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Don’t Trash Harry Potter Fans, They’re Not the Problem

August 13, 2011 Leave a comment

I saw a news story point out the ways grieving Harry Potter fans can handle life after seeing the last Harry Potter film ever.  The story basically highlighted how Star Wars and Star Trek fans had managed to handle similar situations.  I myself am a big Star Wars fan and I feel the pain of the Potter loyalists.  However, it actually wasn’t the story itself that generated an emotional response…it was the comments people left at the end of it all.

I hate to admit that too because it’s rare anything intelligent is ever written in the comments section of most things (except here of course).  It was there that we found the usual barrage of comments taking cheap shots at Harry Potter fans who love the books, characters and movies so much.  You know what I’m talking about:

“America is doomed”

“It’s just a movie”

“And people wonder what’s wrong with our country”

“Another sign of the Apocalypse”

This really ticks me off because my fellow Star Wars fanatics hear this crap too.  Yes, they wait in long lines for a movie.  Yes, they sometimes dress up like characters from the movie.  Yes, sometimes they’re at a convention playing card games that are mainly targeted at kids.  Yes, they can recite the whole dialogue of every film and even impersonate all the character voices.

SO WHAT?

We have people in this country interested and obsessed with things that literally kill and harm other people.  There are crazies in the world who think they’re the second coming of Christ.  Many folks know neighbors, colleagues and associates who enjoy doing and saying things to anger others and make the people around them miserable.  The point is there are much worse things people could be interested or even obsessed about. So, shut up and leave them alone!
I remember when Star Wars Episode I came out.  I couldn’t wait to see it.  Star Wars was a huge and meaningful part of my childhood that has been a part of me ever since, and I was thrilled to see it come back.  No, I didn’t camp out or anything, but I didn’t blame those who did.

At the time, I was working for a media company and we were all watching a news story about the excited fans.  As they showed video footage of the dressed-up, face-painted and lightsaber wielding fans outside the theater, a co-worker kept yelling, “Get a life!”

Believe it or not, many of these folks have a life.  Some of those people in line probably a more meaningful one than the co-worker yelling at them.  After all, where are you in life if a group of movie fans get you all riled up?

The most common phrase heard is that it’s, “just a movie”.  You know what?  That’s not entirely true.  Water for Elephants is just a movie.  It doesn’t rake in millions, inspire generations, give people of all ages a means to escape the stress of the real world, it doesn’t give us characters to love the rest of our lives, it doesn’t give us dozens of scenes to quote from, it’s not great enough to hold conventions and celebrations all over the world and so on.

You should also consider the fact that that was the CONDENSED version of what people love about movies like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Star Trek.

Movies are supposed to provide escape and some do it better than others. The fact is, every once in a great while we’ll get a movie series that does more than that.
When that happens, is it a surprise that in a world filled with war, violence, rough economic times, terrorism, natural disasters and other depressing things that people will indulge heavily in it all?

Not to me.

Potter fans, keep your wands, broomsticks and heads head high.  You have every right to enjoy something you love the way you want to and escape the more annoying things in life.
That includes the clueless people that criticize you.

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