Thursday, July 12, 2007

Parallels with The Potterverse

A posting at the Rules of Unreality Blog had something very interesting post of comparing Malaysia with the Potterverse (Harry Potter Mania.)

Interesting parallels:

Just consider the similarities...

In the Potterverse: People wave their magic wands and things levitate or disappear.

In our, er, Malaysiaverse: People wiggle their wands – which, so that we don’t forget them or leave them at home, are affixed to vehicle steering columns and called turn signals – and the cars in the next lane magically vanish.

We do the Potterverse one better: our magic wands have a twin on the other side of the steering column which when waggled furiously will cause vehicles in front of our own to disappear as well.

The usage of this secondary wand increases in direct proportion to the cost of the wielder’s vehicle, or his need to compensate for some other wand.

In the P-verse: Taking the wrong route can lead you to Knockturn Alley where strange and dangerous characters lurk, waiting for the opportunity to make sport of you.

In the M-verse: Taking the right route on your nocturnal travels can turn dangerous should the local Mat Rempit chapter decide that you look about right for an evening’s sport.

P-verse: The people are absolute fanatics about the game of Quidditch, yet at the World Cup they happily cheer on other nations’ teams, since their own lads don’t have a chance of making it.

M-verse: Ditto, only with football.

P-verse: They have banks run by goblins that keep their money safe.

M-verse: We have gobbling banks that keep our money. Next!

P-verse: JK Rowling is constantly worried about plot secrets leaking out to the public.

M-verse: JKR is constantly worried about public buildings springing a leak.

P-verse: The authorities employ shadowy figures called Dementors to enforce their will on those bearing the Dark Mark. The Dementor’s Kiss sucks all the joy out of living.

M-verse: The authorities employ unseen figures called the censors to enforce their will, bearing black markers and scissors. The censor’s touch sucks all the joy out of reading.

P-verse: Large buses squeeze through impossible spaces and zip along the streets at breakneck speeds with no regard for traffic regulations or other road users.

M-verse: This is really a bit of a no-brainer, isn’t it?

P-verse: Although the wizarding world is seemingly a nicely integrated place, there are numerous closet bigots (and some not so closeted) who place great emphasis on the difference in status among purebloods, half-breeds and mudbloods. Not to mention the “lowly” house-elves.

M-verse: Abre los ojos. That’s not a spell, it’s Spanish for “open your eyes”. Which was also the title of a movie; and one that, like its remake Vanilla Sky, contained themes of self-induced reality-warping mental delusions, among other things.

P-verse: In HP and the Order of the Phoenix, Ministry of Magic appointee Dolores Umbridge steadfastly refuses to teach Hogwarts’ students any practical lessons in Defence Against the Dark Arts. After all, the so-called return of You-Know-Who is just a fabrication of the media-hungry Harry to advance his reputation. Knowing the theory and conforming to the rules (her rules) are what school is all about, she insists.

M-verse: Schools could do a more thorough job of equipping students with the street smarts necessary to face the harsh realities of life ... but then, such “harsh realities” are just an invention of the hungry media to sell more papers or attract a bigger audience. At least that’s the theory held by some.

P-verse: In times of dire need, the Patronus charm is invoked, its incantation of “Expecto patronum” drawing forth a mystical shield against harm.

M-verse: In times of dire need, the Petronas charm is invoked, its incantation of “Extracto petroleum” drawing forth a fiscal shield against ruin.

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