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Mudblood, Muggle = Human? Were Harry Potter’s parents magical or ordinary?

Many people have criticized a point I make (in a checklist) in Jesus Potter Harry Christ that looks like this:
**Magic Father, Human Mother.

I was trying to compare possible points of similarity between Jesus and Harry Potter, so I used non-specific language that might apply in both cases. Still, feedback has been harsh and violent.

“Lily Potter was not human (a muggle), she was a muggle-born witch. When the first bullet point only 5 lines in is incorrect it raises an eyebrow.”

“Point #1 is incorrect. Harry’s not a “Mudblood” — his parents were both wizards. Funny that the entire supposed premise of the book is based on gross inaccuracy. Makes me wonder if the author decided to tack Harry Potter onto his otherwise-impressive book just to get it on the endcap at your local B&N.”

I used the term “human”, not muggle… Technically, all the characters in Harry Potter are human. But some are magical. I meant that his father came from a magical background and his mother did not. I do state things more clearly later one but needed something brief enough to fit in a checklist. Nor do I call Harry a “mudblood” (born of non-magical parents). However, both Lily Evans and Hermione Granger can be called mudbloods.

Lily was human and became a witch. Her parents were human.
What should I call her (without using HP-specific language)? How could I improve my bullet point to make it more accurate to Harry Potter but still reflect that “demi-god” comparison with other figures in mythology who are born half divine through a magical father?

Your thoughts?

Just released! Watch the 2nd Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Trailer

Here’s a beautiful new Harry Potter Deathly Hallows (part II) trailer. Looks amazing! Curious about the part where Harry grabs Voldemort, says “C’mon Tom – let’s finish this the way we started it: together” and then pulls him off the bridge. Don’t remember THAT in the Harry Potter Books. Wondering how faithful they stayed to the story.

Watch the 2nd Harry Potter Deathly Hallows trailer below and let me know what you think!

Is Twilight better than Harry Potter? Celebrity’s answer for the 2011 MTV movie Awards

What’s better: Twilight or Harry Potter? While some fans are absorbed by the magical world of Harry Potter, the unique characters and challenges of Hogwarts and the Epic Conclusion of Deathly Hallows; others melt in relation to Bella’s Hunky Supernatural Companions, ripped abs of  Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson, and the complex emotions involved in loving someone that wants to eat you.

As a huge fan of both, I know that each has its own charms; but if I had to pick one, I’m pretty sure I’d choose Harry Potter. The MTV Awards will only be able to choose one winner however, and these two franchises (and their fans) are set to come head-to-head. Recently celebs were asked to take a stand – check the video for their answers!

UPDATE!: It seems Twilight won just about everything. Harry Potter did get one award though, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) won the “Best Villain” award. (Definitely deserved it!). See all the winners of the 2011 MTV awards here:

http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2011/winners.jhtml

Spirit of Harry Potter Haiku Contest: Memoir to the Dead, who dies and who returns in Deathly Hallows?

The Tualatin Public Library held a Harry Potter Haiku Contest recently in honor of National Poetry month. Fifty haikus were submitted between April 15 and May 1 by students in grades six through 12 and were judged by library staff. Teen Librarian Aimee Meuchel, one of the judges, said they looked for haikus that captured the spirit of Harry Potter and followed the rules of haiku.

In Japanese the haiku is composed of 17 sound units divided into three parts – one with 5 units, one with 7 units and another with 5 units.

The winner, a junior at Tualatin High, submitted several haikus including this winning entry:

Memoir to the dead:
Dobby and Hedwig and Snape
Tonks, Lupin, and Fred.

What do you think? Can you do better? Here’s mine:

Jesus and Harry
Both died and came back to life
Both literary

Read the original article here:
http://www.oregonlive.com/tualatin/index.ssf/2011/06/tualatin_librarys_harry_potter_haiku_contest_inspires_young_poets.html

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Taconite Review

Jesus Potter Harry Christ is something of a misnomer. Sure it starts with a literary comparison between the Harry Potter stories and the biblical Jesus stories but that is not where the focus of the book is. The book does start with a relatively short section documenting the links people see between Harry Potter and Christianity but then the largest sections of the book compares the bible with the literature and mythology that existed before and during its writing. Murphy’s basic premise is that if parts of a literary work existed before this work than it is a derivative. In a sense, he is correct but are Shakespeare’s plays derivative and not unique just because they use portions of pre-existing tales?

To communicate between people you need to have shared concepts. This means that every work written or created that can be enjoyed between multiple people has to have shared concepts. In a very real sense, any sufficiently complex story can be linked to every other. Carl Sagan showed this communication linkage very well in The Demon-Haunted World. He noted that people have always recorded unusual encounters that were outside of real world experiences. Two thousand years ago people would label these encounters as visitations from Thor or even angels. Today we call them alien encounters. The difference in labels is because the culture has changed and we need different terms and phrasing to communicate the same type of events. Literatures in use when the bible was written will show us communication at that time.

Murphy uses literary clues and methods to show that nearly every portion of the bible can be linked to multiple previous tales, myths and creations — a valid and an interesting task. This is also something that should be expected in a work as massive as the bible that has links over extensive periods of times and cultures. The bible claims to have a history encompassing Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Canaanite, Greek and Roman cultures among a few. It should be expected that those cultures would appear in the text with shared stories, bits and pieces. Murphy does show these links in detail. His depth of knowledge in the various literatures brings enjoyable details on how the various myths and stories might have became entangled.

The weaknesses in the book come about by the disciplines he doesn’t have detailed knowledge in. A complete analysis of the biblical stories has to have a literary knowledge but also requires a broad spectrum of other fields such as archeology, geology, sociology… Even number use and development becomes a factor. For example: Murphy traces the use of 12 zodiac signs, 7 planets in astrology… from more ancient literature to the bible. But those numbers are universal with people. Five fingers and two hands gives you the number 7 and two hands each with five fingers gives you the number 12. This alone makes those numbers important enough to appear over and over again in literature. He also places special significance on astrology and particular names given to star groups. This is an important factor in literature but the linkage between the celestial calendar and particular animal names is a lesser link. You can not link a particular group of stars with only one name. The small points of light in the sky are like the proverbial ink blots — everyone sees a different picture in them. Murphy uses Taurus and Aries from astrology as the reasons for sacrificial bulls and lambs in various religions but an even more compelling reason could easily be that the sacrificial differences were just the difference between the dominant herd animal from the different cultural groups creating the religions. The conclusions he makes using these other disciplines about the biblical story are lacking authority. This opens to book to unwarranted criticism but criticism Murphy permits when he tries to bolster his analysis with these fields.

Jesus Potter Harry Christ is not a book for your average reader. It is a readable literary analysis of the bible starting with today’s Harry Potter stories and bracketed in the past with ancient myths and literature. As a strict literary analysis, it is very good. It tracks a variety of myths and religions and shows how concepts, thought lines and stories became interlinked with the bible. Any biblical scholar, historian and want-to-be theologian can have fun looking into this text. Biblical literalists will have problems after the first page or two. I can recommend this book to any scholar wanting to view a literary only analysis of the bible. Since politics, religion and sports are three of the big subjects sure to cause a fight if discussed, be prepared for some intense feelings when you read this book. As for how this book frames the bible with history, archeology, geology…, you will need to look further.

Danielle Radcliffe crashes Williams Middleton Royal wedding nude and drunk after J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter cast not invited

For immediate release: Apr. 29th, 2011:

Daniel Radcliffe seemed to take it in stride last week when he found out he was not invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “I mean, I don’t even know them,” he told reporters, “Everyone thinks because we’re rich and we have posh English accents that we must, like, hang out all the time. I’m happy for them, but I’m not that interested in the wedding.”

Apparently however, the social snub hurt Radcliffe more deeply than he let on. At about 3:45 in the afternoon, just as the Royal Couple were completing their vows, guests witnessed Radcliffe, dressed as the main figure of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, stumbling through the grounds of Westminster Abbey holding a bottle of white chardonnay.

“I was so excited!” said Christine Middleton, 14, the daughter of one of the affair’s exclusive guests, “I was like, ‘look mum, it’s Harry Potter!’ But then he started waving his wand around and shouting at everybody, it was a little scary.”

A security camera video – which has now been posted on YouTube and watched over 9million times – shows Radcliffe knocking over a pyramid of champaign glasses, karate-chopping the wedding cake, and shouting “Crucio!” while pointing a stick at guests.

Then he stripped naked and began shouting “Don’t you know who I am?! I am the Chosen One! I’m The-Boy-Who-Fucking-Lived!” before being tackled by security and removed from the premises.

When asked to comment, Emma Watson – who plays Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter series, said “Well we knew he’s been under a lot of pressure, with the last film coming out and his Broadway debut and all, but I didn’t think he’d – I mean we all thought he would get through it alright.”

The last Harry Potter film, based on the series by J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 comes out on July 15, 2011.

—————-

This is a fictional article! It’s just for fun. Take it easy.

Excellent review of Jesus Potter Harry Christ in The Examiner

New book pits Jesus Christ against Harry Potter

Read the original at examiner.com:

http://www.examiner.com/gnosticism-heretical-spirituality-in-national/new-book-pits-jesus-christ-against-harry-potter-review

John Lennon once said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, a claim that ignited a public relations firestorm. These days, one could easily claim that Harry Potter is also more popular than Jesus. Like Beatles albums after Lennon’s remarks, Harry Potter books have landed in the angry fires of Christian fundamentalists attempting to draw attention to the stark differences between the two superstars.

But what if the reason Harry Potter and Jesus Christ are so popular has to do more with their similarities rather than their differences? What if both, in essence, drew from the same literary template?

In Jesus Potter Harry Christ, Derek Murphy associates the two wonderworkers and identifies their striking parallels, some that include:

–A supernatural father and mortal mother.
–Miraculous birth foretold by prophecy.
–Supernatural powers in the service of helping others.
–Symbolized by the lion, while their foes were represented by the serpent.
–Descended into the underworld.
–Went willing to their death after great suffering, and then rose back to life in victory.

Beyond connecting the two messiahs, Murphy investigates whether or not J.K. Rowling consciously injected Christians or Occult themes in her epic series, concluding that the answer is both. Jesus Potter Harry Christ furthermore details the heated debate within Christian circles concerning the tsunami influence of Harry Potter on Western culture.

And then Murphy opens a trap door opens, plunging the reader into a fascinating rabbit hole. Jesus Potter Harry Christ is an odyssey across the theological landscape of Christian history and the mythos of the archetypal savior god that has nurtured many religions for thousands of years. As Murphy explains, it’s not so much that Harry Potter is a “Christ-figure” but more like Jesus is a “Potter-figure.” The two are a “composition of redemptive mythological symbols and philosophies.”

The success of the two miracle workers starts becoming more understandable.

Part of the fascinating odyssey includes a comprehensive yet lean description of the many pagan faiths, mystery religions, and Gnostics sects that dressed Jesus of Nazareth into the uniform of the dying-rising godman of antiquity. Jesus Potter Harry Christ eruditely compares and contrasts the Galilean magician to other savior gods: Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Adonis, Mithras, Attis, Asclepius, and many others.

The book reaches as far back as the ancient Sumerian narratives, neatly sandwiches the evolution of the nascent Catholic Church and its councils, and finally arrives to the apologetics of modern Christian luminaries like C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel. Murphy never explicitly denies the historicity of Jesus Christ, but indicates that he has been basically swallowed whole by imagination and legendry.

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Furthermore, Jesus Potter Harry Christ gifts the reader with the more mystical bedrock of Christian doctrine that originated with the ideas of Pythagoras, the cult of Orpheus, astrotheology, and Egyptian magic, just to name a few examples. In less than 500 pages, Murphy has in effect written a thorough reference guide on ancient comparative religion. If there is a fault in Murphy’s work is that his ambition and overreaching buries his main thesis of Harry Potter and Jesus Christ in modern culture.

Another benefit of Jesus Potter Harry Christ is its doubling as a sort of mythicist greatest hits. Murphy covers the various and notorious thinkers in history who began assuming Jesus Christ came from a rich lineage of mythological champions—like the enigmatic Count Volney urging Napoleon Bonaparte to scour Egypt for the tales of Horus that might discredit Christianity; or James George Frazer’s opus, The Golden Bough, that scandalized Europe for stating that the story of Jesus Christ had happened long before his birth.

This is probably the first time a book encapsulates the works of contemporary mythicists such as G.A. Wells, Timothy Freke, Tom Harpur, Acharya S., Earl Doherty, and Robert Price. Murphy also makes sure to disclose that the historicity of Jesus was very much in play during early Christendom by the very own apologies of the church fathers, Justin Martyr and Tertullian being two of the notable ones.

Whether one has a basic inkling or a profound knowledge of the syncretic casserole that spawned the world’s largest religion, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a valuable compendium. Murphy bares a scalpel intellect in his first scholarly venture, dissecting the figure of Jesus Christ while peeling open the wonderful tales the other rising-dying godmen that once upon a time captivated pagan audiences across western civilization.

Although admittance to their mysteries was probably just as pricey as a Harry Potter movie ticket, a televangelist audio CD, or even a collectors Beatles album. Perhaps things really never do change that much, including gods and religions.

Interview with Waakao: Jesus Potter Harry Christ, Blasphemy and Surrealist Paintings

Derek Murphy Interview with Waakao Magazine, 2/22/2011

How was studying Theology, Art History and Philosophy on the Mediterranean island of Malta? What did you take away from that experience?

Beautiful. Sea-scape, colonial buildings, perfect weather, ancient stone temples, olive skinned dark-eyed women… I had an apartment on the coast and a red Toyota Ford. Those were good times. I went through many personal developments in spiritual beliefs; I arrived in the heavily Catholic country Christian and left much less so.

Why did you come to Taiwan? Have you enjoyed your time here? How does it compare with the time you spent in Italy?

I was always on a course towards Japan, have been my whole life. But somehow Taiwan popped up instead; I came and I stayed. What I like about Taiwan is that it is convenient. I like the 24hr lifestyle; driving my scooter anywhere in any direction I want; the lifestyle I can afford by teaching English a few hours a day. Even though Italy is amazing, much more scenic, and much more inspiring and relaxing, Taiwan is a better fit for me, at least for now, because I can get more done.

How did you get into art? Why do you call yourself a surrealist? Are there any artists that you feel are your inspiration?

Dali and Magritte have a similar philosophy of life and of art. Surrealism is mixing some real elements in ways that don’t really go together. Some of my work doesn’t really qualify I suppose. It’s not the bizarre dreamscapes of Dali, but can be pretty similar to the oddity of Magritte. My mother painted sweatshirts and attended craft fairs; she got me into arts and crafts. It’s a challenging hobby to try and portray what you can imagine.

Your paintings are very tongue-in-cheek about Taiwan and Asian culture in general. What are the reactions you get by Taiwanese people when they see them? Have you ever upset anyone with any of the works you’ve done?

Most young people get them intuitively. Older people often think they’re weird, or don’t “get it”. They get offended either by the irreligious depictions of Buddha, or the blasphemous pictures of Jesus. One foreigner was angry at me for painting girls with big boobs. She called me a bigot. I think you have to be either an irreligious foreigner in Taiwan or someone involved in the space between cultures to appreciate them.

Which is your favorite painting you’ve done? Why? Which one has caused the most “controversy”?

I like “KFC” a lot, which uses real ghost money as feathers for a kid in a chicken costume that Colonel Sanders is about to BBQ. It should have caused the most controversy but I think it’s too subtle. Taiwanese are more interested in Happy Meal Buddha, or the Mao/Hello Kitty. My worst is First Communion; a priest holding up a cross and two young girls giving it fellatio – it’s terrible.

Besides being an artist, you are finishing your master’s degree and also a writer. How do you have any free time? Which branch of art do you enjoy creating the most?

Unfortunately I don’t have any free time. I’ve started my PHD now at NTU. I spent the last 6 months finishing the book I’ve been working on for years and it’s pretty good at this point. So that’s a long term accomplishment. Eventually some of my hobbies might start making income and I can take it easier; or at least focus more on my hobbies without also stressing about survival. Writing and art are completely different; I probably enjoy painting more, it’s a little easier and completely non-mental. It’s physically taxing and time-consuming, but I can just zone out. Writing on the other mind messes with your mind; choosing just the right way to organize everything, which words to use… I’d like to be more easy and fluid but it’s not there yet.

Please tell the readers of Waakao about your new book, Jesus Potter Harry Christ.

Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a result of a long interest in historical Christianity, comparative religion, astrology and mythology. For my Master’s thesis I decided to rewrite a lot of earlier material through the lens of Harry Potter; it’s a great idea and I think I’ve pulled it off pretty well. Basically I think Harry and Jesus are both literary (fictional) characters employing older, universal symbolism that is heavily based on constellation mythology. It sounds pretty “out there” but the research is tight. I think I’ve made a convincing case, and feedback has been good.

Is this your first book? How does one go about publishing a book in English in Taiwan? How long did it take you to write the book from start to finish?

The way you’re supposed to do it is find an agent who will support you, sell your idea to publishers, and then eventually get about 10% of sales. This is the real, successful way to be published… except the majority of books don’t sell well anyway and it’s almost impossible to get an agent these days because the publishing business is collapsing. Technology being what it is, I can get the book written, edited, formatted, designed and upload the PDF files to amazon.com – who will print and mail the book for me to anyone who orders it. And I keep about %50 of profits. Traditionally publishers took care of preparing the book, as well as the marketing; but I hired freelancers and personal assistants all around the world and am gaining the support of many other authors and bloggers. It’s definitely possible to be successful independently. I may sell much less, but my profit is higher. If it’s popular and it takes off, a “real” publisher will pick it up. On the other hand, I retain all the rights so I can sell the international language rights myself, over and over again (I’ve already contracted 4000 copies of the book to a Russian publisher for the Russian language version). There’s still a stigma against ‘self-publishers’, but it’s fading.

How did your religious views after you “drifted away from his Episcopalian upbringing…towards a more inclusive, holistic idealism” affect the writing of this book?

It’s a complicated question. Obviously my ability and interest in writing the book is shaped by my ideology; but I want this to be a well-researched book on history, not a soapbox sermon. So I’ve kept beliefs out of it and focused on a) what happened and b) how do we know. I argue lightly at the end that a transcendent, universal, spiritual Jesus is more valuable than a historical one, but that’s not the point of the book. I don’t argue against Jesus or Christianity – it just seems to me, given the evidence, that there was no historical founder behind the Christian movement – and I think that’s really pretty incredible, and that people should know more about it.

What do you want to accomplish with this book? Where can readers purchase it online?

I think I had something to contribute to the discussion, and so I wanted to be able to hold my own and put together a good argument… “make a name for myself”, etc. I want people to be impressed by the catchy idea, but also the research and the amount of work that went into it. A lot of people will probably assume that I’m just a “punk atheist” (as some internet commenter already called me) trying to make a quick buck; but I treat the topic seriously and there’s a massive amount of references. It’ll be up on Amazon.com worldwide soon, and then I’ll start selling to international publishers; hopefully I’ll find one in Taiwan also who will want to translate it.

Do you want to write more books? Do you prefer paintings? Does the flow of creativity from writing and painting ebb and flow?

Creativity definitely comes and goes; although actually I’ve probably already had most of my great ideas. I have enough great ideas to last me a long, long time. The trick will be to try to finish them all. My next book is called “Satan is my Hero”. There’s also “Jesus, Aliens, the Easter Bunny and Other Things I Used to Believe In”. My crowning achievement and first novel will be “The Bible: Part II”. I’ll be happy if I ever make it that far.

What’s next on the agenda for Derek Murphy? What are some of your goals for the future?

In the immediate future, I want a cruise to Mexico, $10grand USD in publishing rights sold, a scholarship so I can finish my PHD without teaching English, and a pet cat. Eventually I’d like to be able to support myself from books and paintings only.

Anything else you want to add?

What I need people to do is get the free review copy of the book I’m giving away on my website and then go to Amazon.com and say nice things about it, give it 5 stars, or mention it on their blog or facebook. It’s got potential but it needs everybody’s support to make it big. Here’s the link:
https://www.jesuspotterharrychrist.com/2010/05/reviewers/