JK Rowling Ruining Her Own Magic

I’ve written before about the unfortunate awkwardness and confusion that we fans feel when celebrities/influencers are revealed to be more problematic than once thought. That was years ago, and since then, it’s not gotten easier, nor has the issue dimmed as more are more revered people are outed as Bad. But a lot of the time, even recently, the behaviour in question is from years ago, often a decade or more. So we have to be allowed to forgive and examine recent changes to determine if the person is worth our praise/money/time again. I’ve also written before about how that should be a solo decision and how cancel culture needs to reflect that.

JK Rowling, however, has taken a new approach to problematic behavior. Not only is she recently revealed to be a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), but she revealed it herself. She alone has tarnished her own reputation and brought it to light herself.

surprised and confused gif.

Of course, she’s been lowkey doing it for ages when it comes to Harry Potter. Every year or so she’d share some new tidbit about the Wizarding World and after a while, it got unnecessary. Dumbledore is gay? Okay, we can handle that. Nagini is actually an Asian woman? Um, that came out of nowhere, but alright. Hufflepuffs hold their own sex-ed classes in the dorms? ….What. At that point fans were old enough and could embrace what they want, think critically if they want, and accept that this author is fighting way too hard to stay relevant when she really did not need to because we all loved Harry Potter. We all were totally planning on raising our kids on that magic that we were raised on.

But then the transgender stuff came out. And it’s weird. (For those blissfully unaware, Rowling has for a few years now been thought to be transphobic/supportive of transphobic people, but she had never really confirmed it or acted on it until recently, June 10th to be specific, when she published a whole article about it and her thoughts on trans people and sexuality and women’s rights. The article was not cited and was filled with blatant transphobic beliefs despite the fact that she claimed to support trans people). I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most educated on trans issues, but even I knew that the stuff she was spewing was dangerously wrong. How she could sit there and say she’s done the research and spoke to her trans friends and all that, and then still feel the need to write a whole manifesto like that is weird. It’s concerning.

That Aint Right And She Aint Right GIF.

And it’s ruining Harry Potter. People are pointing out issues within the books and people are rethinking their beliefs. I can’t imagine how trans Potter fans have been feeling. To know that the person you may have looked up to and who created a safe and exciting escape for you actually thinks you’re a problem and a danger and then is so confident about this that she’ll proudly speak it and close herself off to any criticism or discussion? It’s unfortunate.

I’ve read several blog posts from Potterheads explaining how they’re choosing to act going forward. In this post from Bizarre Brunette, she said she’s going to stop supporting Rowling financially by buying fan art instead of official merch and by not seeing the Fantastic Beasts movies in theaters. And another blogger, Strange Storyteller, said in this post that she has decided to stop engaging with any Harry Potter things fully, as she’s unable to separate the art from the artist.

Both takes are valid, and as I said in my post in cancel culture, it should be up to you personally to take the info and decide how you feel and how you’re going to act. Harry Potter has played such a huge part in so many of our lives, so it’s understandable that it’s hard, perhaps even unfathomable, to remove it fully from your life. Personally, I feel like the magic of Harry Potter transcended Rowling a long time ago for me. I’ve unfollowed her on social media and I’ll certainly think twice before I give money to something Potter-related, but I’m choosing to still enjoy quidditch and choosing to enjoy the books/DVDs I already own. This doesn’t make me a bad person, nor you, if you’re in a similar boat. I’m aware Rowling is problematic and I do not support her or her beliefs. To many, she’s now just another sucky creator we’ll largely dislike forever now.

You made it a mess gif.

I encourage you, whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter or not, to educate yourself on trans issues and where Rowling’s beliefs went wrong. Here are three things / really breaking it down / to get you started.

As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Have your feelings toward Harry Potter changed? Do you think people should separate art from the artist?

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: August 2020

Welcome to August! Normally I make some comment like “August is the last chance to enjoy summer” but really no one has enjoyed this summer and I doubt this coming month will really change that. July was alright and so far, August seems to be on track to be decent, but I don’t have that much going on, and I apologize in advance. Nevertheless, here’s what it is:

monthly look ahead logo.

  • At the start of this year, my brother was doing an internship in a different city and when Corona got bad, he came home, but left some of his stuff behind. Now he/my family has to go get it, and I’m probably going to tag along because a change of scenery always does me good, and it’ll only be for the day, so it’s not a huge health risk.
  • I mentioned it in last month’s MLA too, but I’ve been kind of co-running a virtual quidditch league for friends, and season 2 of it starts this month. There are new features and teams and we’re really excited for people to try them out. It’s always good fun.
  • Agents Of SHIELD is ending for good this month and though I am very much not looking forward to its end, I do have faith that the finale will be really cool and I am excited to celebrate the legacy of this amazing show.

agents of shield s7 gif.

Job interviews picked up in July, so that’s nice. Fingers crossed for August. And fingers crossed we keep getting nice weather. Anything you’re looking forward to this month?

That’s all for now!

 

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All I Want To Talk About Today Is The New Neon Trees Album

I was due for a post today and had one ready, but then I spent literally all day yesterday vibing to the new album from Neon Trees so this is what you’re getting from me now. I’m so sorry if you genuinely have no interest in their music, but also know that you’re wrong.

I Can Feel You Forgetting Me came out yesterday on Friday the 24th, and it’s in many ways a new vibe for the band but is still the pop/punk/alternative music I love from them. All their music over their career is just so fun and upbeat, and the songs on this album are no exception. It’s been six years since Neon Trees’ last album, Pop Psychology, so I was more than ready to hear this new stuff from them, and I was hitting play on every single they released as soon as I could.

Who's ready? I'm ready! gif.

Honestly, I’m so hyped that there’s new music and I have no chill so here is a track by track breakdown of my thoughts on this album.

  1. ‘Nights’ – As soon as I heard the chorus to this song, I was sold. It was so infectious and it quickly became my favourite song of the bunch. Such a powerful start to the album.
  2. ‘Used To Like’ – They released this single first way back in November and it was just an instant banger. I knew just from this song that we were in for some jams.
  3. ‘Holy Ghost’ – This is just so, so, so fun! It picks up so much at the chorus. Slaps.
    guy dancing to music on headphones gif.
  4. ‘Skeleton Boy’ – Compared to all the other songs on this album, this one’s not quite as strong and it’s probably my least favourite. Not only does it feel slower and quieter, but the chorus is a little more electronic-sounding than I prefer. That being said, it’s not a bad song at all.
  5. ‘Mess Me Up’ – It’s so nice of Neon Trees to write a song for when I start a new TV show. This is the haunting, deeper song on the album, but even it is still upbeat and catchy. It’s a lost-in-your-feels-at-2am kind of vibe.
  6. ‘Living Single’ – A fun middle of the road song. I like how it parallels the line in ‘Holy Ghost’ of “modern romance” with the mentions “modern love”.
  7. ‘Everything Is Killing Me’ – I adore the multiple singers (or is it layering? Or echo?) in this song. So groovy.
  8. ‘Going Through Something’ – This chorus is so catchy! And I feel like we’re, all to some extent, going through something, so it’s the most relatable.
  9. ‘When The Night Is Over’ – There’s a poppy, funky element in this song that makes it stand out for me. I dig it so much.
    great stuff gif.
  10. ‘New Best Friend’ – this isn’t my favourite song on the album but I think it would be the song to best enjoy live. Sing-yelling “crazy!” with a bunch of people just seems like the best time. I just love how it builds its way up to the hype.

As fun as their songs are, so many of them, especially on I Can Feel You Forgetting Me, are so honest when discussing relationships and feelings, and seriously, it had me wishing I had a broken heart so I could really feel it, ya know? Anyway, so please do yourself a favour and listen to this album. And their others as well because there is no shortage of absolute bangers from Neon Trees. You need them in your life. I don’t think ICFYFM is my favourite album from them, because Pop Psychology was it for me, but this album is overall really good and there are some songs on here that are definitely some of their all-time best.

I CAN FEEL YOU YOU FORGETTING ME album cover.

I am crossing my fingers that I won’t have to wait another six years for another album. I am also crossing my fingers than when Coronavirus clears up and live music is allowed to happen again, Neon Trees will tour and come to Toronto so I can go see them live.

If you need me, I’ll be listening to this album on repeat for the rest of my life probably the next month.

That’s all for now.

 

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Forgotten Canadian Kids TV

I am Canadian, which means my brother and I grew up absorbing both Canadian and American entertainment. Of course, we didn’t really know it. TV was just TV. I think we just kind of assumed most of the shows were American, but we didn’t care.

Except recently, I was thinking about some old show we would watch after school and it led me to a wild 3am rabbit hole of TV shows I had completely forgotten about.

I forgot all about that gif.

See, in Canada, kids/teens had a few options for TV channels. There was Treehouse and TVO and morning CBC for really young kids. After a while, you become a kid and a tween and teen and move to Family, YTV, and Teletoon. All these channels were Canadian but they played both Canadian and American shows. The American shows were the ones that still live on in infamy. Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, iCarly, Hannah Montana, Ben10…we all remember them and you’ll still sometimes see references online to these popular shows even though they don’t air anymore.

All the shows I rediscovered at 3am that night were Canadian and had fallen right off the face of the planet. No one remembers them. No one talks about them. The live-action ones starred Canadian actors who didn’t go on to bigger and better things, sadly. And it’s so weird that that’s what shaped my childhood in a way.

So here’s to Canadian kids/tween shows. The shows that won’t get rewatched on Disney+. The shows that future generations of children will probably never see. The shows that I may never again think about. I’ve made a collage of them just because, so take a look.

collage of canadian kids/tween shows

This took me a long time to put together, but it was a fun time as I got to relive this little bit of my childhood. And there are probably still more out there that I really do not remember. Also, there’s a chance that some of these shows did make it to America or other countries (like everyone’s favourite bald kid Caillou), but I can confirm that they’re all Canadian. If you’re looking at this collage and not recognizing a thing, let me tell you that you missed out on some quality programming and I’m sad for you.

I know I’ve complained before that Canadian-made media isn’t as good as American media overall, but children’s content is the exception. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed American/other countries’ shows growing up too, but some of these shows shown here were so good and made such a mark on me that I’m not afraid to say that they’re better.

To any Canadians in and around my age reading this, I hope you got a huge kick out this post and I hope good memories came flooding back.

HIMYM canada gif.

That’s all for now!

 

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Ranking All The Zelda Games I’ve Played

I was about eleven or twelve and killing time in an EB Games when I first touched a Zelda video game. There was a trial version of Phantom Hourglass on a Nintendo DS that was anchored to the wall. At that time, I was a big Pokemon fan, a big Mario fan, and a big Kirby fan, but I had never even heard of Zelda. But the 20 minute trial I played piqued my interest so much, that I eventually got my hands on the full version and I fell in love with the world of Zelda.

Since then I’ve bought and played several other Zelda games and read the mangas. However, I had yet to complete all my games. I had started Twilight Princess and Wind Waker but never actually beat them, and at a garage sale several years ago I got Ocarina Of Time and Majora’s Mask but our N64 was at my grandparents’ house and by the time I got it back, I wasn’t really gaming anymore. So when Coronavirus hit and quarantine began, I decided to revisit my Zelda games and beat them all. Plus, a friend lent me two other games I didn’t own. So now here I am, ranking the Legend Of Zelda games I’ve played from least to most enjoyable (but it’s Zelda, I did enjoy them all!).

 

Majora’s Mask (Nintendo 64)
▷ Play The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Online FREE - N64 ...

I’m starting with an unpopular opinion, I know. This game had a very different concept: all the gameplay takes place over three days that you keep reliving over and over. I can’t say I loved this. It’s original and way ahead of its time as an N64 game, but it just does not align with my play style. I like to take my time and explore at my own pace, and this game rushed me so much to the point where I didn’t care about collecting masks or any side quests. I just wanted to get through it and therefore leaned on walkthroughs probably too much. (P.S. Peep this Majora’s mask I made in high school)

Four Swords (Gamecube)

This game was cute but basic. Its selling point is its ability to be played multiplayer, but I did it solo. I found the story weak. There weren’t any side quests and you had no freedom to do any side exploring, so it felt not like a typical Zelda game but more like a Mario game, which is fine but not what I want from the franchise. That being said, I had a decent time being able to control all four Links, even if I could only hold one item at a time. I have no desire to ever replay it on my own, though.

Wind Waker (Gamecube)

Wind waker | Zelda Amino

This game was cute and colourful and I enjoyed everything that took place on land, but I hated sailing so much. The maps were hard to use, the canon was hard to use, and the second half of the game required a lot of it. Speaking of the second half of the game, I found it a lot harder. The first part was very straightforward: go to these spots and get the pearls. But then it was like “sail around and find maps and then find shards and we’ll give you no hints as to where they may be or what you need to do to get them!” I had no issues with the art style, though, as I know that was a highly criticized thing when it came out.

Spirit Tracks (DS)

Spirit Tracks wasn’t awful, but it just wasn’t as magical as other games. The train theme was weird and boring. While I liked that there were some side quests, they were all just taking people/things on your train, which I did not want to do because I did not like the train. What I did like was collecting stamps and going through the Spirit Temple because I enjoyed the challenge of controlling Zelda in the armour as well as Link. I found the game overall to be similar to Phantom Hourglass where it was on the easier side.

Minish Cap (Gameboy Advance)

Best Minish Cap GIFs | Gfycat

This game was alright. The small, colourful Minish world was interesting to explore while exploring the full-size world, plus it had cute Pokemon-style graphics which I love, but the game wasn’t anything special in terms of the world or the story. It wasn’t long or all that memorable, really. It’s decent and could be a solid intro-to-Zelda game, but there are better handheld ones out there.

Ocarina Of Time (Nintendo 64)

Ocarina Of Time was a lot of fun and I was impressed at its graphics and 3D world considering the game was from 1998. Time travelling between being a kid and an adult was neat for the most part but underused. I wish I hadn’t read the manga for this game because the reveal of Zelda as Sheik was obviously ruined for me. I understand why this game is a favourite for a lot of people as it is really a must-play and introduced so many things that are still iconic in the franchise like the Gorons and Epona.

Skyward Sword (Wii)

Zelda's Hero: Making the Most of Motion Controls in 'Skyward Sword'

I had heard this was a middle-of-the-road kind of game, but I loved it. It was bright and colourful and the game was hard enough that I had to face the bosses a few times to win but not so hard that I spent days wandering around lost. Fi was not my favourite sidekick but she was by far the most useful. I know people had issues with the use of the Motion Plus on the Wii, which I guess is valid, though I had no issue with it, but I don’t know if its finicky-ness was the game’s fault or just a weakness of the tool itself. My biggest issue with this game was that there were kind of only four areas to explore and you had to do them each several times, so it got kind of tiring and predictable.

Twilight Princess (Wii)

This was the first ‘darker’ more mature game in terms of art style. It was very interesting though. I liked switching between wolf and human, though it was underused overall and I feel like they could have used a cooler animal than a wolf. I did think this game took a while to pick up as it had you do like 20 minutes of farming before anything interesting happened. But the world was vast and exciting once it got going, so I really liked exploring it, and there were some fun side quests.

Phantom Hourglass (DS)
Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks: A Tale of Two Games | 25YL

This game holds a special place in my heart as it’s the first one I played, but let the record state, I think it’s a great game. I’m very comfortable with a DS, so I didn’t struggle with controls at all. In fact, I really liked how you could utilize the touch screen to draw and make notes. I thought the story was fun and you didn’t need to know anything going in, even if it is a spinoff of Wind Waker. I will say it’s one of the easier games, but it wasn’t so easy that I didn’t have to think. I didn’t love going through the Ocean Temple multiple times, but each time it was different as you had new items to help, and the time limits did apply pressure, but not so much that it wasn’t doable.


So that’s it! Those are the nine Zelda games I’ve played ranked. I’ve truly had a great time exploring the worlds and fighting the beasts over the past few months. Zelda is a wonderful franchise with games that anyone can pick up and love, so if you’ve never played one, I suggest it. I know there are many other Zelda games out there that I would 100% love to play, but the only other games I have the console for are the Game Boy Colour ones. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll get my hands on a new system. Or try emulators.

I know I have some unpopular opinions in my ranking here so feel free to argue with me in the comments.

P.S. No one asked for it, but here’s my ranking of Zelda games based purely on their use/involvement of dragons: 1. Skyward Sword, 2. Wind Waker, 3. Twilight Princess, 4. Ocarina of Time, 5. Phantom Hourglass. You’re welcome.

Top 30 Triforce GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

 

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