This Blog Is Now Blocked!

This blog is now blocked.

WORDPRESS has blocked my blog from the general public.

Now this blog is rated CENSORED, DEVIANT MATERIAL INSIDE.

Make no mistake about it- WORDPRESS IS A RELIGIOUS AND RESTRICTIVE INSTITUTION. ONLY CERTAIN APPROPRIATE THINGS CAN BE SAID HERE.

If you use the word MOTHERFUCKER in the title of a post you run the risk of being blocked.

Very said that a writing platform like WORDPRESS oppresses authentic expression and is so threatened by words like MOTHERFUCKER.

NO authentic/good writing can happen on a platform that will block and restrict your mode of expression if it feels like you are becoming inappropriate.

This is why WORDPRESS had become a main perpetuator of crapy writing in the world. WORDPRESS supports CENSORING writer’s voices if that writer’s voice expresses sentiments that are not in alignment with what they believe is right.

I will no longer have anything to do with WORDPRESS obviously. How could I? How could any real writing ever happen here?

WORDPRESS is like the TARGET for writing. It sells cheaply made products, for lower prices, that look kind of like the real thing but are far from it.

I am grateful to WORDPRESS for giving me a platform to write on. I am grateful that I was able to slide by under THE WORDPRESS BIG BROTHER CENSORING APPARATUS for as long as I did. It was my way of saying FUCK THE MAN while I still could.

WORDPRESS is now telling me I have said ENOUGH on their public platform. Ok.

I have been caught by the religious institution known as WORDPRESS, probably turned in by some religious WORDPRESSIAN disciple who can not handle a few bad words in their daily on-line reading.

There are a lot of very controlling and fascistic people out there who operate under the title of PEOPLE OF FAITH. Sad that a platform like WORDPRESS has lost the courage to stand out from the masses and has instead become an INSTITUTION FOR PEOPLE OF FAITH.

-Randall

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These Motherfucking Machines

These motherfucking machines. I am not happy about them one bit. Now, I use my iPhone just as much as anyone. I check my emails and text messages too much. I look on-line when I don’t want to do anything else (which is most of the time). I, like you, have given in to these motherfucking machines.

But I don’t like it.

I think they are bad, real bad for any depth or interestingness our personalities could have once had. I think they are ruining our ability to connect with others in meaningful ways. I think these motherfucking machines are turning us all into even more superficial and unsatisfied monkeys than we were before.

I wish I could fully give in. I wish I could love these motherfucking machines. I really try. But as a result of trying my attention span has been hacked into tiny little pieces. My creative output has dwindled. My sexual relationship with my wife has gone flat. My interest in engaging with others in person is gone. My capacity for handling solitude has been shot. My shopping addiction has gone through the fucking roof. My ability to be engaged while reading a book has disappeared. I love reading books and I can’t even do that anymore because of these mother fucking machines.

What a person does while they are alone determines the amount of depth that they have when with other people. If when a person is alone they are continually checking their phones, what kind of person are they going to be when around other human beings? Frightening thought, but let me tell you. They are going to be boring! There is going to be the absence of any legitimate substance.

Sorry, I wish there was some way around this.

I try and ignore it with my wife. I love her (a bunch) and I want everything to be fine but my wife checks her iPhone all the time. She is always on the fucking thing. She works on the thing. Socializes on the thing. Makes art on the thing. Entertains herself on the thing.  Talks to me and then is right back on the thing. Watches something on TV and is right back on the thing. Takes a shower and is right back on the thing. It is constant but I try to just accept it. It is the way the world is going so you better get in line Randall. But sometimes I pop. Sometimes I lose my shit and say things like:

Is this what we want to become? This couple who is always on their phones? Really? Is this what we want to turn ourselves into? Bored when it is just you and I unless we have a phone to check? Always pulled by this desire or compulsion to check our phones. To refer to our phones for every bit of info we need or interest we have? Is this what we really want to do with our valuable time? I mean we don’t even fuck much anymore. Shouldn’t we be more focused on that than always caught up in digital worlds inside our phones? You have so much potential. So do I but do we really want to be giving it all away just so we can be more in touch with other people? Just so we can check what pic is newest and latest on-line? We are becoming people without depth. You think Father John Misty could check his phone a hundred times a day and do the kind of work he does? Why are we letting oyrselves become like this? I am sick of it. It pisses me off. I know I am just as bad but really you are worse. You are fucking addicted. You need help. I need help. It is going to ruin our entire lives. These fucking machines are turning us into superficial idiots glued to a screen. I just don’t like it no matter how hard I try.

And then I feel bad, even though I meant everything I said. I try and go back to just accepting these motherfucking machines in to my life. I tell myself this is just the way things are now. So I can’t really read a book anymore? Who cares. At least I am in touch and on-line. These motherfucking machines fill the space created by my loneliness, emptiness and laziness but what bothers me is that before these motherfucing machines that space was filled with books, films, creativity, music, solitude, long afternoons wondering around with my head in the clouds and other people. Now its just a continual digital screen.

Again and again.

 

Making It As A Writer And/Or Artist

The first trick is to not let the depression of not making it kill you. Everything else is easy in comparison.

I have no idea how to make it as a writer and/or artist. I have been trying for over two decades and am only a bit closer than I was ten years ago. I have tons of unfinished novels and graphic novels and short stories just sitting there waiting to be edited and sent out into the world. But for whatever reason, I have not been able to finish any of it.

I write these blog entries (or what I like to tell myself are essays) because it is an easy way to create something and be done with it. But at the end of the day self-publishing these blog entries (essays) amounts to nothing. I am no closer to reaching my goal of making it as an writer and artist than I was decades ago. If anything, blogging just slows that process down.

So who am I to write about making it as a writer and/or artist? Nobody. I have no idea how to do it. For me, it is like trying to solve a crossword puzzle that is in a language I do not speak. I just can’t seem to figure it out.

But if I do know something about something, what I know something about is the process involved in making it as a writer and/or artist. I know this part of the work very well because I have been stuck in the process for the past twenty plus years.

The one and most important thing that I want to say about the process involved in maybe one day making it as a writer and/or artist is that it is a real son of a bitch. It will never leave you alone. It is like an itch that you can’t scratch. You will always feel like you should be working on something. That is ok though. As annoying as it is, when that goes away, you are done.

As long as you still have this unscratchable itch to write and/or make art, to be somebody as an artist and/or writer, the hardest part is keeping that itch alive. To keep the itch alive you must be fully committed to it. You may become a doctor, a business manager, a real estate agent, a psychotherapist, a waiter, a police officer, a teacher and on and on. After all, we all have bills to pay if we want a decent life along the way. But you must see these jobs as just a way to buy time. You are never able to fully commit to any profession other than that of being an artist and/or writer. Whatever you do for money or whatever schooling program you may be in, if you want to ever make it as a writer and/or artist, you have to always see these things as just a way to buy time.

Everything the writer and/or artist does prior to making it as a writer and/or artist is just buying time. You are just fooling people just enough so they will pay you to do something but your heart is never really fully in it. The moment your heart is fully in doing whatever it is you do to make money, you are finished in your process of ever really making it a writer and/or artist.

This is the hard part. Hard because most will never, ever make it as a writer and/or artist. You will just be buying time for your entire life. Some, the few, will make it and even if they are in their sixties when they do, it will feel great. But most will never make it. I am probably one of them who never will. But by just living a life where you are buying time so that you will not be fully suffocated by economic demands and end up giving up on your dream of one day making it as a writer and/or artist, I think is worth something in the end. In the end, what will matter most is that you stayed true to yourself. That you continued to try. That you stuck with it. And even though a lot of depression will come along with your lack of success and the hardship involved in continually trying but not getting anywhere, the depression and despair will ultimately (if you are lucky) be the fuel that keeps you true to your vision.

This is how I guess one makes it as a writer and/or artist. You must remain true to your vision. You must buy time and be prepared to lose everything. You must find ways to cope with the depression so it does not end up killing you (and your vision) too soon. And if you keep at it, if you keep slaving away and are lucky to live long enough, maybe you might just make it as an writer and/or artist someday. Maybe not. But that is not what will matter in the end, I suspect.

Buy time.

The YouTube Sensation!

Well, not really. Very, very far from it in fact. But if you like what you have read on my blog here and are interested in further explorations of madness, personal liberation, creativity and the general going ons in the mind of one obscure man please check out my YouTube page where I will be regularly posting my homemade electronic/experimental music and my philosophical diatribes/polemics. Spread the word if you can! Thank you. Now back to your normal programming.

AUTOPORTRAIT

Inspired by Edouard Leve.

I always put off for tomorrow what I could take care of today. I love coffee in the mornings. I make drip coffee in the mornings but always feel like it takes too long, even though it doesn’t take more than five minutes. I have a difficult time liking other human beings. If someone dresses in a way that I find cool and stylish, I immediately like them. I am often uncomfortable with my style. I want to be more fashionable than I am. I do not practice meditation enough. My toenails must get very long before I do anything about it. This is the final piece of writing I will post on-line. I have been telling myself for years to stop posting my writings on-line. I worry that I am losing energy with age. They are my dogs, but I still resent having to clean up their poop. I quit painting because it requires too much effort and financial investment. I also quit painting because I got tired of the mess. I enjoy the sound of small airplanes flying overhead. This sound reminds me of my father. I do not speak much with my father because I am afraid of what would happen to my mental and physical health if I did. I would like to have a lot more sex than I do. Children make me feel uneasy, but I like them more than I like adults. The sound of a train in the distance reminds me of being in college. People see me as a white guy but I do not see myself as a white guy. I spend a lot of time in the sun, so I can darken my skin and not be seen as white. I could do without art, architecture, movies, theatre, dance, poetry but I could not live without music and literature. America is not something I identify with. I am American. My parents love me but I have had a very difficult time loving them back because I feel like they failed at their job in many ways. I enjoy sitting in the blazing hot sun, with no suntan lotion on, for hours at a time and am not worried about getting skin cancer. I am worried about other physical ailments. Very uncomfortable anxiety is a regular experience for me. Anxiety for me is the immediate fear of disappearing into nothingness without feeling ready to. Riding my bicycle for pleasure, on a sunny and warm day, makes me happier than anything else I do in my life. Sometimes I like to shout out at strangers, when riding my bicycle for pleasure, because I am so happy. I am afraid of dying but I am not afraid of falling asleep. I am more afraid of dying when I am outside of my home than when I am inside of my home. I crave a glass of white wine, two pints of beer, sexual experiences, new music, orgasm, new books, solitude, knowledge, being alive, reading, coffee, doing nothing, observing people from a distance without talking to them, new shoes and clothes, Spain, a good time, being around like minded people, a nice and dark bar, a clean house. I don’t crave status, money, food, going on vacation, watching television, human company, cooking, busyness, work, spending time with more than one person, parties, airplane travel, road trips, hiking, competition, eating at nice restaurants. I have a moderate amount of confidence but not enough to not follow the rules. I do not always enjoy marijuana because sometimes it makes me feel very anxious. I avoid social interaction when possible. Women who feel the same way about sex as I do, meaning sex should be fun and kinky and there should be no emotions bound to it, are my kind of women. I once ran out in to the middle of a busy road and saved a man’s life who had been in a terrible motorcycle accident. People who do not use decent grammar and punctuation in their texts, are not people I want to socialize with. People who do not respond to texts are not people I appreciate. When I am alone I often do nothing. When I am around other people I try and make it look like I did something when I was alone. Watching YouTube, Netflix, iTunes, the news and other television shows I feel is a complete waste of my time and I only do it because I want to vegitate. I really believe that technology is causing people to become much dumber, robotic and more systematically controlled. I am concerned that I have a tumor in one of my testicles but am too afraid to check it out. Technology is something I use regularly and I worry that this could be happening to me. Life frightens me. Underwear often squeezes my testicles too tight and I worry that this is not good for me. I change my hairstyle and facial hair style more often than I would like. Literature is my religion but I have been having a difficult time finishing longer books. The fact that I struggle to finish longer books deeply concerns me. For the past 35 years I have been a full-time, practicing hypochondriac. I wish I would write more. If I don’t finish writing a novel before I die I will not feel like I accomplished what I wanted in this life. Being a recluse appeals to me but I don’t think I could ever really do it. I am dependent on my wife even though I like it when she does her own thing. A messy house upsets me. Horror films terrify me. Nice clothes make me feel happier. Good music is my medicine. I often wonder why all the sirens, all the time? Reading is my favorite activity. Sex is my favorite kind of theatre. Watching the sun set is when I feel the most calm. Working for money is not something I have ever enjoyed. Working as a psychotherapist is a very triggering job for me. Working as a psychotherapist wears me out. I am very introverted. I never work in bed. The moment I open my eyes in the morning I get out of bed. Then I will make coffee and sit down and read for an hour before I do anything else. Thursday night is my favorite night to go out. Sometimes I think about suicide but would never actually do it because I am too afraid. I don’t believe in The American Dream. I think the American Dream is a potential nightmare for most people. In my lifetime I have only had one pleasant interaction with a police officer. I have had over fifty unpleasant interactions. And I am a white guy. Watching leaves sway back and forth in a slight afternoon breeze, relaxes me. My political view is that politics are absurd. I grew up very wealthy but do not care about wealth. I love dogs but I hate the mess they make. Poetry bores me. Naked women excite me. I move my desk around a lot, hoping that if I find the right location for my desk I will sit there more and finish writing a novel. I have been doing this for almost twenty years now and have not yet finished writing a novel. I don’t trust or admire men in business suits. I wish I was working (earning money) as an artist and writer. Mindfulness meditation has helped me more than any other psychiatric, medical or psychological intervention has. I wish that many of my favorite writers, who killed themselves, knew about mindfulness. I like wearing my shirts buttoned up all the way to the top. Not wearing underwear feels uncomfortable for me. I do not enjoy being watched. I am often a lot shyer than I would like to be. I never talk out loud to myself but do not judge people who do. I feel empathy for birds, flowers and trees. When interacting with other people I almost always feel socially ackwards. I have never punched another human. People tell me that I am very tall but I am not aware of this in my day to day life unless somone points it out. I don’t like when people ask me how tall I am. In my mind, men who chose to wear no socks when wearing pants are making a terrible fashion choice. Men who expect other people to clean up after them, I despise. I worry that I sometimes expect my wife to clean up after me and get upset when she doesn’t. I wish I was better at being sexual with my wife or a girlfriend than I am with a complete stranger. When I have to do things that I do not want to do, I have a tendency to get depressed. Going through tunnels or across bridges makes me incredibly anxious. I avoid driving through long stretches of wide open space. I have not been on an airplane in over ten years. My favorite places to go are bars, bookstores and record stores. I don’t get massages. I appreciate money well spent. I am completely disinterested in business men and have no desire to be one myself. Being a mindfulness meditation instructor is challenging for me, I do not particularly enjoy it, but I am grateful that I am able to help others with what I have learned to do to help myself. I am very aware that life can end at any moment; this is why I prefer living in the moment. I do not believe in the future but I hope this is not why I have been procrastinating on several important things I have not been taking care of. Four months ago I lost my driver’s license and have not taken any steps to get another one. I have a tendency to put off doing things that I really do not want to do and will read or go for bicycle rides instead. There are six unfinished novels on my computer. When I am home alone I feel most at rest. Now that I am 45 I do worry that my penis will stop working soon. Aesthetics are important to me because I believe that aesthetically pleasing objects are good ideas in material form. I like to surround myself with good ideas. I judge and distance myself from people who surround themselves with bad ideas. I prefer going places where other attractive women will be. My childhood was ok but I do not have many good memories from childhood. My father yelled a lot when I was young. I would never wear a pink shirt. I consider the writer Edouard Leve a friend even though I have never met him in person. I like people who wear all black and don’t follow the rules. I don’t smoke but enjoy being around smokers. As far as I am concerned the vast majority of Americans are really, really uncivilized and entitled. I enjoy spending time with my small dog more than anyone else. Everytime I hear a siren I am reminded of the fragility of life and feel fortunate that this time, it is not coming for me. I really wish I could have been successful as a writer and artist but do not think that was ever really in the deck of cards for me. I think there are way too many artists and writers out there. I do wish most of them would stop. Especially the ones who do it in order to make money. If I find out that an artist or writer graduated from an MFA program, I immediately lose interest in their work. The two things that I do and really care about, making art and writing, I have taught myself how to do. I have also taught myself how to procrastinate and am really good at that. At 45 years of age, I feel very lucky to have a full head of hair and a body that feels pretty healthy. I think this is because I played a lot of sports when young. I don’t drink soda. I don’t consume fast food. I miss Leonard Cohen very much but did not know him. My hair is thinning and slowly falling out and I am worried about this. I sleep very well. Sometimes when I am in a room with other people I can see all of their hearts beating, blood moving through their veins and organs working. This makes it difficult for me to take most human preoccupations seriously. One thing I do every day is dishes. I avoid doing things that require that I bend over. I believe that I have the ability to be a really good writer and artist but have a hard time going beyond that. When I am depressed I will wear the same outfit for days on end and my wife never seems to notice. I miss living in the San Francisco Bay Area very much. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have always had a difficult time spelling San Francisco. I do not have any friends that I spend time with regularly. Sometimes I wonder if I even have any friends that are not covered in fur. I know that my sister is seriously mentally ill but no one wants to talk about it because my sister is a psychologist. I love my parents and wish for them nothing but the best in life but am much healthier and happier when there is a lot of space between us. It is unfortunate that things are this way. I should stretch more than I do. If I drink coffee in the afternoons I feel anxious. Groups of people do not excite me. I avoid talking on the phone. I envy Thom Yorke and Nick Cave. Professional matters do not interest me. I am not afraid of losing status, high credit scores, professional credibility or possessions but I am afraid of losing my hair. Since I know it is inevitable, at any moment, I don’t fear losing people I love because I know I will be ok. I do, however, fear losing myself or my wife in a tragic accident or from physical causes because I worry that neither of us would ever recover from this. When no one else is around, I will sometimes hug trees. When on walks at night I look in other people’s windows.

Casey Neistat, YouTube and The Decline of Art

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Casey Neistat.

Have you heard of this guy?

If not, you should check him out for a few reasons.

First reason, because he is a creative genius. The independently created, daily video blogs he made (and still makes) for several years are genius.

Second reason, because he is revolutionizing (innovating) the technological landscape in which all of us live now, single handily. It would not be a far stretch to call him the second coming of Steve Jobs.

Third, because he is a very inspiring human being.

And finally, because he could be contributing to the decline of art (unintentionally of course).

A few weeks ago, I did not know who Casey Neistat was. How is it that I am so behind on what is really contemporary and what is shaping the world in which I live? How is it that I am so asleep at the wheel with regards to what is cutting edge? I will try and answer these questions in a moment. But first….

Someone whom I respect told me that I should check out this guy by the name of Casey Neistat’s Youtube channel. So I did and thus began a week of being completely immersed in most of the video blogs Casey has created. My wife started to addictively watch as well and suddenly we were happily immersed in Casey Neistat’s world.

Now, I don’t want this to come off as a negative critique of Casey Neistat. I don’t know him personally but I really like the guy. He is someone whom I would want to be friends with. He is a freak, with a brilliant and kind mind and I respect that. But as an artist, I am concerned about how an inspiring person like Casey Neistat, who reaches a tremendous number of young people, could cause the state of art to really take a nose dive.

Casey has a tremendous amount of energy. As an older man (45 years old) I envy his immense and unstoppable energy. Who knows what I could accomplish if I had twenty five percent, hell ten percent of the energy he has. Ever since my wife and I started watching his videos, we have felt more motivated to do things. We have been getting off our lazy asses more. We have been accomplishing more. We have been busier, healthier and have taken care of many of the things we procrastinated on for years. But we have also read less, listened to music less and just hung out in our lives less. As artists, is this a good thing?

 

You see, there is an art to lingering. Doing nothing is a very important part of being an artist. Without doing nothing for long periods of time, the quality of the work will suffer. I know that Casey Neistat thinks it is a good thing to stay busy all the fucking time. I know that he thinks free time and relaxation are detrimental to a productive life, but these things are essential for the creation of a work of art which has depth and quality.

Being busy all the time works for Casey because he is a creative genius, not an artist. I fear what will happen to the quality of art if too many artists think that staying busy is a good thing. I fear that art will lose depth.

Artists linger and dwell in moments. Artists procrastinate on getting things done so they can spend more time dwelling in moments. This is an essential ingredient in any work of art that has depth. What was it that Gertrud Stein said? Something like an artist must spend ninety percent of their time doing nothing so that ten percent of their time can be spent making good art (I am paraphrasing).

Artists absorb experience and let these experiences percolate just under the surface. Their experiences often need a long period of gestation in order to turn into a work of art which stands on its own and has depth.

Steve Jobs was a creative genius but he was not an artist. In the same way Casey Neistat is a creative genius but he is not an artist. Casey has these daily bursts of inspiration that get pumped out and put into the world (as creative geniuses often do) rather than deep, lingering acts of creation (which, is what art is). Maybe all of Casey Neistat’s work as a whole can be looked at as a single art piece. Maybe the collected life of Casey Neistat will ultimately be his work of art.

Art makes us feel something on a very deep level. It reminds us of the historical aspects of ourselves. Casey Neistat is a genius but there is a difference between Casey Neistat and say artists like Joan Miro, Duchamp, Richard Brautigan, Stanley Kubrick, Kafka, Rothko and on and on and on.

 

There is no doubt that Casey Neistat’s legacy will be himself as a person. What will live beyond his death is the video blog and businesses that he created. But not one of his works (say an individual video blog) will stand out on its own. His work as a whole is genius but he will not be remembered in the same way we remember the individual works of artists.

An artist is known for the work itself. Half of the works of art that I love, I have no idea about their creator. With art, the work stands on its own. The work of art unto itself is enough. Casey Neistat will be remembered for his character, as the person he is and as a brilliant entrepreneur. His video blog is very much about the person. It is a part of his business or businesses. He basically runs a self-made video, entertainment business empire. But it is not art.

Art should not always be boring but it should not always seek to be entertaining also. Reading Infinite Jest, the reader is coming in direct contact with a very deep work of art. But at many points in the book it is hard work to keep reading. It is not entertaining at all. It is often tedious. If art is entertaining all the time, I don’t think we could call it art.

After watching a lot of Casey’s videos, I am left with the memory of him. His energy, his philosophy and his fervor for work have really inspired my wife and I. We both love the guy. But I really do not remember any individual pieces of work (videos). Casey Neistat’s work exists in my mind as a whole rather than as individual parts. And as an artist it is the parts or the induvial works that are important, not the artist’s life as a whole (this is secondary, not primary).

I worry that too many artists will be inspired by someone like Casey Neistat and other brilliant productivity video bloggers. They might feel bad that they have been lingering around, spending too much time lost in their minds and not getting anything done. Nooooooooooooooooooo! Please don’t let this happen. As artists, you are doing exactly what you should be doing. Keep sitting around!

Artists need to be good at doing nothing. Artists need to be expert lingerers. Creative geniuses on the other hand need to be good at getting shit done. But for a great novel or painting to be created, that artist needs to spend a lot of time doing nothing. They need to swim down to the depths of their beings, down where it is often dark, murky and filled with existential pain. There is no way an artist can do this if they keep busy and are always being entertained.

To answer my two questions at the beginning of this essay, this is probably why I never heard of Casey Neistat up until a few weeks ago. I spend a lot of time outside of time and just sitting around. I may not be aware of what is cutting edge and contemporary but I think I have made a lot of art that has depth.

I am glad that there are brilliant, creative and energetic entrepreneurs like Casey Neistat out there in the world. We need them to counteract all the boring crap non-creative business people make. My hope is that business people like Casey Neistat will inspire other business people to stop making crap. This is a very positive thing and I am grateful to Casey for this. But if you are an artist please don’t get depressed and feel bad that you are not up at five in the morning running and then on the go all day, every day, everywhere. This would be detrimental to you and your work as an artist. If you were always busy, if you had no free time, you would not have the time to go deep within yourself and pull from these depths works of art that in the end, if good enough, inspire people like Casey to do what they do.

For all you artists out there, please- don’t just do something. Instead, sit there and settle down.

The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men

I recently finished a project called The Wall of Lonely and Unstable and Strange Men. It is a wall drawing that I used black ink pens to draw, over the course of the past year. The idea came from a group of mentally challenged men who walk past my house, several days a week, on their outings. They are some of the less fortunate members of society, the one’s who have dropped out of the game. I thought I would pay tribute to them in some small way. It was a pain in the ass. The first few days were fun but after that I kept thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” Now that it is finally finished, I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy and thank you for your support.

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