Tag Archives: criticism

Link Dump: #92

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,” wrote Data of his cat Spot. “An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature.” That’s right: this week’s kitty is the adorable tabby from Star Trek: The Next Generation, a show I recently wrote about. The show’s cast members had wildly differing opinions about Spot, but I just love that spacefaring kitty. And now, links!

A few recent search terms: “mmm cunt,” “sensual asholes.dvd” (which I’m sorry to say cannot be purchased from this website), and “pelicula ratas gigantes asesinas,” which is Spanish for “giant killer rat movies.” Like The Food of the Gods, maybe?


Filed under Cinema, Literature, Media

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix Part 1

By Ashley

Woohoo, made it to Order of the Phoenix! So…wow. Just wow. I had no idea the amount of FUCKERY in this book. Other than being, probably the most annoying book in the whole series, it’s not as well written as the fourth, which is fucking bizarre! But let me not start the bitching prematurely! This will be spread out over THREE WHOLE GODDAMN POSTS.

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Order of the Phoenix

1. We start this book out right away with big a dollop of angst from Harry: why isn’t anyone telling me anything, I’m the one who fought Voldemort, wahh, wahhhh, wahhhhh. It’s not so much the fact that he’s angsty that gets me (that’s what 15-year-olds do, I was 15 once, I remember it well) it’s that he’s taking typical self-centered teenage angst and applying it to something that is way bigger than him. He’s assuming that he’s been totally forgotten by Dumbledore (totes likely, amirite?) and being purposefully left out of the loop even though he (according to himself) should be notified more than anyone else because he’s Harry Potter.

2. See? See where all this ridiculous coddling has gotten Harry? He’s so fucking used to being given special privileges and special information that when Dumbledore withholds information from him and treats him like he does any other student, he gets really, really angry and thinks things like: “Hadn’t he proved himself capable of handling much more than [Hermione and Ron]?” and “Wasn’t anybody going to say ‘well done’ for fighting off two Dementors single-handedly?” When Harry isn’t being treated like a special snowflake, he just can’t handle it.

Hit the jump to read about Harry’s ridiculous temper tantrums, Sirius being an irresponsible douche, one truly horrifying sentence, and more…

Continue reading


Filed under Literature

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Prisoner of Azkaban

By Ashley

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Prisoner of Azkaban

1. This is the book that made me start disliking Ron. The relationships between all three of our main characters are pulled through the wringer in this book (which I’ll talk about more later) but Ron just drives me absolutely crazy with how he treats Hermione after she buys Crookshanks. From the very start he’s all over her about it, acting like his rat is more important than any pet she might want. This is a rat that Ron has never really shown any affection toward previously, a rat that doesn’t really do anything. Hermione is usually the bossy one but when it comes to Crookshanks, Ron is just plain mean, telling her when she will and won’t let the cat out. I mean, I get that he’s concerned for the well-being of his rat but stop being such a douche about it, bro.

2. The whole “wahhh, I can’t go to Hogsmeade” thing really grates on me. Maybe it’s because I’m older now and it’s not as easy to me to see it from the view of a 13-year-old but come on. So you don’t get to go to the village with your friends, big deal; you still live in a goddamn castle and get to learn magic and play Quidditch.

3. Hermione seems to be the only one out of the three of them who gives a shit that Sirius Black is seemingly out to kill Harry. Ron and Harry are constantly all “WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY FOR YOU TO SNEAK AROUND HOGSMEADE!” It doesn’t matter that all of the authority figures around them have said, hey, Harry, maybe you should chill on the wandering around shit.  Harry seems to think he’s invincible; as he thought after first finding out about Black being after him: “I’ve escaped Voldemort three times, I’m not completely useless.” Let’s think about those three times, shall we? First time, he was a baby and doesn’t even remember it; it was his mother’s sacrifice that saved him, not anything special that he did. Same with the second time: if it weren’t for the fact that his mother had sacrificed her life for him, he wouldn’t have been able to burn Quirrell by touching him. He didn’t do any kind of advanced or special magic—he got lucky. Third time, in the Chamber of Secrets, bish woulda been dead as shit if it weren’t for Fawkes and the Sorting Hat. AGAIN, no special or advanced magic on his part. So, let’s pretend for a second that Harry is face to face with Sirius Black and Black actually DOES want to kill him: he’s a 13-year-old wizard-in-training who is, overall, an average student. You really think you could take a deranged wizard who escaped Azkaban and is hell-bent on killing you? Yeah, okay.

4. It’s time for another round of “What’s Going to Try to Knock Harry off His Broom during the First Quidditch Match of the Season”! This one’s a doozy, folks. Harry’s got so much shit working against him. Let me list them: raging thunderstorm obscuring his vision and howling winds threatening to blow him off his broom! The Grim silhouetted in the dark, stormy sky in a row of empty seats! And then, to top it all off, a hundred creepy Dementors below him, forcing him to relive the last moments of his mother’s life before he passes out and finally falls off the damn broom. Well, J.K., after three books of trying to knock this kid off his broom during the first match of the season, you’ve finally succeeded. Well done!

5. So much of the Harry Potter narrative is built on highly unlikely coincidences; there are a few very important plot developments that really only come about because Harry happened to be at the right place at the right time. For example, if he hadn’t decided to sneak into Hogsmeade on this particular day and he, Ron and Hermione had decided to go into the Three Broomsticks at that particular time, Harry wouldn’t have found out about Sirius Black being his father’s best friend, the supposed betrayal of his parents, and Black being his godfather. A further coincidence: it sure is lucky Fudge visited Black on the very day that the Weasley’s family picture in Egypt was being run in the Daily Prophet. Any other day and Sirius would have never seen that picture, wouldn’t have seen Scabbers, and wouldn’t have realized that Peter Pettigrew was at Hogwarts. And then we’d have no third book!

6. “Everyone from the Minster of Magic downward has been trying to keep famous Harry Potter safe from Sirius Black. But famous Harry Potter is a law unto himself. Let the ordinary people worry about his safety! Famous Harry Potter goes where he wants to, with not thought for the consequences.” BOOM. You know, for all his ridiculous hatred and unwarranted cruel behavior towards Harry, Snape is often the one who hits the nail right on the head about this kid.

7. I have so many issues with how Harry and Ron act in this book towards Hermione. When Harry gets the Firebolt and Hermione suspiciously questions where it came from, Ron doesn’t give a shit; he really doesn’t seem to care that the broom could possibly be from someone who wants to kill Harry. And Harry doesn’t either! Hermione is the only one who takes the severity of the situation seriously; when she tells McGonagall about the broom and she confiscates it, Harry stops speaking to Hermione. Harry and Ron are more than willing to completely end their friendship with Hermione over a fucking broom and a rat. Harry doesn’t start speaking to Hermione again until he gets the damn broom back; only then does he feel bad about how lonely and stressed Hermione is. What if he’d never gotten the broom back? Would he have never talked to her again and then, like, died in the next two books because she wasn’t there to save his ass? And then he stops talking to her again because Ron is all fucking butt-hurt over his fucking rat! He’s not even mad at her anymore, feels sorry for her sometimes, but still won’t speak to her because Ron’s not. What the fuck? He never apologizes and neither does Ron; Hermione is the one who breaks down and apologizes for Crookshanks. And after that there’s no mention of it again, Hermione never brings up how they treated her. Even after Peter Pettigrew is exposed, we never see Ron apologize for how he treated her. Shitty. Fucking. Friends.

8. And you know, if Scabbers had actually been eaten by Crookshanks, so many of Ron’s relatives wouldn’t have ended up dying. Just sayin’.

9. How come Harry never once saw Peter Pettigrew or Sirius Black on the Marauder’s Map? Black is on the grounds as a dog quite a bit during the school year and the Map can see through disguises and transformations. And Peter Pettigrew is sleeping in the same dormitory as Harry. Never once saw that name on the map, Harry?

10. If it was 5 minutes to midnight when Dumbledore tells them to go three hours back in time, how did they end up in the hall when they’re past selves are going to Hagrid’s? Buckbeak’s execution was set for sunset. It would be nearly 9 o’clock when they arrived in the past; is the sun really just now setting? I mean, I know it’s June but don’t the days usually only get that long in the middle of summer?

11. This is just a general note: time travel really, really confuses me. I’m sure if I understood time-travel in fiction more I’d have more criticisms about this but as I don’t know a whole lot about it, I guess I’ll just leave it. But I am quite fond of this hand wave: “I knew I could [conjure a Patronus] this time” said Harry, “because I’d already done it…does that make sense?” To which Hermione replies, “I don’t know.”

As always, please feel free to leave any comments!


Filed under Literature, Personal

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Chamber of Secrets

By Ashley

I hope everyone enjoyed my nitpicking and caterwauling about the first book and that you’re good and ready for the second entry in my series:

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Chamber of Secrets

1. Why did Ron and Harry take the Ford Anglia when they couldn’t get onto Platform 9 ¾? This is a complete lack of foresight and logical thinking on their part. I know they’re twelve and that the whole “taking the car and crashing into the Whomping Willow and getting into trouble for it” thing sets a lot of things in motion but it’s still really ridiculous. If they had just waited 10 more seconds, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would have come off the platform and, as responsible adults, figured out a better way to get them to school. Do they think that if you miss the train you’re just not allowed to get to Hogwarts any other way?

 2. Let’s play “What’s Going to Try to Knock Harry Off His Broom During the First Quidditch Match of the Season”! Rogue bludger, trying to pound the shit outta him. Hmm. This seems awfully familiar…heyyy, didn’t something similar happen in the previous book during the first match of the season? Quirrell cursing his broomstick, if I recall. And now, something else is trying to knock him off his broom. Can’t this kid just have a normal first match of the season?

3. In this book, we learn that Filch, the caretaker, is a Squib (someone born into a magical family who has no magical abilities). Filch spends a great deal of time complaining about all the messes the students make and how long it takes him to clean them. And then it hit me. Why the hell would they employ someone who cannot perform magic to clean an entire castle full of students, staff and ghosts? Throughout the series we see countless characters clean huge messes with a simple wave of a hand or wand. And yet the person who is employed to clean the entire school cannot perform such magic. What kind of sick, cruel joke is that, J.K. Rowling? I don’t blame Filch for being in such a shitty mood all the time.

4. Why in God’s name is an award that was given to Lord fucking Voldemort still hanging up in the trophy room at Hogwarts? Isn’t that a bit…fucked up? That’d be like going to a school in Germany and seeing a plaque there that said “Awarded to Adolf Hitler for Services Rendered.” I feel like for most people (who aren’t really young like Ron and Harry) it must be common knowledge that in his younger days Voldemort was Tom Riddle. Come to think of it, I feel like that’s the exact kind of knowledge that would be written down in wizard history books. Hermione devours wizard history books like it’s her job; why has she never come across this tidbit of information? I find it hard to believe that 1. No one at this time had ever made the connection between Tom Riddle and Voldemort (Dumbledore says that “hardly anyone” made the connection but…come on, SOMEONE ELSE MUST HAVE) and 2. That it would never have been recorded in a history book.

5. Furthermore, shouldn’t someone (i.e. Dumbledore) have revoked that goddamn award? Seeing as it’s the kid who grew up to be Voldemort and he fucking framed Hagrid and got him expelled? I mean, I know Dumbledore probably found out about this stuff way after the fact but still. It’s the principle of the matter.

6. Last year, Harry’s scar was bothering him for weeks because half of Voldemort’s face was under a turban on some guy’s head in the same building as him. In this book, he carries a piece of Voldemort’s soul around for a part of the book and doesn’t feel anything. The most he feels is an inexplicable need to not throw it away. What the fuck is up with that?

7. More irksome behavior from Dumbledore: at the end he awards Harry and Ron 200 points each for infiltrating the Chamber of Secrets and defeating the basilisk and Tom Riddle. But what about Hermione? She figured out what was in the chamber and how it was getting around the school, which enabled Harry and Ron to go down there without being completely unaware. You were all about the point-dishing-out at the end of last year, old man, what happened? What, just because it doesn’t humiliate an entire house of students, Hermione’s cleverness doesn’t need to be rewarded? YOUR METHODS ARE INCONSISTENT, DUMBLEDORE.

As always, please, feel free to leave any comments, disagreements, defenses, and arguments!


Filed under Literature, Personal

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Philosopher’s Stone

By Ashley

So I have seen the final Harry Potter movie. I laughed, I cried, I bitched about the epilogue. Harry Potter is and always will be a huge part of my life. But for me, loving the series also means seriously examining its many flaws and inconsistencies. With the end of the films, I’ve decided to reread the entire series. Reading the series through an adult lens makes the series’ plot holes, flaws and just plain weird moments all the more obvious to me. So, as I read each book I’ve decided to write and share my bitching and griping about the series! I’m writing these under the assumption that the people reading will have a more-than-cursory familiarity with the series; in other words, spoilers ahead! Also, know that this is strictly about the bookverse, no movieverse stuff (that would be a completely different series of blogs on its own).

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Philosopher’s Stone

1. How could the Dursleys get away with that level of abuse? After Harry accidentally sets the Brazilian snake free, he gets his “longest ever punishment”—a month in his cupboard. Maybe I’m reading it too literally, but it makes it seem like he’s not allowed out for ANYTHING, even school; he has to sneak food in the middle of the night and by the time he’s allowed out, summer has started. No school officials noticed that this thin, scraggly, obviously abused young child is missing for the entire last month of school?

2. When Harry asks about Wizard banks, Hagrid replies that there’s “just the one—Gringotts”. Really, Hagrid? So, magical folk from Egypt, Africa, America or ANYWHERE else have to Apparate all the way to London to take money out of the bank? It’s little things like these that make me feel like J. K. Rowling loses grip on the absolute breadth of the world she’s created; she’s from Britain so it makes sense for things to be concentrated in Britain (and Scotland, where Hogwarts is). But even as the series progresses and the world expands and we’re even introduced to foreign witches and wizards we’re still lead to believe that the core of the entire magical community is Britain, specifically London, and Hogwarts. Is there really just ONE magical government, and one person is the leader of an entire world of people? And that person is Cornelius Fudge? (In book four, some of these issues with the government are, thankfully, addressed.)

3. When the little First Years are gathered outside the Great Hall, Harry and Ron are wondering about what kind of test they’ll have to pass to be sorted into their houses. Really, Ron? It’s unbelievable that this kid who has had five siblings and both parents go to Hogwarts before him has no idea about the Sorting Hat. And even if he didn’t, some other first years from Wizarding homes would know about it and would be talking about it with their peers. I get that it’s a device to create suspension for the readers but…come on.

4. This is something that’s always bothered me ever since I was a kid. When Harry and Ron save Hermione from the troll and she lies to McGonagall, saying that she went searching for the troll. What the hell, Hermione? Why not just tell the truth: you were in the bathroom, didn’t know about the troll and Harry and Ron helped you? Either way, Harry and Ron look like the saviors but in the lie she tells, it makes her look like a glory-seeking fool. I’ve never understood this lie and I don’t think it was necessary for Harry, Ron and Hermione to become friends.

5. This is a recurring theme in this book: Harry being unjustly rewarded and favored. The first major example is when Harry chases Malfoy down on his broomstick; McGonagall catches him and at first we’re led to believe she’s going to punish him (because she’s McGonagall and she doesn’t play favorites and she’s very straight-lace) but instead she rewards him with a spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and a high-end, expensive broomstick (even though the rule is that first years aren’t allowed their own brooms). The second is a less egregious example: when Harry has spent the past three nights roaming the halls after hours to sit in front of the Mirror of Erised. This one is a little more understandable; Dumbledore finds him and reprimands him in his kind, old-man way, teaching him a valuable lesson about dwelling on dreams. So, it’s not quite as bad but the first example in the series of Dumbledore’s obvious favoritism towards Harry. But then, the doozy of all favoritism doozies, perhaps in the entire series: the end-of-year feast in the Great Hall. Due to points lost for Harry and Hermione getting caught getting rid of Norbert the dragon, Gryffindor is in last place for the House Cup and Slytherin has won for the seventh year running. However, Dumbledore unloads a boat-load of last minute points on Gryffindor house for Harry, Ron and Hermione’s actions while going after the Philosopher’s Stone. He gives the three of them just enough points to be neck-in-neck with Slytherin and then awards Neville an extra 10 points for his courage, which pushes them ahead and then win the House Cup. All the green and silver decorations instantly turn to red and gold and the rest of the school celebrates Slytherin unexpected and humiliating loss.

What the fuck, Dumbledore?

This is a huge problem in the entire series, which I’ll probably touch a lot: it’s completely confusing in its sense of morality and right and wrong. The whole series is supposed to be about good vs. evil but save for a few complex characters (Snape, Dumbledore, the Malfoys), we’re stuck with this version of black and white morality. And in this instance, the headmaster of the entire school—who is supposed to care for all his students and foster inter-house civility and camaraderie—is basically saying to the entire school, “Yeah, fuck Slytherin.”  Why couldn’t Gryffindor have come in a triumphant but humble second and then actually won another year, like with the Quidditch Cup? But oh, no, Dumbledore had to restore the points and repair Harry’s damaged reputation within the school.  Do you think any of the Slytherin students, especially the ones who have just finished their first year of school and are really excited about having won the House Cup, will ever trust Dumbledore again? Man, I wonder if this could possibly come back to fuck them over, when like, a war starts or something.

If you have some plot holes, inconsistencies or just things that anger or confuse you about the Harry Potter series or you want to try to defend the things I’ve brought up here, please feel free to comment! I’m always up for some rousing Harry Potter discussion.

Read the rest of the series as well:

TTCaAMAtHPS: Chamber of Secrets

TTCaAMAtHPS: Prisoner of Azkaban

TTCaAMAtHPS: Goblet of Fire part 1 and part 2

TTCaAMAtHPS: Order of the Phoenix part 1, part 2 and part 3

TTCaAMAtHPS: Half-Blood Prince part 1 and part 2

TTCaAMAtHPS: Deathly Hallows and the Epilogue


Filed under Literature, Media, Personal