Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Yes, I've read the Harry Potter books. Yes, I'm planning to read the last one. And yes, I'll probably buy it on the first day it comes out and finish it within a few days. I have a healthy enough curiosity about how it all turns out, though I don't know whether to attribute my curiosity to the books themselves or to the Potter-mania zeitgeist.

My goodwill toward the books is powered, at this point, by fumes -- ghosts of the full tank of goodwill that the first book provided.

I do think that Severus Snape is the most interesting character in the books, but somehow that strikes me as one of the flaws of the series. I certainly don't understand the whole Snape phenomenon, unless it is being fed by a bunch of women who can't separate Snape from Alan Rickman and Alan Rickman from Colonel Brandon. Maybe we should call him Colonel Snape.

Then there's Dumbledore. I won't get into any "spoilers" here, but the development of Dumbledore's character seems to have followed the same arc as that of the Jedi Knights. Both Dumbledore and the Jedi seem to peter out over the course of the stories. They begin in wisdom and grandeur, and end in ineffectual gestures and a blindness to evil and danger that is so complete as to seem just plain stupid. I realize that this take on Dumbledore relies on a completely straightforward interpretation of the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and that's one reason that I'm in the all-is-not-as-it-seems camp, but I can't bring myself to care very much whether all is as it seems or not.

I want to care. I want to be out among the crowds waiting at the docks for the arrival of the last installment of Harry Potter. I want to shout up to the Captain, with real feeling, "Is Harry Potter dead?" I want to care about the reply.

As things stand, however, I will linger at the edge of the crowd, wondering whether it is a dearth of taste, or joy, or humanity, that prevents me from mingling among them.


Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

So, KM, did you see the latest movie? If so, will there be a review?

The RugRat saw it opening night -- an outing arranged by friends. RR, of course, would never read the books and hadn't shown any interest in the movies. So, RR's review -- it was pretty good -- was based on knowing nothing about Potter and this whole Potter-mania thing.

I was merely the dropper off and picker up person, dodging hordes of Potter fans who turned a summer Wednesday rush hour into a nightmare.

July 12, 2007 6:33 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Hi, CIV!

I appreciate getting Rugrat's review of the latest Potter movie. I will be seeing the movie this weekend, and I'll try to provide a review, though I have to admit I'm even less enthusiastic about the movie than I am about the book. The first movie -- like the first book -- continues to be my favorite.

I just think it'll be fun to see at least one summer movie, and this is the one (along with Ratatouille) that I don't mind paying money to see.

Have you read any of the books?

I should clarify my blog entry a bit, too. I realized that while I tend not to get greatly inspired by reading the books, I do really have a lot of fun talking about them with other people.

July 12, 2007 6:44 PM  
Blogger Madman of Chu said...

Oh, sure, everybody in this town is going to go crawling to Potter. Well I think he's just a warped, frustrated, young man.

July 12, 2007 9:33 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

In the grand scheme of things, he's nothing but a scurvy little spider.

July 12, 2007 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Tom Marvolo Riddle said...

"In the grand scheme of things, he's nothing but a scurvy little spider."

-- I'll drink to that.

July 13, 2007 12:22 AM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

No, I have not read any Harry Potter nor seen any of the movies. Unlike RR, I do like to read. But I've never been interested in fantasy -- wizards, dragons, etc. (Special exception for vampires, due to years of watching Dark Shadows as a kid.) I much prefer SciFi to fantasy, perhaps because I can imagine some of the Sci Fi as being possible in the future whereas fantasy is all make believe.

(But if reading, watching, and talking about Potter would have turned RR into a reader, I would have embraced the whole mania.)

July 13, 2007 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I have never read the Potter books, nor do I have any more knowledge about the characters than what has been revealed in the movies to date. Personally, I don't understand the Potter "craze", but it IS here in my household and I can at least fake an interest in it.

I dozed off at the theater during the previous movie, so I didn't hold out much hope for this one. I actually went for the popcorn and Raisinets and the thought of another brief nap.

It didn't happen. I was glued to the screen. Perhaps because it was much "darker" than the previous ones or maybe because it was FINALLY getting to the meat of this whole plot, but I REALLY liked this movie.

I am now compelled to read the last few chapters of the final book when it arrives at my house. Just so I know how it is resolved.

(And CIV, I feel the same as you - sci fi over fantasy. I can deal with vampires and werewolves, but not much beyond it.)

July 14, 2007 12:36 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the review. I hope I have the same reaction.

But I have to ask . . . Raisinettes? :)

P.S. You and CIV ought to give "fantasy" a try. I suppose what I really mean by that is that you ought to give Tolkien a try. Or read Tom Shippey's "J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century."

July 14, 2007 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

But I have to ask . . . Raisinettes? :)

I could have opted for the Goobers, but realized that the Raisinettes have fruit in them - something that my movie-going-mates are against, even covered in chocolate. More for me!

When life quiets down a bit (in another few years, if I'm lucky) I shall be able to delve more into the works of Mr. Tolkien. At this point, the series sits on my shelf, collecting dust with the rest of my library.

July 14, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

KM, in HS, thanks to alphabetical seating, I often sat near a rabid Tolkien fan. I finally gave in and read the Hobbit. It was OK. But you will probably not be pleased to learn that the entire time, I imagined the hobbit looking like Irwin Troll.

That and an extremely short story (no more than 1.5 pages) written by a college friend is as far as I got into fantasy.

July 15, 2007 7:56 AM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

lisa, have you read any of Lois McMaster Bujold's sci fi? I'm told it is classified as a Space Opera. But I enjoyed very much the Vorkosigan stories.

(Well, the early ones. After I'd read everything she wrote, I moved on to other things and have not yet gone back to read the rest of the stories.)

She writes fantasy, too, so you have to be careful in your selection.

July 15, 2007 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

"...have you read any of Lois McMaster Bujold's sci fi?"

Thank you for the advice! I shall look into her books, though, as with Mr. Tolkien's series, I'm afraid it will wait a bit until I can get to it! (I do keep a list of titles/authors and have added your suggestion to it.)

July 16, 2007 5:41 AM  

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