Mission Time: The Globalization Sensation [part 2]
Let me all grace you with a not-necessary picture of myself to let you all know something I really, really, really, really, really (to the point that I can’t imagine my life without it) like.
That’s right, I’m into Harry-fuckin’-Potter. And this isn’t just I’m into Harry Potter the novel series, no, it’s more or less the entire phenomenon of it from the movies, to the merchandise, Pottermore (My username is MidnightWing42, just to let y’all know), the online fan-base, fan fiction, pretty much just about anything under the sun Harry Potter related. I am totally into it.
Harry Potter is a shining beacon (almost typed bacon, ha, saved myself!) of awesome epicness which I will fend my love for to the death…or at least until I get fed up and figure the person I’m arguing is not worth my time and is rather justly deserving of a bat bogey hex of immense proportions onto him/her. I’ve read all the books more than once, likewise with all the movies. My sister and I own several HP action figures, a bag or two in the shape of the sorting hat or with the characters plastered onto the fabric, the actual books and other HP-related books, and both respectively have a folder in our laptops dedicated to particular members of the cast that we adore (hers is Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, and Daniel Radcliffe, whilst I just save pictures of Gary Oldman and Emma Watson). The bottom line is, we’re Pott-heads. I’m a Pott-head. I cannot imagine my life without Harry Potter in it because it is just that much a part of who I am now. After taking up an ELECLIT class devoted to J.K. Rowling’s legacy last term under Professor Anne Frances Sangil, I feel like I have grown so much with my appreciation for Harry Potter because I was exposed and challenged to see my dear obsession in ways I would have never thought to see in before.
Let me specify what I mean by that for the next paragraph or so.
What exactly is Harry Potter?
In a nutshell, Harry Potter is the story of this boy wizard who must save the wizarding world from the Dark Lord Voldemort. This story is the brainchild of Joanne Rowling who was a struggling single mother but once this book got accepted by Bloomsburry publishers and then by Scholastic all her financial problems were over and she now lives in a castle with her family and is pretty fucking rich. Which is great for her because I get how hard it must be to earn a living as a writer, much more a novelist and she broke in and got out there and now her story’s this huge legacy and phenom. Kudos, J.K.R., much kudos to you and your efforts.
Harry Potter got kids of the generation wherein technology and the media started getting big and more accessible to read again, too! I stand by this because Harry Potter got me to read when I was younger.
Aside from the books, the Harry Potter movie franchise is also a worldwide success story. The names Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint are, at least for this time, household names and their faces are forever linked to their respective character roles. The films have not only made the started-out-as-children actors millionaires several times over, but the Harry Potter movies have catapulted the movie market to adapt more fantasy novels into films (Percy Jacson and The Golden Compass are two good examples).
To recap the good points of Harry Potter, the entire franchise has not only helped a bunch of before nobodies like J.K. Rowling, the actors of the trio, and other people who got their breaks for fantasy-based films, it had also helped rekindle the love for reading to the younger generation. Not to mention, it inspired, touched, and influenced the lives of millions all over the world and has created long lasting friendships and bonds because of the magic that is Harry Potter.
…Merlin’s beard that sounded so Greenwich commercial cheesy, but anyway another thing about that ELECLIT class I had on Rowling was that it didn’t glorify Harry Potter all the goddamn time. In fact, there were moments where we had to be critical and unbiased (difficult to do, believe me) when learning about Harry Potter in an academic sense. Among one of the things we tried to learn is the downside to the Harry Potter franchise.
With merchandise comes the production and distribution before the actual selling of the items, and in this day and age I automatically think of cheap labour from 3rd world countries whenever I think of 1st world merchandise production. That’s one down side of the Harry Potter franchise, or any big franchise with merch for that matter.
Second, Harry Potter has given way a handful of controversies regarding Christianity and religious faith because of it’s ties to magic and witchcraft. It is also from these controversies that several Christian-oriented schools decided to ban the reading of Harry Potter within campus as well as spark controversies within religious conservative homes.
What could be considered as worse still is the how crazy the fandom of Harry Potter can be. According to Professor Sangil one day as she taught our ELECLIT class, one of the most bizarre cases of Pott-headed-ness as the case of this English man who tried to create his own potion only to end up nearly blowing up his entire home. The ingredients he used her everyday household items cooked over a “cauldron” over a kitchen stove. Clearly, too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
So there you have it, Harry Potter, just like globalization it too is a double-edged sword creating both the good and the bad…or the Harry and the Voldemort.