sistermagpie: Classic magpie (I'm still picking.)
( Jun. 26th, 2007 12:18 pm)
I feel like I haven't posted in forever. I was away for a while for my brother's wedding, which was really fun. Although he's not too much like the character as a type, if I were to describe how my family feels about my brother, I think it's probably something like the way Neville fans feel about Neville...and his new wife's family and friends seem to feel the same way about her, so it was a pretty happy wedding.

Also, got an OUTSTANDING on the Level 3 WOMBAT--woo-hoo! I got O's on the second two and EE on the first one which was supposed to be the easiest. This is just like in high school when we'd get assigned summer reading and I'd get really into it and then get a bad grade when we were tested because they'd ask questions about ridiculous minutia in the story that I never remembered. The second two WOMBATs were about things I actually thought about. Anyway it’s pathetic how validated I feel about a pretend grade. But then, I was just as eager to find out Harry's OWL results and those were somebody else's pretend grades.

I'd wanted to post something before I left on this conversation I was reading on a list...I'm having trouble making it coherent, but figured I ought to throw it out before DH if I was going to throw it out at all. Especially after [livejournal.com profile] jlh posted about the anniversary of The Loving Decision, which ruled that a state (in that case, Virginia) could not nullify a marriage on the basis of race. I recommend the post. In it she also brought up the more fandom-related point of how difficult it seems it is to talk about race in fandom, and this other conversation was also about race in HP as related to real life racism. Specifically, this was about

Snape's Worst Memory. )
I was having a conversation today about Marietta in OotP--always a topic guaranteed to make me feel like I'm having a completely different conversation than anyone I'm talking to at the time. Anyway, something that kept coming up that struck me was the idea of sympathy )
On HP4GU there's a thread about Dumbledore's speech at the end of OotP, which I find totally horrifying (the speech, not the thread). It was suggested that everything Dumbledore is saying is essentially to help Harry--he cuts him off talking about Petunia because he (DD) doesn't want him to get off track and doesn't think Petunia's an issue. He talks about Kreacher because he knows Harry might be Kreacher's owner now and needs to prevent Harry from murdering him later. He maybe is trying to show Harry it's okay to be angry at Sirius by talking about Sirius' flaws. Needless to say, I don't agree with this, but for me what Dumbledore is doing in that scene isn't just being a Puppetmaster. Really, he's just an ass, imo. )

I got up this morning and went downtown in the pouring rain because there was a big electronic recycling drive where I could bring my old laptop. It's sad how much credit I give myself for this great sacrifice.

ETA: So I was reading the post Aja linked to saying that yes, Pureblood Prejudice is racism. What struck me was the end of the post seemed to also suggest that thinking Pureblood Prejudice was not racism, meant you were a DE apologist. I'm not seeing the leap there. If I argued that anti-Semitism wasn't racism because Jews were not a different race, would I be saying anti-Semitism was right? If I say sexism is not a synonym for racism am I defending sexism? It seems like the word "Prejudice" used in the term "Pureblood Prejudice" is the umbrella term for all these things. Or is just assumed that if you say it's not racism you must be supporting it because racism is the baddest?
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Hmmmm..)
( Mar. 8th, 2006 01:32 pm)
And then I thought of something fannish to say. I was reading my foflist and saw a conversation about Prefects that brought up something that seems sometimes seems to be a point of discussion for people but has never puzzled me. So here's a few words on Draco as Prefect. )
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I started writing this post pre-HBP, so it’s mostly about Hermione in OotP, but I mention some things from HBP at the end. It’s about something that seems to me is one of the biggest driving forces with Hermione as a character, yet I haven’t often seen it discussed (probably because I’m just not looking in the right places). It starts out focusing on Hermione’s actions when it came to Harry/Cho. I shall call it, Hermione Granger, Saboteur Extraordinaire. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (what's this?)
( Jul. 12th, 2005 01:50 pm)
I don't really do predictions, but I've been thinking over what we've got to work with coming into HBP. That is, I think JKR as a writer plays fair, walking that line between giving you enough to figure things out and yet not giving you enough to insure you do, if that makes sense. Hurtling into the last two books, I get the feeling we've been given a lot to work with if we knew how to interpret it--which magical things might come into play, for instance, and more importantly, I think we've gotten to know the people on the chessboard.

See, I tend to think of most of the supporting characters (really, everybody but Harry) as chess pieces who are carved in interesting ways, but are important to look at in terms of their position on the board and what their move is. I don't actually play chess, so I may not be able to talk about this intelligently, but what I mean is that just as different chess pieces move a certain way and can move no other, so do I think we've been shown how the characters in HP move and so can be expected to move in future. The surprises we get about characters do not come in the form of new moves, but in us seeing what they were doing all along. For instance, throughout PoA Peter Pettigrew is described as a sweet but incompetent guy who worshiped MPP. But in the Shrieking Shack, iirc, Lupin and Sirius are able to rip him apart for "always" being the same, sucking up to somebody powerful and hiding behind him. It's not that Peter changed--in the Pensieve he's doing just that. It's that his friends weren't correctly understanding what he was doing when they knew him.

This, btw, is why I don't understand fears that Neville is this generation's Peter. Neville's move has been pretty clear from book 1: he has courage. He is generally timid concerning himself and puts up with a lot of personal abuse, but is prone to wild, reckless acts of bravery to protect his friends, family and house. GoF shows us that Neville's position on the board is more interesting than we thought, but his behavior is fairly constant. I feel like further revelations about characters are probably similarly foreshadowed in earlier books, although with some we may not be able to see the consistency until we get more information. When we do get that information, I think it will incorporate any odd moments the characters had that didn't fit with what we previously thought. (I suspect if we were reading MWPP's era Peter would be generally accepted as that bumbling nerd who worshipped the others, with people skimming over little things that didn't fit.)

Anyway, naturally I wonder how Draco will be used in future, having never understood the idea that Draco is the one character with no place on the board who will spend the endgame lying on the rug under the coffee table, having been knocked off by a careless elbow because he wasn’t interesting, so here I am thinking about it-last Draco babble before HBP I guess! )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Should I post this or not?)
( Mar. 12th, 2005 08:36 pm)
A guy at work left a book he was using for an article on the copier. It was about male initiation rites--Iron John type stuff. I admit it; I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. Yeah, I know how painfully silly the men's movement can be--Promise Keepers? Please. But then, like most things, I think this sort of thing just gets turned into the dreaded "personal growth" journey for people, which is exactly the opposite of what it's supposed to be. Adolescence rules. More rambling within. )
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I had a stray thought today while reading the various theories of Sirius being poisoned, mostly about why I like Snape not staying for dinner. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (la_pensee in the Garden of Wasted Things)
( Nov. 12th, 2004 03:03 pm)
Update on the Christopher Walken connection: I think I mentioned my parents knew him somehow when he was a kid? 'Kay, the real deal is that my mother's sister (my aunt) went to dancing school with him as a kid, back when his family ran a bakery in Queens. Apparently his brothers are still in the bakery business. So there ya go. That's how my mother knew him. She used to go to his dance recitals.

Hee.

Been re-reading OotP and really liking Ron there. I've always liked Ron as a character but almost never identify with him in any way. In this book I realized in a small way I did. Not that this reflects all that well on me or Ron. )
Super-Fandom-y pre-US-Election-Day post for flist variety.:-)

I've been thinking about this for a while...it's perhaps almost a rant, but maybe not. It's about this phenomenon that probably reflects the HP books but also makes fandom less pleasant sometimes, or at least keeps people from communicating. And it drives me crazy because I'm always getting accused of it.:-) Perhaps not unjustly so, for all I know, so I want to talk about it.

Gryffindor vs. Slytherin )

Obviously, this post is probably coming out amidst a flurry of election posts. On one hand the idea of a little distraction-I know I'm so afraid to think of what could potentially happen tomorrow I'd rather think of anything else. Otoh, though, while I'm usually a big believer in fantasy and imagination being a good thing, I will say that I hope the half of the population of my country that seems to be living in a fantasy world wakes up in reality tomorrow. I know it would be a nasty shock to admit, all at once, that the sunny heroic picture people seem to be fond of is all a lie, that the Bush administration isn't Dumbledore or Gandalf or Captain Kirk and that all those stories about deception and chaos and disaster in the world are not creations of the liberal media but the world they live in. I love searching for the reality within fiction; I prefer to vote against fiction in reality.
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
( Oct. 4th, 2004 09:58 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] wayfairer asks the state of H/D in the wake of OotP. She makes a lot of great points about how writers are dealing with the questions OotP leaves us with, and asked other people's opinions of H/D in light of that...and my comment got long enough that I figured it was really a post. Basically, I'm thinking through this as I go. )
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sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Totem)
( Aug. 5th, 2004 09:12 pm)
Good thoughts beget more thoughts...we got into an interesting discussion in the "Who do you hate?" thread about the final train scene in OotP. In some ways it's a replay of the train scene in GoF, and in other ways it isn't...and talking about it made me realize why my sympathy is with the Slytherins in the OotP scene.

Here's why, I think. )
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This has been a great discussion weekend on lj--which makes it very hard for me to concentrate on what I should be doing. ::sigh:: But I did get some things done and WILL finish the assignment I gave myself today. I WILL. I hope.

Anyway, these discussions got me thinking, for some reason, about Percy and Sirius again, and their leaving of their families. More on them inside. )
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sistermagpie: Might as well be in Chinese (Chinese)
( Mar. 19th, 2004 12:03 pm)
I read some random comment about this somewhere recently, and it made me think about it. It seems like a lot of people were surprised to see the memory Harry sees in OotP in the pensieve described as Snape's worst memory. But surely I'm not the only person who doesn't think it's strange at all. I think it says something interesting about character work in fiction in general. )

In other news, have just ordered two more Japanese horror movies. PT has offered to refund my money if I don't love the one he recommended as much as he does. I don't believe he would do this, but it's a hell of a rec.
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A recent discussion in franzeska's journal made me remember how much I really really liked Kreacher in OotP. No, I don't mean I want to invite him over for dinner or be friends. I just really liked him as a character. (I also liked Sirius more in OotP than before--one has nothing to do with the other.)

A lot of readers were understandably appalled by Dumbledore's final speech to Harry about Kreacher and Sirius (I was one of them), the reasons being that 1) Kindly wait a bit after the man's death before picking apart his flaws, and then do it with Remus or someone, not Harry. 2) Kindly stop blaming Sirius for his own death at the hands of murderers. 3) Kindly stop requesting sympathy for Kreacher that he hasn't earned and that readers are understandably unwilling to give him.

As somebody who likes Kreacher I had a fourth problem as well: the speech is completely insulting to Kreacher. To me Dumbledore didn't seem to think that differently about him than Sirius did. This gets into the whole house elf question in general, so here I'm going under the cut tag. )
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So I was going to write this thing on authority in LOTR vs. HP (the world trembles in anticipation!) and I got a little sidetracked by this thought on father figures in HP. Spoilers about The OotP Death inside.

Basically I was thinking about who Harry's surrogate father in the story is? )

Warning: Authority post probably tk.
I had dinner with my brother last night and he summed up Bed and Breakfasts perfectly. He said, "They tell you it's cozy. Really it's really more like staying with a great aunt you don't really know."

And that's why I like hotels.

Yes, I'm still obsessed with Slytherins--at least in this lj. I do manage to have conversations about other things in real life. [livejournal.com profile] epicyclical and [livejournal.com profile] wayfairer were having a conversation about how their symbolism is inconsistent and I have to agree. Specifically I've been realizing that part of what disturbs me so much is the way it seems like JKR not only has her "good" characters hate them but also, as an author, makes them earn that hatred at every turn. In some ways--and this isn't a direct parallel but it was helpful to me in understanding how I felt--it's like she portrays them a lot like anti-Semitic Jewish stereotypes but then hangs a swastika over them so we can convince ourselves we're right to despise them.

More on all that here... )
Okay, I think I'm ready to talk about Draco, why I still love him after OotP, why I've always loved him, what he stands for for me, all of that. I also hit upon a relationship that sort of reminded me of him and Harry. If you've seen "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"...Jane seems a little like Draco to me, to Harry's Blanche.

Cutting for all those nasty spoilers, including vague ones for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? )
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sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Magpie on the Shore)
( Jun. 26th, 2003 12:03 pm)
Continuing in my usual need to see twins everywhere, I wanted to talk about Sirius and Percy in OotP. It's long. Why do these things always get so long when I write them?? I'm cutting the whole thing so there's no spoilers whatsoever, with handy Percy and Sirius titles for easy skipping!

Percy )

Sirius )

I have not yet written a post on Draco in OotP, particularly with regards to H/D. I think that might be next for me...Yes, my Little Dragon. Soon....
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This isn't about slash, just the relationships in general. I'm seeing a lot of how this book was all about H/S (slash-wise and not) but seriously, I think that's secondary. I mean, it's primary in the plot but I tend to see a big H/S reconcilliation having limited use in solving problems here. JKR may totally disagree with me, of course.

Cutting here for the spoilers... )
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