Monthly Archives: February 2009

Watchmen: the Hype backlash

Has the movie hype jumped the shark?

First, gripes that clips that were released aren’t made of awesome, that the last viral video sucked and that Doctor Manhattan’s Wandg is not true to the comic Then silly tie-in merchandise where the real items are indistinguishable from the spoof ones. I mean, really:
watchmen_condom

Anti-movie sentiment is not always as well reasoned as this, but if you block it all out, you might just miss the greatest Watchmen revisionist ending ever made.

Prawo Jazdy, the worst driver in Ireland

“Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence,” read a letter from June 2007 from an officer working within the Garda’s traffic division.

“Having noticed this, I decided to check and see how many times officers have made this mistake.

“It is quite embarrassing to see that the system has created Prawo Jazdy as a person with over 50 identities.”

BBC News, via boingboing, via Bill Gibson.

Is that a Wand in your Pocket?

Reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (now that everyone else is done with it), I couldn’t help but notice a few double entendres and wondering if they were deliberate. Perhaps I am just encumbered by the foreknowledge that this fantasy has fathered flotillas of filthy fanfic, or by knowing that J.K. Rowling is doubtlessly aware of that fact, or maybe it’s just my dirty mind playing tricks on me. Judge for yourself:

“This isn’t your average book,” said Ron. “It’d pure gold: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Explains everything you need to know about girls. If only I’d had this last year I’d have known exactly how to get rid of Lavender and I would’ve known how to get going with… Well, Fred and George gave me a copy, and I’ve learned a lot. You’d be surprised, it’s not all about wandwork, either.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7

That’s a mild one, but it grasps at the crux of the matter: the wizards and witches in the Harry Potter book accomplish nearly everything by waving around very distinctively phallic objects. With that in mind, and knowing what Rowling has revealed about Dumbledore‘s relationship with his enemy and former friend Grindelwald, please read the following paragraph, in which yellow journalist Rita Skeeter provides teasers for her sensationalist biography of Dumbledore,

“Oh, now, I’m glad you mentioned Grindelwald,” says Skeeter with such a tantalizing smile. “I’m afraid those who go dewy-eyed over Dumbledore’s spectacular victory must brace themselves for a bombshell – or perhaps a Dungbomb. Very dirty business indeed. All I’ll say is, don’t be so sure that there really was a spectacular duel of legend. After they’ve read my book, people may be forced to conclude that Grindelwald simply conjured a white handkerchief from the end of his wand and came quietly!”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2

Sounds positively graphic to me.

But not as graphic as this last one:

Harry dropped the hair into the mudlike liquid. The moment it made contact with its surface, the potion began to froth and smoke, then, all at once, it turned a clear, bright gold.

“Ooh, you look much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle, Harry,” said Hermione, before catching sight of Ron’s raised eyebrows, blushing slightly, and saying, “Oh, you know what I mean – Goyle’s potion tasted like bogies.”
Ibid., Chapter 4

Is Hermione talking about Polyjuice Potion here, or about MAN-juice? Is little miss perfect actually a cumguzzling wh…

She was taller than he was, her long dark hair rippling down her back, her heavily lidded eyes disdainful as they rested upon him; but then she spoke, and he heard Hermione through Bellatrix’s low voice.

“She tastes disgusting, worse than Gurdyroots! Okay, Ron, come here so I can do you…”

Ibid., Chapter 26

Yeah, that’s definitely POLYjuice Potion… the problem is that once you start looking for them, you can’t stop, and I found myself fan-editing the book as I read, taking everything out of context:

“Well, he’s not my type, but he’ll do,” said Harry
later that same page

“Some of these wandless can be troublesome,” said Travers. “While they do nothing but beg I have no objection, but one of them actually asked me to plead her case at the Ministry last week. ‘I’m a witch, sir, I’m a witch, let me prove it to you!’” he said is a squeaky impersonation. “As if I was going to give her my wand  — but whose wand,” said Travers curiously, “are you using at the moment, Bellatrix? I heard that your own was —”

“I have my wand here,” said Hermione coldly, holding up Bellatrix’s wand.
Ibid., same chapter

“We’ll never get out, it’s too big!” Hermione screamed…..
Ibid.-ery

Hermione collapsed, coughing and shuddering. Though Harry would have happily lain down and slept, he staggered to his feet, drew out his wand, and started casting the usual protective spells around them. Chapter 27

It takes a while to shake off this reading habit, but now I just reached the bit where they meet Neville, and got all weepy.