The Fandoms That Shaped Me

It all started with one line: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number Four Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much,” and it was over. Or rather, it had only just begun. The first “fandom” I ever joined was Harry Potter. I’ve been reading the books since I could read. I have every single book in hardback. I used to have the movies until my siblings scratched them all, so I have to get them again. I even have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Tales from Beedle the Bard, both softback copies and illustrated copies. My goal is to get all the released books so far in illustrated form. Harry Potter has been an essential part of my life and continues to be. I may disagree with what J.K. Rowling does or says, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a part of the fandom. On my podcast with my BFF, Caroline, we discussed how you could love the work but not the creator. And honestly, after all these years, I don’t think Harry Potter belongs to Rowling anymore. It belongs to us. 

The fans.

For me, and many others, Harry Potter and other fandoms or nerdom (the “nerd culture” if you will) is a form of escape. It’s a way to get out of our heads and into other worlds because sometimes the world is crap, and you’d rather be a witch, a Jedi, a bender, a vampire, a companion, or a Shadowhunter than be your regular normal self. 

The Dursleys may have wanted to be perfectly normal, but I wanted to be extraordinary. Fandoms give people an escape, an opportunity to imagine another place, to be well extraordinary, even if it’s just a chapter or two. Or for an episode or two (or eight).

I can tell you that all of my friends know their Hogwarts Houses.

That the debate on Aang and Katara being a couple is still discussed. Most of us are hardcore Katara and Zuko fans. We still despise that live-action movie.

Just as we despise the live-action Eragon. (Seriously, don’t even get me started on it.)

We all have our favorite Doctors and our favorite companions.

We all lament over the letdown of the Percy Jackson movies and are eager yet wary of the Disney Plus show.

And even though most of us won’t admit it, we all had a Twilight phase, whether we loved the series or hated it.

More recently, we all bonded over The Umbrella Academy (FUCK YOU ALLISON HARGREEVES and if you’ve watched season three then you know why I. am. salty),

The Witcher (Henry Cavill and his ability to grunt and say everything, like what even is this),

and Stranger Things (men should apologize for not being Steve Harrington, just saying).

We found ourselves shocked that we enjoyed Bridgerton. And you know what? We are all still extremely salty at the last season of Game of Thrones

Fandoms bring people together, and yes, they can also be toxic. Fans can be toxic. There have been Star wars actors that fans have cruelly hounded. There are other fans for other shows that have been unnecessarily hateful. They can be mean and cruel to each other, to the creators, and to actors. But for the most part, it’s a fun community. 

After all, without fans, Doctor Who might’ve not been brought back. Star Trek may not have been rebooted. Sense8 on Netflix would’ve been kept on a cliffhanger. But the fans brought them back.

People connect over shared favorite characters, headcanons, and theories. We discuss what we think will happen in the next season or the next book. (I have all the theories on season five of Stranger Things.) We may not be right, but it’s fun to discuss. If people don’t like how a fandom ended, then they hop on or Archive Of Our Own, and they write the ending they want, or if they aren’t a writer, they find a fanfiction to ease their minds because sometimes the ending sucks and characters die and you just need a happy ending. 

During the pandemic, everyone watched Tiger King and blasted social media at the sheer absurdity of it. You either watched it, or you didn’t, yet it still brought people together. We were in a shitty situation with the pandemic, and the outrageousness of the Tiger King made us realize that, well, it could be worse. 

Fandoms have affected me so much that I have tattoos from them. My first tattoo was the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. I have a Captain America shield on my left arm, a Batman symbol on my right arm, and the anti-possession symbol from Supernatural on my right ankle. Supernatural ended after 15 seasons in 2020, and I had to get a tattoo commemorating the show that had been in my life for 15 years.

More fandoms will be forever embossed on my skin because they have shaped me somehow. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or in a funk, I pull out Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and start reading. It’s my favorite Harry Potter book and movie. Or I flip on Supernatural or Doctor Who. I know how those series end, how those books end, and it brings me comfort. Sometimes it’s Criminal Minds or, lately, it’s been the original Charmed. (I still say the sixth season is the best season ever.) My mom and I recently watched all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all five of Angel.

Fandoms are the reason why I want to be a writer and a filmmaker because I want to create something that touches someone’s life, as so many fandoms have touched me. Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but it’s important to me. 

So yeah, I can’t tell you my blood type, which is probably a bad thing. But what I can tell you is my Hogwarts House and Ilvermorny House.

I am a proud Slytherin. Slytherins are known for being ambitious, resourceful, determined, and clever. Most don’t believe I am a Slytherin, but I can see it, honestly. Here I am, finishing up one master’s in spring 2023, then returning for another master’s in fall 2023. I am resourceful because I grew up in a broken home, so I had to figure out my own way. I am determined because nothing was going to stand in my way of getting a degree.

My Ilvermorny House is a Pukwudgie. It’s based on a creature in the Harry Potter universe. They are known for being wickedly smart and independent. Pukwudgies represent the heart and favor healers. And again, due to my history, I’m fiercely independent. I try to do everything myself (it’s both a good and a bad thing). As for the heart and healer bit, I am going into social work because I want to work with at-risk teenagers who come from broken homes, as I did. Because I can relate to them.

So it might seem silly to some how invested I get into my many fandoms, but for me, and others like me, it’s not. It’s who we are, and I will not apologize for that. 


There’s No Rising From the Ashes Here (The Secrets of Dumbledore Review)

In a previous blog post, I mentioned how I would not be watching The Secrets of Dumbledore in theatres. (For more on that and why, read “When Franchises Re-Cast Characters (The Secrets of Dumbledore.”) My friend Caroline and I also released an episode on our podcast “Disturbed Nerds” where we discussed this, as well as other crimes of creators. Link to the episode below.

That being said, since it’s been probably about a two months or so since the movie was released, and it’s now on HBO Max, a few weekends ago, I finally broke down and watched it.

Let me tell you, I was not impressed. The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie is still the best one out of this trilogy, and we’ll get to the reasons why I believe that is in a moment.

I went in there, trying to ignore the entire ethical issues of this movie, as stated in my previous blog post. Yes, Johnny Depp was not in it. yes, he was re-cast, and it was a whole debacle. Oh, not to mention Ezra Miller (who knows how Warner Brothers will handle him being the Flash considering they are just in general an awful person). I ignored that (mostly). I shoved those issues aside and went in as clear-headed as possible. (Here begins the SPOILERS. So stop reading if you haven’t watched the movie!)

That being said, it honestly wasn’t the best movie. A big question that came to my head was:

What was the point of this movie?

In fact, better yet:

What exactly did this movie accomplish in this saga?

I mean yes, the blood pact that our adorable Niffler Teddy stole from Grindelwald in The Crimes of Grindelwald, because ooh, shiny and here you go (I might have been a Niffler in a past life, just saying. I like shiny too.) is broken. That’s great. But like, how did it break? That didn’t seem clear.

Teddy the Niffler and Newt is done with this

You know, that little guy. He’s great. Like the MVP. Anyways, the previous move he nabbed the blood pact that prevented Dumbledore from making moves on Grindelwald and vice versa. Yay.

The point is, it’s broken now. But HOW. My theory is that it broke because Dumbledore wasn’t actively trying to kill Grindelwald. Rather, Dumbledore was trying to protect Credence, his nephew, from Grindelwald, Meanwhile, Grindelwald was casting to kill, and thus that’s why it broke. But that is a weak theory. It’s all I got though.

This movie greatly suffered from some poor writing. Poor, sloppy writing, that left us with a lot of questions, not a lot of answers, and in all honesty, just plain old simple confusion.

Take for example the message Credence, our poor broken Obscurial, gets at the beginning of the movie. (After hunting down the most adorable little deer type thing and then Grindelwald KILLING IT. YES. I am angry about this. But we’ll get to my thoughts on this version of Grindelwald later.) The message in the mirror says “Forgive me.” Oooohkay then. But when and how did these messages begin? How did Aberforth, who is sending these messages, A) find out about Credence if he didn’t know and B) find a way to communicate with said boy without alerting Grindelwald? Also, they did not make it very clear at all until way later in the movie that Aberforth is Credence’s father. They also didn’t really explain how that all happened. Aberfoth fell in love, his girl’s parents didn’t approve and she was sent away. Did he know she was pregnant? If he did, did Aberforth look for Credence?

ALSO, I just realized another plot hole.

So, we know from The Crimes of Grindelwald, that Leta Lestrange switched babies. Her brother Corvus went to the woman who ended up in the water and he drowned, thus dying. Corvus was dead. The father found out because of his fancy family tree. I think. It’s not clear. But either way, he finds out his son is dead. So. . .what did he do with Credence? Did he figure out that that boy wasn’t his son and that this was some switch-a-roo and just have the half-elf woman drop off Credence to Mrs. Barebones? Because he didn’t care? Did anyone tell that woman, whom I assume is Credence’s mother that her baby isn’t the one that died but was really Corvus Lestrange? Again, lots of questions.

Another big major question. . .

Where the HELL was Tina?

You know, Tina Goldstein, big sister to one Queenie and Newt’s woman with salamander eyes. This woman!

Newt and Tina, the ultimate cute

Are you seriously telling me that Tina, badass Auror Tina, just hung about America with her new posh job while the man she loved was out running around being in danger AND not to mention, her baby sister was with a deranged psychopath? No. Hell no. There was no logical reason why Tina was left out of this story. I don’t believe for a second that she wouldn’t be involved. New cushy job or not. That is her sister. She wouldn’t give up on her sister. Not for a moment.

While we are on the topic of Queenie. her decision to join Grindelwald was weak at best. She’s a Legilmens. Couldn’t she read his mind? Or was he an Occlumens? Thus he could shield his mind. But even then, Queenie has heard the rumors about Grindelwald. Come on. She’s a smart girl. She had to have known that he hated Muggles (or No-Majs as they are called in America). I get she wanted to marry Jacob but that still felt so weak. Grindelwald had to manipulate her more than what was shown. Which I suppose makes sense. After all, Grindelwald was known for being extremely persuasive. He knows how to read people, see what they want and then use that for his own means. For me, I always that was more terrifying than Voldemort. Voldemort went with fear, while Grindelwald played on what people wanted. Their hopes, their dreams. In Queenie’s case, she wanted to be with the man she loved without being arrested and Jacob’s mind being wiped. (For more on how I think Grindelwald is a more terrifying villian, read this blog post.)

Speaking of Jacob. This is going to kill me to say, but as much as I love Jacob, he really had no purpose. He’s a great character. I love him, I do. But he had no purpose. He pretty much was in the way. More or less. The storyline of him trying to assassinate Grindelwald? Please. That was so weak. Jacob is a Muggle. How was he trying to assassinate Grindelwald at all legit?

Jacob was a distraction, that’s it. But even then, he didn’t move the story along. This depresses me some because Jacob is a great character and they didn’t do anything with him. He could’ve been so much more. He could’ve had more interactions with Queenie and really bring her back into the fold.

Do you know who was my favorite part of this movie? (Besides Newt of course because baby. Newt Scamander must be protected at all times.)

This woman right here.

Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams)

Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, a Charmed professor at Hogwarts who is seriously 100% that. She’s incredible. She’s sassy and independent and powerful, and she knows it, but she’s not cocky about it. She was a breakout character, and I adored her. Seriously, she was awesome. I need more of her. I also liked how she and Jacob met. She essentially told him that he might be a Muggle but that doesn’t change the fact that he has a good heart. Jacob does have a good heart. They really could’ve used that and they. . .well, didn’t.

Another character I was glad we got to see more of was Bunty. Bunty is Newt’s assistant (who totally has a crush on him, and I can’t blame her, come on). She had a brief little cameo in The Crimes of Grindelwald and in The Secrets of Dumbledore, she had more of a role. Sort of. This is her.

Bunty (Victoria Yeates)

She’s an absolute delight. We need a Bunty spin-off.

Before we get to my thoughts on Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald, I would like to speak (write, whatever) about the utter and complete sadness that is the character of Credence Barebones, or rather Aurelius Dumbledore. Now in this movie, you can tell that Credence isn’t doing so hot. He’s dying. The Obscurus is basically gobbling him up from the inside. It’s poisoning him. He’s growing weaker and he’s in a lot of pain.

Let’s back up a bit.

What do we know about Obscurials?

An Obscurial is created when a witch or wizard is forced to repress their magic. This can be through psychology or physical abuse. Such as the case with Credence and Ariana Dumbledore. Mary Barebones beat Credence to try and rid him of his unholy ways. Ariana was attacked by Muggle boys who saw her doing magic and they thought she was a freak. Thus she grew to try to suppress her magic, to hate her magic. When this happens, the witch or wizard develops an Obscurus.

Now according to the Harry Potter canon, Obscurials were more common in ancient times. Back when there were witch trials, etc. Now they are not so common. They have ways to hide themselves from Muggles and not risk being alienated, as well as ways to help children who are born to Muggles who may not accept their magical child. Most Obscurials don’t live past their tenth birthday, However, both Ariana and Credence Dumbledore are exemptions to this.

Ariana lived until her fourteenth birthday. Her Obscurus did not kill her, but rather it was a spell from either her brothers Albus and Aberforth or Grindelwald.

Here’s a bit of math for y’all. The boat that Leta Lestrange was on was The Titanic, (though it’s been neither confirmed nor denied but we’re going with it). The Titanic sank in 1912. The Secrets of Dumbledore takes place in 1932. Baby Credence was maybe a year old during the boat thing, so that places him at maybe 20, 21 at the time of The Secrets of Dumbledore. He’s lived twice as long as most Obscurials. Now, is this because he’s a Dumbledore?

Albus Dumbledore believes that if an Obscurial is showered with love that that could essentially save them, but then he says he believes it’s too late for Credence. The power of love is a common theme in the Harry Potter universe. It was Lily Potter’s love that saved Harry, and Harry is saved by a mother’s love a lot throughout the series. Love is a powerful emotion. I like that even here we can see that Albus believes that love is the most powerful emotion. The purest form of magic. I wish we could’ve seen this. To know if love can truly save Credence from his fate.

Can love really eliminate all of the trauma that Credence has been through? Mary Barebones beat into him that he was a freak. That made his magic turn against him and then the Obscurus burst out. Can the love of his long-lost father Aberforth truly reverse that? Can his father teach him that magic is a gift, not a curse? That being a wizard does not make him a freak or an abomination. It makes him special. Wheter or not we see this on-screen has yet to be determined.

He may or not be in the next movie (if there is a next movie, tbh) because of the issues (rightful issues) most fans have with the actor who plays him. (For more on that, here’s a timeline.)

Let’s get to the crux of this blog post. That would be Mad Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald.

I don’t even know where to begin.

I feel like they totally underutilized him. We’ll start with that. Mads is known for playing villains. It’s like his thing. Though I haven’t watched it, I’ve heard he played a delightfully wicked Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal. That being said, he was definitely underutilized. What did he even do in this movie? I can’t recall.

Other than the fact he killed the most adorable deer-like thing in the world in like the first fifteen minutes of the movie. I will say that Mads’ Grindelwald got his hands dirty compared to Depp’s Grindelwald. Depp’s Grindelwald was more about persuasion, about reading someone, such as Credence or Queenie, figuring out what their weakness was, and how to exploit it. What did they want? That’s what Depp’s Grindelwald read to me. He wanted to gain as many supporters of his vision but wrapped it in cotton candy while the inside was all hard. The whole point of Grindelwald was that no one knew who he all had in his pocket. He hand his fingers in many different pies. It was a terrifying time.

I didn’t mind that Mads’ Grindelwald was more willing to get his hands dirty. However, he was missing that persuasion that Depp’s was.

There was also another problem. . .At the beginning of the movie, when you see Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, you don’t realize that it’s Grindelwald. Half the time, I forgot he was Grindelwald because he’s so drastically different from Johnny Depp’s. I understand that Mads Mikkelsen wanted to have his own version of Grindelwald, but Depp already established a distinctive look for Grindelwald.

When Richard Harris died, he was replaced by Michael Gambon for Albus Dumbledore. Michael Gambon wanted to honor the late Richard Harris but also, honor the character. When you watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it is a bit jarring to see Gambon as Dumbledore at first, but you still know that he is Dumbledore. You never question if he’s some another character. You know he’s Albus Dumbledore. (Compare them below.)

There is nothing about Mads Mikkelsen that is familiar as Gellert Grindelwald, and that is a problem. Compare him and Johnny Depp below. They feel like two completely different characters.

There is nothing similar about these two. Nothing at all. That is a problem. Fans want to see something that is familiar. I know it’s not fair to Mads Mikkelsen. I think he did a decent job, but the problem was A) he was underutilized, B) poor, sloppy writing, and C) forgetting he was Grindelwald.

The reason why Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first one, is the best one is that it was about the beasts. It was about Newt and his fantastic beasts. By having his story intertwined with the Grindelwald and Dumbledore lead up to their battle, it takes away from what I liked from the first one. It takes away from the beasts and learning about them. I feel like they just use “Fantastic Beasts” as a way to get viewers. It’s not about those beasts anymore. It’s about the humans. That’s it. If they wanted to do the Grindelwald era, they should’ve made it separate from Newt’s story. Yes, some overlap, but not this much.

I feel like this movie was trying to lead up to something. . .but it didn’t. Honestly, I have expected this to be the huge fight between Grindelwald and Dumbledore if I didn’t know that they fought in 1945. This movie had no rise, it had no climax. It was stagnant, and it felt like it. So what Grindelwald isn’t the new leader of the wizarding world? He still has followers all over the world. What did that accomplish? Nothing. Also, Dumbledore isn’t the new leader. He’s in the shadows once more. Where do we go from here? Where did we even go with this?

And that’s all folks for my review of The Secrets of Dumbledore. If you haven’t seen it, then uh, why did you read this? But if you have, drop a comment! I’d love to know what you think!


When Franchises Re-Cast Characters (The Secrets of Dumbledore)

Now we have all watched a movie or a show and a character had been re-cast. The reasons they are re-cast are multiple. Arguments with directors, money disputes, etc. Sometimes, it’s a fail. Sometimes it works. Personally, I love Don Cheadle as Rhodey. I preferred his Rhodey to Terrence Howard’s. I might be an outlier thinking that though. The transition was jarring between the second and third Harry Potter movies where Richard Harris was replaced by Michael Gambon. Gambon was much different than Harris, which wasn’t a bad thing, but it worked. I got over it because it still felt like Dumbledore, just a harder, different version of his. It was like the difference between Nine and Ten. I had to adjust. Then th ere’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor where Maria Bello replaced Rachel Weisz as the titular female protagonist Evy O’Connell. As much as I love Maria Bello, and she’s a phenomenal actress and doesn’t get the credit she deserves, she’s not Evy. It didn’t work for me. I can’t watch that movie. Just like I can’t watch Return to Halloweentown because Sara Paxton is not Marnie Piper, Kimberly J. Brown is. There are plenty of others, shows and movies, that I’ve watched where the re-casting has been good/bad. I’ve watched all of them and judged them. But what do you do when a character is re-cast and it makes you not want to see the movie? To not even give it a chance?

I am talking about Fantastic Beasts and the Secrets of Dumbledore and the decision to re-cast Grindelwald. I’m sure most of you know what’s been going on between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. It’s been big news for a few years now.

Here’s a full timeline of their dispute for the past two or so years.

The basic gist of it is that Heard accused Depp of being physical and verbally abusive. Depp denied the claims and sued her for defamation. Since this entire thing started in I believe 2019, there has been a lot of questions. Some have taken Heard’s side. Others have taken Depp’s. Personally, considering that there is audio proof of Heard admitting she hit Depp, I’m on Depp’s side. I think that Heard is a liar. I also think that because she is a woman, of course she’s the one who is abused. Or at least that’s what everyone is going to think. Men can’t be abused in society’s eyes, which is a major problem.

For more on this, check out the following articles:

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard $100M lawsuit: Elon Musk, James Franco among celebs to testify

Johnny Depp meets with legal team ahead of televised court battle with Amber Heard

There was even a petition to get Heard out of Aquaman 2, but of course, that didn’t pan out. She’s still in the movie. Meanwhile, Depp has taken a major career hit. Not only will he not be returning as Captain Jack Sparrow anytime soon (currently, could change maybe). He resigned from Fantastic Beasts before Warner Bros could fire him. He did this in November of 2020. It’s not a surprise that he resigned. After all, Warner Bros. produced both Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts. They had clearly already made the decision that Heard was innocent and Depp was not when they didn’t fired Heard. After that, the franchise was in a stalemate. We had no idea who was going to play Grindelwald. The obvious choice was Collin Farrell who played a disguised Grindelwald in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but he was busy with The Batman.

Instead, Mads Mikkelsen was cast. You probably know him as Hannibal Lector in NBC’s Hannibal. I personally haven’t watched the show, but I’ve heard it’s good.

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal

He also plays Kaecilius from Doctor Strange who serves Dormammu. You know, this guy with the extra makeup.

Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius

Oh and he plays this guy from The Three Musketeers (2011). (Did anyone else forget that Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich and Orlando Bloom where also in this movie? It’s been so long since I’ve watched it that I’ve forgotten. Of course I also forget that Charlie Sheen plays Aramis in the 1993 version of The Three Musketeers. But let’s be real, Luke Evans as Aramis is probably so much better.)

Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort

Basically, Mikkelsen plays a lot of bad guys. Since I can’t remember him in The Three Musketeers and I’ve never seen Hannibal, I’m judging him off Doctor Strange. He was. . . .okay, as Kaecilius. I mean I understood him. Kaecilius was angry that the Ancient One was abusing magic when he was told he couldn’t use it to save his family. He didn’t like the hypocrisy. But otherwise, his character was. . .blah. I mean, he was there. That’s it.

I would love to give him a chance as Mikkelsen, I would but. . .I can’t. I’m not sure I can. I know I’m not seeing the movie in theatres and I doubt I’ll even watch it. But there is a problem when you re-cast a character, and the audience can’t tell who that character is. Let’s just take a look at some trailers.

So this is Depp’s Grindelwald. As per Depp, he’s weird. He’s got blonde hair and mismatched eyes. But he’s charismatic, no small part insane, but he’s got that charming. Like the devil but butter melts in his mouth thing going for him. Right?

Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald is completely different. For a lack of a better phrase, he looks like a business man. I didn’t even know he was Grindelwald when I watched this trailer. Not until the end and I went, “OH.” I thought he was some random wizard who was apart of Grindelwald’s army. They (and I say that generally) didn’t even try to keep any part of Depp’s Grindelwald. They went a different route entirely. I think that’s going to be a problem. Yes, Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore was different than Richard Harris’ but you could still recognize that it was Dumbledore, The beard, the robes. We’ve had Depp’s Grindelwald for two movies, more or less. He has a distinctive look. We’ve gotten used to it. And now we have this new actor who completely changes the look. So much that it wasn’t immediate clear that he was Grindelwald.

Taking the whole Johnny Depp and Amber Heard debacle out of the equation, I still won’t see this movie in theatres, and it’s up in the air if I’ll see it when it’s streaming. Eliminating the debacle, I still am not exactly pleased with the direction they are going with Grindelwald. It doesn’t feel like him and I think that’s going to negatively impact the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

I could be wrong, who knows. I guess we’ll have to see.

Which re-cast in either movies or shows worked for you? Which didn’t? Let me know!


What Has a Book Ever Done to You?

What has a book ever done to you? Personally, if I was to ban a book, do you know what books I’d ban? Math books. Math books have harmed me. They’ve made me cry. They’ve made me scream. They’ve made me faceplant on the desk in hopelessness. But in all seriousness, what has a book ever done to you? What have they done that they warrant being banned from schools? You know if we decided to ban the Bible from schools, people would lose their plum minds. Then if we decided to replace the Bible with the Qur’an, then boy, howdy, people would lose it. Yet, the Bible hasn’t been banned from middle schools or high schools. Hell, in some schools they had a “praying time” in the morning. That later got turned into “read time” or “quiet time.”

Somehow, books are constantly being banned.

Now, I am one of those people who have never believed in the whole banning books thing. Can you name a single book that should be banned? Can you? I honestly can’t. I don’t think any book should be banned. Nor do I think music should be censored on the radio (See this blog: “Unnecessary Censorship”) Or movies censored on television. All that being said, let’s talk.

I’m sure you’ve heard about how a Tennessee school banned the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. This book details his parents during the Holocaust, depicting Nazis as cats and Jews as mice. The book was taken out of a middle school curriculum. Now, it was banned, according to this article, because it had several curse words and a naked woman.

However, this banning has caused massive controversy. A lot of people have spoken out about it, and it is still ongoing. That it isn’t about swearing or a naked woman, that instead, it’s about the context in the book. Since then, the book has been selling even more copies on Amazon. I plan to order it at some point so I can read it.

What other books have been banned from middle or high schools?

Let me tell you, there’s been a lot. Harry Potter, The Golden Compass, Dr. Seuss, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Judy Blume, To Kill a Mockingbird to name just a few. A few, mind. There’s a lot more where that came from. (See links below.)

But why ban books? Well, in my opinion, it’s because the board of directors are trying to control what children learn. Do they want children to know our country’s history? Yes, but not in a negative light. They want the kiddos to know yes, slavery was a part of the country and leave it at that. They gloss over a lot of things in history classes. Such as slavery, the Trail of Tears, the Holocaust. Why? Because events like that were dark periods in our history and they (the board of educators, the government, pick one, there are lots of ‘theys’) don’t want to remind the public about those times. So when it comes to books such as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, or To Kill a Mockingbird, which both address difficult topics such as racism and slavery, of course, they will get banned.

As for books like Harry Potter and The Golden Compass, they deal with magic, and honestly, not to be rude, it’s the Christians or other religious sects who want those banned. Especially The Golden Compass which is very anti-religious.

I don’t believe books should be banned. Ever. I think that children should be able to read whatever book they want to read and draw their own conclusions from it. They need to learn and figure it out for themselves. But how can they do that when they are prevented from reading certain books? When books are banned?

So I’d like to challenge you to read one of the banned books listed in the articles below. Any of them. Make a list. See how many you can read before Banned Book Week in September.

They’re trying to ban ‘Maus’: Why you should read it and these 30 other challenged books

Book awards: Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

Now to decide my first banned book to read. . . It will probably be either The Color Purple by Alice Walker, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Beloved by Toni Morrison, or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.


Characters Meeting Other Characters

I found this on my personal gmail account. I thought I’d share. It’s hilarious. You should do it! It was a lot of fun.

Write Down Ten Random Characters.

  1. Dick Grayson 
  2. Jason Todd 
  3. Severus Snape 
  4. Jace Wayland 
  5. Spencer Reid
  6. Daryl
  7. Hermione Granger 
  8. Rose Hathaway 
  9. William Herondale 
  10. Beast 

1. Four invites Three and Eight to dinner at their own house. What happens?

So, Jace, who is an asshole, invites Severus, who is also an asshole, and Rose, who is a a bit of a bitch but not meaning to be, to dinner? Remind to make sure NOT to be there. Jace would annoy Severus so much that Severus would end up killing him, while Jace would be flirting with Rose and Rose would be wondering why the hell she came in the first place. 

2. You need to stay at a friend’s house for a night. Whose house, One or Six?

Hmm. Staying with Dick and his crazy family or staying with Daryl and his zombie problem…That is a really tough decision. 

3. Two and Seven are making out when Ten walks in. Ten’s reaction?

Beast would be wondering how that happened, grunt and walk out because he knows that Hermione can take care of herself and punch Jace like she did to Draco. 

4. Three falls in love with Six. Eight is jealous. What happens?

First of all, do you want me to die? I swear I can feel Daryl and Severus’s presence over my shoulder right now…Rose would just deal with it. She can handle rejection unless it’s Dimitri.

5. Four jumps you in a dark alleyway. Who rescues you, two, ten, or seven?

If Jace jumps me, I wouldn’t want to be saved. Seriously. Although, between Jason, Hermione and Beast, I would prefer Hermione saved me. She’s more dependable than Beast and Jason.

6. One decides to start a cooking show. Fifteen minutes later, what happens?

The whole building is on fire because for some reason I can’t picture Dick knowing how to cook. He’d probably burn toast. 

7. Three has to marry either Eight, Four, or Nine. Who do they choose?

Severus would chose Rose, mainly because she’s not nearly as annoying as Jace and William can be. If he married either of them, they would be dead in an hour. 

8. Six kidnaps One and demands something from Five for One’s release. What is it?

Daryl kidnaps Dick. Interesting. I give him credit for doing that. I wouldn’t want to piss off Bats. Hmm. Demands something from Reid…Probably for Reid to find the cure for the zombie disease.

9. Everyone gangs up on Seven. Does Seven stand a chance? 

Does the phrase “brightest witch of her age” not ring a bell? Sure, she is dealing with a hero, an anti-hero, a Death Eater, two Shadowhunters, a genius, a zombie killer expert, a Guardian and a, well beast, but you bet she should get out of it pretty quick.

10. Everyone is invited to Two and Seven’s wedding except for Ten. How does Ten react?

Beast wouldn’t care if he got invited to Jace and Hermione’s wedding. He’s too busy trying to get Belle. Not too mention he doesn’t think they’d work in the first place.

11. Why is Six afraid of Seven?

Again, brightest witch of her age. Daryl knows that if he pisses off Hermione, she will make what zombies do look pleasant. 

12. Nine arrives too late for Two and Seven’s wedding. What happens and why were they late?

He’s William Herondale, he is always late. He thinks it adds to his style.

13. Five and One get drunk and end up at your house. What happens? 

I have the sexy Dick and the equally sexy Reid at my house, drunk. What do you think would happen? Lol. A lot of fun, that’s why. 

15. Three and Seven are in mortal danger. Does Three save Seven or themselves?

Severus may say Hermione is annoying, but in the end, he would save her. He would never make her forget it though. 

16. Eight and Five go camping. But they forget food. What do they do?

Rose is freaking out because she is like a garbage disposal while Reid is wondering how the hell he ended up camping in the first place and going into coffee withdrawals. 

17. Six is in a car accident and is critically injured. What does Four do?

Jace laughs because that is how he covers up his worry while Daryl is trying to not kill Jace with an arrow. 

18. The quiz is over. By the way, how did Two and Seven end up?

Well, Jason ended up leaving Hermione at the altar because he got trashed with Roy. Hermione was PISSED, thinking that he had changed, slapped him and then ran into Dick’s arms. Meanwhile, a certain Batgirl is planning her revenge…

List twelve of your favorite characters from your fandom, in no particular order. Since, I am like uberly obsessed with Batman, here it goes. 

  1. Roy Harper 
  2. Dick Grayson 
  3. Barbara Gordon 
  4. Selina Kyle 
  5. Jason Todd 
  6. Poison Ivy 
  7. Bruce Wayne 
  8. Damian Wayne 
  9. Joker 
  10. Starfire 
  11. Bane 
  12. Ra’s Al Ghul 

1. Have you ever read a Six/Eleven fic? Do you want to?

No. I have not read a Poison Ivy and Bruce Wayne fic and I don’t plan on it. Bruce belongs with Selina, even though they are both in denial. 

2. Do you think Four is hot? How hot?

Yes, Selina is hot. In fact, she is like the image of sexy, sultry and seductive. I love her. 

3. Is there any such thing as One/Eight fluff?

Ha. Roy and Damian would kill each other. Snort. Anyways, there probably is but I haven’t bothered to look. 

4. Suggest a title for a Seven/Twelve hurt/comfort

Hahaha. This makes me laugh. Ra’s hates Bruce, well Batman, and vice versa. But if I had to write a title for a hurt/comfort, it would be, “How To Kill Your Enemy With Love.” 

5. Does anyone on your friends list read Three hot?

No. Most of my friends aren’t as obsessed with Batman as I am…

6. Does anyone on your friends list write or draw Eleven?

Ha. I wish. Though now I want to draw Bane…

7. Would anyone on your friends list write Two/Four/Five?

No. Again, none of my friends are as obsessed with Batman as I am. 

8. If you wrote a Song-fic about Eight, what song would you choose?

“Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.” Because it is Damian. He might be only ten, but that brat is evil. Hence the nickname of “Demon.” 

9. If you wrote a One/Six/Twelve fic, what would the warning be?

Warning: This fanfiction will involve two redheads trying to seduce each other and old, immortal man trying to turn them evil. 

10. When was the last time you read a fic about Five?

Ha. I’m reading one now. A Jason and Tim Fanfiction, actually. 

11. What would you think if you found (5) was a really good friend of a sibling or relative of yours?

Remind myself NOT to tell Jason if I have a boyfriend in fear of him using the guy’s privates as decorum for his car. [OH GOD WHAT DID I JUST READ]

12. How would you feel if (2) dissed you in the worst possible way ever?

I would snort. Dick is a sweetheart. If he was dissing me, it was probably because he was having a bad day. 

13. What would you feel this second if (4) gave you a daisy right now?

A bit weirded out and wary. I’d probably wonder what Selina had up her sleeves and slowly, slowly back away. 

14. (7), (9), and (4) have banded together at 3 in the morning and starts to sing the most annoying song you know as loud as they can, waking you up. What is the first thing you think?

First, I would wonder WHO THE HELL LET THE JOKER IN MY FUCKING HOUSE, and then I would have Bruce karate chop Joker out of my place while Selina is busy…undressing Bruce. 

15. (2) and (11) are your teachers. What would you do?

Well, I would hit on Dick, because, well, HELLO HE’S FUCKING DICK GRAYSON. HELLO, HOTTIE. And then, with Bane, I would skip class. Every. Single. Day. [Don’t mind me while I join you skipping class.]