Tag Archive: England


Well it’s about time!!!!

Well it’s about time that Kate Middleton gave birth. The name hasn’t been relished yet but they had a boy and it weighs 8 pound 4 ounces. Everyone has been waiting anxiously for the baby’s arrival (or in my mom’s case for the baby’s gender to relished). I just hope the baby is ready because he’ll be the most photographed baby ever. So what is ya’ll take on Kate and William’s new bundle of joy? please comment and let me know but please no negative comments.

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college life update

I haven’t done a college life blog in a while, so I’ve decided give y’all an update. Exams are starting tomorrow. I only have to studied for only four of my classes. (online classes you take them earlier) I’ll be studying a lot over the next couple of days. I have already register for my next semester classes. I’m not taking an online class this time. Mission fuge sigh up has started. I’m not sure if I’m going this year are not. Other than all that there really isn’t much going on. So I hope y’all enjoyed this blog.  Please comment and like and don’t forget to subscribe. 🙂

http://campusprogress.org/articles/j.k._rowlings_the_casual_vacancy_does_little_to_occupy_genuine_discuss/

J. K. Rowling’s new novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, has been described by the press as a novel about class and poverty, one drawing inspiration from Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot and which some sayis “doomed to be known as Mugglemarch.”

Billed as “a big novel about a small town,” The Casual Vacancy takes up issues of addiction, sexual assault, incest, racism, and self-harm, in addition to engaging more broadly with issues of class and poverty.

“But,” wrote Theo Tait for The Guardian, “these sections of the book are a little too laborious and programmatic to be truly harrowing: like a detective series dutifully dealing with “social issues”, it seems to come at the underclass story via what we already know from journalism, or from social workers, rather than inhabiting it from the inside.”

The Casual Vacancy is certainly a novel that deals with classism, with petty citizens who disapprove of the town’s Sikh doctor showing up to the funeral in a sari, and tries to hold a mirror up to  the ugliness that lies just beneath the veneer of middle-class sensibility. But to be a novel about poverty, it isn’t nuanced enough.

Social commentary in The Casual Vacancy often leaves you with the same feeling as its sex scenes. It’s as if Rowling sat down and thought to herself, “Right. This is a book for adults, so every five or ten pages I should drop in a mention of condoms, sex, or vaginas to make sure everyone’s got it.” In some places, it works; in most, it seems artificial.

Here’s the basic geography of The Casual Vacancy: it’s primarily set in Pagford, a sleepy and relatively prosperous West Country town. Pagford is close to Yarvil, a larger and seedier almost-city. In between the two is Fields, a neighborhood made up of cheap metal council houses encroaching on the boundaries (and the tax dollars) of Pagford. Most Pagford residents want the neighborhood to be reassigned to Yarvil to keep Fields kids out of their schools and safeguard the town’s middle class sensibility; a few others are dedicated to keeping Fields assigned to Pagford to make sure its addiction clinic stays open that that its residents have some form of support.

In the novel, Rowling writes that “nearly two-thirds of Fields dwellers lived entirely off the state; and that a sizeable proportion passed through the doors of the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic.” Horrified that the children of single mothers and junkies will be allowed “to deafen the tiny classrooms with their strident Yarvil accents,” the anti-Fields contingent of the Parish Council seize the opportunity provided by the death of pro-Fields councilor Barry Fairbrother. his spot with someone who’d help them shift the boundary line.

When it comes to issues of class, the novel reads more as an exploration of petty infighting and social dynamics in a solidly middle-class parish than as an investigation of poverty in modern England. Though the question of what will become of Fields drives most of the plot, readers are left unmoved thanks to underdeveloped characters.

The Weedons are the only family from the Fields to get their own story line; the rest of the estate’s inhabitants are painted with broad and relatively vague strokes.

Rather than giving us, say, a handful of characters from Pagford and a handful from Fields, Rowling uses Krystal Weedon and her family as the stand-in for an entire population with vastly different lived experiences with poverty and discrimination. Krystal seems to be intended to symbolize all of the trauma to be to found in Fields, as well as all of what’s good about it. And in doing so, she comes off as reductive and archetypal. It’s a disservice to the complex social issues she’s meant to represent, not to mention her own story line.

Rowling had extensive personal experience with the British welfare system in a previous life, and her commitment to analyzing the social dynamics in this small, closed-off town reads are genuine. But since most of the novels’ characters are Pagford residents, not Fields-dwellers, that’s the perspective from which we see this world: Fields becomes the prism through which various characters grow or reveal their inner ugliness, not a living community.

The Casual Vacancy reads better as a novel about attitudes towards poverty, welfare, and addiction than it does about the lived experience of these things – but, perhaps, that’s what it was trying to do all along.

Those who, like me, literally grew up with Harry Potter will find a lot of love here, but they’d be advised to go in with two warnings. One: the world of Pagford is a lot like Privet Drive, without the promise of warmth, magic, and broomsticks to escape on, and two: though The Casual Vacancy may introduce millions of readers worldwide to some of the issues related to modern British poverty (and at some points it seems like one of Rowling’s motivations is to use her stature, and the knowledge that most people would buy her book no matter what, as an opportunity to educate the public), it shouldn’t be mistaken for a complex or complete analysis of poverty and class.

Perhaps, in the same way that Harry Potter was a compelling advertisement for reading for pleasure for millions of people, The Casual Vacancy will serve as an introduction: to Alan Bennett, to Irvine Welsh, and to the scores of other British writers engaging with class in a more thorough and complicated way.


Pauline Holdsworth is a reporter for Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter at @holdswo.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/11/books-bestsellers-idUSL1E8LBB5M20121011

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:34pm EDT

Oct 11 (Reuters) - J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, "The
Casual Vacancy," held on to the top spot of Publishers Weekly's
bestseller list for the second consecutive week on Thursday. 
    The list is compiled using data from independent and chain
bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors
nationwide. 
    Hardcover Fiction                     Last Week
    1. "The Casual Vacancy" by
J. K. Rowling (Little, Brown, $35.00)         1
    2. "Mad River" by John Sandford
(Putnam, $27.95)                              -
    3. "Winter of the World" by Ken            
Follett (Dutton, $36.00)                  2
    4. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn           
(Crown, $25.00)                         3
    5. "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom       
(Hyperion, $24.99)                      4
    6. "A Wanted Man" by Lee Child            
(Delacorte, $28.00)                           5
    7. "Live by Night" by     Dennis Lehane
(William Morrow, $27.99)                      -
    8. "Dark Storm" by Christine Feehan
(Berkley, $26.95)                             -
    9. "Phantom" by Jo Nesbø (Knopf, $25.95)  -
    10. "Low Pressure" by Sandra Brown          
(Grand Central, $26.99)                       6
    Hardcover Nonfiction
    1. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly
(Henry Holt, $28.00)                          -
    2. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen             
(Dutton, $26.95)                              1
    3. "Total Recall" by Arnold
Schwarzenegger (Dutton, $26.95)               -
    4. "America Again" by Stephen Colbert
(Grand Central, $28.99)                       -
    5. "God Loves You" by David Jeremiah
(FaithWords, $23.99)                          -
    6. "The America's Test Kitchen Quick 
Family Cookbook" by America's Test 
Kitchen eds. (America's Test Kitchen, $34.95) -
    7. "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak" by   
Joel Osteen (FaithWords, $21.99)                     3
    8. "Waging Heavy Peace" by Neil Young
(Blue Rider Press, $30.00)                    2
    9. "Guinness World Records 2013"          
(Guinness World Records)                  5
    10. "Mugged" by Ann Coulter
(Sentinel, $26.95)                            7
  Week ended Oct 7, 2012, powered by
Nielsen BookScan © 2012 The Nielsen Company.

 (Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Jeffrey Benkoe)

http://www.policymic.com/articles/11683/how-daniel-radcliffe-turned-from-harry-potter-star-to-serious-actor

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor famous for playing Harry Potter, turned 23 on Monday.

Starring in the eight film adaptations of the best-selling book series by J.K. Rowling, Radcliffe truly brought the title character to life. Since his role as the famous boy wizard, the young actor has forged an unconventional path towards a serious acting career, starring in everything from a twisted psychological play to a romantic comedy.

Radcliffe has embodied and shaped our understanding of Harry Potter. From reading the books, I had always envisioned Harry as stubborn, impulsive, burdened by a Messiah complex, moody when older, yet always courageous and loyal. In the movies, Radcliffe portrays all of these traits, but adds innocent charm to the boy wizard. Harry seems steady, serious, and strong-willed when he battles Voldemort’s incarnations in the first films, but the actor’s wide blue eyes, short stature, delicate cheeks, and circular glasses remind us how young the wizard is. Even in the bleak final film, Radcliffe steps towards Voldemort shakily, hesitantly. The actor physically emphasizes how much Harry is playing everything by ear – an important detail that makes him so relatable and believable as a teenage hero.

Post-Potter, Radcliffe has proven himself to be beyond maturity. Like the overburdened wizard himself, Radcliffe seems to have grown up too fast — he has already forced himself to stop drinking to prevent alcoholism. Yet professionally, he has not become a degenerate child star. On the contrary, Radcliffe has committed himself to a serious acting career. He has strayed from typical teen films; his post-Potter films include horror/thriller The Woman in Black and Beat poetry film Kill Your Darlings. In his theater debut, he won critical praise for the psychological stage drama Equus, in which he portrayed a 17-year old that blinds six horses with a spike and he went completely naked for an episode of religio-erotic worship to a horse. But he is not a fun-killer — he has starred in the comedic musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and will be in the upcoming romantic comedy, F Word. Rather than devising a career strategy, Radcliffe is true to his artistic interests, choosing only quality projects that grab his attention. His creative spirit goes beyond drama — as a bookworm, he spends most of his money on books, he writes poetry, and he publishes short stories; he appreciates underground and punk rock music.

Radcliffe, with his definitive portrayal of Harry Potter, was the heart of the Harry Potter films. While he has yet to separate entirely from the wizard, Radcliffe has proved that he is becoming a serious artistic force.

Daniel Radcliffe film sets new horror record

Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Blackhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/9110695/Daniel-Radcliffe-film-sets-new-horror-record.html

 

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/08/daniel-radcliffe-harry-potter-and-the-oscar-snobs/

The Woman In Black

Today was the release of The Woman in Black. Like many Potter fans I was excited to see Daniel Radcliffe on the big screen. Even though he wasn’t portraying the boy wizard that many of us grew up with it was still exciting to see him once again. The Woman in Black is awesome it’ll keep you at the egde of your seat. I highly recomned that you go and see this film. So go and see The Woman in Black if you mised it tonight.

http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/02/03/daniel-radcliffe-my-days-as-messy-drunk-were-less-than-magical/#reblog

Hey check this site out!

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/jk-rowling-uk-press-left-feeling-under-siege-160752017.html

LONDON (AP) — Writer J.K. Rowling and actress Sienna Miller gave a London courtroom a vivid picture on Thursday of the anxiety, anger and fear produced by living in the glare of Britain’s tabloid media, describing how press intrusion made them feel like prisoners in their own homes.

The creator of boy wizard Harry Potter told Britain’s media ethics inquiry that having journalists camped on her doorstep was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.” Miller said years of car chases, midnight pursuits and intimate revelations had left her feeling violated, paranoid and anxious.

“The attitude seems to be absolutely cavalier,” Rowling said. “You’re famous, you’re asking for it.”

The pair were among a diverse cast of witnesses — Hollywood star Hugh Grant, a former soccer player, a former aide to supermodel Elle Macpherson and the parents of missing and murdered children — who have described how becoming the focus of Britain’s tabloid press wreaked havoc on their lives.

Rowling said she was completely unprepared for the media attention she began to receive when her first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” became a sensation. The seven Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies, spawned a hit movie series and propelled Rowling from struggling single mother to one of Britain’s richest people.

“When you become well-known … no one gives you a guidebook,” she said.

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry amid a still-unfolding scandal over illegal eavesdropping by the News of the World tabloid. Owner Rupert Murdoch closed down the newspaper in July after evidence emerged that it had illegally accessed the mobile phone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims in its search of scoops.

More than a dozen News of the World journalists and editors have been arrested, and the scandal has also claimed the jobs of two top London police officers, Cameron’s media adviser and several senior Murdoch executives.

It has also set off national soul-searching about the balance between press freedom and individual privacy.

Rowling, 46, said media interest in her began shortly after the publication of her first novel in 1997 and soon escalated, with photographers and reporters frequently stationed outside her home. She eventually moved after stories and photographs revealed the location of her house.

“I can’t put an invisibility cloaking device over myself or my house, nor would I want to,” Rowling said. But, she added, “it feels threatening to have people watching you.”

Rowling said she had always tried to keep her three children out of the media glare, and was outraged when her eldest daughter came home from primary school with a letter from a journalist in her backpack.

“I felt such a sense of invasion,” Rowling said. “It’s very difficult to say how angry I felt that my 5-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists.”

By the time her younger children were born in 2003 and 2005, Rowling said, the scrutiny was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.”

She also described how, early on in their relationship, her now-husband Neil Murray gave personal details over the phone to a reporter who was pretending to be a tax official. An article about him duly appeared in a tabloid paper.

“That was a not-very-nice introduction to being involved with someone famous,” Rowling said.

Rowling told the inquiry she had gone to court or to Britain’s press watchdog more than 50 times over pictures of her children or false stories, which included a claim by the Daily Express that unpleasant fictional wizard Gilderoy Lockhart had been based on her first husband.

Before the final Potter book appeared in 2007, a reporter even phoned the head teacher of her daughter’s school, falsely claiming the child had revealed that Harry Potter died at the end, in an apparent bid to learn secrets of the plot.

Miller, who became a tabloid staple when she dated fellow actor Jude Law, said the constant scrutiny left her feeling “very violated and very paranoid and anxious, constantly.”

“I felt like I was living in some sort of video game,” she said.

“For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily,” she said. “Spat at, verbally abused.

“I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal.”

The 29-year-old actress told the inquiry that a stream of personal stories about her in the tabloids led her to accuse friends and family of leaking information to the media. In fact, her cell phone voice mails had been hacked by the News of the World.

Miller, the star of “Layer Cake” and “Alfie,” was one of the first celebrities to take the Murdoch tabloid to court over illegal eavesdropping. In May, the newspaper agreed to pay her 100,000 pounds ($160,000) to settle claims her phone had been hacked.

The newspaper’s parent company now faces dozens of lawsuits from alleged hacking victims.

Also testifying Thursday was former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who has campaigned for a privacy law since his interest in sadomasochistic sex was exposed in the News of the World.

Mosley successfully sued the News of the World over a 2008 story headlined “Formula One boss has sick Nazi orgy with five hookers.” Mosley has acknowledged the orgy, but argued that the story — obtained with a hidden camera — was an “outrageous” invasion of privacy. He said the Nazi allegation was damaging and “completely untrue.”

Mosley said he has had stories about the incident removed from 193 websites around the world, and is currently taking legal action “in 22 or 23 different countries,” including proceedings against search engine Google in France and Germany.

“Invasion of privacy is worse than burglary,” Mosley said. “Because if somebody burgles your house … you can replace the things that have been taken.”

High-profile witnesses still to come include CNN celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan, who has denied using phone hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper.

The inquiry, led by Judge Brian Leveson, plans to issue a report next year and could recommend major changes to Britain’s system of media self regulation.

Rowling said that she supported freedom the press, but that a new body was needed to replace the “toothless” Press Complaints Commission.

“I can’t pretend that I have a magical answer,” she said. “No Harry Potter joke intended.”

___

Leveson Inquiry: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/

Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless

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