Table Flip: Ghostbusters

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Let’s start this thing by not mincing words: this past Thursday, the official trailer for the new Ghostbusters was released; if you didn’t like it, then you’re wrong. Period. Exclamation point.

I’m going to be completely honest with you when I say that I was originally on the side of the non-believers, the purists, the “don’t take away our Ghostbusters” proclaimers. At that time in my life, I felt as though too many things from my childhood, things that guided and molded me into the person writing this-here blog post today, were being taken and reshaped into something to appease and appeal to a “newer” audience. The “ain’t broke, don’t fix” mindset came to the fore; if you want to introduce a new audience to an already-popular franchise, what sense does it make, reinventing the franchise in order to achieve that?

As it turns out: it makes a whole helluva-lotta sense!

We’ll look at another franchise, near and dear to my childhood heart, that has had its fair share of reinventing and having said reinvention brought to life, once again, on the big screen: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Comic book origins aside, I had grown up with the cartoon series and graduated to the live-action movies; mind you, Turtles in Time didn’t hold up as well as the first two for me, so I reverted back to the animated stuff, faith restored in the movie versions when the computer-animated TMNT was released. When Nickelodeon decided to reboot the animated series, I was fine with it – especially after seeing a few episodes with my nephew, and seeing how much of an homage it was to the classic cartoon series.

But hearing that Michael Bay was going to be releasing a series of live-action Turtles movies? Oh, fuck no! We can’t be having any of that! Not only was it a poor choice to have Bay, of all people, involved in the project – what with the rumors going around that he was going to make said “heroes in a half-shell” of alien origin and completely destroy the lore – but ultimately it came down to: Why? Why does this need to be a thing?

After having conversations with several friends, said friends being on both sides of the argument for the movie, I decided to give the recent Turtles movie a chance… and was sorely disappointed that I had spent the money on a ticket. When asked what I thought of the movie by a friend, I proceeded to jokingly reply with: “Let’s just say that I had a cop, afterward, ask me to point on the doll where Michael Bay had violated my childhood.”

In reality, though, my childhood stays in tact, what with the classic series available on DVD and Nickelodeon doing a damned fine job holding their own with the current animated series. No, what ultimately bothered me about the recent Turtles film was the fact that, at multiple times, the narrative asked that viewers both disregard as well as remember the original source material; the story that those of us seeing the movie in our mid- to late-thirties had grown up watching. It was very jarring, jumping from a mangled back story to, out of nowhere, bringing up the fact that Leonardo and Raphael have some kind of deeper sibling rivalry going than they did with the other turtles. Add to the chaos a Shredder who was more Transformer than badass ninja warrior guy dude, and you’ve got a new image to put next to the definition of “trainwreck” in the dictionary.

It was on the heels of accepting the trauma of the recent Turtles movie that I heard about the new Ghostbusters movie. Regardless of the casting decisions (I couldn’t care less if the cast were all-female this go-round) I was not so keen on the idea of yet another ‘80s staple brought back out of the archive, dust blown off, and shaken around in Hollywood’s attempt to keep pumping out stories for the movie-going crowd. I was immediately on the side of “No, no, no. Dear God, no. For the love of everything that is sacred: NO.”

However, after having conversations with a few people who were, again, on both sides of that proverbial fence – some with me on the “No” train, others who were okay with it – I started to steer more into the idea of being okay with it, to the point of actually being curious as to what this version of the story could bring to the proverbial table. If nothing else, said steering was caused by those who were of the same mind as I was, as far as “No” was concerned; however, that was about as far as our causes aligned. The biggest criticism I saw was against the all-female casting, and it was ultimately this criticism that made me rethink my own criticism against the idea. With that, I started to analyze my own “reasons” for my negativity, and when it was all said and done, said negativity was found to be completely ridiculous and uncalled for.

If nothing else, nothing is being taken away from the children within us, who grew up with the original Ghostbusters series. Just like I mentioned with the Turtles, the original movies are available to own on DVD and Blu-ray; in fact, they’re probably even available to watch on such streaming applications as Hulu or Netflix. They’re not automatically locked in some kind of vault, never to see the light of day again, just because this new movie is gaining a life of its own – we’re not dealing with Disney, here. So calm down, nerds: your precious childhood is still in tact.

Also, let’s be honest for just a moment here: like with most ‘80s films, Ghostbusters is a bit dated. Not as much as Back to the Future (as that actually deals with actual dates), but you can tell that, compared to films being released these days, there’s something slightly off about the original Ghostbusters. This is not to say that there’s anything wrong with the original; but try to get a child or teenager to get into the series now, and you’re more than likely to get a bored look, followed by a flagrant show of aggression in the form of said child or teenager putting their Virtual Reality helmets back on and getting back to their blasted Dan Fogelberg and Pac-Man video games.

Quite frankly, this new Ghostbusters is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t – that much, you can already tell, only from how this first official trailer has drawn a clearer line between those who are giving it a shot and those who are ready to shoot it dead. The trailer itself pops, with an updated version of the original theme to induce goosebumps for anyone with a lick of positive nostalgia. (A theme that, while very catchy, was kinda-sorta stolen from Huey Lewis is structure. Just sayin’, purist nerdboys.) It also gives us a look at the characters and the sparkly special effects.

But let me tell you, what truly guaranteed my dropping of the dollars for the price of admission was the Ecto-1: the vehicle our rag-team crew used to not only get around New York City, but also as a mobile advert for their bustin’-of-the-paranormal business. I have an affinity for the vehicles in these supernatural/Science Fiction genres (ex: gotta love the likes of the TARDIS, the Millenium Falcon, the Serenity, the USS Enterprise, etc., etc.) so I love the looks of both versions of the Ecto-1; however, it’s the individual origins of these two vehicles and what they represent that have my nerd-dar… erm, ner-adar… whatever, nerd radar beeping fanatically.

In the ‘80s universe of Ghostbusters, the Ecto-1 was fashioned from a 1950s professional ambulance, while in the new Ghostbusters, it’s fashioned from a hearse. One gives off the message of “We’re here to save the living”; the other, “We’re here to deal with the dead”. For a series whose new vision of the universe involves a flip-flopping of the gender roles, having the four leads be female while the secretary role is played by none other than Thor Odinsson, the juxtaposition of the Ecto-1 between versions makes even more sense. And shows that some thought was put into making this version; at the very least, it makes me, with all my head-canons and hypotheses, believe extra thought was put into it – and that’s what matters.

And, yes, that is what I got from the trailer. The trailer that was only a couple minutes long. The trailer that was meant to show a little bit more than what we had to go on already. The trailer that was meant to spark conversations regarding the film it was promoting.

Some feel that the trailer was horrendous and “un-funny”. I’ve already put several words to this table-flip, so I’ll consider to make the attempt to not belabor this point for too long. As I said before, this trailer was damned if it did and damned if it didn’t. The way most trailers run, these days (unless you’re JJ Abrams), you can save your money on buying a ticket, and just spend the time piecing together all the bits from every trailer released for any one particular movie – I mean, if I didn’t want to go out and socialize recently, I probably would have done so with the recent Marvel films. And it’s that type of mindset that led to feeling like seeing these movies was some kind of a chore; yes, there were a few things that were left out from the trailers, but pretty much every “good bit” was shown several times over in the trailers.

I feel this trailer for Ghostbusters was simply a means to show the bright and shiny new things about this universe. New characters? Check. New vehicle? Check. New ghost-bustin’ weapons? Double check. Shiny new logo? Checks all the way to the bank.

With all that, I’m completely fine with not feeling that the trailer didn’t highlight as much of the comedy as many of my friends and fellow podcasters felt it probably should have. Then again, you’re dealing with a franchise that originally starred Bill Murray – tell me, friends: with that in mind, did you truly think the initial trailer for this movie was going to have one-line zingers to top that of Murray himself? Or maybe that’s the point of the vehemence toward this film and its trailer.

Either way, I have faith in this film. Needless to say, there’s been plenty of shite to hit the cinemas recently that have not received the amount of vitriol that this trailer has; some, I must say, more deserving.

All I’ll say is this: if you’re not happy with this latest Ghostbusters film based on the trailer, that’s fine. You’re wrong, but that’s fine. It’s just a movie, and if you’re letting it affect you (“to your core” – I’m looking at you, Lynch), then it’s already won. It’s already in your head, and sooner or later it’s going to plant the curiosity in your mind as to whether or not it’s as bad as you have mentally built it up to be.

So let’s see what more comes from the studios before the actual film’s release. Or not.

#tableflipped

Ep.84 – Love Workout Regimen: Interview with Lindze and Brad Merritt!

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Episode 84 is chock full of excitement as Sean Ryan and I have the pleasure of interviewing Lindze and Brad Merritt, of Cosplay and Cartoon Network** fame – respectively!!

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep84_MHMG.mp3

They join us to help discuss ways to keep good geeky relationships strong so that can last; something everyone except me seems to excel at 🙂

Sean suggests that you look for reasons to high-five each other, finishes Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, oh, and announces that HE’S GOING TO BE A FATHER!

I talk about The VVitch, my feels about 10 Cloverfield Lane, and I officially announce Table-Flip Tuesdays with Andrew “M3JCNV” Bartlett, a bi-weekly addition to the blog.

Sean and I play a magical ame of “Would You Rather,” where we disagree… and I can’t remember that my favorite Dane is from Denmark – sorry Mads.

Tables get flipped over “Walking Billboards” and whether or not The Americas are actually two continents. By Sean’s estimation, California is it’s own continent, so you’re not going to want to miss this!

**Director, Cartoon Network Game Design – Brad Merritt is an employee of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect views of his employer.

LINKS!
Lindze a la mode
Cartoon Network
Lindze’s Facebook Page

Mating Habits of the Modern Geek: Love and Dating within Your own Species – your comedy source for relationship advice for geeks and nerds.

Table-Flip Tuesday: Table-Flips

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Table-Flip Tuesday: Table-Flips
written by andrew j. bartlett

The form of art that is table-flipping is an artform.

Wait, that was a bit redundant, wasn’t it? Do you see what I mean: even when introducing the inaugural post to start off “Table-Flip Tuesdays”, it’s a bit of a shake and doesn’t go off half as well as you had considered it could possibly have the potential in which to do so.

(Okay, that went all kinds of sideways, but whatever – I’m not editing that out, so you’ll just have to deal with that awkward opening. #thatswhatshesaid)

In case you needed a quick history lesson: I met our dear “Mating Habits” host, Kelley Hightower, toward the end of 2014, when she came to record for a crossover episode of a podcast for which I was one-half of the hosting talent. In semi-preparation for the crossover, we of the non-“Mating Habits” side were individually asked to bring a topic currently poking our ire, for a subject lovingly referred to on Kelley’s show as “Table-Flipping”.

This may seem like an easy feat for which to prepare, what with working a life in retail and interacting day-in and day-out with a society that inspires click-baity articles and viral YouTube videos that constantly redefine “Schadenfreude”…

If you’re like me, however, and even in the tiniest fraction of a sense of that unfortunate grouping, you’re the type of person who has a seemingly-infinite number of things you want and need; however, should anyone inquire as to any of the items on that ever-growing list, that’s when the list goes into hiding and plays off like it doesn’t exist. Thus is how it played out when asked to have something ready for the “table-flip” section of the crossover recording.

So what did I do? Well, if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to listen to this very [interesting] recording, to put it plainly: I lamed out. I pretty much gave an excuse of “Mrrrh, I don’t like to hold grudges (’cause they’re bad for your back) and blah blah get over things quick bleh bloo blee so I don’t have anything at the moment” and other such nonsense to fill in the “blahs” and “blees”. This was pretty much the direction taken, as I progressively made my way into the rotation of “Mating Habits” co-hosts.

And I gotta tell you: IT WAS IRRITATING AS FUCK!

Listening to the other episodes happening around the ones on which I happened to co-host, gems were brought to the as-yet-flipped table: coworkers swiping Lean Cuisines, small business owners shame-posting friend-clients, perfectly good table sets being brazenly dismissed when offered in a very positive and helpful manner, etc, etc, and the list goes on. I listened to these amusing and intriguing stories and rants, metaphorically knocking on my brain’s door and pointing emphatically to what would represent what was being heard, shouting: “Why can’t you bring something interesting like that?!”

Fortunately, though, the more I’ve grown used to recording for “Mating Habits”, the more my brain has been readily prepared to take in an item of irritation and attach a label on it, which probably reads “Table-Flip Topic (do not open ’til Groundhog Day)”.

However! Remember that time, a few paragraphs ago, when I made the unfair comparison of you to me, lumping us in the same category and going on about mental lists and said lists disappearing when made the subject of conversation? Okay, good. Now, imagine we’re back in that unfair setting, but this time we’re creative people who are in dire need of coming up with something creative, just to get those creative juices flowing – what would you say, based on average, generalized standards of this sort of thing, tends to happen?

That’s right: the good ideas only seem to come to you when you’re in a situation where you cannot immediately do something about that idea. For me, I normally tend to come up with interesting story ideas while I’m driving or at work, where I’m not immediately in front of a computer in order to, at the very least, write down key words to help me remember the idea for later. The same is the case for these damn “table-flips”!

What’s a brother gotta do, just so he can have a slight irritation, have it be entertaining enough and at the right frame of time, and be able to let the irritation get back on its merry way before it cause irrevocable damage? Well, as it turns out, all said “brother” has to do is start up a Google Doc entitled “Table-Flip Topics” and update it with items that might qualify for quality talking points; and when the list gets to the length in which said “brother” finds himself saying, to himself, “Geezus! Lighten up, you constantly irritated bastard!”, he approaches our lovely Kelley and offers up an idea to make table-flipping a more recurring blog-type thing. (You know… for more content and material on the blog page. That sounds legitimate as well, right?)

So here you go, my fellow geeks! With any luck, these table-flips will get better, as I like to think they have on the podcast (from my end, at least – keep up the great work, to the rest of you “Mating Habits” hosts).

Until then, this has been Andrew for this round of “Table-Flip Tuesday”, flipping a table over table-flips!

#tableflipped

Ep.82 – Creating a Welcoming Environment: No One Likes a Gatekeeper.

The only Gatekeeper we want to be around.

The only Gatekeeper we want to be around.


http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep82_MHMG.mp3

Andrew makes it safely into the Mating Habits Studio to help me discuss problematic friends who may be keeping new people from joining your social circle. We go over some tell-tale signs of “Gatekeeping” and how the lack of new people entering your friend groups might have something to do with the unwelcome environment you’ve unknowingly created.

Andrew puts the “fun” in work function and becomes a new uncle! I’m doing guest spots, discovering new podcasts, and watching X-Files. Our Meetup Group, Trigger Warning: Geeks! is in danger, girl – and I don’t have a good solution.

We did a Periscope thing! Yet another new game, Who’s Pickup Line is it Anyway? is the perfect game for live audience participation, and we actually had some live audience participation! We may be Periscoping again in the future, so download the free app to your smart phone and follow @MatingHabits – we’ll follow you back, I promise 🙂

Tables are flipped over stupid restaurant policies and folks doing good works for the sole purpose of posting about them on social media.

LINKS!

Geektitiude Podcast
Cock Tales Over Cocktails Podcast
Destiny Ghost Stories Podcast

Mating Habits of the Modern Geek: Love and Dating within Your own Species – your comedy source for relationship advice for geeks and nerds.

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Ep.77 – Fun Date Ideas to Rival “Netflix and Chill:” Marry/Shag/Kill Edition

stargazingMHMG


http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep.77_MHMG.mp3

Andrew travels to the Mating Habits Studios to record a refreshingly light and fun episode…and almost dies in the process!

Once the adrenaline wears off, we talk about new jobs, good books, good shows on Netflix, and the 10% drop in Traffic that PornHub experienced when Fallout 4 went live.

Whose idea was this anyway?

Whose idea was this anyway?

The results of The Great Pizza Debate are revealed, with a surprise message from our friends Ant and Tom from the Anywhere but Here Podcast.

We give you some fun date ideas for those of you who are sick of dinner and a movie, and play our first-ever installment of Marry/Shag/Kill where I try to make Andrew “Kill his Darlings,” and he tries to skeeve me out.

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Tables are flipped, as per usual, over cynicism and Apple iMusic functionality, and the racket that is Hulu Plus.

Our thoughts go out to those affected by the attacks in Paris, and we hope you enjoy this fluffy departure, if only for a couple of hours of nonsense.

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Links!
Lifehack.org 31 Cheap Date Ideas
Redbook 100 Great Date Ideas
Thought Catalog 20 Date Ideas that Aren’t Netflix
First Date Ideas
Cheap Date Ideas

Ep.72 – Sex Education: Knowing is Half the Battle!

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep.72_MHMG.mp3

Join Andrew and I (and his new whiney-voiced character which is basically what it sounds like in my head 24/7) as we tackle another relationship-ish topic: Sex Ed.

Andrew’s Uncle Duties will soon double, and now that Target has blended the genders in their toy departments, he’s basically screwed. His recent job interview has him in a suit and puts him in view of an elderly woman – and she likes what she sees.

I talk at length about the Ashley Maddison hack that has me rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off at hypocrites like Josh Duggar and Sam Rader, and what a Bro-deo that website must have been.

I also have an adorable boyfriend now. He’s the best. It’s no big deal. *squeeeee*

Sex Education in the US is all over the damn place. Andrew and I are from the same decade and the same area, and had vastly different public school sex education experiences. We discuss what subjects worked and didn’t work for us as we share how we learned about the birds and the bees.

Tables get flipped when Andrew wishes folks would just mind their own damn business, and I just want you to stop yelling at me so I can figure out how to help you.

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Links!

knowing is half the battle
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Ep.69 – The Virginity Episode: Insert Things Here.

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep69_MHMG.mp3

Welcome back Andrew of Room 173 with M3JCNV (coming soon to a podcatcher near you!) while we cover new territory and discuss all things VIRGINITY!

We talk all about the pros and cons of Jurassic World – mostly how we’re all monsters for caring more about baby triceratops than any of the people in that park. We also put our Netflix subscriptions to good use by watching Sense8 (#marthabewbs), Orange is the New Black, and Andrew starts watching Agents of SHIELD because it’s 2013! 😉

Homosexual couples in ALL 50 STATES can now get married – finally! I share a recent dating disaster from Match.com, and we hear emails from listeners about their experiences with their own virginity. Thank you so much for sharing those with us.

Tables get flipped over The Mary Sue’s boycotting of John Barrowman and literary types losing their shit over YOLO Juliette and other OMG Shakespeare titles.

JoyceBrothers

Links:


Nicki Minaj Suggests Women Demand Orgasms

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Ep. 64 – Director’s Cut: Your Romantic Movies Have Lied to You!

AdmitOneMHMG

http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep64_MHMG.mp3

I visit Andrew a week after he was driven from his home by alarms, sadly none of which sound like Bruce from Family Guy. He also had a run in with a bowl of vegetable soup – it’s been quite a couple of weeks, folks.

The podcast is sponsoring a new Meetup.com group called Trigger Warning: Geeks! If you’re local to NC and interested, come join all your favorite hosts (plus others) when we go to movies and stuff.

My Fair Andrew is in 3D (for me, anyway, because I was in the room this time) and we’re nearing the end of the project – this week’s assignment is a tough one for him, but I have faith in our hero.

We talk about movie/TV tropes and relationship examples that aren’t healthy or realistic, and why someone who doesn’t have any relationship experience might want to avoid some of the worst.

Scott Pilgrim is boring and lacks morals, Twilight and 50 Shades are fanfics that somehow snuck under the radar, and Leonard and Penny from Big Bang Theory make no sense, whatsoever.

Correction=Rating: Terrible Person

Correction=Rating: Terrible Person

Smallville had ridiculous relationships that all seem to revolve around Lana Lane, and Ross and Rachel are the least interesting couple on Friends. Fortunately, we do have some media to watch and aspire to; i.e. Ron and Hermione; Katara and Aang; Homer and Marge; etc.

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We flip the table I had to bring with me over bad party guests and Andrew reminds us that retail is not a four-letter word, even though retail customers can often be little shits.

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Ep.63 – Catfished: Reeled in Hook, Line, and Sinker

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep63_MHMG.mp3

Sean Ryan of Alpha Counter joins me in my sick, weakened state for another jam-packed episode of Mating Habits.

This episode, we discuss the act of “Catfishing,” an internet phenomenon that happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and we’re lucky enough to have listener-submitted emails sharing their catfish sagas, and we even snag an interview with our own Paris who comes clean in Paris’s Catfish Confessions – she’s been a bad girl…

We also discuss our recent ventures into film making with Bottom Shelf Films, delve into the Walking Dead Finale for some quick speculations, and I caught a Zeff Cold from my friends at the Die Antwoord concert.

Things are looking up for our hero in this edition of My Fair Andrew – but let’s not jinx it 😉

We flip tables over “Innocents” in the comment sections, and folks who don’t like to have fun, especially on April Fool’s Day.

Trigger Warning: Jokes.

The first photo is the one by which I was catfished. The second is who the guy in the first photo really is. *sigh*

Bottom Shelf Films
Die Antwoord

tinder

Ep.61 – The Infidelity Episode: Once Bitten Twice Geek

At least she didn't litter when she threw away your love

At least she didn’t litter when she threw away your love


http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep61_MHMG.mp3

What happens when you ask the internet to share personal stories about infidelity with you? A 3 hour and 15 minute podcast, that’s what. But look at it this way, you’ve got three weeks to listen to it while we go on our cycle break.

Sean Ryan of Alpha Counter invites us into his studio to talk about one of the most negative sides to dating and relationships: cheating.

Emails and interviews came pouring in from you, the much-loved listeners, and in addition to some emails (a couple of them from fellow #PodPals) we got five interviews from all sides of the spectrum: Bill, Pete, and Erin are straight-up cheated on, while Amy and Dandy – well, it’s more complicated. We thank them profusely for coming forward and sharing their personal stories. We truly have the best listeners in the world!

In more faithful news, we geek out over Destiny, and a game called Starwhal where you can be a narwhal in an afro, dressed in a sushi costume, piercing the hearts of your fellow narwhals IN SPACE!

We check in with My Fair Andrew for reports from his fourth task and assign his fifth – always a delight!

Sadly, the 24-hour news stations had to take a break from reporting about llamas in blue/black or white/gold dresses to deliver the sad news that Leonard Nimoy passed away on Friday, February 27th at the age of 83. He was beloved, lived long and prospered, and his talents will live on forever.

Tables get up-ended over guys who respond to regular non-flirty question with confirmation that they have a girlfriend/wife/partner, and Sean wants you to give up he ghost on any of your comic movies ever being like it was, “Well, in the comic…”

See you back on March 23rd for another round of Mating Habits – don’t go cheating on us with any other nerdy relationship podcasts. We’ll find out!

Links!
Music by The Dandy
Devil Beside Me Facebook Page
Jane McGonigal Ted Talk about Super Better

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