I am quite a bitter person. I see a happy couple, I want to throw a brick at them. I see someone smiling, I want to scream an obscenity. I read about how J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter book is going to set a publishing record, how she’s worth billions, how that damn Brit has accomplished so much with the lamest ideas and I am still struggling for some measly acceptance from the publishing industry!!! Sorry, sorry. Losing it a bit.
Seriously though, what is this fascination with Harry Potter? The idea is lame: teen wizard going to school, growing up, becoming a man while trying to fit in, and prevent worldwide calamity. I loathe the writing. J.K., or as I like to call her, “the joke”, takes regular words, adds an “us” or whatnot to it, and claims that to be a magic spell. Kind of a vulgar form of Latin. Very crude. Didn’t I see that idea in most bad comedies throughout the seventies and eighties? Hocus Pocus? Nope, Crappus Maximus. After reading Tolkien, Tad Williams, and other authors who took the effort to create entire languages to offer some realism behind their magical spells and worlds, “the joke’s” efforts seem outright lazy. I feel a bit lobotomized trying to even suspend disbelief. This is garbage I never would have touched as a kid. My reading then was a lot more classical: Greek myth, Virgil, Homer, yada yada. Of course I’ve deviated in recent years to much more normal fare but nothing about Harry makes me raise an eyebrow.
There just isn’t anything interesting to me about a kid going to school to learn magic. Seen the idea dozens of times in fantasy books. And the necessity of a wand screams phallic imagery with its ability to create and Harry’s continual attempts to master it and failing. Adult, overly adult! He is holding an artificial penis!!! Then there is the riding of brooms, nice cliche there. Add in the cliches of children knowing better than adults, amateur kids doing what professional adults can’t in saving the world, yada yada. No thank you.
The whole series strikes me the same way the Home Alone, Power Rangers, and other crazes did. They weren’t really that creative or special. They are average fare that are entertaining but nothing god-like in message or sure to last the test of time. The amount of money and buzz these pop culture phenomoenons generate are unreal. What is it that causes a cultural phenomenon?
Now I’m happy these books are getting kids to read, but are they reading anything else? That is the question. With the ever increasing sales of “the joke’s” books but the industry continuing to stagnate I think not.
I think I’m probably the only person who has never finished one of those books or seen any of the movies. I just don’t understand the craze. There is nothing in it that draws me. Has the publishing industry tanked so badly that people are desperate for anything to read? I have a feeling so. But please, if anyone out there can explain to me how this stuff can be as popular as it is then contact me. Enlighten me. Help me to understand how this is actually worth my time. Until then I will be daydreaming of burning “the joke” at the stake, her many books serving as the fuel for the fire.