Monday, December 12, 2005

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much? Nay!

I owe an apology to those obsessed fans of everything from Star Trek to Star Wars and all the gray area of geekhood in between. Until recently I didn't understand their single-minded love, their desire to live inside a world created by someone else to such a degree that they might learn Clingon, or buy each new action figure, never taking it from its packaging, in the hopes that someday it would be worth something. I looked down on those who built walls against reality made of Xena Warrior Princess.

Until now.

By "now" I mean both literally the recent past, since November 18th, to be precise, when the movie Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire opened, but also since about six years ago when I first stumbled upon these books, which my at the time 10 year-old brother was reading.

Even though we brought HP #4 on our honeymoon to read to each other; even though we are now re-reading each book to catch all the missing clues (having finished book 6 all too quickly this summer); even though I was blown away and amazed by the first few movies in how well they visually captured what I had imagined while reading,I didn't expect to this. I didn't expect to see the movie five times in theaters and be fully capable of going back to see it a 6th, 7th or more times. (And like it and laugh and cower at the same places each time.)

But before you judge me the way I always judged other sad little nerdling fans, I beg of you to consider something. We all want to escape. Some of us do it every night watching the crap that television claims is entertainment. Some of us do it by working too much and barely ever seeing our families. Some of us do it by having a nice little methamphetamine addiction on the side. We all want to escape once and a while, or lots of whiles. Particularly now. With war and natural disaster and stupidity running rampant in the world(perhaps every generation feels this way).

We all, also, resonate with certain characters, symbols and images we see. We are unconscious beings as much as conscious ones. So maybe for you, a monstrous looking humanoid dressed in armor, a Clingon Warrior Chief, or a couple of FBI agents fighting an alien conspiracy are what do it for you. They touch some unknowable center in you that only you really understand in yourself. But for me, it's an orphan boy who continually has to show up to face off with his worst enemy, his grief and his own limitations. An orphan boy who has friends everywhere he turns, and some nice parent-figures too. I like Harry--the written version, and the screen version. And I'm not ashamed anymore.

I now understand what Comic Book Guy says in the Simpsons' episode that spoofs how bad the second 'new' Star Wars ("Cosmic Wars") movie was: "Worst Cosmic Wars ever! I will only see it three more"



At 8:22 PM, Blogger Patry Francis said...

I've been meaning to read these for a while. Though I've never been much a fan of fantasy stuff, any series that causes traffic jams when a new book is released deserves to be read. And studied.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Oh yes. They're worth it, especially when the books begin getting darker and more complex, after number three.


At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Watch Freaks and Geeks Online said...

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