Monday, October 20, 2014

― But some part of him realized, even as he fought to break free from Lupin, that Sirius had never kept him waiting before… . Sirius had risked everything, always, to see Harry, to help him… . If Sirius was not reappearing out of that archway when Harry was yelling for him as though his life depended on it, the only possible explanation was that he could not come back… . That he really was …

(Source: doctaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

weasleywrinkles:

kittykat1087:

imsirius:

Mark Williams and Julie Walters behind the scenes of Bill&Fleur’s wedding

This should have just been put in the movie, as mr and mrs weasley probably dance just like this.

THIS IS GOLD

(Source: igperish)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So.

persephoneholly:

Ron Weasley gives free ice cream to kids. Harry Potter talks about the importance of feminism and gay rights. Hermione Granger is a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women.

The heroes of my childhood became the heroes of my adulthood.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Friendly reminder that anyone born between 1985-1998 didn’t get their hogwarts letter because Voldemort’s ministry wiped out the record of muggleborns

(Source: tracey-hummel)

Thursday, September 25, 2014
marilynhanson:

this means so much to me. so much

marilynhanson:

this means so much to me. so much

Saturday, September 13, 2014

ukrainiangirlfriend:

marnla:

Never forget

WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS PHOTOSHOOT I LOVE IT

(Source: malfoysmirks)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

10 books that have stuck with me.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.”

(I was tagged in this meme by typhonatemybaby.)

  • Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling
  • The Lymond Chronicles, by Dorothy Dunnett
  • Onions in the Stew, by Betty McDonald
  • Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block
  • You Must Go And Win, by Alina Simone
  • Moominvalley in November, by Tove Jansson
  • Underfoot in Show Business, by Helene Hanff
  • Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett
  • My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell
  • The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman

Harry Potter

It’s impossible to tell just how influential HP has been to my generation. I haven’t really been ~in HP fandom~ since I was about 16, but those books were a huge part of my childhood and early teens. I reread the series continuously as each new one was published, and HP was my first online fandom so it eventually set me onto my current career path. As an adult I’ve also come to realise that JKR is a fantastic role model in terms of how she behaves as a public figure, and her political/social awareness.

The Lymond Chronicles

If you’ve been following me on Tumblr for long, you’ll probably have seen me reblog stuff about these books. They’re a six-volume series of dense and multi-layered historical novels about a 16th century Scottish nobleman, written in an incredibly well-informed, witty and sensitive style by a woman who I wish received more recognition from people outside her cult fanbase. Lymond is very much a wish-fulfillment character in that he’s prodigiously talented, exciting, charming and emotionally tormented, but this is complemented by the books’ smart, intricate plotting and a cast of diverse and well-developed supporting characters. Honestly, I could go on about these books all day. THEY ARE SO GOOD.

Onions in the Stew

Not sure how I latched onto this book as a kid, but I must have reread it a million times. It’s the memoir of a woman bringing up her two teenage daughters in the 1940s and ’50s on a small, rainy island near Seattle. I guess I must have identified with it somehow as a child, partly due to the “make do and mend” attitude of being raised by slightly eccentric but very sensible parents without a great deal of money. (I think at the point when I first read Onions in the Stew, it was back when we were still doing things like washing all our laundry in the bath, so possibly I sympathized with those 1940s kids gathering driftwood to heat the house etc.) Whatever my personal reasons were for loving Onions in the Stew as a child, it’s a very engaging and relatable book, meandering around from humorous memoir to instruction manual to oral history of rural life in Washington in the ’40s and ’50s.

Read More

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Some thoughts on Harry Potter as a dystopia.

hellotailor:

Interesting, why do you consider harry potter is a dystopia?

I find it impossible to think of Harry Potter as anything BUT a dystopia. Even Hogwarts itself is a dystopia.

Children are segregated based on a personality test at age 11, and then left to fulfill roles that were set out a thousand years ago, leading to cultural divides that continue for the rest of their lives. The Hogwarts house system is one of the main foundations of the pureblood/muggleborn conflict. And I haven’t even gotten into how Hogwarts is run, how useful it is as a tool for preparing people for adult life, and how dangerous it is to live there.

As for Wizarding Britain at large:

  • There’s no evidence that the Ministry of Magic is organized by anything other than cronyism.
  • The Minister for Magic is not a democratically elected leader.
  • Voldemort easily finds a foothold in mainstream society (even within living memory of his last reign of terror!) and his supporters easily infiltrate the government and implement all sorts of nightmarish and bigoted policies.
  • Azkaban,
  • We rarely see people working to innovate any aspect of wizarding society, with the exception of eccentrics like the Weasley Twins or Luna Lovegood.
  • Wizarding society is so isolated that purebloods find it strange if a witch or wizard takes much interest in muggle culture, even if they are muggleborn.
  • Umbridge is allowed to torture children and spread propaganda at the only major educational institution in the country.
  • There’s a huge amount of discrimination relating to non-human races, particularly House Elf slavery.

I could go on at some length on this topic, but instead I’ll finish with my pet theory: that Wizarding Britain is so fucked up that the rest of the wizarding world has just given up on it.

We know from the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament that there are plenty of magical cultures all over the world, but Britain receives NO kind of international help when Voldemort is on the rise or when the Ministry of Magic is in turmoil.

Obviously the “real” explanation is that the Voldemort/Harry/Hogwarts narrative must to be isolated for Harry’s story to be told… but I still quite like the explanation that Wizarding Britain has been abandoned by the rest of the world. Their society has become so warped, so backward and so beholden to irrational beliefs and traditions that other international wizarding powers have decided the situation is unsalvageable.

There’s no point in stepping in to get rid of Voldemort unless he becomes a threat overseas, because another Dark Lord will probably rise up in a few years anyway. And Wizarding Britain seems functionally incapable of defending itself from this threat without the help of Harry and his team of teen sidekicks — who by the end of the series are all suffering from PTSD because they have spent their formative years fighting in a dystopian war.

(P.S. Even if my pet theory ISN’T true, then the international wizarding community must still have SOME reason not to step in and help Britain fight back against Voldemort. Which, in itself, makes the world of Harry Potter seem even more dystopian than before.)

dwbnerd said: I was looking through the Harry potter tag and I saw your theory as to why Harry potter is a dystopia. I must say it is quite interesting. One thing that I did notice is that you pointed out the "house elf slavery" I do remember in the books how the house elves like cleaning. They didn't want payment or freedom. They found pleasure in there work. Creature didn't like Sirius he felt he was betraying his old master. Most elves did like cleaning and working. But the rest of your ideas were great!!!

(Here’s the original post about HP as a dystopia.)

The whole point of Dobby as a character is to prove that while house elves may enjoy housework and servitude (which in itself is somewhat debatable, since they are raised FROM BIRTH to be completely subservient to humans, and be ashamed of owning possessions), they don’t intrinsically “want to be slaves.” Or at least, not all of them do. We know from Kreacher, Dobby and Winky that house elves have a very diverse range of personalities and goals.

The current situation in the wizarding world is that humans can get away with beating, maiming, and probably killing their house elves. Over the centuries, wizarding culture has targeted a vulnerable species of people who like to be helpful and given instructions, and exploited this for human profit while turning those servants into an invisible underclass.

Even if you take house elf culture at face value and assume that every single one of them wants to serve humankind for no pay (which they evidently don’t, because: Dobby), then the wizarding world’s attitude towards them is still completely heinous and feeds into the idea of the HP books as a dystopia. A house elf’s life and work is completely dependent on their masters, which inevitably results in abuse. There is a big different between “wanting to be a servant” and being a slave who can be horribly injured at a moment’s notice, and has been brainwashed into thinking this is their only option in life.

People who grew up in the wizarding world think this is perfectly normal (much like the prejudice against werewolves and part-humans), which is why it takes Hermione, a muggleborn outsider, to confront the inherent abusiveness of how house elves are treated.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Some thoughts on Harry Potter as a dystopia.

Interesting, why do you consider harry potter is a dystopia?

I find it impossible to think of Harry Potter as anything BUT a dystopia. Even Hogwarts itself is a dystopia.

Children are segregated based on a personality test at age 11, and then left to fulfill roles that were set out a thousand years ago, leading to cultural divides that continue for the rest of their lives. The Hogwarts house system is one of the main foundations of the pureblood/muggleborn conflict. And I haven’t even gotten into how Hogwarts is run, how useful it is as a tool for preparing people for adult life, and how dangerous it is to live there.

As for Wizarding Britain at large:

  • There’s no evidence that the Ministry of Magic is organized by anything other than cronyism.
  • The Minister for Magic is not a democratically elected leader.
  • Voldemort easily finds a foothold in mainstream society (even within living memory of his last reign of terror!) and his supporters easily infiltrate the government and implement all sorts of nightmarish and bigoted policies.
  • Azkaban,
  • We rarely see people working to innovate any aspect of wizarding society, with the exception of eccentrics like the Weasley Twins or Luna Lovegood.
  • Wizarding society is so isolated that purebloods find it strange if a witch or wizard takes much interest in muggle culture, even if they are muggleborn.
  • Umbridge is allowed to torture children and spread propaganda at the only major educational institution in the country.
  • There’s a huge amount of discrimination relating to non-human races, particularly House Elf slavery.

I could go on at some length on this topic, but instead I’ll finish with my pet theory: that Wizarding Britain is so fucked up that the rest of the wizarding world has just given up on it.

We know from the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament that there are plenty of magical cultures all over the world, but Britain receives NO kind of international help when Voldemort is on the rise or when the Ministry of Magic is in turmoil.

Obviously the “real” explanation is that the Voldemort/Harry/Hogwarts narrative must to be isolated for Harry’s story to be told… but I still quite like the explanation that Wizarding Britain has been abandoned by the rest of the world. Their society has become so warped, so backward and so beholden to irrational beliefs and traditions that other international wizarding powers have decided the situation is unsalvageable.

There’s no point in stepping in to get rid of Voldemort unless he becomes a threat overseas, because another Dark Lord will probably rise up in a few years anyway. And Wizarding Britain seems functionally incapable of defending itself from this threat without the help of Harry and his team of teen sidekicks — who by the end of the series are all suffering from PTSD because they have spent their formative years fighting in a dystopian war.

(P.S. Even if my pet theory ISN’T true, then the international wizarding community must still have SOME reason not to step in and help Britain fight back against Voldemort. Which, in itself, makes the world of Harry Potter seem even more dystopian than before.)