books, films, J K Rowling, rants

Spoiler Filled Bookish Post – Rant-tastic Beasts – Canon Fodder

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Yesterday I posted my spoiler free review of The Crimes of Grindelwald which probably ended up being one of the longer posts I’ve written lately. And there was definitely more I wanted to say. Despite coming out of the film feeling fairly positive, in the week since I watched it I’ve become more and more angry about certain things. Driving home on the evening I was bemoaning the changes in timeline and it’s something that hasn’t stopped since. So, I’ve done the unthinkable and purposefully broken my book review streak in order to get some stuff off my chest. I have a history, on this blog, of ranting about J.K. Rowling and this year has been a good year for angry content about her. That was mainly concerned with the fact that Johnny Depp continues to star in the blockbuster franchise despite his worrying personal life. Not only the possibility that he is a domestic abuser but also has a constant struggle with drugs and alcohol. I found it sad that a writer who wrote a series about not letting entitled bullies get their own way would allow an actor to get away with such troubling behaviour and still get paid a shit-ton of money. But, let’s be honest, he pulls in the viewing numbers and, these days, that’s all that seems to matter.

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films, J K Rowling, reviews

Tuesday Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

fantastic_beasts_-_the_crimes_of_grindelwald_poster5_star_rating_system_2_and_a_half_stars You know that thing where you’ve been saying something for years and then everyone jumps on the bandwagon? I feel like that about JK Rowling. I’ve been ranting about that woman and the damage she’s causing the Harry Potter series for years and now, all of a sudden, it seems that people are finally catching up with me. It was way back in 2012 that I first started complaining about her ability to fuck shit up. Then, with every passing year and every new revelation, I’ve continually begged her to just leave the series alone. I was definitely in the minority back in those days. Now? Now I’m reading articles in The Guardian saying exactly what I’ve been saying. It’s really infuriating. But also good, I guess. It helps to know that I’m not just being petty. That I’m not just targeting a famous and successful writer to make myself feel important. I’m just a fan who is sick of this dead horse being flogged for everything it’s worth. A fan who went into the new Fantastic Beasts film expecting to come out in an absolute rage because I’d already reached my limit thanks to the Nagini and McGonagall news. Plus, you know, Johnny Depp.

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books, films, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, rant

Bookish Post – Fantastic Beasts 2 Cast 2 Furious

C-c-c-combo breaker!

5aa7fcf3f375f624008b45a8-750-563So this is the official end of my run of book reviews. I was doing so well and now I’ve lost it again. It’s been a super hectic week and I’ve not had much time to read. Plus, I’ve been trying to get ahead with my posts and stuff before I go on holiday. I think I can just about manage it but it does mean I’ve had to put aside reading to get things done. I’ll definitely make up for it whilst I’m away but it does mean my next two Wednesday posts will be kind of bullshit. Well, hopefully not bullshit but not what they could have been. I even started reading The Hate That U Give in the hope that I could finish it in time. I didn’t. But I hopefully will soon. I’m enjoying it much more than I expected but that’s mainly just due to my general mistrust of YA fiction. Something that I could go into now but I have bigger fish to fry. Bigger fish like Johnny Depp… again. After all, the second Fantastic Beasts trailer was released a matter of days ago. And, unsurprisingly, I had a lot of thoughts about it.

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books, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, rant, rants

Battle of Hogwarts Anniversary – I apologise for not caring about your apology

DSCN7638 (Edited)Anyone out there who is a fan of Harry Potter, so most of the reading population of planet Earth, will know that today marks the fictional anniversary of the fictional Battle of Hogwarts. On this day of fictional commemoration the real author J K Rowling takes to Twitter to apologise to her fans for killing one of their favourite characters. This year she said sorry to her social media followers for the death of fan favourite Dobby, Harry Potter’s faithful House Elf friend. In the past she has made similar public apologies for killing characters such as Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, and Fred Weasley. And, as I sit here desperately wanting to go to bed but needing to write something for today’s post, I can’t but wonder why the fuck she bothers. I mean if it bothers her that much why kill them in the first place? It’s just more of her pathetic pandering to her fans to ensure that the Harry Potter gravy train she’s riding for the rest of her life never stops. And, really, every year I lose a little more respect for her as a writer.

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30booksformy30th, books, J K Rowling, rants

30 Books For My 30th – Number 24

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dscn7325Dear J K Rowling,

I’ll try to make sure that this letter isn’t too long. I think that in the years I’ve been writing this blog I’ve presented my feelings towards you quite clearly. But, after writing my letter to the Harry Potter books earlier this month, my sense of disappointment is even stronger right now.  Also, earlier this month you caused yet another stir by liking a tweet that has been considered as transphobic. I just find myself sitting here and wondering “what has happened to the author of one of my most loved series?”

This next comparison is, admittedly, a little extreme and I’m a little reticent to carry on with it but we’ve come this far. These days you’re most know for your political statements on Twitter. Particularly against US President, Donald Trump. Now, I’m sure you’ve come across the idea that people who are too similar are always going to risk butting heads. Of course, I’d never say you were anywhere near Trump’s league of disgraceful and immoral behaviour but, you have to see, there are some similarities. You both attack people using your social media to a vast following (for very different purposes mind), you both routinely ignore and block critics of your viewpoints, and you rewrite the narrative to work in your favour.

By that last one I’m referring to your constant supply of tweets from fans explaining how you saved them from depression. Now, I’m absolutely positive that you have helped people. And I’m glad that people have found comfort in your writing and think it’s great that you helped so many people. You are a genuinely good person. However, there are just as many people out there who are not satisfied with some of your recent decisions. Where are their retweets? Where are their answers? You’re writing your own narrative to further your image. Between your political, professional, and charity related tweets, your feed is just a long supply of retweets of people fawning all over you. You continue to feed this idea that you are the hero who changed her own life and the lives of so many people, which, whilst true, is not the full story.

It’s probably not your fault but there are times when it feels as though you’re suffering from the same thing Harry Potter himself was in the final 3 books: the Chosen One complex. If enough people have, basically, canonised you over the years then I imagine you might feel untouchable. But that doesn’t mean you can do anything. With this latest Twitter scandal, your response wasn’t the first-hand account of what happened. No, you got your assistant to make a statement on your behalf that blamed middle-age. Whilst I’m not convinced of the excuse anyway (you know if you mistakenly like a tweet or not), the fact that it didn’t come from you directly is just another example of how removed you are from your fans these days.

When people were outraged about the casting of Johnny Depp after accusations of his domestic abuse you brushed them off by essentially saying “he’s always been nice to me”. When people were annoyed by the announcement that Dumbledore would remain in the closet for Fantastic Beasts 2 you remained silent. You’re continually praised for reaching out to your fans but, unless it’s a good PR opportunity, you mostly remain suspiciously quiet. I’d go so far as to say that your attitude towards the fandom nowadays is pretty casual. As is your attitude towards adding to the canon. Incidentally, a thing you continually promised you wouldn’t do. You just don’t seem to care anymore. As if you know the majority of fans won’t say anything against you and you’ll ignore the ones that do.

Look at The Cursed Child: what we must now consider to be the 8th book in the series. Something you were so proud to create. Yeah, so proud that you had pretty much no involvement. Never has anything reeked more of money-grabbing than the 2 part fanfiction-esque play that many of your fans would never be able to see for various reasons. The ones that can’t make it to London? Who cares. The ones that can’t afford it? You don’t need them anyway. You just care about the people willing to hand over their cash, right? The people who will visit the theme parks and the studio tour. People who will watch a series of 5 films based on the smallest book in the fucking world. The people who will buy the accompanying screenplay of the film for god know’s what reason. This is a franchise that knows its fans will spend and continually manipulates them for it. Which, I should point out, isn’t your decision per se. However, there is a level of complicity at play.

You are often compared to George Lucas when it comes to your creation. Both of you, people will say, don’t know when to stop and are risking their fans’ loyalty in doing so. I’d say you were worse than George Lucas. He, at least, was changing Star Wars because he wanted to make them as good as he could. He was blinded by the improving technology in graphics and went a bit mad. The films were his children and he wanted to help them grow up. You? As far as I can see you just want to stay relevant. Everyone wants to continue making money and making sure people remember the series. The thing is, people would remember anyway. Your fans, your true fans, don’t need constant updates on Pottermore. They don’t need tweets every year saying you regret killing people. We were happy with the books.

Besides, if your ‘improvements’ were so important then why not include them first time round? If it was so vital to point out that Dumbledore was gay then why keep it hidden? Why continue to deny it? On the one hand, you celebrate casting a black woman as Hermione whilst, on the other, you fail to definitely state race in your books. You want to seem like you represent everyone but you do so by not adequately representing anyone. You have always played it safe. Creating works that never challenge the status quo too much but that channel an idea of hope and rebellion. Your characters are fighting an evil power that threatens the right’s of a section of society. Yet you refuse to openly represent the under-represented in your major roles. It’s sad.

Once upon a time, you were such an important person in my life. Your books gave me so much and made me feel like I was part of something. I felt connected to so many other people in the world because of my love of these books. As I’ve grown up, I’ve not only seen that the books themselves are flawed but that you and the community you have created is. I’ll always respect you as a human being and a writer. You achieved a great deal and have done a lot to help people. You are, when it comes down to it, a genuinely fantastic person and a wonderful figure in the world. But, still, I find myself pulling away from you. I guess it’s just difficult when the people you idolised growing up turn out to be as flawed as the rest of us. Just a bit sad.

To hurt is as human as to breathe,
Laura

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blogger, blogging, book blogger, book blogging, books, childhood, childhood favourite, film blogger, film blogging, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Johnny Depp, LGBTQ+, rant, rants, Uncategorized

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of J K

DSCN6734So it’s been quite a while since I had a good old-fashioned rant about JK Rowling, hasn’t it. But now, only a few weeks after JK Rowling and David Yates caused a stir by brushing off the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s continued presence in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, the Harry Potter author is pissing off her fans once again. Over recent years, I’ve sort of become disillusioned with Rowling. Yes, she does a lot of great things and has used her money to aid some fantastic causes. That doesn’t mean she can get away with anything, though. Whether she means to or not, she has allowed herself to gain a certain sense of entitlement that only goes with becoming the world’s richest author. Just look back on the moment when she acted like a victim when it was revealed she had written The Cuckoo’s Calling.

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Andy Serkis, book haul, books, comic books, currently reading, Dr Who, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Marvel, Netflix, recently watched, Spider-Man

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

So my week off work is over and I was back at work yesterday. It’s safe to say I ached everywhere when I got home yesterday and couldn’t face anything. Which, actually, also sums up my week off. Having planned to get some shit done in terms of reading, I actually didn’t get much done. I carried on in my attempt to reread Harry Potter but that was the extent. Turns out, after weeks of not getting enough sleep, your body reacts to a holiday by sleeping a lot. I’m not complaining I just wish I’d done more. Still, I managed to see some friends and do some fun stuff. So I shouldn’t really complain.
Currently Reading

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
The closes I came to reading this week was when I started the second book in the Harry Potter series. I didn’t get too far. I don’t even think we’ve reached the burrow yet. However, this won’t take a long time to finish so I’m not exactly worried about it.

  • The 7th Fucntion of Language by Laurent Binet
Not read any of this in weeks but I’m going to start again tonight. We’ll get there. I promise you, the length of time it’s taking me to read this is no reflection on the book itself because it’s been impeccable so far. I’m just fucking useless at the moment.

Recently Purchased
  • The Answers by Catherine Lacey
I’m meant to be on a book buying ban at the moment but this book, that is on my ‘Most Anticipated Fiction of 2017’ list, proved too much to resist. I’m really looking forward to it. It feels like it might be a lighter read than my current book, The 7th Function of Language. It sounds like it has the potential go further down the chick-lit road than I’d usually like but I’ll keep my mind open.


Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Dr Who, Various Marvel Films
I rewatched the anniversary episode of Dr Who recently and I still cry every single time. It’s the perfect episode and each other version of the Doctor is perfect in his own way. It is a great celebration of the show and really changed the whole tone of the show. After spending loads of time since it came back brooding, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi were free to have a bit more fun in the role after this. A game changer. Then I spent my week off watching all of the newly added Marvel films to Netflix UK. I’d seen them all before but it’s always nice to go back.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
I managed to get to the cinema and see this the day it was released in the UK. It’s safe to say that I have lots of feelings. See you Tuesday.

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This was one when I got home from work and, lacking the energy to do anything more productive, I lay in bed watching it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since the first time and it was incredible. Andy Serkis and co are amazing as the Apes. The story is fantastic and it was a really good start to this story. It’s only got me more excited about the third film. I was planning on linking to my own review of the film or it’s sequel but it turns out I failed to do a post on either. I guess I need to rectify that soon.
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book haul, books, comic books, currently reading, Emma Watson, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Marvel, Netflix, recently watched, Tom Hanks

SUNDAY RUNDOWN – THAT’S WHAT SHE READ

So did everyone enjoy Harry Potter Week? I’m not sure I quite lived up to the quality of my previous Harry Potter rants (i.e. my post about what a creep Snape is, which I’m sure is the most accurate thing I’ll ever write) but I got a lot of things off my chest at least. Still, it was nice revisiting the series and reminding myself how much it meant to me. I think there are parts of the Harry Potter fandom that make it seem as though there is only one way to appreciate the series so I always felt like I wasn’t a real fan any more. Just because I don’t reread the books every few months or feel like they’re the best books ever written shouldn’t mean I can’t consider myself a fan. I think that’s a problem that is creeping into fandoms as a whole. It’s far too competitive and can be quite cruel. Nobody appreciates anything in the same way and that’s something to be celebrated. You can’t win being a fan of something. Why try? Just because you spend more or talk about something more doesn’t make you love it more. It’s a ridiculous notion. Anyway, before this turns into another rant I’d better get on with the rundown.

Just Finished

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Finished rereading this in record time obviously. I mean I knew the story and it’s a book for little children. It’s been a while since I reread the whole book and, whilst I maintain that it’s still badly written, it still brought back the familiar joy that I got when I first read it. Guess I’m not as old and cynical as I like to think.

Finished listening to this finally. Probably going to discuss it further on Tuesday. So, hold onto your butts.
  • Slice of Life by Kurt Vonnegut (Kindle Edition)
A weird but interesting little short story I read after signing up to a free trial of Kindle Unlimited. Not one of the best Vonnegut tales you’ll ever read but still creepy and pretty cool. I’d recommend as a light quick read but don’t get too excited. 
  • Jessica Jones: Alias (Vol.1 and 2) by Brian Bendis (Kindle Edition)
Some more freebies thanks to Kindle Unlimited. I’ve been meaning to read these for years but never got round to it. I really enjoyed it but I will say that reading comic books on your Kindle is a most unpleasant experience. At least it was on my old Paperwhite. Maybe I need to upgrade?

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Angela by Brian Bendis (Kindle Edition)
Another Kindle Unlimited. I’ve had the first volume of this run of Guardians for a while now and have always been interested in reading the 2nd. Angela is one my favourite characters these days but I’ve only really read her solo series and Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 that feature her. I’m looking for any chance to get to know her better. 

Recently Purchased

I think I’ve finally done it. I think I’ve finally got through a week without buying a new book. I’m amazed at myself.

Recently Watched 
  • Netflix Binges: Comedy Bang Bang, Top of the Lake,
Started watching Comedy Bang Bang randomly the other day and I love it. It’s so fucking weird but definitely my sense of humour. I’m very wary that I’m coming to the end of the episodes on Netflix so don’t want to rush them too much. The other day a colleague of mine suggested that I watch Top of the Lake and, as apparently I have no self-will anymore, I went home and immediately started watching it. It’s really good so far and has a great cast. I love Elisabeth Moss and Peter Mullan anyway so it’s a treat to see them in this.
I tried to read Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle a while ago but I couldn’t finish it. I just got bored and kind of confused. So I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the news it was going to become a film and that was before Emma Watson was cast in the main role. It popped up on Netflix the other night so I thought I’d give it a go. Boy, I wish I hadn’t. I might try and do a quick review of it some time this week so watch this space.
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20 years, anniversary, books, fans, Harry Potter, harry potter week, J K Rowling, ramblings, rants

Harry Potter Week: I don’t wish to be such a Raven-bore but

So we’ve reached the end of my Harry Potter themed week on my blog and the final ramblings about the series. I’ve offered you an overly emotional review of my history with the books on Monday, a rant about Harry himself on Tuesday, a rant about Dumbledore on Wednesday, and a hard-hitting investigation into the terrible conditions at Hogwarts yesterday. What do we have in store for today? Well I don’t know. I could easily offer up another rant about how awful Snape is (really why do people respect him so much? Bravest wizard I know? For fuck’s sake!) but this week has supposed to be about a celebration of the books that changed so many people’s lives. These books have been so great in helping us all grow up and will continue to help youngsters for a long time yet. So I want to take another moment to look at the fandom as a whole. Just think back to just over 20 years ago; what was the world like? We didn’t know what Quidditch was. We didn’t have a handy way to divide ourselves up by random personality traits. We didn’t know about the sheer badassery of Professor Minerva McGonagall. These books were a magical and changed literary history. Yes, JK Rowling may have been incredibly lucky to get published (let’s be honest, these books shouldn’t have been the hit they were) but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve her success. I just wish she’d know when to stop.

Okay, before you start, I promise that this won’t turn into another rant about the author but, it’s got to be said, she’s publicly changed her tune more than Theresa May at this point. Now, I think JK Rowling is a wonderful human being and has done a great deal of fantastic things in her life. She lived a difficult life and managed to turn her life around thanks to her idea for a series of children’s books. She’s done a great deal to help a lot of people and has given more than her fair share of money to help people in need. She’s an absolute hero and I salute her. However, I stand by my continued assertion that she isn’t a great writer. It’s something I’ve seen more than ever recently in rereading the first novel. It’s painful to read it now I’m 20 years older. I’ve always said it but I’ve also always said that she improved. If you don’t count the epilogue anyway.

However, she is beginning to suffer from something I want to call “George Lucas syndrome”. Rowling just doesn’t know when to stop. Way back in 2012 I was ranting about Rowling’s continued confirmations that she was done with the series. And now we find ourselves faced with a play that half the fans love and the rest hate. Then we have another series of 5 movies in the same universe but set decades before. This is all fine except for two reasons: number one, the majority of us had already said goodbye to the books; and number two, Rowling was so adamant it wasn’t going to happen. For me, personally, I’ve never been able to forgive Rowling for being so shady when it comes to the continuation of the series. It’s been painfully obvious from the start but she always said it would only happen if she had the right story. Then Pottermore comes along and every other week she’s posting new information about characters or places in the wizarding world. It just feels as though any old shit is good enough for her these days. But what about the fans?

Now, I’m worried about sounding like a hypocrite here because in January 2016 I wrote a defence for George Lucas by saying the fans didn’t own Star Wars so their feelings don’t matter. I stand by that. Just as Star Wars was Lucas’ child that he could adjust the films as he saw fit. Just because we are fans we can’t dictate how things are. I understand that JK Rowling can add to her universe as much as she wants and that is okay. I wish she’d be honest about it but that’s just me. However, I also think she has to understand that the Harry Potter fandom is a different thing altogether. It was the first major fandom that grew up with the internet. It was the fandom that changed fandoms as a whole. Star Wars fans made up their own stories and had their own conventions, yes, but Harry Potter fans had a convenient place to do it all: online. The Harry Potter fandom was a community in a much more immediate way: geography was no longer an obstacle.

The Harry Potter fandom is a fantastic thing to be a part of and has always been a celebration of something magical. It was a fandom that, when waiting for the stories to come out, came together to create our own universe. We finished the stories ourselves and created some very divisive ideas. There were major gaps in the original novels, particularly in terms of diversity, that many wanted to fill themselves. Yes, I might not be a Drarry shipper but I can see why it would fill a hole that is missing from the series. The only LGBTQ representative within the novels is Dumbledore but that was a half-arsed inclusion post-publication. I always felt this was a pathetic attempt by Rowling to show diversity and believe that if it’s important that Dumbledore was gay it should have been addressed in the books. Of course, with the continuation of the Fantastic Beasts films it looks set to become a theme.

The great thing about Harry Potter fans is that they felt so comfortable to think outside of the written word. There was so much scope within the pages to see things you wanted to be true. It’s the thing that means some people see the fact that Remus and Sirius “embraced like brothers” to mean they’re good friends whilst others see them as mega hot lovers. When there is so little canon to work from it leaves room for these things to be true to every individual that wants them. If JK keeps releasing new material it limits this. Which would be fine if the new material was all of the same quality as the books but, it has to be said, that it isn’t. I’ve ranted enough about The Cursed Child but it’s a story that is mostly about its staging. It is also a story that places Bellatrix and Voldermort’s child into the canon. I know people make cases for this based on flimsy Deathly Hallows evidence but I can’t get on board with it. Not in that time frame, anyway.

Harry Potter is one of those things that is uniquely personal to everyone involved. JK Rowling, herself, has admitted to wishing she’d done things differently but felt she had to go with her original plan. That’s what was so wonderful about the end as it was: everyone could see the future as they wanted. There were so many unanswered questions that you could answer as you wanted. Every additional piece of material released, film or book, takes the control away from the individual. It seems quite un-Potter like. Still, the other great thing about being a Potter fan is that it doesn’t mean anything. We’re a resilient bunch after all. We’ve spent 10 years pretending that the epilogue doesn’t exist so I can go my whole life ignoring the fact that Voldermort has a child.

Okay, so this was a little more ranty than I’d intended but that’s another thing about Harry Potter fans: we’re all incredibly passionate and stubborn. It’s been a great 20 years all in all.

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anniversary, books, childhood, fucking stupid, fucking weird, Harry Potter, harry potter week, J K Rowling, magic, rant, rants

Harry Potter Week: Hog-Warts the deal with this school, though?

If you’re a Harry Potter fan then I’m sure you, like me, grew up dreaming of going to Hogwarts. As a kid there was nothing that seemed as exciting as being packed off to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to perform magic. Being stuck in school being taught how to do maths or learning about geography was nothing compared to being in a transfiguration or potions lesson. The teachers all seemed so much more interesting than my own and the headteacher was a sparkly blue eyed old man with a love of traditional sweets. It sounded perfect to a child of 10. I’m kind of a grown adult now and can see that the whole school is just a joke. Every single year the headteacher cancels final exams. How the hell do the students get their qualifications? What kind of school system just gives students a free pass every year? In my first year of uni, my friend collapsed and had a fit on the way to our English Literature exam. I had to stop her hurting herself while my other friends ran around campus to find a porter to ring an ambulance (because, stupidly, that’s how you had to do it). Did we get let off the exam and given a passing grade? Did we fuck? We sat that exam despite having no idea how our friend was. Because that’s life. If you go to Hogwarts and break a nail before an exam Albus would probably have let you skip it on emotional grounds.

I know it’s a children’s book but the education system of the wizarding world is a bit of shoddy. At the age of 11 all magical children in the UK are packed off, on a steam train, to the Highlands of Scotland to live in an old castle potentially full of terrible things. Then are expected to follow a curriculum of solely magical learning, which, considering it’s a school of magic, is fine but surely it misses out some essential points. I mean, muggle children will no doubt have a background in the basics of Maths, Science and English but what of the wizarding kids? And do we really think that, at 11, they have got a good enough grasp of these subjects to survive. It means your only education is learning spells or potions and nothing else unless Muggle studies covers literally everything outside of the wizarding world. Of course, that seems both unlikely and really stupid considering you can’t take it until your 3 year. Where are the basics of every person’s education? History of magic is fine but surely it’s still useful to know about the history of the muggle world. Wouldn’t they both be linked? Or are we expected to believe that those pesky World Wars just didn’t affect any magical person?

So, take a moment and imagine you’re a muggle who finds out their son/daughter is being accepted into Hogwarts. Currently, they’re in a primary school that you’ve handpicked to offer them the best start in life. You’ve gone over Ofsted reports and considered exam results. Then you find out they’re going to a school where they ignore that side of their education to focus on something extremely specific that holds no place in your world. Wouldn’t you be a bit worried? I mean you wouldn’t know anything of the wizarding world or the potential career path your child could follow. All you would know is that they wouldn’t be prepared for any kind of job you’d secretly been hoping they’d enter. It just seems like education at Hogwarts isn’t really taking the practicalities into account. Even specialist schools in the real world offer a subsequent education in the key subject matter alongside. It’s super important to give a well-rounded education; shame Hogwarts doesn’t support this.

What it does support though? Taking new kids and dividing them into houses based on certain personality traits and then promoting competition between the students. For a while now I’ve had a massive problem with the way JK Rowling uses the house system in Hogwarts. Throughout my education we were split into groups to streamline the whole system but it was random chance or based on skill level. It certainly wasn’t based on who was the bravest, the kindest or the most suspicious. The books are terrible when it comes to describing the different houses and, thanks to the perspective of the narrative, completely biased towards Gryffindor. It’s no wonder that, as a kid, I would have been desperate to be in Gryffindor. As I grew up I saw that, really, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Gryffindors may be brave but they have no respect for rules or putting people in harms way. They’re basically the jocks in every teen movie. You know the ones that get by on their popularity but are eventually overthrown by the geeks.

Also, what is this opposition to Slytherin? There’s a girl I work with who always throws around the “Slytherin’ remark as an insult and it’s just stupid. Slytherins, as we are told, are loyal, ambitious, cunning and adventurous. If I wasn’t a Ravenclaw I’d rather be a Slytherin that a fucking Gryffindor. The books tell us that “there’s not a witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin” but what kind of message is this? Not only is it not true (Peter Pettigrew) but what about the members of Slytherin that didn’t go bad? Unless, they actually all do but that prompts further questions. If you have a house that you know is full of future evil doers then either don’t allow them in the school or educate them into being good instead. This is a flawed system that should have been removed from the school once the founders had snuffed it. It’s a crazy system.

Still, it might just seem that way because the books don’t go too deep into it. I guess they are for kids. Although, even then the school doesn’t seem like the best place to live. For one thing, you have to get to grips with the fucking moving staircases so you’ll never be able to find your way around. How many first year students get lost in that place every year? And, I can’t remember if this is just a movie thing or a book thing but teachers see to be getting pissed off when they’re late. How the hell is it their fault when the stairs have a mind of their own? Then there’s the ghosts just hanging around and flying through kids. The talking portraits who just shout shit at the children walking past just seem like a weird addition to the mix. And Peeves? Heck, I love the guy but you’d have got rid of him centuries ago. He’s a menace to the teaching process.

Then you have the fact that there are plenty of ways for the students to get killed. For one thing, your school bullies have access to magic that can maim or, potentially, kill you. Then there’s the fact that Dumbledore hides philosopher’s stone in the castle by employing the services of a vicious three-headed dog and his only warning is exactly the kind of thing that would make children want to explore the third-floor corridor. Tell someone not to do something and that’s exactly what they’re going to want to do. Finally, there’s the Forbidden Forest, which is full of crazy killer spiders and god knows what else. Of course, this also doubles up as a potential place for detention. What kind of headteacher forces students to keep out of the forest only to allow Filch to send people in their as a cruel and unnecessary punishment.

Actually, why does Hogwarts even employ Filch anyway? The guy is clearly just an embittered and angry Squibb who hates the magical kids who’s vomit he has to mop up. Filch is always on the verge of a mental breakdown that would very clearly include the death of most of the student body and probably some of the staff too. And it’s not the first weird hiring mistake that Dumbledore has made. He hired Quirrell as DADA teacher despite the fact that Voldemort was living in his fucking head. The following year he went and hired the most incompetent man in the world. Plus, let’s not forget that he was completely fooled by, or at least didn’t seem to care that Mad-Eye was actually Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise. How did he not realise that? The man’s supposed to be super intelligent and, it’s always suggested, that he can read people’s thoughts. I highly doubt that the insane Crouch was good enough at occlumency to stop the most powerful wizard of all time from hearing his desires to kill Harry Potter. Then you have the fact that Snape straight up bullies like 3/4 of the school without repercussion.

And lets talk about teachers for a moment; JK Rowling has said there are about 1000 students in the school and, from what we are told, there is one teacher for each subject. One teacher? 1000 students. How the hell do they get their marking done? How the hell do they work out the fucking schedule? My family contains a lot of teachers so I know how hard they have to work but this is a ridiculous situation. Even if they all had a time turner they’d be working nearly ever hour of the day. And yes, they probably have an enchanted quill to mark things and take notes and shit. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t loads to do still. When they aren’t teaching they’d be setting lesson plans, organising homework tasks and holding office hours in case 1 of their 1000 students needed help. It’s crazy. Hogwarts teachers need a fucking union. Also, before I forget, 1000 students and 1 medical professional? What the fuck?!?!

Now, it’s got to the point where I’ve ranted for far too long but you get the idea. Hogwarts is a fucked up school that expects parents to be happy sending their kids there. I wouldn’t be happy. Want your kid to get into Quidditch? Good luck. They only hold trials when one of the existing team leaves so, even if your kid if the best player around, they might never get a chance to play. Seems fair. And, on a final note, imagine being in the same year as Harry but not being one his friends. Wouldn’t you get tired of being overlooked because of the boy wizard? Wouldn’t it piss you off that you were slaving away in the library whilst he was copying off Hermione and getting away with it? Harry ignores the rules regularly and is rarely punished because he’s Dumbledore’s favourite. He’s not that great a wizard and actually learns very little but he’s always winning house points. There’s so much bias in that school that it’s ridiculous. Hogwarts always seemed like the most respected wizarding school but, now I’m older, I’m assuming that’s mainly due to the fact that it’s one of the few that exist in Europe.

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