Harry Potter is over, oh god, now I can cum. I guess it is easy enough to criticize JK Rowling for writing absolutely execrable prose, but I have read C.S. Lewis, and let me tell you, that guy couldn’t write a graceful sentence if his reward were a chaste peck on the lips from JayCee himself. Tolkein obviously couldn’t write either; I mean, maybe that shit sounded better in the original Elvish, but the GoogleTranslate English version sucks. Somehow every single sentence in I Snored. There Were Rings? sounds suspiciously like, "Able was I, ere I saw Elba." What was my point? Ah, you know, just that you can criticize JK Rowling for writing ten million pages of clumsily derivative horseshit, but that is effectively the nature of fantasy. Anyway, I was feeling a bit undertheweather on Monday, so my boyfriend and I went to see Harry Potter 19: The Phantom Penis. I could not actually tell you what happened visually because the entire movie was filmed without any lighting instruments; occasionally a magical CGI squiggle darted across the screen; the aesthetic vision seems to have been something like: Screensaver, Windows 95. There are some also some CGI magical creatures that look like they were left in the recycling bin outside of the office that created the latest Shartosquidasaur for the [sigh]Fi Channel. There are a number of British accents, and invariable someone tells Harry Potter, When the Time Comes, You’ll Know What to Do. Now I understand why this sort of thing is so popular a trope in fantasyland. It lazily suggests magic and intuition and an un-mundane world of things unseen, but it is exceptionally frustrating to hear and to read. If your friend just found a really awesome animated .gif tumblr, he doesn’t say, "Kittens with Hitler moustaches eating spaghetti . . . when the time comes . . . you’ll know where to find it . . . your heart will guide you." No, he sends you the goddamn URL.
Anyway the movie was really long and boring, just like the books, and Ralph Fiennes looks like a cock. The End.
IOZ is pretty good at pointing out assholes. Even when they happen to be IOZ.
Yet another Leonard Cohen cover, via Roderick T Long:
Too damn good.
I think that having a half-black half-Hispanic Spiderman is a great idea. I just wish they’d revamped the movies with the new Spidey rather than regurgitating the old plotline once again.
I find myself largely in agreement with Freddie’s list of first principles, in spite of our various political and economic disagreements. This is interesting to me, because Freddie is very much an economic leftist, and I am very much a free-marketeer.
But we both believe in a robust social safety net; we both believe that civil liberties are the cornerstone of – not just democracy – but of a flourishing human society; we both believe that a broadly non-interventionist foreign policy is the best policy for America and the world; we both believe in some form of Keynesian countercyclical economic policy; we both believe in worker’s rights, though I find myself more and more of the opinion that workers need to organize and stand up for their own rights without the express backing of the state, which has historically only hampered and hobbled unions. We both believe in progressive taxation, though we may disagree on the particulars.
Freddie’s last point is not so much a first principle as it is a jab at the president:
I finally believe, on a purely tactical level, that rewarding bad behavior inevitably reinforces that behavior and ensures that it will continue. I don’t open the door when my dog whines to come in; I wouldn’t give a child throwing a tantrum the toy he is asking for. Capitulation to terrible behavior sends the unmistakable message that terrible behavior is rewarded and should be repeated.
This last one is hard. It could be applied to A) big banks who did not deserve to be bailed out or B) many state governments who badly mismanaged their money or C) the Republican Party who did not deserve to be elected back into office after the eight years of disaster under George W Bush or D) countless pundits who helped steer us into the dark waters we’re in today. The list goes on and on.
What’s interesting to me is that I largely agree with just about everything Freddie says in this post, though I know we have many disagreements as well. Which puts me to the left of Barack Obama. At the same time, I’m a big advocate of deregulation and a hands-off approach to the economy. Deregulate healthcare, let markets work, get government out of the economy. This, as I noted yesterday, can make me sound like a rightwinger in the current American context.