Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Blonde Billionaire Hasn't Lost Her Touch

I finished reading the latest Potter tome at around 3:00 AM Sunday morning, and have written a review of it, which will be appearing on Thursday in The Noyse, an online magazine. I promise not to give anything away to those of you who haven't yet read it; and because I focus on the metaphor of the stories rather than the plot, it's easy to reveal what's in them without giving away what they're about.

Suffice it to say that this novel is eerily topical to our world and time (it includes, among others things, a rather pointed and unflattering reference to Bush in the very first chapter). It is as richly entertaining as any of the other five books in the Potter series, and beautifully written by an artist at the height of her prowess. That will do until the review appears on Wednesday, but I'll leave the subject with a quote from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and then you can tell me whether or not this lady's literary antennae are raised to the current of our era:

Don't you see? Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back! Voldemort is no different!...It is essential that you understand this! (—Professor Dumbledore speaking, p. 510).

On an equally topical note, don't miss Frank Rich's new column in the New York Times. Rich delivers his usual cut-the-crap insights to the entire Rove fiasco—and he comes to similar conclusions that David Gregory of NBC had arrived at last week, but with a uniquely historical perspective:

This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war, not the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative who posed for Vanity Fair.

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