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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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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Please Don’t Make Me Work From Home

I know that with Coronavirus being still a big issue and concern, going into work is not an option for most people at this time, so those who can are working from home, and I’d imagine that by now, everyone has adapted to this the best they can.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. meme.

So there’s a chance that when workplaces and office buildings do open up again, people will opt to not go back and instead continue working from home. And there’s a chance companies will encourage this going forward so they don’t have to pay for office space or utilities or coffee.

As someone who is currently job hunting and has many, many years of being in the workforce ahead of her, this concerns me. I don’t want to work from home. I think that if this becomes the norm, it will be detrimental to people’s careers and health and just the way companies function.

maybe this is a bad ide gif.

Let’s say I got a job tomorrow at a company that has decided to solely employ people remotely. This means all my interactions with coworkers would be over the computer/phone (which is a whole problem in itself as some people are really not computer literate and should not be conducting professional business this way), and because of this, there would be little to no room for anything other than pure work. No longer would I ask my coworker how their weekend was as we wait for the kettle to boil in the breakroom. It would be so much harder to form bonds, and the lack of these bonds could mean that I have less quality connections, which is critical when Who You Know is always a valuable thing in life. And with coworker interaction down severely, what have I got left? I live with my parents currently and I have a very small handful of friends I talk to with some regularity, so I guess I’d still talk to people during the day, but imagine if I didn’t, as I’m sure some people do. I think the lack of human interaction could lead to some mental health issues, as we’ve even seen happen during this pandemic. I want to be able to get out of the house and go to a place to work. I want to be able to separate myself like that. I want to be able to connect and grow and learn from my environment.

My best friend’s dad is close to retirement, and I was talking to him the other week about this. He set up an office in his garage when COVID hit and likes it, but he totally empathizes with me as a young person facing this. He told me that there’s a young girl who he works with and, when they did work in person, he would try to ensure she sat in on meetings and learned from his experience. He said she’d was able to hear most of his phone calls and he knows she picked up so much from that. But now that they’re apart, he can’t do that, and he despises how communication now is limited to a lot of messaging.

This Ain't It gif.

I know working from home is ideal for a lot of people like those with kids at home or those with physical limitations or those who don’t live near their work, and I am not at all saying that they should be forced to go to into a workplace. I totally think companies should try to be flexible in those cases. My point is more about the workforce in general. My field is marketing and communications, and yes, it is stuff that could realistically be done from home on my own, but I really hope I don’t have to do that.

Of course, I don’t mean to sound like a choosing beggar. A job is a job, and I am adaptable. But as I said, as a young person, I can’t help but be a little worried for my future and the future of my peers regarding careers. There are a lot of changes that could and should come from this pandemic but everyone working from home always is not one, in my opinion.

People working from home now, what’s the vibe like? Are you more or less productive? Are you itching to get back to the office?

 

 

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The Journey To Love Yourself

Love yourself.

It’s a phrase passed around a lot, especially online. From celebrities to influencers and even regular people, this message is always preached. In songs, in inspirational quotes, in speeches…it’s everywhere. And for good reason. It’s good advice.

But it’s so freaking hard.

Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard gif.

We already know that love is a strong word. So strong that some people live their whole lives not understanding it. It’s easy to say “I love pizza” or “I love my best friend” but even then, you may not fully know what love is or what it means.

And then there’s the concept of yourself. You. The one being you can control, you can fully know. You’re you and you’ve been you your whole life. You’re flawed and you’re limited and you’re learning and existing every day. You know more about yourself than anyone ever will. You see yourself in a way no one ever will.

But you are not the roadblock in this goal of loving yourself. Not always. The world is. The messy, complex, ever-changing world we live in has become such a huge part of who we are and how we see things. The world shaped us and continues to shape us, and sometimes, we have to fight that.

It seems sometimes that the world has boxes you need to check in order to be worthy of love. You gotta be skinny and have clear skin and be smart and be sweet and have nice hair and dress in a certain way and like certain things and express yourself in certain ways. Your butt must be a certain size and your nose must be a certain shape and you must live a certain way. And you better have all this figured out by the time you’re like sixteen years old because if others can, so can you, right? It’s tiring. Even people who seemingly check all these boxes still may not feel worthy.

it's a lot gif.

Sometimes I feel like no one truly and fully loves themselves, and anyone who says they do are lying to sell the message, not necessarily to others but to themselves in an attempt to feel like they’re trying. Like when you tell yourself that you’re fine or you’re happy but you aren’t. But whether actually loving yourself is really possible or not, we still have to keep trying. We are who we are in these bodies and we will be for a long time, so if you can make this journey has happy and confident as possible, that’s the goal.

The first step is to not hate yourself. Step two to just like yourself.

A few years ago, I said that I wanted to be more positive, and I know I’m still quick to lean into self-deprecating humour out loud, but I think how I view myself internally has changed for the better. I’m either accepting or coming to even appreciate things about myself both physical and otherwise that years ago I disliked. I’m working on the things I can change and I’m making an effort to be nicer to myself and kinder to myself. I’m trying to look in the mirror and have my first thoughts be somewhat positive. It’s been a challenge and I’m nowhere near fully loving myself, but I can still be proud of these developments. For the most part, I like myself.

Someone May Not Like Me But I Like Myself GIF.

But here’s my theory on loving yourself: weirdly enough, you can’t do it alone. We as humans, whether we like it/know it or not, are constantly seeking validation and acceptance from people, be it friends or coworkers or random people at a bar or strangers on the internet. It’s why we edit photos that go on social media or dress up when we go out or act in certain ways around certain people. To really feel valid and worthy of love, sometimes we need to hear it from other people who genuinely mean it. In the same way we need other people to tell us we’re good at cooking, I think sometimes we need someone to tell us we’re beautiful in order for us to really believe it and see it in ourselves.

Again, it’s just my theory, but I’d love to know what you think of it. And I’d love to know if you’ve got tips for loving yourself, even if you’ve yet to do it. There’s no right way to reach the final stage, and there’s no time limit, so no matter where you are on this journey is okay. I think as long as there’s at least awareness for how you perceive and conduct yourself, that’s good enough.

I am enough and so are you gif.

That’s all for now!

 

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My Least Favourite Songs From My Favourite Musicals

There are so many great musicals out there. My list of favourites only keeps growing, but it’s okay because my heart and ears have no limit. Of course, just because I love a musical, it doesn’t mean I love every single song, and today I wanted to discuss which songs are my least favourite in the shows I hold closest to my heart. Not every song can be amazing. These are just my opinions and just a fun way for us to discuss musicals.

that's my opinion gif.

‘When All Is Said And Done’ from Mamma Mia (Listen here)
This song isn’t in the stage production, but it is in the movie, and it is without a doubt the boring-est song of the show. We all know that Pierce Brosnan is not a spectacular singer, but this song really highlights this whereas it’s not nearly as evident in songs like ‘SOS’. Not to mention that it really doesn’t do much in terms of the plot.

‘Dear Old Shiz’ from Wicked (Listen here)
Wicked‘s great songs are really great but the other songs are honestly not anything amazing, and this song in particular is really unnecessary and slow and doesn’t really have any sort of lasting melody to hold on to. Plus, the musical barely focuses on Shiz, so I find it unnecessary.

‘Letters From The Refuge’ from Newsies (Listen here)
I’m technically cheating with this song as it was added to the show for the national tour and therefore was not on Broadway or the soundtrack, but still. As much as it was sweet to hear from Crutchie, using the same ‘Santa Fe’ melody again kind of made the song forgettable and we kind of already knew the refuge was not a great place anyway, so the song doesn’t really help much in getting that point across. I don’t think it needed to be added to the show at all. (If I had to pick a least favourite song from the soundtrack, it’d probably be ‘That’s Rich’ for no reason other than I love the other songs more).

Crutchie writing his letter to Jack.

‘Meet Me Inside’ from Hamilton (Listen here)
As someone who is not a huge fan of rap/hip-hop, there are a few songs on this soundtrack that musically don’t thrill me but they advance the plot well or are well written, but this song is not one of them. I can’t describe the heartbeat-esque sound that’s happening in the second half, but it makes me uneasy. Plus, this song just really shows how much of an idiot Hamilton can be.

‘Legally Blonde Remix’ from Legally Blonde (Listen here)
This is supposed to be a big moment in the show where things turn around for Elle, but I just don’t enjoy how this song was done. They add up the tempo of the song ‘Legally Blonde’ that was so deep and heartbreaking, made the lyrics so disjointed by having so many parts to it that feel so rushed, and then had this long dance break that isn’t fun to listen to unless you’re watching it on stage. Like, we get it, she’s legally blonde. You don’t have to say it 5000 times.

‘What A Woman Wants’ from Kinky Boots (Listen here)
I find this song annoying. The “whatta man, whatta man” bits are so annoying and the salsa-dancing vibes feel out of place in the soundtrack. I just skip this song whenever I listen to the soundtrack because I just do not enjoy it.

‘Climbing Uphill’ from The Last Five Years (Listen here)
I adore so much about The Last Five Years, but I cannot stand this song. I don’t mind the first part (though I don’t love it by any means) but when it turns to Cathy’s audition, I just hate it. I understand what they were trying to do, but I just don’t like it. And then the song does shift back to tolerable parts, but the Anna Kendrick version ends so suddenly, which is just awkward to listen to. Of course, is the Broadway version where it ends with Jamie snapping at Cathy better? Unsure. It’s bad all around.

Cathy at her audition.

‘Requiem’ from Dear Evan Hansen (Listen here)
I just find this song boring. It’s sung well and all, but just boring. And especially compared to other songs in this show that are just so powerful. I know a lot of people dislike ‘To Break In A Glove’ but I kind of like that one more.

‘Club Knocked Up’ from Waitress (Listen here)
I debated whether or not this 46-second nonsense really counts as a song, but it does. It’s annoying and an instant-skip for me.

‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ from Come From Away (Listen here)
This show is so music heavy and every song has so much info and flows together so well that it’s hard to pick one that’s a least favourite, but I picked ‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ because it’s kind of slow and haunting and uncomfortable. I know that’s the goal, but compared to the other songs, this one is weaker for sure.

‘Those Canaan Days’ from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Listen here)
I know this show jumps around in style a decent amount, but the French vibes in this song just don’t do anything for me here. Plus this song is far too long and droning. It’s the fourth longest song of the show, and all it’s saying is that Joseph’s brothers are not thriving. Pass.

Those Canaan Days.

If you’ve yet to see/listen to one of these musicals listed, don’t let this post deter you. Truthfully, while these songs are my least favourite, most are not at all bad and if it weren’t for this post where I actually had to pick them, I wouldn’t really have least favourites. Does that make sense?

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree with my choices for least favourite? What are some of your other least favourite songs in your favourite musicals?

That’s all for now!

 

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