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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Ok, so there’s this very self congratulatory piece in the SMH today by Bryony Gordon on why she hates Harry Potter and anyone who loves it. You know, I get jaded with the world, I get fucked off by how it runs, I get not giving a fuck about the footy grand final etc and despair over the fact that more people will vote for Australian Idol than in a federal election. But this just takes jaded and tries to turn it into a streetwise badge of honour – and jaded by what exactly? Well by other people’s joy in reading fiction it appears – I mean I read the whole damned thing beginning to end looking for something so salient as a point, and as close as it gets is ‘YOU! GROWNS UPS!!! STOP HAVING FUN!!!’.

Is there some nasty culture surrounding Harry Potter that I’m unaware of? Hexings and jinxings with some kind of hate-crime link? Are the injustices of the world becoming more pronounced due to excitement over the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione? Are parents neglecting their children? Giving up on real life battles? In short is there any *actual* reason for the bug up this author’s arse, or is she, as it appears, just a boring wanking killjoy?

I mean you know, I am NOT pretending that these books are the beginning and end of an enjoyment of fiction – I’ve finished reading the whole series again and I can see plot flaws, and gender issues, and I have my frustrations with the books individually and as a whole – however, at the end of the day, at 33 (gasp!) I have not lost my ability to lose myself in a book, fall in love with characters, enjoy unexpected silliness and take joy in immersing myself in a world of fantasy and magic.

So far as the movies go I’ve been quite ‘meh’ about them. The tendancy to dumb down the characters and the issues in order to attract littler kids makes for a fairly ordinary movie I think. HOWEVER, life isn’t all Tolstoy and and Eco is it? I mean FUCK people! Life is hard and tiring and sometimes it’s nice to just find the fucking fun, you know – to put on your favourite b-grade flick, to jump around to a little Black Eyed Peas, to eat a greasy burger OR to indulge in flying through some funny, quite well written, easy to read fiction aimed at teenagers! There is comfort in the familiar and Hogwarts, Gringotts, Privet Drive and The Burrow welcome you home just as surely as a pair of flannel pyjama pants and a cup of tea.

But according to some, life is not frivolity and silliness – at the ripe old age of 18 it is time to put fun behind you and embrace the seriousness of Princess Diana’s death!

This is the interaction the author describes presumably to illustrate her coworkers moronic futility of existence, as set above her cool and life giving cynicism:

But then some dolt that I work with said, “The new Harry Potter film is out soon.” – and said it with the sort of glee usually reserved for lottery winners or people who have just discovered that they are pregnant. “How old are you?” I sneered. “Thirty-four and three-quarters,” beamed my colleague.

Well hi, I know which of you two I’d rather be friends with if you’re going to sneer at people for their enjoyment .

I let out a pained groan, put my head in my hands and began to weep openly at my desk.

Yes, you’re SO right – it’s your *co worker* who has the problem with age appropriate behaviour and idiocy not you! You wept openly at your desk that another human found some joy in their life upon the imminent release of a new movie (a movie that wasn’t ‘Oh wow, locking people up and forcing them to kill one another is just so fucking SEXAY’)? I’m no doctor, but I’d suggest getting the fuck over yourself.

The first Harry Potter book was published in June 1997. That’s 12 years ago. Twelve years! Think of all the things that have happened during that time. Princess Diana died in August that year. The twin towers of the World Trade Centre have fallen. We have gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. America has elected its first black president. Yet the way people harp on and on about Harry Potter, you would think that all of these things were trifling irrelevancies.

And? What the fuck? No, the way they harp on about Harry Potter, you’d think they’re excited to see a new movie. I would NOT assume that they believe it to be more consequential than Obama’s election, since unlike you I’m not quite that much of a twit that I think there’s any connection between the excitement and major political developments. And excuse me? We should no longer enjoy fiction cos Diana is dead? What? She seemed like a nice enough woman, I reckon she might have enjoyed a spot of Potter reading? And I’m pretty sure that if she didn’t she wouldn’t need to piss on those who did.

Then we’ve got some rot about the kids being too old in 2011 to play kids in their final year of high school – they’ll be 22 at the most and if Daniel Radcliffe ever grows out of his baby faced look I’ll be surprised. Oh noes people have seen his pee pee, oh noes they don’t act 13 in public (she missed the bit about Crabbe being arrested for growing pot!).

Here we seem to get a little closer to her (potential) point:

I know that mature fans of Harry Potter claim it allows them to escape to another world, that it helps them to feel young again. But when the first one came out I was 17 and by the time that the final movie instalment is released I will be 31. That doesn’t make me feel young. It makes me feel really, really old. And there’s nothing magic about that.

Dude. If you’re feeling old and jaded at 31, and you can’t find any magic in your life, might I suggest that is your problem? Kindly don’t take it out on those of us who still think we might have a few good years and a couple of decent giggles left!


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