Jul. 12th, 2003

ooooooh

Jul. 12th, 2003 05:46 am
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
John Leonard on Harry Potter:

We first met the Weasley whereabouts grandfather clock in Book Four of Potter's Progress. Its nine golden hands, rather than pointing at numerals, stopped instead to suggest a location where each of Ron Weasley's family members might be found: '' 'Home,' 'school' and 'work' were there, but there was also 'lost,' 'hospital,' 'prison' and, in the position where the number 12 would be on a normal clock, 'mortal peril.' '' Mortal peril! By the time this wonderful clock reappears in Book Five, the witching hour will have arrived for almost everybody we care about.

Yes, someone important to Harry dies. No, it's not who you think. Anyway, I wouldn't tell you. Still, ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is an angry book, a lamentation and a thanatopsis, a ''Song of Roland'' and an ''Epic of Gilgamesh,'' with the usual chorus of doxies, puffskins, bowtruckles, spattergroits and thestrals, not to mention a crumple-horned snorkack...

As Harry gets older, Rowling gets better. Even the modifiers she uses so promiscuously, in sudden bursts like cluster bombs, to cue us in on the emotions of her speakers -- the ''he said'' and ''she said'' gently, politely, faintly, earnestly, reverently, tonelessly, angrily, stupidly, gloomily, grimly, pompously, frantically, suspiciously or dismissively, when, like characters in Judith Krantz, he and she haven't already sniffed, flinched, roared, wailed, choked, hissed, gasped, squeaked, muttered, howled, barked, spat, snorted, bellowed, yawned or snarled -- disappear for hundreds of pages at a time. Meanwhile, as always, she has looted the shelves of literature and mythology, fairy tales and folklore, anthropology and comparative religion, firing up a pop-culture crockpot and adding pratfalls, wordplay and dread...
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
...I would simply like to make a few suggestions that I think would help cultivate diversity in the little Comments Community we have found in this place.

One - If someone leaves a comment and you disagree, why not just tell us what you believe and leave it at that? We will hear your wisdom better if you aren't wasting words trying to show that other people are wrong.

Some people don’t put that much thought into their comments. They fire off a quick response that was never intended to be a treatise of belief. Having someone dissect your offhand remark is irritating. Friendly debate and discussion are nice, but it's easy to misunderstand in a forum like this.

If you feel you must speak to something that someone else said, be gentle and courteous with your words. Give them the benefit of every doubt.

Two — Practice the diplomatic art of speaking across worldviews. Use your authority sources carefully. Whether you are quoting Gandhi, Bohr or Jesus, use your scriptures to help us understand YOUR point of view. Don't quote from your scriptures in an attempt to teach or correct someone else.

Three - I think it is polite to limit comments to a paragraph or two. Maybe three if you just can’t help yourself. If you leave long comments, most people just skip you anyway. Ironic, huh?

If you have a lot to say, post it in your own blog and leave us a link to it. That is the courteous thing to do. If you don’t have a blog, start one. The more the merrier...



The LJ feed is here.
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You know, my life seems blissfully uncomplicated to me in light of this, via [livejournal.com profile] carpeicthus.
sisyphusshrugged: (Default)
...answer has organized no protests and issued no statements on Africa's four most ravaged countries--Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe--although they contain exponentially more oppression and suffering than the four targeted by the group's "International Days of Protest."

Answer is symptomatic of the left in general. A LexisNexis search going back to 2000 finds not a single reference to the crises in Congo, Liberia, Sudan, or Zimbabwe from Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Michael Moore, Michael Lerner, Gore Vidal, Cornel West, or Howard Zinn. In Congo alone, according to the International Rescue Committee, five years of civil war have taken the lives of a mind-boggling 3.3 million people. How can the leaders of the global left--men and women ostensibly dedicated to solidarity with the world's oppressed, impoverished masses--not care?


Nice. Very nice.

Arundhati Roy? Cornell West?

Well, at least they're not all white men, right?

I think that the Liberal New Republic needs to start paying attention to some sources of information to the left of themselves.

Like maybe the Washington Post.

The part Howard Kurtz doesn't write.

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