?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
24 June 2005 @ 08:19 pm
In ancient times, cats were revered as gods. They have never forgotten this.  
As part of our plan for world domination, Aislinn and I have begun re-reading the Harry Potter series. So every night I've been planning to take over the world, Pinky! making inroads.

This, then, is my contribution to the elusive reason behind the popularity of the Harry Potter books.

You're a kid, okay? You fight with your parents, because obviously they're the biggest gits in the universe, the most unfair people ever to trod this earth and they exist for the sole purpose of ruining every fun thing in your life.

You dream, then, of perfect parents who dispense the dry martinis with a liberal hand, whose idea of a curfew is "Whenever you feel like coming home, dear!" and who'd drive you into a shop at the drop of a hat because you, um, broke your iPod or something. --My invention is beginning to run out here!--

Think about it; How you view your parents is an awful lot like the Dursleys. How you want your parents to be is like the Potters -- far enough away that they're perfect in your eyes, because they don't come close enough to tarnish that pink-tinted image.

Obviously this is a highly simplified theory, but kids don't tend to see the innate subtleties of situations, unless they happen to be Wiggins. *grin* Of course, this is also working at a subconcious level, where things have far less shades of grey. So the kids identify with Harry because he's rebelling against one lot of parents -- the parents they imagine their own to be -- and longing for another, without Harry having any of the guilt I know I felt at being so conflicted that my parents had the temerity to be people as well as my parents. Then, to explain its ubiquitious allure for older people -- well, does the phrase "inner child" ring any school bells?

I may be talking out of my arse, in which case, feel free to talk back out of yours. :)
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: That new one from the Foo Fighters, tis brillig
 
 
 
A Better Word for Weirda_leprechaun on June 24th, 2005 12:40 pm (UTC)
Well hey, it's not such a bad theory. :)
Don't think it's what JK intended... But then, I think her fans are always coming up with subtleties in her books she herself wouldn't recognize at first. :D
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 24th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hell yeah! I even find it myself -- people say they liked something in my fic, or pick up something I didn't even know was there, and I'm all "Cool, but wtf, dude?!" :0
Minnow: minnowmoonstarminnow_53 on June 24th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC)
I'm a parent. (Of the mother persuasion.) I bought the HP books for my children, because they were meant to be good. And I can never resist reading their books, as long as the words Thomas, Engine, The and Tank don't figure in the title.

I got hooked. I wrote slash.

^_^xx
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 24th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
I read them because I couldn't bear that there were famous books I hadn't read! I find children's books rather depressing, because they assume that kids are dead stupid. *sigh* At least Pterry doesn't do that! (This coming from someone who was reading Narnia at seven.)
(no subject) - minnow_53 on June 25th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
i'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly: Harrytakewing on June 24th, 2005 01:18 pm (UTC)
Interesting idea. Of course, the fact that the HP books are basically a legendary tale of the Underdog Overcoming All Odds, Magic and Other Cool Stuff has nothing at all to do with their popularity. :P

But sure, that could be part of the books' appeal. Maybe like, a percent of their appeal.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 24th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, but of course. :) I was kind of assuming my hypothesilly was an addition to, not a superlative to, those.

In other news, I'm starting to like Hagrid. *awe*
(no subject) - takewing on June 24th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 24th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - takewing on June 24th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 24th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - takewing on June 24th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slythwolf on June 24th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 25th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
balfrog on June 24th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
Bunny butts!
sorry for deleting the first comment. I realized my arse spent too much time faffing on its own, instead of talking to your arse. Which it agrees with.
:D
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 24th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
I quite like referring to my arse as a seperate entity, and resolve to do it more often in future. :)

I liked your first one, actually; I picked up the Free Direct Discourse when "Harry didn't realise that H and R had been practising the Leg-Locker Curse", in fact it threw me a little. xD

The more I get to know my parents, the more I feel sorry for them, which is arse when it comes to scabbing money and stuff!
(no subject) - cryptid on June 25th, 2005 03:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 26th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on June 27th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 27th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on June 28th, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 30th, 2005 04:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on July 4th, 2005 07:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on July 5th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on July 13th, 2005 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on July 13th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on July 13th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Insufferable, man.: bitch - wastedfairycynicalpirate on June 24th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
*stabs Movie-Hagrid* I hate that guy because I can never muster up enough dislike to spork him.

My parents are more like the Polkisses, dude. So, clearly I eschew my parents with a firm hand for giving me initials that alliterate. (Not that my real ones do. But that is by the by.)

I also like the books because of their focus on Satanism. They turn me away from God, you know.

I find it incredibly hard to try to talk out of my arse. Usually it just comes naturally.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Harry kissscoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
I always reckoned he was from Yorkshire, but Aislinn reckoned Robbie Coltrane's putting on a Scottish accent. 0.0 Then there's Dumbly with his ORISH one. Gah.

Mine are totally the Weasleys, only with less kids. Gawd, at seven I thought I had it made. FIRST AND ONLY CHILD. Boy, was I gutted ...

Actually, Ratzi eschewing the books with a firm sceptre was what turned me off the Big Beard in the Sky. :)

HAHAHA.
(no subject) - scoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cynicalpirate on June 26th, 2005 07:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 26th, 2005 08:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Shrek -- omg wtfscoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
*grins* She never called them kid's books, though, twas the publishers who did that.

"Don't dwell on dreams and forget to live", eh? But if we did that, there'd be no fandom. Which would be pooey. :(
Caitcoralia13 on June 24th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
That's interesting, and I do think you're right. Although (most) of JKR's characters are 3-D, they all fit archetypes pretty well, and it's fun to fit them together and see what they means when applied to our personal lives. Fun if you're a Harry Potter geek, that is. Which we are. So yay us.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Spidermanscoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)
I must run that theory by Aislinn, actually, see what she thinks. :) So odd, to find a fellow HP geek in RL! It rocks hardcore.
Linza_linz on June 25th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC)
I read my first Harry Potter book when I was eleven (and even though I was too old, still wished for that green-inked envelope on the end of my bed every morning). And you're right, the Dursleys are so easy to hate and the Potters seem like the perfect parents that everyone wants. Anyway, OotP was a bit like a slap in the face. The scariest part of growing up is finding out that adults are not the people you thought them to be. It's truly terrifying!

I've got to say the big reason I liked Harry Potter so much was Hogwarts. I mean, a magical boarding school: you don't get much cooler than that. A world away from evil adults, where you can do whatever you like but still be looked after. Of course that's not all true, but it's the general idea. AND you get to FLY...

It's like I don't need an inner child because I still am one...:P
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Dumble fuscoradh on June 25th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
I read mine when I was fourteen, and I still hoped for a letter!!

a magical boarding school: you don't get much cooler than that.

Yeah! And the fact that the magic just seems such a pedestrian thing to them, not really amazing at all, is just so cool. :)

Same here.
amazing vaguely humanoid armadilloperson: Murraycryptid on June 25th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
It's probably one of these things -- you can make dozens, even hundreds of different analyseseses from different angles, and all may be valid (even if not always intended by the author), and how valid each one appears varies with how close it hits to home... I don't recognise myself much in this theory, but then I have always had a pretty good relationship with my parental unit (better now than it was, I guess, but I never thought them particularly unfair).

Frankly, I view HP as kind of literary snack; it's light, tasty, quite easily digested, and every now and then I feel the need for something more filling to put my teeth into. Certainly not the unhealthiest kind of snack there is -- there is nutrition in there -- but then I always preferred flapjacks to spun sugar. :P
I think that's why I'm more into the HP fandom than most other fandoms (well, that and my Train Wreck Syndrome) -- while I do like the books quite a lot, I don't take them quite as seriously as some other works. This makes them more resilient, and better suited as a playground. The stuff posted at pottersues generally amuse me, rather than enrage me. Works like, say, A Song of Ice and Fire or Sandman feel much more vulnerable to bastardisation, somehow. I have at some point stumbled upon a Sue community for Sandman Sues, but I didn't dare to read anything.

Not sure if I'm in a state to offer much analysis of where the appeal of the books lies, but to point out some of the more superficial things, JKR may have some issues, but she's a good plotter -- good at turning things on their hear and still having it make sense in retrospect. She (usually) does a good job at fleshing out archetypes (and hey, the archetypes wouldn't have become archetypes if there wasn't some appeal to them in the first place). Her prose is clever and likable. She's got strong themes going on, and isn't all happy-go-lucky.

I'm listening to Like Toy Soldiers right now. 'Tis v. nice. This obviously has nothing to do with your post, but it's past eleven AM and I'm still awake, so I can't be expected to make much sense. So I'll just shut up now, okay? :P
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on June 25th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
I think that's why I'm more into the HP fandom than most other fandoms (well, that and my Train Wreck Syndrome) -- while I do like the books quite a lot, I don't take them quite as seriously as some other works. This makes them more resilient, and better suited as a playground.

That's so true for me too. I couldn't imagine trying to write Ender's Game slash, for example; I just couldn't live up to it. I think it's an advantage that they're "kid's" books, because that means no one takes them TOO seriously. :)

One of the best things is that Harry's pretty rounded and a typical teenager -- easy to empathise with.

Like Toy Soldiers?! I LURVE that song. Eminem is the poet of our times.
(no subject) - cryptid on June 25th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on June 26th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC) (Expand)