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(The New Republic)   Take this Microbrew and Shove It. Why all those crappy towns bragging about their hipster districts and artisan burritos and up-and-coming brewpub scenes are really not that cool   (newrepublic.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, The Matches, Poughkeepsie, Inner Harbor, Raleigh-Durham, Plano, Twin Cities  
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12305 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Feb 2013 at 12:23 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-02-20 11:05:49 AM  
34 votes:
I'll take insufferable hipsterism anyday if it means that we don't go back to the days when Becks and Bass were high-end imports and the only place that made hamburgers with fresh beef was your house. F*ck whether it's "cool" or not, the US dining and drinking scene has improved in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years as towns of all sizes try to emulate the quality and diversity of places known for it. Get over the "hipster" vibe and enjoy a good IPA and an avocado mushroom burger.
2013-02-20 11:43:59 AM  
12 votes:
I really do not know which is worse - places that are desperately trying to be cool or journalists that think they're above them.
2013-02-20 12:31:47 PM  
9 votes:
The author is more insufferable than any hipster I've ever met.
2013-02-20 12:04:56 PM  
7 votes:
There's this strange idea that having shiatty taste is somehow more authentic than having good taste.  It's not.  It's just resentment.
2013-02-20 12:41:54 PM  
6 votes:

Lumpmoose: Ah, there's the punchline: "Everywhere except NYC and LA suck." He sounds miserable so hopefully he'll just stay home next time.


Having done my time in New York, and having left, I like the perspective I have on it after the fact. Cities like NY and LA... everyone moves to with expectations. Like, nobody moves to NY or LA because they want to goof around, maybe get a job, hang out with buddies, drink a bunch and occasionally fall asleep on the lawn. People move there because they aspire to become something more than they are, and they see the city as instrumental to that ambition. The costs are high, you have to hustle constantly to keep your head above water, so to justify your own choices and sacrifices, you have to constantly denigrate everyone who has made the choice to live anywhere except for the city you are struggling so hard to make it in. If their lives are easier, it's because, in some way, they are not as serious as you. And if their smaller, cheaper city has anything going for it, any sort of scene, it's only because, in your mind, the "hipsters" there are desperate to make their city resemble your city. Because, of course, your city is the only real city.

The thing that bothered me the most about New York is that any kind of success I had for myself inspired resent in the people around me, and I felt myself slipping into that as well, resenting people who managed to find success, instead of being happy for them. It's not how I want to interact with the world, and I'm much happier for having left.
2013-02-20 12:18:47 PM  
6 votes:
Here's the entire article:
0-media-cdn.foolz.us
2013-02-20 01:07:47 PM  
5 votes:
I think a lot of posters so far have missed most the points of the article.  The author is basically saying the following...

1. The brew pud district and indy band shows that your city has aren't special or unique.  Dozens and dozens of other cities across the country have the same thing going on.
2. Youth culture, by virtue of inexperience, doesn't always know what the finer, more enjoyable things in life are.
3. Hipsterism isn't cool.  It might not be "uncool", but if you classify something that everyone is doing as "cool", then it looses any meaning.
4. Cities seem to be obsessed with convincing outsiders that they really are cooler than other cities.
2013-02-20 12:41:37 PM  
5 votes:
This guy's point eludes me.

First, he's bemoaning cities that used to be honest (dull) places for authentic salt-of-the-earth people to live their lives, and then become a pretentious Mecca for bohemians.  Okay, I've heard that line before.

But then, he whines about how unimpressed he was by all the "it" cities he visited.  Dude, if you're the one visiting, then what the Hell is the argument here?  They're gentrifying your neighborhood into something edgy, and dammit these neighborhoods aren't edgy enough!  It's the hipster version of "this food sucks and the portions are too small."

Nevermind the fact that if all these towns decided to be Plano, Illinois, they'd still be unimpressive and exactly alike if you visited them---except now you're visiting a town whose dining options are a Subway, and it's closed on sundays after 5.
2013-02-20 12:38:39 PM  
4 votes:

dc0012c: I'll take insufferable hipsterism anyday if it means that we don't go back to the days when Becks and Bass were high-end imports...


This.

Personally, I'm glad all of the beers I like are now more widely available at most of the bars I frequent.

I don't miss the days of sticking with the shiatty beer that sucked least while out with friends.
2013-02-20 02:13:40 PM  
3 votes:
img198.imageshack.us
2013-02-20 12:31:00 PM  
3 votes:

dc0012c: I'll take insufferable hipsterism anyday if it means that we don't go back to the days when Becks and Bass were high-end imports and the only place that made hamburgers with fresh beef was your house. F*ck whether it's "cool" or not, the US dining and drinking scene has improved in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years as towns of all sizes try to emulate the quality and diversity of places known for it. Get over the "hipster" vibe and enjoy a good IPA and an avocado mushroom burger.


I grew up in New Orleans, where good food and booze was always aplenty.

Throwing a slice of flavorless US grown avocado on food is the height of hipster cooking.
2013-02-20 11:52:30 AM  
3 votes:
As in all It Cities, Portland's status is codified by its need for recognition from outsiders, embellished by how effectively it commercializes that attention, and sustained by the intensity of its need to prove that you don't have to live in New York or L.A. to be surrounded by awesome musicians, world-class theater, and pretentious Sazerac culture.

Except that you sort of do.

Ah, there's the punchline: "Everywhere except NYC and LA suck."  He sounds miserable so hopefully he'll just stay home next time.
2013-02-20 02:29:18 PM  
2 votes:
Hipsters are simply trying to find a sense of history here.

It's not just the intellectual superiority pose, which is often worth about what it seems to be, or the leering, dime store irony they try and find in the alleged stupidity and redneckism of the non hipster.  That's mostly so they can have the most z0mg, teh funny!1 story to tweet to their BFFs later.  It's not even the artsy fartsy thing so much as the artsy fartsy thing is the tool kit they have chosen.  That, and Chinese made technology.  Because we don't made sh*t here, anymore and our history is one of making more, stronger, better stuff than anybody, faster.  And when the stuff ran out of customers, the people signing the checks shuttered the factories and moved on to the next thing.

There's a disconnect there.  All that "this is how you make stuff" never got passed on.  They are seeking historical refuge in the arcane points of craft and architecture that pervades all of those "historically significant" countries that they could finally afford to visit after they took their industrial worker parent's advice and went to college and got a GOOD job.  This is hillbillies home from Gay Paree trying to jazz the joint up a little bit.  They want our older architecture to survive, too.  Something more than banks, Van Der Roheian monstrosities and aluminum and glass fast food joints.  Because, so far, that is our history.

The American tradition is that, once you sh*t the bed where you were, you could just pack up the plantation and head over that hew horizon and start over in some new, yet pristine expanse of the endless, resource festooned wilds that is America.  Only we're all moved in now and that sh*t doesn't work.  So this is the flower of our overeducated youth trying to knock some lace doilies and cloth napkins together and lay them in the freshly pressure washed and regentrified palaces of our forefathers, now that the machines are silent. And, since we're Americans, we've turned it into a competition.  And we await Those Who Matter™ to anoint *our* prize pig with this week's blue ribbon.  And, the food is better.  The beer, like most beer, is either really quite good or utter horse piss.  And the pose will tame itself to fit the actualities, as poses do.  And we just might be revamping our history into something more than and endless cycle of build, make, use and break.  I can put up with a handful of Macbook Air douches, wittering on about free range avocados and hearth baked buns if it puts enough lipstick on the pig to keep what's left of our economy and history under the same sheets.
2013-02-20 02:27:29 PM  
2 votes:

GregInIndy: The author's not railing against your local microbrewery IPA, awesome food truck, or handcrafted avocado mushroom burger with locally-sourced beef & bacon.  He's simply saying that damned near every mid-sized city and city suburb has some form of these nice things now.  It doesn't make your town special anymore.

God knows I love the variety of local brewers and their offerings here in Indianapolis.  But I don't think it makes us unique in any way.


So farking what? The whole point is not to be "unique." It's to have something worth going to in town that isn't a corporate chain.

With this movement towards having specialized local city food and drink, it means I don't have to travel into a big city to have stuff like that. So I'm all for it.
2013-02-20 02:17:57 PM  
2 votes:

kidgenius: Ya know, Olive Garden isn't really terrible. Is it great food? Hell no. Is it serviceable? Sure. But at the same time, you can still have a restaurant making great food that isn't an olive garden, but also isn't trying to be pretentious about not trying to be pretentious.


see its odd, you see "pretensiousness" and i see "advertising." restaurants are a crowded field and the failure rate is high. If you want to attract customers and ask them to pay (significantly) more than a place like the olive garden, you need to give them a reason. Telling people up front that you source materials locally sets you apart from the competition. touting the skills or education or ratings of your chef lets them know they have a real expert creating the food. telling a story behind your food and dish choices gives your potential consumer some insight into what makes your restaurant different and special and therefore worth the extra money when there is a perfectly serviceable olive garden in the next parking lot.
2013-02-20 02:08:56 PM  
2 votes:
The author's not railing against your local microbrewery IPA, awesome food truck, or handcrafted avocado mushroom burger with locally-sourced beef & bacon.  He's simply saying that damned near every mid-sized city and city suburb has some form of these nice things now.  It doesn't make your town special anymore.

God knows I love the variety of local brewers and their offerings here in Indianapolis.  But I don't think it makes us unique in any way.
2013-02-20 01:22:26 PM  
2 votes:
Since I don't drink better I always wonder about the so called superiority of these tiny little brewing companies that only produce locally.

If your product is so superior to anything I can purchase at a decent grocery store... Why aren't you selling it there?
2013-02-20 01:11:07 PM  
2 votes:
I thought the author was mad because now people in every decently sized city can have hamburgers with cheeses other than American and beers that don't come from Coors or Anheiser Busch.
2013-02-20 12:58:16 PM  
2 votes:
I'm glad I don't drink beer any more.  I just drink the hard stuff to forget about what a shiatty day I had.
2013-02-20 12:40:12 PM  
2 votes:

cgraves67: I'll still take variety over conformity even if it means that some of the variety is subpar.


Except that these provincial wannabe Portlands are all racing to conform to a template that actually squeezes out variety. As long as it means I can get good beer and food, and there's a club that books the bands that I want to see, I don't mind too much. But do admit that these local scenes aren't developing anything unique, they're trying to create instant Brooklyns.
2013-02-20 12:35:51 PM  
2 votes:
I think it has been pretty well shredded so far in this thread, but wow.  What a stupid article.  The point the author is trying to make, as far as I can tell, is "I was a hipster before being a hipster was cool."

Also, this:

dc0012c: I'll take insufferable hipsterism anyday if it means that we don't go back to the days when Becks and Bass were high-end imports and the only place that made hamburgers with fresh beef was your house. F*ck whether it's "cool" or not, the US dining and drinking scene has improved in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years as towns of all sizes try to emulate the quality and diversity of places known for it. Get over the "hipster" vibe and enjoy a good IPA and an avocado mushroom burger.

2013-02-20 12:31:22 PM  
2 votes:

Rapmaster2000: What is this guy's point?


This guy's point is that he knows cool, and none of these places are cool.
2013-02-20 12:27:54 PM  
2 votes:
I'll still take variety over conformity even if it means that some of the variety is subpar.
2013-02-20 07:44:56 PM  
1 vote:
Drink what you want to drink and be happy.
2013-02-20 04:30:30 PM  
1 vote:
I guess I didn't see the place in the article where the writer was making a Pro-Coors Light stance.  Seems like he's a travel writer who's tired of seeing the same thing repeatedly trotted out as "unique".
2013-02-20 04:12:14 PM  
1 vote:
what a meandering, self-indulgent slop of an article.  at first i thought he was going to make a valid point about the criteria of becoming an "It City," but then it just turns into criticizing any sort of cultural development as derivative.  as if the unmitigated consumerism and materialism of NY and LA are pinnacles of culture: he pretty much says as much with his "moneyed clink" comment and his visible disgust at the 'pedestrian' tastes of Chattanooga.  'hipster culture' rejects the very high-brow exclusivity he's claiming is the standard of 'cool,' so why is he surprised to not find NY wherever he goes?  how 'cool' 'hipster culture' actually is is a matter of debate, but what makes him qualified to judge that?

for what it's worth, i don't self-identify as hipster, but i can appreciate certain products of the culture as well as i can products of high culture or pop culture.  judge each cultural meme on its own merit, not where it came from.  author's a douchebag.
2013-02-20 03:43:26 PM  
1 vote:
Don't act all hungry, people: You can get pretty much the same burger at the brewpub down the street from your office.

This dumbass needs to learn when to use a semicolon. The use of the colon here is incorrect.

Yeah, grammar nazi, but he's a "professional" writer and should know better.
2013-02-20 02:59:38 PM  
1 vote:
In CLE, for about a decade, it was the Flats district.  On the E bank, Old River Road.  On the west bank, well, whatever was across the rover from Old River Road.  Wall to wall beer joints, (good) live bands, food, boats docked everywhere, regentrified old buildings , some stuff knocked together from Home Depot.  Serious wild west vibe.

And wall to wall, nuts to buts, 20 minute traffic jams on a 1 mile street.  Commerce.  Tons of it.  Happy, hammered, nibbling, noshing, grooving music and arts fans browsing, dancing, doing lines in the bathroom, paying ridiculous amounts of money to park, wallet hoovering commerce.

And couple of dipsh*ts fell in the river and somebody got stabbed and the corporate whores decided that they should drum up the "oh noes!" pisswillies to ask us to think of the childrens, and it worked.  And they flattened it, gutted it, graded it, tossed up a bunch of fancy architectural drawings and pointed at their engorged bank statements and proposed hotels and corporate hooer eateries and residences and "people movers" and so far, it's a f*cking sand pit.  But they got that land.  Every foot of it.

And frankly, this is ten times worse than hipster douches in convertibles in winter, coke addled, chicken walking freeze bunnies stomping from bar to bar, sans coat, hugging themselves because "IT'S SO COLD", and smoking rock bands that should be signed but weren't because they were from CLE.  Don't throw stones at the brewpub weenies.  It could be worse.  It could be oily motherf*ckers in suits "developing" it.
2013-02-20 02:54:31 PM  
1 vote:
s3.amazonaws.com
Article's author penned the above, a fantastically funny book for anyone who has ever visited a third world country with a backpack.  Last I heard he was still living in the hipster miasma that is Portland.
2013-02-20 02:52:00 PM  
1 vote:

FarkedOver: I'm glad I don't drink beer any more.  I just drink the hard stuff to forget about what a shiatty day I had.


Couldn't have said this any better myself.
2013-02-20 02:50:29 PM  
1 vote:

maudibjr: Having lived in both South Dakota and East Tennessee.  I would avoid both.


You sure know how to pick 'em.
2013-02-20 02:49:26 PM  
1 vote:
I agree with this guy pretty much down the line. I made the same discovery about 15 years ago when I had a conference in St. Louis and went to their revitalized tourist area by the river with the fake gaslights and obligatory brewpub and, in a spell of jet lag (it was a long month) suddenly blanked on what city I was in. I like a brew pub as much as the next person, and have visited them from Seattle to New Orleans, San Diego to Edinburgh, but face it, they're all pretty much the same.

In a related matter, there was an article in the NY Times this last Sunday explaining that hipsters had discovered Hastings-on-Hudson (formerly knows as just "Hastings") and other river towns, and how they were now places where once could get x, y, and z. The funny thing was, that although the specific x, y, and z may be "hand crafted by local artisans," they're pretty much same everywhere hipsters congregate. I'm sure they'd hate to realize that they're just as homogenous as any suburb, but it's only a question of whether you buy your gluten-free red velvet cupcake from the bakery with the kitschy Betty Paige with cats-eye glasses motif or the one with the '60s airstream trailer pink flamingo vibe.
2013-02-20 02:34:03 PM  
1 vote:
I guess part of this guy's angst goes back to something I've observed over the years.  A lot of these (especially mid-western or southern) towns of a million or so are quite similar to begin with.

So, its no surprise that many of them have taken to this sort of urban renewal.

I mean, the guy is still Gripey McSandyvaj, but yeah, there is a level of artifice in the race toward becoming an "IT" city.

If a person is dropped blindfolded into the downtown of Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Indy, St Louis, Cincy, Columbus, Little Rock, Atlanta, etc etc, it would take some moments of investigation to figure out where you were, after the blindfold is removed.

Many of these places have a lot in common to begin with, so its no surprise that many of them have brew pubs in "converted schoolhouses" or whatever else this jackass was crackin off about.
2013-02-20 02:14:19 PM  
1 vote:

SnarfVader: It's like he completely missed the point of microbreweries.

Plus he missed the point of Portland. Portland is not the Pearl. The Pearl is an abomination.


Came here to say that.

If I want beer in Portland, I'm going to to the Lucky Lab...

/ Never felt comfortable walking around the Pearl District
// I sound poor...
2013-02-20 02:13:45 PM  
1 vote:

Bell's Boy: I'm a hipster. There, I said it.

I am not all things hipster. I do not wear skinny jeans. I do not wear a scarf and Tom's. I enjoy sports.

What makes me a hipster apparently? I like good craft beer. I like good food, including experimentation with food. I like some music that would be considered obscure to some people........

My question is this: Is it the things that I like that make someone a hipster, or is it somebody who likes those things but is a pretentious douche bag about it? Or is it that a "hipster" is just a blanket name for people who don't like what you like?


Hipsterism to me seems rooted in a belief that what a person eats, drinks, wears or listens to is what makes them "cool" and the more obscure the food, drink or band the more "coo"l it is. Hipsters see something they perceive as "cool" and adopt it not necessarily because they genuinely like it but because they think it will make them "cool". When a person genuinely enjoys something they do not need to brag about how "cool" it is.

My 62 year old father who wears fishing shirts and khaki shorts with calf high navy socks likes craft beer and listens to Dr. Dog. He is not a hipster.
2013-02-20 01:57:49 PM  
1 vote:

positronica: I think a lot of posters so far have missed most the points of the article.  The author is basically saying the following...

1. The brew pub district and indy band shows that your city has aren't special or unique.  Dozens and dozens of other cities across the country have the same thing going on.
2. Youth culture, by virtue of inexperience, doesn't always know what the finer, more enjoyable things in life are.
3. Hipsterism isn't cool.  It might not be "uncool", but if you classify something that everyone is doing as "cool", then it looses any meaning.
4. Cities seem to be obsessed with convincing outsiders that they really are cooler than other cities.


Hey, finally, halfway through the comments and we find someone with decent reading comprehension.  The rest are either dumb, skimmed the article, or feel an annoying twinge of recognition about their own 'burg and/or lives.
2013-02-20 01:55:07 PM  
1 vote:

Snargi: Artisanal ice cream, gluten-free pizza, burrito trucks run by real Mexicans, jalapeño-infused margaritas, celebrity graffiti sprayers, and First Thursday art walks in revitalized industrial zones promoted by farsighted civic planners armed with government tax schemes-these are the totems of It City.

So burrito trucks run by real Mexicans is a sign of being a hip city? The Chamber of Commerce in every California Central Valley town are going to be ecstatic at this revelation. Can't tell you how many times I've drove by Chowchilla on Hgwy 99 and not realized that it was an It City.


I'm always amazed by people who think illegals who broke the law getting here and break the law by staying here will respect the food-handling laws. The ones who ran a taco truck out of my neighbor's house certainly didn't.

/of course, I'm amazed that I think anyone respects food-handling laws
/not all illegals are Mexicans, not all Mexicans are illegals, not all taco trucks will give you listeria
/it can take 70 days for listeria to kick in anyways...next customer please
2013-02-20 01:52:35 PM  
1 vote:
I dislike hipsters as much as the next guy...but the snideness in this article takes the author out of "regular person being annoyed by pretentious hipsters" territory and straight into "too hip to be a hipster, therefore a superhipster" territory.
2013-02-20 01:24:13 PM  
1 vote:
media.avclub.com
2013-02-20 01:13:50 PM  
1 vote:
I'm not really getting the author's point, unless it's Cranky Curmudgeon Would Prefer Bud Lite & Frozen Pizza To Fresh, Locally-Made Food & Beer.
2013-02-20 01:09:09 PM  
1 vote:

positronica


1. The brew pud district


Freudian slip is Freudian.
2013-02-20 01:06:15 PM  
1 vote:
So, in other words, Hipsters are overwhelmingly democratic voters.  Gotcha.  We should all hate them.  Never mind that you can just eat the good food and drink the good beer and forget about the rest of that crap, no we need to be REAL Americans and eat shiat and drink pisswater light.

Why are republicans against small businesses?  I thought they were pro small businesses.
2013-02-20 12:57:35 PM  
1 vote:
San Diego is a great food town, but I can see where it can get a "hispster" moniker...wouldn't be from Gaslamp though.  More likely Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Northpark or Mission Hills (Urban Solace, Bleu Bistro).

I do like the variety of beers available in local liquor stores as well as "normal" bars and pubs.
2013-02-20 12:51:29 PM  
1 vote:

dc0012c: I'll take insufferable hipsterism anyday if it means that we don't go back to the days when Becks and Bass were high-end imports and the only place that made hamburgers with fresh beef was your house. F*ck whether it's "cool" or not, the US dining and drinking scene has improved in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years as towns of all sizes try to emulate the quality and diversity of places known for it. Get over the "hipster" vibe and enjoy a good IPA and an avocado mushroom burger.


This.  With the exception of avocado on a burger.
2013-02-20 12:47:53 PM  
1 vote:
You know why I hate hipster places? Because everyone goes to hiptser places. Everyone tries to be "cool" by eating at these restaurants and drinking at their bars. Sure, the food is pretty good. But the crowds and wait times absolutely kill it. And, having to hear everyone say "OMG OMG OMG! If you haven't eaten at XXX, then you haven't lived! They name their chickens before they kill em. They only use locally grown XXXX" It's a formula to get people to come to your place. And yes, it can work out, but I just want to have a restaurant that says "here I am, come and eat" and stops trying to be pretentious about their "story" and the ingredients and the story they are trying to tell with their ingredients.
2013-02-20 12:45:19 PM  
1 vote:
Summary: I used to be with it but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it and what's it seems weird  and scary to me.
2013-02-20 12:44:28 PM  
1 vote:
Wow. they put Poughkeepsie in that article. Cool? Hipster? No, still pretty much trash.

Though you may want to drive a few more minutes north up Route 9.

www.hydeparkbrewing.moonfruit.com
2013-02-20 12:41:46 PM  
1 vote:
Oh good, another thread where taste and preference gets to be rated.  News flash.  We are all individuals.  Our tastes in art, women, men, beer, food, color, housing, cars, etc. will vary.  It's a personal thing and truly unique to the individual.  If this were not the case wouldn't it stand to reason that places we individually abhor go out of business?  After all, we don't like it why would anyone else go there?
kab
2013-02-20 12:41:09 PM  
1 vote:
But there are few more insufferable banalities in modern urban life than a town recently deemed cool self absorbed, whiny journalist.

Fixed.  And don't worry, Chucky, if you keep driving past all these mortifying small businesses, you'll eventually see a golden arches, or even a Wal Mart sign, and be able to breath a bit easier.
2013-02-20 12:38:57 PM  
1 vote:
so, was there anything on earth that this guy said he liked?  or does he exist just to poop on everything.
2013-02-20 12:38:40 PM  
1 vote:
Wow... I actually have phantom sympathy symptom rectal discomfort from the amount of unadulterated BUTTHURT I just exposed myself to.

/won't be able to sit right for weeks.
//homebrews
2013-02-20 12:36:09 PM  
1 vote:

Citrate1007: The author is more insufferable than any hipster I've ever met.


If only there were a product that could remove the sand that is irritating him and leave him as fresh as a summer's eve.
2013-02-20 12:33:50 PM  
1 vote:
All those "Foodies" are really getting annoying.
That's why I've decided that all this new "good food" sucks.
2013-02-20 12:09:32 PM  
1 vote:
After visiting this hotbed of cool, I can attest that it's every bit as entertaining as San Diego's savagely dullor Baltimore's prosaic Inner Harbor.

Dude, your problem is that you went to the mall and were shocked when it was just like every other mall.  This is because you're not cool.
2013-02-20 11:47:00 AM  
1 vote:
It's like he completely missed the point of microbreweries.

Plus he missed the point of Portland. Portland is not the Pearl. The Pearl is an abomination.
 
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