Yes. Yes She Did.

This is a bit of old news, but some of you might not know that the producers of the Oscars asked both J.K. and Stephanie Meyer to present the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay this year.  Obviously this didn’t happen; Stephanie was game, but J.K. sort of shrugged and said she had better things to do–like write.  But I doubt this was the whole truth:  did J.K. snub Stephanie Meyer? I’d like to think she did.

We simply can’t deny that Twilight exists, especially when it is consistently compared to Harry Potter (and usually superficially, I might add).  My opinion on the matter is this:

There is a reason I’m posting on Twilight, however, and it may shock you:  I’m actually glad the Twilight series exists.  (I’ll give you a moment to recollect yourselves.)  As horrid as I may believe the “vampire” series to be, it provides me an excellent coutner-argument to the Bloom-ish idea that popularity is often mistaken for literary merit.  A work need not be popular in order to hold literary merit, and simply being popular does not necessarily mean it has any merit at all.  Especially in comparison to Twilight, Harry proves that he has both.  But that’s just me–what do you all think?  Go crazy in the comment section.

And Where, Exactly, Was My Owl?

A few years back my friend invited me to hear J.K. Rowling read at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  That was, of course, assuming that her ill grandfather would not be able to make it.  It was cruel on her part because I had to stop myself from hoping he would croak so I could go.  He turned out all right–which was great for him, really–but the closest I could get to her was the door of Radio City.  It was probably one of the few times that she and I would be in the same country, let alone state, and I couldn’t get to her.

Cut to me in southwest Virginia, only a (somewhat long) car ride away from Washington, D.C., and I learn of THIS.  So where was the owl (let’s call it Pigwidgeon) with my invitation, hmm?  I’d like to think it was mauled by a hippogriff over the Blue Ridge Mountains, because this is quite unacceptable.  And why did none of my Harry Potter first-generation classmates think to road trip it to D.C. and crash this party, hmm?  J.K., you are the Road Runner to my Wile E. Coyote:  once again you were within my reach and, stupidly, I let the ACME bomb fall on me instead.

Personal note to J.K.:  I started reading these books when I was their age, and where were you to read to me on the White House lawn?  You owe me, Rowling.

Wizard Rock Makes the Midwest Seem Relevant

See how he rocks.

I’ve been telling myself recently that if I end up at Kansas State (fingers crossed), at least I’ll be able to say that I live in Manhattan.  In all seriousness, I think the Midwest is a myth and am yet unconvinced that it really exists.  We have a tendency to look over this U.S. region because we’re probably sleeping as the plane heads from one coast to the other.  But in doing so we’ve missed what has to be the most kick-ass benefit in all of Harrydom:  Kansas State’s third annual Hallows and Horcruxes Ball.

I can’t say I’m quite familiar with wizard rock (YET), but this would have been a great opportunity to learn more about it.  Wizards and muggles alike came together to listen to the stylings of The Remus Lupins, The Parselmouths, The Moaning Myrtles, Ministry of Magic, Justin Finch and Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, The Whomping Willows, and Gred and Forge.  The best part?  This was all for First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged children with books, and last year’s ball raised more than $1,000.

I propose we take this out of the Midwest and take it to the national level.  We can call it Wormwoodstock, and it would attract Potter fanatics from all over the country.  We can hold it on the White House lawn.  I’m sure Obama wouldn’t mind.

Reasons for HP in the Classroom, Part One: Butterbeer Pong

Now, I’m not one to judge accomplished scholars based on their opinions of Harry Potter, but there is always an exception to every rule–Harold Bloom, I’m looking at you, and I hope to one day go toe-to-toe with you on the subject.  But for now I will admit defeat because your prediction that we would soon see Harry in the classroom was quite apt.  Kudos to you.  If you’ll excuse me, I have a rousing game of butterbeer pong to play.

I should probably point out (for legal reasons and the sake of my professor’s career) that we used a non-alcoholic recipe, although alcoholic recipes do exist.  Here are the top 10 recipes according to the all-knowing Internet:

Try them out and let me know which I should try.  (I only have so much butterscotch schnapps, y’know.)