No chance

Sam Leith of the Telegraph believes that Harry Potter will be appreciated as a classic 50 years from now:

Were this same survey to be conducted in another 50 years, our children will doubtless be bemused by the way an old classic like “Harry Potter” still has the power to top the list.

C S Lewis – it is fair to say – was the J K Rowling of his day.

I like Leith, but I think his conclusion here is utterly wrong. What makes Lewis memorable, and Rowling forgettable, is his ability to convey a sense of the transcendent to the youthful mind. But there is literally nothing memorable about the Harry Potter series except the gimmicks, which is why Rowling’s books will be no more well-regarded in 50 years than the Tom Brown books on which Harry Potter is in good part based are regarded now.

It takes a lot more than popularity to make a book a classic. Moreover, the very concept of “school” may well be an inexplicable one to most children of the future, since technology is rapidly eliminating the last justifications for learning en masse.

Mailvox: the conflicted Christian

I have to admit, the sort of response to TIA posted on WND tends to amuse me, especially in light of the non-reading atheist reviews that insist TIA is just another theologian’s apologetic:

I am shocked and saddened after reading Vox Day’s “The Irrational Atheist,” which I purchased at your site.

I have never been so conflicted about a book in my life, because it is simply outstanding in places – absolutely irrefutable. But his claim to be a believer is belied by his use, even at times glorification of, at least 14 types of terms for sick, vile and disgusting sexual perversions (some of which I had to research to find out what they meant, and which turned my stomach when I did), five mentions of grossly immoral and/or irresponsibly behavior, five slang references to body parts let’s just say which are below the beltline (yep, you guessed them!), three mentions of crude bodily functions, (to be exotic, one is even in German, and again, yes, those are the ones you’re thinking of), and five vulgar and/or crass nicknames for women.

In summary, to rip a quotation from Day out of context, “… by the ‘end’ it was getting pretty painful.” His particular humor specialization certainly appears to be the sexually perverted and scatological varieties.

Poor Oscar doesn’t seem to realize that the game argot goes along with the game designer’s analysis. And not only does he misassign the Rasmussen quote to me, I don’t recall any toilet humor in the book. I imagine a more well-read critic would be inclined to view the quote from Heller’s Catch-22 as a literary reference. Oscar claims to be shocked by the Offspring culture I inhabit, he’d probably keel over dead were he ever exposed to Slipknot culture.

In any case, I don’t quite see the point of pretending to be something you’re not. One of the things I always despised about Christians before I became one was the insufferable hypocrisy that many of the most annoying ones tended to exhibit. Now, hypocrisy is far from the worst of evils, in many cases it’s merely the homage that vice pays to virtue, but it’s a particularly problematic one if you’re going to be communicating with non-Christians. TIA isn’t written for old people who have to google a Hentai reference, it’s written for those who understand the point I’m making about the New Atheists.

Like it or not, that’s the world we live in and you can’t change it by pretending it doesn’t exist. And I note that my humor inclines to the cruel and the morbid, not the sexual and scatological.

Total slaughter

There’s nothing like having a pair of rogues at your command who possess initiative, but are also capable of taking direction with alacrity. We didn’t have any healers, but every single Alliance fighter was disciplined and we ruthlessly destroyed the Horde, 505-0. I didn’t even think it was possible to win with a 500-point margin, I thought the previous record of 478 was all but untouchable.

We burned both Frostwolf towers and even took the Frostwolf graveyard twice, but too much eagerness to go after the Frostwolf base caused our attack to fragment at that point and we didn’t manage to hold it.