I’ll be liveblogging tonight from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release party at Borders, and Jay may be liveblogging from Wal-Mart. If any other guestbloggers will be going to midnight release parties anywhere, and would like to liveblog via cell phone, shoot me an e-mail at brendanloy [at] alumni.usc.edu.
UPDATE: It looks like we’ll have bicoastal live coverage! Bea’s bridesmaid Helen is planning to liveblog from the Borders release party in West Hollywood. Stay tuned!
No, no, I’m not talking about He Who Must Not Be Named, I’m talking about Vice President Cheney, who will serve as acting President tomorrow for a few hours while President Bush is under anesthetic for a colonoscopy. So for all of you who aren’t on the far right, that cold chill you feel tomorrow will be when Cheney takes charge.
These put us in the third "color group" out of six that will be called tonight. Festivities start at 9:30, and of course sales start at midnight. Borders employee in witch hat says they have more than twice as many reserved copies as they did for Book 6.
The local CBS affiliate, WVLT Ch. 8, already has a satellite truck at our local Borders to cover tonight's "Grand Hallows Ball" book release party. Apparently radio station Star 102.1 will be broadcasting live from here, too.
Less than 12 hours to go!!! WOOHOO!!!
(And I still don’t know how it ends! Yay!)
Yes, yes, I’m cheating on my no-Web pledge by posting this. So sue me. (It was a gratuitous promise anyway, and thus, lacking consideration, not enforceable. So, barring some quasi-contractual remedy… oh, nevermind.)
Besides, I made it through 60 straight hours without blogging or commenting. That’s pretty good, right? :)
Anyway, just an FYI - tonight, starting at midnight, the timestamp on “That Which Must Not Be Blogged” will begin refreshing once a minute, via a cron script. As a result, it will remain on top of the homepage all day Saturday, even as new stuff is posted below it.
That way, anyone who wants to comment on Deathly Hallows as they’re reading it will be able to easily do so.
To further facilitate commentary-while-reading, I’ve created a special “safe” comment form for those who might want to leave spoileriffic comments while reading the book without reading anyone else’s spoilers. That form will post comments to “That Which Must Not Be Blogged” without displaying them.
And of course, those who want to continue avoiding all discussion of spoilers altogether will be able to simply scroll past “That Which Must Not Be Blogged” and look at whatever’s below it.
Again, just a reminder, in case anyone is still unclear on the concept. :) Please do not post spoilers here, or on any cell-phone posts that I may blog from the book-release party tonight, or anyplace else except “That Which Must Not Be Blogged.” That post is the ONLY place for spoilers, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Thank you!
And now, I return to my self-imposed exile. Happy reading, everyone!
So as everyone knows the new Harry Potter book has been leaked on multiple torrent sites.
Well I just couldn’t resist the temptation…
I downloaded the .rar of the PDF and I’m about 50 pages into it.
Why do I do things like this? I basically ruined the novelty of opening up my Amazon.com shipment and cracking the spine of the new book. Something that I have enjoyed thoroughly the past 3 books. Ugh.
P.S. - I spoke with an old co-worker of mine from Borders. He happened to pass the store we used to work at around 5:45 this morning on his way to work. He said the line was already about 20-30 people deep.
I certainly understand that there are tons of fanboys and fangirls for all kinds of pop culture things. The people that are the uber-hardcore devotees that wind up waiting in line for a week to see the show, for the new product release, or whatever.
Since when did it become the thing to do to permanently ink yourself up with logos and such from these things?
A grown man with a Harry Potter related tattoo? A Dark Mark, placed on the arm where Voldynuts would have done it? Yikes.
Is it just me being a stick in the mud, or is this just stupid?
Basically Scholastic can find this guy now.
Hope he has a lawyer!
Just walked past TV in UT law lounge during PMBR lunch break, heard something about bookstores in Israel opening on Sabbath to sell Potter book. Heh. No spoilers, though. Phew.
Okay, here goes. This is doomed to fail, but I’m going to say it anyway, and see if I can actually surprise everyone, including myself, by sticking with it:
I will not use the World Wide Web for the next 96 hours.
You might think this is about the bar exam, and my desperate need to cram instead of procrastinate. You might think it’s just the logical extension of my previous announcement that blogging will be light because I’ll be studying. But you’d be wrong. This about something much more important: Harry Potter. (”[He] needs to work on [his] priorities.” –Ron Weasley.)
I gather that the alleged leak of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows onto the Internets via BitTorrent is, in fact, real. I say “I gather” because I’ve deliberately avoided reading articles or blog posts about the leak, because I’m deathly afraid (pun intended) of accidentally stumbling across spoilers — even unintentional/implicit ones. (I assume the MSM isn’t explicitly reporting who dies, but often times, reporters telegraph information they know but can’t say, like exit polls on election day. I’m guessing there will be some allegedly “spoiler-free” articles that will nevertheless make it pretty easy to surmise whether Harry lives or dies. Anyway, better safe than sorry.)
In any event, now that the cat’s out of the bag, I fear it’s only a matter of time before I accidentally stumble upon some information I don’t want to see, whether via Drudge or Fark or some blog or news article, or via my own website’s comments (as almost happened today), or via some other source I don’t anticipate. Maybe not — maybe I’d remain blissfully ignorant — but it isn’t worth the risk. The only surefire way to avoid accidentally learning the truth on the Web is to, well, totally stop using the Web until I arrive in Denver in four days (at which point I will have presumably finished the book during our day of travel). Hence my pledge — which, of course, has the beneficial side-effect of freeing up extra bar-study time for the remainder of the week.
Even if I stick with my pledge, it won’t totally eliminate all risk, of course. There is also the possibility of accidentally overhearing something in person, verbally. Indeed, it occurs to me that Saturday morning’s midnight book-release parties are now fraught with peril. Some of the Potter fans in attendance will have had it spoiled for them already, but even if (as I would anticipate) those fans are generally respectful and don’t spill the beans for others, all it would take is one a**hole — out of a crowd of hundreds — to walk in and yell, “________ dies on Page __!” to ruin it for everybody. In other words, the real-life equivalent of this afternoon’s troll. And there are a lot of a**holes in this world. I bet it will happen somewhere. I just hope it’s not at my store.
But while I can’t totally protect myself from such accidental revelations, I can at least ensure that I won’t learn the ending online. That means not checking my own site’s comments for four days, but hey, now that my Inquisitorial Squad has been empowered to monitor comments, I don’t need to check them myself. So I won’t.
I guess I should qualify my promise insofar as I’ll probably need to use the Web a few times for purely functional things like printing out directions on Google Maps and the like. As for blogging, I’m sure I’ll post a few things via cell phone. But beyond that, I vow to stay off the Web for the next 96 hours, starting at midnight.
How long do you think I’ll last? Make your guesses in comments. :)
Oh, and in case this wasn’t clear already, NO POTTER SPOILERS, dammit. Those go here.
This is Brendan Loy, signing off. See ya Saturday.
In order to decrease the likelihood that trolls will be able to ruin the fun for everyone with Harry Potter spoilers, I have devised a straightforward process for quickly moving any offending posts to “That Which Must Not Be Blogged.” Anyone not currently a guestblogger who would like the power to do this (i.e., to get rid of any spoiler posts that you happen to stumble upon), shoot me an e-mail at brendanloy [at] alumni.usc.edu. Current guestbloggers, you’ll be hearing from me later today. :)
Some troll, who probably found his/her way to my blog via the New York Times blog article linking to “That Which Must Not Be Blogged,” just posted a bunch of Harry Potter 7 spoilers in various threads. Luckily, I saw them quickly and, immediately realizing what they were, stopped reading them and moved them to the proper thread (while literally holding my hand in front of the screen, so that I wouldn’t see what was written).
I will be taking various steps to hopefully prevent such things from occurring again in the next few days, but unfortunately, there are a lot of a**holes on the Internet, and there’s only so much I can do to combat them. As such, I cannot guarantee that spoilers will not appear where they shouldn’t, at least for a brief period of time.
If you want to guarantee that you won’t stumble upon any spoilers, the safest course of action is to not read ANY comments on this or any blog until after you’ve read the book. For that matter, you should probably stop surfing the Internet altogether and turn off the TV for the rest of the week. Now that the book has (apparently) been leaked on BitTorrent, lots of people are going to find out the (alleged) ending, and even well-meaning folks may inadvertently let something slip (explicitly or implicitly). And of course, as this afternoon’s incident proves, plenty of jerks will deliberately try to ruin everyone’s fun.
In any event, I beg the good faith of regular readers on this blog. I realize this whole situation is a major “don’t stick peas up your nose” temptation for those who scorn Potter fans as a bunch of obsessed nerds, but for the love of all that is holy, please resist it. (Obviously, anyone who doesn’t resist it will be instantly and permanently banned from the blog, as the aforementioned New York Times troll already has been.)
Just in case this isn’t already clear, don’t post spoilers in comments on this post! This thread is for discussing this issue without revealing anything about the book. Spoilers go in “That Which Must Not Be Blogged.” Thanks!
P.S. Also, don’t stick peas up your nose! :)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix did rather well in its first weekend at the box office.
P.S. I just e-mailed Nikki Finke, in part:
I’ve been pondering the likely impact of the Harry Potter 7 book on the second-weekend receipts of the Harry Potter 5 movie. My theory is that next Friday’s receipts will be slightly elevated due to Potter fans whetting their appetites for the book by going to see the movie again, while next Saturday’s receipts will be drastically reduced because every Potter fan in the universe will be at home reading the book, not at the theater watching the movie. I’m just wondering what are proper metrics to test this theory. What would be the “expected” drop-off percentage — for a movie of Harry Potter’s caliber, released on a Wednesday — from first-Friday-to-second-Friday and from first-Saturday-to-second-Saturday? Maybe that’s too specific of a question to give a good answer to, but I’m wondering if you could give me some rough ballpark idea, at least. That way I can either gloat when my theory is proven right, or hang my head in shame when it’s proven wrong.
It’ll also be interesting to see the long-term impact of the book on the movie’s receipts after the second weekend — i.e., will the third week, fourth week, etc. see less robust box-office receipts that one would expect, because Potter fans will consider the movie “so last month” after reading the book and finding out how it all ends?
UPDATE: Finke writes back: “any drop off less than 50% would be considered normal. 30% or less incredible. 40% or less excellent. personally i dont think book will have any effect on movie either way. different animals.”
Well, she’s a box-office expert and I’m not, but I think the Harry Potter book is going to be such a cultural phenomenon that it will have a detectable effect. My guess is that the Friday “bump” might not be measurable, but the Saturday “dip” will. We’ll see.
As I wrote in my reply to Finke, “I suppose the question, really, is what percentage of next Saturday’s Order of the Phoenix watchers would normally be expected to be avid Potter fans, as opposed to casual moviegoers. The numbers of the latter won’t be impacted by the book’s timing. The numbers of the former, I think, will.”
Becky has a pair of posts about the Iraq war. Meanwhile, Casey muses about the nature of love and relationships in an era of geographical mobility and volatility. All three are interesting and worth reading.
UPDATE: New on Becky’s blog, her Order of the Phoenix review. It’s not as effusive as mine, though the film was still her favorite of the five. And she writes, “After anticipating another cringe-worthy performance from [Daniel] Radcliffe, I was pleasantly surprised by his acting in this film.” (She also, ahem, seems to think he’s rather hot. But I guess I can’t complain, in light of my recent Megan Fox blogging. Heh.)