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30 August 2004 @ 05:10 pm
Ending on a cliffhanger of action  

It’s come to my notice that my previous entries have been, not to put too fine a point on it, but bonkers-screw-loose-no-chairs-at-home-INSANE. I have no idea how to rectify this for, as a character sketch, it’s quite accurate. For a given value of true. After all, if you’re insane on purpose, does it count? It’s my contribution to the social skillz tournament, but in the end, I’m not confident enough to be truly eccentric. I just try to be humorous. I fail, often. But, trying is meant to count, life is meant to be a journey, blah blah blah tell someone who cares.

Just a point to note, possibly for my future self: I do read more books than Harry Potter, self! In fact I haven’t even read those for a year. Its just that mine is the HP fandom, I like it, I know my way around it, and therefore I can mock it with considerable ease. To show my diversified side, I will reveal that once I attempted to break into the LotR fandom…but on reading fics, one concerning Glorfindel (you know - the one they scrapped to give Liv Tyler, I mean Arwen, more screen time?) I realised that there were way too many incidental characters in there I barely recognised, I haven’t read the footnotes, Lost Tales, Histories of Middle Earth etc in enough detail, and so it would be like wandering around wearing sunglasses in the land of the blind where the one-eyed man is king.

Ditto for the Terry Pratchett fandom; the whole point of the Discworld novels is the style of his writing. I never felt a burning need for things rounded off with the end of a Discworld novel to be carried farther, like I did with HP, although I’ll admit to writing a Veternari/ Drumknott once (it was crying out, c’mon). But while most fanfic is crap, Discworld fanfic is even crappier due to inevitable comparison with the genius of the canon.

Robin Hobb has forbidden the writing of fan fiction, even though the whole of the Tawny Man trilogy reads like an extended piece of fanfic IMHO. (Plus, did anyone else notice the whole Adam and Eve situation going on with Icefyre and Tintaglia? Who, exactly, are the draglings going to mate with? As well thought out as a fanfic plot, heh.)

I’ve only read up to the Shadow Rising of the Wheel of Time, so reading Robert Jordan fan fiction would inevitably contain spoilers and I don’t.

Despite the fact that Dickens fan fiction started the whole thing, I wouldn’t want to read Dickens or any other classicist’s fanfic. It would border, no doubt, upon the obscene.

So. There. Self.

And on with the HP goodness!


We are called upon to admire the personification of the sun. Sun. Personification. Wow. *cheers*.

We pause to wonder how a baby, with the inevitable arms, legs and facial features, can bear any resemblance whatsoever to a beach ball. We put it down to the author’s ineffable genius, and the iron-tight ‘poetic license’ clause.

Apparantly, Mrs Dursley rises nearly before she goes to bed in order to make the first noise of the day, thus beating innumerable species of bird and insect that usually herald in the dawn, and which this person can’t be arsed to name because she isn’t a zoologist.

Petunia raps on Harry’s door ‘again’ without actually knocking a first time. An indication of her super powers quickly attributed to her after the publication of OotP and the debut of the infamous Howler? Or just (yet another) Flint?

Harry dreams about a flying motorbike. This motif is used repeatedly in the first two chapters before being ruthlessly dropped by JK in favour of letting fandom denizens battle out its origins, whereabouts, history and manufacturer for her.

Despite Petunia’s fanatical, borderline-OCD cleanliness, she doesn’t mind the infestation of spiders and layabout nephews under her stairs.

Dudley receives a racing bike for his birthday. Harry wonders why he wanted it as he is FAT. Smug readers recognise it for the plot device it is - a means to fix Arabella Figg in our minds. The more presumptuous among us immediately mark her for Mary-Sue-hood, and make her the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth Marauder. The rest of us sneer in a superior way when it turns out she is a Squib.

Living in Cupboards: A means of stunting growth? A thesis already underway, taken up by several leading, Nobel-Prize-bagging scientists. For the rest of us sans government funding, we come up with Duh.

Invariably, the cupboard is used in the fandom as a way to get TouchyFeely!Draco to want to kill the Dursleys in revenge for Suicidal/Clinging!Harry‘s maltreatment. As we see, Harry, at least initially, doesn‘t seem to mind so much. (Thick skin of childhood. How we all want it back.)

We pause to marvel that a child of the modern, litagation-happy generation could survive five years of schooling without once pondering on reporting his neglect to the authorities, then buying a five-star-mansion with the compensation.

Harry’s scar is first mentioned. JK likes to use it to torment Harry by making it a lightening rod for Voldemort’s emotions. Fanfic writers like to use it to torment Harry by making it a orgasm-inducer. It certainly earns it’s money’s-worth for the make-up artists.

'Don’t ask questions' is a motto Harry takes on board quite seriously. Later, he leaves the role of Spanish Inquisitor to Hermione. We thank the Dursleys for turning Harry into a dumb hero - who knew what his potential, or indeed his height, could’ve been if it weren’t for that damn cupboard?

Harry’s hair enters the storyline. Fanfic writers often mention it in passing, along with these lines: DRACO: //Must tame Harry’s hair and give him some of my salon range of hair gel!// before forgetting it entirely in favour of his ‘sparkling, emerald’ eyes. We later hear the only canon green comparison - ‘fresh-pickled toad’ which, let me assure you, doesn’t even come near ‘emerald’.

Again, there is much stalwart reason here for Warner Bros to NOT buy Daniel Radcliffe contacts to cover his BLUE eyes.

Ditto for Dudley’s BLONDE hair.

We marvel at any child being so spoiled as Dudley, conveniently forgetting what it was like to be eleven (such a mature age it was, too).

Two references are made to dogs: Harry WOLFING down bacon and Petunia SCENTING danger. A nod to JK’s preference to dogs, as seen in Sirius and Remus? (After all, Crookshanks is described as ugly). We berate ourselves for pedants and move swiftly on.

On the next page the lack of Harry’s cat-love is revealed in a shocking expose. The pedants feel vindicated, and engage in much back-slapping and anorak-wearing.

The Dursleys reveal how ignorant they are of how damaging phrases like ‘Don’t be silly, she hates Harry’ can be, both to the fragile psyche of a child and to their future bank-accounts, when they are forced to pay for Harry’s (extensive) therapy sessions.

We wonder about Harry’s history of arson, considering his aunt seems to think he’d blow up her house and his uncle, that he would hot-wire/joy-ride/graffiti/stick chocolate-down-the-seatbelt-holes-of his car.

We wish we had Dudley’s skillz with the emotional blackmail.

A trend emerges, of JK gifting the ebil characters with rat-like features (Piers Polkiss, Draco) and blonde hair (Petunia, Dudley, Draco, Crouch Jnr, Umbridge, Lucius, Narcissa) and good ones with dark hair (Harry, Cedric, Cho, Sirius, James). The obvious exceptions, eg Tom Riddle, are only there to throw us off the scent! Be strong!

Harry has been very sheltered. This is evident from his notion that zoos are a) interesting places and b) not incredibly cruel.

Wandless magic is introduced. Some - see Cassie Claire, Frances Potter, ten millions others - take this and run with it, over the hills and far away. Some of us fantasise that any one of a plethora of coincidences and good lucks that happen to us are proof that WE DESERVE A HOGWARTS LETTER, GOD DAMMIT! (Or no, that’s just me.)

The first nomination for ‘My favourite Harry Potter sentence’: ‘He liked to complain about things; people at work, Harry, the council, Harry, the bank and Harry were just a few of his favourite subjects.’

Second nomination: ‘They seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas’.

We adore/hate Harry for being so utterly, utterly, clueless. He doesn’t pick up any hints from his relatives strange behaviour, hatred of questions and odd things and defensive attitude. How he ends up defeating Voldemort on four occasions causes the mind to boggle to great proportions. We adore/hate him anyway.

Harry is ridiculously easy to please. Give him cheap confectionary and lower primates and he’s as happy as a mould in a sandbox. He feels privileged in comparison to a snake, for crying out loud. Respect.

Harry carries on a long and involved discussion with said snake. Those of us who’ve read fantasy, and noted with bemusement fantasy authors’ preferences for wolf-bonding (think: A Song of Ice and Fire, the Wheel of Time, the Farseer and Tawny Man Trilogies, His Dark Materials potentially) applaud JK’s originality in picking a different species for strange manifestations of magical prowess.

We wonder what the HELL the snake is doing to cause Piers to talk caps lock. Like, waving its tail? Wriggling a bit? Wow, amazing, wonderful, intriguing, jaw-dropping, NOT.

We hope that boa constrictors can swim. It’s a long way from Kansas - the swamp - BRAZIL. Sorry, Burma *coughWarnerBroscough*.

We read the final paragraphs of the chapter with one resounding sentence in our minds (for those of us who’ve read OotP, at least).


By my estimate, I will have one of these written for every chapter by circa November 16, 2034. (Why do I do this to myself?)

Aha! My school’s centenary. As a prefect I was obliged to attend and hand out hundreds of non-recylable mass leaflets to hordes of tottering nuns. The mass was well over an hour long. I was traumatised, especially because the place was so full I had to stand up and I ended up having a long and involved converstation about my love life (in my head) with the pillar I was standing in front of/clinging to. In retrospect, only eating a choc-chip cookie for breakfast may have led to said weakness and hallucinogenic effects.

Much amusement was provided watching two fellow prefects, one of whom adores the other’s boyfriend and has for about a century. Their polite conversation brought to mind the image of knife-dancing. Made my contribution by cheerfully talking about their planned courses (neither of them got what they wanted) and making humorous statements to latecomers (‘No, you’re only *fashionably* late!) which they didn’t get.

My face aches from smiling.

Nearly every one of my former teachers touched me. GACK.

Three to Tango ain’t half bad. Yay gay rights! Oscar reminded me somewhat of (well-written!) fanon!Draco. And loved: ‘Found him. And housebroke him.’ Respect.

And my manga is crap. They all look diseased. *facepalm*

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: 'Motown Song,' Rod Stewart
The Light Snarktasticsnarkophagus on August 30th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)

It never occurred to me before now, but you are right about Pratchett fandom. I have never finished one of his books and thought of anything that could possibly make it more complete.

Also, given your projection, I hope you do continue on with the HP commentary for another thirty years. They're lovely interludes from the more serious posts on my friends list, and raise valid points.

I leave you with a question: who the hell needs screws or chairs anyway?
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on September 22nd, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I love it when someone likes what I write.

Screws or chairs...who needs them...a lazy plumber? Myself, I do like the chairs...