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Old 10-25-2007, 04:04 PM   #271
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Originally posted by U2girl

It needn't be censorship, just using a different tactic to convey the same message (ie say "yes...and I will tell you all about it in the encyclopedia" which is said to be covering additional info and more ***backstory on characters***). Would the same reaction happen ? Probably, only in a much smaller scope, less children would probably be banned from HP while the message still gets out and this particular info doesn't hang over the series now as a cloud, which will no doubt happen thanks to the media. I think the potential readers, and those having trouble viewing the films/reading now - that is, those that will get banned from HP, not those that choose to walk away on the books - are the victims in all of this.
Yes, she could answer every question like that: "Yes/No, but just buy my next book, the marvellous encyclopedia, to find out more."
But apparently she isn't that much interested in selling as many books as possible.
Seriously, you put it as if the world would collapse because some stupid parents, besides those who have banned those books already for wizardry, now will not let their children read those books.
Well, those books might be interesting and well written, and it's sad when a child isn't allowed to read these books because his/her children are stupid, but that's really a small sacrifice. You are certainly exaggerating the problem.
Because of those parents it's even more important to speak openly about what she thinks about the character. Just imagine, in another context she would have said, "Yes, the character is Jewish", would you say, "Well, that was a bad move since now some children will be spoiled from these books."?

It's sad for the children that are spoiled, but it would be even sadder if we as society gave in to this intolerant and discriminating view that's based on nothing. I say, it's even more important to be open about at as long as we there are numerous people in any country's society that are so backwards oriented.


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Vincent Vega: I don't know. You think she wasn't concerned about this info, or the issues the books faced because of the wizardry ?
Exactly, the media took the "NAKED" part and blew away everything else about that play (and let's face it, Harry Potter draws more attention than using the actor's name). Just like we will probably be heaing "JK Rowling interview...new HP movie .... oh yeah, GAY character". I think the movies will still sell, I'm concerned about kids now not getting a look into the magic she created with HP.
Yes, I doubt this would an issue anywhere near this size anywhere outside the US.
I don't know much about her, except for how she started to write these books and that she is the richest woman in Great Britain today.
But my guess would be that she didn't waste a second on the thought that in the country that views itself as being the one with the greatest freedom and culture of free speech (the reactions in Great Britain and Europe in general, again, have been pretty low except for some church people) people would ask for a ban on her children's story and would explode over the thought that their children should read a book that includes wizardry. Even though she probably was aware that some people would be put off.

I'm sure she wasn't happy about that reaction, but she certainly didn't think to give in to those people.

Honestly, I know many children's books and cartoons that include magic and wizardry, and never did I hear people complaining about that.
Would you ban Asterix because they use a magic drink?

Would you say that Daniel Radcliffe was wrong to appear in that play? Or was it a bad idea to play Harry Potter, because now the media is using that name instead of his real one?
I would say, no. I would lay the blame on the media, not the actor.

And the great majority won't be affected by the news that Dumbledore was gay. That's rather a tiny minority, and you can't serve everyone (more importantly, as I said before, you shouldn't).
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:06 PM   #272
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Nope.

But hey, you claim I'm saying the same thing BEB is so what's the point ?
Well then please explain yourself. What have you said. I could quote you but it would make you look silly, so please inform me. You say it could have been handled better so please explain to me how she could have outted him in a "better" way.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #273
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What do you think of John Cloud's article?

Like I said before, if any accusations could be made of Rowling pandering, it would have been towards readers she knew would be upset by Dumbledore's homosexuality.

But again, I don't think there was any pandering.

And I understand Cloud's disappointment but I really did think she did the right thing--in terms of the consistency of DD's character--for him not to out himself.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:59 PM   #274
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What do you think of John Cloud's article?

I can understand his point of view, but there have been many characters that have spent their whole lives with unrequited loves, the longing defined them...
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:15 PM   #275
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I regret coming to this thread so late

I'm gonna address every point that I can manage. Most of them have already been addressed by some of the awesome people here, but I need to go for it anyway

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
There was no need to say those things when the books are already finished.
Being a writer myself (although I am as of yet, unpublished), I have to disagree with you. People do read the stories that I write, and from time to time they ask me questions about them. Should I refuse to answer because the story arc is completed? What's wrong with answering a reader's question honestly?
Writers are essentially their character's god. We know minute details about the people in our stories lives. Not everything ends up in print, because not everything is relevant to the story. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't share those things with readers, should they ask.
Another thing I want to address, as an writer, is that not every aspect of a character's life can be forseen or controlled within the writing. Things develop on their own as the story grows. I can start out with all the best intentions to make a character one way, but in the end they might turn out to be another way. Writing is not an exact science.

And as a fan of all sorts of books, and especially book series, I can attest that it is perfectly normal and natural for fans to be curious about things related to the series which are not addressed within the actual framework of the books. And by all means, I think that authors should give answers (if they have them) when asked.

Just because you didn't like what she said doesn't mean she shouldn't have said it.

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
With this new information Dumbledore´s affection for Harry has just turned creepy.
Hagrid is straight. He and Hermione were very close. Does this mean his relationship with her was creepy?

Quote:
Originally posted by lynnok
Is this information necessary to advance the plot of the book or is the revelation about the same as him not liking brussels sprouts? If it's the latter then I say leave it out, it's just not necessary. If it's important then leave it in. If all this came out after publication then there's the answer. I thought reading was supposed to foster imagination If I want to draw that conclusion from what I read I can.
Dumbledore's friendship with Grindelwald is signifigant to much of Book 7. In the book, it's only said that they were close friends in their youth. But the revelation that there was an unrequited relationship there does explain some of Dumbledore's motivation regarding the character during later events.

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Originally posted by AEON
So, you are saying if Yoda was gay then it wouldn't change the relationship between he and Luke?
Yoda's not even the same species as Luke. My mind doesn't work that way. It's much better if you make Obi-Wan the gay one. I could get behind some Obi-Wan/Anakin slashfic... "You were the chosen one! I loved you!" Plus they're a hotter pair of actors

Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
I also wonder how much Rowling is pandering. If it wasn't such a big deal for her - then why didn't she just say in the story? It's like Margaret Mitchell holding a press conference in 1943 that Rhett Butler was really a Freemason.
But Rowling didn't hold a press conference. She answered a fan's question. Pure and simple. I imagine that it wasn't mentioned in the book simply because it wasn't actually relevant. The relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was relevant, but the actual nature of it (romantic or otherwise) was not. Besides, the books are through Harry's point of view, and most of what Harry found out about Dumbledore's past in book 7 was found out secondhand, or even thirdhand (as Dumbledore had already died), so it's also likely that those people didn't know about Dumbledore's orientation. I sort of doubt he went around flaunting it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Teta040
And regarding kid's lit--Disney has sanitized everything, but my God, if you go back and read the origional Andersen and Grimm's Tales, it would have had Freud crying in his beer. Wow! Talk about more stuff you can read into than the drop of a hat!!!!
Exactly. There is some incredibly messed up stuff in those original fairy fales.
For example, the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood was originally... you guessed it: a pedophile.
For humour though, I'd like to point out that a friend of mine in his early 20s had never seen Disney's Snow White, when one day we ran across it being played on TV. It just so happened to be one of the scenes with the Stepmother/Witch, and he was shocked at how scary it was for a kids movie.
And speaking of Snow White? How would the conservatives feel about Snow White if the brothers Grimm came back from the dead and revealed that the seven dwarves were a bunch of flaming homos?

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
Sure, they are. But I´m against making a character for the sake of furthering tolerance instead of it being a legitimate literary need.
As stated above, Dumbledore's feelings for Grindelwald explain some of his motivation toward certain events. Have you actually read book 7?

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
There have actually been academic studies of fairy tales and how they impact girls' views of themselves and males and gender roles.
I was about 7 before I realized that a Prince Charming wasn't going to ride down my street on his white horse and take me off to his kingdom to be his Princess

Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
I can't see this being a huge factor in kids being allowed or not allowed to read the book. I have a feeling that the ones bothered by this would be the ones who probably wouldn't let them read it to begin with. I could be wrong though, that's just speculation.
It's not even in the books. If the kid didn't hear about it from the news/internet/friends, a parent could easily keep them from finding out about it (if they're really deadset against their kids knowing about gay people), and let them read the books. Chances are, any kids who have heard about it already and understand it are old enough to have already read the entire series anyway. True, their parents could take the books away, but at least they won't have been entirely robbed of the series experience.
This all reminds me of when Melissa Joan Hart posed in her underwear in Maxim. It caused a big controversy because she was currently starring in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I was in my early teens at the time, and I remember seeing the story on TV, complete with the sexy cover photo and headline: "Your Favorite Witch Without A Stitch", and all they kept talking about was how wrong it was of her, as a role model for children, to pose like that. The whole thing pissed me off because, seriously, how many kids are reading Maxim? None, I hope. If they hadn't kept talking about it and showing the picture on TV, kids would probably never have known about it.

Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
"Can I read/buy HP, Mum/Dad?" "No, because of Dumbledore"
What about the parent that wouldn't let their kid read book 7 after all of the making out done by students in back corridors of the school in book 6?
Or worse, what about the parent that wouldn't let their kid read book 6 because Harry dated a Cho Chang in book 5? That was an interracial relationship (albeit a short one) you know.
Should she have also left those things out of the book?

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
Answering your question:

She was asked if Dumbledore ever did find love. She answered with a "Oh, he's gay." Which I thought was unnecessary and seemed like she pulled it out of her ass at the last minute.
No, she was asked if he'd ever been in love, to which she basically answered "Yes, with a man."
And Dumbledore's romantic feelings for that man in particular led him toward making decisions that were detrimental to the plot. So no, it wasn't unnecessary at all.

Quote:
Originally posted by Time.com
Yes, except: Why couldn't he tell us himself? The Potter books add up to more than 800,000 words before Dumbledore dies in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and yet Rowling couldn't spare two of those words—"I'm gay"—to help define a central character's emotional identity? We can only conclude that Dumbledore saw his homosexuality as shameful and inappropriate to mention among his colleagues and students. His silence suggests a lack of personal integrity that is completely out of character.
Who says he was completely closeted? Perhaps his friends and colleagues knew and accepted him. We don't know, because we really only have Harry's view of things. And of course Dumbledore wasn't going to come out to Harry, because frankly, it wasn't any of Harry's business.

Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Honestly, I know many children's books and cartoons that include magic and wizardry, and never did I hear people complaining about that.
Would you ban Asterix because they use a magic drink?
There are a few differences with the Harry Potter series which really make it more offensive where the fundamentalists are concerned.
One, it uses the actual term 'witchcraft', which points to Satanism much more strongly than just references to magic or Wizardry.
Two, it takes place within our own modern world. It's not Middle-Earth, it's modern day London.
Three, it's massive popularity. Hardcore Christians (and I'd know, as I used to run with them ) are dead set against conforming to the sinful world. Therefore, anything popular is automatically bad.
I was still attending church with those hardcore Christians when book 5 came out. Being rebellious, I naturally took the book to church with me to read before the service My youth pastor, who was a smart, insightful man under normal circumstances, started telling me about how the woman who wrote the books was a real witch and the spells in the books were real spells. He believed all of this because he'd been told it by the fundamentalist leaders. He never actually investigated it for himself. I just sort of laughed and set him straight about who J.K. Rowling actually is, and that the "spells" in the books are simply plays on actual English words (or in some cases, Latin), or simply made up words. He knew that I was a smart girl and not easily beguiled, and took my word for it, ahead of what he'd already been told.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:47 PM   #276
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Originally posted by maycocksean
What do you think of John Cloud's article?
Assuming that this is a generic you, and not aimed at anyone in particular, I'll take a stab at answering.

It strikes me as a semi-humourous article written to decry Rowling's artistic decision not to have the character come out in an overt way during the course of the series. I disagree with him. The way the series was written, the only place it would have made sense to reveal it would have been in the 7th book, within Dumbledore's storyline. As I mentioned pages back, in the context that she chose to tell his story, it I think it's more consistent with the plot to have not revealed it overtly.

Part of what strikes me funny about all this, is that my daughter, who is much more wrapped up in the Potter-verse than I (I get most of my HP info second-hand from her), has been talking off an on over the past several months about what she'd like to see addressed in Rowling's upcoming encyclopedia, and this was one of the things she mentioned - with the exception of Snape, very little has ever been said about the private/family/romantic lives of the Hogwarts teachers, and she wanted to know more about their lives outside of the school. I'm sure many ardent fans feel the same way, and part of the cheering that broke out in Carnegie Hall was from hearing anything that related to Dumbledore's private life. Fans are hungry for this sort of information!
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:01 PM   #277
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Originally posted by DreamOutLoud13
Being a writer myself (although I am as of yet, unpublished), I have to disagree with you. People do read the stories that I write, and from time to time they ask me questions about them. Should I refuse to answer because the story arc is completed? What's wrong with answering a reader's question honestly?
Writers are essentially their character's god. We know minute details about the people in our stories lives. Not everything ends up in print, because not everything is relevant to the story. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't share those things with readers, should they ask.
Another thing I want to address, as an writer, is that not every aspect of a character's life can be forseen or controlled within the writing. Things develop on their own as the story grows. I can start out with all the best intentions to make a character one way, but in the end they might turn out to be another way. Writing is not an exact science.
. I've had the exact same situations occur whenever I've written stuff. You are spot on with all of this.

Quote:
Originally posted by DreamOutLoud13
It's not even in the books. If the kid didn't hear about it from the news/internet/friends, a parent could easily keep them from finding out about it (if they're really deadset against their kids knowing about gay people), and let them read the books. Chances are, any kids who have heard about it already and understand it are old enough to have already read the entire series anyway. True, their parents could take the books away, but at least they won't have been entirely robbed of the series experience.
This all reminds me of when Melissa Joan Hart posed in her underwear in Maxim. It caused a big controversy because she was currently starring in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I was in my early teens at the time, and I remember seeing the story on TV, complete with the sexy cover photo and headline: "Your Favorite Witch Without A Stitch", and all they kept talking about was how wrong it was of her, as a role model for children, to pose like that. The whole thing pissed me off because, seriously, how many kids are reading Maxim? None, I hope. If they hadn't kept talking about it and showing the picture on TV, kids would probably never have known about it.
. Thank. You. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So true.

Your whole post rocked, actually. I just really liked these two bits in particular . But nicely said on everything, and that goes to others who have said similar things.

I just love how this has delved into page after page of debate. Once again, it. Is. Just. A. Book. It. Is. Just. A. Character. So why people feel a need to make a big fuss over it, I really fail to understand.

Angela
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:55 AM   #278
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phillyfan: of course no one knows what she is thinking (you included). Dumbledore was gay from day one, why would she not have pondered the audience reaction at all ? The fact she gave this info now suggests otherwise, IMO. She even said "If I knew this would make you so happy I'd tell you years earier". I may be wrong but that's my interpretation of what she said. Yes, she was asked a direct question but, once more, she could have used this in the book (especially last one) in relation to the Dumbledore-Grindelwald story.

I never said she has some "politically correct" agenda. I believe she was genuinely shaping this character as gay. It is, though, another matter, how and when she outs him - and of course, how people react to this.

Vega: it's not about sales. The percentage may be small, but as far as I'm concerned every reader gone is a loss (collateral damage?). Well, the whole thing is exaggerated.

I didn't say Daniel Radcliffe made a mistake of being in that play. What bothered me was, and you seem to agree, the media took one single fact of the play and (ab)used the fact it was a worldwide famous role he will likely be known best fo the rest of his life. I know there are plenty of magic/wizardry books - I don't know why HP gets accused of "witchcraft".

Dreamoutloud: making out between heterosexuals (and before the double standard line comes flying, all the romance in book 6 just made it seem like I was reading Hogwarts high soap opera, even Ron/Hermione made less sense than usual. she's not a romance writer) and interracial dating aren't quite as big issues as being gay (apparently, for some reason) still is. Personally, I'm not sure I buy the "but it explains Dumbledore's actions re: Grindelwald" reasoning. Nothing changes if you read them (as probably everyone did, until this) as best friends.

BonoVoxSupastar: I already did, twice. You don't agree with it. Why go through it all again ?
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:18 AM   #279
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Originally posted by U2girl
phillyfan: of course no one knows what she is thinking (you included). Dumbledore was gay from day one, why would she not have pondered the audience reaction at all ? The fact she gave this info now suggests otherwise, IMO. She even said "If I knew this would make you so happy I'd tell you years earier". I may be wrong but that's my interpretation of what she said. Yes, she was asked a direct question but, once more, she could have used this in the book (especially last one) in relation to the Dumbledore-Grindelwald story.

I never said she has some "politically correct" agenda. I believe she was genuinely shaping this character as gay. It is, though, another matter, how and when she outs him - and of course, how people react to this.
Well, I seriously doubt he way from day one. She didn't even create the Grindelwald storyline with Dumbledore till Book Seven, so I imagine it was around that time that she decided he was gay. I think that's important, especially considering her last tour was in 2000, and most likely she didn't have him gay at that point. For most writers, the characters evolve as they write them, and I imagine around this time Dumbledore became gay. Again, I'm not in her head, but it makes the most sense. She didn't say "years earlier."

And the agenda thing was addressed at another, not yourself.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #280
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JK, in response to the audience's reaction, said "If I had known this would have made you so happy, I would have told you years ago."

Maybe it came around at book 7, maybe it was there all along. I read that before HP was published - because it took so long - she had something like 40 fleshed out characters, backstories etc.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #281
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BonoVoxSupastar: I already did, twice. You don't agree with it. Why go through it all again ?
Maybe it's because you contradict yourself...
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:31 PM   #282
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I'd just like to clarify something here:

Witchcraft does not equal Satanism. Those are two entirely different religious belief sets. Witches, in general do not believe in Satan. Satan is part of Christianity. Satanists believe in Satan. Granted, I have a limited understanding of what they actually do with themselves, and I like it that way - the little I've heard is rather..creepy.

Witches, however, believe in a God and a Goddess, and usually can be found studying Druidism, Shamanism, and other things, usually Celtic mysticism. They don't even have a concept /for/ Satan, as they base their beliefs on rituals and belief systems that predate Christianity, and Satan.

Let's keep that in mind, people. Read up - you might be surprised at how much Christianity actually takes from Pagan religions. A saint here and there, a religious rite (think Yule, and some others I can't remember at the moment.) stolen to make the pagans become Christian..

But anyway, back to your regularly scheduled HP debate.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #283
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Originally posted by Hinder
I'd just like to clarify something here:

Witchcraft does not equal Satanism. Those are two entirely different religious belief sets. Witches, in general do not believe in Satan. Satan is part of Christianity. Satanists believe in Satan. Granted, I have a limited understanding of what they actually do with themselves, and I like it that way - the little I've heard is rather..creepy.

Witches, however, believe in a God and a Goddess, and usually can be found studying Druidism, Shamanism, and other things, usually Celtic mysticism. They don't even have a concept /for/ Satan, as they base their beliefs on rituals and belief systems that predate Christianity, and Satan.

Let's keep that in mind, people. Read up - you might be surprised at how much Christianity actually takes from Pagan religions. A saint here and there, a religious rite (think Yule, and some others I can't remember at the moment.) stolen to make the pagans become Christian..

But anyway, back to your regularly scheduled HP debate.
Oh, I agree completely. But the religious Right damns anything that doesn't fit perfectly into its narrow view of The Way Things Ought To Be
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:03 PM   #284
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Maybe it's because you contradict yourself...
No.

But as I said, let's not drag this on and agree to disagree.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:08 PM   #285
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Originally posted by U2girl
Vega: it's not about sales. The percentage may be small, but as far as I'm concerned every reader gone is a loss (collateral damage?). Well, the whole thing is exaggerated.

I didn't say Daniel Radcliffe made a mistake of being in that play. What bothered me was, and you seem to agree, the media took one single fact of the play and (ab)used the fact it was a worldwide famous role he will likely be known best fo the rest of his life. I know there are plenty of magic/wizardry books - I don't know why HP gets accused of "witchcraft".

So, basically it's like saying a child reading Harry Potter is more important than social acception of homosexuality.

The media will always look for things to blow out of proportion. But I thought you viewed it as a mistake by him as you said you see JK Rowling as having handled the situation bad about Dumbledore.
Apparently I got you wrong there.

If I understood right witchcraft was actually even written in the books, and apparently the Religious Right need it very basic, otherwise they wouldn't have waited for a book playing in our time to rally against.
And those religious nuts aren't acting logically, so we don't need to go deeper into that.

Again, with her comment, "If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!" I think it's very important to see it in video to really interpret what she probably meant there. I would say it's rather meant totally tongue-in-cheek here, but you can't say for sure by judging just from reading it.
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