Monthly Archives: June 2015
Let’s continue with the exceptionally long line-by-line nitpick of the cult classic “Harry Potter and the Sorcerphilosopher’s Stone”!
So chapter 2 begins with everyone grown up about 10 years. In this time, Dudley has managed to progress through school while being unable to count to 39 presents. I thought the American educational system was problematic, but at least our high school graduates can count to forty! Take that Brits!
Nitpick 2: Dudley gets a VCR for his birthday. This isn’t a nitpick, but I feel the need to teach a history lesson to the kids. VCRs are what we used to have before Blu-Ray players and digital downloads. The video cassette tape (which is the equivalent of a standard issue DVD without the menu or scene selection) was roughly the size of of an iPhone with a protective cover.
Petunia is revolted by Harry’s hair and cuts it all off except for the bangs. There’s our ordinary family doing something wacky. And, did half-bald Harry really look better than mess-haired Harry? Also, Harry’s hair grows back to the exact length it was before. Can Harry style his hair? What if he wanted a mohawk…only with his bangs and not the usual way? Eh, moving on.
Also, Harry’s magic begins to shrink sweaters he doesn’t want to wear and allowing him to leap tall buildings without getting a wedgie! It’s a pity Harry can’t use any of these spells later in life. Imagine fighting Voldemort with those powers??!! Just leap to the moon to evade curses and shrink Voldemort’s robes until they choke him to death. Ding dong the wizard is dead!
We come at last to the infamous zoo scene, where >GASP< a snake winks at Harry!!!! Harry, finding this odd, winks back at the snake. Um, why? I thought only 4-year olds imitated animals at the zoo. Then the snake gives Harry a look that means something. The snake doesn’t talk, just a bit of facial body language that I don’t think snakes have the muscles for. Oh, then Harry starts a conversation with it. Wow. Our main character is talking to a snake. A creature that doesn’t speak English. Harry is a nut.
Oh, and Harry doesn’t react when the snake shows that it clearly understands him. “Oh look, the snake just nodded his head. A very human thing to do. And it’s pointing at the sign of its cage, which it probably hasn’t read because the letters face away from him. Wait, does this mean that the snake reads English, too? Or does it understand the people reading the sign out loud? Eh, probably nothing, better keep talking to this snake.”
The snake leaves the zoo saying, “Brazil here I come. Thanks, amigo.” The bred-in-captivity snake speaks English and a word of Portuguese. In book two we find out that snakes have their own language and Harry understands it, but how does the language have separate words for English and Portuguese, thus allowing for this bit of dialog to translate the way it does? Are there multiple snake languages, and how does Harry understand Snake-Portuguese? And why would the snake speak Snake-Portuguese?! The snake’s bloodline originates in Brazil, so why doesn’t it speak Snake-Guarani or some other native snake tribal language? Ugh, so many unanswered questions…..must..stop….
It’s the franchise that I grew up with in all of its mediums. Seven books, eight movies. Hundreds upon thousands of die-hard, cutthroat fans that rival the Beliebers. Indeed, current politicians the world over are preparing for the inevitable war to rid the world of anyone who dares to say: “The Harry Potter books/movies were ok/not my favorite/meh/a rip off of The Lord of the Rings/a rip off of Star Wars/etc…” These Nitty Picker posts may be the death of me, but I must read through these childhood favorites and nitpick the crap out of them.
Let us begin at the beginning…
The front cover gives us a rather embarrassing mistake by the Bloomsbury publishers: A British author goes to a British publisher and they publish the book in Britain under the wrong name! What a travesty! I’m glad Scholastic Corporation caught that “Philosopher’s Stone” mishap and changed the title back to its correct name “Sorcerer’s Stone”.
Ok, moving on. “”Mr. and Mrs. Dursley…were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”. Um… you’re welcome?…
“They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious…” Hey! Don’t tell me what to expect, Narrator! I barely met these people one sentence ago!
“Mrs. Dursley spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors.” You know, only in Britain is it considered normal to crane your neck over garden fences and spy on your neighbors. I’m being serious. I have some friends from England and Scotland and they tell me that I’m loony for not spying on my neighbors.
Then Mr. Dursley sees a cat reading a map on the corner of his street. This builds mystery, but the as-yet-unmentioned Ministry of Magic will only prosecute Harry Potter for doing odd things in Muggleland. The Wizarding World is as lax in its justice system as the normal world….Or that cat could be McCavity or part of Cat Woman’s international crime ring.
Mr. Dursley then sees a bunch of strangely-dressed people about. Dursley, my man. It’s the 90s. Just be glad these people are in robes as opposed to dressing up for the world’s largest cosplay flash mob. That would be a strange sight.
Narrator tells us that there are owls everywhere in broad daylight. Freaking owls! And every muggle sees them! In fact, it’s reported on the news! Say what you want, but the Wizarding world isn’t very good at keeping itself secret from the Muggles.
Oh, and everyone is talking about the Potters and Harry in particular. How does everyone know who the Potters are? Are the Potters the Kardashians? Did Wizarding TMZ cover Harry’s birth and the Potter deaths? Who was at the scene to confirm or speculate that Voldemort was defeated by Harry??! Maybe Voldemort didn’t want to kill the baby and just left! Maybe Lily was an abusive witch and was trying to cut her name into Harry’s forehead (the knife slipped, causing the lightning shape) when Voldemort showed up and saved the kid!
Dursley goes home and sees the cat on his garden fence. He tells it to shoo, but it doesn’t move. It just stares at him. He wonders if this is normal cat behavior. Dude, Dursley. It’s a CAT. It would be abnormal behavior if the cat wasn’t just sitting there staring at SOMEONE.
The news reports a downpour of shooting stars and thinks it’s fireworks. That’s cute. News reporters in Britain are so dumb. How do you mistake fireworks for shooting stars? There is a several billion tons of nuclear-exploding mass difference between the two.
The reporter says the stars are just prematurely celebrating Bonfire Day. For those of you who don’t know, Bonfire Night is that special time when the British celebrate burning a guy to death. Let me rephrase: they celebrating burning Guy to death. I’m not against that. Any reason to have a bonfire and have firework shows is ok in my book.
Ok, now we get into the actual wizard stuff. It’s nearly midnight (I suppose) when Dumbledore shows up at Privet Drive and vandalizes the street lamps. Of course, nobody is awake at midnight in the UK to witness a man sucking up the street lamps’ light. That would be silly!
Dumbledore likes lemon drops….How does he get those????? He must have connections with Willy Wonka because I don’t think candy stores will accept anything other than pounds, credit, and checks. Or does Dumbledore have a part-time Muggle job? Also, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans should be called Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Except For Lemon Drops So Suck It Dumbledore Beans.
Dumbledore says: “for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort.” EERRRT Wrong Dumbledore! His proper name is Tom, and you will insist on calling him that in future books.
Again about this rumor of Lily and James Potter being dead. Most wizards don’t know them, right? So the majority of the wizards are out celebrating and wondering, “why are we celebrating the deaths of these Potter folk? Meh, pass me another butterbeer.”
McGonagall asks “how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?”. To which Dumbledore responds “We may never know.” Don’t worry Dumby, the answer is love. JK Rowling didn’t want to write that because nobody would continue to read the book after dropping that lame answer. You may be wondering. Why did love save Harry but no one else? Simple. James was cheating on Lily and hated her because she was manipulative and was trying to carve her name into their son’s forehead. He was over at Bellatrix’s place moments before, plotting his divorce and having a good ol’ time. Unfortunately, he was caught in the crossfire between Lily and Voldemort, who was only trying to save a kid from having his mom’s name scarred permanently to his face. What, still not following? To put things simply: every person that is killed in the Wizarding world is hated, unloved, unwanted. Got it? No love means they had no shield against being killed. Only Harry was loved. No one else. The end. No more arguing.
Hagrid borrows a huge motorcycle from young Sirius Black and comes driving over the houses to Privet Drive. This giant motorcycle doesn’t wake anyone up. And why does Sirius have a giant motorbike?!
Hagrid’s feet are described as being baby dolphins. What JK Rowling doesn’t tell us is that his leather boots were actually made of baby dolphins.
McGonagall and Dumbledore make it apparent that Harry’s scar is where Voldemort’s curse hit him and that this scar would make him famous. All I can think is, what if Voldemort’s curse hit Harry somewhere indecent? Are you the Chosen One? Show us your scar! Whoa, hey! Keep your trousers on!!!!
Did you know that Dumbledore has a handy scar shaped exactly like the London Underground? Yep! Wait…How is a map of the London Underground helpful for a wizard who keeps himself hidden from Muggles and has full access to the Floo Network, broomsticks, and magical teleportation!??!??!?!!?! And probably shops only in Wizarding stores and the Wonka Factory!!?!?
Random extra questions:
If the wizards use owls for communication, what happens if that owl is poached by some hunters? Muggle hunters are going to be weirded out when they find a letter addressed to Zammerton Humdingdingdingsworthington of the Order of Merlin, complete with moving pictures.
Well, I’m all out of nitpicks for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone chapter 1. What nitpicks can you find in chapter 1? Or would you prefer to nitpick about my nitpicks? Either way, comment below!