Harry Potter and the Can of Kick-Ass

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Harry Potter and the Can of Kick-Ass

A movie came out recently in which a tall, American Harry Potter wears a silly green-yellow suit. Instead of a wand, this American Harry Potter carries two batons and has a tendency of beating people up. He fancies himself a superhero and he goes around fighting evil with dr. Turk and Ace Ventura and some other weird-looking guys who look like escaped comic cons. The Motherfucker has some daddy, mommy and Harry Potter issues and he decides to round up some more escaped comic cons to fight the more belevolent comic cons and Harry Potter. Thankfully, Harry Potter has a cool friend Mindy who can actually kick ass.

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Percy Jackson and the Can of Kick-Ass

This movie is awesome. Much better than the Percy Jackson and the Can of Kick-Ass. There was less talk and more action. Hit Girl is practically the lead character and the kid is absolutely amazing. Harry Potter deosn’t blab as much as he did when he was Percy Jackson. He’s more action-oriented. Some action scenes are a bit blurred and generally action sequences were more poorly mad in Harry Potter than they were in Percy Jackson, but, as we all know, Harry Potter is better than Percy Jackson, no matter what.

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The chemistry between Harry Potter and Hit Girl is amazing. I haven’t seen such chemistry between two characters in a long time – longer than I care to remember. Now I’m not talking about some sexual tension, or what not. They simply work great together which brings the movie to a whole new level.

I still have issues with kids enjoying an occasional masacre, because it confuses the shit out of me, particulary when it comes to target audiences. I mean, I’m ok seeng Hit Girl open a can of kick-ass, but I’m not sure I like the idea of someone whose Hit Girl’s age (or younger) watching her do that..

The major fault with the move is a weak-ass main conflict. It is not accentuated enough. Motherfucker is a cool villain, but the battle of good vs. evil was a bit weak, and not in a philosophical way where you try to understand is there such a thing as good and evil in this world or are those just cultural constructs.

Despite some moral ambiguities, which I have also experienced with Percy Jackson and the Can of Kick-Ass, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I hope as hell they make another one.

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Cool Movie Posters

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The Unbearable Lightness of Writing

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.

Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Ursula Le Guin seems not to suffer from the confines of language. The most peculiar scenes and sensations are transformed into words with such lightness that I come to doubt the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis in which I firmly and adamantly believe. Her style, infused with love of humanity, serves as a deterrent of her message. It takes a while to see past her writing and notice the warning which her words tenaciously weave. Perfect fluency, the logic behind chaos serve to catch you unaware. Some pages into the book you are suddenly struck, amid the beauty of her writing, with a sense of dread, of slow, yet inevitable, civilizational decay.

The contradiction which is present in her books is not awkward – it makes perfect sense. It makes me believe that she has answers which a lot of us are looking for because her books manage to reconcile the beauty and grandeur of the human race with our delectable penchant for wanton self-destruction. At the same time I am proud to be human and appalled by the historical failure of the race. She captures the dichotomy of our fates as individuals and as parts of the whole, which seems to lack cohesion and collective intelligence.

The combination of subtle alliteration bordering on verse, small quips and lapses of humour only enhance the sense of pending doom. Constructed worlds, distant but probable, serve as an eerie setting to showcase the failure of an entire race. A beautiful, complex failure. An amalgamation of magnificent and singular minds destined for self-destruction.

Three books later, Le Guin still makes me feel both happy and sad about being a human. And I am at peace with that fact. Even after I saw the dark future that awaits the human race, I do not feel bad because I also saw the beauty of the individual.

It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.

Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed

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I have read three books by Ursula Le Guin. All three will forever be a part of who I am, of what I feel it means to be human. I feel honoured to have had the privilege of reading these books and allowing them to influence me, both intellectually and emotionally. I’ve read The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and The Lathe of Heaven. You can read my review of the Dispossessed and my take on the characterization in The Lathe of Heaven on Goodreads.

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin is a part of the mighty MiniBookClub:

Cheap Thrills and Guilty Pleasures

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A large part of my life, be it Cheap Thrills, Guilty Pleasure or Personal Edification is all about books.

Cheap Thrills

Books “that everyone read” serve this purpose beautifully. If one of those books turns out decent, so be it. If it turns out to be utter crap it gives you something other than “real things” to bitch about. Fifty Shades of Grey and City of Bones are Cheap Thrills. I read them and then I get all self-righteous, putting them, momentarily, at the center of my life issues. I admit it. I do overreact. You will not get to read this admission twice.

To me books are extremely important, and a Cheap Thrill book can occupy a significant portion of my life. Cheap Thrills are a great deterrent to the real world – if there is such a thing. I’m referring to “real problems” as defined by the majority, to those things most of us feels compelled to do in order to fit into a society which, in itself, isn’t very real. Earn money, pay taxes, bills, not kill people and what not.

Guilty Pleasures (elsewhere: pure and unadulterated escapism)

Guilty Pleasure books are those I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public. I never could understand why publishers insist on putting hideous, half-naked men on the covers of these books. As a marketing tool those covers are counterproductive. I don’t know. Maybe those covers act as an incentive to someone in the marketing department, but reading Hunger So Wild (good book) or To Tame a Highland Warrior is not something I would do. Call me conformist, obsessed with what strangers think about me – but I will not do that.

Which would you rather be caught reading in public?
Which would you rather be caught reading in public?

Now, what is the difference between To Tame a Highland Warrior and Fifty Shades of Grey? The difference is that upon mentioning the fact that I have read To Tame a Highland Warrior, I feel compelled to explain why I read it. I really really really want to tell you why I read not only one, but FOUR (lousy) books from the Highlander series. But I must persevere and be strong. Excuses are for pussies.

Now, aside from books there are of course TV shows, movies and other things that fall into these two categories. I wrote about shojo manga, one of my favourite ways to unwind. The reason why I put it under Guilty Pleasures and not Cheap Thrills is because enjoying something that is often trite and completely out of sync with my own world-view makes me feel guilty. However, being a part of a world with a limited number of things that can go wrong is something I cannot resist. I love the simplicity of it and if I manage to come to care about the characters, I revert back to a 10-year-old girl with only one interest – WILL THEY FINALLY GET TOGETHER? And there’s stupid grinning and giggling. I’m not talking about the characters in manga, I’m talking about the reversed 10-year old me.

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Hammer Time

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A bit of self-appreciation:

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“You so pretty!”
“No, YOU so pretty”

I’m sorry about this empty post. It’s a compulsion. Here’s more of it:

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Just when I decide I’m a “Thor Girl” I see this pic on twitter. Cheap shot. Giving him a book to read.

Shōjo in a Nutshell – With Recommendations

All the links lead to a magical place where you can read the manga or watch the anime.

Most shōjo animes and mangas are like Fifty Shades of Grey (minus the silly sex): a young male protagonist is overwhelming and beautiful, rich and/or in a position of authority. The girl is clumsy, homely and naive. She captures the male character with something nobody understands and, due to the goodness of her heart, she interprets his abuse as love he does not know how to express differently (BARF).

Exceptions:

  1. Skip Beat! – manga and anime
  2. Kimi ni Todoke – anime (didn’t read the manga yet)
  3. The One – manhua
  4. Hana no Namae – manga
  5. All mangas by Shimotsuki Kayoko (which are only partly shōjo)

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Shōjo manga authors I recommend because I love the artwork and their work is not too offensive to someone with a functioning brain Mitsuki Kako and Shimaki Ako.

Children-Saving Warfare

Apparently, war saves children. Can someone explain this to me? How exactly do you save children with violence, especially when “there will be no American boots on the ground“?

There is a certain lack of common-sense behind going to war (sorry, usage of military force in a “limited and tailored manner”) and calling upon the people to encourage this if they think children should be saved. It is atrocious to put a humanitarian mask on war, and use children as an excuse for violence.

He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safe for children to grow up in.

Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

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This is not a call for US citizens to donate money, clothes or food. It’s a call for them to mobilize and pressure their representatives in Congress to vote: War

Who will save the children of America? 31 School Shootings in America Since Columbine, Only 14 in the Rest of the World Combined

Manhwa in a Nutshell – Let Dai

Details and manhwa available here.

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I love Let Dai because of its text. I love it because at a time when I felt good about pretty much everything, it reminded me that old “childish” woes and pains, the imperfection of the world have not ceased to exist. You don’t normally get that from a manga. It’s only ever so often that you get that from a book.

Let Dai reminded me that nothing around me changed. I had just started believing that I was finally at peace with the world as it was. I had just started believing that all those existential, adolescent issues are something you shed once you “grow up”. Let Dai told me: That’s some impudent bullshit, dear.

 

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