A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 :::
The First Step in Ending An Addiction is Admitting That You Have One.

The second one, if memory serves, is deciding to end it. But what if you don't want to?

When A Mind That Suits first appeared, Harry Potter was making his fifth appearance, and he has just made his sixth. A certain pudgy, balding English teacher vowed to resist the siren call. He is about to decamp to California for his annual, and perhaps final, sojourn among the papers of his late, beloved uncle, Allen Drury. He has much to do before he departs, and has been getting little sleep. He will now be getting less. Following a rave review in this morning's Wall Street Journal, he caved. Review to follow. It will be a rave.

Admitting an addiction can save you money. A Mind That Suits found himself in the Barnes and Noble in Bethesda, Maryland, standing before a whole display of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince discounted at 40%, but he vowed to resist.


Overwhelmed by compulsion, he was forced to buy it at Borders, the major bookstore on the street where he lives. Well, not lives, but when he was but a wee slip of a lad, downtown DC consisted of Farragut Square, and that is where his bank and post office are. Had he moved east down Pennsylvannia Avenue along with the law firms, he could have bought the latest bit of wizardry from J.K. Rowling at the downtown Barnes and Noble. Alas, it was not to be, and Borders only has a 30% discount. Thus did A Mind That Suits lose 3 bucks.

(He could have waited until tomorrow, when he will again be in lovely, ultra-modern Bethesda, but, you know, addiction is a terrible thing to waste.)

It is with some perplexity that A Mind That Suits finds that his beloved spiritual leader, the in-every-way admirable Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedect XVI, long may he reign, does not share his high estimation of the young wizard. As this touches upon a matter of faith and morals, he must listen, and so he will. (The Pope is not infallible on contingent matters, i.e., how hot it is today and whether "2 +2 = 4 .") The issue that the Wall Street Journal highlighted this morning--the "Manicheaism" of the earlier novels--seems to be a non-starter. Manichaeism, or gnosticism, maintains that the good and the evil are so separate that they can have no contact whatsoever, and so the Son of Man could never have been corporeal, which He undoubtedly was.

Throughout Ms. Rowling's novels, however, good and bad lurk everywhere, as they do in real life. In the, of course, transcendently greater Lord of the Rings, there are, as in Harry Potter's England, many who have chosen the path of evil. Orcs are a special problem, because they are presented as irredeemable and worthy of contempt, but the invaluable letters of J.R. R. Tolkien reveal that they are demons, and so of a whole different order than mortals. Mortals who serve the Dark Lord are, at the end of the greatest work of literature of the last 200 years, granted clemency. So a Manichaeism charge against Prof. Tolkien is ill-founded.

As it would appear to be against Ms. Rowlings.

However, a certain pudgy, balding English teacher, loyal son of the Church and devoted follower of Joseph Ratzinger for many years, will of course give the matter all the attention that it is due, and there are several websites dedicated to the question. As XVI has not spoken ex cathedra (that is, infallibly), extreme papalists should note that he is under no obligation to agree, or even assent. (Now there is a Catholic distinction for you.) But he IS obliged to take the matter seriously, and so he will.

A Mind That Suits was, as is the case with so many addicts, turned on to Harry Potter by a trusted friend, who is now either a senior mid-level or low high-level official in the Bush Administration, doing the Lord's work in a vital job concerning families of the poor. A Bush official? Will the scandals never cease!!! However, a certain pudgy, balding English teacher would here like to express his great gratitude to his "enabler." Or "dealer." Whatever.

But he must really go get back to the Half-Blood Prince. It has been four days, and "who dies?" still hangs heavy on the mind.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:24 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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