Archive | August, 2013

Ranking The Harry Potter Books

15 Aug

In about a week, I will no longer be bored as I will be preparing to graduate college.  I’m pretty excited that I’m taking this victory lap of sorts as well, let’s face it; I have nothing else to do.  This extra semester is me just putting off the real world for a few more months so I can run, do two classes and accumulate debt.

But I thought I’d do one more ranking before I do nothing for a few months so why not rank the Harry Potter books?  By now you should realize that my interests are late-90s sitcoms, the Office, baseball, politics, Harry Potter, music and football.  There’s not much else about me (I’m pale!) that is of interest.

So without further ado, let’s look.

  1. Order of the Phoenix – EMOHARRY!  Half of this book is Harry flipping out on all of his friends for looking at him the wrong way.  I personally love this book because its kind of ridiculous and unnecessarily long; which is awesome.  Dolores Umbridge, aka fictional Michele Bachmann, is so awesomely horrible and so is Bellatrix.  This is the one book where evil totally wins and that’s okay in my book.

    By the way, has there been anymore of an anti-climatic death than Sirius?  He fell through a veil that’s apparently the barrier between the fictional wizarding world and the afterlife.  The hell is that?  Why didn’t those brains kill Ron anyway?  I remember someone teasing that someone would die in this book and when Ron was getting strangled; I got so excited that he would be offed.  But NOPE, they kill the godfather by having him fall through a silk blanket.  I wonder what would’ve happened had Harry ripped the veil aside?  Would there have been an axe murderer waiting?  Or would Sirius just look like one of the people from the Take on Me music video?This book was pretty great though.

    Best villains, best allusions to governmental corruption (Dumbledore’s Army = OCCUPY HOGWARTS.  By the way, I wonder how Harry taught Ron to do a Patronus?  Did he whisper to Ron “just imagine you aren’t complaining”?) and Harry kind of gets laid! (“how was the kiss?  Wet.” is one of the best lines ever), also J.K. Rowling reveals Harry to be kind of racist, “which one is Michael Corner?  THE DARK ONE.” (note: caps mine).

    The best storyline was those ever-so-goofy Weasley twins getting into mayhem.  The Weasley twins are what everyone who reads Harry Potter fantasizes about being them.  “Ohhh, we’d get into such mayhem together.  I’d make them put a Dungbomb in the giant squid!”.  Really, you’d be a Neville though.  Also saddest storyline was clearly the St. Mungo’s visit and the most awkward one ever was Hagrid teaching in front of Umbridge.

  2. Prisoner of Azkaban – Introduction to two of the best characters in Sirius and Lupin.  However, Professor Hagrid was such an awful idea.  Every single Hagrid lesson involves nearly someone getting impaled because he’s an idiot that expects everyone to be 8’1000 and made of giant blood.  Also, they are always uncomfortable even when you are reading it.  “Uhhh, Professor…I’m 13, why is this giant squid that can walk coming after me?” “WELL YER NOT DOING THIS :yanks animals genitals, they calm down:…DUH”.

    Anyway, Prisoner of Azkaban has nothing to do with Voldemort really which was a nice thing to do, honestly how many times did that guy show up during finals week?  But it shows off Hogsmeade, Cedric Diggory, the Marauder’s Map, Harry turning into EMOHARRY and the dementors.  Plus it begins with Harry blowing up his Aunt and Cornelius Fudge granting him an immediate pardon.  Gotta love Trelawney here too because she makes Hermione turn into that one awful person in every class that thinks they are wasting their time in class.  Hermione is what every girl who ever got ONE A in their life fantasizes themselves as.  “Ohhh gee, I’m such a grammar nazi; I’m JUST LIKE HERMIONE”.

    The first real HUGE mindblower was the whole Time Turner thing.  Not going to lie, it took me a few times to grasp that concept and I don’t like how effortlessly two 13-year olds did that.  I also don’t get why they didn’t stupefy Pettigrew or something.  Bounding them seems like something that a Muggle would do, but then again; Ron was there and his stupidity is probably contagious.  How many times do you think Harry walked in on Ron self-loving himself?  I bet hourly.

  3. Goblet of Fire – Ron Weasley ruins this book, like he does in every chapter of every book he’s been in since the first two where he was the lovable sidekick.  Prisoner of Azkaban hinted at it but Ron really ruined this otherwise great book.  This is the book when you realize that this series got REAL and murder became as frequent as Voldemort taking advantage of idiotic wizards.  This was the last one before Percy, Ron and Fudge all became pricks.I really liked how Harry almost had a normal summer.  His life is pretty obvious at this point.  He gets taken away from Privet Drive through a bevy of explosions or deceit, he misses the Sorting because he puts too much trust in Ron, he wins in Quidditch or nearly gets killed (does this guy ever just have a normal, lousy game?), around Thanksgiving he gets into some type of trouble, then nothing happens until winter break and then he misses finals after narrowly escaping death.This book was really no exception though the random Hufflepuffers hate him but who cares?  They are Hufflepuff, the future clerks at Wawa and Mr. Food; you aren’t missing anything without their friendship.  The Slytherins have always been little assholes for some reason and Ravenclaws are irrelevant in the book.  How many real Ravenclaw people are there?  It sounds like a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and its most famous “modern” wizard is Harry’s first kiss.

    Anyway Goblet of Fire is a great book.  It really is.

  4. Sorcerer’s Stone – No, I won’t be a Britwit and say “Philosopher’s Stone”.  This book, after reading the next six, seems like a Dr. Seuss book by comparison.  Its nice to read now though because its like 250 pages and the first 100 are Harry not knowing he’s a wizard.  Its fun to go through a book without having to deal with the annoying Hogwarts sidestories that J.K. Rowling introduces to waste time until Voldemort ruins finals week.Anyway, I like this book.  I like how it introduces everything (obviously since it’s the first book and all) and I do like how this is the beginning of the Harry Potter preferential treatment when he flaunts the rules and gets made a Seeker, gets like 10 points for saving Hermione from a troll, and they save the Wizarding World from an immortal Voldemort and receives what, 50 points?  That criteria is bull.  Hermione gets 15 points per class in Herbology, the weakest class ever (Professor Sprout is useless) and that’s just for knowing what plants can kill you.  What if a kid falls down and you help him up?  Is that 1 point?  I remember in middle school we did something called “Gold Cards” and for every good deed you would get, you would get a Gold Card and they’d put your name in a fish bowl and if they drew it out, you won a prize!  Well, I did all I could to get one and never did.  I purposely littered and then picked it up ONLY in front of a teacher, but got nothing.  I held the door open for the new kid (before teasing them relentlessly so they felt unwelcome) on their first day…but nothing.

    That’s what points in Hogwarts remind me of.  A pile of BS.

  5. Deathly Hallows – I didn’t like it.  I thought it was a weak conclusion though parts of it are simply brilliant.  I’ll never forgive J.K. Rowling for killing Hedwig, and I don’t care for her reasons.  Dobby’s death was sad but powerful.  However, you are telling me that in the biggest wizarding battle in history, no one really important dies?  Fred Weasley and Remus Lupin are the closest things to important?  C’mon, kill Ron.  Oh by the way, no way did he have the presence of mind to go into the Chamber of Secrets.This was Ron’s worst performance.  He ditches his friends at the worst time (because little fat ass was hungry) when the entire world has a bounty on his head too and has the audacity to show up at home after doing that.  Ron then gets to be part hero, but he did nothing of note except pulling Harry out of the ice water and we all know Snape was the real hero there.  Hermione should’ve never fallen in love with that 6’4 male version of Annie.

    This book was rushed at times though.  The best part is when they go back to Grimmauld Place (or however you spell it) and they decide to keep tabs on Umbridge.  In about one paragraph, they go from deciding to do it to “well over the past five weeks, they were taking turns spying on the Ministry”…uh, what?  You really couldn’t write a page to explain what their plan would be?  I had to deal with that awful Epilogue, you owe me.

  6. Chamber of Secrets – EMOHARRY is previewed exquisitely here.  I’ll be real though, this book wasn’t terrible but it was wayyyy too much for a kid my age when it came out.  This was before horcruxes were a thing so I kind of was in over my head reading this and always skipped it when I reread the series until the sixth book came out.I do like how Harry, the first two years, kind of always ruined everything for Oliver Wood.  I can imagine how much that kid hated Harry secretly because as an athlete (running counts!); the kid who always puts himself in danger of being hurt is the kid on the team everyone hates.  I bet one of the Chasers at one point advocated replacing Harry with someone, by the way, who would replace Harry as Seeker when he was being probed by Madam Pomfrey?  I vaguely remember someone saying (when Harry first joined) that one team forfeited because they didn’t have enough players.  This is highly critical to the series.
  7. Half – Blood Prince – I know annoying, wannabe fans of the series will say “they are sooooo important!” but I could’ve done without the annoying flashbacks to house elf memories that Dumbledore made Harry see.  It was necessary for the plotline, but god they were painful to read…I could care less about Marvolo Riddle or someone else.  Harry as a captain in Quidditch was kind of a trainwreck, after Gryffindor won in book three, it was like J.K. Rowling made sure they had a dynasty.I could do without this book, the Slug Parties were unnecessary as well.

Alex’s HateSong: Firework By Katy Perry

13 Aug

I’m not really a guy to hate a lot of music, I have my niche in classic rock (102.9 WMGK out of Philly is my go to station), but can appreciate most other forms, as long as I’m not subjected to them on a recurring basis.

Unfortunately for me, this happens from time-to-time and I must say that Firework by Katy Perry is the worst offender in my time. This song came out while I was in college, at a private university without a religious affiliation. Essentially, I was surrounded by a plethora of over-privileged white folks that live #yolo to it’s core as long as mommy and daddy don’t mind tossing their AMEX to keep princess from whining.

Therefore, nearly every day, whether I was in the car (because NYC doesn’t have a really solid classic rock station) listening to whatever poppy mix station, or at my job (at the time was Best Buy), or walking to class, or trying to sleep in a dorm, I had to hear that stupid song. The problem is, as soon as the song comes on, you know the rest of it. “Do you feel like a plastic bag. . .” and then there’s nothing you can do, you’re trapped. You can think, “Oh, this time it won’t bother me so much, everybody else likes it, and Katy Perry is fun to look at” but you’re wrong.

What was worse was the girls that think they have a set of pipes on them like Katy Perry and would go ahead belting out the chorus like a goat caught in a bear trap. . . “BABY YOURE A FIIIIREEEWOOOORK COME ON SHOW EM WHAT YOURE WOOORTTHHH” oh my God that th at the end of worth, I’ve never seen so much spit flying out a person’s mouth. This song was a biological hazard thinking back on it.

Have you ever sat and actually considered the lyrics? Katy Perry says, “Hey, ya feel depressed? Ya sad?” (paraphrasing) on to “Don’t give up, kid. There’s a spark in you” “You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, Just own the night like the 4th of July.”

I think terrorism, she wants you to light up the night like July 4th, which is replication of BOMBS bursting in air. Bombs. You’re depressed, blow up like bombs, “boom boom boom even brighter than the moon moon moon.” How much is Al Qaeda paying you, Katy Perry? Because I haven’t seen subliminal advertising like that since the Yvan eht nioj episode of the Simpsons. (see here: sorry for poor quality).

That being said, I’m so glad this song is burried somewhere in the back of every early to mid twenties girl’s ipod under “songs of Spring 20-whatever” and I won’t be subjected to it until I’m at a house warming party and some overly trashed girl wants to grab on to those good old times and take a stroll down memory lane. At which point I can politely dip out side, have a smoke, and act like Freddie Mercury isn’t spinning in his grave at what passes for a hit now-a-days.

If you want to submit your own, you know what to do.