Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley is not an unattractive, bumbling oaf. Thanks a lot, stupid movies (actually it seemed that in the seventh book in a few parts, JKR was influenced by the previous movies). He has five brilliant and gifted older brothers, a famous best friend, and his younger sister is the family baby and only girl (a combination for lots of attention if anything is). He is also a preteen/teenager. Each of these things alone is enough to make him insecure, but together?

And he doesn't look like Rupert Grint. I had wished that they had cast Domhnall Gleeson (I said that before he got famous), but he would have been too old, and really almost anyone else would have been better, Grint is decidedly unattractive. Ron may not have been handsome like Bill, but that does not mean he had to be ugly.

Harry and Ron both have the genetic capacity (just like Hermione) to be brilliant. They were a rather lazy, but they were just as smart, if not smarter than Hermione. Their OWL grades were lower than hers but barely (and for Harry one was higher), and she spent more time studying. Intelligence is brain capacity not outcome

Anyway, back to ruining Ron. After watching the third movie one time, I consulted the book during the confrontation scene among the Marauders and the Trio, and discovered one of Ron's lines in the book was given to Hermione in the movie which made him look like a cowering idiot.

Another let's-make-Ron-look-like-an-oaf was his little response to the cruel taunting of the Horocrux. People, in the book, he was CRYING. He loved Hermione and because of his insecurities, he was genuinely jealous of Harry.

Which love brings us to the biggest movie crime. Because Ron loved Hermione he was emotionally tortured (as was Harry, he cared too) while she was physically tortured. Ron was not a calm person, panic was usually his default. Does emptily staring as he did in the movie really match his personality? I mean Harry was pretty upset too; what decent person would be thrilled hearing anyone, much less a friend, tortured? But for Ron, that was his beloved. I am still stunned by the insensitivity of that scene in the movie.

Thankfully, someone appreciated the incongruity of the book and movie parallel.

Isn't the "real" Ron just precious in that scene? So much shipping of this couple. 

Calling all Ron Weasley appreciators. 
For the record, I would marry Fred or George Weasley, sorry, I don't love Ron that much; I like him and Hermione together.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April Culture Challenge

I have missed 3 months of this challenge. I aiming at completing April's challenge and possibly January's as well.

April's challenge is to read a Pulitzer prize winner. I have previously looked through the fiction Pulitzer prize winners and noted nothing enticing and much to revolt. I picked The Yearling for my 2015 challenge . . . and did not read it. For this challenge I decided I would look through the other categories . . . which meant I started and stopped with history. Anyway, I do need some history for my 2016 nonfiction reading challenge.

My choice is What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe.

This should work well with Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer (recommended by two people, one of whom knows many interesting details of history), which I intend to start soon, and Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present edited by Peter Nabokov to help inspire me to learn more of my own country. I hope to finish this book, which was lent to me, today. The book is two decades old and includes some less than helpful (as seen in title) sections, but I have never read anything like this comprehensive Native American perspective. I would like to pursue more research into this subject, including modern day issues.

If I can I want to watch The 39 Steps and Henry V from the Criterion collection. The former is also listed on both these U.S. and U.K. top 100 films, and the latter on the U.K. alone. I have been considering re-reading Henry V, so I might make that happen.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hallmark Mini-Reviews Top Favorites

Christmas Card
My grandmother taped this and we watched this almost ten years ago, and have watched it excessively regularly since. Cody is so handsome and sweet and he's military (I was still obsessed with military men when we first saw that). Faith has cute, quirky personality. Faith's parents are cute, and her dad and uncle are hilarious, her uncle is particularly wonderful. I love details and personable side characters (the uncle in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, which we also own, is excellent trouble too). It does have a few of what we call "Hallmark moments" (the most extremely improbable dramatic romantic moments).

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade
I, according to Mom, am Emily with her drama, opinions, and quirky retro style. Obviously, she is nicer than me. Her quirkiness is funny rather than polarizing. Henry is charming, witty, and oh, so handsome. And they clash instantly, hilariously rather than harshly, I think. There are just a lot of little cute/funny scenes and moments.

Love by the Book
Another quirky/old-fashioned personality, this one with really unrealistic romantic expectations born of books (again, my family said, I am her). Some rather more ideology than personality clashing, particularly over a hilariously stereotypical romantic boyfriend. We always point out how ridiculous and unattractive the first boyfriends are compared to the true loves. And the sister's love story is cute. I always love the details like a friend or sister finding her man too.

All of My Heart
This one is similar to Love at the Thanksgiving Day parade about personalities clashing and little cute/funny scenes. Brian's transformation from city slicker to handyman makes for quite a bit of the humor in this movie, and his good-natured sarcasm lends personality.

The first three at least are Hall of Fame's for my family, but I know I personally would also include All of My Heart. We own all these except Love by the Book because we could not find it on DVD; I find that tragic.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Romeo or Benedick? Knightley or Tilney?

Romeo or Benedick?
Knightley or Tilney?
Jack or Algernon?
John Brooke or Laurie?
Gilbert or Barney?

Do you prefer the more traditional romantic leading men? Or the ones with personality. You can probably tell from that whom I prefer :/

How about the more popular or the overlook/rejected?
Will or Norrington?
Darcy or Bingley?
Rochester or St. John Rivers?
Pip or Herbert?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Not Finishing Books, Unpronounceable Foods, and Learning to be Cultured.

So, I picked up a YA novel from an author I had seen mentioned in the blog-sphere. And foul language smacked me in the face. So much. I skimmed it, teetering in my mind. No, there was NO justification.

I started The Sound and the Fury; it sucked me in but confused me, so I was impatient to find out the story via Wikipedia. I flipped ahead. Wait, what. Perhaps I had better put it down. Wikipedia. Yeah, not quite as bad as I thought, but still no.

My brother and sister-in-law watching a certain old film for "culture." I looked it up, familiar with the name, not the plot, no.

I am sorry, but grovelling in the dirt no matter how gilded the medium makes said dirt CANNOT be a good activity. And there ARE more uplifting aspects of culture. I understand facing some of the evil in the world, yes. But not wallow in it like a pig, especially in fiction. Find some real reality.

I know how to find good, well-written books. I can find classic movies. But there are some areas in which I have no point of reference (opera) or feel awkward (gourmet food, at least the pronunciation).

Here is a lovely blog set up to help some of us who feel like country bumpkins to inspire ourselves to be cultured. I already tried to at least set standards for better reading, but I need to work better in other areas of high culture. Maybe become a little more aware (gag) of some pop culture aspects.

Now before I go on, let me say that one can still be cultured without being obsessed with certain genres. A person does not have to like every single famous book, film, etc. A person is not truly cultured if he has not cultivated his own tastes nor is a snob truly cultured, etiquette is important too. Nor do I think that a person ought to only be interested in high culture. That is rather flat and one-dimensional. And of course merely knowing some information while possessing no skills is not truly cultured. Yes, I know I sound like Miss Bingley, but I consider such things as walking on country roads an essential part of a person's repertoire of activities.

I have taken up piano again after close to a decade hiatus, and while it is still quite apparent that I am not gifted in this area, I still enjoy playing. I need to pursue a study of music and musicals.

I also am using Duolingo. Let me just say that my Latin professors were the best. The carefully taught grammar allowed me to more easily pursue other languages. I plan on ordering tons of note cards, dictionaries, and grammar books to supplement. I also want to pursue some way of conversing in foreign languages, but for now I am doing so much better than before.

I want to formulate a list of subjects to study and skills to learn.