Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Quick Word... On Why Calling Me Harry Potter Is Going To Stop. Right Now.

This entry has been one I've been meaning to write for months now, and seemed apt to usher in the first milestone of this blog. Someone reading this is my 100th visitor. Thank you for all those who check back in waiting patiently for new updates, and for all those who comment and email me to say they are enjoying it. For everyone who gets pleasure from reading it, I get double back writing it, so keep it up!

It's that time of year again. Another Harry Potter movie is going to be released. I love the Harry Potter movies, I've been on the Harry Potter train since it left Platform 9 and 3/4 with the release of the second book. I've been to every launch, and I'm one of those who yanked the phone from the wall when they read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, avoiding spoilers like the plague.

But the magic of what is Harry Potter is somewhat spoiled for me, especially around this time of year when the movies come out and he makes his way back into the news. Obviously my qualm doesn't affect everyone. Some of you may have no idea what I'm talking about. But chances are, if you were born with brown hair, and a necessity for artificial enhancements of your vision, (that's right kids! glasses!) you know exactly what I'm talking about. And it's time it stopped.

So here they are. Five good reasons, why you're not going to call me Harry Potter anymore:

1. Suprise! I've heard it before! - Here's how this plays out. I'm standing there, minding my own business, not causing you any trouble or grief. You don't know my name, and you want to catch my attention. Suddenly! A flash of inspiration! A spark of genius! You don't need my name!

"Oi! Harry Potter!" you cry triumphantly.

Then my absolute least favourite part. The smirk. The smug, self absorbed 'Oh, I am so clever' smile. Well guess what? You're not clever. You're one of a million idiots world wide to spin that line, and it has NEVER been funny. It will NEVER be funny. So please, ask me my name, or just say 'excuse me', before I shatter my glasses into a thousand tiny shards and rub them into your eyes.

2. I don't actually look like Harry Potter - This is what I really don't understand. If I had a pet owl and a broomstick under my arm with 'Nimbus 2000' written along the handle, I'm probably asking for your little gag. But I'm not. The only thing you've got connecting me to Harry Potter's character are A) my glasses, which are not even remotely similar to Harry's, and B) My brown hair. That's ALL.

And if it's the case that that's all it takes, then ladies and gentleman, Mr Harry Potter:

Used under Creative commons. Image Source.

Yes, I was even generous with the glasses style, but we both know that this little fellow won't be casting spells any time soon. So just like you're not Cruella De Vil just because I find you old and creepy, or The Fat Controller because you're massive and balding, I'm not Harry Potter. Two factors do not make a comparison, so I won't make them if you don't.

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3. It shows your ignorance - I work in a bookshop with some of the most widely read people in Launceston. They love the Harry Potter books, and so do many of the kids who come into the store. Hell, we've had launch days where only the most avid potter fans have come to collect there books at 7 in the morning. Hundreds of them. Guess how many of the actual fans have called me Harry Potter? None. Not one of them ever. Because they know enough about Harry Potter to know I'm nothing like him. When you call me Harry Potter you're pointing out nothing more than the fact you have no idea who Harry Potter actually is. Only from a superficial level. You've seen an ad on TV? Congratulations! If you don't know any more about the series than that I don't care what you have to say about it. You might look sick and pale, but I'm not going to diagnose you with cancer unless I've got some knowledge to back my opinion with. You might just be terminally stupid.

4. Harry Potter is actually awesome - Harry Potter is a brand whose dollar value stretches off into the billion figures. J.K Rowling is one of the richest women alive, and the books have sold more copies than the Bible. The Bible. A book whose author is supposedly God? Beating that is what I call success.

People love Harry Potter. So if you're trying to hurt my feelings by comparing me to the most popular character ever created in children's fiction, you've probably got a tough battle on your hands. Harry Potter is a champion and a hero. My grudge against you is not on the grounds that I'm offended by being compared to him, rather that I think the comparison is unfounded and unjust. If anything I'm insulted by being called the name of one of the worlds greatest role models, because I know I could never live up to that, and for you to even suggest I'm anything like him insults the image of the books I hold so dear. It's like when you call a fat person "Skinny" or an ugly girl "Miss Universe". Your not insulting people by what you're calling them, merely drawing attention to the fact that they aren't that at all. That's where the sting is. In which case by calling me Harry Potter you are both 'Clever', 'Hilarious' and 'Awesome'. Sarcasm is a two way street, and I intend to run you over.

5. What if I am Harry Potter? - A short quote from one of the books for the uninitiated:

Moody raised his wand again, pointed it at the spider, and muttered: 'Crucio!'
At once the spider's legs bent in upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. No sound came from it, but Harry was sure that if it could have given voice, it would have been screaming. (
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, p.189)

Just suppose for a second that I am actually Harry Potter. Suppose I have magical powers, and decide to mess with you a little. The curse above is only one of three 'Unforgivable Curses'. Sure, the real Harry Potter is not necessarily going to find you calling him by his name at all surprising or upsetting, but if he doesn't like you he can still unleash massive amounts of discomfort. My advice? Leave him alone.

So there you have it, five perfectly good reasons why calling me Harry Potter is neither, funny, clever, original, or right. You're wasting both my time and yours if you think anything else.

Oh well, I've just got to sit it out til the movies are over, and Harry disappears from the radar to all but those of us who are his proper fans. At least I'm not Daniel Radcliffe. That boy is destroyed for life.


  1. Wow, great post you prove some very interesting points Harry! *COUGH* I mean Lyndon . . .

  2. It is apparent that Ben-A-Ball is a jackass...