Surely you’ve noticed how much content there is on our site that celebrates Friday’s release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. It’s good, right? We’re quite proud of it. However, most of it is decidedly “pro-Potter.” In other words, people who love the series and who enjoy highlighting their favorite parts of it have been writing most of what you’ve read so far. But that means the people who don’t particularly care for Potter aren’t being represented on our site, and that’s a problem.
So in order to allow the people who don’t care for the Potter series to take back their spot on Hollywood.com, my colleague Eric Sundermann and I have come up with reasons why we never started reading it (and/or didn’t like) it. Now, of course we’re in the minority. We recognize that often we’re the only people who’d rather read the Spanish instructions on how to get off a subway in the event of an electrical fire than anything about Quidditch games and sorting hats. And that’s fine! We don’t all have to read the same books! But as long as you, as a society, continue freaking out about how great Harry Potter is, Eric and I are allowed to keep explaining the specific reasons why we thought Harry Potter wasn’t worth our time.
My reasons for passing on Potter are:
Perhaps the main reason I never started a Potter book was because it was about wizardry. While it might have been cool to read about, it had nothing to do with my life, which means I considered it irrelevant and not worth getting yelled at for losing control of my flashlight while reading in the car at night. I can look back on this and realize my decision to bypass the series for that reason was somewhat foolish (after all, I enjoyed the Steig Larsson trilogy even though I don’t weigh 90 pounds or speak Swedish). But for the most part, I remain uninterested in the Potter series because of the magic component. I’ve never been much into fantasy worlds because every part of them is so exhausting to comprehend and visualize. They’re filled with such unfathomable creatures and problems and places (which no doubt is the main reason they’re read so crazily)… but to me, they’re just asking me to do too much.
THESE BOOKS ARE CRAZY LONG. They are longer than almost anything else I can think of. You fans might not think that because of how engrossed in the stories you get, but in my book (look at that!), if it's taking an author 800 or 900 pages to make their point, they haven’t got a point to begin with! Of course this theory discounts a lot of the great masterpieces that are of Potter's length, but were any of them about wizardry? No. I've read some super long books, but I don't read super long books about wizardry because I do not believe the effort I'd put into them would be worth the end result...because even in the end, the book would still be about wizards, which aren't real! Am I right! No, you think I’m wrong.
You also think that every syllable on a Potter page is significant because the series is constructed in such a manner that everything means something and you’re told everything for a reason and all of it matters. But, why do you think the Native Americans didn’t etch 700 pages worth of material onto the cave walls? A) They couldn’t because it was too hard to hold their heads that way for that long, and B) THEY HAD OTHER SHIT TO DO. Do you want to know why I don’t read Harry Potter? It’s because I have other shit to do! But you go ahead and read your 1000 pages on wizardry and striped scarves. You go right ahead. But Eric and I will be over here doing our other shit that has a payoff equal to what we invest in it.
Eric's reasons for passing on Potter are:
IT'S A CHILDREN'S BOOK
Hey everyone, just so you know, HARRY POTTER IS A CHILDREN'S BOOK. Yeah, I understand that there's adult themes and a lot of fans started reading the book when they were young and it gets dark at the end of the series and blah blah this and blah blah that, but let's get serious for a moment: the book is about a boy wizard. How in any way is that cool? I'm not claiming to be the ultimate authority when it comes to Harry Potter, but If I wanted a sweet story about wizards, magic and all that fantasy hub dub, I'd check one out that's written for adults -- it's called Lord of the Rings. Take that Griffindorks.
I get it. You're excited. I'm pretty excited for the new Kanye West album too, but you won't see me lining up outside the record store at midnight, wearing shutter shades and a white suit. There is no justification for a 35-year-old man wearing a big hat, black cloak and carrying a wand to a midnight release. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a good time with movies (even nerd movies) and in fact, I admit to bringing a light saber to the midnight showing of Revenge of the Sith, but come on! Once again, this is a children's book. When Winnie the Pooh releases next year, will that same 35-year-old go to the midnight showing in a red shirt, not wearing pants, with a live tiger named Tigger by his side? Probably not.
On top of that, let's stop tweeting and Facebooking all about the stupid premiere, shall we? Again, I get it. You're excited. And yes, I get it, you've been waiting for this moment for years and years. But let's simmer down a little bit. I'm excited for the premiere just so my feeds are no longer filled with Harry Potter mumbo jumbo. And I thought Twilight fans were annoying. Ugh.
REAL LIFE QUIDDITCH (OR LACROSSE)
Why, oh why, must we run around with broomsticks between our legs? This whole real-life Quidditch thing is just driving me nuts. I'm sure every Harry Potter fans out there reading this thinks I'm the most fun-hating son-of-a-bitch there is, but I'm telling you, that's not the case. I just think it's pretty stupid that kids are running around a field with brooms between their legs!
I'm not saying Harry Potter is bad in the same way that Twilight is bad, I just think the obsession with it has gotten a little out of control. And ultimately, I think that's my main issue with the series. Whatever happened to just liking something because it's good? Why do we have to push our likes and dislikes to extremes? Let's all take a moment, catch our breath, and realize that Harry Potter is just a story. Nothing more, nothing less.