Harry Potter and the Guy Who Can’t Stand Him (part 2)

Sorry about the “to be continued…” I wasn’t trying to ape the final part of Harry Potter, or at least the production company’s need to milk more money from a  ravenous public under the auspices of “doing the final book justice.”  What B.S.

The truth is that you could, relatively easily, have put the final book into one film.  Just cut all of the swooping crane shots of Hogwarts and pensive I-need-to-poop looks Harry, Hermione, and Ron give each other.

The real reason I interrupted my rant was because we had company over.  Company that loved the last Harry Potter movies and thought I was a grumpy piece of shit for slagging them.  This is what group-thought does to people.  I am less of a person–less moral, less intelligent, less human–than others because Harry Potter is simply not my cup of tea (cup of tea, get it?  because of the Anglophile component?  Hah!  Nevermind…).  It’s the same as when I tell people I don’t really like animals, and I don’t want pets.  We have a cat, but that’s neither here nor there.

I know people who will tell you to your face that they don’t trust people who don’t like dogs, and then turn around and lie about being too sick   to work or take care of their grandma  You know what?  I don’t trust people who lie about shit.  I don’t care about their feelings about dogs.  Anyway, I’m tired of defending myself because of some arbitrary societal fad.

That’s pretty harsh.  I just read that over and I think I’m taking this a bit too seriously, but I can’t go back and erase it because I’m writing this on an iPad and it’s a pain in the ass to scroll trough the text.  I’ll need to work on that.

I mentioned a few days ago that I thought the last two movies were exceptionally dark–not content-wise, but in terms of the cinematography.  It turns out that my television’s contrast was screwed up.  No shit.  It was too dark.  What an idiot.  The movies are still too dark, though.

I’m blathering.  Besides the thoughtless hive mentality the majority of H.P. supporters bring to their conversations, I guess the real reason I never got into Harry Potter is that there are certain things that come and go in one’s life that are missed.  Epochs in which a certain piece of entertainment would’ve fit, but simply will not fit after it’s over.

Similarly, I know I will never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or Lord of the Rings, or Dune.  I will never go back and watch all of The X Files.  I’ll never play any of the Final Fantasy games.  I’ve moved on.  No one else is interested anymore, so why should I be?

I think that’s the real reason.  More than anything else, the Harry Potter phenomenon was a public phenomenon.  You read them because people were reading them, and you talked about them with people who read them.  It’s like when a show gets hot on television, the oft-sought “watercooler phase” when the day after a new episode you could go into work and discuss the ins-and-outs of what transpired.  Think Lost or Gray’s Anatomy, or True Blood.  In a way, that idea, of a public united in love of a piece of entertainment has been lost with the advent of the internet, video games, and four bajillion cable shows.  Now there are “trends” rather than “events” despite what the studios try to tell you, and even large communities of loyal followers are paltry in comparison to say Thriller or Rumours or Star Wars.

Now, we have day- or week-long distractions that masquerade as events but are really in-jokes.  “Dick in a Box” for example, or Glee, or American Idol, or even Pirates in the Caribbean.  Hell, I’ll even throw in the Lord of the Rings movies.  All are solid entertainments, and people pay lip service to how much they love them, but there not game changers.  Lives would remain more or less the same without them.  They came and went.

Harry Potter bucked that trend in that every book launch was a countdown.  People lined up, hungry not only for what happens next to the boy wizard, but the chance too share their enjoyment with their friends and children.  I have a friend who ran to the post office for her copy of Order of the Phoenix because it was too large to fit into her mailbox and when she learned it was closed, drove to the nearest bookstore and bought another copy.  She still has both (they work as visual aids when she tells the story).  Expressing your disinterest in the franchise was tantamount to punching a baby deer in the face.  Children cried, people called for the tar and feathers.  It cut against age demographics and social/racial/ethnographic divides.  It was and maybe is the last time something like that will happen.  The closest we’ve some to it are the Modern Warfare games and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.  Maybe Hunger Games.  Still, none of those really had the same flare, the same scope.

And I missed it.  I missed the whole thing.  I saw the books, heard people talking, and I turned a blind eye, content that what I was reading/hearing/watching was better.  Now, if I were to go back and read the books, it would be embarrassing.

Look at the thirty-five year old guy reading Harry Potter.  Maybe he’s just learning how to read.

It would be like coming in late to a story being told in another room.  Nobody wants to repeat it; it ruins the magic.  But this is worse.  It would be like showing up to a party while the hosts were cleaning up.  I’m here!  Let’s get down!

So I hate Harry Potter, as a defense.  It’s easier that way.  What I really hate is missing out.

I still think it’s stupid, too.  Don’t get me wrong.

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1 Comment

Filed under Books, Film, Harry Potter, My Issues, Television, Uncategorized

One response to “Harry Potter and the Guy Who Can’t Stand Him (part 2)

  1. I don’t mean to be that guy, or to dwell on something that wasn’t the point of this post, but you should really read the Hitchhiker’s Guide. I can’t stress this enough. Hopefully you weren’t soured by that movie version a few years back because (despite having Mos Def) it sucked balls. Just take whatever time you may have wasted reading the rest of 1Q84 and do it. It’s never too late.

    Also, fuck Harry Potter. I’ve never read a word of the books or seen a minute of the movies and I’m quite proud of it.

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