Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lazy Maoris and idle words

I picked up a copy of the New Zealand Herald this morning to find Paul Holmes in a very grumpy mood. The protesters who joshed with cops and shouted down the Prime Minister on Waitangi Day symbolise, for Paul, all that is rotten in Maoridom.

What is remarkable about Holmes' column is not so much its grumpiness but its spendthrift way with adjectives and abstract nouns. Not only were those protesters at Waitangi 'hateful' - they were, Paul tells us in the same sentence, 'hate-fuelled'. And, wouldn't you know, they filled Waitangi Day with 'hatred'. The day was 'ghastly'. And it wasn't simply ghastly - it was, Paul quickly adds, a thing of 'ghastliness'. What ghastly ghastliness!

Ghastly things tend not to be attractive things, but Paul has to use another adjective and tell us, just in case we haven't gotten his drift, that Waitangi Day is 'repugnant'. It is so repugnant, in fact, that Paul has to use 'repugnant' twice to describe it.

Paul goes on to explain that Waitangi has become a 'bullshit' day. Now, the word 'bullshit' long ago become a synonym for 'untruth', but Paul uses his next sentence to explain to his readers that Waitangi has become 'a day of lies'.

Paul elaborates on the theme of dishonesty by suggesting that every Waitangi Day Maori show they are in 'denial'. Just in case this point is a little too abstruse, Paul uses another sentence to explain that Maori are in denial because they are failing to address things. Thanks, Paul.

Paul's orgiastic outpouring of unnecessary adjectives and limp abstract nouns is rather unfortunate, because he wants to use his column to complain about the 'hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children'. Paul is of course a known authority on child-rearing, having helped bring up that model of scholarship and sobriety Millie Elder-Holmes, but I'm not sure if I'd trust him to teach kids journalism, or for that matter English as a second language. In fact, if I were the editor of the Herald I'd hand Paul a copy of that favourite of right-minded journos since the days of Hemingway and Orwell, Fowler's Modern English Usage, and ask him to copy out the entry on Redundancy twice. Paul complains about the number of Maoris sitting about idly on the dole, but what about the idle words in his column? Isn't it cruel to allow them to lounge about on the fringes of his sentences, living meaningless lives, knowing that, without nouns of their own to qualify, they'll never do any useful work?

I do find it curious how the people determined to defend European civilisation from the depredations of brown barbarians seem so often to be short of the finer trappings of European civilisation. I've looked at footage of protests by groups like the National Front and the English Defence League and seen beer-bellied skinheads with swastika tattoos on their necks chanting about the need to defend the honour of the white race, and wondered whether they might be engaged in some elaborate joke. Perhaps Paul's column, with its succession of awful sentences, is also some sort of practical joke. Perhaps his piece is a satire intended to show how will awl rite in da fucha, if dem brownyz wif there PC kohunga rayo skool nonsenz ar alowd 2 take ova? I enjoy Waitangi Day, and think it a fine expression of our nation's character and values. New Zealand is a country founded by dodgy property speculators from some of England's second-rate public schools on land seized from Maori by Celtic and Yorkshire soldier-settlers who were pushed out of their own whenua by enclosures and poverty, and who soon found themselves in hock to the same landlords and bankers that had bothered them back home. Maori have tended to have a rather half-hearted attitude toward the nation founded on their dispossession, and so have many of their dispossessors, who have often identified more with their class, religion, or region than with their nation.

On Waitangi Day the chief executive of the nation, who made his fortune betting against the New Zealand dollar for an American company, and who flies out to his holiday home in Hawa'ii every chance he gets, travelled to one of the poorest parts of the country and attempted to lecture a group which has lived there for a thousand years about the virtues of patriotism. Curiously enough, his words were met with derision.

The confusion, disunity, and rambling, intemperate arguments which are such a part of Waitangi Day seem a fair enough symbol of a disunited, confused, and argumentative nation. Waitangi is certainly more honest than the false shows of unity and harmony that the Aussies and the Americans turn on for their national days.

I like seeing Prime Ministers being mocked and harangued on Waitangi Day, and the subsequent fulminations of columnists like Holmes are (if you'll excuse me resorting to what Fowler's Modern calls, with its usual magisterial contempt, an 'exhausted metaphor') icing on my cake.

[Posted by Maps/Scott]


Anonymous Scott said...

The so-called 'Sikh division' of the EDL consists of one man, and the only member of the Jewish division left, complaining that half her fellow members were anti-semitic nutbars. The Jewish Council of Britain agrees: they've condemned the EDL and pointed out the group's links with the extreme right.

As anyone can see, the EDL's marches are made up mainly of shaven-headed gentlemen: I suppose, though, PP will tell us that these chaps are Buddhist monks, not football hooligans and neo-Nazis.

But if the EDL's business is opposing radical Islam, they certainly find some convoluted ways of doing it. The group's leader was convicted of assaulting a fellow member: perhaps that chap was a secret jihadi? And perhaps EDL members used the group's chatroom to lament the recent conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence's murderers because Lawrence was a secret Al Qaedea operative? And then there was EDL organiser Simon Beech, who was sent to prison for ten years for firebombing a mosque with no connection at all to radical Islam. Maybe he mistakenly thought Osama was hiding there?

Here, courtesy of that well-known organ of left-wing propaganda, the Daily Mail, are some photos of EDL members toting guns in front of banners which show their allegiance to the racist right:

Here are some images of EDL members giving Nazi salutes and displaying neo-Nazi imagery:

11:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EDL Nazi salute in Blackburn:

11:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey but at least he can sing!

12:17 am  
Anonymous Peter Martin said...

Och..yer good! Such that all that is left is pin pricking about the edl or sumfing...

12:24 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Notice how you can never find out who these anonymous defenders of fascism are? Toting guns!! And hating Muslims and claiming they're trying to do good! They are always anonymous. They are pro Nazi alright (and they have illegal weapons) don't even to read about them to see that.

It's strange to feel good that the British police are doing a good (and thankless) job stopping these bastards. Strange to feel that sometimes we do indeed need the police.

Holmes is a prize wanker. He needs to be put down.

12:49 am  
Blogger Richard said...

What was Key involved in exactly when he was in finance?

12:49 am  
Anonymous Mark said...

How did Maori acquire the land in the first place? If they just took it then didn't they get it for free? And if the land was then taken from them isn't this just a case of "shit happens"?

9:15 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

If they just took it then didn't they get it for free? And if the land was then taken from them isn't this just a case of "shit happens"?

Congratulations. This is officially the stupidest thing I've ever read.

10:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Holmes come right out and say FUCKING NIGGERS?

10:20 am  
Blogger ianmac said...

That photo. That fellow looks like he is clutching at a desperate-to-get away ummm straw? She telling us something?

10:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Holmes is a snivelling, gibbering, slobbering wreck of a man.

Best to send him out to pasture.

11:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TUMEKE E HOA! way to dish that pie of kaka back to the chef paul kaka holmes, there was a reason why this idiot aint the John Campbell anymore.... get that!
and by the way only red necks would have supported this dick so good on you dickheads lol ... ill leave the pro (the author of this article to bum paul out with all the flashy words and ill just stick to the basics and say HAA HAA HAA ! in your faceeeee!

12:30 pm  
Anonymous Kiriana said...

oh RICHARD i take it your paul holmes seargent of arms to your president joon keey (puposely spelt his name wrong) by the way im that anon that said TUMEKE and IN YOUR FACE!

12:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck Holmes.

12:44 pm  
Anonymous Anna said...

I loved this article. Thanks so much for writing and posting. I'm also grateful to the person who sent it to me to read.

It appears (as Bomber Bradbury has allude to in his latest blog) that the Herald has a snit going on with the Mana Party. I'd probably extend that and say it's got some serious problems with "bad Maoris" (because there is, as you've pointed out in Holme's column, a clear dichotomy of good Maori/bad Maori going on). I'm glad Waitangi Day upset the sensibilities of the rich, privileged, pampered and precious journos. Long may it continue.

1:18 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

"Kiriana said...

oh RICHARD i take it your paul holmes seargent of arms to your president joon keey (puposely spelt his name wrong) by the way im that anon that said TUMEKE and IN YOUR FACE! "

What does all this mean?

2:08 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Holmes is not stupid or illiterate. The redundancies (repetitions) he employs are part of a typical rhetorical technique used by many speakers.

I think he makes these un PC comments to get a reaction. But he is not, shall we say, attempting to be "deep", he is rather superficial. Like Paul Henry he is misusing a position of considerable power that most of us don't have access to.

Most Maori don't. The Treaty of Waitangi is not a superficial issue and anyone treating it that way is wrong. Very wrong.

There is still a lot of injustice associated with Maori-Pakeha history including the Treaty that is unresolved. Protest is therefore a good sign and the comments by Holmes are smug, hurtful, and divisive: as well as uninformed (or he seems uninformed he is not). He seems (but isn't) quite stupid. The net resultant of what he says, however, is despicable and stupid. He is thus similar to those EDL Nazis who hate Muslims and "blacks" or Pakis as they call them etc He is de facto a racist.

He is very well off. It is easy to sling off at someone who might or might not be unemployed if you are well off. And Holmes lacks not a few bob - he is indeed a man of whom one could say: "He has plenty of the ready."

John Campbell by contrast seems a more compassionate man to me. But these presenters (and politicians) are all get paid too much.

Paul Henry and Paul Holmes - two appalling Pauls we could well do without.

2:18 pm  
Anonymous Edward said...

I enjoyed reading this, Maps. Holmes deserves mockery for his inane comments, especially considering he is supposed to be a journalist. Holmes is simply intolerable, and why he's given public space to speak his uninformed and prejudiced mind I have no idea. Bantering to the rednecks if the comments on the NZ Herald link are anything to go by.

On a side note, shame, Peasant Plucker. I think you just got owned.

3:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anti-white fanatics...fuck yer

4:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"fuck yer"? Good use of England speak there..

7:55 pm  
Anonymous shavat said...

at kiwiblog holmes' exrection has prompted masturbatory fantasies about race war

here is a typical example

'The scrap is about different interpretations
The difference between the Maori versions and the English versions allows us to give three months notice of cancelling the treaty under international law.
Of course the Maori will revolt. That is wot they always threaten
Good on them. instantly cut all benefits to those involved…..and A few more Maori in jail.
Goodbye protest
You could hang for treason its a pity we took that out of the law'

and this is a blog run by someone close to senior national mps...why is the maori party in bed with the nats again?

9:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dim Post links Holmes' comment on the TOW to his racially charged rubbish about Syria:
He's got unhealthy obsessions with race...

11:30 pm  
Blogger Pauline & Logan said...

Brilliant a breath of fresh air finally someone with an overview and correct references to boot who can illuminate contemporary Waitangi celebrations for the world I hope you get more attention in the future.

Nga mihi nuinui kia koe e Hoa.

12:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with your take on Waitangi and couldn't agree less with your criticism of currency trading. You are in good company though, it seems that most of the population think this is a valid line of attack, with no understanding of how wrong-headed it is.
A quick summary of why goes something like this: Anticipating a drop in a currency (or anything for that matter) and taking a position is not betting against it. And the same can be said for anticipating a rise in the value of something. The problems don't lay with the value of something going up or down, but it's RELATIVE value compared with others of it's kind. A currency that is relatively mis-priced (against other currencies) means you never quite know if you're getting value for money. You'll go somewhere else where you can know. The only way to fairly (neutrally) price a currency is to ENSURE that it is freely traded. No one person or political think tank is clever enough to set the levels of a currency. It takes all of us, who put our OWN, money or time or effort, where our mouth is, to do it. That's what a free market is.

May I suggest you abandon the catchy leftie cliche's and instead rely wholly on your own abundant cleverness. You'll discover allies you didn't know you had.

5:26 am  
Anonymous fair-minded kiwi said...

Looking at the history of this site and the books made by the author of the site, Scott Hamilton, I have to conclude that Paul Holmes is the victim of an extreme left pseudo-academic politically correct hate campaign.

10:45 am  
Blogger richfish76 said...

I'm not really interested in what Paul Holmes thinks about us as Maori. I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that the opposite of his perspective is the true reality.

Even though being 36, I missed out on kohanga and total immersion schooling, and lived through an intense amount of racism being bought up in Christchurch; the most colonised city in the country, I still managed to get a Masters Degree, and in not too long will have a PhD too.

In fact, every Maori person I know is a success story, especially considering the odds stacked against us.

But the thing that really makes me smile with pride, is when I watch those Maori (and Polynesian) in their mid 20s and younger. The new generation of "cheeky darkies" are truly amazing! This generation of brown youth are confident, gorgeous, socially adept, hilariously witty, they have incredible minds and they exel at everything they attempt.

Maori people today are incredible because we live in two worlds at once. This reality of globalisation is easy for us to negotiate because we adaptable and we share the things that we have so that nobody misses out. That's why we let Pakeha live in Aotearoa in the first place. But not only that, our lives are shaped by the most ancient of knowledges; stable communal knowledge that has been protected and kept intact since the beginning of time. We know who we are and we are RAWE!

So fuck you Paul Holmes (in smallest caps possible because really that's all you're worth). We don't really give give a shit what you think :)

xxx Rich Kereopa MFA - Tranny extrodinaire.

11:01 am  
Blogger Liz said...

Well Scott this was an interesting read. The comments under this post and debate more so.

Yes Paul Holmes is as always being himself.

I like Waitangi Day too.

11:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Looking at the history of this site and the books made by the author of the site, Scott Hamilton, I have to conclude that Paul Holmes is the victim'

What has a book about EP Thompson got to with Paul Holmes??????

11:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




11:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Maori response to Paul Holmes:

11:30 am  
Anonymous William said...

Are you a "lefty" just because you strive to be compassionate? Are you a "lefty" because the "poor-me" attitudes of powerful rich people who make no attempt at understanding the other side of the fence makes you cringe?

11:34 am  
Blogger VortexSeeker said...


Thank you for posting such an intelligent, thoughtful post. It is humbling to see writers who can read into people of prominence earned or otherwise's agendas and prejudices. I too believe in the right for people to air their anger at politicians and other people in power, I never used to. People from the dominating races who because of this fact, like to keep the status quo and privilege going, even if that means they put the very people down who are not from that particular race or ethnicity. At the end of the day it is about fear, fear of what privileges may change or be taken away if they have to admit that they are the direct beneficiaries of injustices of the past.

11:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear person who wrote,




You seem to have commented on the wrong blog. You must have accidentally clicked away from the sexist/insane blog this comment was intended for. Anything that ends in 'lol' should also be considered void for pure cringe factor. Shame!

12:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Scott. I really appreciate your style and wit.

You've really bummed Paul Holmes out well and truly which is really great work.

I'd like to add that Paul Holmes most probably has affiliations with white supremest groups - many creditable sources have notified me of this. I heard he has a swastika on his left buttock, nope sorry it's his right buttock - with Holmes it's always on the right by default (doesn't even have to think about it, it's just his rule of thumb). I heard he has a special white hood that he likes to bring out at his special parties and other special private functions.

I love the mention about his daughter - that should shut him up for a wee bit.

If only we lived in a world where Millie spent less time taking A class drugs and more time at Waitangi Day.

I don't see why he thinks he has the right to be a racist when he has inflicted his daughter on NZ society - hasn't he already done enough!

I'd prefer the presence of the Waitangi Day crowd to that piece of work (Millie that is) any day!

Holmes should spend less time on his laptop writing about how he is such a racist and more time with his daughter. Oooo Ouch!

12:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Millie is Maori and also didn't do anything to offend you. It is not her fault her mother married that creep.

Paul Holmes seemed drunk and hysterical. In the same paper the herald on saturday published some letters by school children parroting thier teacher's thoughts on the treaty. They expressed themselves in reasonable fair-dinkum language which just made it more horrifying. This is the common sense racism they've been taught by their teachers, another generation learning lies but also learning how to express their lies in polite language which doesn't alarm anybody. It is way more damaging and way more dangerous than Paul Holmes ranting.

1:21 pm  
Blogger te moananui said...

Good post, im a proud new zealander of maori heritage and my skin is brown. Does this mean im a part of the statistics paul holmes talks of, hes obviously a racist cunt. But im a kiwi so i stand for all that is new zealand so im not all one sided, in saying that im also sick of those extremist dickheads that take things way out of proportion and aggrevate people like paul holmes. We are all kiwis, and weve just won the world cup together, so fuck these cunts and go the all blacks

1:22 pm  
Blogger Mr. Bear's Shadow said...

Good post, too bad the discussion has been hijacked on EDL trivialities.

I am disappointed, however, that so much of the reaction to the Holmes column has been directed to either his grammar or the absurdity of the man himself.

Holmes is just another man in the cartel. How many New Zealander's get free reign to express their views on sovereignty, Maoridom, and any other national issue in newspapers, radio or TV? Those who do - the Paul Henrys, Larry Williams, Leighton Smiths, Paul Holmes - are typically those who have benefited and are still benefiting from the Pakeha discourse which dictates New Zealand society. These are New Zealand's great broadcast philosophers: the 20%. Holmes is a cancerous cell in a wider disease, but not so wide that it extents past New Zealand's wealthy beneficiaries.

2:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your excellant repudiation of Paul Holmes' inability to pen a worthwhile article without resorting to an excessive proliferation of unecessary adjectives and abstract nouns not to mention excessive and questionable generalisations about subjects he is least qualified to comment on.
However, as a student of history - could you please clarify exactly who our esteemed chief executive (tongue firmly in cheek) was talking to when you mention'he travelled to one of the poorest parts of the country and attempted to lecture a group which has lived there for a thousand years about the virtues of patriotism' is commonly understood by both Maori and Pakea that Maori ancestors settled in this country circa 1300 AD onwards? When you are calling someone out for their excessive and inappropriate generalisations it does help to have ALL your facts absolutely impeccable.

4:42 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi anon (the most recent anon in this thread, I mean!),

I've blogged a bit over the years about the question of when these islands were first settled.

Over the last decade and a half many experts have settled on a date no later than 1250, and possibly a hundred or so years earlier. They're guided by the absence of archeological evidence for settlement before about 1250, and by the absence of evidence for large-scale forest clearance and the presence of significant numbers of rats before the 13th century.

But a minority of archaeologists, led by Doug Sutton, who was for a long time boss of the Anthropology Department at the University of Auckland, suggest that settlement may have taken place sometime towards the end of the first millenium AD. They note that Polynesians were expanding into the remote eastern Pacific in the first millenium AD, and they argue that archaeological evidence of the first settlement sites on an island very rarely survives, because the sea so often erodes coastal settlement sites.

I doubt very much whether the earliest grave and pa/kainga sites we've found in these islands actually represent the very first proto-Maori who settled here. The first settlers probably set up very close to the coast, and their rohe is probably now underwater. That doesn't mean we'll never find it: in places like the West Coast of the United States and Doggerland archaeologists in diving suits are busy discovering ancient house
sites and tools. Somebody ought to do a dive off the water-worn Awhitu peninsula, south of Auckland...

I think it's reasonable, given all this, to talk about the ancestors of today's Maori knocking about on these islands for around about a thousand years.

5:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

couldn't agree more. holmes has always had trouble putting two different words together; probably the acid he dropped in the 70's (which he got from his brother). hmmm. that puts another spin on the Millie saga, doesn't it? but i digress...

ps: PLEASE don't (anyone) refer to the sap as a journalist. he is a bigotted infotainment presenter - nothing more.

6:50 pm  
Anonymous protest holmes on thursday said...

How ironic that Holmes' racist outburst has been interpreted by the big media's favourite pseudo-Marxist commentator Bryce Edwards as an attempt at a serious 'conversation'

Past comments show Edwards doesn't like Tino Rangatiratanga not one little bit. Another frightened white man?

7:13 pm  
Anonymous protest holmes on thursday said...

Paul Holmes racist rantings in the Weekend Herald have the potential to cause racial disharmony.

This bigot is attempting to stir up anger and ridicule against Maori and in turn sister against sister, brother against brother, friend against friend.

Paul Holmes last racist column has already created a legitimation that racists and bigots around New Zealand are using to denigrate Maori.

We call on all Aucklanders who oppose racism and who were offended by Holmes's slurs to join us in a picket of the NZ Herald this Thursday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm

If Holmes writing, which encourages prejudice and hate of all Maori is tolerated by our media then New Zealand, will reap worse and more disgusting forms of racism in the future,

Organised by

Socialist Aotearoa is an anti-capitalist, anti-racist organisation of workers and students, Maori and Pakeha.

NZ Herald Office, 46 Albert Street ,Auckland

7:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it wise to try to throw holmes out of his job?

7:44 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

I agree that Bryce's remarks about Holmes' column are off-beam, but they're not surprising, for anyone who has followed his attempts to get a handle on Maori nationalism. He's one of the revolution/Workers Party crowd who were convinced the Tino Rangatiratanga movement had exhausted its historical possibilities a decade ago, and I don't think he and the rest of that crew would have much idea how to handle stuff like the rise of the Mana Party and the anti-mining protests in places like the BOP. To seem him reading Holmes' rant as a 'legitimate perspective', and chiding a Maori commentator who accused Holmes of racism is pretty sad, though.

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Counterprotesters to defend Paul Holmes on Thursday? The right may mobilise.

9:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Bryce Edwards did was call for debate, but for some that is enough to condemn!

9:16 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

'All Bryce Edwards did was call for debate'

He suggested that we should not protest against Holmes' column but instead treat it as the basis for a debate. I think it's a bit rich to suggest that a series of racist jibes can serve as the departure point for any remotely constructive discussion.

Holmes asserted that Maori - not this or that Maori, but Maori in general - are greedy, hateful people who bash and fail to educate their kids. Understandably, Maori like Morgan Godfrey have reacted angrily to Holmes' charges.

The fact that a significant number of Pakeha appear to have received Holmes' column positively is cause for some concern, because it suggests that a section of the population genuinely believes that Maori in general are depraved and dangerous people.

Of course, some Pakeha have always had racist feelings about Maori, but for most of the twentieth century this racism had a patronising rather than fearful tone. Maori were seen as a pitiable rather than dangerous people, the sad remnant of a byegone era.

The view of Maori as a growing danger has to be connected to the increasing number of Maori and the success of their increasing influence over various parts of society.

I don't think the organisers of Thursday's protest against Holmes are unreasonable when they suggest that the broadcaster's comments could lead to violence against Maori.

An analogy might be made with the anti-Asian speeches Winston Peters delivered in the mid-90s. Peters warned that Asians were pouring into New Zealand and bringing crime and aggressive attitudes with them and, lo and behold, assaults on Asians were observed up and down the country.

I certainly think violence is a more likely consequence of Holmes' column that the stimulating discussion Bryce is apparently hoping for. And I think Bryce's claim that Holmes' views about Maori are 'legitimate' shows that he has a blindspot when it comes to the racism of his own people.

10:57 pm  
Blogger fiercefantail said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does politically correct mean?

11:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pasifika backing for protest against Holmes:

12:44 pm  
Anonymous Mark said...

So Giovanni Tiso did Maori get the land for free or not? If not, what did they themselves pay for it? I just can't see why the country is having to pay Maori(through our taxes) for something they just took when they arrived 800 years ago. Truly indigenous people are people like the Aborigines who have been in Australia for 60,000 years. Maori have been in NZ for, what, 800 years? pfft

9:11 am  

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