How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter is always a fun, magical time with great characters and an engaging story. It never disappoints. The Half-Blood Prince opens as any other Potter movie does, in the land of the muggles watching Harry struggle to get through. Only this time, he seems to have a bit more confidence. He is maturing, growing since The Sorcerer's Stone. He never gets a chance to fully realize his confidence, however, as Dumbledore comes and whisks him away on a new adventure.

In many ways, this is the same Potter, all grown up. A prevailing theme is that everyone at Hogwarts is trying to find love. This search is bolstered through the discovery of a love potion which they learn how to make in Professor Slughorn's potions class (oh, yeah, his return to Hogwarts booted Snape into the Protection Against the Dark Arts class, the standard bad-guy position.) This subplot made for some interesting, hilarious and heart-felt episodes with various members of the cast.

In fact, there are several subplots in this movie that all somehow revolve around the main plot: who's trying to kill Dumbledore and will they succeed? The who is answered rather quickly, the success is interestingly measured. But I say that's the main plot only because it seems to be the only plot that comes to a satisfactory end. In many ways, even this plot circles around an even greater plot: "What is Voldemort planning, and how can we stop him?" The problem is that this plot never comes to an end.

At the  end of The Half-Blood Prince, one is left sitting in the theater wondering if that's it. The ending feels more like a commercial break than any kind of conclusion. As if the movie realizes we've been sitting in the theater for almost three hours wondering about the fate of Dumbledore and it's willing to give us an hour or two break before we come back and finish the movie. The thing is... there is no more movie. I understand the concept of it being one in a series and that it should be leaving us begging for the next one, but plenty of series movies (I can think of at least the Lord of the Rings trilogy) wrapped up their plots quite nicely in the middle of the series leaving you satisfied until the next movie came out. It can be done, and I think it ought to be. When we come to the end of the movie we finally find out what Voldemort's weakness is. It's like the climax of the story! We know how to defeat him! Hurray! End. >.> Uhh... So, we're just gonna... not defeat him, then.

Again, I understand this part of the story will be fleshed out in the next couple of movies, but you could at least give me SOME kind of closure. Even the plot against Dumbledore seems hollow and unexamined. Well executed, to be sure, but in the end... now what?

Ok, there it is; my scathing criticism of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Really, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Granted, I was following the wrong plot most of the time, but I enjoyed the ride. This has all the ingredients for a great movie, a lot of eye candy, a lot of brain candy and a lot of heart candy. If you're looking forward to this movie I dare say you will not be disappointed. Especially if you know what happens in the last book.


  1. I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet, and I'll probably chime in again once I have, but I wanted to mention that the book ends without answering much in this sense either. The series as a whole sets up many mysteries which compel you to read on in anticipation of revelations. I raced to finish the last book for just this reason. A warning: while most of the mysteries are resolved, there are some minor ones that aren't... just something to be prepared for as the last couple of films come out.

  2. Saw it: didn't feel like it was a cliffhanger at all in comparison to the book. Did feel that they actually gave more away in terms of Snape's role in the story, which is upsetting as that mystery is one which kept me very interested during reading. They removed a lot of tension from the progression of this section of the story which is also weird. Maybe this book should have been split into two stories two because important elements of the story just don't seem to have been given the proper amount of screen time.

  3. I haven't read any of the books, so I can't speak to what they added or removed. I keep hearing that it's a terrible adaptation, but standing alone as a movie, I found it to be entertaining.

  4. I agree, I just found that they stripped out a lot of what made each part of the movie very interesting. There is a lot of lore and back-story that I'm sure you would have enjoyed seeing that they just passed over. I found that stuff to be the most interesting stuff in the story and really what makes you want to keep reading.


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