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The Age

Jul 10, 2009

Please click on this article, it features a picture from the new Harry Potter film

Why would a newspaper publish this vacuous rubbish? Why I hate H

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Why would a newspaper publish this vacuous rubbish?

Why I hate Harry Potter and his spell

…But then some dolt that I work with said, “The new Harry Potter film is out soon.” – and said it with the sort of glee usually reserved for lottery winners or people who have just discovered that they are pregnant. “How old are you?” I sneered. “Thirty-four and three-quarters,” beamed my colleague.

I let out a pained groan, put my head in my hands and began to weep openly at my desk.

Bryony (there’s a case for the Citizens Infringement Officer) Gordon devotes 750 painfully uninteresting words to whinging about people liking the Harry Potter series. Most absurdly, considering the title of the article, she doesn’t actually at any point give any specific criticism of the books or films themselves, only the “dolts” who like them – which means I’m left guessing that the answer to the question she puts is “because I like being contrary and looking down my nose at other people”.

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Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and other search engine friendly keywords in a scene from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince film. They want you to click on this post.

The “Why I hate” piece doesn’t illuminate. It doesn’t tell you anything about the books or the films other than that they are something about which Bryony Gordon is a judgmental and sanctimonious prick.

The question I’ve got is – why did The Age reprint this tosh from the London Telegraph? Were they so desperate to stick something Harry Potter-related (and an accompanying hit-driving image) on the front page of the site that they didn’t have time to read it first?

And they wonder why sales are dropping.

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14 comments

14 thoughts on “Please click on this article, it features a picture from the new Harry Potter film

  1. nickws

    a fourteen-year long exercise with a now 31-year-old playing a 17-year-old

    Heh, I’m not a fan of & have never consumed either movies or books, but I know that the books came out circa ’97, the first movie ’01, and that Daniel Radcliffe is not 31. No googling required, just a little non-Pedro mathematical skilz.

  2. John Surname

    Thanks Jeremy, your response proved my point.

  3. Idlaviv

    I was very surprised when I saw that Schembri didn’t pen it.

  4. Pedro

    I think she addresses why she doesn’t like Harry Potter faithfully enough. She says it’s been a fourteen-year long exercise with a now 31-year-old playing a 17-year-old, and Rowling’s final book is being milked out.

    It’s sort of like way back when and moviegoers were expected to believe a bunch of 60-somethings were still in command of the starship Enterprise.

    I agree with Surname. Jeremy’s acting all precious because someone dared knock his hero.

  5. kyneton

    Well the article was about the spell Harry has over his audience not an analysis of the stories as they relate to humanities complexities. Harry Potter is like the literary equivalent of McDonalds. Okay maybe once a year but shouldnt be a great part of your diet. J.K. Rowling is a huge hypocrite. She used to come out publicly with her stance against children playing video games instead of reading books, and used to say this would damage education standards and the like. But all this changed when they started making Harry Potter themed video games for the current console generations which then sold like hotcakes. She never makes those kinds of statements publicly anymore. Clearly she is just in it for $$$. These films are just expolitative no matter how you look at them. Theyre like the equivalent of some EA sports franchises with yearly updates. No gameplay changes, mostly cosmetic graphical upgrades. Personally I cant stand the damn films and yes I have seen most, and think they just lack any redeeming cinematic features at all. They just grind on with no real appreciation of pacing or subtle characterisation. The filmakers know they dont have to really bother with anything resembling good film making, as they success of the franchise is basically assured due to the mindless nature of the cinema going public, who proceed to the cinema like lemmings after release date. A bad review of a Potter film seems hardly to even matter, to anyone. Its all about the Box Office return.

  6. skeptic

    A couple of things:

    1. earlier I wrote that I read this article on the tram – this is clearly incorrect because the piece is not in the print edition. I must have read it on line and then when I saw this post confused which article I read and where. mea culpa.

    2. I’d disagree with Surname’s claim that Right from the headline it was pretty clear about what kind of piece it was going to be because
    a) the link from the home page says Boy wizard lost his spell years ago,

    b)and again at the start of the article saysThe magic went out of the boy wizard many years ago, writes Bryony Gordon.

    From this I assumed, wrongly, that it would be a critical analysis of the film franchise that was once good but has now “lost its spell”. But it would appear the author doesn’t like and never did like the films.

  7. Jeremy Sear

    “I feel your dislike of this article has more to do with the fact it takes the piss out of adult fans. Like you.”

    Thanks, John, but no – I don’t see myself in her criticism at all. Come to think of it, I do see a little bit of you in her, though.

  8. GavinM

    Oops should of course read “bitter and twisted” — no ants in sight I don’t think…

  9. GavinM

    Reading the article I get the impression that poor Bryony is rather a bitter ant twisted individual with no small amount of jealousy towards J.K. Rowling thrown in, I can’t help but wonder if she is a wannabe writer who had a book rejected at some stage.

  10. John Surname

    “That’s what this piece implied it was going to do – and then didn’t.”

    No it didn’t. Right from the headline it was pretty clear about what kind of piece it was going to be. I feel your dislike of this article has more to do with the fact it takes the piss out of adult fans. Like you.

  11. Jeremy Sear

    I suppose that’s in The Age publishing it as if it were a piece of genuine literary criticism, when it’s just a vague whinge about Harry Potter being popular.

    By all means, write a post condemning the series for actual faults. That’s what this piece implied it was going to do – and then didn’t.

  12. John Surname

    Is Harry Potter the new Greens, completely untouchable? I assume, being a Friday, that this was published in the Entertainment Guide. I fail to see any intellectual dishonesty in not liking a series of children’s books and films.

  13. tee

    The question I’ve got is – why did The Age reprint this tosh from the London Telegraph? Were they so desperate to stick something Harry Potter-related (and an accompanying hit-driving image) on the front page of the site that they didn’t have time to read it first?

    Lol. Good points.

    And they wonder why sales are dropping.

    Not in the slightest.

  14. skeptic

    I thought to myself as I read the article on the tram “why am I reading this?”. But of course I continued to read it to the boring end.

    If you want crap writing, read barry hall’s self-serving piece in the sports section – he basically repeats himself ad naueam for the entire column.

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