Wotcher, ‘arry! – Gary Young MySpace Blog

Wotcher, ‘arry!
Category: Writing and Poetry

HARRY POTTER
There are times when I wish I had a girlfriend.  Sometimes more than others.  Of course, there are times when I’m glad I don’t.

Point being, I felt the singleness pang when I saw Harry Potter “Order of the Phoenix”.  I was with a few friends but that would be a great couple/date movie.  You know, if you’re both into the books and then see the movie together and then read the last book at the same time.

All that biz.  It was quite good, by the way — the last book.  It was a lot more mature than the others.  And the story arc was different.  Some of the characters were developed more in this book than in the last six put together.

THIRTEEN
The next question is for anyone who’s read Richard K. Morgan.  In the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, second book.  In “Broken Angels”, the sleeve that Kovacs is in seems like it could be a Carl Marsalis, the anti-hero from “Thirteen”, model. Yes? No?

(The next day…)

INVISIBLE MAN
I’m reading (listening to) Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”.  I’m struggling with it.  I don’t like it and I’m not even half way through the 20 CDs.  It’s a tragedy of errors.  A weighty, wordy tour of racial pathos from the south to the north and all the characters, everyone demented or twisted or unhinged or off kilter in some way, one might encounter.  Oh well.  I’ll finish it eventually.

HARRY POTTER AND THE MISGUIDED CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
Once upon a time I got a flyer in the mail for a Christian bookstore, Family Christian Stores, I bought some gifts from.  Nice store, by the way.  I was leafing through it to see if there was anything for kids and saw a listing for a book, “Exposing Harry Potter and Witchcraft” by Steve Wohlberg.  There’s been some conversation in my family about this recently.

I think this is ridiculous.  If I were entirely cynical I’d say that it’s just one more thing for opportunistic Christian authors and personalities to make money off of.  I’m not entirely cynical, however, so I figure that most of these folks are well-intentioned but misguided.

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are lauded by these folks.  Their fantasy books are chock full of magic.  Aslan is ancient and wise enough to know the “old magic”, which allows him to be resurrected after he’s killed by the White Witch.  Gandalf, the sagacious Wizard, guides Bilbo and Frodo Baggins through perilous journeys.  Talking animals and trees, good and bad, all over the place.

And they’re GREAT stories. Entire worlds and histories to be engrossed in that encourage reading, imagination and stress a moral tale.

The Harry Potter series is a modern day synthesis of these tales.  It’s about good triumphing over evil and the sacrifice it requires.  As all stories do it reflects what’s going on in the world at the time — current events which amount to the “history” of the present.

It’s entirely arbitrary to draw the line between Lewis-Tolkien and Rowling.

Besides, I figure that banning books from children does them a disservice.  It’s much more productive to read the book with them (or at the same time) and discuss it.  That way, if you as a parent have issues you can use that to teach your children the values you want to instill.

Harry lies a few times in the books.  It often leads to trouble.  It’s also a convenient plot device to ensure that the kids have to tackle problems on their own without the aid of adults.  To use the Marauder’s Map the user has to vow that they’re up to no good and are going to use it for mischief.  Of course, the map was made by pranksters.

As if this is going to make kids dope up on cough medicine, huff spray paint and engage in unprotected sex after they sacrifice their parents in a Wiccan ritual.  (Now that’s sarcasm.)

Seriously, if kids can handle stories about David having a man killed so that he can screw Bathsheba or Abraham about to stab his son through the heart at God’s command, don’t you think they can handle a little mischief?  A little teenage angst, which anyone reading will experience, is experiencing or has experienced?

And guess what.  Harry gets by with the help of people who love him.  His friends and protectors help him through his hard times and he learns to accept that help.

Is there anything remotely true to witchcraft and Wiccan-ism involved in these books?  Anyone who chooses to be hung up on witchcraft is missing the point entirely.  This is not a morally amibivalent story.  It’s about fighting evil in the world.

These people ranting and raving about witchcraft — they’re ignoring the moral, the lessons, the journey of growth and the struggle to do what’s right.

I say all of this not to say that these books are perfect or that characters don’t have flaws.  I’m saying that it embodies the same archetypal journey, for better and for worse, as Lewis, Tolkien, Lucas and every morality tale that we teach our kids.  (Ring of Power = Invisibility cloak + locket horcrux)

It’s written by a woman raising a family and was written with them in mind.  What else would you expect?

Currently reading :
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
By J. K. Rowling
Release date: By 21 July, 2007

5:17 PM – 1 Comments – 2 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove

Sarah Lindsay

I love Jesus AND Harry. Great blog!

Posted by Sarah Lindsay on Jul 29, 2007 8:19 AM

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