Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Filibusters, Gomerys, and hot hot CIA agents

Are Canadians prepared for an election? And are you ready for some football? And are you reaaady to ruuuuummmmble?

Today (in 2.25 hours), the Gomery report gets released. Who out there (who still reads this shabby blog) doesn't think that the report will implicate PM Martin as at least being responsible for his department - the ministry of finance - costing Canadians millions? Worst case scenario is that Martin signed off on all the shady deals....

....but it won't really matter: either way, I think the government will fall and Canadians will be going to the polls.

And that's scary.

-----------------------------------

It's been going on for a while now, but GW Bush has (sort of) quietly tipped the balance of the US Supreme Court towards the right.

I remember back during the end of his first term... the media folks commented on how whoever sat this presidential term would likely get to appoint 2 judges to the Supreme Court, and how that would have be a powerful thing.

Well, he's already appointed one, and he tried to appoint another. When the Democrats threatened a filibuster, Bush pulled his lady off the table and presented Samuel Alito instead.

To be honest, Alito doesn't sound half as bad as some of the other clowns Bush has touted, but if Pat Roberston (who is always trying to defend your godly heritage) is calling the proposed appointment a "home run," then that can't be good.

This all led me to wonder what the heck a filibuster was.

Filibuster: the use of obstruction tactics to delay legislation. I think it's some obscure procedure where the house of representatives can attempt to block a Supreme Court appointee by bogging down legislation.

If you have a better explanation, holla at ya boy, will ya?

Anyway, it's been an exciting time in US politics (is that an oxymoron?), what with Scooter Libby facing charges of lying and being a rat-faced bastard. It seems that Scooter may have leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's name. Scooter, don't you be playing the Plame name game.

But even all of this juciy goodness takes a back seat to the one burning question, directed at my good friend Mark: is Valerie Plame hot?

-----------------------------------

Finally, I'm totally hooked on Harry Potter. Since the last book was released, I've read it and then read them all again. In my early days of Harry fandom, I didn't believe JK Rowling was a very good writer or an original storyteller.

Well, I'm converted, baby. She isn't a technically great writer but she's certainly got her own style. More importantly, she's weaved one of the best mysteries I've ever read. My whole reason for re-reading the books was to figure out the conlcusion to this spectacular series (unfortunately not due for another 2 years) - and I've got some good theories. If you too dig Harry and want to chat theories, I'm game.

In the meantime, check
www.the-leaky-cauldron.org or www.mugglenet.com
for the latest Goblet of Fire movie clips (which look awesome, by the way).

11 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

Alright. Let's do this in order.

- Yes, it does look like another election is approaching. No, it is not scary. I think that the interest in the Alliance party has peaked and people are waking up out of that nightmare. In the end, this is Canada and right-wing facism is not how we roll. Worst case scenerio; another minority government, with a stronger representation by the NDP.

- I have no better definition of the filibuster. I think the opposition can use it when the president doesn't say, "stamp, no erasies, contract." I'll never understand their political system. It's like a game between kids where they make the rules up as they go. How else can you explain the word, "filibuster", or, "electorate college."

As far as, "Scoots", and, "Spy Gal Val", go, that's a movie just waiting to be directed by Tony Scott.
To more pressing issues; yes, Valerie Plame is hot. Hot to the point I will google for pictures of her in the recruitment stage of her career.

- Way to ride the media wave that is Harry Potter. Come on, is it really that good? Or are those of us that do appreciate literature simply excited about a long overdue buzz in the literary world.
Like I said before, the art of story telling (as well as tapestry making) is dying and we seem to be grasping for anything here. I'm sure Harry Potter is a great read for kids, but as far as adults go, it's just an easy read. People look at reading anything as a sign of inteligence, so they feel smart for reading Harry Potter, and justify it by claiming universal appeal. You like mysteries:

* The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead

* Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonothan Letham

* Fury, by Salman Rushdie

- Finally, I'd like to comend you for not responding to my comment on your previous post, where I predicted the symbol for the gay rights movement to rally behind (heh) will be David Beckham. I was waiting for an argument and didn't you didn't bite. I slapped you with my glove and you declined a duel. Kudos on the high road that you have taken. I will try to follow you down that road, catch up and punch you in the back of the head.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Since I teach elementary I read what my students read. I do this for two reasons: one, so I can discuss ideas etc about thier books, and two, because I love children's literature. I am an avid reader, I'll give anything a chance. I read to learn, but I also read to enjoy. Who cares what people read, as long as they are reading! The HP series has so many topics to discuss, family, good vs. bad, the struggles of growing up. HP is a series that somehow captures a wide audience. Like I said, my grade 2's loved it when I read it to them, my grade 6's love it for they can identify with many of the 'teenage' struggles going on, I love it for the plot. When I taught a grade 11 advanced english class, one of my students was reading a HP novel. From him I received the most interesting and well written reading journals.
Andrew, I too have theories as to how this series will end. I'm a little arrogant in my theories, do you want me to ruin the ending for you, cause I KNOW how it will end.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Mark,

I was going to write a really scathing comment about how you're an elitist and how I've read works by "great" writers and I'm more savvy than the average literature fan and that I can discern - thank you very much - what is a good book and what isn't. If you want to see how I could have responded, just read your comment back to yourself and see how condescending it was.

I was going to write that sort of blurb, but instead, I'll just write this:

I certainly didn't "ride the media buzz." I happen to enjoy children's literature: it doesn't try to be deep or meaningful or groundbreaking - in a word, it's not pretentious.

As I said, I didn't (and still don't) think she's a great writer of prose, but she's a great storyteller who is obviously well schooled in myth and the traditions of the classic hero stories. And she's got a great mystery on her hands.

Not everything I read is going to challenge the nature of my being.

If you're wondering if the series is good (and you did, in your comment), then just read it. A person of your reading ability could be through the first 3 books in a weekend. And I'm sure you know someone you could borrow them from, so you wouldn't have to spend your dollar (read: weapon) on JK Rowling.

Lisa,

since Mark and Jason will likely never read the books, I'd love to hear (and debate) your theories as to the end of the series. Please tell!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Wow. I don't see why you are offended by my comment. I simply threw out a question, "Is it really that good?" Seriously, is all this hype warrented? Then, I went on to give my theory on it's mass appeal. At no point did I question your inteligence. Hell, you recommended a number of books to me that I enjoyed. If I directed that comment about why adults read it to you, I wouldn't be saying a lot about myself, would I?

So don't accuse me of being an elitist simply because I have doubts about the quality of that series. I enjoy my light reads as well, but I'm not going to go ape-shit about them.

Also, a book that is deep, meaningful or groundbreaking is not pretentious. It is only pretentious if it tries to be those things and fails.

But, if you would like to take this discussion outside...

2:11 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Come on now, I'm not offended in the slightest. Nor do I feel I have to justify my reading choices.

Further - you are an elitist when it comes to books. But there's no reason to have to defend that. Nothing wrong with being an elitist.

This is what you wrote:

"I'm sure Harry Potter is a great read for kids, but as far as adults go, it's just an easy read. People look at reading anything as a sign of inteligence, so they feel smart for reading Harry Potter, and justify it by claiming universal appeal."

-You stated that HP is nothing more than an easy read.

-You also stated that people who read HP use that fact as proof of intelligence.

Can you not see how this is both condescending and ignorant (which I mean in the real sense of the word)?

Once again, if you're so curious as to the series' quality, just read it. It's readily available.

So, "Is it really that good? Seriously, is all this hype warrented?"

In my opinion, for whatever that's worth, yes and yes.

Finally, I will go ape-shit over the easy read. It's the same reason why we go ape-shit over a great basketball game or a huge dunk, a cool movie or even a nice glass of wine. None of those things are deep and meaningful, yet we enjoy them and espouse their virtues. It's what we do. It's who we are. Some of the best books I've ever read were the of the easy read variety.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

so are we going to fight or what?

4:20 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I think we already did.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dumbledore knew he had to die, and he needed Snape to do it for him due to Snape making an Unbreakable Vow to Draco's mother. Snape will come face to face with righting his 'wrongs' in book 7, and will choose the 'right' side and purge himself of his sins, and save others in the meantime. One person he will not save will be Harry, who will die in book 7. I think Harry, who was born in Godric's Hollow, is the heir to Gryfindor, and will have to die before Voldemort can die. Remember the prophecy, one of them cannot live, while the other also does. Harry will have to kill himself, since he is 'marked' by a horcrux. Enter Snape who will 'right' his 'wrongs', finally choosing a side, and kill Voldemort. Snape will be the reluctant hero.
Your thoughts?

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I love the HP series! Glad to hear you're on board, Andrew. I'm with you - I find the books to be very entertaining. Although they are very readable, I don't find the books to be just an easy read. I consider an easy read to be something like the Shopaholic series (absolutely no mental stimulation). This series has very vivid characters, engaging plots, rich background detail, and mature themes (friendship, equality, loss, etc). I definitely have enjoyed the last two (5 & 6) a lot more, too, as more of the overall plot is exposed.

I'm not saying that these books are Great Fiction, though (or are meant to be). If you look up literature at Wikipedia, it specifically sites the books as not generally considered "sufficiently intellectual or meaningful at an academic level" to be considered "Literature."

But from another perspective, some consider good literature to be that which "explores cultural values, demands an emotional response from the reader, can show you things you have never seen before and will never forget." From that perspective, the books are worth my time and money.

That's my input, for what it's worth.

Lisa, that theory is shocking to me! It makes sense but I can't believe she would kill off Harry. I have to say, I'm still mourning Dumbledore.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Lisa/Nancy

(but NOT Anthony - there is spoilers and my own thoughts)

OK - Harry will die, and Harry will not kill anyone - it would be too out of character for Harry to kill anyone, and totally undermine who JK has created him to be.

As for him being a hoarcrux, that is debatable. Dumbledore didn't think Voldemort had made his 6th crux when he went to Godric's Hollow - but since Slughorn told us that a powerful spell had to be conjured after the required death, do you think Voldemort would have done that then? The only way I see him being a hoarcrux is if Lily did it to Harry - and that was her means of protecting him. We do know that Lily was good at charms and such.

Speaking of - Lily's wand and her identity will be important in the final book. As will her eye color and Harry's eye color. This I know.

Snape is, of course, still good. And he may be the one to kill Voldy in the end. As I said, it won't be Harry, and Harry will die (but not necessarily because he is a crux - I'm not sold on that).

What else? Harry will have to go back to Hogwarts, at the very least to chat with Dumbledore's portrait, and probably to visit the room of requirement or chamber of secrets (both of which might still be important).

What else? Malfoy will be a hero, also. He may die.

R.A.B. will be Regulus Black, and we'll learn more about him.

Something important will be discovered at Godric's Hollow - maybe Lily's wand.

And was Harry's dad even at GH when Lily died? Some suspicious evidence points to "no."

Time travel may again be important.

At least one Weasley will die. Hagrid, too.

Something perhaps suspicious about Lupin - maybe more than meets the eye.

And Wormtail owes Harry his life - this could be important.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hmmm, lots to consider. Let me ponder your thoughts here before I respond.

11:54 AM  

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