Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flushing away Harry Potty

Hate is a strong word so I will stick to the word dislike. I dislike Harry Potter. There I said it. Not because it is fashionable to be anti-establishment these days but because I genuinely dislike everything associated with the franchise. It's a money making marketing gimmick that has spun a web around kids who don't read anything else and parents who dont encourage their kids to read anything else. Which effectively means that the loyal 2 readers of this blog will stop reading anything that I write from now on but it is the truth. Permit me to take you back in time and explain before your blood pressure gets the better of you, dear reader (and unfortunate Harry Potter fan).


I love reading. I was a major bookworm in school and had a voracious appetite when it came to anything that was fiction. Often i would go back home after school and spend the entire evening curled up with a book and return it back to the library the next day much to the disbelief of the librarian who was certain I wasn't really reading the entire book. My reading habit took a bit of a breather during my college years but it has picked up again ever since I've started working and I currently have a huge backlog of books that I am planning on covering before the end of the year.


Now I'm a guy who makes sure I read a book, irrespective of the quality of it's contents, from cover to cover and I don't recollect ever giving up on a book. Except for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which I found to be mind-numbingly awful. How could the world be ga-ga about a book which made my head ache each time I completed a page, I wondered. But I bravely soldiered on, page after miserable page, waiting for the book to rise from the deep depths of its mediocrity that the world seemed to be oblivious to. Eventually I just gave up. Yes, I succumbed to the horror of a success story that was the first Harry Potter book and threw in the towel. It dawned on me that most people who were reading and talking about the book were victims of good ol' fashioned peer pressure. How could they not discuss in detail, the various aspects of J. K. Rowling's yawn inducing book when everyone else was? I vowed never to read the Harry Potter books again after my disastrous debut.


I figured that maybe the Harry Potter franchise was the opposite of the legendary Lord of The Rings trilogy where everyone ranted and raved about how good the movies were, when in fact it was the book that was the showstopper. So with a clean slate and high expectations, I went in to watch the first installment of the movie series which grossed $974,733,550 worldwide.


And I slept through it. Honestly. It was, rather unbelievably, worse than the book. The closest I had ever come to sleeping in a movie hall was when I went to watch the Incredible (or rather Incredibly Boring) Hulk after having not slept a wink the previous night. The combination of a distinct lack of any sort of excitement despite being a massive comic book fan and my brain being in shut down mode could not put me to sleep. But incredibly the first Harry Potter movie did. I woke up during the interval, had some pop corn and went back to sleep once the lousy movie restarted after the intermission. I vowed never to watch another Harry Potter movie again after my disastrous debut.


As time passed, whether I liked it or not, with each book and movie release Harry Potter became an integral part of pop culture and I realised the world was the victim of one massive marketing machine that was designed to make millions off the veritable sheep that were blindly following the rest of the flock. The world could not get enough of J.K. Rowling and everyone knew about her made for the media rags to riches story that was so touching that she could have released a 5 page blank book and still made millions had people known about her struggle to the top. People queued up for hours outside stores to be the first to get their hands on the latest book to be released which to me bears more than a passing reflection to the world's extremely unhealthy obsession with Apple products. Which is why I am overjoyed that the movie franchise is finally put to rest.


But as much as I dislike the Harry Potter series, it provides hope to someone like me. I would not go so far as to call myself a struggling writer but rather a writer struggling to over his inherent laziness despite having some (admittedly questionable) talent. I do have an idea for a book that i feel is good enough to get published someday but my laziness has kept pen from paper. It may not make millions without the backing of the PR machinery of a massive publisher but if it ever does capture the attention of the right people at the right time, I could make a pot-load of money from the book sales and movie rights. Since I'm pretty sure that my book is going to be better than all the Harry Potter books combined, more people will buy my books since the exciting plot and the fascinating characters will actually make my book worth its price and its weight. I'm also pretty sure that when it does get made into a movie, the audience is not going to be snoring away to glory but will instead spend sleepless nights thinking about how awesome the movie was.


So there. The fact that the books which deserved to sell all of 20 copies combined instead sold millions & made an astounding $6,369,345,142 at the box office, is reason enough to ensure that as much much as I dislike the franchise, I do like the Harry Potter series as well!

10 comments:

Nefertiti said...

a) I am your third reader...
b) I also HATE HP, so after your brave declaration, i shall be your ONLY reader (treat me well)...
c) Breaking your post into paragraphs (double spaced) only makes it longer...
d) You do have some talent, so use it or I shall beat you to it...
e) I love this post :)

Neil said...

Reader 1 tells me my paragraphs are as long as the books she reads. So I try to make my next post easier to read (considering I have only 3 readers) but splitting it into multiple smaller paras. Reader 3 tells me I'm making my long posts longer ... God forbid I manage to find a 4th reader !

Nefertiti said...

Reader 1 hardly reads AND likes HP. Do you really think listening to HER is a good investment?

Reader 4 looks unlikely as long as your posts are longer than this blog's obituary. Why can't you express yourself more briefly? Join Twitter. Seriously!

What does Reader 2 think? Awww... are you referring to yourself in the third person now to increase readership?

Neil said...

I thought I only had 2 readers (including you) until you said youre the 3rd reader. Was wondering who the mysterious 2nd reader was. Turns out it was me. Sigh! And yes being concise while blogging is bit of a problem. The total opposite of my non-online quiet & lucid demeanor.

Buls said...

Umm... I love Harry Potter... the books and movies... but I do not hate you for hating HP... Everyone is entitled to an opinion and EVERYONE cannot like the same.
But I LIKE HP... not 'coz of JK Rowling... but for the story and characters... and yes, it is a kids book. Have you read other kids' books??? They are worse...

Nefertiti said...

so u do have a 3rd reader (now that I am elevated to the position of reader No.2 and will soon dethrone reader No.1)...

your non-online demeanor is just like u... nothing to speak of...

Neil said...

@ Buls - Is it just me or are the books that I read as a kid way better than the junk that gets churned out these days? HP and I just dont get along! And Im not planning on spoiling my mood by reading the Twilight series ....

@ Nef - Did the Dynamic Dodos errr Duo declare this the season of 'Be Mean To Neil'? Btw how are planning on dethroning reader 1? Feeding her to the lions?

Nefertiti said...

trust me, you r not that imp...

n reader 1 has dethrones herself by not reading your blog AND by being a HP fan.

Anonymous said...

Why you both being mean to Reader 1. She sounds great (read-interliigent, funny, pretty) ..not that I know who she is!

Anonymous said...

I suggest you take leap of faith and start reading HP series again. You have to wait till third installment and then you'll really start enjoying HP. First two novels are kiddish and just lay down the premise of complete story... rest your wish.....