This is Lili's OLD WEBSITE! Go to for the shiny, better, more up-to-date, awesome version.

26 October 2007

The Inevitable Post about Dumbledore

"The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance,"
-JK Rowling

I find with all things Harry Potter, that I really enjoy it, until I start thinking, and then I get irritated. It was the same with Rowling's recent announcement about Dumbledore's sexuality.

At first I thought "awesome! positive gay characters in children's literature!"

And then I thought 4 things.

Thing #1
"He is my character. He is what he is and I have the right to say what I say about him."
Once your book is published, it doesn't belong to you anymore. It belongs to your readers. Let THEM tell YOU what happens next, not the other round.

Thing #2
"If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!"
No. You should have announced it years ago anyway. You should have put it in the books. You are probably the most influential human being in the world for young people. You have more power to influence young people's attitudes than the United Nations, Sesame Street and their parents combined. You had an opportunity to present them with a positive gay role model, and you chose not to, I assume, because you were scared of the reaction from the religious right.

Thing #3
[Rowling] didn't feel the need to be explicit about Dumbledore's sexual preferences because she wanted to focus on character development.
I'm going to skip over the fact that many gay people might find that sentence deeply offensive.
Dumbledore was brave. Dumbledore liked to stick it to the Man (no pun intended). Dumbledore was never afraid to tell anyone his opinion, no matter how powerful or dangerous they were.
Except no one in the Harry Potter world knew he was gay. Not Harry, or anyone else that we know of. So he was in the closet.
So if a man as open and brave as Dumbledore felt he needed to keep his sexuality a secret - exactly what kind of a world is the Potterverse? How homophobic must the world be for Dumbledore to conceal such an important part of his identity? That's not a "positive message" at all, or a "prolonged argument for tolerance". It's sad and regressive and scary.

Thing #4
Seriously. Like Rita Skeeter wouldn't have known and put it in her book.

23 October 2007

Improve Your Vocabulary - help developing nations!

Check out Free Rice, a project from

For every word you correctly label, will donate 10 grains of rice to a developing nation.

It's procrastination AND worthy AND promotes literacy!

10 October 2007

Advertising and Bunnies

My parents always mute the TV and go and do something whenever the ads come on. I do too. Most of the time.
Except ads are getting... well... really good.
Advertising companies are obviously hiring some fresh-thinking film school graduates to make amazing, expensive, innovative short films with brands attached. Like that (and I can't believe I'm saying this) that Golden Arches ad where all the kiddies climb out of the grown-ups tummies. And the eBay one with the shopping trollies and the snow (although I kinda don't like the way it implies that when you buy so
mething from eBay, it's never what you expected).
But my very favourite ads are the Sony Bravia ads*. You know, the first one was all the millions of little bouncy balls bouncing their rainbowy goodness down hills in San Francisco? And the one with the building being demolished with layers of coloured paint exploding out of each floor as it went?
The think I like the most about these ads is they REALLY do them. They really did let a million coloured bouncy balls loose in SF. And they really did explode a building full of paint. Bugger all this CG nonsense (sorry, Gollum).
Well now there's a new one. And it has bunnies in New York.
*due to my leftiecommiepinko guilt at essentially giving Sony some free promotion, I need to link to this article about how plasma screens are really bad for the environment.

05 October 2007

Freedom to Read

There is an organisation called the Happy Endings Foundation's East of England Cheering Committee.

What do they do? (I hear you ask.) Do they reunite orphans with their long lost parents? Do they find Handsome Princes for Lowly Peasant Girls? Do they provide support and counselling for failed Idol participants?

No. This lady and all her lovely, caring friends are out there to make sure that kids don't get too upset by books with sad endings.

Oh (you say), that's nice. They talk about why the Snowman melted, and why the puppy had to go to the Big Doghouse in the Sky.

No. They just burn all the books with sad endings.

(they WHAT?)

They burn them. With fire. They call it a Bad Book Bonfire, and they have them quite often.

So the newspaper article says that Lemony Snicket is on the pyre. But I'm thinking you'd have to torch The House at Pooh Corner, Charlotte's Web and Bridge to Terabithia as well. And let's not even mention The Velveteen Rabbit.

Now seems like a REALLY good time to mention that it's Banned Books Week.

This weekend, read a Sad Book or a Bad Book or a Banned Book to celebrate your Freedom to Read...

02 October 2007


(from Penni)

1. My rock star name (first pet and current car)
Mishka Swift (hott. with two 't's.)

2. My gangsta name (ice cream flavour plus cookie, or biscuit)
Cookies & Cream Shortbread (sounds more like a fluffy bunny)

3. My fly girl name (first letter of first name, first three letters of last name)
L Wil (meh)

4. My detective name (favourite colour, favourite animal)
Green Bear (rawwr)

5. My soap opera name (middle name, city of birth)
Mei-Ling Melbourne (i can totally see her. she'd wear lots of awful faux-Chinese dresses)

6. My Star Wars name (first three letters of your last name, first two of your first name)

7. My superhero name (second favourite colour, favourite drink, add “the”)
The Blue Water (She surfs. She wears a bikini. She's on the ABC. She's soft porn for teenagers...)

8. My Nascar name (first two names of my two grandfathers)
Jack James (I like this one a lot)

9. My stripper name (favourite perfume, favourite sweet)
Olene Musk Sticks (how foxy is that? She'd be a totally classy strippper)

10. My witness protection name (mother’s and father’s middle names)
Ann Richard

11. My weather anchor name (fifth grade teacher’s name, a major city beginning with the same letter)
Jeremy Jakarta

12. My spy name (favourite season/flower)
Spring Jasmine

13. Cartoon name (favourite fruit plus garment you’re wearing, with an “ie” or “y” added)
Cherry Red Bootsie (she'd be unreal)

14 Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast plus favourite tree)
Peanut Butter Toast Ornamental Cherry (well, if by 'hippy' you mean 'utter nonsense')

15. Your rockstar tour name (favourite hobby plus weather element, with “the”)
The Reading Fire. (sounds a bit Christian Rock...)