Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday has a tremendous love for Aaron Sorkin

Hello, girls! It’s Monday! And – Yay, Harry Potter! Seriously, you can expect more HP theme weeks in the future because I could talk Harry Potter for weeks on end and not get tired. But everyone else might, so I won’t.

Though I will, to be fair, spend a decent bit of time here talking more about Harry Potter. What can I say? I have responses to all your points. :)

Alexandra: I, too, share a fascination with Slytherins – to an extent. Draco is the one who continuously captures my interest, though Snape is captivating, too. But my main fascination with the house is how they became what they were in the series’s present day. I believe very strongly in the idea that history is written by the winners, and I think that while the Slytherins we saw mostly fit into the “evil” category, I refuse to believe that they were always supposed to be that way. I like to think that Salazar was not actually as bad a guy as everyone made him out to be, and I’d really love to hear his side of why the split occurred. I also love to think about what Slytherin house can become if people stop focusing only on the negative qualities of the house, because each house has positive and negative aspects (Gryffindors are brave but can be foolhardy, impulsive, reckless; Ravenclaws are intelligent but can be cold, aloof; Hufflepuffs are hard-working and loyal, but can be stubborn and exclusive, etc.). To me, Slytherins’ positive aspects are their ambition, practicality, and logic. Anyway, enough waffling on that from me.

Carlyn: How do I feel about giving presentations in class? Well, it depends on the class, honestly, how comfortable or excited I am with/about the topic, how important the presentation is to my grade, how well prepared I feel, etc. I know, I know, I can’t just answer a question simply, can I, but that is the truth. I hated giving my Spanish class presentations, but I loved workshopping monologues in acting classes. But I also got much more stressed about presenting an oral report to Sara Chambers (a strict directing professor that I really admire) than to Ray Schuck (a disorganized communications professor I had little respect for). So yeah. It depends.

Casey: Okay, so here’s my thing with Snape. I agree with you to an extent. Snape was an asshole. There’s no way around that, and I would never try to deny it. He was an awful teacher, showing favoritism and verbally abusing students he didn’t like. Even outside of his classroom, he was incredibly petty and bitter, emotionally and mentally abusive to students and old classmates alike. He was not a nice guy. But I can’t entirely dismiss him. I don’t know that I can ever really give him “love,” but it’s possible, and often necessary, to recognize the good a person did without subscribing to his values or glossing over the weaknesses of character.

My point is this: Snape did the right thing, and he was very courageous about it. He did the right thing for the absolutely wrong reasons, but he still did the right thing, and he took great risks in doing so. He knowingly and willingly alienated himself from pretty much everyone, and his actions were driven by love. A twisted, corrupt, and damaged love, but love. Snape, to me, is a cautionary tale, and we have to acknowledge the good along with the bad for two reasons. One, we made him and two, he is what we could very easily become. Snape became a bully because he was bullied. That’s a cycle that we can see just about everywhere. He became a bully because he was bullied, by his father, by his classmates, and the only person who might have been able to change that chose his bullier over him. And as for becoming Snape, he let disappointment and pain and emotional scarring turn him bitter. He let his love turn into an unhealthy obsession that he could never get past. He’s not that far off from any of us, a bad situation, and a few bad choices.

So no, he’s not a good guy. But we need to consider all of him and the context in which he existed.

. . . Sorry about that. Harry Potter does this to me . . . :)

Christina: I’M SO EXCITED YOU KNOW FROM WIZARD ROCK!!! I discovered Wizard Rock a few years ago, and I love it. I love that it exists, I love how it came to be, I love how widespread it is. My favorite bands are The Butterbeer Experience, Riddle TM, The Moaning Myrtles, and the Ministry of Magic. I got to see Lena’s farewell tour last summer, and I’m hoping to get to more concerts this summer (fingers crossed!)

And now onto this week’s topic. Now that I’ve, you know, already rambled a ton about Snape and Slytherins and what have you.

No other series has affected me to the degree that Harry Potter has, I’ll say that right off. There have been other series whose final books I have waited for and then read day of release. There have been other fandoms I have written in or posted in forums for. There have been other movies I’ve gone to midnight showings of. But there has yet to be a series that holds me past a few months.

That tends to be a thing with me: I’ll get obsessed for three months or so, but then I get over it, for whatever reason. Either the fandom isn’t large enough for a following I can get involved in, or I have to stop watching the show on TV or any other number of reasons. But over the years, I have hooked onto a variety of series, and I’ll touch on them briefly.

First of all, I’m an Aaron Sorkin fangirl. I watched The West Wing religiously from season three to season seven, I own all seven seasons on DVD and watch them regularly, and I can quote pretty much every episode. When it was on, The West Wing was my show. Even now, The West Wing is my show. You should be around when my older brother and I get going. We can exchange quotes back and forth for a solid five minutes, jumping characters, episodes, and seasons in the blink of an eye, and good luck keeping up. I’m also a diehard Studio 60 fan, and consider its cancellation after a single season to be a travesty of epic proportions.

I also fell in love with Firefly as soon as I watched it, and I imagine that show will stick with me through the years, as well. I love Simon and River and their relationship, and there’s so much fodder attached to that show that I can latch onto. Cancelled before the end of its season? Yes, please, let’s write some fanfiction and let our imaginations run wild.

I also got really attached to Heroes for the first two seasons. I participated in forums and wrote fanfiction and was obsessed with the show. But then I stopped watching because my schedule got too insane, and I’ve never gone back and actually finished the series. I’ve seen through the beginning of season three, but not beyond. Eventually, I’ll get back to it, probably, but I’ll never reobsess, I don’t think.

As for book series, I waited with bated breath for the last books in Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series, Kate Constable’s Chanters of Tremaris trilogy, and Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching quartet. I also blew through the entire Percy Jackson series in two days (in my defense, it was summer and I had nothing else to do. I don’t usually power through books like that), and they’ve come close to hitting me like Harry Potter did. I follow the Once Upon a Time series releases religiously, and I have a handful of authors I’ll read whenever they come out with something new, but there’s nothing at the moment that I’d go to a midnight release for.

I think Harry Potter just hit me at the right moment. I grew up with him, which is why I’d say The West Wing comes closest to being an obsession. I also grew up with that show, so it holds a special place in my heart.

So, yeah. I’m a Harry Potter fan, a Wingnut, a Browncoat, and also a Trekkie (Voyager and Enterprise, mostly, though I didn’t touch on it here). How about you?

1 comment:

  1. I think you make a good point about Snape (the best I've heard for sure), but I still don't like him even though I understand his motives and personal tragedy.