Farenheit 9/11

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Farenheit 9/11

Post by admin » Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:27 am

I saw the movie yesterday. I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about this war, but decided to go primarily as a gesture of solidarity with the anti-war movement. Boy, was I wrong! There was a lot of data I had not come across. Very convincing. In any case, I very highly recommend the movie, which is entertaining, in spite of the deadly serious subject matter. Entertaining in the way that it demolishes all false justifications for the war. But also, the movie is immensely educational. If you have not yet seen it, don't wait any longer. Take your family along, your friends, your neighbors (especially, if they are thinking of voting for Bush... this will make them think twice!)

Farenheit 9/11... the best film yet from Michael Moore! Go see it.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:26 am

It's not in Europe yet...Where can I get to see it (dvd or anything). I am impatiently salivating and hoping to get it soon.

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On Fahrenheit 9/11

Post by Lakat » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:26 pm

I loved this movie if for no other reason than that it gave me such a wonderful sense of relief. Relief because I have felt like the Lone Ranger since the 2000 stolen election. I have been telling people this information and that information and they look at me like I am crazy and their eyes glass over and I know they are just hoping I will stop talking so they can go away and be in the cool, comfortable dark again.

I have been looking at each and every thing this administration does and to see that the majority of Americans haven't seen a thing, just made me so stressed it has effected my health. I believe this country is in dire trouble and by association, the world. Certainly Haiti is in terrible danger of losing everything that makes her unique and spectacular. The most mysterious and wonderful culture...this is all in danger of being obliterated by the colonial powers of the United States and France...and the
little whore Canada. (Of course I'm iindicting the governments not the people of these countries.)

This movie shows all the REAL news that media journalists (remember when that used to mean something??) kept from us. No mainstream newspaper or television news show told us these things. One glaring bit of new information for me was the inaugural parade after Bush took the election. I had NO IDEA that the streets were 20 deep (how many thousands?) with protesters with signs saying Bush stole the election...throwing eggs at the motorcade. They had to step on the gas to avoid a ful scale riot. I never saw that on the news. Why not???? I had to hear lies about Clinton every damned day for 8 years but we can't hear the truth about this guy? Not from day 1. Or even before day 1. Anyway, there are many facts in there that people have never had the chance to know. Michael Moore has done the work the journalists didn't do much to their evelasting shame. I laughed, I cried, I was RELIEVED!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Michael Moore! Everyone should see it just so they can discuss it with their friends and family and online...;)

Kathy Dorce~

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My First Wild Week with "Fahrenheit 9/11

Post by admin » Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:09 am

Sunday, July 4th, 2004
My First Wild Week with "Fahrenheit 9/11"...
By Michael Moore


Where do I begin? This past week has knocked me for a loop. "Fahrenheit 9/11," the #1 movie in the country, the largest grossing documentary ever. My head is spinning. Didn't we just lose our distributor 8 weeks ago? Did Karl Rove really fail to stop this? Is Bush packing?

Each day this week I was given a new piece of information from the press that covers Hollywood, and I barely had time to recover from the last tidbit before the next one smacked me upside the head:

** More people saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" in one weekend than all the people who saw "Bowling for Columbine" in 9 months.

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" broke "Rocky III's" record for the biggest box office opening weekend ever for any film that opened in less than a thousand theater

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" beat the opening weekend of "Return of the Jedi."

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" instantly went to #2 on the all-time list for largest per-theater average ever for a film that opened in wide-release.

How can I ever thank all of you who went to see it? These records are mind-blowing. They have sent shock waves through Hollywood – and, more importantly, through the White House.

But it didn't just stop there. The response to the movie then went into the Twilight Zone. Surfing through the dial I landed on the Fox broadcasting network which was airing the NASCAR race live last Sunday to an audience of millions of Americans -- and suddenly the announcers were talking about how NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took his crew to see “Fahrenheit 9/11” the night before. FOX sportscaster Chris Myers delivered Earnhardt's review straight out of his mouth and into the heartland of America: “He said hey, it'll be a good bonding experience no matter what your political belief. Its a good thing as an American to go see.” Whoa! NASCAR fans – you can't go deeper into George Bush territory than that! White House moving vans – START YOUR ENGINES!

Then there was Roger Friedman from the Fox News Channel giving our film an absolutely glowing review, calling it “a really brilliant piece of work, and a film that members of all political parties should see without fail.” Richard Goldstein of the Village Voice surmised that Bush is already considered a goner so Rupert Murdoch might be starting to curry favor with the new administration. I don't know about that, but I've never heard a decent word toward me from Fox. So, after I was revived, I wondered if a love note to me from Sean Hannity was next.

How about Letterman's Top Ten List: “Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11":

10. That actor who played the President was totally unconvincing

9. It oversimplified the way I stole the election

8. Too many of them fancy college-boy words

If Michael Moore had waited a few months, he could have included the part where I get him deported

6. Didn't have one of them hilarious monkeys who smoke cigarettes and gives people the finger

5. Of all Michael Moore's accusations, only 97% are true

4. Not sure - - I passed out after a piece of popcorn lodged in my windpipe

3. Where the hell was Spider-man?

2. Couldn't hear most of the movie over Cheney's foul mouth

1. I thought this was supposed to be about dodgeball

But it was the reactions and reports we received from theaters around the country that really sent me over the edge. One theatre manager after another phoned in to say that the movie was getting standing ovations as the credits rolled – in places like Greensboro, NC and Oklahoma City -- and that they were having a hard time clearing the theater afterwards because people were either too stunned or they wanted to sit and talk to their neighbors about what they had just seen. In Trumbull, CT, on
e woman got up on her seat after the movie and shouted "Let's go have a meeting!" A man in San Francisco took his shoe off and threw it at the screen when Bush appeared at the end. Ladies' church groups in Tulsa were going to see it, and weeping afterwards.

It was this last group that gave lie to all the yakking pundits who, before the movie opened, declared that only the hard-core "choir" would go to see "Fahrenheit 9/11." They couldn't have been more wrong. Theaters in the Deep South and the Midwest set house records for any film they'd ever shown. Yes, it even sold out in Peoria. And Lubbock, Texas. And Anchorage, Alaska!

Newspaper after newspaper wrote stories in tones of breathless disbelief about people who called themselves “Independents” and “Republicans” walking out of the movie theater shaken and in tears, proclaiming that they could not, in good conscience, vote for George W. Bush. The New York Times wrote of a conservative Republican woman in her 20s in Pensacola, Florida who cried
through the film, and told the reporter: “It really makes me question what I feel about the president... it makes me question his motives…”

Newsday reported on a self-described “ardent Bush/Cheney supporter” who went to see the film on Long Island, and his quiet reaction afterwards. He said, "It's really given me pause to think about what's really going on. There was just too much - too much to discount." The man then bought three more tickets for another showing of the film.

The Los Angeles Times found a mother who had “supported [Bush] fiercely” at a theater in Des Peres, Missouri: “Emerging from Michael Moore's ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,' her eyes wet, Leslie Hanser said she at last understood…. ‘My emotions are just....' She trailed off, waving her hands to show confusion. ‘I feel like we haven't seen the whole truth before.'"

All of this had to be the absolute worst news for the White House to wake up to on Monday morning. I guess they were in such a stupor, they "gave" Iraq back to, um,
Iraq two days early!

News editors told us that they were being "bombarded" with e-mails and calls from the White House (read: Karl Rove), trying to spin their way out of this mess by attacking it and attacking me. Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett had told the White House press corps that the movie was "outrageously false" -- even though he said he hadn't seen the movie. He later told CNN that "This is a film that doesn't require us to actually view it to know that it's filled with factual inaccuracies." At least they're consistent. They never needed to see a single weapon of mass destruction before sending our kids off to die.

Many news shows were more than eager to buy the White House spin. After all, that is a big part of what "Fahrenheit" is about -- how the lazy, compliant media bought all the lies from the Bush administration about the need to invade Iraq. They took the Kool-Aid offered by the White House and rarely, if ever, did our media ask the hard questions that needed to be asked befo
re the war started.

Because the movie "outs" the mainstream media for their failures and their complicity with the Bush administration -- who can ever forget their incessant, embarrassing cheerleading as the troops went off to war, as though it was all just a game -- the media was not about to let me get away with anything now resembling a cultural phenomenon. On show after show, they went after me with the kind of viciousness you would have hoped they had had for those who were lying about the necessity for invading a sovereign nation that was no threat to us. I don't blame our well-paid celebrity journalists -- they look like a bunch of ass-kissing dopes in my movie, and I guess I'd be pretty mad at me, too. After all, once the NASCAR fans see "Fahrenheit 9/11," will they ever believe a single thing they see on ABC/NBC/CBS news again?

In the next week or so, I will recount my adventures through the media this past month (I will also be posting a full FAQ on my website soon so that you can ha
ve all the necessary backup and evidence from the film when you find yourself in heated debate with your conservative brother-in-law!). For now, please know the following: Every single fact I state in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the absolute and irrefutable truth. This movie is perhaps the most thoroughly researched and vetted documentary of our time. No fewer than a dozen people, including three teams of lawyers and the venerable one-time fact-checkers from The New Yorker went through this movie with a fine-tooth comb so that we can make this guarantee to you. Do not let anyone say this or that isn't true. If they say that, they are lying. Let them know that the OPINIONS in the film are mine, and anyone certainly has a right to disagree with them. And the questions I pose in the movie, based on these irrefutable facts, are also mine. And I have a right to ask them. And I will continue to ask them until they are answered.

In closing, let me say that the most heartening response to the film has come from our
soldiers and their families. Theaters in military towns across the country reported packed houses. Our troops know the truth. They have seen it first-hand. And many of them could not believe that here was a movie that was TRULY on their side -- the side of bringing them home alive and never sending them into harms way again unless it's the absolute last resort. Please take a moment to read this wonderful story from the daily paper in Fayetteville, NC, where Fort Bragg is located. It broke my heart to read this, the reactions of military families and the comments of an infantryman's wife publicly backing my movie -- and it gave me the resolve to make sure as many Americans as possible see this film in the coming weeks.

Thank you again, all of you, for your support. Together we did something for the history books. My apologies to "Return of the Jedi." We'll make it up by producing "Return of the Texan to Crawford" in November.

May the farce be with you, but not for long,

Michael Moore


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Post by admin » Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:55 pm

From AxisofLogic.com

By Charlie Lawing
Jul 13, 2004, 20:09

His work has been branded as “incendiary,” his rhetoric characterized as excessively emotional, and the man himself has been labeled a gross and unpatriotic distorter of the truth. A letter he received from Washington, DC warns that his slanderous accusations “cannot much longer be tolerated.” Another from Princeton, New Jersey reads: “You damned scoundrel. Hell is gaping for you!” One of his less radical liberal colleagues called him a “scold.” And even some of the financiers who helped bring his fiery voice to the American public expressed concern over the activist's notoriously combative style. His response? If the reputations and sensitivities of a few stupid white men “must be sacrificed to open the eyes of this nation and show the tyranny” of our government, “so be it. I expect and am willing to be persecuted.

It's a pity that many readers will not recognize this description of abolitionist editor and orator William Lloyd Garrison, who died one and a quarter century ago on May 24, 1879. For as his most recent biographer Henry Mayer wrote in 1998: “In the long struggle to achieve equality in the United States, William Lloyd Garrison occupies a place as central in the history of the nineteenth century as that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the history of the twentieth.”

On June 22 my wife and I drove from Northern Virginia for a week-long vacation to New York City. The next day, we purchased advance tickets to the 7:30 p.m. premiere of “Fahrenheit 9/11” at a theatre near our hotel across the Hudson in Clifton, New Jersey. That Friday, the day of the documentary's national release, while lunching in NYC with a colleague and professor of history at the CUNY Graduate Center, I made a half-joking remark about the similarities I saw between Michael Moore and William Lloyd Garrison. But after seeing tw
o-thirds of “Fahrenheit 9/11” that night (stick with me, I'll explain shortly), I knew better. The similarities are no joking matter at all.

For thirty-five years beginning Saturday, January 1, 1831, Garrison edited and published his weekly antislavery newspaper The Liberator, never once missing a single printing. The newspaper's final edition (issue 1,803) was distributed on Friday, December 29, 1865, 11 days after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment constitutionally abolished slavery in America. As a journalistic advocate for African American and women's rights, Garrison sought and readily attracted controversy, never retreating “a single inch” from a heated editorial quarrel. Indeed, Garrison and the historical record have proven that political agitation is a healthy, vital component of the social process.

It is a great understatement to say that not everyone in the country praised Garrison; some conservative abolitionists considered his editorial and oratorical language too seve
re, and many slaveholders wanted him dead. But no matter how obliterating his words were to the semantics of oppression, Garrison, who envisioned a better America, was an optimist at heart. Throughout his illustrious and turbulent career, William Lloyd Garrison—devoted husband, loving father, stalwart friend, and fearless patriot—served his wife, his children, his neighbors, and his country with uncompromising faith, holy conviction, selfless charity, and fervent courage. In addition to his publishing duties and many speechmaking appearances, Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society and helped establish the American Anti-Slavery Society, serving as the latter's president from 1843 to 1865. It is thus small wonder that in 1859 he received greater recognition in a major publisher's comprehensive encyclopedia of American culture and politics than did Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry David Thoreau combined.

Today, however, the story of
Garrison—who, like those twentieth-century peacemakers Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., was imprisoned for his nonviolent resistance to a country's corrupt mandates and immoral laws—is typically reduced to footnotes in the pages of American history. Though his outspoken condemnations of human rights violations were met with social ridicule, verbal and physical abuse, murderous threats, a price on his head, and a nearly successful attempt on his life, Garrison sought to reform society through the exercise of peaceful protest. Three months shy of his 33rd birthday, in 1838 Garrison organized the New England Non-Resistance Society, whose antislavery members and followers would: 1) promote peace; 2) denounce force; 3) abstain from military service; 4) serve no office that executes penal laws; 5) not vote for officials whose authority arises from physical force; and 6) resist no operation of law, except by submitting to the penalty of disobedience. Published in 1849, Henry David Thoreau's “Civil Di
sobedience” (originally titled “Resistance to Civil Government”) would become a profoundly significant influence upon the nonviolent protest campaigns of Gandhi and King, who likely had little (if any) awareness of Thoreau's indebtedness to Garrison's sociopolitical ideology and practices.

Garrison's grand reputation dimmed in the twentieth century. As Henry Mayer wrote, “Garrison's formidable combination of romantic will and religious zeal came to be regarded as a menacing egotism, and his absolutism sounded extreme and dangerous to a modern society grown relativistic in its judgments and suspicious of ideology.” Mayer recognized that because “our political culture is not kind to those who challenge its norms,” Garrison's nonconformist agitation has “come to seem shrill, weird, and counterproductive. That is how the critics of his own day portrayed him, and some charged that his behavior retarded the very movement he helped create. It is unfortunate that the stereotype of Garrison as the lunatic frin
ge personified has become history's vantage point, because from the margins . . . he managed to shift the political center in a manner seldom matched in our history.”

Like so many of William Lloyd Garrison's critics did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Michael Moore's twenty-first century critics are hard at work, trying to rewrite his history as rapidly as possible. An article in The Oregonian (June 30, 2004) challenges news reports “on the opening of Michael Moore's new movie ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,'” which “invariably referred to it as ‘the highest-grossing documentary of all time' on its first weekend in release. Indeed,” concedes the writer, “the film raked in an eye-popping $23.9 million in its first three days, but don't call it a ‘documentary.' That's like calling Rush Limbaugh's show a ‘newscast.' True documentaries seek at least a pretense of journalistic balance. What Moore has created instead, much like his film ‘Bowling for Columbine'—winner of the 2003 Academy Award for best documenta
ry—is no such thing. It's a polemic—a 112-minute anti-Bush screed that people are standing in line to see.”

Though there is no byline for this article, perhaps the writer thinks of himself or herself as a journalist, and thus subscribes to the self-serving myth of “journalistic balance” (aka “fair and balanced reporting”), a fantasy which leads readers to believe that journalism is something not only different from but superior to polemics. But considering that a polemicist is “a writer who argues in opposition to others,” how does The Oregonian writer's journalism differ from Michael Moore's? Moreover, a documentary is nothing more than a film or television program “relating to or consisting of or derived from documents,” hence the word document-ary. Perhaps the confusion over the meaning of “documentary” arises from the following definition: “Customarily an interpretation of theoretical, factual, political, social or historical events or issues presented either objectively or with a specific point o
f view.”

Many journalists (and historians), especially those who believe there exists such a phenomenon as “journalistic balance” have faith in its parent myth—“objectivity.” In an article in Slate (June 21, 2004), Christopher Hitchens criticizes that “at no point” in “Fahrenheit 9/11” “does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective.” Hitchens then goes on to argue—objectively, of course—that Moore never passes up “the chance of a cheap sneer or a jeer.” “To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic,” writes Hitchens, “would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental.” Is Hitchens a polemicist? Yes. Is he a journalist? Absolutely. In fact, he is a talented polemical journalist. I don't agree with his subjective ideas, but they are nonetheless delivered in an entertaining and skillfully-crafted propagandistic way.

In an intervie
w with Michael Moore on CBS's The Early Show, co-anchor Hannah Storm quoted Hitchens who called Moore's movie “a sinister exercise in moral frivolity cruelly disguised as an exercise in seriousness.” On June 25, 2004, a posting on The Early Show's website informed readers that “though the film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival and has gotten excellent reviews, Storm points out a lot of people are questioning whether it allows viewers to think for themselves. Some say it is propaganda.” When she asked Moore if he considers his film propaganda, Storm sprung her own trap. “No,” he responded,

[quote]"I consider the CBS Evening News propaganda. Why don't we talk about the news on this and the other networks that didn't do the job they should have done at the beginning of this war, demanded the evidence, asked the hard questions. We may not have even gone into this war, had these networks done their job. I mean, it was a great disservice to the American people because we depend on pe
ople who work here and the other networks to go after those in power and say, “Hey, wait a minute. You want to send our kids off to war? We want to know where the weapons of mass destruction are. Let's see the proof. Let's see the proof Saddam Hussein had something to do with September 11.” There was no proof and everybody got embedded and everybody rolled over and everybody knows that now." [/quote]

Struggling to locate something with which to cut herself free, Storm produced the old saw that “the one thing that journalists try to do is present both sides of the story and ‘it could be argued you did not do that in this movie.'” Moore, however, understands that to bow before the phantom of objectivity is to worship sociopolitical inertia.

[quote]“I certainly didn't. That's right. I present my side. Because my side, that's the side of millions of Americans, rarely gets told. And so this is just a humble plea on my behalf, not to you personally, Hannah, but I'm saying to jour
nalists in general that instead of working so hard to tell both sides of the story, why don't you just tell that one side, which is the administration's. Why don't you ask them the hard questions?”[/quote]

One hundred and forty-six years ago, William Lloyd Garrison similarly criticized journalists. “The American press is,” he wrote, “to a fearful extent, in the hands of a cowardly, mercenary and unprincipled class of men, who have no regard for truth in dealing with what is unpopular; who cater to the lowest passions of the multitude, and caricature every movement aiming at the overthrow of established wrong; who are as destitute of all fairness in controversy as they are lacking in self-respect; and whose columns are closed against reply that may be proffered.” Hannah Storm is not the first media personality to appear nonplussed by Michael Moore's from-the-hip and from-the-heart type of truth-telling, nor will she be the last. For the avoidance of fairness in controversy is rooted in journ
alism's heritage of bias and subjectivity.

The Bush administration will not return for a second term. This rosy prediction came to me two-thirds of the way into watching the premiere of “Fahrenheit 9/11” in Clifton, New Jersey on the night of July 25, 2004, for it was thereafter when the movie screen went black, and through the theatre loudspeakers came the announcement of fire in the building. There was no panic, nor even excitement, as the audience calmly and cordially strolled toward the exit doors. Outside those doors it was dark and raining. Some of us went home. But many, including my wife and I, huddled beneath our umbrellas, waiting to see if we would be let back into the theater. After about an hour we were told to disperse, that we could return tomorrow for free passes to any AMC Theatre.

It was later that night when my blood reached Fahrenheit 212. It had at first frozen at 32 degrees in my veins as I witnessed the gut-wrenching anguish of an Iraqi woman who lost the family she cheris
hed. It had then started simmering as I witnessed the agonizing pain of Lila Lipscomb still tortured by the death of her son in Iraq. But it reached the boiling point when my wife and I returned to the theatre not the following day, but later that evening. There had been no fire, we learned. Someone has triggered a false alarm.

I don't believe that the Bush administration will lose the White House because the pranks of juvenile saboteurs expose such raw partisan desperation (btw, the following day my wife and I and the cheering multitudes saw the film in its uninterrupted entirety at an AMC Theatre in NYC). I believe the administration will lose because, no matter what critics say about the “truthful” content of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the film's core truths mirror America's core values, nonpartisan values which the current administration abhors, truths around which Moore encourages all patriotic Americans to rally.

Like Moore, William Lloyd Garrison was accused of hyperbole, of not truthfully repor
ting all sides of a hotly debated national issue. “How,” Garrison wondered, “ought I to feel and speak and write, in view of a system which is red with innocent blood drawn from the bodies of millions. . . . My soul should be, as it is, on fire. I should thunder, I should lighten, I should blow the trumpet of alarm long and loud.”

To paraphrase historian Howard Zinn, if we start from the ethical assumption that it is fundamentally wrong to launch an unprovoked assault against a sovereign country and to torture its citizens, and that restoring honesty, integrity, and legitimacy to the United States of America “requires penetrating the moral sensibilities of a nation, then it is justifiable to focus on those aspects” of an issue “which support this goal. When you teach a child to be careful crossing the street, and say, ‘You can be killed by an automobile,' you are singling out of the totality of automobile behaviors that small percentage of incidents in which people are killed. You are not telling the w
hole truth about automobiles and traffic. But you are emphasizing that portion of the truth which supports a morally desirable action.”

As an article in The Boston Globe (June 30, 2004) put it, “Moore is devastatingly accurate in his depiction of the victims of war—Iraqis weeping over relatives buried in rubble, a family terrified when soldiers invade their home, an American mother grieving the loss of her son, and wounded US soldiers screaming on stretchers. The film rightly questions the Bush administration's justification for war, the politicizing of the terrorist threat, and the strictures on individual liberty in the US Patriot Act.” These fundamental truths, whether they are mingled with fact or with fiction, will no longer be denied.

© Copyright 2004 by AxisofLogic.com

The author, Charles Lawing, completed his second year as a Doctoral Pre-Candidate in History at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia in May, 2004. He graduated with a Master of
Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where his research orbited the study of bond-servitude and slavery in colonial and antebellum America, the concurrent failure of Reconstruction and the growth of scientific racism in post-bellum America, and the Progressive-era eugenics assault in early-1900s America. He has presented conference papers at Virginia Tech and Harvard University, respectively, about Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 landmark United States Supreme Court case that overturned all existing anti-“miscegenation” laws. His study at GMU concentrates on Loving v. Virginia and its intersection with the codependent concepts of “race” and “miscegenation.” He recently completed a biography about William Lloyd Garrison for young adults, which is currently under consideration at Oxford UP. You can reach Mr. Lawing at clawing@gmu.edu

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