Harry Potter again

I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone… in the UK edition, of course (Philosopher vs Sorcerer). It’s somehow more authentic that way.

“Philosopher’s Stone” is a alchemal concept with a thousand years of history behind it… “Sorcerer’s Stone” is just a rock that belongs to a wizard.

But back to buying things, what is really insane is now you can get a “box set” with all the hardback books in a special chest. I don’t have that one, though.

Something weird: I completely don’t remember this very long prelude in the beginning where the wizards are running around Britain having a party because of Voldemort’s death. Did I just forget it? Maybe because it wasn’t in the movie? Or worse, was it added for this new edition? I lost my original copy and bought this one recently, so it could have happened!

What I am remembering is why I thought this was kind of crappy ten years ago… near the very beginning Harry visits the zoo, and sees a large snake. The snake is sleeping… but then awakes, opens its eyes, and winks at Harry.

Snakes have no eyelids. Fact.

Also, would Harry really be so ready to accept the magical world when he’s lived in a grey oppression his entire life? Seems unlikely, but I understand why it’s there.

Something that rubs me the wrong way with Harry Potter is the same thing I hated about The Matrix… the metaphor is painfully obvious, and yet rigorously boring people and social conservatives love both those stories.

Example: Hey dude who voted for Bush in 2000, and didn’t listen to the rest of us who said he intended to invade the Middle East, what pill did you take in The Matrix? Did you take the scary pill that shows you the truth, or did you take the pill that lets you pretend none of it is happening? Is it true what they say, that “reality has a liberal bias?” And yet this person will love The Matrix.

For Harry Potter, it’s a little more subtle- these people are Muggles. They aren’t even real characters in the story! They have been deprecated as thinking entities. So ask yourself, are you more like the wizards? Or more like the Muggles? And how much of that is intentional?