Third Time is the Charm

I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut, but I can no longer let certain things go by without comment. I am quite sure I will offend some of the True Faithful, but that cannot be helped.

I am here today to speak aloud these words: J K Rowling is wrong. In fact, not only is she wrong about two things she thinks that she got wrong, but actually got right; Rowling is also wrong about something she thinks she got right, but actually got completely wrong.

Many would have you believe that the wrongs J K Rowling has unleashed on the world are something along the lines of an inappropriately out of the closet Dumbledore, the traumatic death of Dumbledore (for entirely unrelated reasons to his homosexuality), rampant incipient Satanism and Witchcraft, and any number of those sorts of things. But, no. I’m fine will all that, as should you be as well. I’m talking about more important issues here!

Three strikes and you’re out, right? You know that thing where you write something the first time and then try to re-write it but nothing is better than the first thing you wrote, only now you’ve lost that because of your subsequent changes? Yeah. That. Someone needs to take the pen out of J K Rowling’s hand. She’s drunk and should go home. Let me demonstrate:

The First Wrong of J K Rowling

Oh, so many moons ago, I read that J K Rowling no longer liked the opening to the first book. I can’t quite just now find a reference. But, what I remember is that she wished she had re-written the opening of the first book to be more obvious in genre setting and quicker into the story, instead of the way it appears in print.

She is wrong.

The opening is delightful in how it starts out normal and slowly the increasing number of owls reveals to the reader and the character of Mr Dursley just how abnormal the world really is. I know that there is advice out there, I forget from whom, about making clear in the very first sentence what genre one is in, but I absolutely adore the way normality melts away in the opening of the first book. Moreover, we get to be present at the very moment when Mr Dursley’s sanity dissolves and he becomes unhinged. And, I will abide no loose talk about changing that feature.

The Second Wrong of J K Rowling

Recently, J K Rowling has publicly stated that Harry and Hermione should have gotten together, and she regretted that they didn’t. This is an idea which should be killed in its crib … but, um, successfully this time.

She is wrong.

First off, even if Hermione wanted to end up with Harry at any point, there is no way that Hermione would have stabbed her friend Ginny in the back like that. In order to double-cross Ginny like that Hermione would have to become a selfish narcissist instead of who she was, and that would have been against her very character, and if allowed would have been the beginning of the end for everyone, because without a good-at-heart Hermione everything would have fallen apart and fizzled into infinite darkness under the real Dark Lord.

But, I’d argue that the fact that Harry and Hermione didn’t end up together is part of what helped Harry not turn into his father, and merely repeat the same story as the previous generation acted out. And, all the other characters would have fallen into enacting the same systemic failures demonstrated in the flashbacks and revelations about how completely shitty the Marauders really were to everyone else. Ginny saved Harry, not the other way around; because it was in Harry’s relationship with Ginny that he became a fully functioning and feeling adult; and it was always in Hermione’s hands how this entire story unfolded.

You think I’m overstating that? Let me put it this way: Harry had absolutely no apparent talent of his own until he discovered he was a natural at Quidditch. And, there is no way that Harry would have ever been discovered and joined the team if Hermione hadn’t used a fully functional and useful spell to repair Harry’s glasses in the very first book so Harry could actually see anything at all.

And, there’s no way Hermoine would have ended up with someone with a complete absence of actual magical aptitude … um, okay, at least Ron could play chess and throw gnomes like nobody’s business! And, red hair! They made beautiful babies, so shut up!

In fact, I bet, by the end, Hermione full and well realized that without the Horcrux in his head, Harry Potter was nothing more than a magically inept, whiney rich jock who liked to beat up on goth kids. There’s no way she would have gone for someone like that … well, you know, after she learned her lesson from how it didn’t work out with Victor Krum, anyway.

The Third Wrong of J K Rowling

J K Rowling lost the plot in the end. Yes, the entire end of the series was screwed up. Harry was no hero, for reasons I think I’ve already detailed. So, the only other kid left, and someone mentioned specifically in the books as fulfilling the same prophecy as Harry supposedly did: Neville Longbottom.

Rowling would have you believe that Harry was the hero and saved the day after coming back to life, a pathetic attempt to twist the actual truth and instead turn Harry into a risen Christ figure.

She is wrong.

In fact, without the stolen power of the Horcrux in his head and the overly patient coddling of whiz kid Hermione and the army of people around him doing all the actual work, Harry Potter would have been nothing better than how Neville Longbottom is portrayed throughout most of the series. But even still, the truth will out. You cannot deny that Neville Longbottom steps up, grows a pair, and stands up to Voldemort, and if he had half as much preparation as Harry did there’s no telling what he could have done. Probably have sealed things up behind the scenes of book three while Harry was busy being freaked out about what turns out to be his escaped petting zoo godfather.

In fact, even still, Harry died. That Harry died killed Voldemort’s horcrux in his head and left both Voldemort and Harry relatively powerless, there’s sympathy and contagion between these two that people only vaguely realize, after all. As the inaccurate Rowling version of events unfolded, unless Voldemort went completely off the rails and challenged Harry to a Quidditch match … (Hey, dumber things have been known to happen, people!) there really was no longer any chance for Voldemort at all, really just a matter of time, if he didn’t simply die at that moment the last Horcrux was broken, by Voldemort killing Harry, who is merely a functional and folkloric double of himself. And Harry should have stayed dead, or transformed into the Dark Lord he was always incipiently to become, which would have left Neville Longbottom to fulfill his destiny as the person referenced in the prophecy as the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord, i.e., to kill Zombie Harry, back from the dead to assume his rightful rôle in the succession scheme of evil! And, in a beautiful Delphic-style twist, the assumption that the Dark Lord mentioned in the prophecy refers to Voldemort is simply a mistake only revealed in hindsight: the one who lives is Neville and the Dark Lord is actually what snivelly rich jock Harry of the future cycle of the generational system would become! And, there was some guy named Voldemort who died too, but no one really remembers what he had to do with anything.

And, shit, people, just look at pictures of Neville nowadays and just try to tell me that guy doesn’t look like a real Big Goddamned Hero who pretty much towers over Harry, who went off to become some kind of Auror, like, pshaw, whatever, prance around like a naked pony on stage, and write Beat poetry.

MPAA – size queen, fashion diva, and girlfriend from hell?

Via Slashdot, BBspot – MPAA Lobbying for Home Theater Regulations, Apparently the MPAA wants to reach into your living rooms and bedrooms and regulate the size of your equipment and the arrangement of your furniture:

The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29″ with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown.

Then, again, they want to control your social life:

“Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn’t give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too.”

It’s clear that the MPAA is a girlfriend from hell. She wants to get rid of your gadgets, rearrange your pad, alienate your friends and control your entire life. You’ve got to dump her before she ruins your life permanently.

Dude, she’s insane and needs therapy.

Too bad the story is fake. The lesson here is that the MPAA must be really, really bad if people are willing to believe they would do this kind of thing for real. This kind of asshattery is not unbelievable even if it isn’t real.

This is something that I realized a long time ago about fooling people: It’s neither hard nor skillful to get people to believe believable things. That’s just telling a lie. The skill is getting people to believe things that are unbelievable. That’s funny. If the BBspot story were well written, the level of abusrdity would have increased to the point when laughter burst from the reader. But, no. The reader is left unsatisfied. Obviously, the author of the BBspot joke story isn’t very good in bed.

On the other hand, this is a good time to reflect that the voice of authority, in this case Slashdot, can be used to legitimize lies, like laundering money. Authority in an of itself cannot be a test of veracity and therein is the character flaw of the republic. To believe authority is to conflate messenger with message.

I should know better.

I should know better. Hiking in the snow on a glacier in the Austrian alps should have made it clear enough. Birkenstocks are not good shoes for hiking in the snow.

Supposedly the local elk herd was out and about, so I went to go see. I didn’t see them, they must have moved on. I’m suspicious that these elk are like snuffleupaguss.

So, I was all dressed for the cold. I decided to hike up the road. I ended up going more than twice as far as A. and I had ever gone. Which is an odd thing, I suppose. I did feel it, and I almost turned around once but kept on going. It was neat because as I went up and up the snow was still there in the trees and on the road. Anyhow I went quite a way past the end of the county maintained road. I didn’t see anyone else up there. I heard a bunch of birds and definitely there were some animals scuttling about in the brush. At one point I stopped to eat some snow and just revelled in the sound of the dripping water and the occassional clump of snow falling off a tree branch. I kept going until I was in danger of soaking my feet in the water running down the road. I really need to find my boots in storage so I can tromp up there more.

So, a funny thing happened on the way back. I noticed all of a sudden that I was smiling and I was practically bouncing as I walked. I felt happy. I met someone on the way back and couldn’t help but be enthusiastic about recommending that he go up the way I’d come since it was so nice.

I came home and had a little snack. Then, I turned my attention toward getting this 2nd computer online so that I could check my e-mail and stuff while the brothers are on the other one playing games non-stop for hours.

Then I started to realize something else. I was running through my head things that we could have done to work things out between us. The thing is that every time I came up with an idea, I realized that she had tried to go that direction. She tried to get me to agree to counseling, and while I didn’t say no I did kind of jokingly pass it off. She tried to get us to talk about what love was to us, but I was being grumpy and didn’t want to go through that exercise. She even told me flat out that she’d have to leave me if things didn’t get better with how she felt like I was insulting and snide to her all the time.

So, with a little perspective I realize that she tried so damned hard and I don’t think I once met her half way. Sure, I tried in my own way to do things, but I’m not sure right now if I was ever able to really listen to what she was saying about trying to make it work.

It’s really tempting to blame all of the anxiety, irritablity, low sex drive and foul moods on a chemical problem in my brain. I mean, I really don’t think I was able to change the way things were going. I could watch as I fumbled constantly and made life … well, I made being with me pretty miserable. I made things worse when she tried to focus on her own stuff, and started to pull away. It’s tempting, but even if it’s is absolutely true, that’s only part of the story. There’s no simple answer, or simple solution, to the issues I have with self-esteem, irritability, sex, neediness, and all the rest.

There was that time where we were having a big argument and the next day I realized like a flash of lightening how much I loved her and wanted to be with her and that everything I was doing was insanely opposite of how I really felt. That was the same day she came home having spent the whole day at class crying and had decided that she needed to be free.

That’s part of the irony, that we came out of it on opposite sides, but I clearly still hadn’t been able to see just how much she already had done to try to make things work with me, with us, before she just couldn’t do it any more.

She told me that she felt guilty for hurting me when we last talked, when she told me she thought that we had run our course and that it was over. She shouldn’t feel guilty. She should feel that she did everything she could to make it work.

No wonder she felt like she was having to take care of me. No wonder she felt drained the minute she walked in the door to our home. No wonder she felt like she had no other choice but to leave that behind. She had tried everything she knew how to do, and none of it worked.

I wish I could tell her that I realize how hard she worked for us, trying to deal with her own issues and having to deal with mine too, trying to point me in the right direction and falling into the role of my caretaker, trying to warn me what was going to happen if I didn’t get with the program.

She warned me and I didn’t understand.

I feel horribly guilty for having hurt her. My good intentions and genuine love brought her into a situation where she couldn’t be happy. She might have thought many times that she was failing when it was really not the case. She did wonderful trying to make it work, but she deserves someone that doesn’t need that kind of help. She deserves someone that she compliments and that compliments her, not someone that she has to try to complete.