Monday, June 26, 2006

When the high and mighty trip up (or even when the low and obnoxious do)

It's been a weekend of Must-See TV for me.

I couldn't resist staying up much too late to watch
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets --again.

My favorite scene, perhaps of all the Harry Potter movies so far,
is the demonstration duel, where Gilderoy
is so busy posing that he gets legally zapped by Severus.

At least, I'm pretty sure Severus Snape is simply quick on
the spell-casting draw, in neat dramatic contrast to Draco Malfoy,
who cheats.

Why do I like that scene?

I find it immensely gratifying when a poser gets their come-uppance!
Don't we all? One of the most enduring themes in literature is hubris:
the dramatic downfall of someone who gets too big for their boots.

There are dozens of similar scenes in other movies -- fights, where
the dramatically well-armed or well-equipped bad guy makes a lot
of flashy moves, and sooner or later the good guy throws a simple punch,
or kick, and disables his opponent.

"Your High-and-Mightiness, you are in deep shit!" is something I imagine
many of us would love to be in a position to say
to a boss or world leader.

(One of my characters says it with great glee --and lives--
in my next book, Insufficient Mating Material.)

In real life, we wouldn't dare. History has shown that it isn't healthy
to be the bearer of bad news... as was demonstrated on a documentary
on Sunday morning about Great Intelligence Blunders.

At least, I think it was on Sunday.

The other program that stands out in my mind was Nigel Marvin's
documentary about the swings and roundabouts of a lion's sex life.
Actually that is my very loose, personal interpretation of what I got
from the program.

The up-side of being a lion with a big, dark mane is that the lionesses
like you (and you have fewer parasites). The down-side is that you
have a lower sperm count.

I haven't figured out how I can work that quirk of nature into one of
my alien djinn romances, but --trust me-- I will.

I wish you all an interesting week.


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