The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.
The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.
The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people.”
Worth a repost
HP is one of the most fundamentally anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, radical books in a WHILE. The books are incredibly diverse
in race and gender, including villains. While everyone was screaming about Pullman, and hanging their hats on the witchcraft in HP, Rowling basically put out a roadmap of revolutiinary youth.
Everyone likes to pull the, “Deatheaters are Nazis,” subtext but if you look at the timeline of the text and publication, it’s pretty clear that politically, this is an England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales under Tory rule and in the midst of the Troubles & Thatcherism from the start, with subsequent books written and published in a post-9/11 world.
Rowling wrote the root, branch, and flower of politics and power creating death and despair, where love and unity by choice were the strongest powers. There are reasons for that.
Can someone make a master post of academic discourse surrounding Harry Potter? Now that I’m not in college anymore I do sorta miss reading research papers and essays… but not so much that I want to read ones that aren’t about HP.
This is also like the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, when civilians had curfews and people who opposed the government or even so much as spoke ill of them suddenly disappeared, taken from their homes or the streets in the night, and never seen again. My father was in college, then. And he still remembers how one-by-one his friends disappeared, and they’d be found floating in rivers with their wrists and ankles tied with wires, after they attended rallies protesting the president. They were children, too. Barely 20. </3
There were resistances, then, too, and they were also weak. Because they were scared. Everybody was afraid.
It’s echoes of a lot of dictatorships, I believe. In any country. It’s beautiful that way, this book.
I did things in my 30s that were ignored by the world, that could have been quickly labeled a failure. Here’s a classic example; in 1974 I did a movie called Phantom of the Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise, which was a huge flop in this country. There were only two cities in the world where it had any real success: Winnipeg, in Canada, and Paris, France. So, okay, let’s write it off as a failure. Maybe you could do that.
But all of the sudden, I’m in Mexico, and a 16-year-old boy comes up to me at a concert with an album - a Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack- and asks me to sign it. I sign it. Evidently I was nice to him and we had a nice little conversation. I don’t remember the moment, I remember signing the album (I don’t know if I think I remember or if I actually remember). But this little 14 or 16, whatever old this guy was… Well I know who the guy is now because I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth; it’s Guillermo del Toro.
The work that I’ve done with Daft Punk it’s totally related to them seeing Phantom of the Paradise 20 times and deciding they’re going to reach out to this 70-year-old songwriter to get involved in an album called Random Access Memories.
So, what is the lesson in that? The lesson for me is being very careful about what you label a failure in your life. Be careful about throwing something in the round file as garbage because you may find that it’s the headwaters of a relationship that you can’t even imagine it’s coming in your future.”
(xposted from twitter because reasons)
Three years today since my dad died. Shame he never knew me as an adult (I was 19) because I’m a bloody great one. He died of a sudden, out-of-nowhere stroke while I was at VidCon and he was at home in London. He was out of it straight after but still kind of there and then he died a couple of days later. 1 in 5 strokes are fatal & annually, worldwide, approx 15 million people have a stroke. To help work towards making these statistics less depressing, read up on The Stroke Association here: http://www.stroke.org.uk
Rosianna is a bloody good adult.
Rosianna was one of the first readers of Looking for Alaska, has been a nerdfighter since the very first vlogbrothers video was uploaded, and now works as my assistant (although that job title rather underplays her importance to me and to the nerdfighter community).
Three years ago today, she became the first teenager ever to read The Fault in Our Stars. Her dad had just died, and she was stuck at Vidcon. I never imagined then that she would become such a bloody good adult, or that she’d become such a close friend and collaborator.
But I have always known Rosianna to be a person of excellent judgement, blistering intelligence, and great competence. And while I know that her dad would have so much to be proud of today, he had much to be proud of then as well.