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Religion Fiction … A Continuation …

robin_shoots_with_sir_guy_by_louis_rhead_1912Lifted From: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World

Children brought up in a religious environment, according to a recent BBC story, are more prone to believe in fictional characters. The story, based on research from my alma mater, Boston University, suggests that if children are taught to believe miraculous stories at a young age, they will more likely believe that fictional figures are based in reality too.

Undoubtedly this will be seen as yet another brick in Montresor’s wall by those who can find no good in religion. The reasoning will go something like this: believing in no religion is the “neutral” position. If we raise children in a religious context, we are inclining them toward a fictional belief system and making them less likely to reason their way out of it. Therefore, we should raise children secular.

Even in the BBC story there are dissenting voices. Perhaps children who learn about Jesus find Thor a more compelling character. Perhaps they are open to possibilities that logic shuts out. Our brains have two hemispheres for a reason. I often wonder whether it is possible to be fully human while ignoring about half of what evolution gave us to work with.

Logic tells me that religious belief serves a survival function. And my creative side still appreciates the possibilities that my Manhattan brain is forced to shut down every day when I punch the clock. If there’s nothing more than work, perhaps believing in fiction serves a valuable function after all. But I suspect this is playing right into the rationalists’ hand. Pass me another brick, will you, Fortunato?

The jury, however, is still out on the nature of reality. Even for materialists. Gods of the gaps tend not to survive very well. The question is actually much larger than that. We don’t know the nature of ultimate reality. We’re not even sure what reality is yet.

Can a parent who believes in God, after the experience of growing to maturity in a heartless universe, be blamed for teaching their children the same? No humane parent raises their child purposefully teaching them falsehoods. Yes, some children are damaged by religious upbringings. Some are damaged by materialist upbringings as well.

What seems to have shifted, in my humble opinion, is the popular perceptions of religion. What used to be understood as the foundation of a civil society is now challenged as a harmful fantasy that encourages children to grow up into terrorists or non-functioning adults.

The belief that we can raise children with no biases, however, is clearly fiction. Until we have the full truth, there should be room for both Gilligan and the Professor on this island. But then again, I was raised to believe in the divine world, so what do I know?

*** *** *** ***

I am a child of the 1970’s,80’s and beyond. Now in my late 40’s I can reflect on what I have learned so far, and be able to look back on what I learned early on. If you grew up in this period of time, then you will get all these references that I am about to write about.

I come from a Catholic background. And back in the day there was much family and prayer, saints and church. But aside from all of that there were many outings and adventures.

The first movies I remember were Old Yeller, Bambi, and the much anticipated Star Wars. We went to see the very first installment at Twin City Theatres in New Britain Ct. I’d never seen anything like it. Nobody had.

And as I look back on 47 years of life. we can safely say that George Lucas gave the world something to believe in. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away …


CUE Music ….

I never thought about religion or God when viewing these movies. Fictional characters were larger than life. Luke, Leia, Obi Wan and of course Yoda. Then you had the dark side represented by Darth Vader. Those movies were stories for the ages.

Faith – Power – Good – Evil – The Light – and The Darkness – Family Etc …

I would not realize what that meant for a very long time. And cannot be seen unless in retrospect. From this side of the story and not the earlier. As the next two motion pictures came out, the story filled out and we got a few steps closer to the depth and gravity of the story.

I remember sitting in the Falls Theatre, I was a teen ager by now, watching Return of the Jedi and I had a spiritual experience watching Luke being tortured by the Sith Lord. And Darth coming to his rescue. I felt emotions that I could not name, however they were occurring at that time.

That whole series of movies were existential and spiritual for me. There are no two ways about it. They certainly made an impact in my life and the way I chose to live it after all these years.

The whole cosmic universe of Star Wars was a teaching in religion and faith from a distant galaxy. I know that now, having studied the worlds greatest religions in university and spent 47 years getting to know God myself.

Over the decades we played with toys, you know we all had them. We built legos and star fighters. We had the figurines. And we believed that those people were indeed real because George Lucas brought them to our collective consciousnesses. Amid all that was going on in the world, we could escape into the universe of Star Wars when ever we wanted to.

I know we have all seen the Star Wars Trilogy and the subsequent prequels several times over, I know I have. What was more important was that in the 70’s and 80’s we got to live on Tatooine, and live the life of Luke and his family, like they were our family.

We learned all the teachings of Yoda. And I am sure we can all quote word for word every sentence he spoke from every movie he was in. I know for myself that I still cling to those words and I have applied them to my life and I use them in the work that I do today with others.

Do or Do Not … There is No Try !!!

Yoda, you seek Yoda, Take you to him …

Yoda was a teacher, and I am positive that the world is a better place because of him and the other teachers of the stories. Escapism, either good or bad, can lead to spiritual awakening or another. And I believe that my horizons were broadened in the experience of these stories.

God or the universe, what ever you called it then, existed. I believe that those movies fueled the hearts and minds of millions over the decades. I think it was a bit special to be of the generation to have experienced Star Wars in Theatre as they were released.

Today’s generation, only get them on dvd. They did not get to see the movies on Big Screens. When they did the digital reload of the films, I got to see them on DVD, I own the collection today.

I don’t know if the impact of these films were or are as great as when they were first released. Times were different. We did not have the internet or social media, and today’s kids are too engrossed with technology to sit for a long period of time and concentrate on anything that isn’t connected to Twitter, Facebook or a Cell Phone.

I know that my love of music, from the 70’s onwards was part of my lexicon. The movies were as well. And when finally cable tv came to Florida when I was a teen ager, we got to see much more film and programming.

Things were much simpler in those days. We had each other. We had family, we had friends, whom we shared our greatest treasures with. Music, Film and TV.

In the last fifteen years, Peter Jackson gave us the Hobbit and all those stories. I read them in school, and I have the books in my library, but I did not take to them like I took to Star Wars and other stories.

We had the Tween movies of late.


And then there is Harry Potter.

Harry Potter. Do you dig him like I do?

I fell into Harry Potter because of my therapist who’s office was decorated in Harry Potter Sheik. When we were talking I gravitated towards him, because I felt like an orphan and I was alone in my life and I really needed certain direction.

When I learned that Harry and I shared a birthday in common, I was hooked. It is also J.K. Rowling’s Birthday as well. I have every book and related story that was published. All the monster books, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and of course all of the books, and every dvd that was produced.

I remember the day the first Harry Potter movie came out, I was living on South Beach and I bought two tickets and I had to watch the first one by myself, however hard a good friend tried to go with me, I insisted we take in the second showing together.

I think I had the first three books by the time I moved here to Montreal in 2002. And Montreal does books very well. Each subsequent release was an event to partake. The book stores were decorated, the employees dressed up and there were hundreds of people who would come to partake and be sorted into houses and then wait for hours until the midnight release time to get your next book.

Harry Potter is another Story for the Ages. No matter where you live, or who you are, unless of course you derided magic and everything to do with Harry, you got hooked, at least I did.

I got to grow up all over again.

I even have my own wand that my therapist gave me when I moved here. Harry Potter fandom is not isolated. The world was taken by him and the story.

I loved reading. And if you search Harry on my blog here you will find hundreds of entries about him. When each book came out I would sit a read through the entire book in one fell swoop. I did that for all of the books.

And to this day, I have several Harry Potter books along side my bed at arms reach so that I can read certain chapters over and over again. I loved Harry, but silently I always rooted for Ron Weasley. The stalwart sidekick who always got second billing.

Hogwarts was a place we could all believe in.

The battle for Good over Evil.

The importance of Family and of Memory.

The value of Friendship and Honor.

The incalculable potency of certain magic.

If you’ve read the Deathly Hallows, then you understand these things.

Like Star Wars, for the older set of folks who are reading, Harry Potter was of this age, something to cling to, to honor, to love and to cherish. We all know what house we belong to.

I am a Gryffindor… I was sorted a long time ago.

And I think we all strive to be a little like our counterparts from the stories. And I think we carry a little of each character/person into our daily lives.

So what does God have to do with any of this?

Do you believe in God? Did you believe in the Star Wars Universe? Were you a Trekkie? Are you a Potter Head? Do you have a favorite story or set of books you would carry with you to your grave and believe strongly in the story, its characters and the words on the page?

Does your faith in God battle with the Gods and Characters of Fiction?

I say that if you have a solid faith in God, or in the faith you practice, then none of this should shake that foundation. That has been the battle for the last ten years for some, people get all in arms over religion and faith, that any little chink in the chain rattles them to high heaven. God forbid …

Can you find or did you find room in your religious/spiritual lexicon to include all those favorite characters you have read in your lifetime as a belief system?

And does the fictional world augment or detract from your religious/spiritual life?

Can both exist in the same space/mind? And if it can how has it impacted the life you live and the way you work with and or relate to others?

I just thought that this was an interesting post, originally found on his blog. I said as much, in fewer words there the other night.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you like it, give it a thumbs up.

More to come, stay tuned …

Crazy S.O.T.B. Let’s visit shall we


In Memorium and to remember where I came from … I will be sharing with you stories that need to be remembered, because if we forget, they all died in vain … November 2013 …

*** *** *** ***

Cue the music – start the fog machine – blue light GOBO slow pans across the floor through dimly lit space, and the first beat comes…

I am alone, it is early, the bar is not yet open, but I am there alone. Just me, the music and the spirit of God. Well, what little spirit of God there was at that time of my life. It is mid-summer in Ft. Lauderdale. I have just told Todd that I was going to die…

He wept.

Over the next few weeks, the teaching would begin. The team rose to the call, one of the boys was sick and was left on the side of the road with nothing but what little dignity was left in his soul. All I needed would be provided come hell or high water. Wild Horses would never stop the charge for life. We were all sick, we were all dying. Save for two people in the entire organization. My champions would save me, if I wanted it or not. Death was not an option and I would either get it or I would die…

So it began…

At that time, the temple of sin was alive and things happened so quickly that if you blinked you would miss it. The temple was filled with every earthly delight, Dante would have been pleased with our Garden of Earthly desires, carnal, profane and truly sinful. I loved every minute of it.

The rule was set…

You have a life, outside the temple. When you come to work, you leave your baggage at the door, do not bring it in here. No exceptions. Come to work, and you will serve me your Master and do whatever you are told without question without complaint, is that clear!

Yes Sir…

I took that time of my life as sacred and profane, but that is another story. You can read about the Sacred and the Profane over there in Pages… This is another thread to a long running story of how this boy was made a man, a saved man, a profane man, and in the same vein Sacred. You never know where your lessons are going to come from, and you are grateful for the wisdom and time people took out of their lives to care for you and teach you lessons that nobody else was going to teach you. So pay attention Little One.

This is your life we are talking about…

The gobos are tracking across the floor slowly through smoke and mirrors as the music plays just for you. I learned very early on, in that space that music would identify particular moods, paint particular pictures. Farkle and I had a ritual. He IS the only one left from the fray of men who lived and died from the temple of sin. We began each shift in our own way, begging god another night, another day, another minute. I was surrounded with warriors fighting their own significant battles with AIDS. I was not hit by the KS demon. I was not plagued by things I saw and witnessed, thank the creator. It was ugly. It was brutal and it was most importantly the fight of the century for all of us. Many men went to their deaths in our arms. We bathed them, clothed them and in the end we buried them.

Angry Larry…

When I got sober there was a man with AIDS named Larry, he was a drunk like me. But he was unique. He sat with a bottle on the table and a loaded revolver to shoot himself. He carried that gun with him and showed it to every one of us, and he told us relentlessly that he was going to kill himself. He got sober with the rest of us. Over the years following his spiritual awakening, he did something that no one else thought to do.

People with AIDS were being left in the streets. Mortuaries would not process sick people, they would not touch a body that had been infected with AIDS. Families would not bury their children. We did that. Larry opened his services to the community and he became another champion of the cause. I knew him. He eventually got rid of the gun, so I heard.

For a few minutes during transition, I would warm up the smoker, fire up the turntable and start the computer so that I could worship my God to the music of my soul. I did that every night. I worshiped whatever was going to save me.

I was servant to the men. I was servant to my Master. I was a slave for God, be he dressed or undressed. You never saw God until you witnessed true beauty of the soul in all its carnality. There is something sacredly profane about this part of my life. What went on inside the temple stayed in the temple. Many months would pass and I battled my demons of alcoholism before I finally fell into the pit of death, and there happen to be somebody watching from the sidelines.

Danny saved me that night. He was the man who cradled me in his arms, oxygen mask on my face and had called the paramedics to try and revive me. Danny took me home that night, and did not leave my apartment for a week. He fed me, bathed me and cared for me, under that watchful eye of my Master Todd. When the word was spoke, action was taken, and hell hath no fury if you did not jump when told to. Todd was very protective over his boys and men.

We were reminded that Todd had lost love to AIDS. Bob was buried across the street in the cemetery that faced our building. It was hard – it was painful, and it was sacred. Kevin and Larry did things for me that no man ever did for me in the real world. We were the three musketeers. We were the team to beat in bar management and service. We ran a tight ship and we were accountable, respectable and reliable. We proved a mighty force against the odds we all faced.

Let’s get it on…

Shift was begun at eight. The wells were filled the beer was stocked and the ice bins were full. Put your money in the drawer and let’s get the music thumping. Like clockwork at the strike of eight bells the first note hit the turntables. They were lined up around the building. Cars were parked all over the place. The temple worship had begun. Heaven was found amid the souls of suffering men who knew they were all marked for death, but for tonight, whatever you desired was fulfilled. You could drown away your sorrow and dip into the well of living water if you wished as well. You have never lived until you party like your dying with crowds of undulating flesh as far as they eye can see. The ghosts of those men now inhabit the fantasies and dreams I have still to this day.

One by one, two by two, they died in our arms. We held them until they took their last breaths. Memorialized in the careful and blood soaked threads of quilts, as the years went by, they started collecting by the dozen, then by the hundreds. If you’ve ever seen the entire quilt unfurled, all the men who were part of my life in those first years of my epidemic life, they are all together in death, as they were in life. Memorialized until the end of time. And we remember each of their names.

So many young boys torn from life before they knew what hit them. Men who infected them had died as well. Many of my friends were taken on trips that were detrimental to them, and just robbed them of life that was still left to live.

Todd saw to it that I would never go there…

You come to work, dress as you will, you obey me and do not waver from my eye, for I know your carnal desires and you are too young to tempt the devil with his dance. Because I surely did not know what could befall me if the right charmer enticed me into his web of desire, and they all knew I was fair bait. But in order to dine from my buffet, you needed explicit permission of my Master, who never allowed any man to defile me like many had been. I was off limits. I never crossed the line provided because that meant disrespect and I could never bear to break my Master’s heart with disobedience.

I loved Him, and He loved me – I had many problems. I was depressed and angry and resentful. I had the scars of traumatic visions of my dead lovers corpse in my head, and the words of his mother still ring in my ear today “I hope that every night until you die, that you see the corpse of my dead son in your field of vision.” That curse still lives with me and will go with me to the grave. Five day old corpses are not pretty. I had to identify the remains when all was said and done. Save that he was wearing jewelry that I could identify and part of him was still recognizable – God forgive me…

I remember that day, it was early afternoon the morgue called me from work to come and do the deed. I drove in and looked upon him in that room, I wept tears that burned into my soul forever. I just could not imagine – the pain was so hard to bear. I drove over to the bar. Bill was working behind the bar. I drank until I could not stand up on my own. I drank for a week, straight…

Todd and Bill needed to find me a solution and quick, because I was on the outs.

I started suicide therapy in a group setting that lasted 32 weeks. Nothing like rehashing death week after week, until the pain was purged from your soul, but is it ever? Months went by until I got my news.

But they cared for me in all my brokenness. A young angel would earn his wings back. Come hell or high water. In the end, when all was said and done, at the end of the day I survived, but so many did not. And each night I offer them prayers in hope that when I meet my death that all of them will be waiting for me in the Temple Of Earthly Desire in the promised land of the Kingdom of God, where the sacred and profane are mingled with the blood of the Almighty and the blood of my friends who have gone before me, on that day we will be cleansed of our sins.

And forgiven by God…


Goodnight angels of men

In a church,by the face,
He talks about the people going under.

Only child know…

A man decides after seventy years,
That what he goes there for, is to unlock the door.
While those around him criticize and sleep…
And through a fractal on a breaking wall,
I see you my friend, and touch your face again.
Miracles will happen as we trip.

But we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We get a little crazy
No we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We are a little…


…Crazy yellow people walking through my head.
One of them’s got a gun, to shoot the other one.
And yet together they were friends at school
Ohh, get it, get it, get it, get it no no!

If all were there when we first took the pill,
Then maybe, then maybe, then maybe, then maybe…
Miracles will happen as we speak.

But we’re never gonna survive unless…
We get a little crazy.
No we’re never gonna survive unless…
We are a little…
No no, never survive, unless we get a little… bit…

Oh, a little bit…
Oh, a little bit…


Amanda decides to go along after seventeen years…

Oh darlin…
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
In a world full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
In a heaven of people there’s only some want to fly,
Ain’t that crazy?
Oh babe… Oh darlin…
In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy…

But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless we are a little… crazy..
But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless, we are a little.. crazy..
No no, never survive unless, we get a little bit…

And then you see things
The size
Of which you’ve never known before

They’ll break it


Only child know….

Them things
The size
Of which you’ve never known before


“I Thirst” redux …

A point I almost forgot from the film this evening was the phrase “I Thirst.” It came oddly during the film, and several people who saw the film before me brought up this point, and equated the phrase as coming from Mother Teresa of Calcutta … which it did…

The notion of Thirst is a theme that runs throughout our lives, and more for the man or woman who is living a sober life. At the onset of alcoholism, we all experience the phenomena of thirst. And if we get caught up in “thirst” it takes us to our cups. And in time, and for most, the thirst grows ever more until we reach the point that we just cannot drink enough and our thirst becomes unquenchable.

But there is a solution. In the Book !!!

In order for that thirst to end, we must come to the realization that it is God who removes from us the compulsion to drink. A feat no man or woman could accomplish on their own, trying to “do it” themselves. Very few succeed at this juncture. When we hit bottom and realize that we are licked and that we cannot go on with this – there is the book.

And one day, sometime in early sobriety we reach the day that the desire to drink leaves us. And eventually we find “god as we understand him.” God is fraught with complications for many when they come in.

And I think, as I wrote earlier tonight, that the genius came when Bill W. employed the phrase “god as we understand him.” And in the beginning people come up with their own concept, be him God, or Good Orderly Direction, or simply “group of drunks” we gather together to share our stories and our experiences that become a very valuable bank of experience that we can all draw upon on a daily basis.

It is mentioned in the film this notion of “I Thirst…” And unless you are familiar with the story of just what “I Thirst” means and who spoke those words they fall on deaf ears. Where once we thirsted for drink, we come to find our concept of God and we begin to thirst for spiritual truth and peace.

We learn how to mediate thirst. We will thirst till the day we die, but to drink again would be a miserable choice in sobriety. Which is when we learn to employ prayer and meditation.

You may recognize “I Thirst” as one of the last words that Jesus says hanging on the cross. And it is this meditation that Mother Teresa has worked into a very fine meditation about thirsting for Jesus.

As I near my 11th anniversary, and having this phrase tattooed on my person, and hearing it again tonight in the film brings the meaning full circle, because I heard it spoken in reference to Bill and the Alcoholics Anonymous movement. It caught me off guard really, and I had to sit and ponder it seeing I left it off the first post. But the topic is one that can stand on its own here.

“I Thirst” is engraved on my 10 year chip and tattooed on my arm. And every day I bathe and during that I care for my ink with care and respect.

I may not thirst for the drink any more, but I do Thirst for God.

*** *** *** ***

Here is the meditation from Mother Teresa…

To the end of her life, Mother Teresa insisted that the single most important reason for the existence of the congregation she founded was to satiate the thirst of Jesus. “The General End of he Missionaries of Charity is to satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the Cross for Love and Souls.”

“I thirst,” Jesus said on the cross when Jesus was deprived of every consolation, dying in absolute Poverty, left alone, despised and broken in body and soul. He spoke of His thirst – not for water – but for love, for sacrifice.

Jesus is God: therefore, His love, His thirst is infinite. Our aim is to quench this infinite thirst of a God made man. Just like the adoring angels in Heaven ceaselessly sing the praises of God, so the sisters, using the four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity towards the poor ceaselessly quench the thirsting God by their love and of the love of the souls they bring to Him.

Mother Teresa writes:

Jesus wants me to tell you again … how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine … not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…

For me it is so clear – everything in the Missionaries of Charity exists only to satiate Jesus. His words on the wall of every MC chapel, they are not from [the] past only, but alive here and now, spoken to you. Do you believe it? … Why does Jesus say “I Thirst”? What does it mean? Something so hard to explain in words – …”I love you.” Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you – you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.

We Were Here …

A Feature Length Documentary by David Weissman

“Of all the cinematic explorations of the AIDS crisis, not one is more heartbreaking and inspiring than WE WERE HERE…  The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace… ONE OF THE TOP TEN FILMS OF THE YEAR.”        Stephen Holden, New York Times

*** *** *** ***

Earlier tonight as I was writing “We are not meant to be alone” hubby had put on this documentary that was airing here in Canada tonight. And so I sat through this film reliving the past 20 years of my life in stark detail.

Listening to the story tellers just breaks my heart, because I was there through the worst time of our lives. You just cannot imagine what it was like. Thinking about it is one thing, listening to someone narrate that time period is heart wrenching.

You know, the further I get from the past, the less I tend to think about it today. But every once in a while, and this rings especially true during Pride Months these documentaries play as reminders to those we lost.

I want so badly to tell you that YES, we are not meant to be alone and that we are all loveable no matter what devastation or situation we find ourselves in. And I think somewhere deep down, hubby’s message in watching this film was to say, yes I remember for you and you are not alone here in this life.

Things in my neck of the woods were as frightful as they were in San Francisco and in many big cities in the very beginning. When AIDS came to Ft. Lauderdale, we were all taken aback by the horror of just what AIDS was doing to our community.

Thank God – T H A N K   G O D that what I saw did not happen to me. Because it was ugly. I have documented all these things in PAGES, but for the moment I am drawn to address this topic here and now because it weighs heavily on my heart and soul.

When I sero-converted I was so sick. I thought for sure that I was going to die at any moment. But my friends and keepers in the AIDS care circle had other plans for me.

The film speaks of finding a cure …

that there should be more than AZT…

Back in those days we were all taking AZT because there was nothing else to take. We even went the lengths to collect old drugs from people who had died, and those drugs were taken to drug farms and re-purposed for use for those who were still alive and fighting to stay alive.

God forbid you had to go to a hospital. They would break out the hazmat suits and moon goggles and scrubs. It was heartless the way that the medical community treated us, for a long time, until they got trained to be able to deal with us without all the fear that was running rampant through the cities.

There were no specialists, no real doctors at that point, it was hit and miss because there really was no social medical safety net to take care of all the sick. But there were enough people to begin with that took on the task of treating what they could with whatever they had on hand.

I know for myself. I took tons of pills to try and find something that worked. And in the beginning that was AZT. It made me sick, and we had little pocket timers that would go off every four hours to remind us to take our pills.

Eventually in Miami there was dedicated doctors who were in the loop of medical research that I got involved with and what these doctors did for me is nothing short of a miracle.

With Genotype and Phenotype testing, they figured out the strain and type of virus we were carrying, then from that they proceeded to attaining tables of drugs that we could take that had promising results in the lab. And as drug companies pushed out pills we took them.

We did not wait for test circles to form on others, we tested all those meds ourselves. So that every year we survived, we had data to share with the rest of the world as AIDS was a worldwide epidemic.

But medication was expensive especially if you could not afford your pills. There were no insurance plans designed for this – people were selling their life insurance policies and going on government disability to be able to afford treatment. I know it took me three attempts to finally get disability coverage in the U.S. I had to almost kill myself to get my social services person to sign off on my form.

Let me tell you what the government made us go through to get disability insurance. We had to be on deaths door step, sick unto death before they would finally clear you. I got so sick that on the day I finally got signed I walked into the office, not having bathed or shaven in a weeks time, hacking and coughing all over the place for someone to fear me enough to sign on the dotted line so that I could get assistance. It was heartless and cruel the things the government and the state did to those who were sick.

They made us little white boys go to places that white people don’t go to in broad daylight. Trekking from one side of the city to another taking bus after bus and train after train just to get social assistance. Needless to say that once a cast iron bitch always a cast iron bitch.

People were so afraid of the sick. God forbid you sat next to us on a bus, or a train. God forbid you had to deal with us directly.

  • I watched families throw their sons out into the streets.
  • I watched lovers toss their loved ones out into the streets as well.
  • I witnessed land lords toss sick people from their homes.
  • I witnessed employers fire and cut people off from insurance and livelihoods.
  • I witnessed so called Christians get on their hellfire and brimstone horses and watched them burn us all down to the ground with hatred and fear mongering.
  • My Own family turned against me when I got sick. They would rather condemn me rather than help me so fuck them …

It was Sick. Absolutely and Totally Sick !!!

And still today that hatred simmers in certain circles. And every year we go through these periods of time when we are raw with emotions that some fuck comes along and throws salt in the wound just because they feel righteous !!!

The One Good thing that did happen was it galvanized those who were left into care circles and care givers. AIDS separated the men from the boys and the girls from the women. You learned just how devoted your friends were to you and just how much they meant to you while they were still here.

And FUCK all you haters out there. Heartless Bastards…

So many of my friends died. All I have is a photo album of the last time I saw the Names Project Quilt show in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami I think it was. This blog is a testament and my memory for those years of my life when I thought that I too was going to die.

God in his infinite wisdom had other plans for me. There was a life to live. There were things I still needed to do, and people to meet and places to see. Today I have the best doctor in the world. He treated patient Zero, the French Flight Attendant back in the old days. I truly lucked out when I moved here to find him and get into his clinic.

It is sad that there is still no cure. But death is something of a second thought now. We are living longer. I had a doctor who told me that when I die that it won’t be AIDS that kills me. And that was a long time ago.

I’ve always said that if science ever gets to the point that time travel is possible, the time I would go back to is the period of time that I was first diagnosed, because it was the Best of Times and it was The Worst of Times. I knew then that I was loved and so cared for that I wanted for nothing. And I think that that is what saved me.

There wasn’t time to sit and wait to die. I was too busy being taught how to survive and in that time I did not sit in my shit and play with it. Time was of the essence and men nor horses were going to keep me from winning this fight.

Every day that I look in the mirror I thank God for Todd and Roy and all the others who took the time to teach me and to love me and to make sure that nothing took me down be that sickness or man.

Never Forget and Remember still that on your daily goings on, you never know who you are sitting next to on the bus or on the train, or walking down the sidewalk, you never know what battle someone else is engaged in.

It Gets Better. We are still alive. And our stories should never be forgotten.

We Were Here … I was there, and I am still here.

The Shit Fairy …

Courtesy: MiguelQuintero

I knew what this entry would be called prior to looking for an appropriate image to convey what I was trying to say … hence this bum shot of Mickey Mouse …

Can you say “HEAT!!!” it is 23c/26c humidex. And they say it’s only going to get worse over the next few days. People all over Canada and the U.S. are sweating to the oldies.

And what did you say ??? I think the globe is warming … What we wouldn’t do for a storm or maybe a hurricane to take the edge off. All this heat could lead a lot of states into heat emergencies and storm prevalence.

So yeah, where was I, oh yes, heat … We don’t have AC in our apartment. I haven’t begun to complain about the heat because as soon as I do, it will be winter again. What I wouldn’t do for some cold right now.

It was an exciting day. Last night I re-read the for umpteenth time the last few chapters of The Deathly Hallows, just so I could have the text fresh in my brain for today’s movie event.

Like I said earlier … The book tells the story better than the film did. They did not do justice to the end of the book properly, and because they left certain aspects of the book out of the film, the story got warped.

It was a slow afternoon at the theatre. But in the end most of the theatre we were in was filled. They gave us 20 minutes of pre-film trivia and infomercials.

“Please turn off your phone before the movie starts…”

About halfway through the movie this francophone woman gets a phone call during a tense scene in the movie and she actually let the phone light up, ring and then she took the call… As soon as the phone light went on the whole theatre was on top of her … Shut the fucking phone off you stupid bitch…

We got home around 5 o’clock. I had a few hours to kill before I was headed out for the Friday night meeting. And I had intended to take a nap for a couple of hours seeing I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Well, that didn’t happen …

I set off for the meeting around 8. It was a pleasant night to travel. The trains were light and so were the buses.

I half expected my sponsor to be at the meeting and he wasn’t. Either he went to the movies instead, or got in from work too late and was tired. So I didn’t get to talk to him about the movie. Maybe I will ring him tomorrow.

SO our speaker was long time sober, but she was a bit frail. Lugging around an O2 tank, that was bigger than she was. She has had a few bad years in sobriety. She broke both her arms over a single weekend, suffered a full coronary that almost killed her, and she is stage 5 emphysema …

She mentioned all that to us because after all of that she never considered taking a drink. And then she said it felt like she is being visited by the SHIT FAIRY !!! Who keeps dosing her with tragedy after tragedy.

Even in sobriety – we don’t escape growing older.

She gave us a great message and we had two cakes as well. A 2 year and a 5 year. I remember both of mine 2 and 5. I am coming up on double digits in a few months. The Big 10 …

Who knew I’d live this long, and I am sober to boot …

I’ve seen through all the Harry Potter books, and all the films.

As one friend of mine said last night – the end has come, my childhood is over, time to grow up.

So long Harry.

But I am sure we will hear about your children in due time.

Not my daughter, you BITCH !!!


It’s all over. All the movies, all the books…

I’d stick with the book (s), myself.

I guess you can’t get it all right. Putting things in where there were no things to begin with, Leaving things out where there should have been things. Putting words into people’s mouths. Certain things said by certain people were changed and words came out of mouths when there shouldn’t have been.

Ollivander never knew about the Deathly Hallows …

The book was very succinct. Things happened for a reason in certain order with certain people at certain times.

Leaving out crucial aspects of the book  to make it to the film really did in some of what we saw on screen. But oh well, you win some, you loose some.

It was all very magical. In the end, the book tells the real story.

But yes you should see it.

The last few pages of the book were classic.

19 years later …

I am sure that there are still a few books to be written.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Review/Spoiler) Be warned …

After a long wait, and multiple reads through the book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made its debut today in Montreal, like everywhere else in the world.

I have read the book numerous times to count. And I have to say, to begin with that I was terribly disappointed in the film. Harry seemed antagonistic. Ron and Hermione were really good.

The film opened with several scenes but the continuity of the story was off. The film is a series of vignettes that come and go so quickly. The opening scene with Hermione obliviating her parents memories was discussed in the book and comes later in the story than in the opening salvo in the book, where she explains what she did to them to protect them.

Snape appears at Malfoy Manor where Voldemort is awaiting him as they discuss what is to take place with Harry’s moving and Charity Babbage and Nagini.

Fade to Black …

The Dursley’s on the one hand – in the book are escorted out of the story by Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones after a long conversation with Harry. In the film, Vernon and family are packing up the car and trailer with all their things and drive off into the sunset. No mention of magical help otherwise. No other wizards are in this scene they are conspicuously left out.

The Seven Potters chapter was done with some continuity. The conversation from the book is left on the cutting room floor for a more proactive Mad Eye Moody and Hermione, and Harry just relents. They could have pushed this scene a little further. But they bring everyone directly to the Burrow instead of all points from the book. I thought they could have done more with this section of the film.

You can’t put everything from the book in a two hour block of time so that is why the continuity was lacking.

George gets his scene with the “Holey geddit Fred” conversation from the book. But they mangled this part of the film it just does not flow correctly, too many misses and what they COULD have done, they chose not to do.

Harry attempts to flee the Burrow and Ron wakes up and follows him outside and they have a conversation about staying and the fact that they wouldn’t last 2 days without Hermione. Harry goes back.

No mention of Harry’s birthday at the burrow. No party, no gifts, but we do get the minister of magic coming to give them Albus’s gifts from the will. Once again, this scene from the book could have been played out in its entirety, but wasn’t. There are no words between Harry and the minister.

We jump right into the wedding scene where Harry walks up and sits down with Elphias Dodge and Auntie Muriel, she actually gets a whole scene.

“They are coming…” made it into the film, then the three of them disapparate into London Proper. There is no mention or view/use of the invisibility cloak. Harry does not take polyjuice potion to disguise at the wedding. They do change in an alleyway from formal clothing to street clothing from Hermione’s beaded bag.

The mention of Harry’s birthday comes while they are wandering around town, trying to find a place to hide, which eventually the scene changes to Grimmauld place.

Then we move into the diner scene with them ordering coffee and get caught by death eaters and the first wand fight commences. Hermione does all the complicated spells throughout the movie, I thought she did a really great job with her part.

There is no conversation about Grimmauld place they just go there directly assuming that was the logical next stopping point. Mrs. Black is absently silent at the house. The whole hunt through Sirius’s bedroom and the finding of R.A.B. on the next door does not happen, but words are put into Ron’s mouth. When it is Harry and Hermione who realize that R.A.B. is the brother. The whole time they spend at Grimmauld place runs about 15 minutes in the film.

No Lily Letter – No scene with Hermione and Harry … They just butchered this section for a few minutes of film.

The whole running down the stairs and calling of Kreacher does not happen. We find in the film that the three of them are sitting in the kitchen when they open a cupboard door and find Kreacher there. Harry is antagonistic when he quizzes Kreacher about the missing locket, he hangs the fake locket in front of Kreacher trying to force a response from him. There is no discussion with Kreacher, no tears, no long story about R.A.B. Regulus.

Kreacher makes his short response about Mundungus Fletcher and then Harry tells Kreacher to “Find Him.” A quick fade across the land and Kreacher pops back into the kitchen with Mundungus and Dobby the elf …

Dobby appears once in the book … well later on in the story. In the dungeon of Malfoy Manner. That’s later on.

So Kreacher and Dobby are fighting with Mundungus Fletcher in the kitchen and Dobby has an entire conversation with Harry about he finding Kreacher in Diagon alley and overheard the words Harry Potter and so he just had to come and help.

Where did that story line come from???

There is no planning of the break in to the Ministry of Magic. No Kreacher with the bouncing locket on his chest. But Mundungus begins telling Harry about Delores Umbridge when in the kitchen, so handily there is a Daily Prophet with her photo on it.

Then we move right into the hunt for the locket at the ministry. The polyjuice in and this whole sequence of events are odd. The whole way that Harry finds the locket (around Delores Umbridge’s Neck) while she is in court with Mrs. Cattermole. Interrogating her about her blood status.

Harry steals back Moody’s eye off the door and they stun Deloris the get the locket from her and end up back in the Floo Network back to Grimmauld Place, where Yaxley grabs ahold of Hermione and they end up in the forest where Ron gets splinched.

Hermione is nervous over Ron’s body and she plays the scene right out of the book, right down to the dialogue with Harry. They speed through the Locket is a hot potato and there is no mention of the runaways goblins in the forest eating salmon where Ron becomes enflamed with Harry leading to them splitting up as rain fell on the tent.

The “You’re parents are Dead” line is delivered by Ron and Harry and Ron go at it, there is no shield charm and Hermione gets Ron to take off the locket and follows him out of the tent where the snap is heard outside the tent and Ron Disapparated.

The interaction between Hermione and Harry after Ron’s departure is funny. There is an entire dance sequence between the two actors that was stuck at this point in the film.Listening to pop tunes on a radio. Hello … is anybody paying attention to continuity???

There is discussion about Godric’s Hollow and the pair disapparate there in the snow. No disguises, no polyjuice potion… The totally ripped apart the visit. No war memorial, Hermione finds Ignotus’s grave with the hallow sign on it. Then the camera pans and Harry is standing in front of his parents grave, where Hermione walks up on him and produces the Christmas roses. In the book, Hermione is trudging through the graveyard and the whole Kendra and Ariana conversation happens. There is no mention of them nor do  you see their graves in the film. They just hopped skipped and jumped through this chapter in the book.

The portion of the story with Bathilda happens, with the photo and the fact that Bathilda lures Harry up stairs where the snake comes out of her body to keep Harry there. It was a dark scary scene in the movie.

Harry is seen standing outside the tent in the snow. Hermione is off on her own sitting by a tree reading a book, sitting on a blanket hiding the pieces of Harry’s broken wand. The whole dialogue between Hermione and Harry after the snake, the conversation where she says Ron’s name early on Christmas Day doesn’t happen.

But it is mentioned later on.

Continuity … Hermione is supposed to be sponging Harry’s brow as he wakes up from his whole “being in Voldemorts head” from the book doesn’t happen. Harry walks up to Hermione and asks her where his wand is … it could have been played like the book, but once again, Harry is in an antagonistic mood once again, she hands him the broken wand apologizes and he says that He will use hers in the meantime.

My favorite chapter in the book … The Silver Doe…

It’s funny that they sit outside the tent building camp fires in front of the tent several times. The silver doe comes to Harry and he follows the light into the forest where it ends up stopping OVER the forest pool where the sword of Gryffindor is waiting for Harry. Harry strips off and “diffindo’s” the pond. Wearing the horcrux as he dives, like the book, almost kills him as Harry is seen banging on the ice from underneath.

Ron appears and saves Harry, get’s the sword and “Are you mental???” is spoken. You cast that doe, no I didn’t, I thought it was yours, no my patronus is a stag. We flash to the locket on the stone as Harry tells Ron to stab it. But there is no conversation and when Ron says he can’t do it, Harry asks him “Why did you come back?” with attitude. Harry has a chip on his shoulder the whole film.

The locket opens and tortures Ron and is destroyed. There is no soft scene between Harry and Ron. No I love her like a sister, I thought you knew that? All that dialogue is left out of the film.

Harry wakes Hermione (it is light outside the tent through this whole section of the film) when it should be in the middle of the night. But Hermione is asleep when they get back to the tent and the whole scene between Hermione, Harry and Ron is mangled. You read it in the book, and she is really demented. She gets her hits in but the dialogue is all screwed up.

Hermione attacks Ron outside the tent (NOT inside) the whole story between Ron and the two is mangled to bits. Then we see Ron and Harry sitting on a bunk admiring the flames in a jar and Ron gives Harry the wand he snatched from the snachers. There is mention of that happening makes it into the movie but not where it should be.

They should have lifted the dialogue out of the book and stuck it into the film, the silver doe chapter is a pivotal chapter in the book.

The trio travel to see Xenophilis where Hermione narrates the entire story of the three brothers, this is a very inconsequential chapter in the book, but they go into detail at this point of the film. I don’t know why they chose to illuminate this section of the book, and they skimped on some of the more important points in the story line.

They disapparate from Xenophilus’s house into the forest where they happen upon snatchers. Snatchers in the forest. They don’t go back to the tent and are happened upon by death eaters who take them to Malfoy Manor.

The snatchers chase them through the forest and decide take them to the Malfoy’s where the family is along with Bellatrix Lestrange. They weren’t going to turn them in. Hermione mangles Harry’s face. They mangled this section of the book as well. It is rushed and there are missing characters from the book, intentionally left out of the story in the film.

The whole scene in the dungeon is rushed. Harry looks into the mirror shard and calls for help… no eye appears and Harry calls for help. Dobby shows up in the dungeon and takes Ollivander and Luna back to Shell Cottage in Tinworth. Dobby apparates back and tells Harry to meet him at the top of the stairs in 3 seconds, where Pettigrew is struck down and killed. Not by his own hand, and there is no interplay between Harry, Ron and Pettigrew.

The house is empty save the Malfoy’s and Bellatrix, at the point where they go to summon Voldemort, Dobby drops the chandelier on Bellatrix and they grab the wands and apparate out to shell cottage.

The scene fades in with Dobby standing on the beach swaying. And Harry happens upon him and holds him in his arms and Dobby dies, and Luna says “we should shut his eyes…” Where are the others?

Bill, Fleur, and Dean, Ollivander and Griphook?

Harry says that he wants to dig the grave. There are no other characters in the scene, Harry digs the hole, and they (Ron and Hermione) carry Dobby in a blanket and they place him in the grave and the cover him up.

Fade to Black … Voldemort violates Dumbledore’s grave, takes the wand from him and lightening streaks into the sky …

Fade to black … the credits roll…

Monday Madness … T-minus 3 days

It has been a quiet weekend. We didn’t do much all weekend long except read and watch tv here and there.

Several new clips from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are up on Yahoo Servers. All of them are true to the book. We are a few days away from the premier here. I am hoping that I can get tickets to the midnight show on Thursday night.

Everyone is excited for the film. I am reading through the book again so we can judge the film’s portrayal of the book in whole.

I went to class tonight, and the prof was a no show, so we all left and came home. There was no note online or at the college of what was going on. If the prof does not show 15 minutes into class, then students can leave and it not count as an absence.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, my speaker called to confirm for the late meeting. That is all good.

Not much else is going on …

I need to go by the theatre tomorrow to get tickets for Harry Potter. I haven’t yet gone to check out my favorite shoppes to see what kind of offerings they will have this Christmas. I have been sorting through my address book, prepping for Christmas cards. I am ahead of the game on that front.

There is snow in the forecast for the weekend coming, and probably we will put the tree up soon. I know some of my friends already have their trees up and their houses are decorated for the holidays. We usually wait until U.S. Thanksgiving to put ours up.

More to come, stay tuned…

Harry Potter

And the Deathly Hallows.

As you see, the imagery on the blog has changed, as we begin the countdown to the Finale Episode 1 of Deathly Hallows on the 19th of November.

Throughout the month you will see these images change as the day approaches. I have something BIG planned for premier day, so stay tuned. We will rotate in and out new images from the trailer of the first film. I spent a good hour watching the latest trailer over and over again trying to find suitable images to post here on the blog.

I have 8 header images and assorted shots from the film here and there. Maybe I will do successive Harry Potter posts into the feed. People like Harry so maybe we will do that.

Stay tuned …

Today is the final day of shooting for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Courtesy: MuggleNet.com

We’ve known for a while that the final day of filming for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be in June.  We now know that today – Saturday, June 12th – is the one.

Warwick Davis – who we recently interviewed on MuggleCast – confirmed that this final day involves a scene with Griphook.  As he posted on his Twitter:

The end of an Era – today is officially the last day of principal photography on ‘Harry Potter’ – ever. I feel honoured to be here as the director shouts cut for the very last time. Farewell Harry & Hogwarts, it’s been magic! x …and goodbye Griphook!

Test shoots for the film began in January 2009, and regular filming started the following month.

Congratulations to Warner Brothers, David Heyman, David Yates, David Barron, JK Rowling, Stuart Craig, Steve Kloves, and the entire cast and crew!

Check out the trailers for Deathly Hallows: HERE

The film release dates are as follows:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – November 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – July 2011

"The Hurt Locker" wins Oscar for best picture

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Hurt Locker” won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday, capping a historic Oscar ceremony that saw the low-budget Iraq war drama vanquish the sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar.”

Its victory also brought a second statuette for Kathryn Bigelow.

Bigelow was one of the four producers of “The Hurt Locker,” along with journalist Mark Boal, financier Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. Chartier was banned from the ceremony after the French native broke Oscar campaign rules by e-mailing voters on behalf of the picture.

“The Hurt Locker,” which centers on an American bomb-disposal squad in Iraq, is now out on DVD. It earned a modest $15 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by closely held Summit Entertainment.

Its closest Oscar competition was considered to be “Avatar,” the all-time box office champ produced and directed by James Cameron, Bigelow’s ex-husband.

Both films received nine nominations.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman, Editing by Sandra Maler)

“The Hurt Locker” wins Oscar for best picture

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Hurt Locker” won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday, capping a historic Oscar ceremony that saw the low-budget Iraq war drama vanquish the sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar.”

Its victory also brought a second statuette for Kathryn Bigelow.

Bigelow was one of the four producers of “The Hurt Locker,” along with journalist Mark Boal, financier Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. Chartier was banned from the ceremony after the French native broke Oscar campaign rules by e-mailing voters on behalf of the picture.

“The Hurt Locker,” which centers on an American bomb-disposal squad in Iraq, is now out on DVD. It earned a modest $15 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by closely held Summit Entertainment.

Its closest Oscar competition was considered to be “Avatar,” the all-time box office champ produced and directed by James Cameron, Bigelow’s ex-husband.

Both films received nine nominations.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman, Editing by Sandra Maler)

Latter Days …



Click Film Link Here: Latter Days Movie

I was on You Tube the other night and I saw  trailer for this little gay film called “Latter Days.” A movie about a group of young Mormon men who travel from Idaho to Los Angeles for “Mission.” But the apartment complex they moved into carries with it its fair share of complications to their “Mission.”

Aaron, our young Mormon man with Mission stars in his eyes meets a young man named Christian and they form a relationship of sorts. At Christian’s place of employment a bet is laid down and things progress.

Our two young men find themselves in water that is getting ever hotter as the movie progresses. Suffice to say that Aaron (Elder Davis) is sent home after being witnessed kissing another boy (Christian).

He is excommunicated from his church by his father and their elders and this leads to a suicide attempt and a stint in a reprogramming center to “cure him.”

Christian is under the impression, as we are the viewers, that Aaron was dead because Christian finds his number and calls his house and his mother tells him that she lost her son. Christian goes through some serious mourning.

He does not know the real story of where Aaron is …

In the end, you’ll have to rent the movie to find out what happens.It made me cry like a girl … Go Rent This Film …

This film may be a fiction story but the truth is there. The religious view of the Mormon church is not in dispute. But is portrayed truthfully. Many young gay men and women deal with issues of self and homosexuality every day. Many of them go to an early grave because of what they are put through by those who don’t accept them, family, friends, employers, schools, religion…

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the TREVOR hot line around the clock: 1 -866 – 4 – U – TREVOR …THE TREVOR PROJECT.

Star Trek




Last night we went to see Star Trek. I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. The new cast seemed to gel quite nicely. There were times during the movie when the young Kirk did things that have been referenced in the latter Star Trek movies, like the Kobyashi Maru test. Referenced in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan. Kirk being the one who beat the test.

I think they did a good job with casting all of the bridge crew. I thought that the ship would be rudimentary and simple seeing that the movie was a prequel to the series, but I was wrong. It was all very flashy and new. There were also shades of the Wrath of Khan when Nero used the little brain animals to get the captain to talk. It seems that they took liberty with bits and pieces of the older Star Trek movies.

I did notice that the crew had that kind of relationship dynamic that the elder crew had. The quips between McCoy and Spock and Kirk. Well written to give us shadows of their elder statesmen. Chekov and Sulu were really great parts down to the diction and accents. It was great that all the bridge crew had meaty parts and played big roles in the evolution of the film. Who knew Chekov was so knowledgeable about computer targeting… And Scotty having learned how to beam from one location to another while a ship was in warp, this little truth comes from the temporal shifting Spock.

And the little “Time Twist” with the appearance of SPOCK during the film, and the promise of keeping the ‘Temporal Prime Directive’ this would have been seen in the Voyager series, with Captain Janeway and the Time Ship Relativity.

Spock is coming from the future to make sure that his younger counterpart did what he was supposed to do and to forge a friendship with the younger Kirk, who happens upon Spock on that icy planet. And then at the end of the film the younger Spock and his much older counterpart meet in the hanger bay where the younger Spock calls out to his father and SPOCK turns around and says “I am not our father…” And he gives some revelatory information to spock when he says “put logic aside and do what feels right…”

Overall I would give the film a big SEE IT. I may go to see it once more because it was that good.

Final Potter to get 2011 release


Via:  The BBC News Online

The final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise is to be released in 2011, it has been announced.

Fans of the boy wizard will get to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in cinemas from 15 July.

Warner Brothers decided to split the seventh book in JK Rowling’s series into two parts as it was impossible to cram its 608 pages into a single film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is set to be released on 19 November 2010.

Stuntman David Holmes suffered serious back injuries on the set of Deathly Hallows last month practising an aerial sequence.

The set was closed for a week for investigation before being allowed to re-open by the Health and Safety Executive.

It was announced in August last year that the release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would be pushed back eight months to July this year.

Warner Bros president Alan Horn said the decision was taken to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009.

He also blamed the Hollywood writers’ strike, which hit the film industry hard in 2008.

The first five movies have made $4.5 billion (£2.2 billion) worldwide – making it the biggest film franchise in box office history, surpassing both James Bond and Star Wars.