by learning to compliment his height and low post abilities with a deadly accurate 3 point shot. She hasn’t responded yet.
Capitalism Don’t Fart
I farted on the subway. It wasn’t a quiet fart, though it was still muffled by the seat and my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t be silent, I was aware of the rattling of my buttcheeks that was about to occur. These were subway people though. They sit net to dead homelessmen. they have no right o be scared off by a fart. It wasn’t hat they had no right that saved me. it was that hey had no desire to fight me. Who knew what I was gonna do? We need fear of the unexpected in order to keep us humble. We need that fear from a lack of protection or knowledge to keep us on level playing fields.
Struggles in Racial Identity Class and Court
He can’t ball. He has an I-pod though. None of them do. Does that make him better? Does that make him worse? Does that make him different? He figured the answer was yes. he wasn’t allowed to play ball with them no matter how hard he stared at the court. His hair didn’t naturally cornrow itself no matter how long he grew it and tied it back. He was so white that his shirt was purple.

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Gender, Media, My favorites, race

Rube Goldberg of Feminism and Rap

Nicki Minaj likes to have sex with women and I don’t do music reviews. Pink Friday is absurdly good though, and this is why.

Note: Please don’t read this without listening to the album. Each song is linked in the number before it. Click on them. Listen to them as you read or before, but listen. It’s really fucking important.

1. I’m The Best. Nicki just starts out her CD with something that we all know but maybe have forgotten: I’m The Best. How do we know that? She explains that she wasn’t given this out of nowhere, she worked from nothing to this superstar status. She isn’t the first to make it big, but other people became big for themselves, whereas Nicki did it for us. She became a megastar because we needed her to become a megastar. She explains that she is the best because it’s selfless for her to be the best – to be the one everyone loves, and she hopes someday the rest of us will be as smart and amazing as her because it’s lonely being so much better than the rest of us. I hope I can make her less lonely.

2. Then she starts her album for real with the words: “I am not Jasmine, I am Aladdin.” Just as in fairy tales we’ve been told since we were tiny, the rap game has been a patriarchal world. Nicki’s having none of that. Thus she declares that she is not the useless pretty girl who is simply the impetus for male actions – she is male action. Then she calls herself a cunt because she has a vagina and she is fucking proud of it. She is male action with a pussy. She uses a lot of fairy tale imagery to remind us that we are constantly bombarded with gender roles – specifically ones that make the man the chivalrous savior with a large sword and the woman the helpless piece of skinny being held prisoner by a dungeon dragon.

Who does she get to be featured on this track (essentially the first track of the album)? The voice of patriarchy – the biggest, whitest name in the rap game. Eminem plays his part well, explaining that he doesn’t take shit from women and if they stand up to him he’ll rape them and film it. He then offers a game plan as to how to defeat his patriarchal rain of terror. If life sucks: “kick it back in the face.” She does kick him back in the face but she illustrates how hard it is to combat this when the male norm in power, represented by Eminem, when that power says things like: “All you little faggots can suck it, no homo” and that gets regarded as reasonable.

3. Then she busts out the best song of the 21st century that starts with “Shitted on ‘em, I just shitted on ‘em.” In case you forgot, she’s better than everybody else and she’s into fucking girls. Like a man. She’s better than a man. She fucks more girls than whatever male idol you have, because (a) “A lot of bad bitches beggin me to F1″ (she rhymed F1 three times in a row) girls want to fuck her (b) “She ain’t a Nicki fan, bitch is deaf dumb” so that explains the few girls that won’t fuck her – they’re stupid and can’t hear how amazing she is (c) “If I had a dick, I would pull it out and piss on ‘em” because she doesn’t have a dick and she needs to remind you of that.

4. She’s better than a man, right? She’s established that. Then comes her most clichéd girly song. She’s post-modern. Nicki is a woman and sometimes she likes to fuck men. She’s not just showing her feminine side though, she’s showing that when she shows her feminine side it necessitates her being defeated by a man. By subscribing to a feminine archetype, a man sees “right thru her.”

5. “Me against them.” This is a rap album and rapping is about bragging – about battling and winning. Here Nicki explains that she is not just the best but she’s the best despite the fact that everyone is constantly trying to bring her down. How are they bringing her down? By defining her as a female rapper, or a pop star, or as any word because “[She] is not a word.” “I am not a girl who can be defined.” She is Nicki Minaj. She refuses to be defined by anyone else because only she can define herself and she is simply defining herself as the best – as the winner – as “the voice of an entire generation.” She is the ultimate rapper because she refuses to define herself as a rapper.

6. Just when you think it’s simply an album about bragging about how amazing she is, she displays her vulnerability and hypocrisy. “Yes, I’m a beast and I feast when I conquer/but I’m alone on my throne.” She wants to make it on her own, but she’s scared of what making it on her own will make her, and she needs you to save her. Who is “you?” That will be answered later.

7. The first assumption we would have about who she is calling out for help – who can save her from her hypocrisy – would be her friends. So she sings a love song to her friends at Young Money. But they can’t save her. They are simply a moment to her. They created a wonderful moment, but it is a moment. A moment that she is thankful for because moments create the whole, but it is not the whole. You have to enjoy all the moments. “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”

8. This is how I know I’m right/brilliant. The version I downloaded had “Check it Out” as the next track and I thought it was weird. It didn’t fit the narrative of her thought process. So I checked out her official tracklist. The next song is “Here I Am.” This is the answer to who can save her. Confused? Don’t be.

Nicki, in a very dark song, keeps exclaiming “here I am.” She’s desperate for attention from this same, still unnamed person who can supposedly save her from becoming the monster that she thinks fame will turn her into. “Everything in life is old.”

9. The mood shifts drastically to cheesiest sounding, girliest love song to this person who can supposedly save her. She desperately pleads that this person come back to her – this person that she supposedly wronged and wants back in her life. Who is this person? Well the song is called “Dear Old Nicki.” Just when you thought she was showing all this vulnerability as a woman and she was gonna need a man to complete her, she says “fuck you, yeah I’m vulnerable, but the person I need to save me is not some man, but rather a woman, and not just any woman, ME. Me will save me. But me before the fame.”

Every single line is fantastic in this song, but essentially it is just saying: “I’m glad I did what I did because as a famous person I can do good, but before I was famous I didn’t have to worry about the shallow things that maintain fame and I miss those moments – those moments when I was a different person.”

10. Then she plays the first single that made her popular. Just to remind us bitches that she can sample Annie Lennox and still be a bad ass bitch that will blow your mind. And she needs “your” love. Who is you? Her. Old her.

I really like Rube Goldbergs, and I’ve never been able to explain it validly – there is no real use to them. This is why. This album is the Rube Goldberg of narrative. Each track triggers the next track. This is why I like Rube Goldbergs because they defy narrative in that they mean nothing while simultaneously being a slave to narrative in that there is no way to move on to the next piece without finishing the first part.

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Attention Whoring, Indignant, My favorites, Nostalgia, race

Remember It Seems Like a lot of Work

When I started this blog it was for a reason. I had this high and mighty concept of unlikability – of relatability and disgust – of forced self-disgust. People were meant to read and not say: “That’s like me!” but rather “Oh, shit. That’s like me.” They were meant to see the thoughts they had extended to further, lazier, grosser, more selfish ends and realize the dystopian future that they had set out before themselves. My blog has changed. I got tired of walking the fine line of lying and truthing – of constantly worrying about how an audience would react and if that desired reaction would be appropriate – and instead I just wanted to write. I now write.

5:37 am

My alarm was supposed to go off at 5:30, but it was now 5:37 and I was waking up without any additional sound. Should I go back to bed because my alarm didn’t go off? Should I set my alarm for 5:40? Should I assume that this is an illusion and break my cell phone? No. I should just get up.

I take a shower, I check my email. I have two more messages from a Fantasy Basketball fan who has been pestering me on how to improve his team. I tell him that I just don’t think Ray Allen is worth having on his team. I head out the door with my cell phone, wallet, and … keys? My keys feel small. That’s because yesterday I had lent the store keys to a co worker and then forgotten to get them back. Shit. I call her. She wakes up. She feels bad. I feel badder. I run. I run all the way to her apartment. 1.1 miles. It takes me 15 minutes. I didn’t run the whole way. I’m still making up lies.

When I started this blog, it was about a lot of things that were unlikable, but it focused on the lazy in us. Each title ended with “seems like a lot of work” and each entry was generally about me being unable to function correctly in society because I was trying too hard to not try. I wasn’t just lazy like Nisse Greenberg is. I was lazy like H2$. H2$ refused to admit he was wrong. He was right and he was a douchebag about it.

6:21 am

I arrive 9 minutes before I’m supposed to be at work. I grab the keys and stand out in the dark with a girl in her pajamas. She isn’t pajama rich. She’s pajama poor. I’m also pajama poor. We stand pajama poor staring out of half closed eyes made of anger we can only misdirect at our life situations. She is calling a car service so that I can get to work on time. I’m attempting to distract her by talking about how everybody I passed on my jog through crown heights was drunk and coming home from fun nights out, but I was going to work. I’m attempting to distract myself from the fact that I am going to work and there are drunk people coming home from fun nights out by talking about it. One of the groups I passed was two females and one male. He wanted to have sex. They also may have. None of that was interesting. What was interesting was that one of the females was carrying a portable metal detector that airport security uses on personal searches. I guess it’s phallic?

H2$ wasn’t simply lazy though. He was so set in his present that he refused to understand how his actions affected the future, and how his actions were affected by the past. His lack of understanding of history forced him to demand equality in gender by assuming equality in gender. When presented with an inequality, he tried first to indignantly equalize. This was a manifestation of laziness. This was refusing to study history. He thought he was just an asshole, but he was an asshole to women more then men because he couldn’t accept the basic concept that patriarchy had given him such an advantage in life. He was an asshole.

6:22 am

She hung up the phone. “You could just ride my bike.” Less money, get on my journey immediately. “Yes.” Two jackets, one pair of jeans, and loads of sweat, I headed off on a road bike meant for a 5’2″ girl in the pitch black darkness. I’ve been wearing two jackets lately because I like the way they look and feel. My lower jacket has good pockets, and feels nice against the skin. My overjacket looks hearty, and has a nice collar. I’ve come to somewhat respect a look that fits. I still don’t think there is objective good and bad in taste of clothes, but I do think that clothing is a form of expression.

The night before I had been in Bushwick at a concert that included a toy piano, a band with 7 members and 12 instruments and two video installations. It was loftlike because it was in Bushwick and had long flowing fabrics attached to the wall and ceiling in a way that made it feel very theatry. Oh, and the concert ended with a square dance. I love square dancing. I love dancing. After the first song, a couple of us went outside to drink our beers and get some fresh air. A man in a suit, blonde crew cut, and authoritative walk approached us quickly and demanded that we get inside with our beers. We obliged politely and watched as the man perused the concert, seemingly looking for someone at fault. Kyle and I began discussing how we had so quickly obliged to enter with our beers despite the fact that he had no real authority. Who was this douchebag? Who was this asshole? If he had had a scruffy beard and disparate plaid would we have listened to him? No. Kyle stopped mid-sentence. Wait, I was into this, I wanted to rant indignantly about image! “Dude,” Kyle started “That’s the guy.” I looked toward where his finger would have extended to see a man in a blonde crew cut, red hoodie, and triangle patterned neon tights. It was him. He was still walking authoritatively around as if something must be wrong. Our mouths unable to speak as this man had completely proven our point for us, we watched as he took off his hoodie, revealing the tights to be a part of a one piece leotard, climbed a ladder on the wall only to grab a child’s sombrero to wear and unhook one of the fabrics, which cleared the dance floor for simply a hanging chunk of fabric. Kyle and I gravitated toward the dance floor. “Oh he lives here, he’s an acrobat.” He climbed up the fabric and did some crazy circus shit to square dancing music. It was the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.

When I began writing, I did not want to seem cool. I did not want to get myself laid. I wanted to make others feel as bad as me. I wanted others to share in my shame – to recognize, embrace and the runaway from that embrace of the things that made them bad people. It was a disgusting goal, but I was living as a disgusting person – unemployed, half-bearded, and consisting mostly on free samples from Whole Foods. I was a scumbag, but I was bringing you all down with me.

6:39 am

I got to work only 9 minute late. The bike ride sucked though. The bike had those foot pedal foot holders, the ones meant to wrap around your feet. I wear shoes that seem like some sort of mix between gogo boots and clown shoes so fitting into anything meant to wrap around normal footwear, but I couldn’t just switch around the pedals because then the foot holders scraped against the ground. I panted as I rose my key to the door. I’m out of shape. Biking is tough. I didn’t even have to go uphill. It still seemed like a lot of work.

My blog wasn’t simply mental masturbation. It was full on masturbation. It was a fantasy of my life that in the end made me feel unfulfilled and dirty because I was unfulfilled and dirty. Mostly because I masturbated so much. I sat in my bed full of crumbs jerking off to the ramblings of a jerk off jerking off on a page.

I then worked a 10 1/2 hour day.

Things have changed.

A year and a half ago I started off lazy. Now I exercise before working a 10 1/2 hour work day and then heading off on a nearly two hour journey around Brooklyn to buy a new bike. Oh yeah, I did that too.

Ugh.

I should have just taken work off.

I think I’m running away from myself.

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