Me and Harry: A Breakup

Dear Harry,

Listen: I’m done with you. Please know that it’s not you. And it’s not me.

It’s them.

Harry Potter Crying.png

Let’s get this out of the way first: I know I’m writing a blog post to a fictional character. You are not real. That’s the thing: I know this!

But the others? The others seem to have been confused about this since time immemorial.

And especially since November 8, 2016.

It’s like a mass psychosis. In the event of a traumatic (if you’re a weak person with nothing in your life but politics who lets the outcome of an election literally make you crazy), certain people need something to hold on to. And in the absence of God, or family, or even sanity, they choose you.

And it’s not your fault. You seem like a pretty cool guy. Brave. Heroic. Willing to do the right thing, no matter the personal cost. Very admirable!

Here’s the thing: You’re not political. Hell, you’re not real, as we’ve already established. But if you were, you’d vote . . .

You’d vote for . . .

Um, actually, it’s impossible to tell from your books. There’s no politics in them! And that’s the great thing!

There are lessons, sure. Great lessons based on timeless human principles of bravery and heroism and self-sacrifice and all of that other corny, sincere stuff that has a distinctly, let’s say, right-leaning flavor to it.

But I digress. See, I don’t like politics. To me, it’s a necessary evil, one that a person needs to pay attention to, because it will pay attention to him, whether he likes it or not.

But I like fiction! Fantasy, sci-fi, classical literature, poetry . . . give me stories! And to the maximum extent possible, keep politics out of them!

And better yet, don’t read politics into stories when they aren’t there.

Your stories, Harry? Your stories have been politicized to the point of parody, to the point beyond parody, to the point where the mere mention of your name pisses me off! And I counted myself a big fan of yours!

Without Hermoine blah blah blah.jpg

At least, I used to. Where to begin . . .

You and Hermoine and Ron and Dumbledore and Neville and Cho and Sirius and all the rest of the damn Weasley familiy were some of my favorite fictional pals. Sure, the first few books were decidedly aimed at little kids, but they were still entertaining. Charming, even. And by the time the fourth book rolled around, things were really getting serious.

What I liked about you and your world, Harry, was that it still had heroism. There was no nihilism at all. Darkness was something to be fought and defeated, not embraced and rationalized. There was no moral relativism, no compromise with evil. You and your crew would fight for the light, or die trying. And you were willing to die for what was right. What a great lesson for all!

To top it off, your most loathesome enemy wasn’t even the evil wizard guy with no nose. It was The Ministry of Magic. The bureaucracy! Those spineless wimps who hid their heads in the sand and expected everyone to carry on as if nothing was wrong while their cities and lives were being terrorized and yes there’s a metaphor to be made here if one was so inclined and holy hell how do these idiots not see it?!

Ahem. Where was I?

Right. Worthless bureaucrats. And few were as worhtless and despicable as Dolores Umbridge.

Dolores Umbridge
“Who witch dis is?”

Somewhere along the line, though, your fans and admirers began to treat you as if you were an actual god or something, and your books as holy writ, used to explain the problems of, and the solutions to, all of our problems!

Yes, the same people that mock the Bible, and indeed the very idea of God Himself, seem to be, I don’t know, praying to YOU and your friends to save us!

Every political enemy became “like Voldemort.”

Every political hero became “like Harry Potter” or “like Hermoine,” depending on the identity group of choice.

Harry Potter fans became these magical, mystical people who of course stand for truth, justice, love, peace, diversity, tolerance, and probably fart pixie dust (but only if they have a, how shall we say, certain political perspective).

But worst of all–oh Lordy, worst of all–even your creator herself, the otherwise admirable J.K. Rowling, who bootstrapped herself from nothing to become one of the richest women in the world based solely on the products of her mind got in on the act.

JK Rowling tweet

Since the madness is not stopping, and indeed seems to be picking up, I’m done.

I can no longer consider myself a fan, Harry.

Politics ruins everything. Even you.

And it’s not even a Trump thing. It’s an annoyance thing. The same thing kind of happened with The Hunger Games where every political contest or argument seemed to become “like The Hunger Games!”

Game of Thrones is also on this list. Star Wars, too. I’m sick of it. Sick of it all.

Maybe it’s pop-culture references in general, ascribing deep meaning to what is essentially fluff, that bothers me.

Whatever it is, I’m out. It’s been fun. I don’t blame you, Harry. Still, until these people read another damn book, I’m out. Sorry. Hogwarts looks like a fun place, sure, aside from all of the death-dealing monsters and traps wandering about, but it’ll have to go without me for the foreseeable future.

Abra cadaver and all of that. Expecto patronum.

Oh wait, some people think “patronus” is cultural appropriation.

Patronus cultural appropriation

The Second Coming cannot come soon enough . . .

12 comments

  1. Rowling is an obnoxious git. The Left’s appropriation and politicization of what, as you say, are non-political children’s/YA fantasy books is contemptible but unsurprising. But they haven’t ruined (OT) Star Wars for me; won’t do it for Harry Potter. They’re still fun stories if you can separate out the external bullshit. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • One last thought – of course everyone is entitled to his own feelings and can react accordingly, but I prefer not to cede ground to these stunted morlocks. I’d rather tell them they’re idiots than give up something I like just because they like it too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OT Star Wars is still pristine in my eyes.

      Harry Potter just irks me now. Someday my irritation will wear off, but for now I just don’t want to hear about him or those books. Which is too bad because I do like the books themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex,

        I thought Dolores Umbridge was one of the best villanious characters created. She really captures the NICE organization for the late 20th century.

        I noted this in the books but the movies brillantly highlights what makes her so replusive:
        She’s and unmarried, cat loving childless spinster who dresses in garish pastel colours (like Gilderoy). Her office is just as tacky like a little girl’s who never outgrew her bad taste and nipped any beauty at 9 years

        She spouts the bureuacratic mentality: I’m very vindictive because I really, really care because my conscience can’t let me rest.

        My advice just ignore the doofuses and tell them to read other books to ya know expand their horizons

        xavier

        Liked by 1 person

  2. —Another vote for Umbridge as the best villain. For me, Rowling torpedoed the series with two events in book 7 and despite the unlikely event anyone’s here who hasn’t read the books or seen the movies, here’s a big SPOILER WARNING!

    —Snape. She tried to maintain the “surprise” that he was secretly working for Dumbledore so instead of a scene where he finally turns on Voldemort or him and Harry must team up or basically anything dramatic, he disappears for a lot of the book and then we get all his memories. Perhaps the latter would’ve been more palatable for me if he’d been able to do something directly against Voldemort. It just felt like a waste of a character and some interesting drama.

    —The Elder Wand. It felt like the big conclusion, this big face-off between Harry and Voldemort is spent discussing who is a wand’s rightful owner. I just didn’t care about wandlore at all and what seemed like something powerful became very anticlimatic. I did like Harry calling him Tom though; that was good but their final confrontation felt anticlimatic.

    —I guess there’s three things; I don’t believe Harry would give his son the middle name Severus. The guy was a bully and a jerk for all of Harry’s life! And where was the pay-off with Ron and his fear of Spiders. Shoud’ve had him face that during the attack on Hogwart’s.

    Those things only had an impact because I really enjoyed the story and figured she would wrap it up with a satisfying conclusion and in many ways she did. Oh, except for all of Slytherin refusing to fight. All of them? Couldn’t there be some good in that house? That didn’t make much sense either.

    Maybe a big fight between Voldemore and Harry would’ve been unsatisfying or too much, that his bigger victory was the courage to go off in the woods alone but the whole discussion about the wand felt wrong to me. The climax between good and evil in a 7 book series shoudn’t come down to rules of possession.

    And finally to the whole point of your article. I get it, it stinks when people can ruin something for you with their fanaticism, I knew a guy who played Rush to the point I couldn’t listen to them for over a decade. Perhaps with time you’ll separate the books from the kooky fans.

    As for Umbrdige, another mark of a good villain is both sides of the political spectrum recognize her villainy but think she’s an example of the group their not a part of. What does that say about people?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, I don’t remember enough of Book 7! For some reason, that’s the volume which stuck with me the least. I DO agree that Umbridge is the best villain, and also the most believable.

      As far as enjoying the books again, I really should read them again. But like my having no desire to watch Star Wars for a LONG time, the need to reread HP just isn’t there. I’ll have to give it time.

      And you got sick of Rush? How…how does this happen?

      Like

  3. I introduced him to Rush too. Oh, he went way overboard, I mean, literally all he listened to, owned every album, everyone joked about it. I was barely a casual Rush listener, liked some of Chronicles and to this day still like 2112, Village Strangiato and some other tunes but man, he ran them into the ground! In his dorm room or his car, just nonstop Rush. Just the sound of Geddy Lee’s voice or a synth made my skin crawl.

    —Back to Potter, I also think she did some impressive things in her series. Aging the characters and having the stories become more dramatic. Being able to fool the readers (at least me) as to whom was bad up until Snape whom I figured was a double-agent.

    —-Just laying out a 7 book series and being able to deliver a powerful, emotional climax in different volumes and bring things to a conclusion without the benefit of going back and editing the previous books is impressive. And having characters people came to love.

    —the patience of slowly having Voldemort grow into power and physicality. The banal terror of bureaucracy.

    —-I still play a few Rush tunes with my friends on acoustic guitar, YYZ up until the B, C chords and then it becomes an open jam, La Villa Strangiato, nowhere near the band’s level and Closer to the Heart and 2112, again, no solos as on the record. A lot of fun to play once I learned from people’s online tutorials and tabs.

    But I really don’t listen to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! Fair enough. I’m a die-hard Rush fanatic, so getting sick of them sounds weird. Then again, I like every single album so I have a LOT to choose from: sick of Moving Pictures? I’ll fire up Counterparts or Clockwork Angels, and so on.

      I do respect Rowling as a writer. I’m just sick of what HP has become. The very mention of “Harry Potter” or “Voldemort” makes me cringe.

      Like

  4. —I don’t want to derail this but I want to ask, what do you think of Rush as a live band? I like some of Neil Peart’s solos but I just wasn’t impressed by them (live albums/youtube clips) because of their aesthetic of largely recreating the songs on stage as on their albums. I enjoy improvisation and jamming,realize people enjoy seeing such precision musicianship in person but it’s not for me. I did like the little jam they added to the end of Closer to the Heart but as a live band they’re not for me, lacking the true spontaneous spirit that makes for the best rock concerts.

    —-A lot of the overkill, from Star Wars to Harry Potter is because of the internet. In the past maybe a group of Harry Potter enthusiasts or crazies would make a segment on the news and that would be it. What a curiosity! Same with Star Wars. Oh look! Some fans dressed up to go see the movie! And now sports.

    But the internet was made for specific obsessiveness, I’m guilty of it too.

    I suppose if the work is really good it’ll survive the crazed fans that drive people away from it, book or movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I generally also like jamming and improvisation, but I’ve been to maybe six Rush shows, and they were awesome. They were like a huge party.

      I particularly enjoyed the Vapor Trails tour, and when they’d play Vapor Trails songs live, because the album had dozens of guitar and bass overdubs,
      and they’d play stripped-down versions live. I distinctly remember Alex Lifeson adding a guitar solo to the song “Earthshine,” which was really cool.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s