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  1. #21
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Interesting. This rings true with the INFJs in my life. It's a very different anger outlet than the kind that I usually crave. What is it about "grace under fire" that drew you, and calmed you? I ask because those sorts of plotlines don't generally have happy endings, and the titular hero(ine) tends to die for the cause, or at least go through great injustices before (s)he gets what (s)he wants -- and that type of plot tends to make me even angrier, since helplessness to injustice makes me incredibly angry/frustrated and sad endings don't give me much catharsis at all. I'm interested in whether it's enneagram, or MBTI, or none of the above.
    I didn't know it was an INFJ thing

    The thing about "grace under fire" is the confirmation that no matter how terrible the world is, there is a pure soul who will stand up for what is right and willingly face the consequences. It makes me feel hopeful for the future of humanity, and that a gem is still a gem in the dirtiest mud. I know the character might not be able to make a difference in the real world, but it just makes the moral stand all the more uplifting. I guess it's the "You can have my life but my soul is free" kind of defiance that speaks to me. I admire them, and I hope I will be able to do the same thing when the time comes. There is also something very dramatic and romantic about dying for what you believe in, and even a hint of "Look what you've done, society, and be ashamed!". Tragedies make humans great. I feel the struggles of humanity within the large sweeping brushstrokes of time and it's all very sad and beautiful. That I think it could very well be a 4 thing, plus a bit of Fe?

    I think maybe the difference is that I seek no real results in the outside world, but in the mind of the individual? To die trying is to win already

    To quickly answer all these questions:
    1) Yes.
    2) That's generally not a fear of mine. A part of me, deep down, believes that I can maintain my moral convictions and detach myself from people's failures enough that my morals and theirs can coexist. (I've improved immensely on this in recent years, but I think a consequence of it is that I'm much harder on myself; I can't just go around blaming other people now.)
    3) I like the power I get from it. Repression of anger means powerlessness; it means that whatever is making you angry will continue to make you angry, and you can't fight back. Anger, well-channeled, means never being a victim.
    4) What bothers me about it is the lack of control I seem to have over it. (See below.) I blurt things out, I offend people.I break social rules by accident. Sometimes I scare people. I don't want to be the scary, "crazy" one. In a perfect world, I'd be the one who befriends the more emotional people and acts as their grounding force. I'm uncomfortable with the opposite role; it's completely contrary to what I try to embody.
    5) Doing what needs to be done, with power and fearlessness.

    Although @Kasper was right when he said that non-Gut types can only understand so much of what anger is like for us, you are right about the bolded. The everyday things that anger me -- the reasons why I may be angry all the time -- are generally things outside my control, things that are someone else's fault. That anger is a little more shallow and thus a whole lot easier to wield, in situations where wielding anger skillfully is advantageous. Anger at others is the anger that you can dub "righteous anger" and get a lot of satisfaction from, as in the OP. However, the anger that I don't enjoy at all, begins as anger at a situation, and then is directed at myself. I am the object of most of my deeper anger. In my darkest moments, my rage at myself becomes hopelessness; I am broken and imperfect and will never have any worth.

    Describing it like that implies that it is the basis for all of my anger, and I don't think it is. But there are often times when I try to use anger to my advantage, but the anger turns itself into sadness instead, taking an energy-creating emotion and turning it into an energy-draining one. Example: academic failures. I'll try to use anger at a poor grade to do better in the class, but I'll despair instead, beating myself up about the grade and (temporarily) giving up on the possibility of grade improvement.

    This could be another reason why I want to let my anger out in a righteous way: It's a lot better, and more constructive, than the alternative, and it doesn't seem that I'm mature enough at the moment to find something new and even better. Either that, or I just need to be shown; what's the quote about those who see, those who see when they're shown, and those who don't see?
    Wow this is very interesting! Lots of great points! Thanks! I can see traces of something like this in my boyfriend (INFP 9w1) and his uneasy relationship with anger has always perplexed me.

    There are bits and pieces in your post that I'd like to reply to, and I tried to cut and paste things in a different order, but ended up messing it up, so I guess I'll organize my thoughts into a few main points.

    The motivation: Maybe that's not the right word, but there seems to be something very deep down that motivates anger? Compared to guilt, which I feel a lot, it seems anger is more object-oriented, and change-oriented. When I feel guilty, I feel that I should have tried harder, or I should have been smarter so I would have been able to predict what was to come (which means that maybe if I had paid more attention maybe I would have picked up on the clues). I'm hard on myself for being selfish. Interestingly, I never feel powerless. When something goes wrong, it is not because I am powerless to change it. On the contrary, I had all the power change the outcome, but did not do so because I was somehow selfish. And why is it so bad to be selfish? I don't really know right now, but I suspect that it is because it does not match up to my self image and it makes me feel ashamed for being a fraud. On the other hand, if I know I had tried my very best and something did not work, I am free of that guilt. Stuff then gets interpreted in terms of the tragedy of human existence.

    So maybe anger has a stronger focus on results and slightly less focus on the intention?

    "Righteous Anger": I think you said you find this anger easier to handle. The only problem you have with it is that you want it 100% under control so you can use it constructively. I haven't got a lot of experience dealing with this kind of anger. I've only felt it 'in passing' when I hear upsetting news and I want justice done to the wrongdoers, but I almost never feel it in real life situations.

    I think there are two types of righteous anger: the first is the shallower, more explosive type, where you suddenly feel soooo angry, going from zero to a hundred in a blink. This can be very destructive if not kept under control. I think the best way to deal with it is to remind yourself that what you feel at the moment is most likely colored by a lot of other factors, such as presumptions and emotions. This is the kind of anger that people regret the most. I think if you regret something, it means you don't think it's right after the moment has passed. Maybe the key is to slow down, stop yourself from doing anything and remind yourself that what you are feeling is not the truth. It probably has some truth in it, which got you angry in the first place, but the anger might have been intensified by other things and perhaps you don't know the whole truth yet. This works for me when I'm trying to mood-manage. What you are feeling is not the whole truth. That usually stops me from wanting to kill myself out of the in-the-moment guilt or shame.

    The second type is deeper, less explosive, and does not disappear after the moment. I think this anger really needs a healthy outlet, or it will become bitter and vengeful. Because it doesn't compel you to act upon it immediately, I think this can be explored to a deeper level, and you can perhaps bring in compassion as well. Yes, people mess up, and, yes, sometimes people are downright evil. But sometimes I can't help but feel that I am 'good' because I was loved as a child (and still am). People nurtured me. People believed in me. That is why I grew up to be who I am today. Some people are not that lucky, and in their world everything is confusing. They don't know what it's like to love and therefore have no idea how to love others. So, maybe they messed up, and maybe they hurt other people, but it's just because their reality is so messed up in the first place. I think maybe anger should be directed not at what they have done, but how to rectify it and help prevent future such incidents from happening.

    I'll share a bit more about being on the "receiving end". I usually am very upset when someone is angry with me. The interesting thing is that I only can't deal with anger when the thing I did was unintentional. I don't think people should be mad at me because of that, and when they are it seems like they are being close-minded and unreasonable. If I did something on purpose, I don't really mind if someone is angry. It's like I did what I thought was right and I will face the consequences. Anger on the receiving end for me feels like punishment (which I know is not like that for the person being angry), and sometimes I can't help but feel it is unjustified.

    For me, most of the time when I'm angry it's because I feel the object of my anger has the power to hurt me or my loved ones. For me it's actually fear that is the problem, so I try to deal with the underlying fear and it help eases the anger.

    "Anger at Self": This is tricky. When I feel guilt-ridden, there is no easy way to deal with it. So I can imagine that it is the same as your anger. My suggestion is to 'extract yourself from yourself' and look at yourself objectively, and kindly. Imagine you are a higher power, or a loving parent, or a well-wishing friend, then look at yourself from a more detached perspective. Have some compassion for yourself as well.

    One last thing I'd like to say is still pretty vague, and I'm still trying to figure it out myself. What I've noticed is that once I've done a bit of exploring of my own emotional states, I realize that it all leads back to the emotions serving me in some way -- even negative emotions. I always derive some sort of affirmation or confirmation from all of my emotions. Sometimes I'm happy that I'm right about the world, or I'm happy that I'm right about other people, or I'm happy that I'm right about myself. I think a lot of it is just feeding into my ego of what I think I am and what I think the world should be. Sometimes I feel like I just need to 'get over myself', as someone helpful has told me before.

    Sorry -- this post is becoming rather long and rambling. Hopefully it makes at least a bit of sense.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #22
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    No. What's it about?
    It's about being very angry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106856/

    And I have a hunch you'd like this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289406/
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

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  3. #23
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    No. What's it about?
    It's about an ordinary, mild-mannered, white collar worker who suddenly snaps one day. He basically goes on a violent rage spree, over all the shitty and annoying aspects of life and society.

    It may provide some insight (or at least vicarious satisfaction). It's a pretty good film too.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  4. #24
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    Steam and Anger

    Don't be seduced, for anger is disfunctional in the modern world.

    And we even have a disfunctional theory of anger, and that is the Steam Train Theory of Anger where anger builds up and builds up like steam in a boiler until it bursts.

    However there is no evidence whatsoever for the Steam Train Theory of Anger, and in fact the Steam Train Theory is simply a metaphor left over from the Age of Steam.

    The Age of Steam has passed but the metaphor lingers.

  5. #25
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    @SD45T-2 and @Southern Kross: Nice, "Falling Down" sounds good. The synopsis and some of the reviews I've been reading make it sound like a guy version of "Serial Mom" -- which was a really clever and hilarious movie.
    @21%, sorry I haven't replied yet -- your post has a lot of food for thought. I'll get to it soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Don't be seduced, for anger is disfunctional in the modern world.

    And we even have a disfunctional theory of anger, and that is the Steam Train Theory of Anger where anger builds up and builds up like steam in a boiler until it bursts.

    However there is no evidence whatsoever for the Steam Train Theory of Anger, and in fact the Steam Train Theory is simply a metaphor left over from the Age of Steam.

    The Age of Steam has passed but the metaphor lingers.
    How would you describe it, then?

    I do think emotions build up until they burst, although the phrasing is misleading; I would describe it as stressors building up. As stressors build up, the resulting emotions from the stressors build up, so that, if you were fully in touch with your emotions, you would know that you were becoming more and more emotional, or more and more angry/frustrated, but instead you either feel nothing or you feel vaguely "bad" and vaguely "worse" than you did.

    Recently after an emotional buildup, I felt like my emotions were a tight and heavy knotted mass, pressing down on my chest from within; I couldn't identify what they were, but they were there and they were not pleasant. I took actions to relieve that pressure, but I think I would have snapped at someone if that hadn't happened.

    Call it what you will -- a buildup or an inability to contain ones unfiltered feelings due to emotions getting in the way of logic -- but it has happened to me.

    Of course, I don't know you very well, Victor -- although I'm familiar with your posting style and some of your socio-political/philosophical views -- so I don't know how you would describe your own anger, let alone whether anger is much of a presence in your life. (Some people just don't get angry very often; I don't relate to them, but they exist.) Nonetheless, that's my experience of it, in addition to my other posts in this thread.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I do think emotions build up until they burst
    So you see how powerful metaphors are - we live our metaphors.

    So it is vital we apply evidence and reason to our metaphors so that we can choose which metaphors we live.

    And we now know that anger doesn't build up like steam - unless of course we believe the Steam Train metaphor.

  7. #27
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    So you see how powerful metaphors are - we live our metaphors.

    So it is vital we apply evidence and reason to our metaphors so that we can choose which metaphors we live.

    And we now know that anger doesn't build up like steam - unless of course we believe the Steam Train metaphor.
    So I ask again: what metaphor do you use?

    If it's really so bad to live the Steam Train Metaphor, what would be a better replacement?

    Do you have a metaphor?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    So I ask again: what metaphor do you use?

    If it's really so bad to live the Steam Train Metaphor, what would be a better replacement?

    Do you have a metaphor?
    Metaphors are usually unconscious, and all the more powerful for being unconscious.

    The Stone Age produced its own metaphors; the Bronze Age produced its metaphors; the Iron Age produced its metaphors; the Steam Age produced its metaphors; the Age of Print produced its metaphors; and the Computer Age is producing metaphors now.

    The Enlightenment taught us to apply evidence and reason to our unconscious metaphors so we can design our own metaphors.

    And Sigmund Freud taught us to make our unconscious metaphors, conscious.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    So I ask again: what metaphor do you use?

    If it's really so bad to live the Steam Train Metaphor, what would be a better replacement?

    Do you have a metaphor?
    We have been slaves to metaphor for 100,000 years or more. Metaphors have limned our lives. This is because metaphors are immensely powerful because they are unconscious and shared by families, clans, tribes and nations. In fact when we have something to die for, it is usually a metaphor.

    So the question today is : how can we free ourselves from our unconscious, shared metaphors - how can we live freely.

    The first step is to become conscious of the metaphors we live by. And that is why religion is such a hot topic here, for religion provides the overarching metaphor.

    The second step is to learn to design our own metaphors. We can become metaphor designers.

  10. #30
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Finally responding to your post:
    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    The thing about "grace under fire" is the confirmation that no matter how terrible the world is, there is a pure soul who will stand up for what is right and willingly face the consequences. It makes me feel hopeful for the future of humanity, and that a gem is still a gem in the dirtiest mud. I know the character might not be able to make a difference in the real world, but it just makes the moral stand all the more uplifting. I guess it's the "You can have my life but my soul is free" kind of defiance that speaks to me. I admire them, and I hope I will be able to do the same thing when the time comes. There is also something very dramatic and romantic about dying for what you believe in, and even a hint of "Look what you've done, society, and be ashamed!". Tragedies make humans great. I feel the struggles of humanity within the large sweeping brushstrokes of time and it's all very sad and beautiful. That I think it could very well be a 4 thing, plus a bit of Fe?

    I think maybe the difference is that I seek no real results in the outside world, but in the mind of the individual? To die trying is to win already
    Thanks for elaborating on this. I find it so interesting, how what infuriates one person can be cathartic to another. The bolded, especially, hits the nail on the head; I can generally only handle protagonists that suffer for a cause, when the cause wins in the end. Examples: “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”. If Jimmy Stewart hadn’t won in those movies, I would have hated them.

    Wow this is very interesting! Lots of great points! Thanks! I can see traces of something like this in my boyfriend (INFP 9w1) and his uneasy relationship with anger has always perplexed me.
    Glad to help.

    Re: the bolded… What makes it uneasy, exactly? The same things that make mine uneasy? What inspired the word choice?
    How similar is his experience to mine?
    The motivation: Maybe that's not the right word, but there seems to be something very deep down that motivates anger? Compared to guilt, which I feel a lot, it seems anger is more object-oriented, and change-oriented. When I feel guilty, I feel that I should have tried harder, or I should have been smarter so I would have been able to predict what was to come (which means that maybe if I had paid more attention maybe I would have picked up on the clues). I'm hard on myself for being selfish. Interestingly, I never feel powerless. When something goes wrong, it is not because I am powerless to change it. On the contrary, I had all the power change the outcome, but did not do so because I was somehow selfish. And why is it so bad to be selfish? I don't really know right now, but I suspect that it is because it does not match up to my self image and it makes me feel ashamed for being a fraud. On the other hand, if I know I had tried my very best and something did not work, I am free of that guilt. Stuff then gets interpreted in terms of the tragedy of human existence.

    So maybe anger has a stronger focus on results and slightly less focus on the intention?
    Some of this might be MBTI-related, as well. I was just talking with @fidelia and others – I forget on which thread – about Fe vs. Fi reactions to wrongs and mistakes. Fe-users will want “This is what was done wrong, this is who is accountable, and it won’t be done again”, while Fi-users will want “This is what was done wrong, here is the reason why, but I recognize that the thought process wasn’t correct, and I’ll change my mindset and it won’t be done again” – leading to communication errors with Fe-users thinking that Fi-users are “making excuses” when they’re just trying to apologize in the way that they’d want to be apologized to. I had phrased it as “Fe-users have more of a focus on blame”, but fidelia and others said that “accountability” was a better word. I forget whether you were involved in that discussion, 21%? (In a way, I hope you weren’t, or else I’ve written out that whole summary for nothing. )

    But I digress. I generally agree that anger is more change-oriented, but from my personal experience, guilt and anger are equally object-oriented. Guilt is 100% aimed at the self, oftentimes with no hope of change; anger can be aimed at anything, almost always with an ideal change in mind. (And when there’s no hope of change, that’s when the hopelessness comes in.) Submergence in anger is like being high. Submergence in guilt is like being in a torture chamber. (I think my Fi is showing!)

    I think for the Gut triad, the thing that motivates anger is ideals and perfectionism. Or at least, a strong sense that things are not as they should be. Even my occasional 2-wing guilt stems from me not acting/being like how I should act/be.
    "Righteous Anger": I think you said you find this anger easier to handle. The only problem you have with it is that you want it 100% under control so you can use it constructively. I haven't got a lot of experience dealing with this kind of anger. I've only felt it 'in passing' when I hear upsetting news and I want justice done to the wrongdoers, but I almost never feel it in real life situations.

    I think there are two types of righteous anger: the first is the shallower, more explosive type, where you suddenly feel soooo angry, going from zero to a hundred in a blink. This can be very destructive if not kept under control. I think the best way to deal with it is to remind yourself that what you feel at the moment is most likely colored by a lot of other factors, such as presumptions and emotions. This is the kind of anger that people regret the most. I think if you regret something, it means you don't think it's right after the moment has passed. Maybe the key is to slow down, stop yourself from doing anything and remind yourself that what you are feeling is not the truth. It probably has some truth in it, which got you angry in the first place, but the anger might have been intensified by other things and perhaps you don't know the whole truth yet. This works for me when I'm trying to mood-manage. What you are feeling is not the whole truth. That usually stops me from wanting to kill myself out of the in-the-moment guilt or shame.

    The second type is deeper, less explosive, and does not disappear after the moment. I think this anger really needs a healthy outlet, or it will become bitter and vengeful. Because it doesn't compel you to act upon it immediately, I think this can be explored to a deeper level, and you can perhaps bring in compassion as well. Yes, people mess up, and, yes, sometimes people are downright evil. But sometimes I can't help but feel that I am 'good' because I was loved as a child (and still am). People nurtured me. People believed in me. That is why I grew up to be who I am today. Some people are not that lucky, and in their world everything is confusing. They don't know what it's like to love and therefore have no idea how to love others. So, maybe they messed up, and maybe they hurt other people, but it's just because their reality is so messed up in the first place. I think maybe anger should be directed not at what they have done, but how to rectify it and help prevent future such incidents from happening.
    I may need to think on these a bit. Thanks for them.
    I'll share a bit more about being on the "receiving end". I usually am very upset when someone is angry with me. The interesting thing is that I only can't deal with anger when the thing I did was unintentional. I don't think people should be mad at me because of that, and when they are it seems like they are being close-minded and unreasonable. If I did something on purpose, I don't really mind if someone is angry. It's like I did what I thought was right and I will face the consequences. Anger on the receiving end for me feels like punishment (which I know is not like that for the person being angry), and sometimes I can't help but feel it is unjustified.
    I relate to this, a bit. My 2 wing means I have a hard time handling bad feelings aimed at me – but that’s only when those bad feelings are justified. When I know that they have the right to be angry with me, it hurts so much more. But if I think they don’t have the right to be mad, that’s either when I calmly shrug off their anger, or become angry at them for being unfair. Another example of slow-burn righteous anger, I suppose.
    For me, most of the time when I'm angry it's because I feel the object of my anger has the power to hurt me or my loved ones. For me it's actually fear that is the problem, so I try to deal with the underlying fear and it help eases the anger.
    I have this exact same process with sadness/despair: finding its root cause and killing it.
    Not to tag @fidelia twice in a post – but that’s something else that she and I were talking about. Somehow, even though we’re both 1w2, her attitude towards anger is a lot like my attitude towards sadness: “I hate this, make it go away”. Still not sure how that works.
    "Anger at Self": This is tricky. When I feel guilt-ridden, there is no easy way to deal with it. So I can imagine that it is the same as your anger. My suggestion is to 'extract yourself from yourself' and look at yourself objectively, and kindly. Imagine you are a higher power, or a loving parent, or a well-wishing friend, then look at yourself from a more detached perspective. Have some compassion for yourself as well.
    That last part is hard for me. Probably a good idea, but very difficult to do. I tend to look at myself from outside on a regular basis, but it’s never from a benevolent perspective. It’s always a critical, disciplining eye, detached to the point of heartlessness. It doesn’t evaluate me in 200-250 words – it uses a checklist.
    One last thing I'd like to say is still pretty vague, and I'm still trying to figure it out myself. What I've noticed is that once I've done a bit of exploring of my own emotional states, I realize that it all leads back to the emotions serving me in some way -- even negative emotions. I always derive some sort of affirmation or confirmation from all of my emotions. Sometimes I'm happy that I'm right about the world, or I'm happy that I'm right about other people, or I'm happy that I'm right about myself. I think a lot of it is just feeding into my ego of what I think I am and what I think the world should be. Sometimes I feel like I just need to 'get over myself', as someone helpful has told me before.
    Fascinating.

    So, to you, all emotions serve a purpose? All emotions are valid?

    This could be an extremely helpful attitude to pick up; in the OP, I’d been coming from an incredibly ambiguous perspective regarding anger. It feels evil, it feels beautiful. I don’t know which way is the right way to react to it, when it refuses to let itself be put into a moral box. I don’t know whether it’s right to accept it or deny it.
    Sorry -- this post is becoming rather long and rambling. Hopefully it makes at least a bit of sense.
    It does. Thank you.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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