In case you were wondering what my plans are this weekend (and I’m sure you were), I know one thing for sure: they’ll have nothing to do with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” And no, it’s not just because I couldn’t find a date or because they’ll miss me at Singles Bingo night, thanks. The problem? Everyone — and I mean everyone — apparently has no shame in wanting to be a fictional wizard virgin. And it’s taking over my Facebook news feed.
Pardon me for this digression, but I’d like to take a quick moment here to kindly ask if the Quidditch Team wouldn’t mind setting down their broomsticks — ouch, dammit, that’s my arm. And hey, if you kids from the Honors College could kindly put down those calculators aimed directly at my forehead, I’d greatly appreciate it. To be honest, I can’t tell if I’m more terrified or impressed — seriously, how did you all fit into my dorm room?
Look, I’m not here to argue the literary value of a children’s novel. So please take a deep artificial breath from your inhaler and relax, all you Potterheads. After all, I read the books too and it’s not the lack of character development, the repetitive plot or the overused archetypes that bother me. It’s the buildup for a children’s movie that’s driving me berserk.
The problem began several weeks ago. I was in the back of my political science lecture trolling the Internet when I noticed a particularly disturbing Facebook status: “Harry Potter is the single definition of our generation, and I love it.” Maybe this alone wouldn’t be a cause for concern, but then I noticed the amount of attention this status received: there were over a dozen likes. Suddenly I felt nauseous — and it wasn’t just my traditional breakfast of leftover ham and Pop-Tarts at work.
I know you love the movies, and I don’t have a problem with that, honest. But seriously, the definition of our generation? The baby boomers had The Beatles and Woodstock. Generation X had MTV. And we get Harry Potter? Come on, people! There’s much more to Generation Y-Bother than a teenage wizard who can never seem to get laid. What about childhood obesity? The destruction of our atmosphere? “Jersey Shore?” I’d rather have Snookie as our poster child — at least she has some substance (correction: substance abuse problems).
What’s worse is no one seems to be ashamed of this desire to be a wizard. For the past several weeks, my entire news feed has been jam-packed with Potter. Quiz results confirming that you do indeed belong in Hufflepuff (tough break, kid), countless wall posts whining about acceptance letters to Hogwarts that must’ve been lost in the mail — this is not the Facebook I know and love. Where are the embarrassing photos of my ex-boyfriend, drunken updates from hallmates and general ignorance? Harry Potter’s renewed popularity is ruining my ability to effectively creep, leaving me with nothing left to do but drink chocolate milk and listen to Dido by myself.
Even old people are buying into the phenomenon, posting status after status about how groovy Albus Dumbledore is. As if it wasn’t creepy enough when our relatives started joining Facebook, now they want to cash in on a children’s book? In case you haven’t seen this disturbing new development, here’s an actual snippet of my dear old Uncle Ichabod’s status:
“Uncle Ichabod has midnite tix for HP7!!!!!! Workin on my Hagrid costume…good thing I don’t have a date for tonite, this costume’s gonna take up at least three seats lol lol”
But I digress. The point here is that all this hubbub is over a children’s novel. Sure, it’s all fine and dandy to reminisce over some book series that was a substitute for friends back when you were in elementary school. But come on, isn’t it time to grow up? Aren’t we a little too old for this nonsense? There’s a world outside of Harry Potter, a beautiful place where literary worth isn’t defined by dressing up in costumes. It’s a poetic kingdom with depth, vision, meaning and beauty in which we become submerged in the prose of —
Whoops, I almost exceeded my word limit. Well, you get my point. It’s time we move beyond the juvenile and head toward the sublime, where we find the truth — ah, wait, has anyone seen my copy of “New Moon?”
Melanie Kruvelis can be reached a email@example.com.