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February 20, 2009

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Added it to my queueue!

Well, since this is all my fault I suppose I don't really have to comment and say how much I love this movie. But THANK YOU for giving it a chance and spreading the word!
Plot holes you can drive a truck through, but brilliant anyways. I suspect at this point you've trolled the message boards enough to know most of my favorite little things, but what really made the movie for me was the epitaph. As soon as the scene changed to the Graverobber, and the words "Goth opera..." came out of his mouth, I was laughing along with the rest of the audience (I saw it opening night) and totally hooked.
Like a good Z-addict ~.^

And careful with those Eunich Valets! (Amber's boys) They seem to have an expiration date, and they aren't very good dancers.

Is there any eye squickiness? I assumed so once I learned there was a character named Blind Mag and didn't want to risk seeing it.

Raven,
Oh, I'll spread the word, fear not. I was politely pushing DVDs on Mer and Merav last night. I haven't actually looked at the fan boards in, um, depth - most of my reading has been focused on the costume stuff. What's the story with the Eunuch Valets? That's all new to me.

Carol,
Yeah, there is eye squickiness. Pretty squicky squickiness. It's, ah, blindingly obvious when it's coming up; I was able to close my eyes in time.

Eye squickiness? As in, damage being inflicted upon eyeballs? Gross.

Serge,
In a movie that features two vivisections, it actually wasn't the most bothersome moment. I don't consider myself to have a high gore tolerance, but I did okay for the most part.

Susan: Thanks. Alas, I would likely be freaked out by the it's-obviously-about-to-happen part as well.

I'm torn as to whether I want to see this movie. I like the concept, I like the aesthetic -- but I don't like musicals. Getting through Sweeney Todd was a chore for me, tolerable only because of Helena Bonham Carter's amazing dresses.

AJ,
It's not typical musical-music; give it a try. You can always stop watching if you hate it.

Susan... Oh, it was THAT kind of eye squicking. I see a lot of surgery stuff on the Blood&Guts Channel (aka Discovery Health) and pretty much nothing they show faze me. (When I was young, that was a different story.) Anything having to do with eyes though.... Definitely off-limits.

Susan, I'll think about it. Could always rent it for a day that my husband's going to be at gaming (he likes musicals less than I do and doesn't seem to have any interest in Repo).

I love those old musicals that show up on Turner Classic Movies.

AJ- you may want to check out the website and poke around...there are some clips and character bios and things that may give you a better sense of whether or not you want to see it.

Susan-The Eunuch Valets are the two guys who follow Amber around...they were psychologically neutered...at the end of the movie they're in the final scene with the Largo children. I don't want to give anything away, so just watch the clip and look for them...or wait for me on Saturday ^.^ They're also dancing in the background during "Blame Not My Cheeks". Badly.

Raven,
I know who they are. I just wondered where the eunuch bit came from - they're just Amber's Valets in the credits. And I didn't see them in that last scene; it's just the two fishnet-clad women with guns in the back. I did spot them in "Blame Not My Cheeks." I thought they were so bad they were great there. :)

Look at the henchwenchs' feet. They're there.

We can discuss Repo things this weekend. And yeah-the dancing is great ^.^

Oh, I see. They look like they've had a very bad day.

Regarding henchwenchs... I think that "henchman" is a mangling of the French "homme de main". It roughly translates as the man who does the actual handiwork while the boss keeps his hands clean.

Serge, not a musical, but TCM has Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at 8pm tomorrow!

Marille... That movie may be 70 years old, but it still has something to tell us about America. And it confirms what I'd long said about Frank capra: his stories may have very happy endings, but the main characters go thru Hell before they get there.

Serge,
I don't think so. There's a German etymoloy:

Henchman or Heinsman
is a German word, signifying a Domestick or one of a family; It is used with us for one that runs on foot, attending on a person of honor...from hence comes our word hine or hinde, a servant for husbandry. --Glossographia or a Dictionary (1656)

Henchman
(q. Hengst-man Sa. a horsman or Groome)
--An English Dictionary (1676)

Well, I converted one more person to Repo last night. She's still in that blitzed stage of "was that the best movie or the worst movie ever?" but I'm confident she'll come down on the right side of things. And then she will blog about it and help me spread the word!

Of course, I did this at 2am after running a Victorian ball and after running a waltz evening on Friday night, so I'm utterly exhausted now. I lured half a dozen Steampunk people to the ball, too, and received a new pair of goggles that fit over my glasses. Woohoo! That was very entertaining for all the non-Steampunk people at the ball. But I'm very pleased that my calling went superbly and we managed to run the ENTIRE ball program, which rarely happens. (Like most complicated plans, ball programs rarely survive contact with reality.)

On the bright side: THIS IS A FREE DAY!!!!!!! I'm going to have TWO free days at home this month, today and 3/15. I'm so excited! I still have two houseguests, but they're the relaxing kind of houseguests that will not be in my way. And it's snowing heavily, so I have a good reason to stay home and either read quietly or Do Stuff.

Susan... But could the German word itself be mangled French? ("Vous n'aurez pas l"Alsace et la Lorraine!" as patriotic Frenchies used to say about the heinous Hun.)

Serge,
It does not look linguistically likely to me. "Homme" to "Hengst"?

English being a Germanic language, I think I'd go with the simplest explanation (as well as the one supported by those dictionaries I quoted), which is that it has Germanic roots. Can you cite any German dictionaries that suggest a French origin? I can do a little digging (and when I go to work can look in the OED online and see what it has to say) but I don't read German.

Also note:

Hengst: [hencgestas (Anglo-Saxon)] A confusing term which can denote a stallion, a horse generally or a gelding. It is often impossible to decide which is intended. (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 136)

Susan... Oh, I was just wondering if it possibly could be mangled French. The latter is so easy to distort. When my wife did some research for a time travel story set in late 19th Century's San Francisco, she set part of the action in a high-class restaurant officially known as "le poulet d'or", which translates as "the golden pullet", but which people referred to as "the poodle dog". And I won't get into the American town of Narbonnes, which became Gnawbone.

Tangentially I bring to your attention the legendary Jutish, or maybe Saxon, Angle and/or Frisian Kings of Kent Hengist and Horsa. Since their names mean Stallion and Horse (perhaps) it's been suggested that Horsa may have been a nickname. Whatever the reason, he seems to have taken a white horse as his symbol, which remains a symbol of Kent to this day.

I am evolving the weird habit of playing speed Scrabble while listening to "Come up and try my new parts."

The effect on my scores is surprisingly mixed.

Scrabble scrambled? Would Sherlock Holmes refer to you as "The Case of the Freudian Slipper"?

Um...huh?

Now that I am fully awake and read my own comment back, I go "Huh?" too. I'll ask instead how Repo has affected your Scrabble scores. Goodness. I realize that the last time I played Scrabble was when you started going to school. This coup de vieux(*) makes me feel strange.

(*) It roughly translates as "rough reminder of one's aging"

Well, the weird thing is that it hasn't, really. I'm a fairly desultory Scrabble player - I tend to multitask to the limits possible in speed games. But I'm still scoring in my usual 250-400 range, though probably a bit lower on average than usual, even with music blaring and frequent switching back and forth to the very distracting visuals. It certainly hurts me on time management, but I don't tend to use every bit of my time anyway.

I played as a kid and then didn't play for years until I started again back in 2003 or so after getting completely creamed consecutively by Shane Tourtellotte and Ian Randall Strock at a convention. I considered going the competitive route, inspired by Word Freak, but I don't have the time to work on it properly. So I dropped back to internet speed Scrabble, which fits my lifestyle better.

Speaking of Shane Tourtellotte, at ConJosé, in 2002, I attended an evening presentation he gave where he analyzed the team of psychic investigators Mulder & Scully, in comparison to... the Scooby Doo Gang. That was very silly, especially the part here he diagrammed the Gang;s sexual relationships.

Knowing Shane...the mind just boggles.

(What sexual relationships? That was a cartoon! I even remember watching it thirty-odd years ago. We didn't have sex in cartoons back then!)

Speaking of non-mangled French, my local dance students managed to combine the Chicken Dance with Arbeau's 16th-century circle dances and come up with what I call "Branle de la Poule." It's a less crazy idea than you'd think in a 16thc context.

Branle de la Poule?
Oh goodness.

Susan... We didn't have sex in cartoons back then!

We didn't?

I always thought there was something fishy about Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har, the hyena who never laughed because his cheeks hurt. It was never explained why his cheeks hurt. And what about drugs? What was in those biscuits that Quickdraw McDraw fed his dog whenever he wanted him to sniff out some bad guy's trail?

I have no idea who any of those characters are...

Susan... No big loss.

(What sexual relationships? That was a cartoon! I even remember watching it thirty-odd years ago. We didn't have sex in cartoons back then!)

It's a read-between-the-lines, look for hidden meanings sort of thing. I've heard about it before, especially in connection to Scooby Doo, based on the way "Let's split up, gang!" always resulted in certain characters pairing off. Or something like that. I never paid a lot of attention to it.

Plus I think some people just really enjoy looking for sexual meaning in children's entertainment, whether it was slyly hidden by a naughty animator, or whether they're imagining it.

The way I remember Tourtelotte's diagram... Velma had a thing for Daphne. Must be that short hair and the nerdy glasses. Daphne had a thing for hunky Freddy. Freddy had a thing for Shaggy. C'mon. No real man goes around wearing that scarf. Shaggy had a thing for Scooby. As for Scooby himself, he looked quite perplexed.

As for old cartoons... How many times has Bugs Bunny gone in drag before planting a big wet one on Elmer Fudd's lips? And have we forgotten "The Barber of Seville", where Bugs dresses Elmer in drag, proposes to the latter, who accepts? I won't go into the love stains that showed up on Porky Pig's laundry bill when he and Daffy went on tha trip together.

Geez. This has got to be the first time I was the last person to project sex onto something.

Dirty jokes hidden by a naughty animator are a separate thing. And Warner Brothers stuff was always a lot edgier, always ready to make the world safe for cross-dressers. But Scooby Doo, of all cartoons? It wasn't smart enough for sexual undertones.

(I'm still not sure whether I find the idea of anyone in the Scooby gang having sex weirder than the idea of Shane actually discussing this topic!)

This is all making me want to go watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit? again.

In the case of Scooby Doo, I think a lot of it was Tourtelotte being very silly, and sex was but one of the subjects. As for Warner Bros cartoons, there was one where Bugs Bunny is being chased by 2 hillbillies so of course he dresses like Daisy May and, at the sigh of this 'girl', their beards go ptoing! Seen in profile, those cartoon beards looked rather phallic.

Serge,
That's "Hillbilly Hare" and has the square dancing. I think someone linked to that one on one of the other threads here, but now I can't find it. (I have so many comments I can't find things. How cool is that?)

I liked that video so much I have it open on a tab in my browser. I just watch the last part with the dancing. But yes, the beards are phallic. But we're back in witty Warner-land, not silly Scooby-land. Were the WB cartoons really meant for children or were they always intended for an adult or mixed-age audience?

Still: Shane Tourtellotte and sex in the same sentence. Mind go all 'splody now!

I think those old WB cartoons were made to work on all levels. Which is probably why they were the best. I may get a better answer this month because Turner Classic Movies is airing a documentary on Chuck Jones and will show "What's Opera, Doc?" Yes, again, Bugs is in drag, but Elmer Fudd is a wagnerian hero. That boggles the mind. (Speaking of mind-boggling, what's that about Tourtelotte and sex?)

Serge,
I always had the impression Shane felt he was above or aloof from such things.

Just goes to show how impressions can be mistaken. I remember how shocked some of my buddies in Quebec were when I made a certain joke while watching Mary Poppins astride that freestanding caroussel horse.

Would Sherlock Holmes refer to you as "The Case of the Freudian Slipper"?

I just visualised a Freudian slipper. Then I googled it.

They are slippers with the face of Sigmund Freud.

Case closed!

If I ever have an urge to put such things on my feet, please just shoot me.

Serge,
I actually don't make a habit of making dirty jokes with men when I meet in them person at conventions. It's too easily misinterpreted as flirtation. Meaningless flirtation is fun, but I can only do it when I'm feeling confident they're not interested in me that way (or at least not in any serious way), or when I'm interested in them so it would be fine if they were.

So I have a little list of Repo costumes I could do, mostly of Blind Mag, but for a quick and dirty one, I've decided I can be a GeneCo inventory girl. I already have the lab coat, and the patch and shoes aren't hard to come by (the shoes are never shown clearly anyway). The tiger-striped fabric is proving a challenge, but I have an eBay auction bid that will get me an item to rework. And look, she even wears glasses!

Picture here.

Is that not totally me or what?

She blinded me with Science.
Science!

Not science. Just inventory. :)

Inventory in Repo is...not like inventory in other places. Much bloodier.

Still, I assume that the Inventory was created by Science. Science!

That is, in fact, totally you. Go for it!

Four hours til my auction for the tiger fabric wins. I'm the high bidder and have a lot of leeway, but I'm going to be wandering around Brooklyn at the actual moment, so I won't be able to prevent someone from jumping in at the last minute. I can't imagine why anyone would do that for a really horrific tiger-striped, um, garment, but you never know.

And yes, Serge, I know the video - I'm of the generation that watched MTV back when it was all videos all the time. It's best not to think too hard about the science in Repo, which employs a significant amount of handwavium.

New York City is such a civilized place - I'm got into the city early so I'm checking online from the steps of the main branch of the New York Public Library, right by the lions. I just love being on the net outdoors.

This is the proposed item to be sacrificed to make me a tiger-striped costume item. Did ever an item more deserve to be cut up and recycled? What a hideous piece of clothing.

I do not think that anything with a band across the bottom can be called figure-flattering.

But it occurs to me that if you do not win the auction, the NYC garment district would be a good place to look for yardage of tiger-stripe fabric. I saw all kinds of crazy stuff when I walked through there a few years ago (the bead district being intermingled with the garment district!).

Susan... I was fairly certain that you'd have seen Dolby's video before, but I figured people might get a kick out of seeing it again.

As for Repo being heavily laced with handwavium, I am shocked, shocked, to find that a movie could be using bad science.

I won the auction, though I paid more than I really wanted to.

I've been calling major fabric stores all over the country (and in the UK) looking for red & black tiger stripe spandex - it's astonishingly hard to find. I don't really have time to just stroll around the garment district hoping to trip over some when even major suppliers like Spandex House don't have it. (Coral and black, yes. Orange and black, yes. Red and black, no.)

I just took a look at the DVD and caught a very quick look at your hall costume's original. I concur with AJ.

...I am shocked, shocked, to find that a movie could be using bad science.

I was sent a link to this webcomic and, although I appreciated it, found it sadly lacking in the science department. My explanation why includes an equation for time dilation so may not be for everyone, but it can be found on my blog.

Neil, you're supposed to link to your blog! For everyone who hasn't yet been there, the equation and analysis may be found here along with other nifty stuff like all of Major Squick.

I will admit with shame that, um, I didn't know that, physics and astronomy both having entered one ear and left by the other at the end of the semester. But pure maths make me happy, so I was not frightened of the equation and could even solve it without your explanation.

I think you should use this in your maths classes.

Serge,
Does that mean you've watched it?

Susan... Alas, not yet. My weekend was spent on unspeakable activities such as cutting down our garden's many dead stalks left over from last year. And I slept. A lot. I had gotten very little of that the previous week, thanks to my flu, from which I am finally recovering.

My weekend was spent carrying boxes of books and CDs (Saturday) and then teaching and dancing (Sunday). Sore does not even begin to describe my back and leg muscles today.

(topic relocated from the Unspoken thread)

I have boots!
I have hat!

It's surprisingly difficult to take photos of boots and a hat while wearing them. But after some exciting contortions, there are pictures.

Don't anyone get too excited now.

I'm amazed at how comfortable the boots are; they're much better than either my other long boots or my other pairs of platform shoes.

The hat is the one in this picture. They apparently had a whole bunch of them because a couple of other characters wear them too.

So, no problem putting on the boots?

Those boots are awesome! I was momentarily tempted by a similar pair at the clothing resale store a while back, but they were one and a half sizes too small. There was also an XS shiny black PVC corset*, so I suspect that they may have belonged to the same smaller-than-me person.

*My husband stuck his foot in his mouth by saying that he couldn't see me wearing it and that he thought that the much bolder girl in our gaming group was more likely to. I almost marched back to the dressing room to prove him wrong, but alas, I am not an XS, and thus I was spared from buying another cheap corset.

Serge,
Oh, it was troublesome. I had to unlace them completely, which is going to be a drag going forward, since it takes forever. (They actually have lacing holes rather than hooks.) My calves are much thicker proportionately than the rest of my legs. But they have very wide tongues under the lacing, so I can get fully into them. It's a good thing I bought an 11. But the feet are quite comfortable; I can probably even wear socks under them for more padding. The thighs are not too tight, so I don't get that unappealing squished-in look. The straps fit easily. And either the boots may stretch out or I may lose a little circumference with weight loss. But they'll work! I may try to work out some garter attachment points to keep them pulled up nice and smooth, though.

You will probably get to see them live at Montreal.

AJ,
I'm glad you're enthusiastic! And your husband was clueless, eh?

Susan... Well designed boots then. I approve of good design.

Susan... You will probably get to see them live at Montreal

Live boots?
Eek!
Well, in spite of the danger to my person, I will make sure to bring my camera.

My husband is often clueless ;) He would have been perfectly fine just saying "I can't see you wearing that" because I'm actually not a fan of shiny PVC (I was more entranced by all the rows of hooks and eyes), but by comparing me to the other girl, he made it a challenge.

Not entirely his fault, I've just been annoyed lately that just because I'm not an exhibitionist and don't discuss my bedroom life with our friends, everyone has decided that I'm some sort of reserved, conservative prude... To the point where two to three different people in our group gave my husband a slightly naughty movie and told him to watch it sometime when I wasn't around* because it would trigger my V Chip. I don't have a V Chip, I never had, that was one of the GUYS in our group who had one.

*It is perfectly OK to say that to him about movies that have eyeball squick or are totally stupid.

Susan, no-time-passes-at-the-speed-of-light gets used every now and then in SF. I have a feeling that result turned up in a dull maths-filled lecture on a Friday afternoon for me. That result is paired with Lorentz contraction (lengths appear shorter as you travel nearer to the speed of light). So at the time I completely missed the fact that light from a distant star has taken no time and crossed no distance (in it's frame of reference) when it arrives in your eye. If something has taken no time to travel and crossed no distance, isn't it touching you? Starlight is the star reaching out and touching you. That's simultaneously amazing and very creepy.

The boots look pretty good and more like something wearable now. Also, their picture has come out the screen and touched my eyes! That's creepy and a little amazing.

AJ,
I warned you that Repo has eyeball squick, right?

Equating reserved and prudish is often an error, but not one your husband should be making!

Also, their picture has come out the screen and touched my eyes! That's creepy and a little amazing.

That's a little alarming, actually! Touching eyes, ewww. I had enough of that in my brief and wildly unsuccessful experiment with contact lenses.

I hope you still like them anyway.

Susam yes, I was warned of the eyeball squick. I'm hoping to watch the movie with someone, so they can tell me when said squick is over. Usually that's my husband's job.

It's not that my husband equates reserved with prudish (and I'm less reserved around him anyway), it's just that he caught the backlash of everyone else thinking that way!

Touching eyes? Contact lenses? I eventually gave up on those after a few years because of the discomfort caused by dryness, but I remember my having to overcome the idea of touching my eyeballs. The first time I tried to put on contacts, I almost fainted.

I ended up in the emergency room courtesy of my very brief experiment with contact lenses. I have not wished to repeat it.

An allergic reaction, Susan, or your mind's intense reaction?

I briefly contemplate laser surgery. Extremely briefly, as in for a few picoseconds. The part about having to stay awake during the procedure would be something of an obstacle.

Extremely dry eyes (secondary to my allergies, most likely) leading to scratched corneas. Pretty un-fun. I can't tolerate any but the thinnest contact lenses, which would not correct my astigmatism, so I'd have to wear glasses over them, so what's the point?

I spoke to my eye doctor about laser correction and he said he didn't recommend it, since within a decade I'd probably be back in glasses anyway for reading at least. Ah, well. They'd have to give me tranquilizers to get through that kind of surgery; I can barely handle them putting drops in my eyes.

Susan... what's the point?

That's another reason why I decided against laser surgery. My understanding was that people still need to wear glasses in certain circumstances, for example at night.

AJ... About reserve & prudishness... I think my mother-in-law stopped reading my wife's romance novels because of the sex scenes. Not because of the sex itself, as far as I know. She probably thought she was peeking at her daughter's sex life even though her only tall son-in-law doesn't do lycanthropy.

Serge: Your MIL thought she had it bad, I read a sex scene written by my Dad! YECH!

Oh, and speaking of your wife's romance novels, I read one and reviewed it over on my blog (my name links to it).

re: eyeballs, my husband wears glasses and keeps talking about getting laser surgery, but I prefer him with glasses. I find laser surgery to be absolutely creepy, especially the kind where they cut your eye with a scalpel first *shiver*

AJ... Thanks for the review of my wife's novel. By the way, I like that expression 'flipping your cookies'. As for your dad's writing... I'd be shocked if my own parents could write anything more elaborate than a Christmas Card's addendum about family news. Still, I know what you mean. It feels strange to think of one's parents as sexual creatures, even when we realize that the stork wasn't to blame for our existence.

Serge, "flip/s/ing your cookies" is a phrase that my family has used for as long as I can remember. I always assumed that everyone used it, but now I wonder if it's regional.

My Dad writes a lot, and my Mom has even started to dabble in writing. And it's not so much that I mind thinking of my parents as sexual creators, it's just that reading a sex scene written by ones own parent is rather squicky, made more so when one of the participants is a mermaid. (obviously he didn't include that scene when he published it via a Christian self-publishing house)

AJ... Now why would a Christian publisher object to intimacy between a human and a mermaid? Heheheh...

Well, according to the excellent Poul Anderson, it's because merfolk don't have souls. He addressed the entire theological problem quite well in The Merman's Children way back when. I highly recommend it.

it's because merfolk don't have souls

I thought that maybe it was because, since there is no reference to mers being part of God's Creation, that'd mean their existence had to have been snuck in by the Foul Deceiver. That would automatically make it a big no-no to flip flippers with a mer.

I believe that was the argument of the Christian priests, yes. The merfolk had a different perspective. I really recommend the Anderson book. Classic work of fantasy, great read, though somewhat depressing.

AUGH! EYE SQUICK!

I'm going to stay away from this thread now. Have fun!

Carol,
I think it's over and we're talking about the theological implications of sex with merfolk now. I like that topic much better myself.

See, I figured it was because since a mermaid ceases to have human features below the waist, sex with one comes way too close to bestiality for comfort.

Anderson's merfolk just had fins on their legs and presumably some sort of gills rather than full tails. They were of Faerie and could be driven away via exorcism of bell, book, and candle, as happens at the beginning of the book.

Now I want to go reread it and can't because I just got FIVE novels dumped on me to review by 3/30. Fooey.

I have purchased a copy of Repo! The Genetic Opera, which was once the topic of this thread. I may suggest this for movie night after our inevitable attendance of a showing of Watchmen* tomorrow evening, depending on exactly who will be attending.

I have yet to form an opinion on the theology of sex with mermaids, but when I do, be assured that I will post it here first.

* I am currently avoiding placing the word "watch" near the title of said film.

Who watches the Watchmen?

There, I said it.

I have not yet seen the movie, but I am in love with the credit sequence and have watched it six times.

I will note that you have just missed out on the UK Repo Road Tour, in which it was shown live in theaters with Terrance Zdunich there to introduce it. They flitted through London, Sheffield, Edinburgh, and Glasgow this week.

On the other hand, I'm sort of glad my first experience of Repo was not in a theater full of screaming fans in costume and with - gah - a shadowcast. I actually like, y'know, watching the movie. So maybe you didn't miss much.

I'll be very curious to hear what you think of it.

On the topic of being off topic -

I considered having official open threads and trying to herd all the off-topic discussion into them, but I think that would make for one long and less manageable thread and a lot of posts with almost no comments. And I sort of like the peculiar free-associative nature of the discussions. It fits with how my mind works.

I suppose I'm open to feedback on this subject.

I also feel like I ought to put a ML-style note somewhere on the blog that the best stuff is in the comments, but I hate to keep copying ML on these things!

I'm hoping to go see Watchmen on Sunday, if my husband and I are done being sick by then (he started it this past Saturday).

Regarding open threads and such, I really enjoy the chaotic thread drift here. Sometimes I feel guilty about contributing to it, but it's fun to watch.

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