Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finding the Right Balance

This week, it has been virtually impossible to escape the blitz of information about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the internet. And it has also been impossible to escape people posting their feelings about the blitz of information about Harry Potter.

The patterns that seem to be unfolding are: 1. people are afraid of being spoiled, 2. people are bouncing out of their skin, or 3. people are utterly annoyed at the people who are afraid of being spoiled and/or bouncing out of their skin.

And then you have the people who are deliberately going around revealing plot points, who really should have their own personal circle of hell reserved for them. That is just deliberately cruel or incredibly thoughtless. (Why don't they go and tell a room of kindergarteners that there is no such thing as Santa Claus while they are at it?)

The whole thing makes me really sad, truth be told.

It is a book. It is supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be a wonderful escape from a world where there is war, poverty, hunger, disease, climate change, prejudice, ignorance and inequality. It is a couple hundred pages of a journey through a world where the good guys and the bad guys are clearly defined, where magic is alive and well and not just relegated to the imaginations of our childhoods. My own enthusiasm for the Harry Potter series doesn't just come from the books, which are certainly great stories, but it is the connection with the little girl in me who delighted in the Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time and who would creep quietly down the stairs early Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and who would fly into the bathroom so that I would be washed and pajamaed in time to watch "The Muppets" on Saturday night.

I personally think that it is wonderful to have adults taking childlike delight in something as simple as a book. But it also disheartens me to read the conflict that has been created over something as simple as a book.

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