Somebody will write a thesis about this someday I’m sure, but it struck me the other day that there were some weird similarities between early 20th century history, and the Harry Potter storyline. I frequently hear these kind of suppositions made about books like the Lord of the Rings, but generally you can make draw similarities between any story with an over-arching evil person and Hitler. The Harry Potter storyline struck me more in it similarities with the history of both world wars, rather than just World War II.

World War I was a long drawn out war of attrition. Waging back and forth over the same land. Several passages in the Harry Potter books indicate that the first rising of Voldemort was also a long drawn out war of attrition with Voldemort knocking of members of the original Order of the Phoenix one by one.

World War I ended with the arrival of the US troops reinforcing the Allied forces. This marked the US’s entry into the world as a Great Power. Voldemort’s first rise to power was ended when he attempted to kill Harry Potter, newly born to the world, and after Voldemort’s defeat considered a great power in the world of magic.

World War II began with the world refusing to acknowledge the second rise of Germany’s power. Winston Churchill stood out as a lone voice arguing for Britain to strengthen its defenses against Hitler. Not until the invasion of Poland did the world acknowledge the danger and openly declare war on Germany. In the Harry Potter novels, Dumbledore stands out as the lone voice arguing that Voldemort has returned to power, and it isn’t until the Ministry of Magic is invaded that the world acknowledges Voldemort’s return.

I guess I’ll have to wait until this weekend for the last Potter book to come out to see if I spot any other parallels between the world wars.

The Daily Show

Wed 27 July 2005 by Kevin van Haaren

I’ve been saying it for years, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the best political commentary show around.

Last year he went on a rampage on Crossfire and CSPAN berating them for their style of inviting people at the show and then yelling over them and basically pummeling them. Stewart was totally on target. Those shows suck. They have since they were invented, I want to hear positions stated, attacked and defended — not who can yell the loudest or be the biggest ass.

Jon Stewart vs. Crossfire

One fair criticism that Crossfire had was that The Daily Show ...

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Online Music

Sun 28 March 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

Slashdot reports that is being merged with the parent site

I’m assuming this indicates the failure of, and good riddence I say. I looked over the site when it first fired up but never bought a song from them.

IMO, the main reasons for the failures:

  1. Horribly variant restrictions – I guess decided their customer was the record labels, not the people giving them money. As such they allowed each label to set it’s own restrictions per album. Look at The Who’s Then & Now album. On BuyMusic you can only ...

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Wed 21 January 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

I just bought Harry Nilsson’s album The Point from the iTunes Music Store. I grew up listening to this album (and if my brothers or sister read this – yes I’ve the album! Ha! Ha!) and it kicks butt.

Oh and even though I’ve got the vinyl album, I no longer have a turntable to play it on, hence the iTunes purchase (and now I can put it on my iPod).

Link to album (I think that requires iTunes for it to work.)


Stupid Music for Commercials

Mon 05 January 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

I just saw the HP digital camera where they use The Cure’s Pictures of You as the music. This has got to be one of the more retarded choices of background music I’ve heard.

This song is about someone who’s love has left them forever and all they are left with are the pictures.

I guess HP’s message is “buy our camera and your loved ones will leave you.”

Damn good song though!

Pictures of You Lyrics


The Lord of the Rings

Sat 03 January 2004 by Kevin van Haaren

I saw the Return of the King a few weeks ago (a couple of days after it opened.) There are probably some spoilers below so if you don’t want to read them, stop reading now and go see the damn thing already!

As a whole, the movies are excellent. Pretty well acted, well directed, beautiful landscapes, and great use of special effects.

The Lord of the Rings makes the best use of really great special effects. I don’t know why, but many people seem to think that a great movie that had special effects was great because of ...

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