I Finished Harry Potter 7

By the encouragement of my girlfriend, which came in the form of, “if you’re not going to read them, I’ll read them to you,” I started listening to the first Harry Potter book. Soon, the listening-reading was consuming and conversation in the car took a backseat (pun intended) to what the next page held. Before long – only a few pages after Harry left the Dursley’s house for Hogwarts for the first time – I was thoroughly hooked. I was engrossed by a book series I had written off as childish and not worth my time.

I’ve always prided myself as being relatively open and creative, but the simple fact that I was able to overlook the magic that millions of others found in the Harry Potter series gives me reason to question both of those assumptions. In Potter-head terms, I’m more of a Hermine than a Luna, and while each has their strengths, I’d rather be considered the later – open and willing to imagine.

The Harry Potter books became exceptionally better around book four, at which point they went from being an amusing series of books targeted for children to something with a message that carried some weight. The seventh book, which I finished less than two hours ago, brought the series to a resolute finish. It played out without being too tedious or predictable. It made me tear up more than once, and maintained the message found throughout the books – that love is an unbelievable force.

I’d recommend the books to anyone willing to clean off the cobwebs (if necessary) and indulge their imagination in the world of magic.

Harry Potter 7

Something doesn’t seem right about the following headline from today’s China Daily:

Chinese bookworms going potty bout Potter

I bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today for RMB 208 at the Foreign Languages bookstore in Wang Fu Jing, Beijing, China. I bought the kids cover version and Skye bought the adult version. We’re waiting to read them on the plane ride home.

50,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were imported into China. Typically, about 100 copies of English language best-sellers are imported.

Finding Mexican Food and Harry Potter in Beijing

We found the sixth Harry Potter book at an international bookstore and ate Mexican food today.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the sixth book in the seven book series. I bought it in NH, but left in there. Doh! Thankfully, they had several copies here. And they will have the seventh book at the same time it comes out in the U.S., so we should have some reading on the way home too.

The Mexican food was similar to what you would find in America, and by that I mean the chips were triangular and the enchiladas were filled with chicken and cheese. But, it all tasted a little different… something we’ve come to expect with all food “over here.” Burgers have an interesting twang that makes you question the quality of the beef, donuts are harder and more fry-bread tasting, and just about everything else is a mystery.

The mystery is why we crave something familiar. Even if ordering something familiar like pizza isn’t any easier than ordering Chinese food, eating it is. You don’t sit there and wonder if you’re eating pork or duck, only later to discover it’s beef.

I Read Harry Potter

After vehemently abstaining from Harry Potter books for years, I must now admit to succumbing to their magical-mystical-mumbo-jumbo. I’ve read* the first three in the last two months and am a third of the way through the fourth book.

And although it’s tough to admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book. However, after starting the fourth, I’ve realized how dull the first three were. It’s like the J.K. Rowling took a writing class before starting the fourth book, and just in time. I was getting sick of the repetitive plot cycle of books one thru three.

I’m hoping to finish the first six books before the seventh comes out in July. The seventh book happens to be the last Harry Potter book ever, which is a good thing. No longer will I be chained to this absurd reading list of dark children’s books.

*By “read” I mean that Skye has read them to me while I drive.

Hogwarts Violates Equal Protection?

I’ve been reading Harry Potter lately. I’m not going to bother explaining it because if you haven’t heard of it you clearly don’t care. Harry attends a school called Hogwarts, which is exclusively for wizards.

To jump subjects for a bit, we are studying the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment in Constitutional Law. Today, we got to Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that held the “separate-but-equal doctrine” established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) to be unconstitutional.

When the Court approaches laws challenged with regard to race, they look first to see if there is a sufficient state interest, and if it is closely related to the purpose of the law. Very rarely to laws using race as a classification survive this strict scrutiny.

Jumping back now, I posit that Hogwarts may be violating the Equal Protection clause. This is a bit of a stretch considering that Hogwarts is in England and out of the jurisdiction of a U.S. court and the school is fictional. But… but… but…

The book sets up wizards to be a separate race from muggles, the later of which are non-wizards. And the school is exclusively for wizards. Muggles aren’t even supposed to know about wizards.

There are a myriad of issues here… just kinda interesting to think about.