Mar

30

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Hermione is the new black

Here is the indeniable proof that all that guff about black Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was in fact a large quantity of agenda-driven bullshit.

Reminder:

JKR2

A cast change has just been announced. Behold the new Hermione Granger, Rakie Ayola:

Back Row (left to right) James Howard (Draco Malfoy), Emma Lowndes (Ginny Potter), Jamie Glover (Harry Potter).
Front Row (left to right) Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), Rakie Ayola (Hermione Granger), Helen Aluko (Rose Granger-Weasley), Theo Ancient (Albus Potter), Samuel Blenkin (Scorpius Malfoy). Photography by Manuel Harlan.

So, for the second year in a row, the best actress they could find just happens to be black (and her daughter must therefore be black as well). Meanwhile, the best actors for all the other parts just happen to be white – again. Do the production people actually take us for complete idiots?

I do wish Rowling had been honest about her intentions. If she had just said: “Look, I didn’t think about it at the time but I actually regret the lack of diversity in the Trio; it makes more sense to me that at least one of them isn’t white and Hermione is the perfect candidate. It brings balance to the Force to the story and quite frankly, anything that can empower black girls is a good thing”, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of fans would have accepted this and understood her reasoning. Instead she lied through her teeth because she couldn’t bring herself to own her decision.

I have a feeling this is the main reason for the backlash, not racism as she was so keen to proclaim; people know when they’re having the wool pulled over their eyes. Rowling was far, far too defensive about it even to fans who only wanted to calmly explain how they felt (see the tweet above). Her complete refusal to admit that this huge change after all these years (and all these films) suddenly turned everything upside-down and greatly affected how fans related to the character was incredibly off-putting.

I’m sure the official narrative for casting another black actress is “continuity”. Hahaha. Maybe Rachel Dolezal should have played Hermione in the films!

Mar

29

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Is it me?

That weird bust of Cristiano Ronaldo

Mar

15

By nightowl

2 Comments

Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

If you’re easily guilt-tripped by a self-righteous journalist, what does that say about you?

The infamous Nannygate

I personally thought the woman was a maid or an au pair, not even a nanny (I expect nannies to behave more professionally). Apparently this makes me a horrible racist, even though her skin colour had nothing to do with it.

So, to those who assumed that Kim was the nanny, it’s worth thinking about what kind of woman you might have expected Kelly to be married to.

Quite frankly, I did not think about that for one single solitary second. He could be married to Cthulhu for all I care.

Robert… draw me like one of your French girls

Did people assume that the Asian woman in his home was the nanny because she seems to behave in a subservient way? She seems scared, flustered, her posture is low to the ground and she doesn’t make eye contact or speak.

Well, her body language is extremely strange for a wife. Why make such a production of taking the children out of the room, skidding sideways through the door in a state of total panic like a cartoon character, and looking for all the world as if she was about to lose her job and be given a hundred lashes? Why crawl on the floor like some deranged Uriah Heep, even if she was worried about being seen on camera? She would have been twice as quick and much less of a disturbance had she just walked normally into the room, picked up the girl, pushed the baby out and closed the door after her. Instead we got an undignified, attention-grabbing display.

She was also surprisingly and unnecessarily rough with the children, as if she was dragging them out of the way of a speeding train. Look at her pull the little girl by the arm, making her fall over! The whole thing looked ridiculous and out of proportion with the gravity of the incident.

She did WHAT?

The interesting thing is, more people might have assumed she was the wife had she been white, but then the obligatory online debate would have been “Is she a victim of domestic abuse?” Because what kind of wife is that scared of disturbing her husband? Yes, he was being interviewed on live television but shit happens when you work from home and have small children. It was his own fault for not locking his study door anyway.

Or is it that she can’t possibly be the heroine because Asian women are routinely depicted as secondary figures in the media, if they are visible at all.

Heroine? What is this, a comic? She was not even supposed to be in the room at all!

This article is trying so hard to make people feel bad for having normal human thoughts, it is rather pathetic. Let’s consider the source, shall we?

From the author’s profile page:

Vera Chok is an actor, writer and performance-maker. She investigates sex , shame, race and connection

Ah. We are dealing with a professional.

“Sex, shame, race and connection”. Let me guess… what she does is find – or create – connections between sex, race and shame. It’s so easy when you know how; these people all function in the same way. This is how their thought process goes:

*watches video*
“hahaha that poor nanny”
“wait, why did I think she was the nanny and not the wife?”
“eek! it’s because of her skin colour, isn’t it”
“what is wrong with me? I know I’m not a racist”
“oh dear, I’m mortified… I can’t believe I just fell right into a trap I spend my life trying to avoid”
“well look at that, plenty of other people thought the non-white woman was a nanny as well, and I bet they didn’t even stop to wonder why”
“this obviously means they’re unconsciously racist”
“I have to enlighten them, it will make me feel better about myself into the bargain”

Cue patronising lecture festooned with interesting assumptions about how complete strangers perceive race and why they are wrong.

One of these things is not like the others

Regarding her point about the representation of Asian women in fiction, I do remember seeing Asian women – in This Life and Torchwood in particular – who were just part of the gang and did not have any special Asian superpowers or weaknesses. I have only seen one of the shows she refers to – Elementary – but she is so dreadfully wrong about Lucy Liu’s character that I cannot trust anything else she says.

3) Asian woman facilitates hero’s mission by being good at maths, science or computers (episode one of Black Mirror; Lucy Liu in Elementary);

Complete rubbish. Joan Watson (played by Lucy Liu) is not “good at maths, science or computers”. She is a former surgeon, which makes her very knowledgeable about medicine, pathology and anatomy. This often comes in handy in her job as a detective – if anything, she facilitates her own mission. When she or Sherlock need help with science or IT stuff, they turn to one of their expert acquaintances.

Me help you long time

Also, Liu is not some second banana who gets wheeled out when the script calls for a bit of skirt, she’s the co-star. Watson started out as Sherlock’s assistant but was soon promoted to equal partner. Sherlock actually makes this point on a regular basis to anyone who questions her presence.

Vera Chok seriously distorts the facts to fit her own narrative here. And to think she goes on about unconscious bias!

Also ask yourself what goes through your mind when you see an interracial couple on the street. Do you wonder about their lives together in a way you wouldn’t question a couple of the same skin colour?

Someone is seriously projecting. Does she picture them naked in bed too? Is she 12?

On screen, which interracial couplings are you more likely to see and therefore think of as normal (white man with sexy black/Latino/Asian woman), and what disturbs you (black/Asian man with white woman)?

Several issues here:

1. She is telling people what to think!

2. Actually, black man with white woman is the most common interracial pairing, on screen and in real life. Why does she think it’s less normal than any of the others?

3. As for what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘disturbing’, I’m afraid she’s projecting again. Hasn’t it occurred to her that not all her readers are white with white partners, and are therefore unlikely to be disturbed by their own situation – or that of their friends? What makes her think she’s the font of all race knowledge?

4. I am also offended that the white woman is not described as sexy, just like the others! This is discrimination!

Anyway, speaking of projecting… at least the author of the French cartoon below realised his mistake before he started haranguing the ‘racist white old biddies who probably vote for Marine Le Pen’.

And look at that! The family have now become celebrities, are giving interviews and will hold a press conference!

How ridiculously predictable.

Feb

11

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Frozen

New IKEA opens in Los Angeles and people queue like their life depends on it

The funny bit:

8:18 a.m. You’re still drinking your first cup of coffee, but hundreds of folks are braving foggy conditions and sub 60-degree temperatures to be the first to experience the new Ikea.

“Sub-60-degree temperatures”… 60°F equals 15°C. Bless their hearts.

Jan

21

By nightowl

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Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

How the Guardian reports on animal cruelty

Guardian hack draws short straw and has to write article about non-story. Yawn.

Could this writer care less about the fate of the goldfish? It’s described as a “creature” meanwhile, much is made of the fact that the two fuckwits are “friends” who “face jail” over a “dare”.

Someone can relate to their drunk antics and thinks society is overreacting, methinks.

Karma’s a bitch

Now if it was suddenly revealed that Donald Trump had swallowed a live fish when he was young and stupid… oh my. Impeach him, he’s a sadist!

Jan

21

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous, The Grauniad strikes again

The age of (gas) enlightenment

Gaslighting has suddenly become the new buzzword and is the topic of a Guardian article. Gaslighting is a particularly insidious form of emotional abuse that typically expresses itself thus:

“I never said that!”
“That never happened!”
“You’re imagining it!”
“It’s all in your head!”
“You’re making things up!”
“You’re going crazy!”

You get the idea. The point is to make you doubt your own senses and question your grasp on reality. It can happen to anyone and can be inflicted by anyone, but of course the Guardian immediately makes the leap to men mind controlling women (or, you know, robots who look like women).

Westworld is excellent, by the way

The article, which does not miss the opportunity to shoehorn Donald Trump in (a prerequisite in every single one of their pieces these days),

For example, if you have to say “not all Mexicans are rapists”, you’ve already lost.

sadly neglects to mention one glaring example of real-life gaslighting a lot of the mainstream media are trying to push on the world: that child rapist Roman Polanski, who has been on the run from the American justice system for forty years, is a poor persecuted victim.

Note the carefully neutral tone of that article, by the same newspaper who could not condemn Trump more strongly for his pussy-grabbing comment and is happily reporting on women’s marches futilely opposing his presidency.

Polanski is suddenly back in the public eye as the President of the upcoming Césars film awards ceremony in France, which means every friend, ally and defender he has among the French Establishment (and that’s pretty much all of them) is out there spouting the official narrative.

The philosopher Alain Finkelkraut is steaming: “She was not a child! She was a teenager who posed naked for Vogue Homme!”

The director Costa-Gavras said last September: “This is no rape, did you see the pictures? She looked 25”.

This video shows what Samantha Geimer, the victim, looked like at the time of he rape. Clue: not 25.

Polanski was also 43 at the time. To a teenager, that’s like being 100 and about as sexually interesting as a piano. Also, who was the responsible adult here?

The infamous photo shoot – three words: dirty old man

She was also plied with alcohol and drugs before being raped and sodomised (see link under picture). I’m not sure why that’s OK, according to Polanski’s little mates, as long as the girl looks old enough. I can’t help but think any man who thinks Polanski did nothing wrong is just a little bit envious that he wasn’t so lucky.

Speaking of lucky, no rapist rapes just once, especially when his highly organised method (bringing booze and drugs to a photo shoot where he was alone with a 13-year-old model) tends to indicate that this was probably not his first attempt. What else has rich, famous and powerful Polanski got away with in his life? I shudder to think.

L’Express, a respectable (or so I thought) French magazine, even says, in an article written by its male deputy editor: “Feminists against Polanski, you are fighting the wrong battle”.

Gaslighting and mansplaining! Lucky us!

Then we have the “Leave him alone, it happened years ago!” brigade. OK then, could we also stop jailing for war crimes men in their nineties who worked in concentration camps but never killed anyone?

No? What do you mean, “that’s different”?

I left the best for last: Meryl Streep the Trump-slayer, who it turns out is also a proud Polanski supporter. But of course.

Everyone in the film industry knows which way their bread is buttered and whose arse to lick, and their shameless display of solidarity shows it all too clearly.

And don’t even get me started on the untouchable (in more ways than one) Woody Allen…

Sep

26

By nightowl

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Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

Better at guilt than Catholics

Guardian journalist has psychological meltdown after buying his first house

As is often the case with Guardian articles, I had to read it twice to make extra sure it wasn’t a spoof. Making an important financial decision without engaging your brain is one thing, but why on earth would you then tell the world about it? Is this some sort of deranged humblebrag?

Now, if you'd bought this one I'd understand

Now, if you’d bought this one I’d understand

There is something deeply wrong with this man’s thinking process (if I can call it that):

Ten minutes. It took 10 minutes to decide that this house was good enough to make me want to spend the rest of my life in debt to a bank.

Consider the possibility that you should perhaps not be allowed out unsupervised.

It isn’t even my house. It belongs to a bank, and I’m going to spend the next three decades buying it back from them half a per cent at a time.

Did you genuinely not realise this beforehand?

I’m a freelance journalist in the year 2016, so, realistically, I only have four months left before work dries up and I’m replaced by a Facebook Live video of a toddler balancing on a log.

And yet, the “belonging to a bank” bit still did not resonate with you?

repossession-cartoon

If the oven explodes or the fridge goes kaput or sludge starts seeping out of the plugholes, you just call your landlord and someone will come and fix it for free. Now, though, that’s on me.

No way! How is this kind of very important information not made public? We are kept in the dark, it’s outrageous!

And there’s a fishpond, too. An entire fishpond that I didn’t clock during my sole cursory glance about the place, that seems to have been put there specifically to endanger my child. I mean, Jesus Christ. I’m an idiot. That’s the only explanation for this.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Worst of all, buying a house makes me feel like a traitor. It feels as though I’ve let down all my generation-rent friends, as if someone drew a line in the sand and I deliberately chose the side of Kirstie Allsop. I feel as if I have become part of the 1%, and I should ride about inside my boxy, broken-down new home on a pony like the shrieking Fauntleroy I apparently am.

Could you please stop with the self-flagellation? If you’re feeling so guilty, why not donate the house to one of your “generation-rent friends”? I’m sure they, unlike you, will be very happy and sleep soundly at night.

House prices increased much faster than my ability to sensibly save for a deposit. Getting it together was like trying to chase a moving train. But now I have caught up with it, and jumped on board, and discovered that all the other passengers are nitwits. This cannot possibly end well.

No no no, you are in fact the only nitwit here. I assure you the rest of us do know what we’re doing, so kindly do not insult us. If grown-up life is too much for you, I suggest you move into sheltered housing for vulnerable adults. Sell that house and you can easily afford it.

Is it safe?

Ahhh, that’s more like it

Sep

23

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Good old Pottermore

So I took the Patronus test and it confirmed that I am indeed supremely cool:

patronus

Unlike a certain person who shall remain nameless and got… a rat. Hi, Wormtail!

Speaking of which, I recently saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was pretty spectacular.

Fans outside the theatre

Fans outside the theatre


Attention to detail

Attention to detail


Before Part 1

Before Part 1


End of Part 1

End of Part 1


Before Part 2

Before Part 2

End of Part 2

End of Part 2


Shop inside the theatre

Shop inside the theatre


It's all over

It’s all over

I will of course keep the secrets
secrets
but suffice to say that Scorpius Malfoy is my new hero. What is it about these Malfoys that they can steal a scene story so easily?

In fact, I think Rowling should consider rewriting the whole series from Draco’s POV:

Draco Malfoy and the Boy Who Lived
Draco Malfoy and the Heir of Slytherin
Draco Malfoy and the Homicidal Hippogriff
Draco Malfoy and the Embarrassing Ferret Moment That His Father Will Hear About
Draco Malfoy and the Inquisitorial Squad
Draco Malfoy and Being The Chosen One For Once
Draco Malfoy and Mummy’s Apron Strings (spoiler: they don’t get cut)

There, isn’t that better?

Malfoy Approval Rating: 100%

Malfoy Approval Rating: 100%

Jun

27

By nightowl

No Comments

Categories: WTF

Not fair

Inbreeding, anywhere in the world

Inbreeding, anywhere in the world

Inbreeding in Iceland

Inbreeding in Iceland

Jun

12

By nightowl

No Comments

Categories: Miscellaneous

Row-Row’s at it again…

She’s now insulting her fans! There will be spitting next.

“While the vast majority of people responded positively to the casting decision, Rowling said: “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with.”

Yup, black people turn white all the time, after all. Just look at Michael Jackson.

And this is the same woman who, just the other day, was saying this:

JKR1

Having decided that anyone who even questions this is a racist obviously gives her carte blanche to be rude to people:

JKR2

Seriously now. If the best actor auditioning for Harry Potter had turned out to be black or Asian, would they have hired him? Would they?

Not in a million years. But hey, the sidekick is fair game.

I wonder whether she suddenly realised that pretty much everyone who matters in the HP books is white… Harry, Hermione (yes), The Weasleys, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid, Snape, the Malfoys, Mad-Eye Moody, Sirius Black, Voldemort, Wormtail, Remus Lupin, Tonks, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood… even the Dursleys (but their characters wouldn’t make sense otherwise).

The non-white people only have bit parts. Funny that.

Early illustration of a scene in Philosopher’s Stone done by Rowling herself and published on her website in 2004 :

hp_drawing

Notice how ‘Gary’ (who will become Dean Thomas) is clearly drawn as a black boy and Hermione looks perfectly Caucasian? The woman is in denial.