Monday, July 23, 2007

Don't make me hurt you

**There are NO HP SPOILERS to be found within this blog. I have not yet read the book.**

I have only just now sent off the third draft of my seldom-discussed, often-worried-about thesis proposal that I have been slaving over for quite some time now.

But that's not the reason I haven't been posting lately.

The real reason is because ... I'm scared of the internet. You see, I was out at 327's salsa themed birthday party on Friday and discussion turned to the release of a certain popular children's book due the following day. People were looking forward to it, people were curious, everyone was at least interested in how the saga would come to a close. Speculation began about how JK would finish off what has so far been an excellently-designed series. I conjectured that Harry's fate would mirror that of Voldemort's - that he would attempt to destroy the love child of Hermione and Ron. Mele was positive that he would suddenly fall victim to puberty, thus ending the 'magic'. Before anyone could stop her, one of the woman who I hadn't met before piped up:
"Oh, the ending was leaked on the internet a few days ago! Hermione dies at the end."
Never has a jumping salsa club been so quiet.
Some cried out in pain. Others fainted. People found themselves reaching for her years-of-patience spoiling neck.
She let us hang for about five seconds and then eased the pain with a "Gotchya!"

Well played, you have to admit.
But still, that night I was
plagued by a series of nightmares during which the ending was spoilt time and again by individuals careless and callous. Mele and I have been ploughing through The Sopranos recently, starting at Episode 1, Season 1 and working our way towards the final episode ever at the end of season 6. We obviously don't want to find out what happens before time and Mele in particular was being very careful in her perusal of entertainment media. The situation that kept repeating in my dreams was the one where Mele was reading an article speculating about the ultimate HP which, as a casual example, cited The Sopranos and blew the entire ending for her. This careless journalism cost her years of waiting for the final Sopranos season to come out on DVD so she could watch it properly, instead of the two and a half episodes that Channel Nine screened at 10:30pm on Tuesday night and 8:30am on a Sunday morning three weeks later before deciding to go with more shows about celebrities.

Everywhere I look there are spoilers waiting waiting waiting. We have the book, but I'm still waiting for Mele to finish it so that I can get back to reading Audrey, Read Alert and all the other internet-based media outlets brimming with earthy discussions of how Harry's tumescent Final Spell saved Wizardkind. Or something.

Anyone posting ANYTHING about the book in the comments will be DELETED


Guess The Header
This was a close one. River and Neil eschewed all forms of competition and combined forces to engage in such healthy speculation that I am really going to try much harder in future.
Neil gets a point for geographic location - Thailand was the closest guess to the location of the bridge in question.
River gets a point for using the word "flow" in a menstrual context - very poetic.
And I'm awarding
an extra point each for such creative thinking, especially regarding River's shot about "puberty bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood" and Neil's triple-pronged attack using STDs, unaBRIDGEd comments and the punalicious "blackboard JUNGLE".

The actual answer was a lot less creative than I am being given credit for: The photo is of a bridge in the tropical rainforest near Port Douglas. On the bridge are some dear friends of mine (all women who have indeed crossed the bridge from puberty to adulthood). That no men are in the photo is supposed to be some kind of image of what we young lads saw as we entered that classroom full of mature girls on our way over the bridge towards adulthood.
Suspension was what we faced. You can more metaphorical than that, but I'm afraid this competition has come to a close, the Champions Board (bottom of this page) has been updated accordingly and a new Guess The Header challenge awaits. (I will try to make it either easier or more difficult - I haven't yet decided which).


  1. The lake, the trees, looks like Canada. Are the tourists in the boats fishing? For their lunch? For bodies wearing concrete boots?

  2. I've got to say: the header doesn't (and won't) encompass the entire post, just a part or parts of it.

    Hint: in this case however - I believe that the answer I am searching for is indeed all-encompassing ...

  3. 1. Launches; - The thesis proposal, at last. The latest HP

    2. The jetty metaphor(metaphive?) - the end is in sight - one proceeds plank by plank till one is finally launched on the great lake of life and love, marriage, thesis etc etc

  4. Hey - I haven't written about HP yet. I will be doing so tomorrow evening, and I promise to have 'spoiler' written in the blog post title with a very large picture of the book at the top so that you can avert your eyes.

    Also, do you want to borrow my copy? I hate thinking that the ending might be spoilt for you!

  5. I thought perhaps the lake meant time to relax after working so hard and long on your thesis, but I think neil has trumped me.

  6. I think it's Canada too. And those people are Pottering around in boats. I wanted to kill you when I read that about Hermione. Even with your bold disclaimer at the top, you got me (who am up to page 30 of my first ever JK Rowling read).


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32