Tag: Harry Potter

Jack brings back his now-colleague Madeleine Kearns to discuss Harry Potter and the increasingly un-woke status of the books’ author, J.K. Rowling (increasingly, to the left, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named).

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I think that I’ve seen this Wokeist thing coming for a long time.  There was a preview in the political correctness nonsense of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it seemed to recede.  The schools seemed to be getting worse, and this was obvious enough to me and my wife that by the year […]

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Libby Emmons and Paulina Enck, joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss Harry Potter author and radical feminist J.K. Rowling’s stance against transgenderism. Both Emmons and Enck are contributors at The Federalist, and Emmons also serves as senior editor at The Post Millennial.

Many on the left have recently attempted to cancel Rowling for her recent essay warning against the dangers of the transgender movement. Enck, a long-time Harry Potter fan, defended Rowling’s work as valuable and impactful regardless against Rowling’s personal opinions. Emmons observed there’s a demand for artists and writers to adhere to certain ideological identities, but she argued that their work ought to remain separate. The two also dove into criticisms of cancel culture more broadly.

Book Review: ‘Strange Rites – New Religions for a Godless World’

 

Poll after poll demonstrates declines in religious observance in the United States today, especially in the Millennial age cohort. Some faiths and denominations are declining more quickly than others, with a few holding steady. Are people ceasing to believe any higher powers, or is something else at work? Tara Isabella Burton examines this issue in her new book, Strange Rites – New Religions for a Godless World, just out within the last week. Ms. Burton makes the argument that while adherence to traditionally recognized faiths (particularly Christianity) has declined precipitously, human beings still have a need to believe that the world is “enchanted” and human beings still need the community that shared rituals can offer. So even as adherence to particular faiths is declining, new religions are emerging to fill spiritual longings. Ms. Burton terms this the “Fourth Great Awakening.”

However, these new spiritual practices are at once radically different from anything that gone before, and yet radically American in their forms and ethos. They are also radically self-centered. Her basic thesis is this: the internet provides access to information on practically anything imaginable, and quickly connects like-minded people over any niche interest, allowing us to pick and choose our friends beyond the limited physical circles we have been limited to in the past, but this also allows us to concentrate ourselves, our interests, and our desires, creating a world of information and practice uniquely tuned to ourselves. In short, we can each pick and choose our own practices, rituals, and relationships, creating “remixed” faiths, and it is the “Remixed” whose worlds Ms. Burton illuminates.

This book is, in large part, about charlatans. It’s about capitalism and corporations and the new cutthroat Silicon Valley of spirituality. It’s about people who want to sell us meaning, brand our purpose, custom-product community, tailor-make rituals, and commodify our very humanity. It’s about how the Internet and consumer capitalism alike have produced experientially satiating substitutes – many, though not all of them, poor – for well-developed ethical, moral, and metaphysical systems. It’s about the denatured selfishness of self-care, and the way in which “call-out-culture,” at its worst, serves as the psychic methadone, providing us with a brief and illusory hit of moral belonging…

J.K. Rowling Doesn’t Back Down

 

J. K. Rowling delighted the Gender Critical community by publishing this piece today. In it, she eloquently expresses her concerns about the harm being done to women and to the feminist cause by removing the very concept of womanhood from language and life. She gets personal, bringing up some trials she has suffered and how they affect her feelings. She is not going to apologize for her opinions, and neither should she.

Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.

Memories: Stump the Wizard

 

There is a couple who are our friends who own and run an independent bookstore. The bookstore specializes in about ten categories, including among other things: art, Judaica, local authors and information, and children’s literature. It is a fairly eclectic mix. Besides the books, the store is decorated with old tin wind-up toys, Day of the Dead figures, African masks, and other eclectic bric-a-brac. The store is about as normal as its owners. Not to be unkind, but the male owner is just a bit flighty. He knows his stock well. They have been in business as an independent bookstore for decades, despite the rise and fall of such behemoths as Borders and the rise of Amazon. So, the man must be doing something right. But Mr. Bookstore Owner is also an artist. He has had a band. He’s a very interesting character and creative, but not always the most focused.

Back in the early 2000’s when the Harry Potter books were coming out, the book release parties became a very big deal. Bookstores were contractually obligated not to release the books until a specific date and time. In the summer of 2003, the fifth book in the series was to come out, and starting a few months before the event Mr. Bookstore Owner was looking for ways to juice up their book release party. They had treats and refreshments planned, but they were looking for something more. We somehow came to an agreement to do a joint production of a limited run miniature sixteen-page booklet about the size of an eighth sheet of paper. I would create the text, imagery, and file, and his people would print, cut, staple, and number them (limited edition, remember?), as well as putting on a bit of extra decoration to make the booklets more interesting. All that we had at that point was the first four books in the Harry Potter series. In that fourth book, two other schools of wizardry were introduced: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. It is mentioned that at Durmstrang, they not only teach Defense against the Dark Arts, but they actually teach their students the dark arts. I used that as inspiration for the little booklet, “Durmstrang Institute’s Manual of the Dark Arts.”

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Before I gave up fiction because it kept me up late, I was reading through the Harry Potters. I remember in particular one evening, just a typical night of lying on the couch with my thick Rowling volume while the rest of the household slumbered, promising myself I would retire soon for a good night’s […]

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We all need a break from politics.  Some do it with cute kitten pics, others with links.  While doing some research, I stumbled across this funny post on another web site: http://community.sparknotes.com/2018/08/06/every-harry-potter-book-summed-up-in-a-single-sentence/slide/1 Preview Open

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The Sacred Texts of Harry Potter

 

I’ve been a big fan of the Harry Potter books. I don’t care whether or not they were great literature and don’t think they promoted witchcraft. They were just plain fun to read.

But I was deeply concerned when I learned of two graduates of Harvard Divinity School, Casper ter Kuile and Vanessa Zoltan, who started a podcast called “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text,” have a “weekly church-like service for the secular focused on a Potter text’s meaning.” Last summer they became the number two podcast in America on iTunes.

Their target market turns to millenials, who generally consider themselves non-religious, but are also struggling to find a sense of meaning in their lives. They have no source for learning about morality and ethics, learn no standard of behavior to follow in their lives, and put off marriage or decide not to marry at all. Given this lifestyle and lack of teachings, they are rudderless, struggling to find spiritual direction.

Bill Nye, Harry Potter, and Why Millennials Can’t Think

 

Millennials can’t think.  They get their science from Bill Nye.  Their only form of literary reference is the Harry Potter franchise.  Read another book, please! Bill Nye was fun in the 90’s to get the basics about science – law of gravity, simple machines, energy transfer.  I think the place that Bill Nye holds in the culture today is due to the nostalgia of millennials.

I’ve seen a number of the episodes of Nye’s original series, Bill Nye the Science Guy.  I remember watching the show in grade-school and junior high.  His shows and topics covered in each episode were quite superficial; they served as an entertaining introduction to whatever new topic we were beginning to learn about.  There was no depth there.  He was an entertaining figure when I was in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade; now he’s just a dolt.  Fellow millennials (and you gen-xers) please stop holding up this bad actor as a “scientist.”

The Strange America of Fantastic Beasts

 

My father once brought home a CD of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue. He saw it in the bargain rack, and knowing how much my mother likes the piece, leapt at the chance to surprise her with it. The thing is, it was in the bargain rack for a reason. Produced by some low-budget Eastern European orchestra, the recording was comically Slavic. Gershwin’s 1924 paean to New York didn’t sound American at all. The foreign accent was just too thick.

Replicating the American character in art is actually quite difficult. Leonard Bernstein, in his televised series of Young People’s Concerts, devoted an entire episode to American music and identifying the components of the unique American sound. Foreign actors, too, struggle to speak in an American voice; not every Brit can sound as authentically Yank as Hugh Laurie. And spaghetti westerns can often be more spaghetti than western.

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It was my wife who introduced me to the Harry Potter series of books. At first, I expressed disinterest: I had too often seen the middling to sub-standard fare which pop culture promotes – and there was an abundance of hype over Harry Potter. Finally, one Christmas, my wife bought me the then complete set […]

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I am a total Harry Potter freak.  I have all the books and all the movies, and I re-read and re-watch often.  In 2014, I dressed up as Professor Sprout for Halloween.  They are now releasing all the books in special illustrated editions, and I want to acquire the whole set.  However, I have decided […]

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When I cannot sleep, I take it as a sign. The below is the result.  Most people think that they talk to G-d. But when people say that G-d talks back to them, we instinctively recoil. As Hermione Granger puts it: “Even in the wizarding world, hearing voices isn’t a good sign.” Preview Open

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My parents I spent three nights collectively building the Lego pirate ship back when I was a little scamp, because they were good parents. But, during the day, they had jobs. And friends. And lives. I certainly respect the skill and dedication, but only an upper-middle/upper class white mom with means and excesses in both money […]

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In addition to the every-four-year Soccer World Cup going on, the Quidditch World Cup is also taking place this year, on the plains of Patagonia.  If you are a member (it’s free to sign up, and lots of fun to do), you can follow the matches on the Pottermore Insider blog site, with Daily Prophet […]

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