Archive for October 25th, 2009

The uncoolness of planning and Lucky Harry Potter

| October 25, 2009 | 4 Replies
The uncoolness of planning and Lucky Harry Potter

Today I watched the third Harry Potter movie with my family. I’ve seen all six of the Harry Potter movies now. These Harry Potter movies offer outstanding entertainment. Their characters are endearing and the special effects are seamlessly woven into the enchanting stories.

As entertaining as these Harry Potter movies are, it has become abundantly clear to me that Harry is extremely lucky. Yes, Harry is also brave and smart and he has a pure heart, but there is no reason for expect that he should have survived most of the life-threatening challenges he faces. You see, dark powerful magic abounds, so much so that Harry should have died several times in each of his movies, but doesn’t die because he is extremely lucky.

Harry usually survives only because of something that has nothing to do with planning. Instead, a good powerful magic person shows up to save him (or a magic animal), or the evil attacker inexplicably allows him to survive, or a solution that involves a magic object becomes apparent at the last possible moment. This tendency violates one of the rules traditional screenplay writing: the solution to the major conflict should have been made available to the audience throughout the movie (in the form of clues sprinkled about). Magic animals are fun, of course, but plots shouldn’t depend so heavily on them.

Harry is only one in a long line of heroes who survives a long roller-coaster of adventures without ever sitting down to map out any sort of detailed plan of action. There might be a few times when our heroes pause to think of what to do next, but it’s only for a minute or two, and then someone yells “Let’s go,” and our heroes are off again.

I wrote about our dearth of “planning heroes” several years ago. In America, we love adventure without planning. We simply expect to survive without planning; we’ll figure out the details later, if ever. Now it’s time for action/movement/adventure. We don’t have time for planning; we scoff at planning. It’s undignified.

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Israel’s criticism of Iran’s nuclear program

| October 25, 2009 | Reply
Israel’s criticism of Iran’s nuclear program

Israel is one of the countries most fervently criticizing Iran in Iran’s quest for nuclear research (see here and here). Al Jazeera English notes, however, that Israel hasn’t even signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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