ebonlock: (Snakes on a Dark Lord)
Surfacing briefly because this had to be shared:

Now, in my freest of moments and at the height of procrastination, I sometimes like to imagine the National Review—and occasionally, all of wingnuttia—as a gurgling, twisted Hogwarts. This mainly happens when I spend extended periods reading around over there and realize just what a magically disconnected place wingnuttia is. So I think it’s time we*** got around to placing those outside the reality-based community (I’m a proud Muggle) into their proper houses. I know what you’re thinking: they’re all fucking Slytherins! That may be true, but it would ruin my premise. Allow me then to first dispatch the obvious.

Jonah Goldberg: the Doughy Pantload, chickenhawk par excellence, needed extra time to produce 200 pages of abject stupidity about Hegel and Wholefoods, which will debut on the NYT’s worst-seller list (which will itself debut for Goldberg’s book). Hufflepuff.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: I feel one could argue in any number of directions here. K-Lo’s distinguishing characteristic is her crushes on all the BMOC, which to my mind lines her up with Ravenclaw’s Cho Chang. It helps that Ravenclaw is essentially a repository for the non-white denizens of the magical realm; however, K-Lo’s resemblance to Grimace, along with her intellectual wispiness, suggests Hufflepuff. In the end though, I think Ravenclaw has her.

John Derbyshire: As far as I can recall, the Sorting Hat has nothing to say about criminal insanity. But I feel like Hogwarts in Derb’s era was probably a vastly different place, maybe even home to a slew of imperialists whose personal credo was “rubble don’t make trouble.” Even Albus Dumbledore flirted briefly with colonizing Muggles! Call me crazy, but I think Derb sports red & gold.

Mark Steyn: Slytherin. Slytherin, Slytherin, Slytherin.

Ramesh Ponnuru: the Sorting Hat knew immediately that Ramesh belongs in Ravenclaw, and even foresaw that he would spend his entire Hogwarts career advocating for Slytherin, and even that the Slytherins would find him distasteful.

Ann Althouse: Psych! Althouse is a Squib.
ebonlock: (legilimency)
Well if you go by Fandango OotP isn't playing around here, but if you check out the SJ Tech Museum IMAX page there it is! Next weekend is [livejournal.com profile] jakejr's move so that's out for me, but the following weekend is all clear as far as I recall. Anybody up for HP really, really big? Comment and we'll carpool :)
ebonlock: (Snakes on a Dark Lord)
Interesting new release from WB:

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, 20Q.net and Radica
Encourage Harry Potter Fans to “Teach” 20Q™ with Characters, Places and Objects from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


BURBANK, Calif., July 25, 2007 – With the recent release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the popular series by J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, 20Q.net, Inc. and Radica USA Ltd., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., are calling all Muggles.

In an effort to develop the game and help “teach” 20Q™ about the world of Harry Potter, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, 20Q.net and Radica are encouraging Harry Potter fans to visit http://20Q.net and “train” this timeless game of 20 questions with characters, places and objects from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Radica will manufacture and distribute the new 20Q™ Harry Potter game later this year.

Earlier this year, the three companies announced plans to introduce the newest version of the popular 20Q™ handheld game – 20Q™ Harry Potter, based on the popular movie and book series.

20Q™ is an artificial intelligence engine, website, company and phenomenon. Originally available only online, the game had players simply think of an animal, vegetable, mineral or other item, and 20Q™ attempted to guess what they were thinking of in 20 questions or less. Each time the online training game is played, 20Q™ “learns.”

20Q™ Harry Potter is the most recent edition to the popular handheld game that has been described as “spooky” and “deceptively addictive.” Based on the original 20Q™ game that won over millions of players from around the world, 20Q™ Harry Potter asks fans to think of people, places, and things from the books and films. The goal? Try to stump the game’s remarkably clever and precise artificial intelligence with knowledge of Harry’s wizarding world.
ebonlock: (Snakes on a Dark Lord)
If you haven't seen them already, go check out the latest DH icons from [livejournal.com profile] potterpuffs. Not sure how long it'll be before I can use my new Snape one without someone on my F-list screaming, "SPOILER! SPOILER! Oh you've ruined the plot for me!" A couple more weeks, you think?

Now after you look at those I highly, highly recommend reading [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus's brilliant essay, META: Snape in Book 7. I can't say it fixes all of my problems with JKR's handling of the character in the book, but I will say it's given me a lot to ponder that I hadn't entirely considered before. It's a fantastic read with a lot of compelling evidence to back it up.

And I'm not sure if anybody's missed it by this point, but JKR answers more questions about what happens to all the surviving characters at the end of DH and I find myself thinking that it might've just been better for her to skip the epilogue entirely and let all of us figure it out for ourselves. The way I see it her part in this saga is done, now it's the fans' turn to pick her creation up and run with it.

Aside from that I've got a shitload of fanfic to plow through this weekend and I'm getting a new oven tomorrow at long last. I've also designated this weekend "Summer Cleaning" and intend to start with a major purge of stuff to be donated to Goodwill. Then I'm going to decide which dance stuff I want to get rid of and see if I can get it photographed and posted on eBay or maybe I'll just see if I can find a bellydance shop that'll do consignment for me. Regardless it needs to go.

Another thing that needs to go is the extra 10 pounds I've been carrying around for about a year now. Ye gods it's getting to the point that I can't even look at myself in the mirror these days. Yuck. I chucked calorie counting out the window while sick last week but I need to get back up on that horse I think.

UPDATE: Oops, forgot to mention that I just read Avatar is supposed to be back on the air starting September 21! Woo!
ebonlock: (Remus/Severus Potterpuffs)
Ok this article on Deathly Hallows is incredibly good, particularly for those of us who recognize that really, when it comes right down to it, the HP books are all about Severus Snape. Doubt me? Read the article spoilery bits behind the cut )

Yay for ficcy goodness!

[livejournal.com profile] ricky_a pointed me at The World of the Living this wonderful HP/DM slash fic, not my usual 'ship, but how could I possibly refuse one written from Luna's POV?

"I'm, uh..." Even through the closed door, she can hear him draw a deep breath. "Luna, would you mind coming back a little later? I'm not quite decent at the moment."

Luna raises her eyebrows. "Is that 'I'm in my underpants' not-quite-decent or 'I'm in the shower with Draco' not-quite-decent?"

For a moment, there's absolute silence on the other side of the door.

Then Draco's voice replies, matter-of-factly, "The latter."

"Okay," Luna says with a satisfied nod, "then I'll come back later."

And now I'm off to read some Riddle-fic :)
ebonlock: (Draco and the Malfoys)
Aelf says hello from the north and shares with me these incredibly funny DH icons, the epilogue add-ons are particularly good.
ebonlock: (Hufflepuff Jesus)


Submitted for your consideration without comment, via Orcinus.

Baptist youth ministries leader Jennifer Zebel on the Harry Potter series:

I cannot believe that any secular book, character or movie advocating witchcraft of any kind could be this wildly successful without Satan having an agenda for it. The bottom line is that we know the right choice is to steer clear of these books and movies, but we don’t want to make the sacrifice. Satan is a wonderful writer and movie producer.”


And:
In Cedarville, Arkansas, the school board restricted access to the Harry Potter books unless a student could produce a signed permission slip from their parents. The board passed the rule because fundamentalist parents complained after “hearing a series of anti-Potter sermons in 2001 by Mark Hodges, pastor of the Uniontown Assembly of God Church and a member of the Cedarville School Board.”
ebonlock: (Snape Potterpuff)
If My F-List Wrote DH my favorite bits behind the cut: )
And tonight there will be OotP, and Snape and Lupin goodness. Life doesn't get much better than that.
ebonlock: (Snape Potterpuff)
Ok so, book 7...

I would like to say that I didn't hate this book, per se, nor will I swear off all things Potter henceforth. I will undoubtedly remain a fan and I'm even looking forward to reading a lot of the fic this book inspires. Hell, I may write some of it myself.

However, I've seen a lot of people lining up to turn this book into a religious war and I would like to say that feeling the need to lead a crusade, possibly alienate friends and acquaintances, and act like a general ass about a work of fiction is, in a word, foolish. If you loved the book and thought it was the greatest thing ever written in the history of literature, hey, good on you. I'm delighted it worked for you, I truly am. I wish I could share the sentiment but I can't and no amount of strident pleas, logical arguments or pointing at critical response is going to change that.

If you hated the books and will never, ever, ever read another word in the Potter universe because JKR is not getting another cent of your money, well I'm very sorry. I mean I'm profoundly sad that we'll not be able to discuss the series in the future. But no matter of impassioned, angry rants, logical arguments or pointing at critical response is going to change my mind either.

There were some things in the book I enjoyed, though they were few and far between. There were some things in the book I would just as happily have skimmed over or skipped entirely had I been reading alone. There was a scene or two I loved, and several that I outright hated. Overall I found the book extremely disappointing, and I will admit I spent several days last week utterly depressed after I'd read the spoilers.

But you see I understand that this is my opinion about a work of literature. I do not expect anyone to share it, I don't look down on anyone who doesn't, and I expect the same respect from everyone else. I am entitled to my rational, emotional and literary responses to the work, and anyone who tries to say otherwise is every bit as bad as every other religious zealot out there. Your opinion is yours and you're welcome to it, just don't try and cram it down my throat.

Allow me to reiterate just for clarity's sake, anybody out there who alienates a single friend because of an opinion about this book is a fool. An absolute, unmitigated fool.

However I will say that if you liked the epilogue we probably should never discuss it. Seriously, just don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Now, I'd love to point you at Rexluscus' take on the Snape revelations in Book 7 which almost completely mirror my own. We differ on a couple of points, but her overall summary got me definitely nodding. Shouldn't need to say this, but there are spoilers.

Comments are definitely open and I'm delighted to hear everyone's take on the book.

UPDATE: [livejournal.com profile] aelfsciene just sent me this very funny review of book 7 which I just had to share:

Page stillnonumbersbutafterthetableofcontents: A quote from Aeschylus and another quote from More Fruit of Solitude by William Penn. I am reminded of how Joe Queenan once suggested that if mediocre books were going to preface with quotes from great literature, how great literature could return the favour by prefacing themselves with quotes from Tom Clancy explaining the technical specifications of a military helicopter.


Read the rest, it's so worth it.
ebonlock: (Snakes on a Dark Lord)
Oh c'mon, you had to see this coming:

Could the next Harry Potter be a devout Christian?

As the days tick down until Saturday, when a breathless world learns the fate of the teenage wizard, a new breed of fantasy fiction, with Potter-style stories, is emerging.

Like the Potter series, it has mystical creatures, macabre events, epic battles and heroic young protagonists.

But, unlike the Potter books, this genre has overt Christian tones: messiah-like kings who return from the dead, fallen satanic characters and young heroes who undergo profound conversions. What you won't generally find: humans waving wands and performing spells.

[...]

Steeple Hill, the Christian fiction imprint of romance publisher Harlequin, will churn out 128 titles this year while hewing to strict standards followed by many Christian book publishers: No swearing (not even "gosh" and "darn"), no dancing or drinking by Christian characters, no gambling, no mention of intimate body parts. And forget sex scenes, even if the characters are married to each other.


TBogg comments:

So basically the books will be like the Bible but with more sword fights and less gay-stonings. This could be bigger than Christian Rap.

Isn't all fantasy fiction pretty much the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil from Narnia to The Stand?


"Gosh" is a swear word? Huh, I did not know that. And the whole no dancing thing, I thought that was just a rule for the more, uh shall we say, "eccentric" of the Christian groups.
ebonlock: (Hufflepuff Jesus)
So I've been reading reviews of OotP today and it seems so far that response is quite mixed. Some folks are scratching their heads over stuff that was inexplicably removed while others are delighted about new elements pulled directly from the ass of the screenwriter. I intend to remain open minded until 8:15 this evening when I'll have a chance to come to my own conclusions. But to be honest I don't generally go to the films with a list of nitpicky details that must be included or I WILL NOT BE HAPPY. Indeed, I generally go with one or two scenes I really, really hope they include because I think they're intensely important (generally to Severus). I'm also one of the first to love a film version of a book that can stand on its own and doesn't try to just make pretty pictures match up with words (i.e. crappy movies 1 and 2 versus the superb 3).

Will I get everything I want? Oh hell no. I mean GoF was one of the most disappointing because I really only needed to see one scene (Severus being asked by Dumbledore if he was prepared and answering that he was) and it was inexplicably left out. Sure I'd have loved to see the Sirius/Severus hand shaking bit, and oh lord how I would've adored it if they hadn't left 10 minutes at the very end to try and deal with the return of Voldie, death of Cedric Diggory, etc. On the other hand sometimes it's fascinating to see what JK feels can be left out without hurting the future stories. And sometimes, just sometimes you get a little moment or two added in that makes you go, "Hmmm", which adds its own bit of fun (one of my favorites was Severus leaping in front of the kids in PoA to protect them from Moony).

To me the movies are a fun supplement to the books, a way to match up characters and actors, to actually hear the voices you've "heard" in your head for so long, and on occasion as a way to visualize something that just didn't come across in the books (i.e. the final battle in OotP, which I defy anyone to try to choreograph given what Rowling wrote). But really it's all about the books, that's what I'm a fan of, and part of me rejoices that by a little over a week from now I'll have the final installment in my hot little hands. The other part, of course, wants to burst into tears. I can't believe one more week and it's over.

Ok, maybe not over, I mean we've still got fanfic and the film versions to look forward to, but you know what I mean.

To be honest, I'm more nervous about Deathly Hollows than the film version of OotP. How is this all going to end, and am I going to be pleased or horrified with what Rowling's come up with. A lot of my friends are amazed when I can watch a part of a series or read part of a book and then predict exactly what's going to happen. It's not really some magical ability, it's just me very often asking myself, "Ok what would I do if I were this writer? What would make the most sense and be fulfilling given my own tastes?" If I'm deeply into something it's a fair bet that my tastes and those of the writer(s) working on the piece are similar so projecting ahead isn't all that tough.

The one thing I've been certain of from the start of the HP series is that ultimately Severus was on the side of the angels and that his was a story of redemption. When asked why I can come up with all sorts of answers relating to textual clues, but honestly when it comes right down to it, it's because that's the better story. Severus as a cookie cutter villain is as dull as dry toast. But Severus as a man hell bent on redeeming himself is downright fascinating. Sure I think there are strong reasons to believe it given what we've read (i.e. Harry is always wrong about Snape, and allow me to re-emphasize that here, always), but ultimately I believe it because that's what I'd do given the same characters and story. It just makes sense.

Let me give you another example here to prove my point. Take Kerr Avon from Blake's 7. He was always meant to be a bit of a foil for the hero Roj Blake. He was the sarcastic, sly, cynical dark side to Blake's naive, optimistic idealism and they balanced each other beautifully. But the writers quickly discovered that while Blake was the "hero" he was also deadly dull to write for/about. His story just didn't really have anywhere to go, he was a good guy doing the right things for the right reasons. Yawn. What was interesting, though, was why the hell Avon kept hanging around with this guy, why he didn't just take some money, guns, and make a run for it. Ultimately the answer was that he too wanted to be redeemed and he turned Blake into his own personal savior. Blake trusted him and Avon found that absolutely intoxicating, but moreso that he knew he could trust Blake.

Trust and loyalty were Avon's holy grail, his eternal quest, and oh man did it make for some awesomely compelling story telling. It's certainly why you could have the actor playing Blake leave the series, but have the show continue on even stronger. Avon's redemption story was what kept you coming back for more.

I believe those two qualities combined with an innate need for some semblance of justice are the primary motivators for Severus as well. I suppose I'm less afraid ultimately that Rowling will make Severus a cookie cutter baddie than I am that she'll undercut his redemption story with some goofy pseudo-romance with Lily Evans. If Lily becomes the vehicle for his redemption I'm going to be seriously annoyed. If it's a combination of her and his life debt to James, somewhat less annoyed. But, oh, if she just lets Severus need redemption for his own sake, to quell his inner demons and to rekindle his own humanity...well, let's just say I'll build an altar to the woman and worship her as she deserves.
ebonlock: (Draco and the Malfoys)
Yeah so until I finish reading "Deathly Hollows" you can expect a whole lot of HP-related posts:



ebonlock: (Chocolate Lupin)
For those interested, you can check out the vid on the big HP theme park. I'm not much of a theme park fan, myself, but who knows, it could be cool:

http://raincloud.warnerbros.com/wbmovies/orderofthephoenix/webcast/webcast_300.mov

http://raincloud.warnerbros.com/wbmovies/orderofthephoenix/webcast/webcast_300.asx
ebonlock: (Really?)
Ok [livejournal.com profile] divine_debris just forwarded me this Onion news broadcast on "Deathly Hollows" and I was just howling with laughter. Enjoy!
Behind the cut per several requests... )
ebonlock: (gladiator)
New OOTP banners in the hizzouse, people!



Check out Harry
Hermione
Ron
Sirius (which is really cool, BTW)
and Umbridge
ebonlock: (Chocolate Lupin)
New behind the scenes Luna shot here with a nice view of her outfit. It's got kind of a peasanty-hippie-esque flair to it, but I like it.
ebonlock: (legilimency)
Is it wrong of me to be considering this as a costume for the Deathly Hollows release party:



I'd have to get a wig 'cause my hair's too short and the wrong color, still...

Oh and this shot of Scruffy!Remus is Teh Sex:

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