Harry Potter mania is making me nauseous!

Erik Christensen's picture
Submitted by Erik Christensen on Sat, 2007-07-21 16:16

All this hype over 'Harry Potter' is laughable. The 'Harry Potter' hysteria that is gripping planet Earth is a perfect example of how the deluded masses all jump on the popularity band-wagon. And all over a series of books that are mediocre at best. When an adult gets a boner over a kids book I have to think that they have some regressive therapy to finish. Jameson, where the hell is that Oxycontin?!?!?!


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I don't know about the economics...

Robert's picture

... in the books. But the marketing campaign was a huge success. 8 million books sold in the USA in a single day!

Getting people back into reading rather than watching the TV! Is that not something to thank Harry Potter for?

My marathon lasted about 10

Suma's picture

My marathon lasted about 10 hrs. Book 7 was engrossing; all loose ends neatly tied up; and put me in a good mood. I loved the series for the strengths listed here. There is indeed a problem with the wizard economics, but I actually found the depiction of evil believable.


Suma

Does Hary Potter fail in economic realism?

Orson's picture

When it comes to magic in childrens novels, is a rationale conomic sensibility important? I mean, if the characters can exercise Their Magical Powers limitlessly, how can there be any dramatic conflict or suspense? In other words, there must be scarcity in magic, and dispite the implication of the genre's label, there must be some element of realism involved.

This arises the question: Are there any good economics in the Harry Potter series? The uber tall and lovely Megan McCardle, who blogs as "janegalt," yet is no Objectivist, opines. The link finds the issue disputed by the commentators, if you scroll down to "RichardAdams."

reclaimng a magical youth

Erik Christensen's picture

It could be that the excitement and anticipation that many older adults have for the Harry Potter books is because of something they had lost or missed from their childhood and teenage years, not being exposed or introduced to books of adventure, heroism, and moral clarity and content growing up which makes these books a breath of fresh air they had missed out on when they were younger.

Interesting take via link from instapundit

Erik Christensen's picture

Indeed...

Robert's picture

I've only seen the movies, but I understand that they follow the books fairly closely and from what I've seen the Potter stories are nothing more than a charming ebullient children's drama.

Sick and tired of media hype? So what? We've seen it all before. Why beat up on these stories and their fans when all the publishers et al. have done is conduct a flawless and hugely successful publicity campaign.

It's just capitalism at work.

Pottermania

Prima Donna's picture

I enjoy the books for numerous reasons -- one of which is that they enable me to celebrate being a kid every time. I even get to play dress up. Eye

I finished the book in 8 hours. LOVE reading marathons.

Jennifer

-- Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Incidentally...

JoeM's picture

Diana Hsieh has a published essay called "Dursley Duplicity" in HARRY POTTER AND PHILOSOPHY: IF ARISTOTLE RAN GENERAL MOTORS. From a thread on Objectivism Online, here's a sample of a debate very similar to the one here. If anything, it shows that Objectivists are so easily divided...Eye

Poster:
That book made a good first impression (Aristotle) and a bad second one. I skimmed it and was not impressed. I am an avid Harry Potter fan, quite an obsessive poster on mugglenet's New Clues forum, and I did not find anything in my very brief skimming of the book that was anything particularly deep or interesting. Obviously, I completely missed your essay.Shocked I think I may have to go back to the bookstore..."

Diana: "I worry that you are misconstruing the purpose of the volume. It was designed to examine some of the philosophic issues raised in the Harry Potter novels -- for an audience that is expected to be fairly young and thus generally unfamiliar with the standard concerns, methods, and positions of philosophy. In addition, the essays don't presume the encyclopedic knowledge of and obsession with the novels common among us hard-core fanatics. Smiling

I think the volume served its intended purpose quite well, particularly given its generally Aristotelian slant. Of course, it's not that an older person with a greater knowledge of philosophy won't enjoy the volume, but they should keep their expectations reasonable."

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Mugglespeak

JoeM's picture

Ah. I see, said the blind man. Learn something new everyday. Smiling

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

...c'mon Joe, it's similar

Erik Christensen's picture

...c'mon Joe, it's similar to be-dump-bump.

stumped

JoeM's picture

? Stumped me on that one..

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Joe, ever the king of

Erik Christensen's picture

Womp, womp, waaaaaa! Sticking out tongue

E(Rick)

JoeM's picture

"Rick and Joe from my own experience yes, the vast majority of Potter fans just see popular fantasy, they don't grasp the powerful internal ideas that makes the series a novel rich with ethical values. Sorry, but I would be lying if I said otherwise."

Erik, that's not so controversial, I may agree even. But there's the "sense of life" issue to consider as well. Not everyone is a trained philospher or literary critic writing essays about Dursely Duplicity, but that's an individual matter, and people have to appreciate things on their own level. Again, I testify on the Romantic Manifesto re the sense of life issue in regards to popular fiction.

"Anything to see you smile again, grouchy."

Well, we all get that not-so-fresh feeling from time to time...Smiling

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Thankyou, Eric. Very

Rick Giles's picture

Thankyou, Eric. Very good.

Rick, for once, your way with words has won me over. Don't you know using magic is forbidden in front of muggles?

Anything to see you smile again, grouchy.

Muggle this

Erik Christensen's picture

Rick and Joe from my own experience yes, the vast majority of Potter fans just see popular fantasy, they don't grasp the powerful internal ideas that makes the series a novel rich with ethical values. Sorry, but I would be lying if I said otherwise. Your experience is obviously different. The good thing is is that some of them know that something rational is registering in their reasoning minds from the books, which is a good thing.

"You reduced Pottermania to faddish-slutty-pragmatistism, is what you did." Yep, pretty much.

"You did not judge secondhander bandwagon riders, you put down adults who appreciate what Harry Potter offers. That's no different from Branden's assessment of Rand's mental state for her love of Cyrus."
---In hind sight I should have been more clear.

Accio!

JoeM's picture

"You reduced Pottermania to faddish-slutty-pragmatistism, is what you did."

Rick, for once, your way with words has won me over. Don't you know using magic is forbidden in front of muggles?

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Death wish?

Rick Giles's picture

My argumentation was...a judgment on those masses who jump on the Potter bandwagon simply for the sake that it is POPULAR

You reduced Pottermania to faddish-slutty-pragmatistism, is what you did.

If I'd done that at the midnight release (I was keeping a mate company thismorning) the surgeons would still be pulling bookends and hard-cover shrapnel from my battered, quasi-flat-lining, physical frame!

That reminds me, did Mr Perigo survive his angiothingie?

Best zip it, or find out the hard way if you are right or wrong, Muggle-blood. Smiling

RM

JoeM's picture

Eirk, my point wasn't that Rand would have defended Potter per se, but the phenomenon of adults reading popular fiction for its values. She certainly wouldn't have criticized Rowling for providing her fans with something of value to them (see her comments re the salary of Einstein vs. Presley.) See her comments on Buck Rogers.

RE your judgement on fans and bandwagons, well, that's a mighty big assumption. As I said before, I challenge that assumption based on my own observations and experience, but it's not necessary since you've presented nothing to make that claim consquential byond biased opinion. And, in the end, for those who are sincere in their appreciation, your naseau won't matter. It certainly doesn't matter to Rowling's bank account.

And any attempt to shame others through questioning their mental state will always be, at best, a weak argument. And you didn't say that in your main post, anyway. You said "When an adult gets a boner over a kids book I have to think that they have some regressive therapy to finish." (You also said, "Jameson, where the hell is that Oxycontin?!?!?!). You did not judge secondhander bandwagon riders, you put down adults who appreciate what Harry Potter offers. That's no different from Branden's assessment of Rand's mental state for her love of Cyrus.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

I highly doubt (though who

Erik Christensen's picture

I highly doubt (though who can say for certain since she is not here) that Ayn Rand would be a fan of Harry Potter or its accompanying hysteria because of the books' being heavy with elements of mysticism/magic. She was ardently opposed to such rubbish as is evidenced in her writings. The closest book that I know of that has any elements of magic and/or mysticism that Rand even thought was laudable is "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". I have read the Romantic Manifesto many many times, as a matter of fact it is the first book that I recommend for those interested in Objectivism. My argumentation was not from a weak tactic to smear mature, thinking adult fans of Harry Potter, but rather it was an a judgment on those masses who jump on the Potter bandwagon simply for the sake that it is POPULAR without themselves even understanding, or wanting or even being ABLE to understand the philosophical/moral message of heroism and principles that lie between the front and back cover.

Erik

JoeM's picture

Erik, just know that I apply it both ways. If I found your post inconsequential, I'd have felt nothing, either. But the fact that I did is not because you don't like the books, but because I take the issues you brought up very seriously. It's not just a children's book (there have been pleny of similar books that have failed to catch on.) I can attest from my experience working in bookstores that the fans are sincere, not just on the bandwagon (if that were the case, they'd have stopped reading after the delay of the fifth book.) If you've not read the Romantic Manifesto, particularly the chapter "Art and Moral Treason," you'd find Rand defending the phenomena represented by Pottermania today. If you really want to understand it, I'd highly recommend it.

There is one other reason for my response...you may not have thought much about your comment about the mental state of adults who read Potter, it may have been snark for snark's sake, but there is a very real issue with that tactic. At best, it's just weak argumentation, at worst, it's the kind of things authority has used, from parents to governments, to dissuade, humiliate, shame, and institutionalize dissenters, and usually in the name of "helping them." Incidentally, it was a claim made against Ayn Rand by Nathaniel Branden in JUDGEMENT DAY. It was Branden's claim that Rand exhibited arrested development in her adult passion for her childhood hero Cyrus.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

JoeM

Erik Christensen's picture

Good point.

So?

JoeM's picture

I don't buy it. If it was "dull-ish," then who would care? (Incidentally, that's an opinion, not fact. It certainly isn't valid objective criteria.)

So you find it "dull?" Well..."Their motive is obvious. If they actually regarded Romanticism an an "impractical fantasy," they would feel nothing but a friendly or indifferent amusement-NOT the passionate resentment and uncontrollable rage which they do feel and exhibit."

In this case, if it was "dull," they wouldn't spew on internet forums about how naseous these "regressed adults" make them feel."

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

...but still, I find the

Erik Christensen's picture

...but still, I find the writing...dull-ish. You'd think that J.K. Rowling found the cure for cancer with all the over-the-top hype her books are getting.

Ok, I'll bite. In terms of

Erik Christensen's picture

Ok, I'll bite. In terms of new childrens/young adult fiction Harry Potter is excellent reading for young minds. The last time a series came out with such superb moral/philosophical content was His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

Seriously

JoeM's picture

No, seriously.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Goddamn, if you weren't

Erik Christensen's picture

Goddamn, if you weren't funny JoeM.

Free

JoeM's picture

That's because they let just anyone rant on the street nowadays, like the nation of Islam spreading hate. Or sandwhich board crazies spouting the end is near...take a spot next to them extolling your nasea of Harry Potter. I swear, for every wizard geek told to get a life, there must be three cranky killjoys who have nothing better to do.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

JoeM you can keep your

Erik Christensen's picture

JoeM you can keep your quarter, I'll do it for free.

Here's a quarter

JoeM's picture

Call someone who gives a damn what you think about it.

Off to buy my copy.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

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