Why I Am Obsessed With The Marauders

Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter book. It introduced a whole set of new characters that I immediately fell in love with: Sirius and Remus, and yes, even Peter. Of course, Lily and James had been previously mentioned, but their characters also got a more in-depth description in the third installment of the series.

So I loved that particular book because it gave me more information about them: the infamous Marauders of Hogwarts and Lily, who I imagine acted as a sidekick to their quartet as soon as she took up with James. So yeah, I love those guys. I probably love them more than any other characters in the book, and that’s a little odd: they hardly get the kind of in-depth attention a character like Harry gets, or Hermione or Snape or almost anyone else apart from, say, Seamus Finnigan.

Yet there is an explanation for my obsession, and I’ll share it with you. Be warned, though: after reading this post you won’t be able to ever think of the Marauders again without gross sobbing. Their storyline is just so freakin’ tragic. Continue reading

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Fictional Fans

I once wrote a blogpost about fictional fandoms. Well, it stands to reason that fictional fandoms have fictional fans, right? So, this blog post is dedicated to just such fictional individuals. Perhaps they are the ones I identify with most of all. Perhaps the creators of my favorite stories conceived of them to criticize me or, to put it more bluntly, to encourage me to Get A Life. I don’t care. I love being a fangirl and I love my fellow fictional fangirls.

16068905Cather Avery – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is centered around Cather Avery, a young girl who goes to university. She is introverted and struggles withe developing a social life, but on the internet she has no problem making friends. On the internet, Cath writes Carry On, Simon, the most popular Simon Snow-fanfic ever. The Simon Snow fandom is fictional, but it it obviously based on the Harry Potter fandom, and it pleases me a lot to see a respectful portrayal of fangirls and fanfiction writers in this book.

Penny Lane – Kate Hudson in Almost Famous

Contrary to popular belief, Penny Lane and her friends, Polexia Aphrodesia and Sapphire, are not fangirls.

Penny Lane: We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.

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How I Recovered From Depression

It’s Mental Health Week over on Frenzied Fangirl. I’m raising money for suicide prevention because it is a cause very important to me. Please give if you can.

This piece was originally written for the amazing non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms, inspired by this blog post by Jamie Tworkowski: You Should Write. October 20th will be a new National Day On Writing, and you will hear more on the subject then. For now, let me fight stigma by writing openly about my experience of mental illness.

A lot has been written about the experience of depression. “Depression is the flaw in love,” says Andrew Solomon. Emily Dickinson describes depression by saying: “I felt a funeral in my brain.” David Foster Wallace wrote: “When the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors.” I myself have often said that depression is like carrying a dead soul inside a body that refuses to die. We know that depression is terrible, and that words, no matter how carefully selected, can never quite describe its horrors.

However, there is something else I want to talk to you about, today. This is something that, while vitally important to the conversation about mental health, doesn’t get half as much attention as the actual illness. I want to talk to you about recovery. Continue reading

Why You Should Shut Up About Suicide

It’s Mental Health Week over on Frenzied Fangirl. I’m raising money for suicide prevention because it is a cause very important to me. Please give if you can.

TRIGGER WARNING: In-depth discussion of suicide.

Recent studies show that there is an element of contagion to suicide. Those exposed to the suicide of people in their immediate surroundings are much more likely to take their own lives. Because of this, I feel strongly that the media should stop mentioning suicide as a cause of death.

Humans are pack animals. We take comfort in numbers and let ourselves be influenced by the actions of our idols. In modern times, our idols are often celebrities. Sometimes celebreties kill themselves, and unfortunately this brings about a ripple effect of copycat suicides.

I, personally, find it easy to explain copycat suicides. If you’re trying to decide whether to get vanilla or strawberry ice cream and you see the person queuing in front of you get strawberry, what do you choose? Probably strawberry, as well. There must have been some reason the person ahead of you chose it. Besides, they seem to be enjoying it well enough, so there you go.

Of course I understand that the press has a responsibility to inform the public. I also understand that it is becoming increasingly difficult to control information in the digital age. However, I think most people would agree with me that there is a gray area. Not reporting on a terrorist attack is bad journalism. Reporting on the exact way the attack was executed and what procedure was used to put together the explosives, is also bad journalism. We don’t want our newspaper to publish a how-to guide on explosives, because if “how to blow up an airport” was common knowledge it would most likely endanger a lot of people.

And here’s the thing: informing people about someone else’s suicide endangers them. Continue reading

Don’t Watch Pushing Daisies

Don’t watch Pushing Daisies. Do yourself and your heart a favor and don’t watch it. Never ever. Pushing Daisies will ruin you for all other TV shows, and here’s why.

The basic premise of Pushing Daisies is this: a young boy named Ned discovers that he has an extraordinary gift. His touch brings the dead back to life. Of course, there is a catch: if he ever touches the revived thing again, it dies permanently. Also, if he revives it for longer than a minute, something in the vicinity dies in its stead.

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The Character Assasination Of Dean Forester

I’ve written about  character assassination before. That particular article was about Toby Ziegler, unsung hero of the Bartlet administration. However, since character assassination is something I feel strongly about, I have more to say on the subject today. The object of my scrutiny and affection in this case is Dean Forester, Rory’s first and  arguably awesomest boyfriend on Gilmore Girls.

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Now, Supernatural-lovers, don’t get confused. On this show, Sam goes by the name of Dean.

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Holden’s Bookshelf

Welcome to the Character’s Bookshelf. This is where I speculate, entirely outside of the space-time continuum and the barriers of language, what books would be a fictional character’s favorites.

Holden Caulfield: “I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot. ”

Today we’ll have a look at Holden Caulfield’s bookshelf. If you don’t know Holden, get out of here. No, don’t, but take my advice: drop whatever you were doing and start reading The Catcher In The Rye right now. Continue reading

Pride

This year, the city of Amsterdam hosted the Canal Pride. I live in Amsterdam, and in honor of the occasion I would like to list some of my favorite LGBTQIA+ characters.

Please note that all of those are canonically not-straight, and I’m not just speculating that Dean is gay for Castiel or anything because queerbaiting is disgusting. I will dedicate a blogpost to that in the future, but today is Pride Day: let’s be proud.

Pride (2014) characters are gay or bi

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Pride is one of my favorite films ever. It was released in 2014 and tells the story of a group of British lesbians and gays who come out in support of the miners during their strike in the 80’s. It is a wonderful film: funny, fast-paced and smart. Pride is a film that celebrates diversity, without ever forgetting that There Is Power In A Union. Continue reading

On Sex And Violence In Entertainment

“Why do people – yourself included – find it so very attractive to look at depictions of violence and sex, and why does polite society have such a problem with actual violence and actual sex?”

I owe this post to The Was, who posed this question in a reaction to my recent blogpost about Outlander. Of course, the question, being both personal and very broad, is difficult to answer. But I’m not one to back down from a challenge. Continue reading