As a sign of how purely catchy The Simpsons are, my daughter was wandering around the house singing "Spider pig, spider pig... does whatever a spider pig does."
She's never watched the Simpsons, doesn't really care about Spider Man, has never heard the Spider Man theme song...
She does like pigs.
She saw the scene in a trailer on TV. She has not a single cultural reference with which to triangulate the humor contained in that scene.
But now she's repeating the commercial and wants to see the movie.
I don't think I can allow this. I'm afraid she will notice how alike Homer and I are.
Thing two: Does the hubbub over the Harry Potter release date accomplish anything besides making Time Warner and J.K. Rowling look priggish?
I thought not.
Oh, wait: It artificially inflates the value of the press surrounding the books release.
How seriously can you take anyone who says crap like: "True Harry Potter fans won't patronize booksellers who sell the book early." Which entirely ignores human behavior by holding it up to some straw man morality that elevates revealing the ending of a pop novel to even little white lie status.
I think that the legal fees for challenging the "leaks" would probably pay for the print runs of fifteen unpublished fantasy writers, or send two or three talented Harry Potter fans to an ivy league college.
Don't get me wrong. I like the Harry Potter books. I am no Harold Bloom, nor Pope Benedict. I really want to find out if Snape is in fact not a villain somehow. But the fuss over release dates is unbearably self important.
A related notion: I was thinking on holding off reading the new Harry Potter. However, I realized I am very curious about one question: whether Snape is truly an evil character. He is such an unsympathetic character, I will be interested to see how his role in the story is resolved. In many ways, I think he makes Dumbledore a more interesting character. Dumbledore is a Mary Sue, not necessarily in the most pejorative wish fulfilment sense, but certainly in the sense that he simply never fails and has no discernable personality flaws. If Snape is evil, Dumbledore failed to detect that. If he is not evil, then it will be interesting to see how his actions are explained. And really, more interestingly, if his broken personality can be resolved.