6.29.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Rebecca Sun

"I still (mostly) believe in appealing to people's sense of reason..."



Greetings, people of the internet. It is time, once gain, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Rebecca Sun.

Steven Yeun does not play all the Asians on TV

"We're getting to some real shit right now."



To promote his new movie Sorry to Bother You, actor Steven Yeun sat down with co-stars Jermaine Fowler and Armie Hammer for a couple of rounds of the WIRED Autocomplete Interview, in which they answered some of the internet's most searched questions about themselves. You might already know where this is going.

It starts off fairly trivial (i.e. "how do you pronounce steven yeun?" "where did steven yeun grow up"), but further down the list, the search questions reveal a sad truth about Yeun's career and the state of Asian representation in media: he is consistently mistaken for other Asians in movies and television. The former Walking Dead star takes the opportunity to drop some knowledge.

"We're getting to some real shit right now." Watch and learn a thing or two:

6.24.2018

Read These Blogs


Inside the Movie That Made Bruce Lee a Legend
45 years ago, Bruce Lee starred in one of the most famous martial arts films of all time, Enter the Dragon -- the movie that posthumously launched him into international superstardom. Here, Matthew Polly, author of the new biography Bruce Lee: A Life shares his favorite stories from the set of the landmark action film.

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A Former Japanese Internment Camp Prisoner on the Dire Effects of Putting Kids in Detention
Satsuki Ina was born in a U.S. prison camp -- the government called it a "segregation center" -- during World War II, and knows firsthand how detrimental it is to detain and separate people.

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'At Least During the Internment...' Are Words I Thought I'd Never Utter
"I was sent to a camp at just 5 years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families." George Takei on the Trump administration's separation of families at the border.

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Who Is Dolly Gee? A Look at the Judge Deciding the Fate of Trump's Executive Order
A little about Judge Dolly M. Gee, who is deciding the fate of Trump's racist Executive Order.

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Harvard may discriminate against Asian Americans, but its preference for legacy students is the bigger problem
While it is true that court documents reveal that Harvard consistently gave Asian American applicants lower personal ratings, it's important that a bigger bias has affected the college's admissions decisions: The preference for legacy applicants.

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Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me
For years, Amanda Rosenberg felt ashamed by her mental illness -- and it almost killed her.

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The Last of the Tiger Parents
On growing up with strict immigrant parents, and undoing the pattern of tiger parenting.

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These Tiny Desk Contestants Set Stories Of The Asian-American Experience To Music
Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama create songs that illuminate the Asian American experience in their multimedia project No-No Boy. Their Tiny Desk Contest submission "Two Candles In The Dark" is a song about Aoyama's grandmother, who was incarcerated in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

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How rare is Pat Chun's path in college sports? 'You'd have to be an Asian American to understand this.'
"From the time he began playing sports as a young boy with neighborhood buddies, Pat Chun stood out as the only Asian American on the block. It’s no different professionally for Chun, who has grown accustomed to being the only Asian American in the room since his start in athletics administration."

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Comedian Hari Kondabolu on the response to his documentary The Problem With Apu
Since his documentary The Problem with Apu aired, Hari Kondabolu's received a lot of hate mail, but he also knows that's because it resonated with a lot of people.

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his Is the Netflix Exec to Thank for Your Wild Wild Country Binge
Lisa Nishimura, head of documentary and comedy programming at Netflix, is changing the way filmmakers and viewers approach nonfiction TV.

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After a decade on YouTube, Wong Fu Productions still has a story to tell
Despite being seen as trailblazers, Wong Fu Productions still self-funds many of their new projects -- including their latest webseries Yappie.

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Constance Wu Talks "Crazy Rich Asians" and Championing Asian Representation in Hollywood
As her star continues to rise, Fresh off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians actress Constance Wu has become one of the leading voices calling out Hollywood's skewed portrayal of Asians.

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'Mulan' Turns 20: Ming-Na Wen Reflects on Animated Disney Classic
"I just remember being so taken aback that Disney was able to take an all-Asian story and was brave enough 20 years ago to go, 'You know what? We want to make this story, because it's an incredible one and it's very inspiring about a young girl who really followed her heart and believed in herself,'"


6.22.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Erin Quill

"We all need far more empathy and kindness for one another, and we need bravery now more than ever."



Hey, everybody! It's that time again. Time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Erin Quill.

Season two of 'The Terror' will be set during Japanese American internment

AMC's horror drama is now an anthology series.



AMC has renewed the horror drama series The Terror for a second season, with some significant changes: it's now officially an anthology series, and the next iteration will switch up its historical setting to center on the Japanese American community during World War II.

'The Terror' Renewed For Season 2 By AMC Set During World War II

Season one of The Terror was inspired by the true story of a doomed Arctic expedition from the mid 19th century. But season two "will be set during World War II and center on an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific," according to a press release from AMC.

6.21.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 43: They Call Us Will Choi

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. Each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

On this episode, we welcome Will Choi, the multi-hyphenate mastermind behind the hit bi-coastal Asian American variety show ASIAN AF. We discuss improv, the art of trolling Scarlett Johansson, and the Good, Bad and WTF of the Asian American hustle.

6.19.2018

Drunk Randall Park tells the Drunk History of Frank Emi

Starring Aaron Takahashi as Frank Emi.



The premise of Drunk History is fairly simple. People go on camera and narrate the story of a noteworthy historical figure or moment... while drunk. Then they present a re-enactment of this alcohol-fueled account.

On the latest episode of the hit Comedy Central series, Fresh Off The Boat star Randall Park gets liquored up and tells the story of civil rights activist Frank Emi, played here by Aaron Takahashi. Incarcerated at Heart Mountain during World War II, Emi protested against the drafting of Japanese Americans into military service.

An important part of the story of Japanese American incarceration, told under the influence, burps and all.

6.17.2018

Read These Blogs


Refugee to Detainee: How the U.S. is Deporting Those Seeking a Safe Haven
Since the 1994 Crime Bill signed into law by Bill Clinton, refugees have been deported in droves. And Southeast Asians are being targeted. An illustrated breakdown of this history by comic artist Thi Bui.

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Asian-Americans Face Multiple Fronts in Battle Over Affirmative Action
A lawsuit that accuses Harvard of systematically discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions, as well as a proposal to change the way New York City’s specialized high schools admit students, have brought new attention to fault lines in the racial politics both inside and outside the country’s diverse Asian communities.

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De Blasio's Plan for NYC Schools Isn't Anti-Asian. It's Anti-Racist.
Minh-Ha T. Pham says it gives a diverse group of working-class kids a fairer shot, which shouldn't be controversial.

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I grew up in striking distance of North Korea's artillery. Covering Kim's summit with Trump was sobering and personal
For Los Angeles Times reporter Victoria Kim, going to Singapore to cover last week's summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump was a strange, sobering, and personal experience.

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'Guilt by association' logic poses dangers to schools, community
In Palo Alto, some community members are objecting to renaming a middle school after local hero Fred Yamamoto, arguing that he shares a name with an unrelated Japanese admiral of World War II. But other parents are urging the school board to reject prejudice and the faulty logic of "guilt by association."

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The mystery of the million-dollar California congressional candidate
Amid a crowded field in the 39th Congressional District, Herbert H. Lee was a mystery candidate who seemed to be on the ballot as a potential spoiler intended to sap votes from top Democratic contenders.

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Who was this mysterious candidate with little presence on social media or on the streets? Amid rising concerns that California’s top-two primary system could lock Democrats out, party operatives began to worry Lee was a potential spoiler who could sap votes from top contenders and keep them from advancing.

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'Star Wars' Doesn't Belong To You: A Message To The Men Harassing Kelly Marie Tran
Kelly Marie Tran, who played mechanic-turned-resistance fighter Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, recently wiped her Instagram account clear. While Tran hasn't spoken publicly about it yet, most believe it has something to do with the vile harassment she received from certain corners of the internet. Toxic fandom had struck again.

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I'm Not Here to Play the Suffering Minority for White Readers
Chen Chen on how expectations and stereotypes limit writers of color.

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Pixar's Bao Is so Much More Than an Appetizer for Incredibles 2
This moving encapsulation of the Asian-immigrant experience is the studio's best short in years.

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In Pixar's First Female-Directed Short, A Dumpling Child Fills An Empty Nest
In Bao, a Chinese woman with empty-nest syndrome finds relief when one of her dumplings springs to life. Director Domee Shi talks about the making of this Pixar short.

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If You Can't Stop Crying About Pixar's "Bao," Read These 20 Facts About How It Was Made
Some behind-the-scenes factoids about the new ugly-cry-inducing Pixar short.

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Padma Lakshmi: I could have been that immigrant child torn from her mother
The host of Top Chef recounts her mother's journey to the United States, and how under Trump's regime, her fate could have been so much different.

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These Japanese-Americans Were Sent To Internment Camps, Then They Helped The U.S. Fight Nazis
Rob Sato's comic 442, which tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, draws from his family history: Sato's grandfather was first interned, and then drafted to fight the Nazis.

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Omakase
Weike Wang's short fiction for The New Yorker, “Omakase," breaks down some of the frustrations and complexities of a Chinese American woman dating a white guy. Well worth reading.

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Weike Wang on the Privileges of Not Having to Think About Race
An interview with Weike Wang on race, dating, and her short story “Omakase."


6.15.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Helena Ku Rhee

"I write books for kids and the young at heart."



Greetings, good people of the internet. It's that time again. Allow me to introduce you to the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Helena Ku Rhee.

6.13.2018

Ajumma EXP is back, behind the wheel and busting a move

Baby, remember my name.



Awwwwwwww yeah. Grab your visor and get that perm tight. The ladies of Ajumma EXP are back, behind the wheel, and busting a move. This time, we find our favorite gang of ajummas getting caught up in the groove when Irene Cara's 1980 classic "Fame" comes on in the carpool. You will be unable to resist substituting "remember" with "AJUMMA AJUMMA AJUMMA" the next time you hear this song.

6.11.2018

The 'Crazy Rich Asians' parodies have begun

"They're just the brokest family in all of San Gabriel Valley."



Well, it was pretty much inevitable. The Crazy Rich Asians parodies have already begun.

I mean, somebody had to do it. First of all, if you haven't seen the hilarious, highly relatable first episode of Will Choi's webseries Crazy Poor Asians, check it out. It's well worth the 40 seconds of your time.

Similarly but differently, check out this video by improv troupe Miss Golightly, also entitled Crazy Poor Asians -- a beat-for-beat parody of the Crazy Rich Asians trailer. It's silly as hell. I don't know why the shot of "Rachel" holding a jar of nuts makes me laugh so much. And Kim Cooper does a pretty mean Awkwafina.

Just watch:

Just some everyday racism in the supermarket checkout line

"Go back to your country."



Another day, another encounter with everyday racism in the U.S.A., caught on camera. This one comes to us from a supermarket in Northern California, where over the weekend, a family encountered a fellow shopper who told them to -- take a wild guess -- "go back to your country," among other racist remarks.

The scene unfolded Sunday at the Lucky supermarket in Daly City, where a Filipino American family got into some kind of altercation with a woman in the checkout line. In an Instagram video posted by user @jennyveladera, you can see the woman behind them going off on her own little racist mutter tirade.

"Licky licky licky." She taunts them with some kind of gibberish, then asks, "You don't want me to talk Philippine?" Then, putting her groceries onto the belt, she says to no one and everyone listening, "Come on. Look at all the groceries they buy. Steal our food, steal our money, our jobs." (By the way, accusing someone of stealing food makes absolutely no sense when they are literally paying for their food right in front of you.)

Jenny, holding the camera, is understandably exasperated, and can only comment, "So racist. Oh my God."

6.10.2018

Read These Blogs


This valedictorian began to talk about sexual misconduct at her graduation. Then her mic was cut.
When Lulabel Seitz, valedictorian at Petaluma High School, started to speak about sexual misconduct allegations at her school during her commencement speech, school officials shut off her microphone.

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The Other Asian.
Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed reflects on learning about Asian American movement history, and then learning about South Asian American movement history.

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This Vanderbilt doctor got political. Then he sued Trump and won. Now he's out of a job.
Dr. Eugene Gu, who became a social media sensation because of statements on President Donald Trump, racism and Colin Kaepernick -- and who later sued the president over First Amendment rights -- is losing his job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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How my grandparents taught me about loss, memory and the power of Pyongyang cold noodles
Michelle Ye Hee Lee on naengmyun, her family, and the significance of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-recently sitting down to share the cold noodle dish.

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The Quiet Rage Of Mazie Hirono
A profile of the amazing Democratic Senator Mazi Hirono, who some may assume is polite and quiet -- the apparent "good girl" of Hawaii politics -- but she's one tough, funny cookie. And a fighter.

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Quantico, Twitter Trolls, & Resisting The Erosion of Truth
Writer Sharbari Zohra Ahmed shares her experience resisting the erosion of truth on social media, after she was recently attacked by Twitter trolls for a fictional storyline she did not write for ABC's Quantico -- a show she hasn't written for since 2016, "a fact that had escaped these people's notice."

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The Groundbreaking Queerness of Disney's 'Mulan'
Jes Tom makes the case that Disney's animated feature Mulan is a queer Asian American narrative. However unintentionally, the film depicts a queer narrative that explores both gender identity and sexual orientation.

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How Awkwafina Went From Rapping To Ocean's 8 And Crazy Rich Asians
"What would you do to get out of Queens? What would you do to have a better life?" After years of hustle, Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians actor Awkwafina is bound for superstardom.

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3 Questions With 'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Tan Kheng Hua
Colorlines talks to Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua, who appears in this summer's Crazy Rich Asians, about her relationship with Asian America and why representation matters.

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Every Bruce Lee Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best
Most people don't know that Bruce Lee was a child actor. By the time he was 18, he had made nearly 20 Cantonese films -- none of which were kung fu flicks. Here, Matthew Polly, author of a new biography on Bruce Lee, ranks all 24 of his films, from Lee's on-camera debut at two months old to his final film Enter the Dragon.


6.08.2018

How Anthony Bourdain helped a Flushing family food stall become a New York noodle empire

Xi'an Famous Foods will donate 100% of Friday's net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.



The tragic news of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide stunned fans and colleagues of the internationally renown chef, television personality and world traveler, with a deluge of tributes to his unique life, career and legacy pouring out Friday across social media and beyond.

One such remembrance came from Jason Wang, CEO of New York City noodle chain Xi'an Famous Foods, who shared about the time Bourdain visited and ate at his family's tiny basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations in 2007. The endorsement lit a spotlight that helped propel Xi'an from a small noodle stand to a popular restaurant mini-empire boasting a dozen locations and counting.

Wang was still a college student at the time (and no idea who Bourdain was). But years later, he had the opportunity to tell Bourdain how that visit to his family's restaurant had changed their lives.

On Friday, June 8, in honor of Anthony Bourdain's memory, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100 percent of all net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Here's Wang's tribute, shared on social media:

Angry Reader of the Week: Ethan Young

"First and foremost, a storyteller."



What's up, internet friends? It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Ethan Young.

6.06.2018

Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America

Guest Post by Patrick G. Lee



I grew up thinking that you could be queer or Asian, but never both. That definitely had to do with the TV shows I watched (Will & Grace; Sex and the City) and the people I met at my Korean church (all straight or super super super closeted).

So when I started coming out as a queer Asian person in my twenties, I just assumed that I was on my own. Almost all of my gay friends from college were white, they all spoke the same language as their parents, and they had long ago dealt with the coming out process.

But a few years later, I moved to New York and made my first gay Asian friends in the city. We all met at a family acceptance workshop for Asian Pacific Islanders at the LGBT Center in Manhattan. That summer, we danced together, sang karaoke together, and ate Korean BBQ together -- and our chosen family just kept growing.

Many of us shared anxieties over communicating with our immigrant parents and coming out to our families. Visiting relatives abroad meant re-entering the closet. But we had each other to commiserate and confide in.

At the same time, I felt lost and unmoored in my personal history as a queer Asian American: I had found my chosen family, but who were our parents and our grandparents, our aunties and our ancestors?

6.03.2018

Read These Blogs


Why Have So Many South Asian-Americans Won the Spelling Bee?
Last week, Karthik Nemmani became the 11th straight South Asian American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 19 of the last 23 winners have been of South Asian descent. Why?

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Aunties I Have Loved and Hated (Sometimes at the Same Time)
An illustrated list of aunties Mira Jacob has loved and hated — sometimes at the same time. They may be familiar to you, too.

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Democrats Hope an Asian Influx Will Help Turn Orange County Blue
Asian American voters could be a deciding factor in this year's midterm races in Orange County, where Democrats are counting on immigrants to help the party pull off, if not quite a blue wave, then at least an unmistakable purpling.

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There are Dozens of AAPIs Running for Congress This Year
In this critical election year, where more than two dozen seats in the House are deemed to be "toss-ups," dozens of AAPI candidates are running for office.

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Watch out, world: The Dragon Babies are graduating from high school this year
This year's high school graduates were mostly born in 2000, a dragon year in the Chinese zodiac.

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10 Must-Listen Audiobooks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Author Minh LĂȘ and illustrator Dan Santat collaborated to make the forthcoming picture book, Drawn Together about the relationship between a Tho-Speaking grandfather and his American grandson.

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Steven Yeun's Revelation: 'There Are No Rules.'
An interview with Steven Yeun, who stars in Lee Chang-dong's Burning and this summer's Sorry To Bother You.

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Famous Author Alexander Chee Never Promised You A Rose Garden
The "half-Korean, all queer" bestselling author Alexander Chee chats about fiction, fame, and the whites with Bowen Yang.

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East West Players' Snehal Desai Is Creating a Theater of Community
Snehal Desai, artistic director of East West Players, sees theater as a opportunity to invite performers and audiences to imagine life in other peoples' shoes.

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10 Must-Listen Audiobooks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May might be over now, but you can still add these entertaining audiobook performances to your listening list.


6.01.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Nathan Ramos

"So I guess I'm saying we should all just cuddle more?"



Greetings, good people of the internet. It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Nathan Ramos.

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