Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I'm in a place where I don't know where I am!

Yup, that's all.

(PS: Post featuring "DH:P2 - Essay Part 2" soon to if anyone cares.)


"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dad, start digging some nerd holes!

Well, considering Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 came out like a week and a half ago and I've yet to post anything about it, I figured now was probably as good a time as ever. What follows is my reaction to the end of my childhood...err, the last movie...directly from my post on the Nuthouse. Also, can we say "HOLY ESSAY, BATMAN!"? This is, of course, pretty much nine million years long (oh yes, I meant years; it's so long, we have to start measuring it in TIME), which means you should make sure that you have, like, half an hour to spare. But is my LONG ASS REVIEW OF HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 (and in case you're retarded and didn't already assume this, there are SPOILERS in here; not just for this movie, really, but also Part One and probably the series as a whole, so if you're unfamiliar with any of the films, it might be a good idea to skip over this post...also there are lots of swears, so don't read if that bothers you):

I had started to make a video response, but it was like, 20 minutes long and I hadn’t even covered half the shit that I wanted to, so I decided to scrap that idea and just type it all out instead. Anyway, here are my thoughts:

First of all, this movie should be titled SHOCKFEST 2011. I was pretty sure that I would be bawling throughout this whole movie, but honestly, I didn’t cry nearly as much as I thought I would. I cried a bit during certain parts and was pretty much misty-eyed for like, 95% of the movie, and yes, there was even a lump in my throat throughout the whole movie as well, but I didn’t actually bawl at any point. Which may seem really odd considering how much death there was in this movie - one of those deaths being Snape’s, which was, no joke, quite possibly the worst and most heartbreaking death scene I’ve ever seen in my life - but honestly, I think it was because my jaw seemed to be glued to the floor for the whole 2+ hours.

Seriously, even having read the book and knowing what was going to happen did not prepare me for what was going on in this film; it was like seeing it played out onscreen in front of me was just a completely different experience than reading the book, and the act of actually seeing it was just so raw and real and shocking and...GUH, that I was in like this permanent state of shock for the whole thing. I felt like I was holding my breath for the whole length of the movie and couldn’t let it out until the whole thing was over, and because I was just so worked up about that, I couldn’t process the deaths in the same way, you know? Like I said, the tears and the emotion were there, but it’s like I couldn’t express it properly because of the sheer shock of the whole thing, you know? I am seeing it again like next week, though, so I’m guessing that now that I’ve experienced that, the shock value will go down a bit, and I might actually cry next time, haha.

But now onto more of the specifics, yeah?

NEVILLE. Oh. My god. Seriously, this boy was like, the most amazingly awesome badass motherfucker I’ve ever seen in my life. I LOVED him. I always liked how his character changed and grew and progressed throughout the series, and I love what JKR did with him in this book, but in the movie? GOD, HE WAS SO FUCKING COOL. Again, something about seeing him onscreen and everything just made it that much better and cooler, and…god. So great. When he killed Nagini at the end, the entire theater burst into cheers. It was so AWESOME. And him and Luna? Fucking ADORABLE.

I LOVED Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix as Hermione. She was so adorable, walking around all awkward and uncomfortable and shit. It was so weird to see her in full Bellatrix attire and be somewhat normal and even a bit insecure and not, you know, batshit insane.

Aberforth? Yeah, I liked him. He was pretty cool. I got all teary when I saw the portrait of Arianna, cause I immediately knew it was her, and when he made that comment about how Dumbledore had put power and infamy or whatever above his family…well, that was one of those emotional moments for me. He was so cool when they showed him during the Battle, too.

And McGonagall! OH GOD, SHE WAS SO BADASS AND COOL. I LOVED her line after she made all the knights and shit come to life - "I always wanted to use that spell!" or whatever. So adorable! Love her love her love her. And her concern about Harry when he shows up too, and buying him time, and just…I love her. Like I said, she’s one person I overlook a lot, but she really is such a great character. She’s stern and strict and whatever, but she just wants what’s best for her students and holds them responsible for their actions and everything, and in the end, she’s really a great woman and is always there for them, you know? She does care about everyone, and I’m sure she does have a soft spot for Harry, and I just love her for it.

Speaking of the statue knight thingies, OH MY GOD THOSE WERE SO COOL. Honestly, I loved that sequence; the part when they’re arming Hogwarts and putting up all of the protective Charms and shit was actually one of the parts where I cried a little bit and got mad chills, because it was like, after ten years or whatever, this was it. Like, the last ten years have been building and adding up to this moment, and now, now, shit’s about to go down.

I thought the Fiendfyre scene was really well done too. I mean, the special effects were awesome, and the part where Harry’s like, “BITCHES, WE GOTS TO GO BACK FOR MAFOIL!” was really lovely and made me all, “Awwwww!” inside. And when Malfoy just like, hops on and they fly out of there all BA-like…yeah, that was a great, feel-good moment.

And, of course, let’s talk about the best part of the whole movie, SNAPE’S DEATH. OH MY FUCKING GOD, THAT WAS THE BEST DEATH SCENE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN ANY MOVIE EVER. AND ALSO THE MOST TRAGIC. I mean, seriously, when you see him getting all fucked up by Nagini through the glass, and then they walk in and he’s all dying on the floor, SWEET JESUS MY HEART JUST CRACKED. This was one part where I did actually cry (some girl behind me was like, bawling at this point, lol), and I was just all numb and emotional and sad. And then he fucking CRIES THE MEMORIES. Now, admittedly, I haven’t read the book in a long ass time and I can’t say with certainty what happened, but I don’t actually remember him crying the memories…I thought he pulled them out like everyone else has always done. Like I said, for all I know, it did happen this way in the book, but I honestly don’t remember it that way. However, if it was different than the book, this is one thing that I like better in the movie than the book; him crying out his memories was SO fuckING SAD. And then Harry like, trying to stop the blood and be all nice to him, and OH GOD IT WAS SAD. AND THEN, SWEET JESUS, Harry tries to look away and Snape’s all, “LOOK AT ME,” and Harry does, which was all emotional and shit enough, but then he’s like, “YOU HAVE HER EYES,” or whatever, and HOLY f**k MY HEART CRACKED MORE. I mean, that’s something that Harry’s heard his whole life, but this was the first time I really felt like it meant something, you know? And how beautiful and yet horribly tragic that Snape died looking at them; like, it reminded him of Lily, which was good, but at the same time, it was still Harry and not her, you know? I MEAN GOD, HOW AWFUL. And then he just f**king dies, and god, seriously, so f**king beautiful and tragic and just fucked up and awesome.

AND THEN THE MEMORIES. THE MEMORIES, OH GOD, THE MEMORIES. That section of the movie was just one horrible thing after another; I loved how adorable little!Severus and Lily were, but all the shitty stuff that happened was just so terrible, and then SWEET JESUS, when he walks into the Potter’s house after Voldemort’s been there, and just fucking loses it when he sees Lily, and it goes in and out and then you see him just clutching her body to him for dear life and sobbing uncontrollably and looking for all the world as though the earth is just gonna swallow him whole...Holy. fuck. LITERALLY most tragic moment of any movie ever. This was the point in the movie that I cried the hardest, and while, again, I wasn’t bawling, I felt so shitty afterward that I may as well have. Seriously, just thinking about it now makes me want to start crying. :( And then the bit where he’s basically signing himself over to Dumbledore, and even though you know it’s for the best and Dumbledore is a much better guy than Voldemort, you still can’t help but feel that he’s being fucked and he’s still got the short end of the stick and everything, you know? And then when he’s talking about how unfair it is for Harry, and it’s all sad and shit, and then the whole, “Always,” scene...I mean, seriously...Jesus Christ on a cross, seriously the most tragically heart-breaking and yet beautiful sequence in a movie EVER. THIS JUST PROVED TO ME HOW FUCKING BRILLIANT OF AN ACTOR ALAN RICKMAN IS, AND HOW MUCH I FUCKING LOVE HIM AND WANT TO HAVE HIS BABIES.

Onto other things, though...the Resurrection Stone scene, I thought, was well-done. I loved seeing Lily and James and Sirius and Remus, and Sirius in particular got me a little choked-up; I was all, “OH GOD SIRIUS IS BACK I MISSED HIM AND LOVE HIM! ♥♥♥” And I love how determined Harry was after that, too.

One thing that I did think was weird (just in my own head) was the whole Harry seeing Lily after witnessing Snape’s memories. This isn’t a comment on the movie, really, just something that the movie just sort of brought to my attention having seen these two scenes played out in front me sort of one after the other. Anyway, I just thought about how weird that must be for Harry to see his mom after watching Snape die and seeing his memories, and realizing for the first time that not only did he love his mom, but that everything he’d done in his life since then had been because of and for her, and that probably half the reason why Harry was still alive and standing there was because of Snape’s love for her. I just thought that would be a really odd moment, like, “Oh hey mom,” and then realizing like, Shit, Snape fucking loved her despite everything else and spent his whole life loving her, and he doesn’t really like me but still protected me because of her, and…I don’t know. I just thought it was really odd.

Anyway, I thought the scene when Voldemort kills Harry was well done, too; I think it, once again, shows how inhumane he is in that he kills Harry without Harry making any means to defend himself. Obviously, Harry knew he had to die and shit, but still...I thought it exemplified the fact that Voldemort is rather inhumane and a total douche as well.

As for the King’s Cross scene…I’ve heard a lot of complaints about that, but I thought I kinda liked it. They didn’t really explain it as well as they perhaps could have, but having read the books, I was fine with the explanation they gave and was happy with it. Voldemort lying under the bench as the gross bloody baby thing was TERRIFYING; again, maybe it’s just been too long since I’ve read the book, but wasn’t the “thing” actually in a bag in the book? As in, you never really saw it? And didn’t Dumbledore even kind of brush it off a bit and only allude to what it was, letting the reader kind of interpret it how they wanted? Well, either way, that was how I remembered it, and so when they actually showed that fucking gross thing lying there, I was pretty taken aback and actually leaned over to Trent and was like, “’DA FUCK IS THAT?!” In a sense, they gave it a much more...literal presence than metaphorical like the book (if I’m remembering it right, of course), but I sort of liked it that way. I think that the way it was done in the book was great for the book, but I sort of liked that they did the more literal and visual approach to it for the movie. *nods* And I really loved seeing Dumbledore again; it was like fucking Gandalf the White coming back in LotR, and it made me all happy. :) (Note: It was pointed out to me by the lovely SiriuslyLupin after making this post on the Nuthouse that it was actually done this way in the ignore the stuff I said about it being different.)

And then when Harry came back to life, and Narcissa leaned over him…I liked that. Obviously, that happened in the book, but that was one thing that I liked seeing in the movie; the whole bargaining thing she does with Harry really reveals a lot about her character, and I’m glad that they kept that in. And then Hagrid carrying Harry…oh god, it was so sad! Hagrid is one of those characters like McGonagall for me; every time he’s in the movies or the books, I really really love him (and shit, how can you not like Hagrid, really?), but I tend to sort of forget about him a lot of the time. :P But I loved him in this, and I loved seeing him carry out Harry. I know JKR has said before that she knew she could never kill him off, because she wanted Hagrid to be the one to carry him out at the end, and I think that was the best choice; Hagrid seems to be all about delivering Harry, first to the Dursley’s, and then to the Wizarding world in general, and it just seems fitting that the same person who sort of brought him into the Wizarding world would be the same one to bring him “out of it,” so to speak. I love the symbolism in that and everything.

But it’s so sad when everyone thinks he’s dead, and even when Malfoy goes over to his parent’s to join Voldemort’s side; it’s terrible that he was just saved by Harry and everything, and then he fucking goes right back to Voldemort. Again, it’s a brilliant piece of writing on JKR’s part - and a lovely piece of acting on Tom Felton’s part, what with the look of turmoil on his face and everything - as it really shows the nature of their characters and how they’re always just looking out for themselves, but still…it was so frustrating! And then when Neville steps forward, and they all laugh at him and Voldemort’s all, “Well, you wouldn’t be my first choice but whatevs” or whatever he says...FUCK THEM ALL. NEVILLE IS GREAT. And then when he delivers that whole speech - BRILLIANT. HE FUCKING SHOWED THEM, particularly when he KILLED MOTHERFUCKING NAGINI. HELL YES. But then Harry “comes back to life” or whatever (which was another point that the whole theater burst into cheers, and which also made me cry a little) AND SHIT GETS REAL, AND IT’S GREAT.

And then there’s the whole final confrontation, and that was awesome, and the scene at the end when they’re all old (and everyone laughed, no joke) and Ron’s got a potbelly lol and OMG I LOVED IT. :D :D :D :D :D SERIOUSLY, FUCKING EPIC.

…now onto things I didn’t like,

TEDDY. He’s mentioned ONCE. One thing that I loved about DH was the inclusion of Teddy, and I’m so bummed they sort of just dropped him. I mean, yeah, he’s Remus’ kid, so of course I love him, but I always just loved his story, so to speak. I felt like he was a GREAT parallel to Harry’s life - parents both killed in the war when he was a baby, raised by his mother’s relative, has a godfather who was a good friend of his parent’s, etc - but the key difference is that, while Harry’s childhood was pretty shitty and he grew up without a lot of love, Teddy had a fairly happy childhood and grew up with all kinds of love (from what we know). I always thought that that was a really beautiful sort of parallel, and I’m so bummed they left him out. Also, because they failed to mention him, there wasn’t that great f**king confrontation between Remus and Harry. Seriously, despite the fact that it’s really sad and broke my heart a little and made me cry when I read the book, the fight between Remus and Harry at Grimmauld Place when Remus tells them Tonks is pregnant is one my all-time favorite moments in not just the book, but the series as a whole. So I’m really really bummed that got left out. Also, the scene at Shell Cottage when Remus bursts in and is all excited and names Harry godfather is great, too, and they also cut that, so…I was pretty sad that they cut him out. Not to mention, HOW THE FUCK WOULD ANYONE WHO HADN’T READ THE BOOKS KNOW THAT THEY HAD A KID? Seriously, Remus just mentions it when Harry sees him with the Stone, and is all, “OH BTW WATCH OUT FOR MAH SON,” and I’m sure anyone who’s unfamiliar with the books would be like, “WTF HE HAS A SON?!” Seriously, whatever…

ALSO, the Elder Wand thing…that really bugged me. I know it’s just a piece of wood or whatever, but it’s THE ELDER FUCKING WAND. It’s the most powerful wand in the world, it can kill bitches without any problem, it’s seen more death and destruction than all the Death Eaters combined, and yet Harry just fucking BROKE it. WITH HIS BARE HANDS.


It also seemed rather silly to me; I mean, yeah, I guess it showed how little he cared about it, but still…I liked him fixing his own wand with it and then reburying it with Dumbledore he did do that, right? Again, it’s been forever since I’ve read the book...; it seemed so proper and lovely and shit. Instead, he just breaks the d**n thing in half and tosses it off the cliff. Seriously, Ron and Hermione’s expressions after he does that are pretty much how I felt, too. :P And on a related note: HOW THE FUCK DOES PRIORI INCANTATEM HAPPEN WITH THE ELDER WAND AND MALFOY’S WAND? WHAT THE FUCK?

The major character deaths sort of bugged me, too; I understand that in the book, Tonks and Lupin’s deaths were sort of mentioned a bit in passing, and that they kept it canon in the movie by doing the same thing, but…really? They couldn’t have made it a slightly bigger deal? And they didn’t even SHOW Fred after he died; they sort of just implied that it was a Weasley, and if you weren’t paying attention, you could have totally missed who it was. I just found that a bit irritating. :P And Jesus, they didn’t even mention Colin. Yeah, that stuff all kind of had me peeved.

And honestly? The Molly Weasley bit with Bellatrix was a bit of a let-down. I liked that she really started to fight back and kick some ass in her duel with Bella, and I really glad they kept in the, “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” line (another point when the whole theater cheered), but…truthfully, the whole thing seemed a bit anti-climactic to me. :/

Also, the whole thing with them pretty much excluding all of Dumbledore’s past with his sister/family and Grindelwald kind of bummed me out. Again, I understand that that stuff could take a LONG fucking time to explain in the context of the movie, and would probably be really boring if they kept it all in, and I guess in the end, it didn’t make a whole lot of difference to people that hadn’t read the books (as in, the plot of the movie didn’t depend on it enough to make a difference or leave people confused), but...I don’t know, I always felt that that was such a huge part of the book that I was disappointed that more of that didn’t make it in. Particularly since they showed Grindelwald earlier in the film; it was sort of like, “HEY, HERE’S THIS RANDOM DUDE FOR NO REASON!” They might as well have just not even mentioned him if they weren’t going to develop that plot line at all. :P

I also loved the stuff with Dumbledore, because I always thought that that was something that was really important for Harry in the book; all throughout the series, Harry looks up to and respects Dumbledore, and in a sense, I think he sort of feels that he can do no wrong. Obviously, at the end of OotP, he gets pretty fucking pissed at Dumbles and see that, actually, the man can make mistakes and it humanizes him a bit, but still…overall, I think Harry just has this really positive, almost saintly view of Dumbledore, and thinks that he can always rely on him, no matter what. One thing that I liked about learning some of Dumbledore’s backstory is that it really caused Harry to start questioning some of his loyalty in Dumbledore and reexamine his feelings for and of the man, and while, in the end, he still liked Dumbledore, I think it finally caused Harry to realize that Dumbledore is just as human as anyone else. Also, all of that illustrated very important things about Harry and Voldemort, too; we always see Harry as being good because we can compare him to Voldemort - both have incredible power, and yet Voldemort chooses to use it for evil, selfish reasons while Harry chooses to use it for good, selfless reasons. However, I think Dumbledore’s past helps to give insight into both of their characters even more; Dumbledore was corrupted by his power at one point, and while he can still be a bit manipulative or whatever, ultimately turned it around and is fighting for the greater good. This shows how terrible Voldemort is, because despite the fact that he’s had many opportunities to change, he never has, and it shows how truly evil he is. Similarly, we see how truly selfless Harry is, because while the opportunity to use his power for evil has been presented to him time and time again, overall, he always chooses to do the right thing; he’s never had to redeem himself like Dumbledore, because he’s never really done anything that he has to redeem himself for. So yes, I’m bummed they left most of this stuff out.

On another note, I realize that there was a lot left out from the books (even having not read it in a long time, I still remembered parts that they missed), but two little scenes that I was hoping they would have put in were the one where Kreacher charges up from the kitchens with all the House Elves and fucks shit up, and when Trelawney is standing from a higher level and dropping crystal balls on people’s heads (I do know that Emma Thompson was supposed to have neglected to be in the film due to her involvement with Nany McPhee or whatever it’s called, but she did have a quick cameo in the movie, so I was bummed that this scene didn’t make it).

However, despite the stuff that they left out, I still really liked the movie as a whole. Initially, I was a bit disappointed with it, because I guess I was expecting more (particularly since the whole thing was pretty much the final battle, and I was hoping that, of everything in the entire series, they’d at least keep this as canon as possible), but the more I thought about it, the more I grew to like it. Seriously, they left out a ton of shit in these last two movies, but I thought it was still really good for what they kept in. I mean, if you figure they've got just two, two and a half hour movies, they actually kept in quite a bit. And again, not to mention that, honestly, explaining a lot of the aforementioned stuff they left out wouldn't be all that great for the movie; I just think about how long it took to explain all of Dumbledore's history and whatever in the book, and how much time that would have taken in the movie to explain and how boring it probably would have been. And, honestly, I think they expect that the majority of the fans have read the book and know the back story, and so they don't need to take the time to explain everything; why go into all that detail and take all that time if your audience already knows about it? Why not just stick to the action instead, which will keep you more glued to the screen? And as for the people that haven't read the books, they probably don't care about not knowing the back story, because it's not relevant to the film canon, and therefore it won't effect the movie for them; it's like, if they didn't already know about it, they're not going to miss it, you know? That's just my two cents, of course, but personally, I thought that they did a good job with the film overall. Am I really bummed they left stuff out? HELL yes. But am I overall satisfied with it. HELL YES.

Seriously, I loved the movie, and I thought it was a rather fitting ending and good way to sum up the series over the last ten years.

What follows now are comments in response to other comments left by people on the Nuthouse:

SiriuslyLupin (SL):
His line...OMG. About "it's the quality of their conviction, not the number of their followers" or whatever the f**k it was. I was freaking out to much at Remus speaking to really hear it clearly (laughing smiley) But Jesus. So hot.

And then Kingsley says, "Who said that?" And I was like, "He did!" And then Remus said, "I did."

I loved that line, too! And his delivery of that line to Kingsley was perfect! :)

Oh. And Harry's line about, "We plan, we get there, and then all hell breaks loose." (laughing smiley)

Yes, that was a great line, too! I love that acknowledgement!


OH JESUS I FORGOT ABOUT THAT! That was so fucking horrifying and yet great! I'm really glad they put that in, because it was so brutal and awful, but like, raw and realistic, I guess; again, it illustrates how fucked up some of Voldemort's followers are or whatever, you know? LOVED IT.

Ellie (E):
The music in PS and CoS kinda hasn't been used in films since but I LOVE it. To me it sums up Harry Potter. And I said, I wanted them to use that music at the end of DH2. And they did. So happy :)

AH! I forgot about this! I totally noticed this when I saw it, too; I also love the music from the first two films, and hearing it again at the end made me get a little misty-eyed, cause like you said, it was perfect having them end the series the way they started it, you know?

3: The Harry-Voldemort duel should have been in the Great Hall and as was in the book, basically. With cheering at the end and without that rubbishy apparition bit.

THIS. The whole apparition thing in the movies is one thing that's always bugged me; yes, it does look pretty cool (especially at the end of OotP when they're all in the Department of Mysteries, and there's all these black and white smokey things flailing around and weaving in and out of each other and whatever), but to me, it always seemed too much like flying. It's like, how are people able to fucking duel and shit while they're apparating, and just fly all over and direct themselves and whatnot? One of the big things at the beginning of DH is when they see Voldemort actually flying during the seven Harry's scene. It sort of belittles that, I think, to have all of these other characters essentially being able to do the same thing. I suppose in this final scene that you're referring to, you could say that Voldemort was doing the flying thing and not the apparating thing, but even so...I felt that was kinda lame and really unnecessary. And yeah, I would have liked it in the Great Hall; I mean, I guess it was fine that it was outside, but they should have at least had an audience or something. As it was, it was basically like Harry and Voldemort dueling out there alone without anyone watching, and you'd think that if the biggest and more important duel of the war was going on, you'd want to be out there watching it. :P

And one overall issue. All of this spell stuff, non-verbal spells that all do the same thing. For a start, it would be a lot more interesting if the films used the diversity of spells used in the books. Secondly, HARRY CAN'T DO WORDLESS SPELLS DAMNIT.

Again, THIS. That was something that's been bugging me throughout the last few movies as well; why cut all of the spell dialogue? And why can Harry use wordless spells? I know he's powerful, but he's not that powerful. I mean, really; how much harder would it have been to include that shit? It just seems silly. And I was hoping they'd keep in the "Expelliarmus" bit at the end, too, with how Harry eventually offs Voldemort using a basic dueling spell and not the Killing Curse (well, I guess it was the rebounded curse that killed him and not the Expelliarmus charm or whatever, but still...again, I think it's a testament to Harry's character that he didn't even use the Killing Curse on Voldemort). I liked that, and I'm bummed they didn't use it. :(

The Kreacher meat cleaver scene wouldn't have worked given that they didn't properly show the Kreacher's Tale scene in Part 1. His change of heart was barely shown, let alone explained. So yeah, wish it was in, but then that stems back to Part 1 and how I wish they'd properly explained Kreacher then.

Again, you're right, of course, but be honest, Kreacher's change of heart was one of my favorite bits in DH, and I'm disappointed it didn't make it into the film. :(

But yeah, I kinda hate nit-picking *giggles*

Oh, yeah, me too, to an extent; this makes it sound like I found all these faults with the film and that I hated it, but really, I did love it. I'm always going to nit-pick the movies and there's always going to be something they left out or added or did wrong or whatever, but overall, it is a film adaptation of the book, and for that, I think they did an awesome job. :)


Apparently they filmed Fred's death but it was deemed too distressing.

...And what, the roughly two hours of footage before that wasn't? :P

On that note I'd LOVE to see Director's Cuts of the later films, where they cut lots out. Especially OotP; apparently 45 minutes was removed from it. That makes it an entirely different film.

YES. I hope they actually do release the full Director's Cut, because I would seriously sit through them all. :)

...and that's all I have for right now (ha, like that wasn't too much about 1000 words ago). I am seeing it again (in D-Box 3D, mind you) with Sean and Schiffler on Friday, so we'll see if I start bawling this time around and have anything else to add to this post. But as it stands, this has been my review/rant of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2.


"And there's
One thing that I've got
One thing that you've got inside you too
One thing that we've got
And the one thing we've got is enough
To save us all

The weapon we have is love"
-The Weapon, Harry and the Potters

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Your mother seems really upset about something. I better go have a talk with her... during the commercial.

I really, really, really, really wanna go back to Kosovo.

...Yeah, that's it.


"Love isn't hopeless. Look, maybe I'm no expert on the subject, but there was one time I got it right."
-Homer Simpson

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I won't sleep in the same bed with a woman who thinks I'm lazy! I'm going right downstairs, unfold the couch, unroll the sleeping ba...uh, goodnight!

Ho shit, first post in forever, and it's not even anything interesting; I just wanted to make a post stating that I changed my background and color scheme and everything, because it's totally not obvious or anything (and because I have so many readers, of course). Anyway, that is all. When I am not busy (or lazy when I'm not busy), I will actually post a real blog because, hey, I'm overdo. But for now, as I said, that is all.


"Multitasking? I can't even do two things at once. I can't even do one thing at once."
-Helena Bonham Carter

Thursday, February 03, 2011

When will I learn? The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!

I wanted to share an article from one of the books I'm reading for my Service Learning class. While I don't necessarily agree with the whole thing, there's a lot of it I do agree with, and I happened to really enjoy reading this article. We're supposed to be discussing it on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to that discussion. Rather than take a long time introducing it, I'm just gonna post the article here for you to read through and, hopefully, enjoy. Word.

The Problem Is Civil Obedience
Howard Zinn

[By the latter part of May, 1970, feelings about the war in Vietnam had become almost unbearably intense. In Boston, about a hundred of us decided to sit down at the Boston Army Base and block the road used by buses carrying draftees off to military duty. We were not so daft that we thought we were stopping the flow of soldiers to Vietnam; it was a symbolic act, a statement, a piece of guerrilla the after. We were all arrested and charged, in the quaint language of an old statute, with "sauntering and loitering" in such a way as to obstruct traffic. Eight of us refused to plead guilty, insisting on trial by jury, hoping we could persuade the members of the jury that ours was a justified act of civil disobedience. We did not persuade them. We were found guilty, chose jail instead of paying a fine, but the judge, apparently reluctant to have us in jail, gave us forty-eight hours to change our minds, after which we should show up in court to either pay the fine or be jailed. In the meantime, I had been invited to go to Johns Hopkins University to debate with the philosopher Charles Frankel on the issue of civil disobedience. I decided it would be hypocritical for me, an advocate of civil disobedience, to submit dutifully to the court and thereby skip out on an opportunity to speak to hundreds of students about civil disobedience. So, on the day I was supposed to show up in court in Boston I flew to Baltimore and that evening debated with Charles Frankel. Returning to Boston I decided to meet my morning class, but two detectives were waiting for me, and I was hustled before the court and then spent a couple of days in jail. What follows is the transcript of my opening statement in the debate at Johns Hopkins. It was included in a book published by Johns Hopkins Press in 1972, entitled Violence: The Crisis of American Confidence.]

I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people are out of power, that the wealth is distributed in this country and the world in such a way as not simply to require small reform but to require a drastic reallocation of wealth. I start from the supposition that we don't have to say too much about this because all we have to do is think about the state of the world today and realize that things are all upside down. Daniel Berrigan is in jail-A Catholic priest, a poet who opposes the war-and J. Edgar Hoover is free, you see. David Dellinger, who has opposed war ever since he was this high and who has used all of his energy and passion against it, is in danger of going to jail. The men who are responsible for the My Lai massacre are not on trial; they are in Washington serving various functions, primary and subordinate, that have to do with the unleashing of massacres, which surprise them when they occur. At Kent State University four students were killed by the National Guard and students were indicted. In every city in this country, when demonstrations take place, the protesters, whether they have demonstrated or not, whatever they have done, are assaulted and clubbed by police, and then they are arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Now, I have been studying very closely what happens every day in the courts in Boston, Massachusetts. You would be astounded-maybe you wouldn't, maybe you have been around, maybe you have lived, maybe you have thought, maybe you have been hit-at how the daily rounds of injustice make their way through this marvelous thing that we call due process. Well, that is my premise.

All you have to do is read the Soledad letters of George Jackson, who was sentenced to one year to life, of which he spent ten years, for a seventy-dollar robbery of a filling station. And then there is the U.S. Senator who is alleged to keep 185,000 dollars a year, or something like that, on the oil depletion allowance. One is theft; the other is legislation. something is wrong, something is terribly wrong when we ship 10,000 bombs full of nerve gas across the country, and drop them in somebody else's swimming pool so as not to trouble our own. So you lose your perspective after a while. If you don't think, if you just listen to TV and read scholarly things, you actually begin to think that things are not so bad, or that just little things are wrong. But you have to get a little detached, and then come back and look at the world, and you are horrified. So we have to start from that supposition-that things are really topsy-turvy.

And our topic is topsy-turvy: civil disobedience. As soon as you say the topic is civil disobedience, you are saying our problem is civil disobedience. That is not our problem.... Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem. We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong. They should have challenged, and they should have resisted; and if we were only there, we would have showed them. Even in Stalin's Russia we can understand that; people are obedient, all these herdlike people.

But America is different. That is what we've all been brought up on. From the time we are this high and I still hear it resounding in Mr. Frankel's statement-you tick off, one, two, three, four, five lovely things .~ about America that we don't want disturbed very much. But if we have learned anything in the past ten years, it is that these lovely things about America were never lovely. We have been expansionist and aggressive and mean to other people from the beginning. And we've been aggressive and mean to people in this country, and we've allocated the wealth of this country in a very unjust way. We've never had justice in the courts for the poor people, for black people, for radicals. Now how can we boast that America is a very special place? It is not that special. It really isn't.

Well, that is our topic, that is our problem: civil obedience. Law is very important. We are talking about obedience to law-law, this marvelous invention of modern times, which we attribute to Western civilization, and which we talk about proudly. The rule of law, oh, how wonderful, all these courses in Western civilization all over the land. Remember those bad old days when people were exploited by feudalism? Everything was terrible in the Middle Ages-but now we have Western civilization, the rule of law. The rule of law has regularized and maximized the injustice that existed before the rule of law, that is what the rule of law has done. Let us start looking at the rule of law realistically, not with that metaphysical complacency with which we always examined it before.

When in all the nations of the world the rule of law is the darling of the leaders and the plague of the people, we ought to begin to recognize this. We have to transcend these national boundaries in our thinking. Nixon and Brezhnev have much more in common with one another than - we have with Nixon. J. Edgar Hoover has far more in common with the head of the Soviet secret police than he has with us. It's the international dedication to law and order that binds the leaders of all countries in a comradely bond. That's why we are always surprised when they get together -- they smile, they shake hands, they smoke cigars, they really like one another no matter what they say. It's like the Republican and Democratic parties, who claim that it's going to make a terrible difference if one or the other wins, yet they are all the same. Basically, it is us against them.

Yossarian was right, remember, in Catch-22? He had been accused of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, which nobody should ever be accused of, and Yossarian said to his friend Clevinger: "The enemy is whoever is going to get you killed, whichever side they are on." But that didn't sink in, so he said to Clevinger: "Now you remember that, or one of these days you'll be dead." And remember? Clevinger, after a while, was dead. And we must remember that our enemies are not divided along national lines, that enemies are not just people who speak different languages and occupy different territories. Enemies are people who want to get us killed.

We are asked, "What if everyone disobeyed the law?" But a better question is, "What if everyone obeyed the law?" And the answer to that question is much easier to come by, because we have a lot of empirical evidence about what happens if everyone obeys the law, or if even most people obey the law. What happens is what has happened, what is happening. Why do people revere the law? And we all do; even I have to fight it, for it was put into my bones at an early age when I was a Cub Scout. One reason we revere the law is its ambivalence. In the modern world we deal with phrases and words that have multiple meanings, like "national security." Oh, yes, we must do this for national security! Well, what does that mean? Whose national security? Where? When? Why? We don't bother to answer those questions, or even to ask them.
The law conceals many things. The law is the Bill of Rights. ;'~ fact, that is what we think of when we develop our reverence for the law. The law is something that protects us; the law is our right-the law is the Constitution. Bill of Rights Day, essay contests sponsored by the American Legion on our Bill of Rights, that is the law. And that is good.

But there is another part of the law that doesn't get ballyhooed- the legislation that has gone through month after month, year after year, from the beginning of the Republic, which allocates the resources of the country in such a way as to leave some people very rich and other people very poor, and still others scrambling like mad for what little is left. That is the law. If you go to law school you will see this. You can quantify it by counting the big, heavy law books that people carry around with them and see how many law books you count that say "Constitutional Rights" on them and how many that say "Property," "Contracts," "Torts," "Corporation Law." That is what the law is mostly about. The law is the oil depletion allowance-although we don't have Oil Depletion Allowance Day, we don't have essays written on behalf of the oil depletion allowance. So there are parts of the law that are publicized and played up to us-oh, this is the law, the Bill of Rights. And there are other parts of the law that just do their quiet work, and nobody says anything about them.

It started way back. When the Bill of Rights was first passed, remember, in the first administration of Washington? Great thing. Bill of Rights passed! Big ballyhoo. At the same time Hamilton's economic pro gram was passed. Nice, quiet, money to the rich-I'm simplifying it a little, but not too much. Hamilton's economic program started it off. You can draw a straight line from Hamilton's economic program to the oil depletion allowance to the tax write-offs for corporations. All the way through-that is the history. The Bill of Rights publicized; economic legislation unpublicized.

You know the enforcement of different parts of the law is as important as the publicity attached to the different parts of the law. The Bill of Rights, is it enforced? Not very well. You'll find that freedom of speech in constitutional law is a very difficult, ambiguous, troubled concept. Nobody really knows when you can get up and speak and when you can't. Just check all of the Supreme Court decisions. Talk about predictability in a system-you can't predict what will happen to you when you get up on the street corner and speak. See if you can tell the difference between the Terminiello case and the Feiner case, and see if you can figure out what is going to happen. By the way, there is one part of the law that is not very vague, and that involves the right to distribute leaflets on the street. The Supreme Court has been very clear on that. In decision after decision we are affirmed an absolute right to distribute leaflets on the street. Try it. Just go out on the street and start distributing leaflets. And a policeman comes up to you and he says, "Get out of here." And you say, "Aha! Do you know Marsh v. Alabama, 1946?" That is the reality of the Bill of Rights. That's the reality of the Constitution, that part of the law which is portrayed to us as a beautiful and marvelous thing. And seven years after the Bill of Rights was passed, which said that "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech," Congress made a law abridging the freedom of speech. Remember? The Sedition Act of 1798.

So the Bill of Rights was not enforced. Hamilton's program was enforced, because when the whisky farmers went out and rebelled you remember, in 1794 in Pennsylvania, Hamilton himself got on his horse and went out there to suppress the rebellion to make sure that the revenue tax was enforced. And you can trace the story right down to the present day, what laws are enforced, what laws are not enforced. So you have to be careful when you say, "I'm for the law, I revere the law." What part of the law are you talking about? I'm not against all law. But I think we ought to begin to make very important distinctions about what laws do what things to what people.

And there are other problems with the law. It's a strange thing, we think that law brings order. Law doesn't. How do we know that law does not bring order? Look around us. We live under the rules of law. Notice how much order we have? People say we have to worry about civil disobedience because it will lead to anarchy. Take a look at the present world in which the rule of law obtains. This is the closest to what is called anarchy in the popular mind-confusion, chaos, international banditry. The only order that is really worth anything does not come through the enforcement ... of law, it comes through the establishment of a society which is just and in which harmonious relationships are established and in which you need a minimum of regulation to create decent sets of arrangements among people. But the order based on law and on the force of law is the order of the totalitarian state, and it inevitably leads either to total injustice or to rebel lion-eventually, in other words, to very great disorder.

We all grow up with the notion that the law is holy. They asked Daniel Berrigan's mother what she thought of her son's breaking the law. He burned draft records-one of the most violent acts of this century- to protest the war, for which he was sentenced to prison, as criminals should be. They asked his mother who is in her eighties, what she thought of her son's breaking the law. And she looked straight into the interviewer's face, and she said, "It's not God's law." Now we forget that. There is nothing sacred about the law. Think of who makes laws. The law is not made by God, it is made by Strom Thurmond. If you nave any notion about the sanctity and loveliness and reverence for the law, look at the legislators around the country who make the laws. Sit in on the sessions of the state legislatures. Sit in on Congress, for these are the people who make the laws which we are then supposed to revere.
All of this is done with such propriety as to fool us. This is the problem. In the old days, things were confused; you didn't know. Now you know. It is all down there in the books. Now we go through due process. Now the same things happen as happened before, except that we've gone through the right procedures. In Boston a policeman walked into a hospital ward and fired five times at a black man who had snapped a towel at his arm-and killed him. A hearing was held. The judge decided that the policeman was justified because if he didn't do it, he would lose the respect of his fellow officers. Well, that is what is known as due process-that is, the guy didn't get away with it. We went through the proper procedures, and everything was set up. The decorum, the propriety of the law fools us.

The nation then, was founded on disrespect for the law, and then came the Constitution and the notion of stability which Madison and Hamilton liked. But then we found in certain crucial times in our history that the legal framework did not suffice, and in order to end slavery we had to go outside the legal framework, as we had to do at the time of the American Revolution or the Civil War. The union had to go outside the legal framework in order to establish certain rights in the 1930s. And in this time, which may be more critical than the Revolution or the Civil War, the problems are so horrendous as to require us to go outside the legal framework in order to make a statement, to resist, to begin to establish the kind of institutions and relationships which a decent society should have. No, not just tearing things down; building things up. But even if you build things up that you are not supposed to build up-you try to build up a people's park, that's not tearing down a system; you are building something up, but you are doing it illegally-the militia comes in and drives you out. That is the form that civil disobedience is going to take more and more, people trying to build a new society in the midst of the old.

But what about voting and elections? Civil disobedience-we don't need that much of it, we are told, because we can go through the electoral system. And by now we should have learned, but maybe we haven't, for we grew up with the notion that the voting booth is a sacred place, almost like a confessional. You walk into the voting booth and you come out and they snap your picture and then put it in the papers with a beatific smile on your face. You've just voted; that is democracy. But if you even read what the political scientists say-although who can?-about the voting process, you find that the voting process is a sham. Totalitarian states love voting. You get people to the polls and they register their approval. I know there is a difference-they have one party and we have two parties. We have one more party than they have, you see.

What we are trying to do, I assume, is really to get back to the principles and aims and spirit of the Declaration of Independence. This spirit is resistance to illegitimate authority and to forces that deprive people of their life and liberty and right to pursue happiness, and therefore under these conditions, it urges the right to alter or abolish their current form of government-and the stress had been on abolish. But to establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offenses and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes. My hope is that this kind of spirit will take place not just in this country but in other countries because they all need it. People in all countries need the spirit of disobedience to the state, which is not a metaphysical thing but a thing of force and wealth. And we need a kind of declaration of interdependence among people in all countries of the world who are striving for the same thing.

Source: "The Problem is Civil Obedience" by Howard Zinn from The Zinn Reader, 1997. Reprinted courtesy of Seven Stories Press. I also yoinked the text itself from Third World Traveler, because I didn't want to type it all out myself. So major thanks and kudos to them for doing it for me. :)


"The most wonderful study of mankind is man. Relieving human suffering and diffusing universal knowledge is humanitarian."
-Daniel D. Palmer

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I resolve to lose 10 pounds, and then gain it back by Valentine's Day.

so this is the new year.
and i don't feel any different
the clanking of crystal
explosions off in the distance

so this is the new year
and I have no resolutions
for self assigned penance
for problems with easy solutions

so everybody put your best suit or dress on
let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
as thirty dialogues bleed into one

i wish the world was flat like the old days
then i could travel just by folding a map
no more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
there'd be no distance that can hold us back.

there'd be no distance that could hold us back

so this is the new year


"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
-Bill Vaughn

Monday, November 22, 2010

Aw,'ve done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man now, and old people are useless, aren't they? Aren't they?

HOLY CRAP MY BLOG TITLE IS NO LONGER ACCURATE! D: As of October 22nd, I am now officially 20 years old, which means that this blog can no longer be "The Pointless Rantings of a Teenage Nerd," because, of course, I am no longer a teenager. Therefore, this blog - at least for the next ten years - will become known as "The Pointless Rantings of a Twenty-Something Nerd." SO THERE. ENJOY THIS MONUMENTAL MOMENT IN HISTORY.

In other news, I hate my life (no, not really; I just wanted to sound all angsty, since I'm not really gonna be able to do that anymore, what with me not being an angsty little teenager now...mostly my life is fine, just really stressful as of late...), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 came out last week, which of course I went to at midnight. I am hoping to finally get around to making a post about that tomorrow, which will be in the form of an OMG VLOG!! :DD So yes...that will hopefully be up tomorrow.

Really, that's all the interesting stuff that's been going on lately. To be honest, between full-time work and full-time school, my life is fairly uninteresting. God, barely out of my teens and already I'm boring. FML (like I said, I've gotta get all the angst out now...lulz).


"Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life."
-Robert Southey