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July 17, 2007

Comments

Foxfier

So... there is zero record of it before the 1700, there was an Abby RIGHT THERE (who would probably notice a drawing of a giant, naked guy and write about it) and folks are insisting it's some kind of an ancient holy thingie? Riiiiight... guess the Monks were too busy drinking beer and writing about every other bloody thing to noticed and write about it.....

As for Homer..... /shrug
Cute idea.

Ed

Jimmy publishes doctored photos of giant.

JD

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy,

you're self-censoring, my friend!

interesting claim by the pagans...on the one hand, they sound like they should lighten up...on the other hand, I don't lighten up with my religious convictions, and maybe their religious perspective should be more respected.

BillyHW

Or maybe we should just keep making fun of people with made up fake religions.

Foxfier

*shrug* I don't give a fig about the religious aspect-- it's the lying I object to. I'd object just as much if someone walked into St. G's back home and declared that it was clearly an ancient building. (It was built in the fifties, but....)

Philip

So... there is zero record of it before the 1700

According to this, "The earliest written reference to the Giant was made in 1694 in a record for payment in the Cerne Abbas churchwarden's accounts of 3 shillings toward the re-cutting of the giant."

To some, that's "ancient".

it's the lying I object to

To some, publishing fake photos is lying.

Foxfier

*snort* Philip, given that he mentions twice in the body of the post that the thing is anatomically correct, altering the photo to make it SFW isn't a "fake" photo.

Oh, and 1694? That's the 17th century.... While some folks may call that "ancient", in this case, they'd be wrong......
an·cient - [eyn-shuhnt]
–adjective 1. of or in time long past, esp. before the end of the Western Roman Empire a.d. 476: ancient history.

Philip

You're just self-selective in your definition.

Main Entry: ancient
Function: adjective
1 : having had an existence of many years
2 : of or relating to a remote period, to a time early in history, or to those living in such a period or time; especially : of or relating to the historical period beginning with the earliest known civilizations and extending to the fall of the western Roman Empire in A.D. 476
3 : having the qualities of age or long existence: as a : VENERABLE b : OLD-FASHIONED, ANTIQUE

Philip

In reality, it was made in the 17th century and may be a lampoon on Oliver Cromwell depicted as a naked Hercules.

And where Jimmy proclaims his own "reality", this instead says it's one theory, "There has been speculation that the figure is a parody of Oliver Cromwell, who was sometimes mockingly referred to as "England's Hercules" by his enemies; the Hercules connection is strengthened by the recent discovery of an obliterated line perhaps representing an animal skin [...] giving credence to the theory that the giant was a depiction of a hunter or, alternatively, Heracles with the skin of the Nemean Lion over his arm."

Foxfier

Actually, I'm polite enough not to paste a huge chunk of irrelevant information to someone else's page, causing a TL;DR.

Dictionary.com's applicable definition is the one I cited-- also the prime definition. What part of "ancient times" makes you think that "old fashioned" would be a suitable substitute? "Ancient History," on the other hand, clearly is relevant.

Foxfier

Dude, it's a wiki. 'Nuff said. Evidence points towards Jimmy's statement, *even* in the wiki.

Jarnor23

Is it wrong that I want to burst out laughing thinking of the rubes who apparently would "spend the night" on the giant phallus hoping to conceive?

Philip

Evidence points towards Jimmy's statement

Evidence points toward many theories. For example, a Cerne Abbas jury in 1996 decided 50% in favor of the "ancient" theory, 15% said who cares, and the remaining 35% were split between other theories such as the Hercules theory.

"On May 23rd, 1996 a mock trial was held in the town of Cerne Abbas to settle once and for all the question of the giant’s age. A jury listened to different arguments before voting for one of them.

The case for the giant’s antiquity was presented first. Its proponents noted the antiquity of the hill-carving tradition and pointed out the pagan, pre-christian symbolism of the figure. This evidence, they argued, suggested that the giant was many centuries old.

Next, the historian Ronald Hutton spoke in favor of a modern giant. He presented expert witnesses who pointed out that the first written reference to the giant only occurred in 1694. This was not because early descriptions of the Cerne Abbas landscape were scarce. Quite the opposite. Many pre-seventeenth-century surveys of that region have survived, but none of them mention a giant. By contrast, the presence of the Uffington Horse was noted as early as the eleventh century.

Joseph Betty then presented an even more specific case for a modern giant. He argued that a local landowner called Denzil Holles created the giant in the seventeenth century during the English Civil War [1642-1651]. Holles harbored a passionate hatred of the puritan commander Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s followers often represented their leader as a modern-day, club-wielding Hercules. Therefore, what better way for Holles to satirize the commander, Betty suggested, than to plaster a 180-foot rude caricature of Hercules on a hilltop in the middle of England? But Betty noted that given the dangerous political situation during the Civil War, Holles would have been careful not to make his authorship of the figure too obvious or too widely known.

When the jury cast its votes, 50% of them stuck with the traditional ancient-origin theory. But 35% of them sided with Hutton and Betty. 15% felt that the giant’s age was unimportant."

Foxfier

So, the town that depends on the giant for their income-- tourisim-- was *still* at only 50% for it being ancient?

Philip

As quoted, "50% of them stuck with the TRADITIONAL ancient-origin theory." The other theories may also be seen as supporting an "ancient" origin, to those who might feel an origin in the 1600's points to "an existence of many years."

Bill

Tourists will come even if the Pope declares it to be his.

chris

Quoth Philip: "As quoted, '50% of them stuck with the TRADITIONAL ancient-origin theory.' The other theories may also be seen as supporting an 'ancient' origin, to those who might feel an origin in the 1600's points to 'an existence of many years.'"

The people who want to claim the image is survival from pagan times have to support a claim that the image is considerably more "ancient" than the 17th century.

Monica

I think it's hilarious and I hope Homer stays there just as long.

Andrew

The people who want to claim the image is survival from pagan times have to support a claim that the image is considerably more "ancient" than the 17th century.

Why? Was there no pagan activity in the 17th century?

Esquire

That's just your interpretation Andrew.

Andrew

It's your interpretation that it's an interpretation.

Elaine

Looked like a question to me. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Paganism, in the broadest sense includes all religions other than the true one revealed by God, and, in a narrower sense, all except Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism. The term is also used as the equivalent of Polytheism. It is derived from the Latin pagus, whence pagani (i.e. those who live in the country), a name given to the country folk who remained heathen after the cities had become Christian."

No mention there of it being limited to any particular century or times.

Tom

When seen in context with the giant (the real image, not the fake one), maybe it's a "fertility" ring for the giant.

Rick

Paganism, in the broadest sense includes all religions other than the true one revealed by God, and, in a narrower sense, all except Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism.

Does that mean, "in the broadest sense", that Protestants are pagans?

JD

"Is it wrong that I want to burst out laughing thinking of the rubes who apparently would "spend the night" on the giant phallus hoping to conceive?"

Jarnor- yes. It's a faith claim. It's silly sounding to us, but its earnestly believed by people of goodwill, and even if it is wrong, which it is, our respect for those people demands that we not denigrate their beliefs for our amusement. Their idea sounds no more silly to outsiders than the healing power of Lourdes water does to most.

Elijah

At least the pagans were hoping to conceive, eh?

Michael Sullivan

"We'll be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away . . . I'm amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It's an area of scientific interest," she added.

My respect for other people does not demand that I not laugh at anyone who can say this with a straight face. Nor does it demand that I stop thinking that they're idiots.

A Simple Sinner

Of greatest interest to me is that large donut.

mmmmmmmm doooo-nuuuuut

David

In the year 3498, people will be arguing about the age of the chalk outline of that "ancient fertility and feasting" god known as Ohmar Seempsin.

not ital

Jordan Potter

Why? Was there no pagan activity in the 17th century?

Not in Cerne Abbas there wasn't. That region had been thoroughly Christian for almost 1,000 years.

Unless you favor a conspiracy theory of an secret, underground group of pagans who survived all those centuries, who cut the giant's image into the turf so they could have a really large, prominent, place where they could practice their religion when the Christians weren't looking.

Foxfier

really large, prominent, place where they could practice their religion when the Christians weren't looking.

Next to an Abby.....

Anon

The Simpsons are a horrible TV show (watching TV is a sin in itself due to the immorality) which is stupid, low and against everything Catholic civilization should be.

Eric G.

COMMENT BY BANNED PERSON DELETED.

Doris

Not in Cerne Abbas there wasn't. That region had been thoroughly Christian for almost 1,000 years.

Then according to you, the giant must be over 1,000 years old -- unless you think it was drawn by Christians.

ukok

Homer's chubby round belly and excellent one liners would win me over even if the Giant was not missing certain parts of his anatomy. I mean, look at them both. There's a guy hitting himself over the head with a club and there's Homer brandishing a delectable doughnut. Mmmmmmmmm. No competition really.

"AHHH. Donuts. . . What can't they do"

.... and oh the fun things one can do with a photoshop eraser tool!

Bubbles

Hey, who's up for a game of ring-toss?

John

Homer is big and round. He is holding a donut. Maybe he is actually a bald Venus figure.

Or maybe if I slept on the donut I could become a police officer.

Mr. Flapatap

Eric G.,

Your comment just reminded me of Kent Brockman who on one ocassion during a live newscast he said: "And to prove that we are live on the air: penis"

Jordan Potter

_Then according to you, the giant must be over 1,000 years old -- unless you think it was drawn by Christians._

If it's a pagan artifact, then yes, it must be very old indeed.

It doesn't appear to be old enough to be a genuine pagan artifact, though.

So it was probably cut by Christians, apparently after the Protestants destroyed the Christian abbey adjacent to it. Perhaps the Cromwell/Hercules hypothesis is correct.

pseudomodo

Of course we all know the obvious reason it was censored....

Michelangelo's David would have been censored by Jimmy also if it was artistically executed in the same manner as the Giant is depicted.

We should also recall that around the back of Michelangelo's David statue there is a fig leaf that was placed over his penis whenever there was a danger to the public morals. And also recall that episode of the Simpsons where Michelangelo's David was shipped to Springfield. It was finally put on display (but not to the television audience however - his privates were hidden by Marge's hair!!)

I also recall that the textbooks on Egyptian wall carvings were also censored because they depicted similar human figures!!

Now for the real question - and this may add a bit to the riddle.....

Is the giant circumsized or not???

I'm just askin'...

Snowman

Eric,

Does that mean you walk around the city with no pants? Just wondering if you're a hypocrite, or a guy without the ability to follow his logic through to the end.

Michelle

Did the Homer Simpson pranksters grow an extra patch of grass over the eh...ancient fertility guy?? Is THAT what has the pagans in a tizzy? **Grin** I must admit, I like THIS version much better!

Tim J.

Yeah, apparently the giant's fertility magic is so strong in that particular spot that the grass grew like crazy and covered the offensive bit!

I suppose sometimes a donut is just a donut, but the whole club/donut symbolism makes me wonder if this is some kind of statement on Homer's sexuality. If that's the case, I must take exception... No one could be less gay than Homer Simpson.

As for how old the giant is... who cares? The Homer thing is just a goof. Lighten up. I think if our combox crowd ever got in a face-to-face discussion even on some innocuous topic like, say, "Paper or Plastic?", it might actually come to blows.

I can't work up much sympathy for the hurt feelings of modern pagans, who rip-off the symbols and rituals of other times and cultures of which they are almost wholly ignorant, throw them in a blender and then pick out their favorite bits in an attempt to be "spiritual", all conveniently avoiding any serious moral code that might require them to behave in a way different than they would anyway.

People have no problem making fun of Catholic symbols. They ought not whine when the shoe is on the other foot.

Everyone has the right to poke fun, and everyone has the right to complain at being poked fun at. See? Free speech. Whether this is prudent in any given circumstance is a matter of personal judgment. I seem to remember some Old Testament prophets who had no problem making fun of pagan gods.

Jarnor23

Yeah, I'm gonna have to disagree with you there JD. It's downright hilarious really. There are some Catholic "traditions" that are stupid and theologically unfounded that need to go as well. For instance, I know someone whose mother buried a statue of St. Joseph upside down in her yard when she was selling the house. Apparently at least her family had done this for quite some time any time they want to sell a house. You see, St. Joseph is so mad at being buried upside down that he'll intervene with God to get your house sold so he'll be moved.

Yeah, mindless superstition at best, trying to manipulate saints at the worst. Certain traditions need to be looked at to make sure there's a decent reason for it and not mere stupidity.

Jordan Potter

That superstitition of burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down to force him to get somebody to buy your house is actually a holdover of a medieval superstition, in which you would abuse a saint's statue to intimidate him or her into helping you. There are stories in The Golden Legend of people smacking or otherwise desecrating a saint's statue and thereby obtaining the saint's favor. I recall one of those stories involved St. Nicholas.

It really is an inappropriate practice, and thankfully it has all but died out . . . except, it seems, in the case of burying St. Joseph upside down. Some friends of mine told me that they knew of a guy who did that, and when his house sold (as most houses on the market do sooner or later) he credited it to his having abused St. Joseph. My friends asked him if he realised how that makes us Catholics look to non-Catholics. Anyway, when it came time for my friends to sell their house, they didn't abuse St. Joseph. Instead, they prayed a St. Joseph novena. Before the novena had ended, their house sold -- quicker, I believe, than in the case of the house with the buried upside down St. Joseph statue.

Jack

it was probably cut by Christians

Are we to believe the sexy giant is a product of the "one true religion"?

Jordan Potter

Are we to believe the sexy giant is a product of the "one true religion"?

Which "one true religion" are you referring to? There are thousands of religions that claim to be the "one true religion."

Seriously, though, there's no reason why some Christians in the area couldn't have cut this rude, near-pornographic image in the turf. Just because someone is a Christian, that doesn't mean he is incapable of doing something he shouldn't do. Making a giant rude graffito of Oliver Cromwell -- if that's what this is -- is certainly something that a Christian could have been capable of.

Your question seems to suggest that you believe the Cerne Giant is obviously of cultic significance, and therefore must have been created for a religious purpose. But I don't think that's obvious at all.

Jack

Which "one true religion" are you referring to?

The one the Catholic Encyclopedia is referring to.

Just because someone is a Christian, that doesn't mean he is incapable of doing something he shouldn't do.

Including engaging in pagan activities.

Your question seems to suggest that you believe the Cerne Giant is obviously of cultic significance, and therefore must have been created for a religious purpose.

No, just whether it was created in keeping with the "one true religion" or whether it was pagan.

Jarnor23

Engaging in pagan activities and drawing a rude caricature of a man with his twig and berries exposed can be two wildly differing things.

Jordan Potter

No, just whether it was created in keeping with the "one true religion" or whether it was pagan.

It may or may not have been in keeping with the Catholic faith (or in keeping with any Protestant faith either), but if it wasn't, that doesn't mean it was engaging in pagan activities.

Jack

It doesn't mean it wasn't.

bill912

Wow! Profound!

Laura

If the giant was created in keeping with the Catholic faith, why did Jimmy neuter it? Is neutering in keeping with the Catholic faith?

Foxfier

Laura, are you Andrew and Jack?

I can't believe we'd have THREE folks who would act like they believe something as silly as "oh, someone in a Christian area did it, it must be a great expression of that religion!"

Laura

I can't believe you'd take me seriously. I was joking.

Esau

The punchline was:

"Is neutering in keeping with the Catholic faith?"

Foxfier

Laura, you HAVE seen Andrew and Jack, right? That's how I can take you seriously.

Esau

Foxfier,

Is Homer Catholic?

Laura

Why? Do you take Andrew and Jack seriously? With all charity, I don't take you seriously.

Foxfier

Laura-- I started out taking them seriously, when they were posting normal-sounding things on prior topics. It pretty quickly became clear that they are either clueless or trolls.

Laura

Oh my. Makes one wonder who's the kettle and who's the pot.

Eileen R

All this thread needs is someone to channel gnostic-troll...

Jesus said to Rejoice! Therefore, I will rejoice whether it is an ancient symbol or not an ancient symbol. Why are you not rejoicing, like Jesus said you should?

Jordan Potter

It doesn't mean it wasn't.

Sorry, Jack, you've got to do better than that if you want to convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct.

Eileen R

Or...

How would you feel if it was a chalk outline of Jimmy Akin being menanced by Homer Simpson, you callous people?

Jack

Sorry, Jack, you've got to do better than that if you want to convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct.

Who wants to do that? Must be some parcel of your own strawman.

Eileen R

Who wants to do that? Must be some parcel of your own strawman.

Well, that's *your* interpretation.

Jack

Let me know when you need a match for your strawman.

John

"How would you feel if it was a chalk outline of Jimmy Akin being menanced by Homer Simpson, you callous people?"

All due respects to Jimmy, but the thought of his naked image done in chalk on a hillside might just give me nightmares.

Foxfier

How would you feel if it was a chalk outline of Jimmy Akin being menanced by Homer Simpson, you callous people?

I'd laugh, the same way I laugh about the 7/11 down the road being turned into a Simpson set.

I'd also laugh if someone tried to tell me he was an ancient symbol of the Catholic faith.

JD

"Is Homer Catholic?"

No. Homer is a presumably baptized member of the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism. Marge and Maggie are too. Lisa has defected from that ecclesiastical community, and is an occasionally practicing Buddhist. Bart MAY have been formally received into the Catholic church.

Esau

Bart MAY have been formally received into the Catholic church.


JD: <=^)

Bart becomes the mascot for Catholics -- classic!

Michael

I, too, found this hilarious. But then again, I also found that bleeding Virgin Mary episode of South Park hilarious too....

Jordan Potter

Sorry, Jack, you've got to do better than that if you want to convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct.

Who wants to do that? Must be some parcel of your own strawman.

Hey Jack, you were the one who was suggesting that the creation of the Cerne Giant may not have been "in keeping with the 'one true religion,'" but may rather have been "pagan." Are you now making a retraction of your suggestion?

Jordan Potter

Sorry, Jack, you've got to do better than that if you want to convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct.

Who wants to do that? Must be some parcel of your own strawman.

Hey Jack, you were the one who was suggesting that the creation of the Cerne Giant may not have been "in keeping with the 'one true religion,'" but may rather have been "pagan." Are you now making a retraction of your suggestion?

italics off

Jack

It was a question. If you took it as a suggestion, then YOU took it as a suggestion. But that's you suggesting to yourself.

To ask whether it was created in keeping with the "one true religion" or whether it was pagan does not require I "convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct."

It was a question. If you took it as a suggestion, then YOU took it as a suggestion.

No one asks a question unless they are suggesting that one or more possible answers might be correct.

Quit the word games, Jack.

To ask whether it was created in keeping with the "one true religion" or whether it was pagan does not require I "convince anyone the Cerne Giant is/was a pagan cultic precinct."

It does if you want to make a case that it was pagan. If you don't want to make a case for that, then your question was merely an idle thought and shouldn't have been uttered at all.

Jordan Potter

Whoops, forgot my name on that comment. Sorry.

Brian Walden

Wow, all these comments and no one has mentioned my favorite Homer Simpson quote: "Once you go Vatican, you can't go back again!"

Jack

No one asks a question unless they are suggesting that one or more possible answers might be correct.

Have you been conditioned to think that way? Is the moon pagan or Catholic? I don't suggest the moon is pagan or Catholic. I don't suggest the moon is not pagan or Catholic. I don't suggest any answer is correct any more or less than I suggest any answer is wrong. I'm not suggesting. I'm asking. But if your mind suggests otherwise, that's your mind which is suggesting, not me.

If you don't want to make a case for that, then your question was merely an idle thought and shouldn't have been uttered at all.

I offer you this case instead.
One day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back-to-back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And rushed to save the two dead boys.
A paralyzed donkey walking by,
Kicked the copper in the eye,
Sent him through a rubber wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.
(If you don't believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man -- he saw it too!)

Eileen R

Perhaps I should quote Cerne the Giant aka Oliver Cromwell to wrap up this thread?

"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Jordan Potter

Jack said: Have you been conditioned to think that way? Is the moon pagan or Catholic? Blah blah blah blah yippety dippety doodad blah blah blah.

Well, that was a pretty interesting way for you to admit that there's no good reason to think that making the Cerne Giant was a pagan cultic act. But I guess we have to take what we can get.

Some Day

, too, found this hilarious. But then again, I also found that bleeding Virgin Mary episode of South Park hilarious too....

I would punch you square in the mouth if you said that in front of me.

Red Cardigan

Some Day, if you truly wish to become a priest as you have said here before, you would have to learn to control such impulses to violence.

True, a blasphemy so hideous as the one the poster references should not be condoned in silence; but rather than punch the speaker in the mouth you should be willing to engage him cheerfully and with true charity in conversation about the matter, explaining why a Christian should always find so egregious an insult against our Mother to be beyond offensive.

If he listens and reflects, you may win him over; if he does not, you should remain patient, and assure him of your sincere prayers for him. God may lead him to see what your words alone may not show him, and our prayers are never wasted.

Sancho

I agree with Some Day, and I would probably do the same. Sometimes a good swift kick in the pants is the best thing for somebody. There is nothing that works as well as good Christian tough love sometimes to set somebody straight.

Jarnor23

Of course, the scandal involved in having a priest in jail for assault is kind of something to consider.

I chat with people far too often who find crap like that South Park episode funny. I have no desire to spend years in jail on assault charges by socking each of them, even if they deserve it. I have to remember, in my protestant liberal days I found some pretty offensive stuff funny because it was "just a joke" - which of course is liberal slang for "offending other religions, but we'll say ha-ha at the end to make it socially acceptable". As much as a sock to the skull may have been needed, I'm not entirely sure it would have gotten the point through as much as constant explanations of why this junk was offensive did.

Martin

Re: Jimmy's post
1. I think it is safe to say that Jimmy would not mock a real pagan religion such as Hinduism or Buddhism. It is only the pseudo-pagan pretenders that get mocked.

2. Pseudo-pagans: That would be the people who read a couple of new age books and watched some old Hollywood movies about pre-history and made up their own religion.

3. I think (don't know) Jimmy might even be more polite to these people except for their pretense at being an ancient religion on par the other ancient religions.

4. The giant is a good example as it is clearly not ancient (that means a long time before Columbus sailed the ocean blue)(Note there is nothing even resembling it anywhere else in Europe).

Roger

Note there is nothing even resembling it anywhere else in Europe

Resemblance, as in to be like or similar to, is of course a matter of opinion and criteria, but there is also for example the 235ft-high Wilmington giant (aka the Long Man of Wilmington) in Sussex along with a multitude of horse depictions, all of which being large scale visual depictions on various hills.

Esau

Gigantem umquam vidisti?

Foxfier

Rodger-- this one has a lot of details-- eyes and ribs, for example. *innocent*

NewTrollObserver

Any thoughts on the believability of the Cerne Abbas giant being a spoof of Cromwell? Did Cromwell ever visit the area? Is there any direct evidence linking Denzil Holles to the giant? Was Denzil some sort of artist? Did he normally critique political figures in like manner? Inquiring minds would like to 'no.

Helen

"On November the 5th..."
"point your roman candles at the sky...
North,east,south,..westward home..."
Everywhere the embers blow."

I think you are missing a dirty inside British joke. Think a joke about Guy Fawkes Day. Basically a holiday for fireworks, getting tipsy, and participating in total animal house frivolity--like America's July 4th. Simpsons humour:
Guys F*ck Day!!!! Get it!!!! Quite a dirty joke!! Which coincides with the Oliver Cromwell history which you relate here.

Cheers! Bottoms up!

Helen

"On November the 5th..."
"point your roman candles at the sky...
North,east,south,..westward home..."
Everywhere the embers blow."

I think you are missing a dirty inside British joke. Think a joke about Guy Fawkes Day. Basically a holiday for fireworks, getting tipsy, and participating in total animal house frivolity--like America's July 4th. Simpsons humour:
Guys F*ck Day!!!! Get it!!!! Quite a dirty joke!! Which coincides with the Oliver Cromwell history which you relate here.

Cheers! Bottoms up!

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