Well, I finally got around to reading Harry Potter. What an underwhelming and altogether frustrating experience. Let me be clear: I have no problem with the way the books are written. I even found the overarching plot quite compelling. My dissatisfaction comes only because the series made me realize how much I dislike children.
I don’t have the same gripes as other Harry Potter detractors. I don’t think these books are corrupting kids with their subtle Satanic messages. If anything, I wish they were. At least then these little bastards would have something interesting about them.
Over the course of seven increasingly gargantuan books, Harry Potter and his friends grow from insufferable petulant toddlers to insufferable brooding teenagers. While the characters themselves are not altogether repulsive, the demographic they represent fills me with a hitherto unexpressed seething rage.
I suppose I just can’t help feeling like the drama Harry and his young friends wallow around in pales in comparison to the real threats that we adults have to face every day. These children skip around in their magical realm of fantasy and imagination while I have to spend every single day worrying about the real horrors in the world, like taxes and colon intake.
True conflict right here.
There is nothing more tiresome than trudging through book after book of banal adolescent problems. Yes, Harry, we get it. Sometimes bullies are jerks. Sometimes relationships are awkward. Sometimes an allegorical stand-in for the devil brutally murders your parents. But aren’t there bigger fish to fry?
Harry’s problems are all just very hard to take seriously next to the actual struggles of the adult world. Of course a fire breathing dragon seems frightening, but doesn’t that diminish a bit when compared to the very real threat of global warming cooking us all? Especially since in the latter scenario we have no broomstick to fly away upon.
Oh how very convenient for you.
I’m baffled by the Harry Potter books, quite frankly. I don’t know what it is about them that triggered my angry reaction. Reading The Hunger Games, for instance, did not fill me with a burning hatred for every person under the age of 18, but maybe that’s because I got to see those characters’ self-indulgent narcissism rewarded with arrows to the neck. No such luck with Harry Potter. Time after time he breaks the rules and disobeys the conventions of society, and what does he get for it? A pat on the head and some magical candy. Harry is only ever rewarded for the life-threatening situations he hurls himself and others into. Young people seem to think that mortal danger equals exciting fun.
Kids today think they’re invincible. Now some people say that this is characteristic of youth, but I know for a fact that I was never that way! I knew the limits of my body from an early age. With just a simple tumble down a pile of scrap metal, I came to appreciate firsthand how fragile life can be. Do you know what it’s like breaking a hip at age 6? It’s a very sobering introduction to the cruelties of the world.
The only potion that could regrow my bones was six long months of immobilized agony.
And don’t even get me started on all the embarrassing love subplots! These characters flounder their way through their romantic endeavors like land-bound manatees. Kids, relationship problems are not that difficult. With all of Harry Potter’s snogging and emotions, you’d think that dating was a complicated dance of shifting feelings and hopeful awkwardness. But in reality, it’s the easiest thing in the world. You know how I got my wife? I walked up to her and said, “You’re my wife now.” and she said, “Okay.”
It’s that simple! Kids these days make it seem like falling in love is some kind of existential crisis.
I had hope as the Harry Potter series went on that the characters would become more tolerable as they grew older, but that did not prove to be the case. Harry and the rest of this miserable lot marched forward with the narcissistic idiocy typical of teenagers. Bear in mind that I don’t fault JK Rowling for this. She captured the whiny entitlement of youth with an expert eye. Children, particularly teenagers, are the real reason that the series is such garbage.
Sure, Harry is a one-in-a-million special snowflake with his scar and dead parents and everything, but that won’t last forever, kiddo. I remember being fawned over plenty when I was seventeen. I felt like I was on top of the world; like I too had slain the dark lord of legend. But time marches on. Soon your meager triumphs fade into the past. Soon those you called your friends drift away. Soon your body deteriorates to the point where no amount of magic can rescue it from the ravages of age. Soon you will understand what the world is really like.
One day, Harry Potter will wind up as cold and bitter as the rest of us.