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Booming
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 12:54am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Wainscoting
"This new, truly postmodern trek has replaced all that sincerity with irony. We see that intelligent life is disposable, people are vain, self-obsessed and eschew the idea of a duty to the common good, society is destined to remain fragmented with people always finding a way to exploit one other."

I'm not a big fan of postmodernist thinking but this is just not correct. Do you really believe that the show is constructed around a philosophical framework created in mid 20th century France about how all societal narratives are constructed to reinforce societal power structures? Is that your point? This sounds like dark web nonsense to me. The show clearly is against xenophobia pro refugee and almost gung-ho. A true postmodernist show could not make such statements or take these positions. Postmodernism is at it's core about questioning unproven beliefs? Also why would a postmodernist narrative be vain or self obsessed? Have you actually read Foucault?! You should also keep in mind that I could take your statement change the postmodernism for capitalism and it would fit far better. But I don't think that the show is actually anti capitalist. It is just a ham-fisted reflection on the present.

Here if you want to begin to understand postmodernist thinking. This video is a good start. (activate subtitles) I fall on Chomsky's side in this debate but Foucault is undoubtedly genius and makes some good points.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wfNl2L0Gf8
(here, if you lack the patience to listen to the entire debate, the part of the debate that is often highlighted)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5wuB_p63YM


@grey cat
"Thoroughly enjoying PIC. 7 or 8 out of 10 episode."
I guess that finally proves that the fans of the show are real visionaries.

" People mostly leave a review if they hate the effect or have some horrible reaction. "
People always say that but so far I haven't come across a single study that indicates that there is even some truth to it.
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Drea
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 12:23am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"Picard is a joyless, morally bankrupt, depressing show. It shows us a grim world that (a) I would not like to live in and (b) I've seen the likes of in a dozen other sci fi universes. ...the show seems to be indicating that he is wrong and "the world" is right. Picard is depicted as a delusional idealist, which is just awful."

I think we have common ideas of what Trek is, and the big division between our enjoyment of the show is what we see it as depicting.

As I see it, our real world is grimmer than this, and the show exhorts us to do better. ST:P is absolutely about the inspiration to become a better person, which means more if we start with people who feel as if they were promised that possibility and now have lost it--much as many of us who grew up with TNG feel today. None of the characters currently are role models or heroes. We'll watch them become that. We'll watch a new idealism grown, wiser than the old one.

If the show ultimately sides with the cynicism of several characters in their current states, if it concludes that Picard really is just delusional, then I will eat crow and concede that it's exactly as bad as you and other detractors say.
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spinalatte
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Very campy, yet dark. I did not enjoy this as much as the previous episodes, although Troi's evil twin was a nice surprise. Seven being so bent on revenge, seems quite out of character for her.
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Tommy D.
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

If I had the time I would love to go back and replay the ME series. I remember dropping the original game early because I could not pass The Matriarch (Voiced by Marina Sirtis coincidentally). The trailers for ME3 drew me in, and I went on a crazy binge to catch up before it came out.
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Tommy D.
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 10:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@grey cat

"There could be a huge amount of people silently enjoying PIC."

I would guess you could replace "there could be" to "there is likely".
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Dom
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Wainscoting, I know ME3 isn't as beloved, but the whole mission to unite alien races and convince them to overcome their differences is some of the best "Trek" we've gotten since 1999.

Your discussion about the philosophical lines around Trek are precisely why I think the "is it Trek?" discussions are valid and necessary, contrary to what some would have you believe (@Grey Cat). Star Trek, like any franchise, has an identity. It is something different and distinct from Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars. Unlike most franchises, Star Trek has always worn its philosophy on its sleeves. Gene Roddenberry was explicit about the liberal humanism in his show.

Now, we can discuss what makes Trek unique, and sometimes those boundaries will change or grow over time. As you said, what made 90s Trek work was that it retained the fundamental core of the franchise while engaging in a dialogue with more postmodern challenges. DS9 challenged Trekkian optimism - it didn't kill that optimism.

Different people can disagree - rationally and respectfully - about the precise contours of what makes Star Trek, but to shut down the conversation seems to me a sort of nihilism. If Star Trek is just a vacuous franchise for whatever CBS decides it wants to air, then isn't it devoid of all meaning and substance?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Grey Cat
"Please stop the 'this is not trek' rubbish."

Okay.

How about this:

Picard is a joyless, morally bankrupt, depressing show. It shows us a grim world that (a) I would not like to live in and (b) I've seen the likes of in a dozen other sci fi universes. It resorts to torture porn for the shallowest of reasons, and it has the general maturity of a 14 year-old brat that thinks he is cool because he is doing "adult things".

This show also turns a character that was once loved and admired, into a target of redicule and mockery. He is one man against the world, and the worst part of it is that the show seems to be indicating that he is wrong and "the world" is right. Picard is depicted as a delusional idealist, which is just awful.

I do not find this kind of cr*p to be either entertaining nor insightful. It may be "Star Trek", but it most certainly does not have the same qualities that made me fall in love with the franchise in the first place: The optimism, the intelligence, the open-mindedness, the inspiration to become a better person.

I'm sorry, but ST:Picard does not have these things. In fact, in many ways, it feels like an outright mockery of those qualities (as Jason R. aptly stated).

There. I've said most of what bugs me about this show without saying "It isn't Star Trek" even once. Are you happy now? You can call STP Star Trek if you wish, but it still stinks (and it is also not the kind of show I've signed up for when I became a Trekkie in the first place).
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George Monet
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Oh and for everyone saying the technological disparity makes sense because we have smart phones but haven't been to the moon on 40 uears, I say use your brains. In reality there is no warp drive. Chemical based liquid fuel rockets are the limit. Getting into space is difficult, expensive and risky. And there is nothing of value out there even when we do expend the incredibly huge amount of resources to do so. We have, barring a complete breakthrough that will upend our knowledge of the universe, reached the limit in space propulsion technology and it is hopelessly inadequate to do anything worthwhile with.

We haven't made progress in space propulsion not because we don't value space exploration but because there is no valuable progress to make. There is nothing more efficient than what we have and nothing of value that we can reach using chemical rockets. Now if Mars or Venus were second Earths that we could actually live on then we'd be colonizing them right now. But they are uninhabitable and have no valuable resources or ruins on them.

Our progress in computational technology and communications comes down to shrinking die sizes. There was room to shrink die sizes and we did so.

The areas of technologic advancement we make are determined more by the ability to make them than by a focus on making them. If exotic particles existed and could be created in useful quantities then we would be exploiting them. If we had an efficient method to reach and harvest asteroids then we would be harvesting asteroids. Resource extraction is a billion/trillion $ per year industry. If expoloiting asteroids were economically feasible it would be happening. There are trillions of dollars to be made by selling warp engines, but they are not possible except in fiction.

In Star Trek, warp drive is possible, exotic particles do exist and are exploited. The hallmark of a good science fiction story is asking, what would the world be like if this one thing were changed? What would the world be like if warp drive were possible? That is Star Trek. So asking why they did not have warp drive but did have a magic space probe is a fair question to ask.

And the answer which the fans of this episode don't want to see is becauss this writer didn't want to write a science fiction episode. They had a very generic story idea which could have bern forced onto any television show or even used as a short independent film. There was nothing Star Trek about this episode or even sci fi about thus episode. The episode wasn't even written well. Character development and drama were both lacking. As another critic ppinted out, Picard's sons character development and drama comes doen to I'm quitting school to play this flute. Picard didn't care because the writer didn't care and that character eas never seen again. The daugter gies from being 3 to suddenly being full grown. She discovers the planet is dying, that her father was lying to her, and then nothing. Thr writer didn't care about the chatacter pr thed setting. No one tries to take any action to sabe the species or themselves, they aren't even slightly worried or troubled. Nor does an impossibly long draught seem to be causing any problems. There is never talk of food shortages or rationing or even problems with water shortages. All the microbes in the soil are pronounced dead but four years later the only problem is the inconvenience of having to wear sunscreen no one puts on anyways.

I will reitetate why this is a bad episode. It is a generic drama story full of characters and events the writer didn't care about. The episode only sort of works thanks to the cheap emotional gimmicks about an old man watching everything he loved flash before his eyes as he passes on and Picard's acting talent.

In his review of Star Wars episode 1, redlettermedia posed this test: "Describe the following Star Wars characters without saying what they looked like, what kind of costume they wore, or what their profession or role on the movie was. The more descriptive they could get, the stronger the chatacter [was developed]."

I would pose the same test for the throwaway chatacters in this episode.
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Grey Cat
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@lynos "And it seem to me like two camps have been established when it comes to the latest Trek: the first camp, mostly consisting of longtime Trek fans, dislikes the new shows. The other camp, consisting of both Trek fans and the non-initiated, reacts to them positively and accepts them on their own terms, i.e, they are not judged in the context of the whole of Trek."

Interesting point. Although it could more like the reviews are like the ones for drugs (legal). People mostly leave a review if they hate the effect or have some horrible reaction. There could be a huge amount of peoplie silently enjoying PIC.

Ive seen all Trek since the first pilot with Pike till now and i'm thoroughly enjoying this continuation. This is Not Trek is dull as Jammer says (although rather ruins his review by making a rant about that very topic). TNG wasn't trek when it came out, neither as DS9. Voyager was more warmly welcomed (at first) since it was female kirk being badass with an ironing board shaped ship on strange new worlds.

With all due respect. Please stop the "this is not trek" rubbish. It's been argued to death for around 30 years.

Many of my non trek fan friends watch enjoyed DSC. It was just ok to me. Mostly due to SMGs acting and the lack of any deceng characters besides Pike. It had its moments.

Thoroughly enjoying PIC. 7 or 8 out of 10 episode. Enjoyed last weeks a bit more but great to see Seven
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Wainscoting
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I love that people are mentioning Mass Effect 2! Garrus, Tali, Mordin, Wrex...there were some fantastic characters there. The interesting thing about that game when it came to the story beats is that it frequently gave you the option to align with a humanist, Trekkian view of the world or a cynical, nihilistic one. For instance, on Garrus Vakarian's 'loyalty mission' you discover that Garrus ran a vigilante mercenary group undermining various crime syndicates that was betrayed by a member, resulting in the deaths of all but him. Anyway, you spend some time hunting the traitor down and having discussed his underlying motivations along the way Garrus ultimately asks Shepard to draw the traitor into the open so he can kill him from range. You can either aid in this person's death or at the last second to step into the line of fire and explore the circumstances leading to the betrayal as well as the guilt and suffering it is causing this person. Garrus may be dissuaded from vengeance and is fundamentally changed for the rest of the story. Incidentally, no eyes were horrifically yanked from sockets by metal claws in order to evoke emotional response.

Basically, Mass Effect 2 (specifically in those moments where you aren't shooting thousands of bad guys) did Trek better than this nu-Trek can.

That aside, although Jammer's apathy towards the "What is Star Trek?" question is justly earned, most Trek fans will draw a philosophical line somewhere. It seems undeniable that TNG and DS9 largely emerged from their predecessors shadow because they necessarily supplemented the humanist, modernist core of Star Trek with more postmodern spheres of thought. Yet, while challenging themselves, they remained sincerely devoted to the idea that all sentient beings possess moral value and despite our myriad differences, by embracing a 'sovereignty of reason' we can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and perhaps in some small way strive meaningfully towards one day solving the epistemological, metaphysical and ontological questions we all share.

This new, truly postmodern trek has replaced all that sincerity with irony. We see that intelligent life is disposable, people are vain, self-obsessed and eschew the idea of a duty to the common good, society is destined to remain fragmented with people always finding a way to exploit one other. In other words, the pursuit of any truth greater than ourselves is simply a futile attempt to escape the historical and cultural discourses that run our lives.

Q: “You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons. And for one brief moment, you did.”

Sorry Q, it seems you were wrong. 'Picard' believes in nothing and says nothing, simply taking pleasure in unravelling all that the character represented in TNG to the pleasure of some and the despair of the rest of us.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dougie

"If you like Orville, you probably liked ALF."

ALF, of all things? That was pretty out in left field.

It's funny you've mentioned that show, though. There's a guy a hate-watched it and posted reviews of every single episode (he even ended up liking a handful of them). He turned hate-reviewing into an art form, and I've found his blog to be positively funny. Perhaps you should learn a thing or two form him? If you wanna be all snarky, at least have some style:
http://noiselesschatter.com/alf/
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George Monet
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

This is a terrible Star Trek episode. It would be amazing in a fantasy show but does not work in a sceince fiction setting because the writer flagrantly refused to acknowledge the setting. Many episodes on Star Trek have this exact problem. The writers are not science fiction writers and refuse to acknowledge the setting and the implications of the technology. This problem is especially aggregious in regards to any episode involving medical problems where characters are pronounced irreversibly dead the second they are stabbed or shot despite the fact thar Picard survived being stabbed in the heart during a bar fight 30 years ago. No disease is incurable when you can read and alter DNA the way they have done. No spinal column fracture would render someone paralyzed when you can regrow and reaatach nerves.

Firstly, the magic space probe. They cannot invent warp drive or even a generational sub light speed colony ship but they can build a magic space probe that lasts for over a thousand years, that magically catches up to the Enterprise and is able to send a magic nucleonic beam which magically penetrates the Enterprise's shields and mind controls Picard by making him live out an entire life in 25 minutes?

NONSENSE!!!!!!!!

There is no way they could build such a magic space probe but not invent warp drive or at least build a generational colonybship. Such an assertion by the writer is ludicrous in the extreme. We could build a sublight speed colony ship TODAY if we had to. Do you see why I said thus would work only on a fantasy show?

Secondly, Picard has all his knowledge of being Captain Picard therefore INCLUDING his knowledge of how warp engines work. But never once does he propose building one to save the people? Or what about sending a message to Starfleet by building a subspace transmitter. Now I could understand if they had Picard wringing his hands over violating the Prime Directive, but the writer doesn'tbeven do that. They refuse to acknowledge this is a SCIENCE FICTION show and instead write a completely out of place drama with no payoff. A drama that only takes place because thed writer refuses to acknowledge this is az science fiction show. No, I'm not asking for a deus ex machina techno babble solution to solve the problem of the star dying, but the writer needed to at least pay respect to the setting instead of willfully ignoring it. They needed to be shown trying to create a proto warp drive engine or volony ship. Even if such an effort failed. That would at least be better than the nonsensical bs impossible magic space probe whose only purpose eaa making this not be Star Trek because the writer didn't want to lower themself to writing a science fiction story and instead just wanted to write a generic drama story. Considering the setting the drama story didn't even make sense. If the sun is dying then EVERYONE would be concerned about doing something to live. But no one cared. Everyone was more consigned to dying than the Kryptonians in Man of Steel. Except for launching that magic space probe no one seemed to care about trying to survive.

For me this is a bad episode written by a writer who didn't want to write a science fiction episode. Everything from the magic space probe to the planet dying was just the writer paying the barest lip service to the fact that this is supposed to be a science fiction show and not a fantasy show or drama. It is easy to write a story about someone starting a family, growing old and dying in order to evoke a tearful reaction from the audience and is all this writer did.
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Quincy
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Late To The Party Girl

I didn't like that Raffi scene either. But I don't think she's given up. If she had she'd be in a hookah lounge somewhere vaping whatever she was vaping when Picard first went to see her. I think she believes going with Picard is her only chance to PROVE her conspiracy theory. I believe she believes that if she proves what went down she will be redeemed in the eyes of not just herself but everyone, including her son. Not saying that saves the scene, it's just where I think they're going with her character.
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PM
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 7:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Wait a sec, Icheb doesn't HAVE a cortical node: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperfection_(Star_Trek:_Voyager)
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Tommy D.
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I like The Orville, but I think it only works in the old Trek format because of its comedic elements. That element shields it from some of the criticism I think it would likely get if it weren't there. And without the comedy I think some of the episodes would be flat out boring, because I don't think some of the characters work on their own without it. Good show overall though. 1
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wolfstar
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I didn't notice the same positive-to-negative gradient in the comments on this episode. There are lots of negative opinions in the early comments.
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DANIEL PRATES
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Trent I agree with your remarks. But actually, I was saying that the first reviews of 'this episode' were all positive (maybe the first few dozens or so), then all the sudden, people started trashing it. Is it because we got to think it over?
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Dave in MN
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dougie

I don't have a strong opinion on ALF, but when it comes to wisecracking alien sidekicks, I've always been partial to the Flintstones's Great Gazoo.
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Eric Jensen
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Why would I not live in the Star Trek Picard universe? Romulans just popping in and shooting you! Imagine that. Having lunch and you get killed! This is from the 1st episode.
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Eric Jensen
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Since we are not talking about the next episode...

I dislike the episode, the latest one, number 5, the one before 6 and the one after 4. Why? I would not want to live in the world where Picard is currently living in now. Star Trek TNG, I would imagine living there. DS9, despite the Dominion war, I could live on planet Earth and lunch at Sisko's. I could live on Voyager's Earth.

Star Trek Picard? I would not want to live in that universe.
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Trent
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Daniel said: "Funny how the reviews started on a very positive tone, only to veer off towards bad..."

Because the first few episodes had lots of neat little scenes where we got to explore future Earth, or watch Picard chew scenery. And because we didn't know where the show was going, we gave it some rope and had faith in it. But with the last few episodes, one gets the feeling that this is "Discovery" all over again, the show less interested in politics, philosophy and Picard, more in shocks, violent twists and its Big Mystery Reveals. The narrative strategies of both shows now suddenly seem the same.

IMO it will take a genius twist to reconfigure this episode and regain naysayer goodwill. We know at least one more episode is spent with Picard hiding with Riker on Earth, but what happens on the Borg cube this week and next, is anyone's guess.
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Dougie
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Sid, you know what and I guess anyone else with that sort of attitude?

If you like Orville, you probably liked ALF. There.
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Trent
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Dom said: "is Orville heavily serialized? Is it possible to jump in and watch Sanctuary without having seen the previous seasons?"

You might want to watch "Deflectors" in preparation for it, but otherwise it's pretty standalone. Season 2 of Orville is real strong, especially the back half, and Jammer dropped a few 4 stars reviews here and there. The episode Dave mentions - "Sanctuary" - captured the old-school feel of the Federation well IMO.
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Dom
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Jimmy, I've mentioned the similarities with Mass Effect 2 and other video games when talking about Picard. I think the different for me is that ME2 really leaned into the idea of using that structure to tell short stories about the characters. Also, as Shepard, you could talk to the characters and get to know them. Picard is trying to balance an overarching, serialized plot with recruiting these new characters, and as a result I don't feel like I'm as invested in them. I'd like to see the show stop introducing new characters, stop introducing new mysteries, and start letting us get to know the characters already on the screen.
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Jimmy
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

My first comment on here. Discovery took 4 or 5 episodes to get me in to it (and I really enjoyed it, apart from Michael) and it's taken 5 in Picard for something to actually happen.

So far, it feels like the writers have just played mass effect 2, storyline pretty much identical. Build a team, go to a nightclub ruled by a powerful woman, negotiate a deal, now to save the galaxy.

It's not terrible, but I think the major problem is some scenes are rushed, or not enough information given, or characters are used to explain things to the audience. All this is because after adverts, intro and flashbacks each episode is about 35 minutes long. 50 mins would allow much more freedom.

I've not really warmer to any of the characters. Picard's voice has lost its gravitas and his stature. Ryan is definitely the best thing to happen so far. Picking up something that someone mentioned above, a series around seven would have worked better, with cameos from Picard, Janeway etc would have made a better series.

Each episode so far 2/4, none have stood out.
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