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MusicalTurtle
Sat, Jan 11, 2020, 8:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I take it Michael from 2010 would have HATED Farscape!

Anyway, this has to be one of my favourite episodes - I do enjoy character work as some of the Fi with the Sci, and this was very well done in my eyes, and very ... I think 'authentic' is the word I'm looking for. It's entirely realistic that pregnancy and the thought of a new life would trigger suppressed trauma to (re)surface.

The one thing that shocked me was B'Elanna tampering with the Doctor, especially after all the holographic rights already dealt with (including way back to whenever he was given autonomy) but it felt in-character and plausible. I did appreciate that she truly felt remorse over it, and the Doctor was very gracious in his response to it but again plausibly so (I thought, anyway).

Man, season 7 overall is shaping up to be pretty much how it ought to have been from the start. Some of the episodes have had interesting shot choices which made even otherwise quite flat or banal episodes a bit more interesting. Ah well, no point lamenting there wasn't more of this quality now, it's best just to appreciate the good we *did* get. (Admittedly it is easier to say straight after a sterling episode such as this than after some of the worse episodes.)
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MusicalTurtle
Sat, Jan 11, 2020, 11:21am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Critical Care

Oh dear. 20 years later and people are dying in the US because they can't afford vital medication. In the UK there is uncertainty over the future of the NHS - which is overstretched and a bare minimum anyway; they're pretty good at keeping you alive but quality of life is not a priority. Not all of Star Trek's "message shows" are done well, but there are some I wish we could plonk government officials down in front of them and make them watch!

A bit scary that some people seem to think the NHS and similar systems were the subject of this though; the only vague parallel I could see was the difference between public and private healthcare but that's a very tenuous analogy, and people aren't routinely deprived of medical care because of their [financial] status in society. Occasionally individual fatal mistakes are made, but they are not systemic flaws!


Overall, I really rather enjoyed this episode. I agree there is the question of what really would happen in the long term, but I think the implication was that given a new choice to actually treat patients who needed it, the doctors would go with that, even if it meant playing the system to do so. How well that would work on the long term is debatable.
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

Oops, forgot the footnote ^

*it practically was her native language after being reanimated and completely immersed, living as a Kobali.
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

I don't have the brainpower to comment on the episode as a whole, or to read all the comments, but I just had to say:

What the HELL is wrong with a person speaking their native* language?!?!?! Who cares, as long as she can do the job?! I get that they're used to the universal translator making alien languages irrelevant, but ... seriously!! Maybe a quick glance would have been fine as it's something they're not used to, but staring is just ridiculous and unnecessary.

The Borg kids were fun; I really like the girl's feistiness.
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

Y'know, the Doctor being hypnotised was one bit that (kind of) made sense to me, having being integrated into the Fair Haven programme.

I didn't particularly enjoy the original Fair Haven episode but I definitely preferred it to this.

*sigh* and this season had been doing pretty well on the whole.
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MusicalTurtle
Sat, Dec 21, 2019, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I took 'violated' to mean in the non-sexual way, e.g. if a doctor performs a procedure without consent that's a violation of an individual's right to decide (I forget the wording - but basically consent being important in all areas of life, not just sex). Of course the implications of this particular violation were wider than the effect it would have on the individual (Borg technology, yikes!) and I really thought they needed a part 2 to establish what exactly was going on.

The memory block was recent, so who put it there?
Was there a random drone some on the trader's planet?
What happened in those two hours - could modifying the weapon really have taken that long? (And did Tom Paris really not think to check in during that time?!) Why can't Seven remember more than a few minutes of working with the weapons?

It's the memory block that gives this far a more scientific basis than repressed memories in the real world. They couldn't prove Korvin's guilt BUT in order to prove his innocence for themselves they needed a part 2 to find out what exactly was going on despite his death. They needed to for Seven's sake if nothing else - and that way they wouldn't have been abandoning her like they said they wouldn't. Those memories got there somehow, that memory block got there somehow - maybe a creation of malfunctioning Borg tech or some other sci-fi explanation, it's more than just unreliable human memory.

I liked the idea of our heroes being on the wrong side of a judgement call, but the writers messed it up by putting in the memory block which was never dealt with. That's what made the Doctor so certain; without it the episode would have been believably ambiguous.

Seven was not at all at fault; I was incredibly disappointed that Janeway started out saying 'I have no doubt you believe what you're saying' and then ending by glaring at her after Korvin died. If she had no medical basis to believe the memories were accurate yet went spreading her account far and wide, yes she'd have been somewhat guilty in driving him to flee and end up dead. But as it was written, she had sound reason to believe these memories were accurate and expected the investigation to corroborate them - and we don't see her spreading anything beyond those who needed to know on Voyager either.

I appreciated the ending with Janeway and the Doctor, a bit deeper than 'and they all went on their merry way' like most episodes are. It wasn't perfect, but made a change and was fittingly downbeat after the events of the episode. Would have made more sense if they'd found the actual explanation for the memory block and memories though!
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MusicalTurtle
Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

I commented on Part I that as a standalone it works really well (I no longer have the brainpower to analyse the plot enough to find holes in it, and a lot of commenters are insightful enough to find and share possible reasons for things) when putting aside one's frustration that ultimately it doesn't affect anything in the overall canon of Voyager. But other than the addition or subtraction of new characters, what does?!

I will have to watch it again in order to fully appreciate the episodes, but when I realised how everything was reset, I actually felt like the writers almost acquitted themselves - it was a much more organic solution than most resets, and almost felt inevitable from within the story. I was feeling frustrated knowing that it would all not really happen, but was pleaantly surprised when the 'how' began to unfold.

Nice touch that history took a different course this time too, not that it entirely made sense of course, but sort of made it feel worth it beyond letting Voyager survive.
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MusicalTurtle
Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part I

Ah, Year of Hell, a.k.a. Voyager's writers have fun playing at DS9 but can't *quite* let go of the reset button.

I liked blind Tuvok (hooray for correct guiding and accessibility tech! [tactile interface]) and the dynamic between him and Seven was just perfect.

Neelix as security officer was a nice touch - you know things are bad when Neelix gets to put on a uniform!

To be honest, the very first time I watched it was as a teenager and I was glued to the screen, I couldn't believe they'd survive it - at that point the ending was actually a relief. Now it's frustrating, though that is for the next part. To be honest I've seen it a couple of times since but I still didn't remember how everything reset so I didn't skip it, but I didn't pay close attention like I normally intend to for rewatching. It's a good couple of episodes to examine what happens character-wise under extreme circumstances, and for that alone I may rewatch with more attention next time. So it does have some merit as a standalone piece, but in terms of the overall canon it doesn't do very much (whereas if the DS9 writers had been in charge, it most certainly would have had some kind of effect on the overall canon, even if they did still reset. Glimmers of those characterisations in other circumstances, probably with specific echoes of happenings in the episode even if it didn't really happen.)
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 4:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

Wow, I need to give this ep a second chance. Last time I attempted to watch Voyager was in between either Stargate, Farscape, or DS9 and I didn't get very far in the series, however I got to this episode, watched enough that I remembered what happened, and skipped it. Really, really disliked the lead alien - it was bad enough they he was creepy but I got the impression he was almost trying to force them to stay (the kind of character I wouldn't have been surprised if he sabotaged the ship to stop them leaving) and I just couldn't make it through the episode, so in my proper rewatch this time skipped it again. I'll have to come back to it when I can cope with Gath a bit better, and try to see the episode beyond him.
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Dec 4, 2019, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

"It's just beyond silly to think a disease that eats their cellular structures physically can be overcome by grafting harvested organs from aliens. Yikes. Total turn off."

It's not overcome, they have to keep replacing organs as the Phage attacks them - I thought that was the point? As for how the species survived, it's clear they even harvest skin (or so I thought from the patchwork grafts, unless that's the remnants of their skin instead?) so surely they just kept replacing every organ system as it fails.

The stored organs could have been spare from when they harvested from corpses.

Janeway made the moral choice, but she should have decided to hold them on principle until a resolution to Neelix' situation was found - she would have shown there would be at least some consequences rather than just allowing them to go free.
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MusicalTurtle
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 10:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

VOY was the first Star Trek I followed when it was shown daily on a Freeview channel, though I missee episodes here and there. Then came TNG, and a long time later, DS9. I've rewatched TNG over and over (love it) and have seen VOY a few times through, but after a long Trek break for Stargates SG1 and Atlantis a few times through each, followed by Farscape, then returning to Trek with DS9, coming to VOY is ... different. I already know the lack of continuity or consequences are infuriating, but I wanted to watch it again because it was my favourite for so long at the beginning. I wasn't sure where to start but saw Quark of all characters in the thumbnail for the Pilot so just had to start there after all!

I'm watching with allowing myself the option to skip bits where I know what happens and have no interest in seeing it again (did the same with a partial second DS9 rewatch too) but so far I've only skipped bits of the Time episode. This episode I did not remember, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I know by the end of the series the Doctor was my favourite character, bur I couldn't remember if he grew on me or how soon I started enjoying his character - right from the off, it turns out :D

Really enjoyed the character work in this, and "That's Starfleet for 'get out'!" made me chuckle. I always thought Neelix was supposed to be annoying - like Bashir at the beginning of DS9 - but obviously he doesn't develop anywhere near as well as Bashir. Always thought he had a good heart though, even if he didn't show it in the best way. I'll be interested to see how I feel about him in time (though his deception in the Pilot was a big mistake - I can only think that Janeway let him stay because he got them onto the planet which was necessary for the rescue. A bit of a stretch though.)

The holoprogramme was cringeworthy, and I was very surprised to see it in action so early on. I'm not sure if this is worse than Bride of Chaotica - actually I think it is, because it takes itself seriously as a place to relax!?! Whereas BoC is obviously just for laughs. I don't recall whether Sandrine's gets any better but I suspect not.

Those were quite disjointed thoughts - in short, aside from the majority of the holodeck scenes this was a very enjoyable episode for me.
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MusicalTurtle
Tue, Nov 26, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Sound of Her Voice

The twist at the end was a good way for the crew to not have to beat themselves up for not getting there in time. I like the point upthread that maybe a month or so would have been less of a plot hole, and that as she'd been out of the quadrant she was a pre-Dominion mindset. I'm not sure if that latter point even came through in the episode though - it fell a bit flat for me too. It certainly had unrealised potential, which is a bit frustrating, but viewing it as an almost standalone/filler episode it was okay.
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

Wonderful fun! I've not seen any of TOS so I genuinely have no idea where the original footage starts and stops, other than scenes with the original main characters are obviously original. Maybe I'd have enjoyed it even more if I were a TOS fan but as it was, I *thoroughly* enjoyed it.

Memory Alpha mentions O'Brien mistakes Shatner's stunt double for Kirk :D it also explains how meticulous they were with recreating the sets, even down to examining parts with a magnifying glass! A labour of love on the entire technical side too, such as using the same type of film as the original for the scenes set in the past. I already loved it from my previous watch-through but finding out the background elevated it even further in my estimation.
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 10:10am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Little Green Men

@Dave I don't know if you'll see this but it's explained that the Universal Translators malfunction due to beta radiation, from the nuclear fission in atom bombs.

Thank goodness for the reset button and hairpins ;) interesting that such a basic, relatively low-tech solution is still incorporated in 24th Century commodities.
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

@Omicron They do sometimes reference accommodating different species; at the beginning of 'Improbable Cause' they altered the atmospheric gaseous mix (which corroded the carpets in the quarters! But they were happy to keep the atmosphere, and just replace the carpets with something else), and the Breen have their refrigeration suits. However I agree with the overall sentiment of your comment; one really would expect accommodations for various differences to be mentioned much more often as a normal part of the daily operations of a space station.

The most common mention is of Cardassians' preference of warmer temperatures; it certainly doesn't count as an extreme difference but it is a difference that is casually mentioned fairly often. I think one of the Weyouns said the Breen homeworld ('frozen wasteland') sounded quite comfortable, but the Vorta evidently function fine in ordinary humanoid temperatures anyway. Maybe they have a tolerance for an extreme range of temperatures - useful, actually, to visit all sorts of planets as Dominion representatives!
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

@Booming They said in-episode that hover-whateveritwas wasn't compatible with Cardassian tech

@Top Hat "The phrase "differently abled" might help reshape the language, since "disabled" has an edge of "there's something wrong with you," rather than that society and your environment fails to accommodate your needs."
That's actually why the disabled community are generally trying to reframe disability as the social model (disabled due to lack of accommodation) rather than the medical model (your body doesn't work, with a side order of 'you are inferior'-connotations).
BTW, "differently abled" is *generally* a phrase used by abled people trying to skirt the word 'disabled' because they're uncomfortable with it, and it's therefore not a phrase that sits well with most disabled people. However I appreciate your thinking behind it and am not accusing you personally of skirting the issue, just explaining why that phrase is problematic :)

"This episode seems like wants to make a statement about the way we construct disability, but it's too muddled to say anything coherent." - After coming to terms with how the episode made me feel, I think I agree with you there. The remark about the station being inherently inaccessible and the flying scene certainly show glimmers of that.


I watched the whole episode some time after commenting and processing the discussion, and noted they did do some things well, e.g. offering help, respecting Melora's answer to the offer, not being condescending, etc. Maybe I should go through and note all the good things at some point in the interests of balance!
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 11:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

Perhaps I should also say I did enjoy Masks, if nothing else for a great Brent Spiner performance. The story was odd for sure, but I don't mind that.

In fairness, if I'd been watching it as broadcast I probably would have been disappointed, and the same goes for other episodes that are widely regarded as clunkers. Having entire series available to watch whenever I like probably helps me enjoy the off-beat episodes, rather than feeling cheated or that my time was wasted.
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 11:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

On first watch I really enjoyed this episode, although I did think the labels given to each of the others representing part of Bashir were slightly off and lacking nuance. Dax seemed to be impulsive along with the confidence, and I don't think Kira was necessarily aggressive, but assertive and forthright. I would not have thought aggression was particularly part of Bashir's personality anyway, although he is assertive. And no curiosity mentioned? Quite the oversight - Odo at points filled that role but I mean it was an oversight to not mention curiosity in the episode.

The episode doesn't hold up quite so well on the second viewing for me, as most of the intrigue was in what exactly was happening and how he'd survive. Once we know that, there wasn't much else in the story to carry it - although the self-sabotage with the pre-/post-ganglionic nerve/fibre was unexpected and hints at undefined character facets we haven't seen yet up to this point. It's a shame they didn't *actually* explore his character in what would have been a perfect setting for it though.

I did enjoy Siddig's performance and the gradual ageing; I noticed his hands were well done at his oldest (ageing make-up for hands is often forgotten or done terribly in TV).
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MusicalTurtle
Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part II

Whether it was intentional or not, the scene when Bashir/Sisko and Dax/O'Brien were reunited felt a bit off to me - it was the big grins and everybody seeming just strangely light-hearted, but I can't quite put my finger on exactly *why* or really justify it. If it was intentional, well done to them giving a subtle tip-off. If it wasn't ... heh, maybe a happy accident? After that everything seemed to be happening too quickly with our main characters almost a bit out of the loop, so I was wondering what the twist was right up until the reveal.
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MusicalTurtle
Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Shadowplay

The Odo storyline actually made me cry the first time round! The rest of it was fluff but enjoyable - apart from Bareil. I never understood what Kira saw in him, until we got Mirror-verse Bareil - and then I felt cheated that Prime-verse Bareil was so wooden and uninteresting. Very strange.

I'm glad they didn't delve into the issue of sentience/life for holograms. It was sufficient that they were real and worth restarting, worth continuing their existence.
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MusicalTurtle
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

Hated the way the ending just had to undermine Keiko. She was believable for me in this episode and I wish they'd left it at 'she really does know her husband'.

@Michael I like the revisions!

I did wonder if it was easily curable and less contagious because they were human, and the aliens' physiology was different. I don't think the writers had that in mind though, otherwise they should have mentioned it and not left it to look like a plot hole.

Also, I could be wrong but wasn't altering memory engrams still risky in the 24th C? It's been a while since watching any other Trek though so I may have forgotten or be confused with something else.
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MusicalTurtle
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

Enjoyable fluff, for me. I would love to know if Bashir's bizarre warm-up was directed or improvised. Rom made me laugh, and I loved Keiko in this. They're not very consistent writing for her throughout the series and it's nice to see her like this (I also thought she was very believable in the Harvesters episode).

This is one I'll happily rewatch - for me the best part of it is Bashir/O'Brien, but the rest is quite fun too.
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MusicalTurtle
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

@Leif I agree.

Could the ep have been better? Yes. I'd have liked to have seen more of the real characters, but at this point in the series they are still getting established so we don't know whether these are amplified traits, or just completely out of character.

For sci-fi there are stock plots and ideas, but the details in how it's executed are generally what interest me. So this episode,the question was 'they are out of character - why?'. That's what kept me watching, and of course the answer to that also determines whether the station and/or characters are in danger.

Not the best episode, but interesting enough for me - the the first time round, anyway, and again after enough time has passed to forget how it turns out. Certainly not a favourite to regularly revisit.
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MusicalTurtle
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

Trying to write this through brainfog right now so apologies if some of it doesn't make sense or it goes off on tangents and not actually addressing the comments to which I'm responding.

@Peter G. Very good points, and regarding POV I think that's probably the overarching problem with it. If it had been written by able-bodied people I think I *would* have given it a pass because it was the 90s. Learning that it was co-written by a disabled person (he's credited with the story and on the teleplay) is what aggravated me so much. But as I said, nobody is immune from internalised ableism, and many disabled people today, even of the younger generations, still struggle with it. It's just frustrating that they blew such a potentially great opportunity.

People feeling inconvenienced by making accommodations is unfortunately still something we come up against a lot. Anything more than a token ramp (which may or may not even be useable) is usually questioned at least, refused at worst. I suppose that is one good point for the episode - they did willingly do everything she needed to the station before her arrival, Julian's unauthorised specs change notwithstanding.

@Booming I think Melora not actually being disabled is why I felt so conflicted back when I first saw it, not sure if it was supposed to be about disability or what. But seeing it so very obviously depicted with medical devices (all the bracing, the wheelchair, the cane) this time around I knew it was definitely intended to portray a sci-fi version of disability.

I have no idea what other representation was or wasn't around at the time so can't really comment on anything else (though I agree Quark in drag was truly terrible, but I have no idea what level of offensive that was).

@OmicronDeltaThetaPhi "Representation done wrong is worse than no representation at all" - indeed. Bad representation does give opportunity to discuss why it was terrible, but only in certain circles. The rest of the viewership only see the bad representation and hear nothing to dispute it.

@TopHat interesting questions! Your first paragraph kind of aligns with the real-world social model of disability, which is what I was hinting at re: deaf and autistic people, and disabled people with purely physical disabilities - in a fully accessible world, many disabled people would genuinely have no problem. It's people like me who are disabled through chronic illness with inherently unreliable bodies that muddy those waters ;)

Re: straying too far out of her lane, historically and even still today (though it is better now than it was) disabled people have struggled with having very low expectations put on them*, which feeds the problem of inspiration p*rn. Not expected to be able to learn, to love, to live independently, to work, to make useful contributions to society. So in my view, Melora working so hard to leave her planet and do beyond what was expected of her is possibly one thing they actually got right!

*Either that or having excessively high expectations - able-bodied people using para-athletes or other well-known disabled people and saying 'they can do it so you should be able to as well'. Or seeing all disabled people as the same, 'my friend's disabled aunt can do this that and the other so you should too' even though they don't have the same disability (although even the same disability will affect everybody differently anyway).

I will have a look at that essay. I'm not usually involved particularly with politics around identity and representation (although my initial rant might call that statement into question).


DS9: still inspiring debate more than quarter of a century later! Thank goodness most of the rest of it was better ;)
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MusicalTurtle
Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 3:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Melora

Me again. Y'know, I've just realised why this is such a big deal to me. Sloppy representation might have been okay if she were a supporting character, and/or her disability were incidental. But not only is she the central character, her disability IS the story - so it HAD to be done right. That's the responsibility they chose to take on and I'm not sure they get a pass just because it was the 90s.
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