Friday, 1 April 2011

Harry Potter and the Cloak of Kevlar


Sometimes when kids play cowboys and Indians or Commandos and one of them pretends to shoot another, there would always be one kid who would claim to be wearing a bullet proof vest. This could sometimes extend to a bulletproof hat if the other kid claimed it was a headshot.

That's the problem I have with wizards in stories. Whenever they find themselves in danger or peril and it looks like there's no way out they always come out with something like 'There is perhaps one way, the Spell of Infinite Problem Solving'.

Then they spout a load of gibberish, wave their arms around a bit and some magic happens and the problem is solved. It is the same notion as the kid making up bullet proof clothing, changing the rules of the game to suit.
This sort of Get out of Jail free card is cheap story telling.

So it comes as no surprise that the Harry Potter phenomenon has passed me by. I have never read any of the books and only saw the first film which to my mind was a story about public school with added magic.

Now I'm all for books that encourage kids to read but that's the thing, these are kids books. Yet millions of adults read them and even worse used to queue all night outside book shops when a new one came out.

Then they try to justify this by calling these books 'Young Adult Fiction' instead of 'Childrens Books'.
If you start using labels like that then a baby could be classed a young adult, so are grown men and women going to start reading Mr Men books for their own entertainment as well?

I can prattle on like ths all day but it won't change the fact that J K Rowling has made gazillions out of this and millions of people all over the world enjoy these books. I have never read any of them and as such am not really in a position to criticize.

However this is my blog so I can write what I like. So I say that all wizards are cheating bastards who should use their brains to get out of problems instead of changing the rules.

Apart from Gandalf, he's alright.

43 comments:

Al Penwasser said...

Mr. Men books? I think they sell those at a store out on Rte. 309.
You have to park behind the building, though.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Oh Jesus Al, does Mr Men mean something else in America?

Miss FFF said...

I don't know. I like HP because it's well-written fantasy. It makes you think and it has a well-developed plot structure. Both are severely lacking in most literature today, so I applaud Rowling for the effort.

Pearson Report said...

I'm with you on the whole HP phenomenon - and...if it wasn't for the fact that my daughter (a potential wizard in the making - read "rule changer") the books would never have made it in the house.

Okay...that being said I liked the first book - not bad, for a kids book and since I am a kid at heart it sat well with me. (me and my girl read it together so there was the "no choice" factor)

But, all that aside - you have to give JKR her dues - she knows how to milk the cow! and milk it she did and still does - damn that was a mighty fine cow! (wouldn't you say!)

Anyway - did you like Peter Pan?

Cheers, Jenny

bobo said...

I do agree that the problem with fantasy (or sci-fi too) is that it's easy to just have that magic bullet vest, especially if there are no ground rules set.

As for kids books, hey, if you enjoy it, read it! that's what I think.

Colin B said...

I read the first harry potter back in the 6th grade, SO MANY MEMORIESSSSSSS

bruce said...

i thought she was a terrible writer eve if it was for young adults or what ever...

read the first three then was totally fed up and wanted my 2 months back...

i have writen her several letters to ask for a refund of my time but to know avail...

mebbe i used to large of words or did not wave my wand right...

Tony Van Helsing said...

Guys, like I said, I've not read any of the books and they must be entertainigly written otherwise ao many people wouldn't read them. Like I said, it it the concept of shit magic in fiction that annoys me.

Oilfield Trash said...

Yea Gandolf is alright.

Belle said...

I've never read them either, but I love the Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit. Gandolf has taked quite a beating by a monster and the top wizard, so he isn't invincible that's for sure.

Al Penwasser said...

I haven't read any Mr. Men books either. I just like looking at the pictures.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I've never heard of a Mr. Men book. The title just tickled me.
Are there books like that in the Mother Country?

Gelai said...

My father introduced me to this movie. We went to the first screening of HP in our place. J.K. Rowling is a good writer, though. She is the kind of writer who will stimulate your brain. Just try to read one page. Oh well, we are entitled to our own opinions. :)

Do you like Robert Ludlum? I have a thing for male writers! haha!

NormalToEatPB said...

hello there, thanks for stopping by my blog - sorry to mislead you - I intended to post an excerpt from my children's book but I lost the file and posted poetry instead. I probably won't post young phenious walks until tuesday. . . :)

justine love said...

how dare you criticize wizards!!! I shall cast my Avada Kedavra on you fool!!!

You probably don't even know what i'm saying loool. :P Anways, HP is still better than Twilight... XD

Mynx said...

My son read Harry Potter after we went to see the first movie. He loved it and I read it just to know what it was about. It started his love affair with books and he then expanded into Lord of the Rings and many other books and authors. I figure any book that gets a child, especially a boy reading in this world of instant electronic entertainment is something special, even if you dont agree with the theme or the genre or the marketing.
I enjoyed the series and the opportunities it has provided to interact with my now 17 yr old son. There is something wonderful to see a child curled up on the couch with a real book

Tony Van Helsing said...

Maybe slagging off wizards wasn't such a good idea as I appear to have turned into a toad.

bruce said...

so the wizzards may have helped you, this time...

i magically have given you an award...my JADIP blog...
cuz i am all warm and fuzzy like that...

and you deserve it cuz i love your blog!

do with it what you will...

i will be posting the blog soon...

Bruce and Tucker
Bruce Johnson JADIP
Evil Twin
stupid stuff I see and hear
The Dreamodeling Guy
dreamodeling!
The Guy Book
The Guy Book

Stare Dad said...

That is not gandalf. He is love Dumbledore! I love dumbledore -> "You shall not pass"

Danny Murphy said...

I was a fan of them, then again I did grow up with them so I guess that had a part of play

mark fellows said...

Well my friend, as a scifi fan, that has read the entire series, and then convinced my wife to, I can tell you that these books are by far the very best series I have ever read. My wife really enjoyed them as well. We aren't some dorks, just people that like a good read. In fact, that is what I tell all the people I pass on my way into the building holding the comic con, anime con, and star trek conventions!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Bruce: cheers mate, will I need to give a speech?

Stare: I think the guy in the picture is a deparment store Dumbledore.

Danny: It's what we group up with that shapes us. I grew up on The Hobbit and Robert E. Howard's Conan stories.

Mark: Do you tell them that dressing like a Klingon is in fact a noble pursuit.

TexaGermaNadian said...

I'll take Harry Potter over this vampire crap that's been going around any day! :) Thanks for stopping by the blog, now I get a good chance to see yours!

SOMS said...

Agreed, i don't like wizards at all!

Rabidmoose said...

Wizards can't be trusted!

The Offended Blogger said...

So you hate Charlie Sheen, is that what you are saying?? #winner #warlock #ihatehimetoo

Moob said...

What a powerful warlock.

My League of Legends Blog.
Surrender at 20
My BM/Metal blog.
Death with No Redemption

Snoopaloop~! said...

are you a wizard?

Erika said...

This is why I never got into Harry Potter and all that wizardry nonsense.

I think you summed it up perfectly with "Get out of Jail free card is cheap story telling."

Lindsay N. Currie said...

I love the Harry Potter books. I loved the imagination they sparked in my children, I loved the millions of people they got reading (adults and kids, I don't care about age groups) and I love the fun of believing in magic, even if it's just for a few hundred pages. In short, I think JK Rowling is brilliant. Good post, you've sparked a lovely debate in your comments section.

altadenahiker said...

I'm a fan of some of the classics (please don't confuse these with the absolutely awful films): Mary Poppins, Stuart Little, Wind in the Willows. Some people may even classify Huckleberry Finn as kiddie lit.

The HP phenom escapes me.

WV: Verpen. One of the villains?

GodsSin.blogspot.com said...

All wizards are cheating bastards. I like it ^.^

Fallowed.

Anita Johnson said...

Agreed, the classic Deus Ex Machina. Followed! alphabetalife.blogspot.com

Lemmiwinks said...

i like your blog. keep up the good work

J.B. said...

I've never read Potter either, sometimes I want to know what all the fuzz is about though...Gandalf definitely is alright!

Voit said...

Trying to find a genre name more suitable for adults can be understood, as I see no reason why Joanne Rowling should lose to Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown or Jeremy Clarkson. My point is: if you're reading mass-produced entertainment literature, what difference would it make if you read children books or even gossip magazines? Either way you're not participating in literary culture. But the Clancy, Ludlum or whoever is readed in millions today's fans want to feel better than anyone so they'll ridicule Rowling fans. That wouldn't be fair, would it?

Also the comment line is an example why you need to be cautious with mentioning popular stuff - any original point might drown in a flood of criticism and advocacy.

Bushman said...

Hmmm seems as though you have struck a chord flat or perhaps too sharp. Anyways I quit watching the movies when I realized Harry was never gonna bang Hermoine because his swizzle stick was getting in the way. I see your point about cheap magic. Call bullshit all the way.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. So far I like yours the vampire and the mirrors and all the idiots from Twilight makes alot of sense to me. Or nonsense more like it!!

nabo said...

I started reading Rowling when I was in 8th grade n it has a lot of beautiful memories attached to it. As for u saying the solve-all magic spell, both d two sides dat fight each other at HP series know magic. So if one is like "I just performed the all problem solver spell", the other one is like "And I just performed jinx that breaks the all problem solver spell".

But on a more serious note d books unlike Twilight series or the Narnia series does not uses religion as a yardstick of character, something that I believe in. Also the books have characters with a variety of backgrounds and promotes liberal thinking.

But to each his own.

Sam said...

Gandalf ftw! lol.

Nuker Zero said...

You should pick up the books and read them. They are actually pretty good. (Coming from a writer's blog, that's big) Btw, i'm looking for $upport.

Nicole✗✗ said...

Haha This is quite true I like your take on Harry Potter. I have never gotten into it myself but I do like the films. I do find it ridiculous seeing adults going bonkers for these books. They do it for Twilight too! I sadly tried to get on that bandwagon when they first came out and I couldn't do it, those books are terrible!

Stare Dad said...

hahah agreed. love this post

Margaret said...

And I better if you were married to Bewitched you wouldn't let her do any magic, just like Darin. I say if you can use a spell to clean your toilets, do it.

C Mo Gunz said...

what a great post! really interesting read keep it up!