One of the things I didn’t really like about the Harry Potter books was the way some new rule seemed to be introduced in every book, the way they were constantly discovering some new and hitherto unmentioned facet of magic that was now integral to the plot. It seemed cheap, like J. K. Rowling kept writing herself into corners and then saying “hey! No problem! It’s my world, so I can just tack on some new deus ex machina rule about magic!” Animaguses! (or was it Animagi?) Horcruxes! (Horcruci? Horcruces?) Wandcraft! (Wandcraft!) How is it that the entire plot of the last book hinged on some complicated set of technicalities and legalese loopholes in rules of the universe that weren’t even mentioned until 3000 pages into the series? It all felt exceedingly sloppy.
The thing is, I’m really starting to feel the same way about the American democratic process. It seems like new, obscure rules are being pulled out at every presidential election. Admittedly, I haven’t been able to vote in all that many elections yet, I’ve been paying progressively more and more attention to politics the older I get, and Government and History were never really my strong subjects in school. But it really seems like every four years, some weird new technicality comes up out of nowhere and suddenly becomes crucial to the outcome of the election. Hey, you can win the popular vote and lose the presidency because of the electoral college! Superdelegates will make or break the Democratic nominees! Florida and Michigan held primaries, but, uh, sorry, they don’t count! Once, in single combat, Hillary stole this wand from–oh wait, sorry, different story. I’m just getting kind of tired of it all. Not to mention the possibility of tampering with voting machines, people being turned away at the polls, the voter ID laws that are being called a modern-day poll tax. My friend’s mom said our own elections were starting to seem like the kind Jimmy Carter would have to go and oversee for fairness in a developing nation somewhere.
(By the way, the other thing the wand stuff makes me think of is dog training. And Escape to Chimp Eden. I was reading in this dog book about how according to dogs’ societal rules, possession is 9/10ths of the law, and so if they get distracted and you grab their bone out from under their nose, they have no right to demand it back. I saw the guy on Escape to Chimp Eden do something similar with some oranges and a cannister that squirts puffs of carbon dioxide.)
On some more yarny, less political notes, the first draft of my baby sweater is being test-knit, I finished my long-suffering Hourglass Sweater, I finished a brushed alpaca moebius cowl, I am working on another that I hope to release as a pattern for Malabrigo March, and there are 23 people signed up in the Malabrigo March Prismatic Scarf KAL!
Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries, so still no pictures at the moment.
The Hourglass Sweater is incredibly soft and nice, despite its sadly tie-dyed appearance. I’m a big fan of the BFL–it seems like it will wear well because of its staple length, and it has a great lustrous sheen, but it’s also super-soft. After blocking in Eucalan, it was cozy and next-to-skin soft, with not a hint of scratchiness to my (admittedly not super-sensitive) bare skin. It doesn’t have the luxurious, buttery feel of baby alpaca, cashmere, or good merino, but I bet it’s also a lot more durable than those fibers. Great stuff.