On the (Rest of the) Net.

Race and online dating. [Jezebel]

Hermione the heroine. [HuffPo]

Jezebel also writes in praise of “The Women of the Harry Potter Universe.”

Tavi Gevinson on growing into her beauty:

“I could pretend to be an archetype of a feminist superhero and say I never want to be a conventionally attractive person. But, while I have so much respect for the people who can say that truthfully, I’m not there yet… I admit to the basic human desire to be attractive…

“Maybe I liked my face. Is that not okay?” [The Style Rookie]

If the DSK case has taught us anything, it’s that “any deviation of the victim’s life from the concept of the ‘perfect victim’ is exploited and becomes the focus of attention, as has happened to the DSK victim. Ever had a drink? Been to a party? Been a little bit late to a meeting? Lost your temper? Tried to fight back? Lied to your friends about what’s going on in a relationship? Forgiven someone? Posted a Facebook photo of you hugging someone? Well then clearly YOU ARE A DRUG-ADDLED VIOLENT SLUT BITCH and that necessitates a billion more hearings to talk about how VIOLENT and SLUTTY and DRUG-ADDLED and BITCHY you are.” [Think on This]

Still with Strauss-Kahn, Bob Ellis airs his always controversial, archaic and small-minded misogynist thoughts on the “honeytrapping” of “good men”. [ABC The Drum]

“When Rape Victims Lie.” [Sasha Said]

And this wraps up the DSK portion of the program:

“… I have no sympathy, empathy or even good thoughts for Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Not just because of the rape accusations but also because of his betrayal of the socialist ideals he was supposed to uphold as a prominent member of the French Socialist Party. His ideals that went through the drain when he accepted to become head of the IMF, one of the most subjugating, neo-imperialist institutions imposed on the Global South.

“And now, of course, there is no longer a case against him. However, and this is where I’d like us to focus, there is no longer a case because, it is claimed, the victim lied on issues unrelated to the rape allegations. Let that sink in for a second: a woman who is an asylum seeker/refugee, who hails from one of the poorest countries on earth (where the IMF played a big role in promoting the prevailing poverty and economic hardships that afflict her homeland) was found to have lied in order to get on with her life.” [Tiger Beatdown]

Jokes about Casey Anthony: too soon? [Splitsider]

“So you want to move to New York?” Here are the realities. Not as grim as you might think, yay! [Yikes Machine]

“The World Map of Useless Stereotypes.” If they’d reduced the space allocated for New York, they might have been able to include Australia. Oh yeah, maybe they were playing up the stereotype of us being the forgotten continent of sorts. [Jezebel]

The Lion King promotes homosexuality? And nine other “crazy things” that have come out of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s mouth. [Think Progress]

Elitism in the public school system. [Persephone Magazine]

If global gender equality was represented by the FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup, this is what it would look like. [Jezebel]

Ten life lessons, according to Ja Rule. Hilarious! [Thought Catalog]

“If I Were a Girl,” also on Thought Catalog, is equal parts poignant and insulting. Interesting to get a guy’s point of view on what it would be like to be a girl.

Read what happens when “a teen… calls the Westboro Baptist Church” to talk about feminism! [Jezebel]

Waking up to the Leiby Kletzky murder crime scene. [Jezebel]

Sleazy News of the World-esque journalism has a place somewhere, right? [Gawker]

“Penis shaming.” [Rachel Rabbit White]

On “Writing Race.” [Zero at the Bone]

More on the should-we-tell-little-girls-they’re-pretty debate. [The Beheld]

Part two of Camilla Peffer’s “In Defence of Women Behaving Badly.” [Girls Are Made from Pepsi]

Men in crisis: “Digging deeper into modern Masculinity.” [Rachel Rabbit White]

Images via The Style Rookie, Buzzfeed.

Guest Movie Review: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part II—The End of an Era*.

*It has come to my attention that I give away too much in my movie reviews, so the asterisk will now serve as a blanket *spoiler alert* from now on.

Ten years, eight movies, three mega-stars plucked from obscurity,not to mention the legion of fans that grew up reading an overnight literary success.

You have to be as dense as Stan Shunpike or living under a rock if you have no idea what I am talking about. (Shame on you!)

Beginning on Wednesday morning at 12:01, the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga opened to rapturous applause and tears all over the world, and I am glad to say that I was a part of it. Having grown up reading the books, lining up at 9am at the local Borders (back when they actually sold books rather than gave them away) and feeling a huge emotional connection to Harry, Ron and Hermione, it was only fitting to venture out on a frozen Tuesday evening to watch the end of an era and the end of my childhood.

An audible “eep” came from my fellow muggles (non-wizarding folk) and I as the Warner Brothers emblem appeared on the screen. It was met with applause and cheers as the cinema filled to the brim, like a steaming hot cup of butterbeer, and we settled in to watch Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part II.

The final two installments see the “boy that lived”, our hero Harry, stepping up as “the chosen one” and accepting his destiny. Before he was born a prophecy was placed in his name stating “neither shall live while the other survives” which pretty much means: he and the evil Lord Voldermort have to fight til the death of one of them and the battle of good and evil will be settled once and for all.

After Professor Dumbledore’s death in the sixth book/movie, Harry and his loyal best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (who are in love with each other but too shy to say anything until a climactic moment in this movie) are hunting the country side searching for horcruxes. These are objects of great meaning to Voldermort in which he placed a part of his soul to guarantee immortality. Destroying all horcruxes will ensure good will triumph and Harry victorious!

Part one saw the destruction of the third horcrux in the line of six (we soon learn its actually seven) with the last part of the soul to be destroyed lying in Voldermort’s body.

The eighth movie picks up where part one left off: Harry mourning the death of the loyal house elf Dobby, yet feeling more determined than ever to seek revenge for the numerous deaths Voldermort and his loyal Death Eaters are responsible for.

Harry and the gang break into Gringotts (the wizarding bank run by goblins) to find and destroy the Hufflepuff cup.

Why, you ask? Well if you haven’t read the books you have every right to be confused! Not once do the characters mention the cup, a chalice that once belonged to a founder of Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry, let alone its importance to the story line. We soon find out that it’s a horcrux and evidently needs to be destroyed, but its significance, which is explained in book six, is clumsily stepped over by filmmakers. However Harry is able to hear the horcruxes whispering, which was not the case in the books, but is an innovative way of covering their mistakes. Rather than back-tracking and creating flashbacks to moments that previously didn’t exist, the filmmakers are able to quickly highlight the link between Harry and the objects and get on with the story line.

Discovering that old Voldy is aware of their plan to capture all the horcruxes, the gang realise that Hogwarts is their next (and perhaps final) destination. Arriving in secret, they are welcomed with cheers, applause and the unmistakable Harry Potter melody pulling at heartstrings in the background; and with it come the tears.

Soon the battle begins at Hogwarts, as the Death Eaters appear set to wreak havoc. McGonnagall, enchanting the stone soldiers to “do your duty to our school,” mutters one of the best lines of the movie, while the teachers are casting protection spells and members of the order arrive to join the ranks and lead the battle.

The children of Hogwarts who have always believed in Harry and trained under him when he established the secret “Dumbledore’s Army” defence against the Dark Arts classes back in year five, are also preparing to fight; the only problem is Harry is short a few horcruxes.

He seeks advice from the Ghost of Ravenclaw Tower and soon discovers the next horcrux in the Diadem of Ravenclaw (another object never mentioned until this point), and soon apprehends the object and destroys it. At this point, Ron and Hermione destroy the intact chalice. After feeling the power of Voldermort’s soul dying, Hermione and Ron throw themselves into each other’s arms and share one of the most romantic and anticipated kisses of all time! The audience cheered and clapped, reminding me that we are all so emotionally involved in the lives of these characters.

Harry momentarily stops to share a tear jerking, heart-rending moment with the ghosts of his parents and two “uncles”, all of whom he has lost. We the characters have lost so many friends and enough tears have been shed to fill the black lake that I wonder if my heart can break anymore. It does, as Harry realises he needs to make a sacrifice and without giving away the ending (okay, maybe a little) he walks to his death.

A battle to end all battles ensues between Harry and Lord Voldermort. The loveable yet unlikely hero Neville Longbottom defeats the sixth horcrux, Voldy’s snake, while Mrs. Weasley battles Bellatrix Lestrange (Voldy’s sidekick) and uses a few choice words that would see her send herself a howler!

Good conquers evil (Warner Brothers movie made from a kids book? Come on!), and we see a glimpse into the future with the nineteen-years-later epilogue giving fans a nice happy ending tied up in a bright shiny bow!

After the epilogue the credits roll and it is done. The lights come on and other fans are hugging and crying but all I feel in an overwhelming sense of finality. It‘s over; no more books, no more movies. Nothing.

I will miss the anticipation for a new movie, the excitement building as the date draws closer.

I will miss the midnight sessions and my subsequent debriefs until the wee hours of the morning with family and friends.

The Harry Potter saga will never end, though; it lives on in the well-turned pages of the books, the images of the actors growing before our very eyes and in the hearts of those who journeyed along, fighting dragons, learning spells and defeating darkness alongside the gang.

If you have read the books there is no question of whether you will see the movie and I am telling you: you will cry from half way in. You will laugh through the tears but ultimately bawl like a mandrake root. If you have only seen the movies, you may as well watch the last one to say you have completed the series, but I implore you to pick up the books and gain a well-rounded understanding of the Harry Potter universe. Like most, I will introduce my children to the wonder and literary genius of Harry Potter (the books AND movies) as it enriched my childhood and charmed my heart.

“Mischief managed.”

 

 

 

—Katie Blush.

Related: [The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Guest Post: Rihanna’s “Man Down”—Revenge is a Dish Best Served in Cold Blood.

Image via IMDb.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

“The Fashion Industry’s Anorexia Problem.”

Gala Darling offers an interesting take on pageantry. It seems not all beauty queens are vapid glorified prom queens with “miles of hair extensions, industrial-sized cans of hairspray and gallons of butt glue”.

Do you have to be a mother to be empathetic?:

“The reason Queensland Premier Anna Bligh was able to handle the flood crisis with such competence [is because she is a mother], according to a fellow mum. How true, how true, clucked a host of TV talk show mums the next day, as the commentators all agree that Anna won the ‘image’ war over Julia in the aftermath. Then of course she would—only a mother can cry with conviction for lives lost.”

90210: “The Sexist Postcode”?:

“So 90210 was an important early building block of enlightened sexism because it insisted that the true, gratifying pleasures for girls, and their real source of power, came from consumerism, girliness, and the approval of guys…”

My friend Anthony and I were discussing the benefits of cheap Coles milk when we paused and though, what exactly does cheap milk mean for farmers and why all the fuss? Rick Morton of MamaMia is here to answer our questions.

Also at MamaMia, the defence force sex scandal.

Speaking of, MamaMia’s 3.0 launch is the only blog redesign I’ve liked in recent months (Jezebel, I’m looking at you).

“Wait? What? This is where it gets interesting for me as a sex positive parent. My son just went from wishing he was sexy to shaming a girl for being just that? I rolled up my sleeves and got ready to do some unpacking.” The unpacking the primary school backpack on “Slut-Shaming on the Playground”.

This is just plain wrong: “The 15 Most Inappropriate Baby Outfits”.

The cigarette packaging reform.

Michael Cole, WWE announcer, tweets a gay slur. GLAAD faux pas or staying in character?

Are disability jokes really that bad? Or are we all just going PC crazy? (Just ask Laura Money and Kieran Eaton at their Unfinished Business stand-up show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.)

The meaning of Sucker Punch according to io9:

“1. Insane people and sex workers are interchangeable.

“2. Women can only triumph over adversity in their dreams.

“3. Action movies spring from the imaginations of enslaved, mentally unstable prostitutes.”

“Do You Know What a Normal Female Body Looks Like Anymore?”

Francine Pascal as feminist literature pioneer?:

“In the beginning, that wasn’t enough for many booksellers, who deemed Sweet Valley too ‘commercial’ for their readers. The Times snubbed the series; librarians fought to keep their stacks free of the ‘skimpy-looking paperbacks,’ as one library journal put it. It was Pascal’s fans who defended her: buying a dizzying 250 million copies before the series published its 152nd and final title, in 2003. The series even became a case study in how to get young girls to read. ‘Sweet Valley changed the dynamics of the industry,’ says Barbara Marcus, who, as former president of Scholastic’s children’s business, published The Babysitter’s Club, Goosebumps, and Harry Potter. Sweet Valley spawned seven spinoff series, a TV show, a board game, and dolls. Not until Twilight came along have girl fans been so loyal.”

In this vintage post from the time of Jersey Shore’s debut, Irin Carmon discusses the cast’s views “On Beauty & Not Even Looking Italian”. Quite interesting, actually.

It’s time to go, Betty Draper.

Forget menopause; say hello to “manopause”.

First the video music world, now the movie world: Rebecca Black’s film debut in “Sunday Comes Afterwards”.

Porn WikiLeaks: damaging the reputation and safety of porn performers by publishing addresses, personal documents and hateful HIV diatribes (SFW).

The ugly step sister?

Images via Jezebel.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Yet another reason to “really dislike Katy Perry”.

On the other hand, yet another reason to “Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in New York City”:

“We are, as a group, anti-fanny-pack as much as we are pro-gay-marriage. Hetero marriage… we can pretty much take or leave.”

Dr. Katrina Warren on “The Grief of Losing a Pet”. Be warned: this is a tear jerker. I was bawling by the third paragraph, possibly because this story is close to my heart. I lost my dog Ben (above), who’d been with us for seven years, last year, and I still miss him like crazy.

While it may be summer here in the Southern Hemisphere, Gawker lists the “10 Things I Love About Winter”, one being winter movies (which we see here in summer):

“So while Pirates of the Caribbean 18: The Scullery’s Scourage, Transformers 8: This Time It’s Impersonal, and Men in Black 3: Will Smith’s Kids Can’t Make All the Money may make your July 4th jam, I’d rather pass the popcorn in December.”

Satah from This Ain’t Living mourns the loss of “the fun, campy, musical romp of high school TV shows”, Glee.

From “Harry Potter and the Incredibly Conservative Aristocratic Children’s Club”:

“Maybe, incidentally, the reason no other woman as smart as Hermione appears in the books is that J.K. Rowling, like the Turk, can bear no sister near the throne. Her volcanic ego burns down everything in its path. Where the Twilight books are works produced from and for a state of sexual yearning and frustration, Rowling’s ‘wizarding world’ is a fantasy place created for the benefit of Hermione Granger, for her infinite sagacity, foresightedness and teacher’s-pet-hood to be rewarded at every turn.”

I wish Dolly Parton was my fairy godmother.

Elizabeth Wurtzel on the sex appeal of Sarah Palin. Sure, she may be a “kind of sexy librarian, kind of a MILF” but “unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country”. Well said.

“This is a post about judgement”, by Mia Freedman.

Event: The Witching Hour—Halloween/My Birthday at Witches in Britches Cabaret.

As has been well documented on this here blog, it was my birthday yesterday, and I carried on my three-year tradition of throwing a Halloween party for the event, this time at Witches in Britches Cabaret in West Melbourne.

I was (un)lucky enough to be hovering around the entrance with my party and was accosted as a “sacrificial virgin” to help open the doors for the night, with some help from Little Nicky, who also made appearances throughout the night as Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter and Britney Spears in Witches in Britches’ latest stage show, “The Ghosts of Witches Past”, which was a rip-roarin’ riot, full of audience participation, but thankfully I had fulfilled my quota for the night. (For more information about the venue/show, visit the website.)

Friends who came to help me celebrate the night dressed in everything from a beer wench to a poirot clown to an Angus Young-esque bogan to Wimbledon tennis players. Special mention goes to fellow 2nd November baby, Jason, whose party it also was and who came dressed as a lumberjack, replete with a try-hard axe in the form of a last-minute meat cleaver!

Following the cabaret, we danced the night away to some top 40 hits and about half an hour worth of Michael Jackson mash-ups on the spacious Dungeon Disco’s dance floor, which was a nice change from the crowded clubs I usually go to.

All in all, it was a great night and I would certainly go and see the show again (could do without the mediocre menu, though). I thank all those who attended. Your presence helped make it thoroughly unforgettable.