Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Blend In with the Danes

1. be naturally tall
2. stand up straight (I don't)
3. bike everywhere
4. don't complain about cigarette smoke coming in through your fifth-story window
5. remember that your fifth-story window is actually the fourth floor in Europe
6. stop smiling at everything new and exciting
7. maintain an air of quietly pleased indifference
8. clean everything really well and be neat and organized
9. don't wait to do your grocery shopping until sunday (everything is closed)
10. remember to get to the bakery in the morning (before all the pastry is gone)
11. know enough Danish to request food and drink, say thanks, and apologize for biking too slowly

Today was my first full day in Copenhagen. I got to my Norrebro flat around 4:00 (that's 16:00 here) yesterday, and had a nice evening and a rough, jetlagged night/morning. Today at a convenience store, buying a bottle of water, I actually made it through the entire transaction without the clerk speaking to me in English, which I'm going to take as a sign I was "passing". Whoo-hoo.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Religious References and Iconography in Harry Potter

A short list:

1. The very concept of Horcruxes presuppose that the soul is a real and physical part of humanity-- that it can be maimed, that it can be whole, and that it exists separately from the body.

2. Harry is killed, then resurrected, and lives a second life after his final battle with Voldemort. He might not be Jesus incarnate, but he's living the fictional life many fundamentalist Christians believe awaits the faithful.

3. James/Harry/Dumbledore = Father/Son/Holy Ghost
This one needs work, because I'm not Christian and can't really speak to the finer points of how perfectly this works out.

4. Christmas, gosh darned it. Why do wizards celebrate it, when their lives otherwise seem to be motivated by secular humanism (or a lack of it)?

There. I basically just wrote the Cliff's Notes for your next Comparative Religious Studies essay. You're welcome.