Shared Text Alert: Terrorists Love Hogwarts Saga?

According to a recent AP article, former child soldier and Al-Qaeda militant Omar Khadr is something of a Harry Potter fan.  Khadr, described in several articles as a rage-filled, cold-blooded killer, apparently enjoys reading the books, which begs the question: Does someone who so clearly exhibits only intolerance for anyone who does not share his beliefs really “get it” if he considers himself a fan? Does he not see that the Order of the Phoenix members would all fall under the category of personae non gratia in his worldview? Or does he see those who disagree with him as the evil Ministry of Magic?  What seems really interesting, though, is the way the media keeps tossing out Khadr’s reading of HP. On one level, the references are probably just meant to emphasize the irony of the situation: terrorist who reads the popular, epitome-of-Western-Culture books loved by millions, isn’t that bizarre? [Read more…]

Unusual Appearance of Shared Text in Politics

Joe Miller recently launched this hilarious Halloween-themed ad in his US Senate race, calling his opponent “She Who Must not Be Named” and using plenty of campy witch tag-lines. The commerical looks more like an SNL spoof than the real deal, but the shared text hit is intriguing, especially since campaign advertisements are specifically aimed at adults. While critics want to send Harry to the kiddie lit compartment, children can’t vote and would thus not be the target audience here. The grown-ups headed to the polls are clearly expected to “get it”!

Welcome New Folks and a Reminder to Listen to John Granger on NPR!

Welcome to our readers who have learned about this blog during the big fall Deathly Hallows lecture tour! We are thrilled to have you in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts! Do please remember that fanged Frisbees are banned, as is dueling in the corridors! Check the links to the left to see what “classes” you’d like to take as you explore our conversations on all things Harry as well as other great books, themes, and thoughts (and some fun stuff, too)! Welcome, welcome!

After a great whirlwind tour here in Western NC, our headmaster spoke this morning on Charlotte Talks on NPR.  The conversation was super, and you can listen to the podcast if you didn’t catch it this morning.  It’s been great having John here in Western NC, and those of you who are next on his dance card are in for a real treat! Pictures after the jump!

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HogPro Headmaster here in Western NC

Just a quick reminder for you Hogwartians in the Western North Carolina area: our headmaster has just Apparated into town and will be here today and tomorrow as part of his epic fall tour! At 4pm this afternoon, he’ll be at the fabulous Black Bear Bookstore in Boone. Tomorrow, at 10 am, he’ll be at my very own Mayland Community College, and then, tomorrow evening, he’ll be at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, a school that strongly resembles Hogwarts in appearance! We’ve even been promised a vist from some live owls there (I passed on the offers of acromantulas and hippogriffs). Hope many of you can make it! If so, make sure you introduce yourself!

Twilight Official Guide to Arrive at Last–Next Year

After promising publication for over a year and a half now, Little Brown has at last given a firm release date, April 12 next year, for the now-illustrated official guide to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Meyer has promised that the new guide will include backstory information on characters, as well as genealogies and maps to fill in more background on the world of the Cullens. It will be interesting to see how much really “new” information is included, or if most of it will be the same material Meyer has already posted on her website or revealed in correspondence and interviews.  One piece that was originally intended for this guide grew until it took on a life of its own as The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Perhaps the collection will include shorter pieces that fill in the actions of characters whose stories Bella couldn’t tell.

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