An Army of Dancing Cats With Pistols Can Never Be Defeated


For today’s post, some out-takes from a day of teaching. First up, from a discussion in my graphic novel class of Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang, a North Korean animated children’s show, made over into a satire by the addition of “subtitles”.

Guy Delisle was in North Korea working on animated children’s cartoons, just, for the record.

From Fiction 1, “My Immortal”, the most famous of the Harry Potter fan fiction. I can’t tell right now if it’s ‘just’ genius or pure genius or if I’m tired and punchy. In it, a goth girl vampire witch enrolls at Hogwarts and begins biting her fellow classmates. The author, when left to her own devices, speaks incessantly in LOLcat, and the chapters decline in spelling quality after she falls out with a friend who was spell-checking for her. When they make up, the quality returns.

This is, if it’s invented, a brilliant novelistic detail. If not, it’s just plain poignant.

There’s a debate among fans about whether it is what it appears to be or a brilliant satire. I can’t decide. Either way, this vampire witch goth girl turns their world upside down and the results make for hilarious reading. Apparently most of it was read aloud on campus here pretty recently.

Here’s chapter 1, of My Immortal, after the break. Note that AN means “author’s note”, and MCR is My Chemical Romance:

  • AN: Special fangz (get it, coz Im goffik) 2 my gf (ew not in that way) raven, bloodytearz666 4 helpin me wif da story and spelling. U rok! Justin ur da luv of my deprzzing life u rok 2! MCR ROX!
  • XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXHi my name is Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way and I have long ebony black hair (that’s how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and icy blue eyes like limpid tears and a lot of people tell me I look like Amy Lee (AN: if u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here!). I’m not related to Gerard Way but I wish I was because he’s a major fucking hottie. I’m a vampire but my teeth are straight and white. I have pale white skin. I’m also a witch, and I go to a magic school called Hogwarts in England where I’m in the seventh year (I’m seventeen). I’m a goth (in case you couldn’t tell) and I wear mostly black. I love Hot Topic and I buy all my clothes from there. For example today I was wearing a black corset with matching lace around it and a black leather miniskirt, pink fishnets and black combat boots. I was wearing black lipstick, white foundation, black eyeliner and red eye shadow. I was walking outside Hogwarts. It was snowing and raining so there was no sun, which I was very happy about. A lot of preps stared at me. I put up my middle finger at them.“Hey Ebony!” shouted a voice. I looked up. It was…. Draco Malfoy!“What’s up Draco?” I asked.“Nothing.” he said shyly.But then, I heard my friends call me and I had to go away.

Coming soon, a post on Harry Potter as our new common text.


  1. The youtube video felt like a nightmare vision of my middle school years (filled with the Redwall novels by Brian Jacques-
    And wow, the Harry Potter fan-fiction is rather absurdly brilliant, like an embryo of pop culture juggernauts (HP and pop-punk-goth bands.) Have you heard of Harry and the Potters, most famous of the HP inspired ‘bands?’
    One of the more surreal experiences I’ve had in the past year-crammed with my other 20 something friends and a huge bunch of parents with their 4-16 year old kids, with the two hyperactive kids of the ‘band’ playing out rock star dreams to lyrics about Ginny Weasley and Death Eaters (musically/lyrically the songs are great fun but the performance itself was slightly freaky), with a drummer who looked profoundly like he wanted to be elsewhere. Even Hogwarts has the drummer curse I guess.

  2. At first, I was thinking, “Christ, I’m so old.” But then I read it and was pleasantly surprised: I already knew that! I just read a story somewhere that was nearly as daunting and entertaining, about a retired writing professor and a student who used crazy pseudonyms, and it was hard to know who was telling the story, him or her or her current teacher.

  3. I actually think LOLCat is one of the most interesting, layered, and elastic subcultural slangs in existence. I honestly think the most effective users of it are more, not less, sophisticated in their understanding of how languages work than those who profess to find it illegible. I mean, just look at all the imbedded meaning in that use of “fangz”!

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