Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Harry Potter hater

I'm such a dork. Most of my readers and definitely my friends have figured that out. I love Lord of the Rings, I love Star Trek but I'm equally a Harry Potter dork. As a matter of fact, I'm deeply dug in the Harry Potter thing right now.

I go visit The Leaky Cauldron as well as J.K. Rowling's site a few times a week. Last month The Leaky Cauldron ran a link to a Tribune Review columnist named Jack Markowitz's rant about Harry Potter mania. He essentially said the books sucked and people were just sucked in by all the media hype. Whatever. So, I emailed him a little note. Well, evidently he was overwhelmed by Potter fans of all ages and types. So, he wrote another hateful column about it.

The Leaky Cauldron blogged about it, too and pulled out some snippets:

"More troubling was a declaration by many Totter-heads that they've read all five books -- 2,700 pages in toto -- a half-dozen times each! As if layers and layers of meaning are to be found in them. Plus, subtle clues to the unfolding of the plot. In short, the series is a field of study. (Colleges, it's said, are starting to offer courses!) More than a good read is going on here. It suggests a psychological need, a community of feeling with readers "into it" around the world. A kind of cult, in fact, boosted by the peer pressures of child consumers.

It goes too far. Just too far. Life is hardly long enough to get through all the great literature once, even. To think of so much time, taste and eyesight being spent on anything less than first-class. Something eerie is afoot in the book marts. "

Not to let things go (I know you're all shocked). I emailed this jackass again. Here is my email to him and his response:
Wow. I was really disappointed to see that you did it again with a hate-column regarding Harry Potter books.

I'm just curious exactly what you don't like about the books? I've never seen a precise reason in your columns about why you dislike these stories so much. Is it their commercial success? You just don't like the storyline? What is it?

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, however, I just never saw WHAT it was that burns you up so much about these books. Do you find Tolkien's works to be overhyped, too?

Regards, (my name)

Here is Twit for Brains' response:
A hate column? I don't think anything I've done could be described as a hate column. I think Potter fans confuse a skillful piece of fluff with literature of genuine quality, thanks to media promotion, internet buzz, and mass psychology: a sense that everybody thinks something is great, so it must be. Persons of a different opinion, against the crowd, tend to keep it to themselves. Some fans have written me they've read one or more Potter books 10 times! That goes beyond a recreation. It is a cultish devotion which tells me that minds are being diverted from other, better reading. So it's not the books I don't like so much as this emotional extremism abetted by media and marketing in overdrive. Jack M.

Feel free to send him an email if you'd like:

I just don't get it. I bet he also thought the Smurfs were satanic, too. Maybe he thought the Goosebumps series that got lots of middle school kids to read was bad, too. *shaking my head*

Who would you rather read? This smart intelligent mom?

Or this old fart?


  • At 7:27 PM, January 20, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    *shaking my head*

    Bane, you totally amaze me. You are such an odd creature. You talk about effing anything that has a cooch and yet you turn on this occult Bible thing every now and then.

  • At 8:07 PM, January 20, 2005, Blogger Uzz said…

    I tend to be a pretty religious guy, but I LOVE the Potter far I have not gone to the dark side, though I really want one of those invisibility cloaks:-)

  • At 8:19 PM, January 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, how ridiculous. Listen, when I was a kid, the selection of good (read: entertaining) books was very limited compared to what my son enjoys. No, Harry Potter is not literature; but who said that all books should be literature? They're well-written, *extremely* creative books, and they've had a huge impact on the current generation of kids: they've made reading cool. And they've opened the door for the Lemony Snickets (another great series), the Mysteries of Droon, and plenty of other terrific book series.

    And, time or not, if I love a book, I'm reading it over and over again. I've read Watership Down so many times, I need to buy a new copy because mine's worn out. :-)


  • At 1:25 AM, January 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    First of all, I didn't see the hate either, I think you might be just a tad touchy on this particular subject, but that's okay, I don't think your email to him was over the top either. Okay, some honeset critism of the Harry Potter books. I think they are fine for kids so long as they are talked to about them before hand and after they have read them, there are plenty of books out there that are just as dangerous for them to read because it will can lead them away from the Father. My oldest, who is five is very capable of reading this on his own, however I don't think the subject matter is appropriate for his level of spiritual developement (he doesn't watch any t.v. and saw his first feature length movie for the first time last night "Finding Nemo"). As to the writing itself, well, the first couple were good, but as she gets to the later ones (when they start becoming these HUGE tomes) she has, unfortunately fallen into the trap that Stephen King and other overly famous authors have and it is this. Because her books have been so wildly popular her editor (and pubisher) are afraid to edit the books properly, they are afraid to cut a single word out (and yes, parts of it do need to be cut) so that the later books are not as polished as the first couple. It's too bad, but over all I think they are entertaining, although not to the extent that you do!

  • At 6:47 AM, January 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just figured Bane would have said "I'd eat her." and been done with it. I don't believe she has a tattoo...

    Army of Dad

  • At 6:58 AM, January 21, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    AoD ... that is bad. True, but bad. Bane would probably do JK Rowling if given the opportunity.

    And, maybe I am a bit touchy about the books. I just don't see why this old toot has his whitey tighties in a wad over the fascination with this book. And, personally (hee hee, thinking of the Cricket voice again) I don't think books 4 and 5 are bad. They are long, but I LOVE all the little details and I think they play a role in setting up the next story or book or whatever.

    *throwing my hands in the air*


    There, I said it *panting* and I don't feel bad for saying it.

    I'm also very impressed at a 5-year-old who could read these books and would highly encourage you to put that child in a gifted program somewhere.

    And, to ward off all the nay-sayers I'll put the Impurvius curse on myself so I won't feel a thing anymore.

  • At 9:05 AM, January 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry, that 1:25 anon post was me. I was sure I had signed my name, but at 1:25 can you really be sure of anything? As to the 5 yearold who can read, he is homeschooled as are his sisters ( or they will be ) the two oldest were taught to read at about 3 1/2.

    Anyway, why would you feel bad for saying you like Harry Potter? I found them extremely entertaining myself even Vox enjoyed them. She did a very nice job and it's hard not to be very happy for someone like her who had so little and now has so much. Good on her! I think it's fantastic.

    Vox actually wrote a column on Harry Potter awhile back. It's so ridiculous that the Christians are getting their panties in a wad about this, but doing nothing about the more insidious New Age and secularization crap out their that kids are into.


  • At 5:47 PM, March 19, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you are too touchy. I like both HP and Tolkien but poured a bit too much religiosity and a lot of Tolkien is not easy to explain to kids/ Ever read "The Scmillarion?" You'll get my point.

    To each their own....


Post a Comment

<< Home