Donut wrote:Hehe, the LEGO version of clumsy beauty.
venvorskar wrote:Yes, I would be interested in seeing other writing of yours.
Sure thing. Here's an essay in which I needed to write about "what's hot" that would be included in a larger project, and a research report on a certain author I was assigned to. That's all I can find right now.....
I do like popular culture, although I almost always loathe trends, especially those of clothing fashion. One certain style does not become ‘popular’ on the basis of rational fact such as superior durability of a certain fabric or a matching set of colors appealing to the eye, but a measurement of how frequently a ‘popular’ person wears the clothing and their demeanor pertaining to its use. How a person becomes ‘popular’ involves an even more deranged, muddled process with innumerable immeasurable factors, of which they themselves also alter depending on whether they are deemed as popular themselves. It has always seemed to me that the older popular music of one period in the past is always of better quality than the current popular music. I strongly dislike the recent ‘Hip-Hop’ and ‘Rap’ styles, any of the many types of music some call ‘Pop’ (of which the exact criteria still remain a mystery to me), and all other combinations or variants thereof.
One of the biggest national news stories of late is the execution of the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. After being convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal following his trial for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites in the town of Dujail in 1982, he was hanged on December 30, 2006.
One of the most celebrated and criticized socialites, Paris Whitney Hilton, was placed under arrest for driving at 70 mph in a 35mph zone and charged with violating her probation given to her in 2006 after driving while intoxicated. Ms. Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail. The arrogant, nasty, egotistical slacker has begged California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for a pardon while online petitions in favor and opposed to this ruling reaped tens of thousands of signatures.
In the local (and much brighter) news, a high school soccer player from Brewster received a new heart from an anonymous donor earlier this week relative to the time I am typing this. 17 year old Jessi-Ann Bettcher miraculously got the chance to undergo a life-saving cardiac transplantation procedure after being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy in October of 2007, as she was in a line of thousands waiting, in need.
Of course, this is the type of story the media will briefly run, downplay it and instead rant and rave for days and days on end about the fine details of Ms. Hilton’s life, so some idiotic, ‘wannabe’ citizen can closely follow every action of the ignorant, conceited celebrity and obsessively admire the fame and wealth, the ability to travel around the world and do anything they want, because they have absolutely nothing better to do, being filthy rich.
Over the last couple weeks, the final installments in a few select film trilogies are proving to be spectacular box office hits and are breaking many records concerning self-reported overall gross sale totals. On May 4, Spiderman 3 set a record $59.8 million take for its opening day in the United States, breaking Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest’s previous $55.8 million record. Spiderman 3 also took the worldwide opening day record with $117 million. Two weeks later, Shrek the Third claimed the top box office with the best opening weekend ever for an animated film globally at $122.6 million and third best overall. A week from now, the final Pirates of the Caribbean film, At World’s End will undoubtedly push Shrek out of his throne and subsequently reset the aforementioned records.
J. K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling is an English fiction novelist who writes the Harry Potter series under the pen name of J. K. Rowling. Her books have received much praise by children and adults alike along with multiple awards. Rowling’s writing is littered with imaginative names that bring delight to young children, but her choice of language is multi-layered, consisting of fun sounding names, an etymology of ancient mythology, and even a corny pun or two, and thus intrigues many other audiences in addition to children.
Rowling is a linguist. She has used her vast knowledge of different word roots for all the unique names and incantations used in her books. Rowling amasses a plethora of information for one single character before she incorporates the character into one of her books. She has a whole childhood laid out for characters like Sirius Black, for example. Every character starts with a name; a thoroughly thought-out string of words that not only sounds nice but gives an impression of the person’s character by the means of both the ‘ring’ to the sound of the word read aloud and the word roots concealed inside.
Gilderoy Lockhart is the ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’ teacher in Rowling’s second book. Gilderoy was a name of a handsome Scottish highwayman according to “The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable”, a book often used and acclaimed by Rowling herself. Rowling found the name ‘Lockheart’ on a World War One memorial and this name said everything she wanted (Fraser). Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for most of the series. Dumbledore is Old English for Bumblebee as is Albus for white. White is a frequently used symbol for ‘good’. This also provides an accurate vision of the professor who always seems to be on the move and humming to himself. Draco Malfoy, a ruthless, disdainful bully at Hogwarts, shares his first name with a constellation in the northern part of the sky depicting a dragon. The name Malfoy is derived from the word malicious, which means hateful, cruel, and nasty. (Merill)
Rowling gathered many inspirations for her ‘fantastic’ series from her experiences throughout her lifetime. She built the foundations of her magical realm of Harry Potter in 1990 (Imbornoni). A fully formed Harry strode into her head one day while delayed on a train traveling from London to Manchester. On the train, the ideas rushed into her head in a mighty torrent and adrenalin surged as she desperately searched for a working pen, but found none. Later at her apartment, she strained to remember each detail. She recalled that she had to think of her story instead of writing it that day and that turned out very good for her. The story wouldn’t have survived the long journey from the mind to the paper if it wasn’t worth remembering. Rowling knew that this was very special but she didn’t start writing immediately, recalling difficulties with her two unfinished novels (Steffens, 22). Another day, after she got into a vicious ‘row’ with her boyfriend, she stormed out of the house and walked to the local pub, Nicolson’s. There, the sport of quidditch, a game played by catching and throwing various balls while on a broom mount, came to her out of the blue. (Fraser)
Her stories include details from her friendship with Seán Harris, a childhood friend, who moved to Bristol from Cyprus while his father was away fighting in the army. He soon became youthful Rowling’s best friend, and she later dedicated the Chamber of secrets, her second book, to him. Harris owned a turquoise Ford Anglia which gave both of them as much freedom as they could want, as driving was very useful and important in her small rural village. Thus, when the Weasley boys come to rescue Harry from his uncle’s strict incarceration, they use none other than a bewitched turquoise Ford Anglia. (Fraser)
Rowling’s childhood encounters at her primary school included a stern and disparaging teacher who somewhat inspired the demeanor of Rowling’s Severus Snape, the potions master at Hogwarts and the head of the Slytherin dormitory. Her teacher arranged the children’s seating by the order of ‘brightness’ and by the end of ten minutes, young Joanne was placed in the ‘dim’ row. When Rowling reached secondary school, she favored her English teacher, Miss Shepherd. Shepherd was demanding and strict but also very smart, clever and passionate. Her character was the prime choice for Rowling’s Professor McGonagall, the Hogwarts transfiguration teacher and head of the Gryffindor dormitory. Much later when Rowling became a published author, Shepherd wrote a letter to Rowling which apparently meant more to her than any award or newspaper review. (Merill)
Rowling’s experiences in her education and the writing skills developed during her employment have influenced her writing and given her specific motivations that she used in her books. Throughout school, she did well and her attitude is said to be surprisingly similar to Hermione Granger’s, one of the primary protagonists and a close friend of Harry’s (Imbornoni). In Public School, Rowling’s classes included English, French, and German ‘honours’ and she went on to study French at the University of Exeter, graduating in 1986. For the next few years of her life, she worked for a publishing firm, sending out rejection letters to potential authors, ironically. (Merill)
The imaginative names like ‘The Leaky Cauldron, ‘Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans”, and the Weasley twin’s ‘Ton-Tongue Toffy’ bring delight to young children. However, these words are also integrated into a serious, surprisingly realistic and sophisticated plot in a way that is appealing to adults, too. Rowling also includes concepts heavily based upon occurrences in real-world life translated into her magical fantasy, so that readers can be guided by the familiarity without necessarily knowing the details of the alien culture. The imagination and complexity behind J. K. Rowling’s prose have helped make her the very successful author that she is today.
• Fraser, Lindsey. Conversations with J. K. Rowling. 239 Kensington High Street, London : Scholastic Inc, ©2000 & 2001
• Imbornoni, Ann-Marie. “J. K. Rowling, the story of Harry Potter’s creator”. 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. 10 march 2007 <http://www.factmonster.com/spot/harrycreator1.html>
• Merill, Trista. “J. K. Rowling”. Popular Contemporary Authors. 1st ed. vol 9. 2006
• Steffens, Bradley. J. K. Rowling. 10911 Technology Place, San Diego, CA: Lucent Books. ©2002