You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Potter Partying

Across the supposedly civilised world tonight, millions of people will be dressing ghoulishly and heading out in the dark of night to party like maniacs. No, The Rocky Horror Picture Show hasn't been rereleased, it's simply the gatherings of insanely hyper fans awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Contrived Conclusion...No, I jest. The real title is of course Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which of course refers to Bloomsbury and Scholastic security personnel after Ms. Rowling gets through with them. I've not seen the book myself, because unlike the New York Times, I actually believe in honoring the publishers' and authors wishes about not revealing key information or distributing books or being a weasel in general. Without giving away anything about plot details though, I can say that judging from some of the fan responses to the book, it sounds like it was ghostwritten by Chris Kreski, who normally works for Bill Shatner.

Nonetheless, millions of fans will dutifully troop out to their local booksellers to plonk down a wad of cash just to see how it all turns out and to party til midnight to trivia games, best costume contests, and magicians riding the Rowling gravy train. Here are a few suggestions for those who would like to add a little merriment to their local party:

  • Respond to all trivia questions with the answer "Chicken necks!"
  • After every trick by the local magician, loudly exclaim, "That is so fake! Hermione would do much better!"
  • Ask everyone in costume when the next showing of "Rocky Horror" is.
  • Burn your copy of the book at the front of the store, whilst loudly screaming, "Witches! Heretics!"
  • Pretend to have come in for a copy of "Hamlet" and express satisfaction that your local readers are so interested in classical literature. Then, when they tell you they are there for the Potter release, shout "Witches! Heretics!"
  • Fall asleep in front of the checkout line.
  • Throw ice cold drinks at gits trying to spoil the ending in the car park.
  • Impromptu Quidditch match in the audio section of the store.
  • Shout, "Look, it's JK Rowling!" and then dash to the front of the line whilst heads are craned about.
  • After getting your copy of the book, quickly skim the pages and then announce that it is, "Utter crap!"

Update: I read the last book. It was OK in a few bits, I suppose, but a big disappointment overall. It just goes to show that it's not all that easy to resolve 17,000 plot threads, even in a 700+ page book. I have a feeling that more than a few people though are going to think, "People waited ten years for this?" The epilogue is the single most unconvincing piece of writing Rowling has yet published, if you want my opinion.

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Potter Madness - The Final Chapter

Well, unless you've been living in the same cave as Osama Bin Laden you're probably aware that the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Enormous Rip Off, is due out tomorrow. All right, the official title is actually Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Deathly Hallows are what appear to await publishers Bloomsbury and Scholastic's security personnel. After spending $20 million US on securing the book so that advance copies wouldn't be leaked before the July 21, midnight release, the book is apparently everywhere online. To paraphrase Dumbledore from the first book, "It's a secret, so naturally everyone knows." A short timeline of the events follows (Potential SPOILER Alert - readers of the following may discern details of the book, provided they are true and JK Rowling's writing displays the effects of someone on mescaline.):

  • Monday, July 16: A photocopy of a chapter of the book appears online. Most fans think it is a hoax because of the paragraph about George W. Bush's National Guard duty.
  • Tuesday, July 17: Photos of the remainder of the book, all 4359 pages, appear online in various forms. Scholastic files a subpeona to have the pages removed from the websites, and also issues an apology for the abysmal writing. One of the chapters published is a purported epilogue that has one of Harry Potter's children named "Albus Severus Potter." The other one is named "Winston Hitler Potter." Also, Hermione is revealed to be Harry's twin brother.
  • Wednesday, July 18: JK Rowling pleads for calm, asking readers to ignore "misinformation" on the Internet, such as photocopied pages of the book, illustrations, and where to locate copies on E-Bay. Scholastic threatens to sue for releasing copies of the book days early in a cheap bid for publicity and also as a way to give JK Rowling the finger for not doing their adverts. Several Harry Potter fans go on the rampage in Los Angeles when Newsweek claims that a copy of the book was flushed down the toliet during the interogation of a sales rep. The book in question later turns out to be a copy of Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough.
  • Thursday, July 19: Not content with revealing U.S. national security secrets, the N.Y. Times issues a review of the book two days before they were supposed to receive their advanced copy. Susan Sarandon and Vice President Dick Cheney issue a joint statement, calling for the editors of the Times to be boiled in oil for this transgression. The Baltimore Sun also issues a reviews, which only 3 people read because that paper is crap. JK Rowling, seeing where the real money is, issues a press release saying that she will reveal the plot of the final book in a tell all to the Guardian unless she is paid one billion pounds British before midnight. Potter fans raise the amount in just under 30 minutes.
  • Friday, July 20: Katie Couric shocks the world by announcing that in the final chapter of the book, Severus Snape is revealed to be James Bond and shoots Voldemort between the eyes. JK Rowling announces that after the sales of the book are complete, she will be moving to The International Space Station for a year to get away from "the madness."
  • Saturday, July 21: All hell breaks loose when Potter fans actually get the book in their sweaty little hands and discover that it is just an extended rewrite of Curious George Goes to the Zoo.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Earl's Malady

Sorry about the latest dearth of posts. I've suffered from back spasms since Tuesday and one side effect is shooting pains down my right arm. I'm able to type this by sitting in a reclining position and taking frequent breaks to put my arm in one of only three completely pain free positions. The usual one is putting it directly over my head with my elbow pointed up in the air.

I'm going to try to post a bit tonight but it won't be easy. At least I'm posting...