This series, while one of the most commercially successful book series ever, is oddly enough, also one of the more poorly written. Rowling's series sells on a few things; engaging writing, an interest-grabbing premise, and well-written characters, for a children's story. On the flip side, starting with book four, when she started trying to transition the series from a children's series, to a young adult series, the entire thing began to fall apart. Her characters never experience character growth, of any sort, ever. The sheer power of magic within the world presents so many different ways to simply break the world, many explored in fanfiction, it's not even funny. Mixing real-world, non-magical techniques and equipment with this allows more breakage. The Death Eaters, Aurors, and Order of the Phoenix all fight like poorly organized and hideously under-trained militia; I would bet on a single platoon of British Marines that were Squibs, versus all of them combined, primarily because the well-trained soldiers would gather intelligence on the enemy, use fire and maneuver tactics, cover, indirect fire, ambush tactics, a whole host of things that would completely dominate the sorts of fights that show up in Harry Potter. I'm not even going to begin to go into all the other plot holes in the series, there are simply too many that are too egregious.
As to the characters of the series; at the end of the first novel Hermione is a bookworm who has an uncommon amount of respect for authority, Ron is a slacker average joe who really just wants to have fun and is not suited for life-or-death struggles, and Harry is a protagonist who is so absurdly passive it's ridiculous. At the end of the seventht novel (sans epilogue), Hermione is a bookworm who has an uncommon amount of respect for authority, Ron is an average joe who is too much of a slacker to be suited for life-or-death situations, and Harry has arguably, possibly, experienced some genuine character growth when he chose to go confront Voldemort and take the initiative for like the second or third time ever in the series.
Ironically, it's the peripheral characters who experience character growth. Neville becomes courageous. The twins become responsible enough to run their own business. Tonks and Lupin get married. Ginny goes from a terminally shy fangirl to a fairly average teenage girl.
As to romantic crap; Harry Potter is probably the single most flame-ridden fandom for romances; primarily Harry/Ginny versus Harry/Hermione. In all seriousness, as best I can tell most of that comes from incredibly crappy Harry/Ginny fics rather obviously written by people who have no idea how a serious relationship works, and gave the cannon pairing a bad rap. In all honesty, I don't think any of the main characters show enough maturity in the cannon to be in a real romantic relationship, so think the entire shipping wars are even more absurd than they are in other places. I also notice that Harry Potter fanfics tend to have people writing 'romances' starting at absurdly young ages, even more so than many other fandoms. That said, any sufficiently well written romantic story, I can read and enjoy, though in my personal experience Harry/Hermione stories tend to be better written.
My final thoughts on the series primarily concern Severus Snape. From what I have heard, most of the ridiculous fascination with his character as a 'good guy' comes from an incredible actor being cast into the role, and delivering a commanding performance. I've never watched the movies. I've seen snippets here and there, but never more than a minute or so at length, and don't think I've seen a single scene with Snape in it. So my opinion of him is based entirely upon the books, and that opinion is very simple:
The man is scum. He systematically uses his position of authority to blatantly favor crass bullies, and pick on an already-abused child, for his resemblance to his (dead) father. The man's pettiness is obscene, and as many fics have portrayed, he would be summarily fired by any school administrator with a shred of sense. He is not, however, a complete monster, as he does try to protect the lives of his students, even those he hates, even if he makes them a living hell.
All in all, if the series had stuck to being a children's series, the overly-done villainy of some characters, and myriad plot holes would be plentifully forgivable, but as it tried to transit into more "serious" material, the cohesion of the story simply falls apart. I would, however, very muchly like to see Rowling write more, either as a series started in a Young Adult or Adult age-bracket, or purely children's material. She does have strengths as an author, even if the latter part of her series was torn down under its weaknesses.
Not the sappy, romantic type of love, not the 'I love tacos' kind of love, but the "I will lay down my whole life for you," kind of Love. The kind of Love that shows someone that they're worth something, that shows that you are cared about. The kind of Love that you see when a man comes home from work, and his wife greets him with a smile and a kind word. The kind of Love where a man gets up in the morning, and every morning, makes coffee for his wife (who is not a morning person, and needsthat cup of joe to get going), and if she's awake before he leaves for work, brings it to her in bed. Or maybe those roles are flipped by gender; I don't know.
The kind of Love where a friend notices, even when you're hiding it, that you're down, and ambushes you with an invitation to play your favorite video game, or go out for pizza, or just tries to make you laugh. The kind of Love where even when you've done something to really piss one of your friends off, maybe accidentally, or maybe even on purpose, and they don't get angry, or shout, or yell, because even if you've hurt them, they care too much about you, they value you too much to want to hurt you, even when you've hurt them. Both of those are quotes from LordsFire great author and his work is life changing in a way i suppose what above you made me think about things i suppose there's only 1 person i might actually lay my life down. i guess that's unbelievably sad to some. Also i cant see family ever being in this category maybe its the experience i have had with my family my home life isn't the worst of worst but its not perfect ether its just the dynamics of a family i cant see this happening that or its just my family.
The Perfect Husband
Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A mobile phone on a bench rings and a man answers using the loud speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.
WOMAN: 'Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?'
WOMAN: 'I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only 1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?'
MAN: 'Sure, go ahead if you like it that much.'
WOMAN: 'I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2008 model. I saw one I really liked.'
MAN: 'Really? Go for it.'
WOMAN: 'Thank you honey.'
MAN: ' Make sure you get it with all the options!'
WOMAN: 'Great! Oh, and one more thing ... the house we wanted last year is back on the market.'
MAN: 'Well then, go ahead and give them an offer.'
WOMAN: 'OK. I'll see you later! I love you!'
MAN: 'Bye, I love you, too.'
The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are looking at him in astonishment.
Then he asks: 'Anyone know who this phone belongs to?'
AN ATHEIST IN THE WOODS
An atheist was walking through the woods.
'What majestic trees!
'What powerful rivers!
'What beautiful animals!
He said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant the Atheist cried out, 'Oh my God!' Time Stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. As a bright light shone upon them, a voice came out of the sky.
'You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer'?
The atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian'?
'Very Well,' said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
'Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.'
Five Germans in an Audi Quattro arrive at the Italian border. The Italian Customs agent stops them and tells them:
"It'sa illegal to putta 5 people in a Quattro."
"Vot do you mean it'z illegal?" asks the German driver.
"Quattro meansa four" replies the Italian official.
"Qvattro is just ze name of ze automobile", the German says unbelievingly.
"Look at ze papers: zis car is designed to kerry 5 persons."
"You can'ta pulla thata one on me!", replies the Italian.
"Quattro meansa four. You hava 5 people ina your car and you are thereforea breakinga tha law!."
The German driver is angry, - "You idiot! Call ze supervisor over, I vant to speak to somevone viz more intelligence!."
"Sorry", says the Italian, "he can'ta come. He's a busy with 2 guys in a Fiat Uno..."
Credit Crunch Humour
How do you define optimism? A banker who irons five shirts on a Sunday.
What's the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza? The pizza can still feed a family of four.
As a surprise, a chief exec's wife pops by his office. She finds him in an unorthodox position, with his secretary sitting in his lap. Without hesitation, he starts dictating: '. . . and in conclusion, gentlemen, credit crunch or no credit crunch, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair.'
Why have estate agents stopped looking out of the window in the morning? Because otherwise they'd have nothing to do in the afternoon.
Q: What's the difference between a merchant bank and Katie Price?
A: Both are institutions whose reputation is built on assets that, on closer inspection, turn out to be entirely artificial, vastly over-inflated and in danger of going through the floor at any moment. But at least Katie Price is still worth something.
What do you call five hedge fund managers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.
What's the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon? The pigeon is still capable of leaving a deposit on a new Ferrari.
A lobbyist on his way home from Parliament is stuck in traffic. Noticing a police officer, he winds down his window and asks: 'What's the hold-up?' The policeman replies: 'The Prime Minister is so depressed he's stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire. 'He says no one believes he can get us through the credit crunch. So we're taking up a collection for him.' The lobbyist asks: 'How much have you got so far?' The officer replies: 'About 40 gallons, but a lot of people are still siphoning.'
The credit crunch has helped me get back on my feet. The car's been repossessed.
Latest news: The Isle of Dogs bank has collapsed. They've called in the retrievers.
What do you say to a hedge fund manager who can't sell anything? A Quarter-pounder with fries, please.
Overheard in a City bar: 'This credit crunch is worse than a divorce. I've lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.'
The bank returned a cheque to me this morning, stamped: 'insufficient funds.' Is it them or me?
Bradford & Bingley employees are concerned they were given no notice of the takeover by Santander Bank.
A Government spokesman said: 'No one expected the Spanish acquisition.'
What's the difference between the BBC's Business Editor Robert Peston and God? God doesn't think he's Robert Peston.
You know it's a credit crunch when...
• The cashpoint asks if you can spare any change.
• There's a 'buy one, get one free' offer - on banks.
• The Inland Revenue is offering a 25 per cent discount for cash-payers.
• Gordon Brown has stopped chewing his nails and started sucking his thumb.
• Your builder asks to be paid in Zimbabwean dollars rather than sterling.
• Highgrove has been repossessed.
• Victoria Beckham is pictured shopping in Primark.
• Alistair Darling's eyebrows have turned white.
I talked to my bank manager the other day and he said he was going to concentrate on the big issues from now on. He sold me one outside Boots yesterday.
What's the capital of Iceland? About £3.50.
An architect, a surgeon and an economist are discussing the Creation. The surgeon says: 'Look, we surgeons are most important. God's a surgeon because the first thing he did was to extract Eve from Adam's rib.' The architect says: 'No, wait a minute, God is an architect. He made the world in seven days out of chaos.' The economist smiles: 'And who made the chaos?'
A man went to his bank manager and said: 'I'd like to start a small business. How do I go about it?' 'Simple,' said the bank manager. 'Buy a big one and wait.'
Money talks. Trouble is, mine knows only one word: 'Goodbye.'
A young man asked an elderly rich man how he made his money. 'Well, son, it was 1932. The depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last penny, so I invested that penny in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold that apple for ten pennies. 'The next morning I bought two apples, spent the day polishing them and sold them for 20 pennies. I continued this for a month, by which time I'd accumulated a fortune of £1.37. 'Then my wife's father died and left us £2 million.'
What have an Icelandic bank and an Icelandic streaker got in common? They both have frozen assets.
A director decided to award a prize of £50 for the best idea of saving the company money during the credit crunch. It was won by a young executive who suggested reducing the prize money to £10.
Uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last seven days, Origami bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank has announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was also announced that Karaoke Bank will go up for sale and will likely go for a song, while shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended today after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank is soldiering on after sharp cutbacks, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank, where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson are flying to a world economic summit. Peter looks at Alistair and chuckles: 'You know, I could throw a £50 note out of the window right now and make one person very happy.' Alistair shrugs his shoulders and says: 'Well, I could throw five £10 notes out of the window and make five people very happy.' Gordon says: 'Of course, but I could throw ten £5 notes out of the window and make ten people very happy.' The pilot rolls his eyes, looks at all of them, and says: 'I could throw all of you out of the window and make the whole country happy.'
Why Parents Drink
A Mother passing by her son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Mum' With the worst premonition she opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...Mom she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.
Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it. Don't worry. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.
P.S. Mum, none of the above is true. I'm over at Dustin's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.
Rules For Dealing With Women
For thousands of years, men have tried to understand the rules when dealing with women. Finally, this merit/demerit guide will help you to understand just how it works. Remember, in the world of romance, one single rule applies: Make the woman happy. Do something she likes and you get points. Do something she dislikes and points are subtracted. You don't get any points for doing something she expects. Sorry, that's the way the game is played. Here is a guide to the points system:
You make the bed...+1
You make the bed, but forget to add the decorative pillows...0
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets...-1
You leave the toilet seat up...-5
You replace the toilet paper roll when it is empty...0
When the toilet paper roll is barren, you resort to Kleenex...-1
When the Kleenex runs out you use the nex t bathroom... ; -2
You go out to buy her extra-light panty liners with wings...+5
In the snow ...+8
But return with beer...-5
And no liners...-25
You check out a suspicious noise at night...0
You check out a suspicious noise and it is nothing...0
You check out a suspicious noise and it is something...+5
You pummel it with a six iron...+10
It's her cat...-40
AT THE PARTY
You stay by her side the entire party...0
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old
Tiffany is a dancer...-10
With breast implants...-18
You remember her birthday...0
You buy a card and flowers...0
You take her out to dinner...0
You take her out to dinner and it's not a sports bar...+1
Okay, it is a sports bar...-2
And it's all-you-can-eat night...-3
It's a sports bar, its all-you-can-eat night, and you r face is
painted the colours of your favourite team .-10
A NIGHT OUT WITH THE BOYS
Go with a pal...0
The pal is happily married...+1
The pal is single...-7
He drives a Ferrari...-10
With a personalized license plate (GR8NBED)...-15
A NIGHT OUT WITH HER
You take her to a movie...+2
You take her to a movie she likes...+4
You take her to a movie you hate...+6
You take her to a movie you like...-2
It's called Death Cop III...-3
Which features Cyborgs that crush human skulls...-9
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans...-15
You develop a noticeable pot belly...-15
You develop a noticeable pot belly & exercise to get rid of
You develop a noticeable pot belly and resort to loose jeans and
baggy Hawaiian shirts...-30
You say, "It doesn't matter, you have one too."...-800
THE BIG QUESTION
She asks, "Does this dress make me look fat?"
You hesitate in responding...-10
You reply, "Where?"...-35
You reply, "No, I think it's your ass"...-100
Any other response...-20
When she wants to talk about a problem:
You listen, displaying a concerned expression...0
You listen, for over 30 minutes...+5
You relate to her problem and share a similar experience...+50
Your mind wanders to sports and you suddenly hear her saying,
what do you think I should do?"...-100
You have fallen asleep...-200
IT'S THAT TIME OF THE MONTH
You don't talk...-150
You spend time with her...-200
You don't spend time with her...-500
You seem to be enjoying yourself..-1000
GAME OVER. YOU LOSE.
There was once a man who lived a long life. At the end of his life, he had a vision that he was walking with God down a beach.
As he turned back, he realized that he could see his footsteps spreading out behind him, each one showing a different time in his life. Amazed, he noticed that some showed prosperous times, and others signified the difficult times he had gone through.
He noticed that there were two sets of footsteps in the sand...his, and God's. When he looked closer though, he noticed that at times, there was only one set of footsteps...and these were at the times when his life had been hardest.
Outraged, he turned to God. "Why did you abandon me?" he demanded. "Why did you leave me alone when my life grew hard. Those were the times that I needed you!"
God turned to the man with sad eyes. "I was always with you," he replied. "At the times when your life was difficult, that was not when I abandoned you...
That was when I carried you."
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