Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In the News

I read the New York Times every morning. I find that it's helpful to be informed and to know what is happening before the story disappears from people's minds. Most interesting right now is what is happening in the Ukraine with elections. I love that they are finally refusing to stand for stuffed ballots and other corrupt politics. I also love that the media went on strike and some that still aired refused to show the current regime's bias. They bypassed censors and showed the protestors. That is awesome. Check out the NY Times for more.

However, the most distrubing article I read today was on the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). Apparently speaking out against the president now takes away an organizations right to tax-exempt status. Now that is not cool and could have MAJOR lasting effects. That, in my opinion, is the first step to an oligarchy or dictatorship.

The lesson being, read the news. Some of it might inspire you and some of it may anger you, but all of it will educate you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Why Snape is NOT Loyal to Voldemort
Reviewing Evidence from the First Book

For those of you that missed the introduction to this section, be sure to check it out below before reading this article. The general idea this week is to debunk the theory that Snape is a "loyal" death eater to Voldemort and that Snape was in the circle shown in Book Four. These posts are in response to the many comments I have received regarding my original article, "What is Snape Doing for the Order of the Phoenix". You should read that article before continuing.

In my article on Snape and his role for the Order, I said that Rowling has led us to believe that Snape is acting as a double or triple agent either for or against the Order. I believed, and I still believe, that Rowling has made Snape one of the most interesting engimas in the books because the evidence does not add up in the direction she would like us to think, nor in most directions that we can comprehend. Is it possible that Snape is directly spying on the Death Eaters for the Order? The evidence points otherwise, as I believe that Snape was the person Voldemort referred to as the one who has left forever and I do not believe that Voldemort would take such a promise of killing Snape lightly.

However, many people have asked me whether or not the evidence can be read in different ways. Maybe Snape was not the object of Voldemort's threat, but an agent that Voldemort believes to be working on his side. Let's go back to Book One and see why this theory is highly unlikely.

As we have all read, Snape protected Harry in Book One against Quirrell. It is not clear whether or not Snape knew that Voldemort was on Quirrell's head, only that Snape knew that Quirrell was after the stone. However, it is clear that Voldemort knew about Snape's actions in Book One. For whatever reason Snape had for his actions, it makes little sense if he is working for Voldemort to try and stop Voldemort from getting the very object that would again make this Dark Lord rise. There are only so many reasons that Snape would have taken such action and there are less responses that Voldemort would have to such treachery. Yes, I mean that it is definitely treachery as Voldemort has nothing to be served by losing his path to the Philosopher's Stone.

The expected interjection here is that Snape may not have known that Voldemort was on Quirrell's head and thought he was only acting against Quirrell. There are a number of replies to this statement, here are the top two:

First, the Dark Mark shown on Snape's arm in Book Four would probably have been a good indicator that Voldemort was near him whenever he was near Quirrell. It seems to be that this marker would be a guide to letting Snape know about Voldemort's whereabouts. Still, this is only speculation and hardly proof that Snape knew about Voldemort. It does, however, lead me to conclude that Snape suspected.

Why not tell the Headmaster then? There is evidence in the books that Dumbledore did know about Quirrell and Voldemort and was giving Harry a chance to face Voldemort on his own.

"Do you think he meant you to do it?" said Ron. "Sending you your father's cloak and everything?"
"Well," Hermione exploded, "if he did - I mean to say -that's terrible - you could have been killed."
"No, it isn't," said Harry thoughtfully. "He's a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me the chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don't think it was an accident he let me find out how that Mirror worked. It's amost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could..."
Book One, 218-219, UK edition

Therefore, even if Snape's mark didn't give Voldemort away, Dumbledore still had a good idea and would probably have elicited some of the teachers' help, especially Snape, as Dumbledore has made it clear that he believes in Snape's loyalty. Isn't it interesting how much effort Snape put into trying to stop Quirrell, and how covertly it was handled. Amost as if Snape and Dumbledore had been watching the entire situation closely.

If this is the case, you might argue that it was then beneficial for Snape to help stop Quirrell and Snape would never be able to help Voldemort in order to keep his cover. However, where would Voldemort's priorities lie and how would he see such prudence? Which brings us to point number two.

Second, it does not truly matter whether or not Snape knew about Voldemort for it to be treachery in Voldemort's eyes. Remember the temperment of the Dark Lord. He is quick to anger and nearly, if not completely, vacant of mercy. He does not seem to me the type to say "You made a mistake, I forgive you" and rather the type to make an example out of anyone who stopped him from coming to power, for whatever reason. Yes, he does offer some consolation to his circle of death eaters for not coming to find him, but this is a far cry from actually trying to stop him from rising to power. Not to mention how forgiveness in the way he gave it to his circle was in a form of power over the death eaters. He appears merciful while treating them horribly.

In considering Snape in the first book, pay attention carefully to the words that Snape uses in Book One, especially when talking to Quirrell.
"Very well," Snape cut in. "We'll have another little chat when you've had time to think things over and decide where your loyalties lie."
Book One, 166, UK Edition

In some ways it sounds as if Snape is asking the reader where we think his own loyalties lie. At this point in the book we may be thinking that Snape is the bully forcing Quirrell to help him get to the stone, a fact Quirrell denies later when talking to Harry. If we believe Snape is waiting for Voldemort to return, or planning to return to Voldemort when he shows himself again, why would Snape ask this question to Quirrell. Does it have to do with loyalties to Dumbledore, or is Snape trying to hint at understanding exactly for whom Quirrell is working. If Voldemort trusts Snape, here they are in the Dark Forest having this conversation, why not reveal himself and enlist help? If he does not fully trust Snape, why let him back in the circle as a spy? To use him? Maybe, but would Snape fall for this with his calculating mind? Snape knows Voldemort well enough to know what would happen if he stopped him, for any reason, and then tried to come back into the circle. It would eventually mean death.

Maybe that is why Snape shivered at what he had to do? But then why believe that any information he recieved from Voldemort would be correct? There is some deep game theory happening in book one with Snape's actions, and I think his calculating mind can figure out what is going on enough to know how returning to Voldemort would be very dangerous. I will examine this more in the Book Four evidence post.

In conclusion, I claim that Book One leaves little room for Snape to not know about Quirrell and Voldemort's alliance. I also claim that Snape's actions in Book One make it nearly impossible for him to spy directly on Voldemort.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Severus Snape and the Death Eater Theory

One of the first posts for this site was one on Severus Snape and what he was doing for the Order of the Pheonix. Of course I wrote this post after only one read through of the fifth book, but I still stand by most of what was said in the post. However, I have recieved numerous comments on the suggestion that my hypothesis may be incorrect on to whom Voldermort was referring in the fourth book when he addressed the circle of Death Eaters. Some point to Rowling's vagueness in Voldemort's statement as a strong possibility that Snape was there and "loyal" to Voldemort.

(Quote to be inserted here when I unpack my books)

Let me just say that I did cover that base in saying I was only 87% sure that Voldemort was referring to Snape as the one who left forever, so I did allow that Rowling had made it vague and that we may not know the true identities yet. However, I still stand by my original hypothesis at 87% as I will show evidence of throughout the week. I could always be wrong, of course, but I stand by that Snape is NOT a "loyal" Death Eater. If he was in the circle, it was as a spy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Snape is a "loyal" Death Eater than Rowling is going to have to do a lot of work to cover all of her bases and the story will lose believability in my eyes if she fails to do so. Perhaps this is a bit egotistical of me, but I still stand by what I have just said.

This is not to say that Snape was not in the circle as a spy, though I put that possibility at a measley 35% as I believe that evidence points the other direction.

That being said, I must go unpack my house and rescue my Harry Potter books. Keep checking the site this week as I will do a number of short posts debunking the "loyal" Death Eater theory.

Can't Wait? Visit the forums to discuss your own ideas.

Monday, November 15, 2004

New Apartment, New Posts

Hey Everyone! The good news is that I have now moved into my new apartment! It is a beautiful place and it comes with free ethernet! That means that I am back online, and likely to post more often.

For people who only check the site occasionally, be sure to check the side bar to make sure that you haven't missed any big posts! I recently wrote a post on Lily's eyes and a short blurb on Lupin and mental illness.

Once again, I apologize for the horrendous grammar and spelling mistakes. I can never sit still long enough to fix them. Anyone want to help edit the site?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Quick thoughts:

After reading the third book once again, I have come to believe that Lupin and his werewolf tendencies are a statement about mental illness. I've come to this conclusion after weighing the different ways society treats him. Afraid that he might lose control or miss his medication (potion), society backs down from offering him jobs or interacting with him in any way. Instead, Lupin is treated as a second-class citizen that no one knows how to deal with. In order to keep his mental faculties, Lupin must take a potion that's medicinal value keeps him from losing all control. This parrallels well to someone who does suffer from mental illness having to rely on medication to keep them "normal" and alert to the social world.

Note: In the comments, Sarah mentioned the stigma from mental illness and that is exactly where I wanted to go with this. Way to go folks. Don't forget to visit the forum as well to talk about your own Harry Potter theories!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Three Chapters in Harry Potter

For those of you that haven't noticed yet, JK Rowling's door opened once again on her site. The title of three chapters were given away. Any ideas as to what they mean? Sounds like a great topic for the forum!


I finally wrote Lily's post, so look down a bit to find it.

In light of the election results, I thought now would be a good time to post this prayer again. Maybe if we each take it to heart we can help make this world a little brighter. It is easy to get lost in despair with so much wrong in the world, but we have to remember not to depend on our leaders to change everything. We have to do our part to change things. The wisdom that St. Francis offers us is the reason and faith needed to look beyond the darkest parts of the world to the parts that are good. And that good comes when we help each other out and refuse to let all the evil bring us down. I have a hard time taking this to heart myself, but may this prayer remind me that I must.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hate that I may bring love,
Where there is offence that I may bring pardon,
Where there is discord that I may bring union,
Where there is error that I may bring truth,
Where there is doubt that I may bring faith,
Where there is despair that I may bring hope,
Where there is darkness that I may bring light,
Where there is sadness that I may bring joy.

O Master, make me not so much to be consoled as to console;
not so much to be loved as to love;
not so much to be understood as to understand;
for it is in giving that one receives;
it is in self-forgetfulness that one finds;
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned;
it is in dying that one finds eternal life."

-St. Francis of Assisi.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

(Lily Post below this one)

Voting in America

Today is the day to vote! Go out there are keep in mind the issues. Remember, you are not just voting in a president, you are voting in an entire administration.

My thoughts on voting:

1.) I agree with Jon Stewart; I don't want the president to be someone I can have a beer with. I don't want the president to be a common man. I want the president to be better than the average American in his intelligence and decision making abilities. I want someone who can run this country and handle the burden well.

2.) The last few masses I have attended have mentioned that neither candidate actually takes on a pro-life position. On one side there is one for death penalty and not helping the poor while the other is for abortion. There is no way to win in this election on this count. Therefore, vote your conscious weighing everything together including social justice and all life issues. Then take what you believe beyond the ballot box by standing up for what you believe in through movements and actions. Don't just depend on the politicians to fix everything.

3.) Download Jon Stewart interviews from C-SPAN and Cross Fire. They are available on the websites owned by C-SPAN and Cross Fire. He's more than just a funny man. He is knowledgable on the issues with a cynical but accurate view of how things are now a days. DL them and you may just learn something about this election. Afterall, it's not as if the debates taught us anything.