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On a journey of self-discovery

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My sister shared this link with me:

http://www.hemmy.net/2007/12/26/dog-loyalty-in-the-streets/

Ignoring the moronic discussion following the photos, I wonder how long people gawked and stared before doing anything, and more importantly, what happened to the one left behind.

I hope it at least had a happier ending. We humans are only more comfortable handling the better story.

Current Mood:
sad sad
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Instead of posting a review, I prefer to start the year with a more hopeful note. One of the great pleasures of the past year was seeing Marco Tullio Giordana's The Best of Youth. I love everything about this miniseries. Hauntingly poetic, generously shot, it's full of unforgettable people, not just characters, and by the end of the series, you feel truly privileged to have been gifted the chance to be swept along with the Carati family and their experiences. I don't think I've seen any other film that left me as satisfied and uplifted in a long time as this one, so imagine my delight to come upon a marathon showing on the Sundance channel during the early hours of the new year.
Along the same lines, that longing for connection and meaning wonderfully visualized on film, also extends to one of the best books I've stumbled across in the past year: Ann Patchett's Bel Canto . It's not new, but I only read it recently, and I can understand all the hype. Despite its flaws, it's still an enjoyable read. If The Best of Youth can be described as the coming of age of a country by attempting to reconcile its inner demons with its hopes and dreams of a better future, then Bel Canto , is about the power of art and beauty to unite warring sides, transcending conflicts and boundaries, personal or political. In both movie and book, the connecting thread is love and all its life-affirming possibilities, and the kindness and decency it inspires. I can't think of a better way of starting the new year than with a love letter to the gods on the values of humanism, through the two mediums that best communicate our shared humanity.
Current Mood:
calm calm
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You know, I never really paid attention to JKR's interviews, because in the end, it's what's in the text that matters most to me. I'd rather figure out the subtext on my own thank you. I don't need to have the creator telling me how or why, I find that annoying, and it diminishes my appreciation for the work being evaluated. She obviously never anticipated that the popularity of the books would have created such a massive online fandom that eventually would have taken a life of its own. However, all these efforts to share character information beyond the texts just feels tedious and unnecessary to me, not to mention that it paints the author in a very unflattering light, because it just comes across as though she's trying too hard to remind fans that she's still relevant and in control. Why the constant need to reveal or spell out details better left for the reader to ponder, muse, discuss amongst fellow fans? A huge part of my enjoyment of the books stems from wondering about characterizations and story lines that were always implied but never fully declared. Exploring the ambiguities in the text through fanfiction is what makes fandom fun. Whenever she spells details out for us through these interviews, it just makes me wonder if there's an element of marketing involved, a bid to keep the flame alive and well via feeding us tidbits of information that were never explicitly stated in the text. The fact that she sometimes contradicts herself makes me think that these are things she hasn't carefully thought out or fully realized herself. It just smacks of too much self-promotion. Don't get me wrong, I still adore the books and am forever grateful to JKR for creating them, I just wish she would shut up sometimes and leave the fans alone to enjoy the text however way they want to read it.
As for the revelation itself, I always thought that the DD/GG backstory was one of the best parts of the last book. The relationship was erotic and profound from the beginning, and whether you wanted it to have been more explicitly stated or not, it was intriguingly written enough there in the text that IMO, it didn't need to be confirmed or validated in an interview.
Addendum: Salon just posted my thoughts exactly

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/10/23/dumbledore/
Current Mood:
cynical cynical
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALIARHHLII
headdesk.
I wouldn't be surprised if she becomes the new It Girl.
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I really liked how JKR gave us the backstory on DD. It showed a complex, flawed, individual whose friendship with Grindelwald makes me think he would have done just as well in Slytherin House as Gryffindor. He was ambitious and driven, made colossal mistakes, showed remorse, and in the end, still got Harry's forgiveness and loyalty. I think DD saw Harry as his ticket to redemption, a way to make things right.
Poor Snape got the shorter end of the stick, as usual. Despite his remorse, he never got a chance to repair his friendship with the one person that truly mattered to him, Lily. Interestingly, despite being the spy, I think Snape was more honest with himself compared to DD. He stayed true to his nasty, unpleasant, obsessive nature. He never pretended, nor do I think he aspired, to be noble. I find it ironic how DD initially judged Snape harshly for being a Voldemort supporter, never mind that he too had dabbled with a sociopath in his youth. I do wish JKR gave us more insights into Snape's motivation for becoming a DE. I don't think it was because he wanted to expunge the wizarding world of muggle-borns, but maybe because it enabled him to explore his fascination with the Dark Arts?
Current Mood:
curious curious
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