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Here, have a post all about me. me me meCollapse )
13th-Feb-2019 08:40 pm - question of the day
[community profile] questionoftheday asks: What is something everyone is "supposed" to love or enjoy, but you just don't? (question submitted by [personal profile] author_by_night)

My answer: There are some TV shows that were fairly universally loved by the fandom circles I knew best on livejournal and even tumblr that just never clicked for me. Farscape and Leverage are two of them. Oh, and the novels of Neil Gaiman--just... eh. Neverwhere was okay, and I liked his collaboration with Terry Pratchett, but that's about it.

Related to that, Pratchett's novels that focused on the wizards are boring. The others are enjoyable, mostly in a "Yes, this is okay" sort of way, rather than a passionate love for his books.

(Most recent example of this whole phenomenon: Russian Doll is loved by several people with similar tastes to mine, and yet...)

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/301505.html. Comment where you wish.
10th-Feb-2019 08:18 pm - Star Wars (again): Finn and romance

While I am definitely in favor of Finn having a romantic ending in Episode IX, it's not without some pitfalls. I've said before that I think there are two likely romances in store for him, so here's a quick rundown on the problems they pose.

Finn x Rey endgame:

  • Rose ends up as the temporary love interest, an obstacle: a role that gets assigned to women of color far too often, only to have the 'right' women be white.
  • Bigger possibility of Rose getting sidelined within IX.

Finn x Rose endgame:

  • The buildup for romantic finnrey in VII turns into another example of Finn's story as bait-and-switch. (Before people try to argue that there was no romantic buildup: 1, 2, 3 - read those first.)
  • Increased chance of Finn getting sidelined (again) in IX.

Endgame Finn x Rose also makes it more likely that the Force storyline remains completely unconnected to any of the characters of color (still, again)... barring something else, like force-sensitive Finn, or using Naomi Ackie’s character in the Force storyline, etc.

Even with the pitfalls (and there are more, I just went with the most obvious ones for each pairing), I think it would be worse to have no romantic conclusion for Finn. We've had two movies now where his onscreen interactions hinted at romance; to ignore that would be a disservice. Especially since dark-skinned black men in big budget and franchise films don't often get to have an important romance written as part of their story arc. They’re either alone, or they have an established relationship going into the story.

What about you? Any thoughts about how romance might happen in episode IX?

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/300898.html. Comment where you wish.
First, Finn as a cult survivor. I've seen this complaint too: the idea that the Star Wars movies don't show Finn in recovery from his time as a child soldier. This post points out that there IS material there.

Kind of related, Jedi cult?, which delves into how the Jedi have similarities to cult-like groups. Very interesting.

I watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix. World War II and post-war romantic drama - the romance is post-war, the drama is the war part. Main takeaway: I want Juliet Ashton's gorgeous late 40s wardrobe. It's breathtaking. Also, I saw a post referring to the male romantic lead as "female gaze-y" and I can't really argue with that. I'll refrain from giving specific reasons why, as they're spoilery, but yeah. Is it a worthwhile watch? Eh, if you want something pretty and not entirely fluffy, it's good enough.

Russian Doll is Netflix's newest original show, and I made it through about ten minutes of episode one. The material is crude enough that I decided I'd stick to other shows. (I'm guessing that the crudeness is at least in part to establish the baseline of the lead character, to show how she's going to change, but I have plenty of other shows to watch. Unless there's some reason that I must ABSOLUTELY watch that specific show, I'm not gonna.)

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/300581.html. Comment where you wish.
30th-Jan-2019 06:12 pm - double feature of teen rom-coms
I didn't actually watch the movies back-to-back. In fact, it took two sittings per movie for me to finish them. Anyway, here are a few thoughts on two Netflix original films, both adapted from books:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - I tried the book and couldn't finish it. A movie is much better for this story, which is a straightforward rom-com with misunderstandings, pretending to be dating, a mean ex-girlfriend... I enjoyed it, but this was in large part thanks to the lovely chemistry between the leading woman and her soon-to-be-actual boyfriend. Also, the family life moments were very endearing.

This movie's biggest plus: definitely the two leads. Strong actors, very charming together.

Dumplin', like TAtBILB, has a contemporary setting, but the feel of it is older. Teenagers who actually call each other on their cell phones instead of texting? A small town beauty pageant? Dolly Parton as inspiration for the leading woman? This isn't necessarily a flaw, just an observation. Dumplin' doesn't really go for the drama of how the girl will win over the boy. Instead, the boy is super interested in the girl, but the girl has to go on her own journey before she's willing to consider taking that leap of faith into a relationship.

That's probably why I'd rewatch Dumplin' over the other film, by the way: a satisfying emotional journey for a fat teenage girl, who fights with and makes up with her best friend, and who acquires two more friends, and who learns to appreciate her hard-working mother even if she doesn't end up wanting the same kind of things? Yeah, nice. The boy was secondary to the rest, which was refreshing.

(The 'boy' in Dumplin' does NOT pass for a high school student, even though that's what he's supposed to be. Not a fatal flaw, just an annoyance. In the HUGE PLUS column: Dolly Parton actually wrote new songs for this movie, and reworked some older ones! I love her.)

So there ya go. Have fun watching some rom-coms!

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/300293.html. Comment where you wish.
I've concluded that my top priority in Star Wars Episode IX is Finn's story. What happens with him will, in large part, dictate whether or not I go watch the movie in theaters. There's this fatigue connected to it that comes from a pattern in both media and online fandom. My examples are both TV shows, which is mostly because they have a similar "longer story" setup that is echoed by a trilogy movie, and because it is really hard to think of any movie series (not just stand-alone films) that have a black leading character. (And I do mean LEAD. Not "recurring secondary character".)

bad TV flashback moments and then back to Star WarsCollapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/300050.html. Comment where you wish.
23rd-Jan-2019 08:11 pm - movies and a miss and a who knows?
Aquaman is almost as shallow as a pond, but it's so splashy and pretty that who cares?! It's an unapologetic B movie, and I had a great time watching it.

On the Basis of Sex doesn't do any genre-surpassing or genre-bending, either. As a bio-pic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's college experience and early-ish work toward gender equality in the US legal system, it manages to tell its story with few flourishes. But the woman who inspired the film is so interesting, and the actors were more than adequate, so thumbs up to it as well.

Armie Hammer as Martin Ginsburg was distractingly gorgeous, my goodness. It wasn't just me, either. A co-worker who saw it the same weekend as me told me that her very first comment after the end of the film was, "I didn't know they made 'em like that!" (Referring to Hammer and his stature and looks.)

TV: Halfway through the six episodes of season two of Call My Agent! and... spoilers (neutral face of displeasure)Collapse )

Almost forgot! I said I would report on the TV adaptation of The Passage. So far I'm thinking that it's fairly true to the book(s) in this key fashion: it is a mess. There's a lot of ground to cover, there are multiple storylines to balance, and it's all a bit wobbly right now.

What they've done spectacularly well is get me invested in Amy Bellafonte as a lead, and in Agent Brad Wolgast as her new father figure. Which is good--in the first book I was very attached to their relationship. So no verdict yet, other than I'll keep watching for the moment.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/299827.html. Comment where you wish.
Last time I posted here, I asked for input on what show(s) to try next. I started--or rather, restarted--watching The Expanse, but with a much-appreciated warning about body horror late in season one. So I decided to start another show as well, given that a lot of my TV watching happens during dinner. Call My Agent! (French title Dix pour cent fit the bill for "absolutely no horror or gore or violence at all".

I accidentally finished season one already. It was fun! But also, the season was only six episodes long. The formula so far is that each episode includes an already-famous French-speaking actor, playing a (highly fictionalized) version of him/herself--the theoretical clients of the talent agency.

A lot of things happen that would put the show into the category of sit-com, but the presentation is so different from American sit-coms. Funny events aren't played for laughs in the same way; it's less broadly comical, more of a subtle humor.

Also, there are occasional shots of Paris that are just gorgeous. So that's enjoyable.

Call My Agent! is on Netflix US. The Expanse is on Amazon Prime. So let's get one more streaming service mentioned: apparently there's a TV adaptation of Justin Cronin's The Passage, and it's available on Hulu. The book is first in a series of... three? I really liked the first book, but the flow and creativity in it were never matched by the sequels. At any rate, the idea of a TV adaptation interests me enough that I'll at least give the pilot episode a try. I'll be back in a week or so to let y'all know what I think.

Oh! Also on Hulu, starting the sixth season of Brooklyn Nine Nine, and wrapping up the third season of The Good Place. Thumbs up to both of those shows on an ongoing basis.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/299524.html. Comment where you wish.
7th-Jan-2019 07:35 pm - I actually went to the movies!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a fantastic film that is definitely competition for "best movie of 2018" on my own list. So good! And the animation was a big part of why the storytelling was so compelling, which is just... neat! (Lots of flashing lights at multiple times during the film, so that's something to be careful of, for those who have a problem with that.)

Books: Geraldine Brooks likes to write book fanfiction. That is, she takes existing documents, and writes stories about how they might have come into existence. People of the Book was a compelling but uneven narrative--a bit fragmented in using too many points of view.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is a delight. I think I've stated before: I don't really like zombie stories, so anytime I recommend a book that's technically a zombie story, it's a GOOD one. The heroine is a biracial woman who was born near the end of the American Civil War. But the end of the war didn't happen the way we know; instead the dead started to rise, which... rather puts a damper on the whole war effort. Reconstruction focuses on how to combat the dead; young children of color are conscripted into schools to learn to fight zombies. So there's a direct reflection on what DID happen (such as Native children who were forced into boarding schools to "assimilate" them), but there are differences as well.

Anyway. The protagonist has a fun internal voice, there's thoughtful talk about sexuality without that taking over the story, the world-building was solid, and the ending of this book has me looking forward to the next one. (No release date for book two, but it is in the works. Possibly for this year?)

TV: new episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (at last!) and The Good Place this Thursday, woohoo!

Speaking of TV:

What series should I watch next? Or what should I delete from my very long queue?

  • The Expanse
  • Poldark
  • The Americans
  • Victoria
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • The Crown
  • Alias Grace
  • Dear White People
  • The OA
  • Brown Nation
  • Cloak & Dagger
  • Runaways

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/299413.html. Comment where you wish.
1st-Jan-2019 11:59 am - 2019 started with an exercise video

Happy New Year!

Author names for the Man from U.N.C.L.E. holiday fic exchange are visible now, so: I wrote Grounded. (AKA the story with Gardener Gaby.) 

My recipient misura’s first request mentioned her enjoyment of Gaby’s dance scene in the film; she wanted more of Gaby outmatching Illya and/or charming him. In a separate prompt she talked about protectiveness within the team

So I wrote constantly concerned Illya who is charmed by Gaby’s gardening abilities. This allowed me to throw in a new headcanon about Gaby’s childhood: that she learned to garden from her foster family. 

Things I perceive as clues that it was my story: 

  • lots of Gaby, including a mention of Gaby’s childhood
  • I included a research note at the end
  • excessive use of the word ‘soft’ when besotted Illya is staring at Gaby
  • repressed Gaby x Illya feelings
  • probably more stuff that I’m totally unaware of in my own writing

Fun fact: the story was supposed to be a short and easy five times fic (five times Gaby and Illya surprised each other, and one time Solo surprised them both), but the first section never stopped growing. To the point of “I’m still writing this two days before it’s due?!” 

Other fun fact: as soon as you post your first draft to AO3, that’s the date listed on the story, even though it doesn’t get revealed until later. Going back and looking at dates for works submitted, I concluded that the creator of this challenge, @deducitetemporacarmen​, must have had some sleepless nights, worrying about the many people who didn’t submit a draft until well after the official deadline for it.

Final fun fact: that was my first time to write Illya’s POV.

An anonymous commenter on Tumblr guessed my story correctly, so they win a ficlet. Which is turning into something slightly longer, so Anonymous may have to wait for a finished product.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/299158.html. Comment where you wish.
26th-Dec-2018 03:21 pm - Yuletide fanfic recs
So my recipient for the Man from U.N.C.L.E. fanfic exchange liked her gift, which pleases me. It's fun, writing fanfic again and doing exchanges and so forth.

I've done a quick check of the Yuletide exchange this year; here are a few recs.

Rivers of London book series by Ben Aaronovitch

Definitely Worthy (3921 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1

Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sahra Guleed & Beverley Brook, Sahra Guleed & Molly (Rivers of London)
Characters: Sahra Guleed, Beverley Brook, Molly (Rivers of London)
Additional Tags: Deviates From Canon, Post-Book: The Hanging Tree, POV Female Character, Female Friendship, POV First Person
Summary: In which Guleed gets tangled up in River business, claims a magical sword, slays a sea serpent and joins the Folly. You know, just normal copper things.</p>

Duty of Care (5069 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1

Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Molly (Rivers of London) & Thomas Nightingale
Characters: Molly (Rivers of London), Thomas Nightingale, Peter Grant (Rivers of London)
Additional Tags: Backstory, World War II, Mail Order Catalogs, Duty of Care, Friendship, Spoilers for Foxglove Summer, Yuletide
Summary: There is a reason that Molly guards the Folly.</p>

The Good Place (NBC show, y'all should watch if you're not already)
For Better Or For Worse (1527 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1

Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jianyu Li | Jason Mendoza/Janet (The Good Place)
Characters: Janet (The Good Place), Bad Janet (The Good Place), Neutral Janet (The Good Place)
Additional Tags: Mild Language, Reference to canon-compliant time shenanigans, Wedding Planning
Summary: Perhaps it was odd that the nearest few thousand Janets were all Bad Janets, but anything was possible this close to the Medium Place. Besides, that was only the 3,794th weirdest thing registering in her system at any given moment (wait, 3,795th—a show about a men's single figure skating champion leaving the competitive skating world to coach a Japanese unreliable narrator was the top anime of 2016).</p>

In which Janet prepares for her upcoming nuptials with a little help from her friends fellow Janets.

Life, Death, and Breakfast (3364 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Good Place (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jianyu Li | Jason Mendoza, Chidi Anagonye
Additional Tags: Developing Friendships, Implied/Referenced Drug Use, Humor, Slice of Life, Lighthearted conversations about death
Summary: The first Wednesday that Jason showed up (It was a sheer coincidence, Chidi thinks.) Chidi was so absorbed in his reading that he didn't even notice it happening until Jason was sitting across the table from him, chewing with his mouth open and already deep into the kind of story that Eleanor calls Florida Man: The Greatest Hits Collection.

The Fugitive (1993 film with Harrison Ford)
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (3446 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Fugitive (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Samuel Gerard & Richard Kimble
Characters: Samuel Gerard, Richard Kimble
Additional Tags: Developing Friendships, Friendship, Fluff and Angst, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Hurt/Comfort, Emotional Hurt/Comfort
Summary: Sam and Richard talk fashion, and other things.</p>

I would never have thought of fanfic for this movie, but I like the slow crawl of a building friendship post-film for Dr. Kimble and his one-time hunter, Samuel Gerard. Stages of grief, re-entering life, etc.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/298952.html. Comment where you wish.
25th-Dec-2018 03:07 pm - I still have a userpic for this
Merry Christmas, y'all! I think I'll do a few recipe links for what we're eating today...
food!Collapse )
I got presents! A few lovely things that are currently in the guest bedroom at my parents', and also an online gift:

Title: The Woman from U.N.C.L.E.
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gaby Teller & Alexander Waverly, Illya Kuryakin & Napoleon Solo & Gaby Teller, Illya Kuryakin/Gaby Teller, heavily implied - Relationship
Characters: Gaby Teller, Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, Alexander Waverly
Summary: A fic about Alexander Waverly and his favorite agent, Gaby Teller.

So yes, the Man from U.N.C.L.E. fic exchange is live. :) Currently works are posted anonymously; reveals in a week. Guess correctly which one I wrote, and win a ficlet. It feels like my fingerprints are ALL OVER the fic I wrote, but we’ll see.

(My free time for reading will be... variable, but I’m hoping to make some guesses as well, before the reveals are made.)

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/298657.html. Comment where you wish.
19th-Dec-2018 04:52 pm - time for toys and time for cheer
I'm in the usual frenzy of grading now that the semester is rapidly drawing to a close. Thankfully the checkoff list requiring signatures is smaller than in years past, so I can spend more time trying to grade rather than trying to fulfill an obscure requirement so that someone else can initial my checkoff list.

Still importing some of my original posts from tumblr. This one from two years ago was about Person of Interest. It's short, so I'll just copy the text.

It’s possible to appreciate that Person of Interest didn’t resort to the “Kill your lesbians (and bisexual women)” trope to deal with Sarah Shahi’s unexpected pregnancy--keeping the character of Shaw alive even without knowing whether she would return during the show’s run--and still acknowledge that Carter’s death played into the trope that characters of color are somehow more affected by bullets than white characters.

I can be grateful that the show hasn’t erased the impact Carter’s death made on the characters, and still be angry at the bad writing that framed her death.

I’m impressed that Person of Interest made a canon f/f ship that includes a woman of color. That doesn’t make PoI’s ongoing problems with people of color disappear. One form of positive representation doesn’t trump the absent and negative representations.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/298326.html. Comment where you wish.
I wrote an overview of my own experiences with Person of Interest fandom. Multiple posts on tumblr, but they should fit here easily.

season oneCollapse )

season two, the first halfCollapse )

second half of season twoCollapse )

And finally, season three (first half only)Collapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/298139.html. Comment where you wish.
So I wrote some things on tumblr that I'm planning to put here. Next up: a post about the obliviousness of one specific fan to the racism in her corner of fandom. This was written sometime in May 2017. In other words: more than a year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in theaters.

I'll put any current additions in italicsCollapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/297920.html. Comment where you wish.
9th-Dec-2018 08:07 pm - PSA re:LJ
I finally got around to removing some of you from my livejournal reading list. I do still check my LJ reading page from time to time; it was getting a bit annoying, seeing the same post twice. So. I think I have everyone I followed there on my reading circle here--well, everyone who migrated over here at some point--as well as some newer people to follow.

Having updated my reading page here and found new people to follow, now it's time for me to ignore y'all for a few days and finish my Man from U.N.C.L.E. gift exchange fanfic. I think I'm going to use the leechblock extension and block both tumblr and dreamwidth until I'm done. Or at least done enough; I need to have a solid draft posted by the 15th. I can still fiddle with it until Dec. 25.

If I'm new to you (hi, new followers!): I watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015 movie, not the old TV series) on a plane this summer and fell in fannish love with Gaby Teller, and with Gaby x Illya Kuryakin. Which led to writing fanfic for the first time in years. So you'll see me post about that from time to time, until the next fannish obsession comes along.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/297623.html. Comment where you wish.
Pulling some of my own words from tumblr to here as tumblr does a Livejournal strikethrough-style meltdown. First up: me whinging about the writing for Rey in Star Wars: The Last JediCollapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/297357.html. Comment where you wish.
8th-Dec-2018 12:30 pm - holy forking shirtballs!
I've done well keeping up with The Good Place since season two (I binge-watched season one), and it's still a delight. D'arcy Carden as Janet is SO MUCH FUN. The writers, the actor, the premise... it all works together to make a unique character.

(I REALLY love lots of other characters as well, but Carden was the MVP for the most recent episode.)

Catching up on Timeless season two. There's going to be a two-hour finale December 20 to wrap up loose ends, I guess, so I need to watch three more episodes and I'll be good to go. I don't think I have much to say about it? I'm constantly in a state of wishing for more focus on Rufus and Jiya, and constantly receiving more focus on the other characters, so... *shrug*

I watched three episode of the BBC Bodyguard series, and decided - based on what happened in the episode and on spoilers I knew - that it was a good place to stop, rather than finish the first season. Richard Madden plays the title character (whose name is actually David Budd), and gosh, he's pretty in this role. Too bad about some of the narrative choices that happen later, but I don't regret watching those three episodes. (I don't regret not watching the rest of it, either.)

Tried starting season 3? 4? of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but I think I'm done. At least for now.

I finally finished season five of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season four (especially the first half) was stronger, in my opinion, but s5 was still interesting enough to power through. Elena Rodriguez got way more screen time, which pleased me. If season six is indeed going to continue without Coulson (or at least cut way back on his screen time), I hope things will be better for characters like Mack (who needs a real focus from the writers) and Daisy (who has trouble getting acknowledged as a main lead by fandom), not to mention my own favorite, Elena. So, we'll see.

Looking back at my notes from earlier in the season - which was months ago, I just took a long time to finish watching - I was emotional about Elena losing her arms. (She loses them in the comics as well.) But also glad to have another example of a not-evil character with a disability. Also, to quote someone else about the whole thing, "I killed a robot to get you some arms" is indeed high romance.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/297089.html. Comment where you wish.
21st-Oct-2018 06:21 pm - a posted Star Wars fanfic!
I finished the thing! And had it beta-read! And posted it!

Coming Through in Waves (2473 words) by rose_griffes
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars - All Media Types, Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Finn/Rey (Star Wars)
Characters: Finn (Star Wars), Rey (Star Wars)
Additional Tags: accidentally acting out your trauma on others, Comfort, Nightmares, mentions of force ghost Luke Skywalker

Finn has nightmares. Rey just wants to help.

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/296787.html. Comment where you wish.
17th-Oct-2018 09:31 pm - drive-by post
I logged into livejournal and whoa, there are two? three? Yuletide letters. I guess LJ is semi-active when it's time for the big Yuletide fic exchange.

I'm not signing up, by the way. It's too hard to write fic for things that aren't my current hyper-focus, and right now that's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which has too much fic to qualify as a small fandom for Yuletide's tiny fandom focus.

Actually that hyper-focus has extended outward a teeeeeeny bit; I just finished a Star Wars fanfic--the first draft of one, anyway. It's only been in the works for, uh, TWO AND A HALF YEARS. *grumbles* Honestly, it's so short, I don't know why it took so long. Other than my belief that I couldn't write fanfic for movies, which I now know to be false. So. I just sent it to a potential beta-reader.

Okay, time to run back out! Enjoy the Yuletide letter-writing!

Posted at Dreamwidth: https://rose-griffes.dreamwidth.org/296626.html. Comment where you wish.
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