It's been far too long since I updated this weblog. I just finished reading book 4 of the Harry Potter series (Goblet of Fire) and I have to say that I'm impressed. With each book Rowling is biting off larger stories and more impressive themes. Book 4 is frighteningly current-day-relevant: the uprising of the Dark Lord Voldemort (and the over-reactions by even the "good guys" in the face of the threat) are ripped from headlines --- only one of which I'll leave you with at the moment. There's biological warfare, terrorism, the Klan, slavery issues: Rowling's taken on a whole slew of real-world issues. If only the Right Thing were as easy to determine in the real world as it sometimes seems to be in her books! I can't help but feel that all the Potter-banning bruhaha is seriously misguided: children do, truely, have a lot to learn from these books. Adults, too. John Ashcroft, for one, should take the history of Rowling's Barry Crouch to heart.