Request: A moratorium on Harry Potter related FPPs July 19, 2007 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Can we please please please have a moratorium on Harry Potter related FPPs for the next, say, year? And not just because I don't participate in this ubiquitous and frankly downright embarrassing pop culture phenomenon. It sucks that even on Metafilter I can't escape earth-shattering news about Weasleys and Dursleys.
posted by inoculatedcities to Etiquette/Policy at 6:24 AM (78 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The books are so lame, lamer in English.
posted by parmanparman at 6:39 AM on July 19, 2007


We need a moratorium on moratoriums.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:39 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


idunno. i like the fact that almost everybody's into some cretinous childrens' book. reminds me of the people i like & why i like them. can we have more KKK & Nazi Party FPPs as well, just so i can feel a bit more balanced in my misanthropy?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:41 AM on July 19, 2007


I heard that Hermione breaks a fingernail. Not all the way off; just a partial break, which is really perplexing because then it's a game of should I or shouldn't I....is it better to snip it off, or try and repair? It's quite sad, because she had just finally grown them all to exactly the same length, and they looked soooo great.

Sorry for the spoiler.
posted by iconomy at 6:44 AM on July 19, 2007


Iconomy, that's actually from the fanfic version. In the real version, it's a hangnail and she keeps bumping it into things.
posted by drezdn at 6:45 AM on July 19, 2007


Here's a joke about Harry Potter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:02 AM on July 19, 2007


You know that if you wait about two weeks that this huge problem will probably solve itself?
posted by ND¢ at 7:03 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]




You all seem much more sensible in this thread. Maybe you could hop over to the other one and help defend this noble knight from the onslaught of the Wizard Army?
posted by reklaw at 7:08 AM on July 19, 2007




frankly downright embarrassing pop culture phenomenon.

I'm not a HP fan but I don't understand why this pop culture phenomenon is embarrassing. oh no! The world has gone crazy over a book! Don't they know that reading will rot their brains?
posted by necessitas at 7:23 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Only if we can get a moretorium on US politics posts. Er, moratorium. A moretorium would be the opposite I guess.
posted by GuyZero at 7:38 AM on July 19, 2007


Here are some things that make people hulk out and fully spazz on the internet:

Harry Potter
Ron Paul
Libertarianism in general
the tips of dicks
Declawing cats
God
If it's ok to be grossed out/amused by what people like to do sexually even if you still support their right to do it consensually.

What else do we have folks? We can just make a filter and then it's all peace and love.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:51 AM on July 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Your favourite band wizard sucks.

Personally, I like the HP books and Movies. But then, I also tend to skip over the HP threads too. Because I have the magical ability to not read something even though it's posted on MetaFilter. I would recommend the same course of action, rather than coming in here to vent about it.
posted by antifuse at 7:55 AM on July 19, 2007


wait, you're asking them to filter something just because you're not interested in it?

BWAHAHAHA whiner.
posted by desjardins at 8:01 AM on July 19, 2007


The zeitgeist will always find a place on Metafilter, no matter how irritating or embarrassing you believe it to be.

My suggestion: relax, or stop reading Metafilter. Everyone knows Metatalk is far more entertaining, and with fewer annoying links.
posted by rocketman at 8:01 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


HURF DURF DEATH EATER
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:02 AM on July 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


Divine_Wino: don't forget circumcision!
posted by chlorus at 8:08 AM on July 19, 2007


unless, you meant that by 'tips of dicks' but that could mean any number of things that are not safe for work for me to link to.
posted by chlorus at 8:09 AM on July 19, 2007


Libertarianism in general
the tips of dicks

No need to repeat yourself, Divine_Wino
posted by Abiezer at 8:09 AM on July 19, 2007


iPhone
posted by drezdn at 8:18 AM on July 19, 2007


Fantastic callout-- if YOU think Harry Potter is an "embarrassing" phenomenon, it should definitely be banned from FPP. Admins, take notice.
posted by sneakin at 8:41 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't kow-tow to the anti-Oprah book club elitists.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Removing Harry Potter fpps just proves how dangerous they are.
posted by dreamsign at 9:10 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


I heard that in book 7, Ron Paul cuts off the tip of Harry's dick because he declawed his cat.
posted by Plutor at 9:37 AM on July 19, 2007


You know who else doesn't like spoilers about their books being posted?

Scientologists!
posted by uandt at 9:38 AM on July 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Can we please please please agree to only find value in certain agreed-upon pieces of pop-culture ephemera?

I don't like Harry Potter either, so I'll volunteer to make a list of acceptable topics:

1) Star Trek (ONLY TNG and DS9, Voyager posts will result in timeouts and Enterprise posts will result in permabans)
2) DC Comics (however, any posts which consist solely of single-links to pictures of Guy Gardner must first be discussed in metatalk)
3) Flavor of Love: Charm School Girls (please note, though, that anyone talking shit about Schatar will get bitch-slapped SO FUCKING HARD because she is a LADY and one day she is going to MARRY ME)

All right, people. If we all get to work, we can make metafilter a shining Potter-free beacon of goodness once again. Let's get going, folks.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2007


Welcome to Harry Pottersville.
posted by y2karl at 9:49 AM on July 19, 2007


help defend this noble knight from the onslaught of the Wizard Army

no sign of him, m'lord ... just a couple of coconut shells
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 AM on July 19, 2007


It sucks that even on Metafilter I can't escape earth-shattering news about Weasleys and Dursleys.

No, you suck because you're lazy and whiner.
(And, due to a premature MeTa closure, I would just like to suggest to the admins that they ban reklaw's account and say that Hotmail did it.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:08 AM on July 19, 2007


the gaggle of screaming horse-faced brain-dead corpo-tainment-addicted droolers (including two mods) hoisting recklaw into a noose in this thread because he posted that FUCKING OWL DIES parody spoiler truly must mark the shark-leapingest meta moment yet. I VOMIT THE UNDIGESTED REMAINS OF YOUR TASTEFUL DISCERNMENT AND ATROPHIED MINDS INTO THE LAPS OF YOUR MASS MEDIA MASTERS.
posted by quonsar at 10:15 AM on July 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Door's over there, whiner.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2007


Yeah you people who like things that lots of other people also like suck. We people who don't like things that lots of other people like but who instead like things that less people like don't suck.
posted by ND¢ at 10:27 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also something about sheep I think.
posted by ND¢ at 10:27 AM on July 19, 2007



Yeah you people who like things that lots of other people also like suck. We people who don't like things that lots of other people like but who instead like things that less people like don't suck.


got nothing to do with it. it was a fucking parody, a ludicrous, ridiculous, mockery of spoilers. you suck.
posted by quonsar at 10:43 AM on July 19, 2007


I VOMIT THE UNDIGESTED REMAINS OF YOUR TASTEFUL DISCERNMENT AND ATROPHIED MINDS INTO THE LAPS OF YOUR MASS MEDIA MASTERS.

vomit into your own lap, quonsar ... you haven't fed the fish in your pants for days
posted by pyramid termite at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2007


got nothing to do with it. it was a fucking parody, a ludicrous, ridiculous, mockery of spoilers. you suck.

Holy crap, did quonsar, master of the pisstake, just get suckered in himself?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:48 AM on July 19, 2007


quonsar's just mad because his "reklaw" sockpuppet got banned.
posted by dersins at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Your best comment ever, quonsar.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2007


Lord knows, the only potentially objectionable thing about that post was the universally agreed-upon but mistaken notion of the objectors that it absolutely, postively must have been a true spoiler.

That and that alone. Otherwise, an excellent presentation of quality material in good fai—

*slips in vomit*
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:20 AM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metatalk: far more entertaining, and with fewer annoying links.
posted by timeistight at 11:21 AM on July 19, 2007


If a moratorium on any subject can be a good idea, this would be it. Please stop!

And.. reklaw's post was stupid, but.. Did he actually get banned over it?
posted by Chuckles at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2007


Chuckles: "If a moratorium on any subject can be a good idea, this would be it."

No it wouldn't. It simply will fall under "please post in the existing thread" until it peters out in two weeks or so. You think people are really going to be posting about Harry Potter in ten months?

Chuckles: "And.. reklaw's post was stupid, but.. Did he actually get banned over it?"

I forgive you for not reading the thread to the end.
posted by Plutor at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2007


That is very disappointing.
posted by Chuckles at 12:00 PM on July 19, 2007


"It is certainly my opinion that a book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then." --C.S. Lewis

I'm not sure where the best place is for this mini-rant, so I'll post it here. If Harry Potter isn't to your taste, fine. But this idea that because something is written in the genre of children's fantasy, or because it is popular with children, it should therefore be avoided by serious-minded adults is a more juvenile and shallow thought than anything I've read the Harry Potter books themselves. There's a certain kind of person who thinks that it makes their own tastes seem rarefied and erudite if they screech at those who like something popular, and for them the fact of it's popularity is enough to damn it, unread. There are others who only read what is popular, and in so doing get exposed to a little that is excellent, quite a bit that is atrocious, and a lot of mixed quality. And then there are the few who seem to find the best qualities in whatever they read, regardless of genre, and in so doing exalt the literature above its natural level. I much prefer the company of that kind of person, and hope to be one myself.

Only a fool would think when a thirty-eight-year-old reads a book that is also enjoyed by eight-year-olds that he reads it in the same way and savors the same qualities. The child may revel in vomit-flavored jelly beans and flying broomsticks, the adult sees a narrative that wrestles, in its way, with questions of free will and obligation, and of the extent to which one's character is formed by experience. The genius of the books is that Harry at almost every turn discovers that in many ways he is the person most like his nefarious opponent. Perhaps that is no surprise. Lewis also wrote something to the effect of "The greatest saints and the greatest sinners are made from the same qualities." Harry's struggle to do what is right, and his constant fears that he may be incapable of it, are the stuff of which the best stories are made. The mature reader knows this, and sees in Harry a protagonist linked to his literary predecessors--from Taran to Frodo and back to King Arthur, and further still to figures like Samuel. The child of destiny who carries the fate of a generation is a character who likely predates writing. In Voldemort are echoes and allusions of Sauron and Arawn and Satan, the great symbol of the dark potential within us all, who appears in his various guises in every era. Harry knows that there are dark impulses in his own spirit, and that makes him far more real and interesting than the simple-minded heroes found in other tales. His moral quandaries echo many in the world I live in, and the wizardry and wands don't make them any less compelling.

The young readers don't know that, but in between the giggles from the Weasley brothers' gags, the excitement of the Quidditch matches, the wonder of magical beasts and spells, and the fearsome dread of Voldemort, they are being introduced to the inner workings of moral formation, and they are being given archetypes to emulate or avoid. They learn anew the old lessons of the value of friends, the grievousness of death, the need for mentors. They learn that adults can be foolish and children can be wise. They learn that even very good rules must occasionally be broken. Most of all they learn that the kind of person they become has not been destined. There are choices to be made. When they re-read these books in 10 or 20 years, they may marvel at how much good came into their lives from a series of "mere" children's books, and how much good has come again through the re-reading of them.

So, innoculatedcites, the fact that you find all of this simply an "embarrassing pop culture phenomenon" tells us a lot more about you than it does about the books. Like so many stories, the Harry Potter tales can be read and appreciated on multiple levels. At least by some of us, they can. Perhaps you could only find the lowest one. That's a shame, but it's not our fault.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2007 [48 favorites]


Nicely said, Pater. Now can I admit that I enjoy Mr. Putter and Tabby?
posted by maxwelton at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2007


Anyway ... is anyone else disappointed when at least one person doesn't favorite every single comment they make? Is it just me?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:26 PM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: I know how you feel. I try to avoid thinking that way because I'd start writing things so that they'd be favorited rather than so they'd be good.

I had the same tendency back when I still posted to slashdot. There in particular, it's easy to bait people into modding you up. Ironically, the most reliable way is to preface your comment with "I'm sure this will get me modded down, but..."

So I just try to write things that I mean, avoid "sound bite" commenting, and be liberal with my own favoriting.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:48 PM on July 19, 2007


you haven't fed the fish in your pants for days

Dead fish don't need feeding.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:00 PM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


is anyone else disappointed when at least one person doesn't favorite every single comment they make? Is it just me?

On the rare occasions that it happens to me I just assume that it is a bug of some kind. Like the one that causes my answers not to appear to be marked as best answer in Ask when they clearly are.
posted by ND¢ at 1:17 PM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


RIN DIK
posted by quonsar at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2007


Please buy my next novel, The Sudden Demise of the Angry Inch, available hardcover from Penguin. It's a true story.
posted by Sparx at 1:57 PM on July 19, 2007




*wants to subscribe to Pater Aletheias' review of new books column*
posted by Cranberry at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2007


Now that Harry Potter and The Order of the Pheonix is on the Wii, I can just point my Wii controller at a mefi post, jiggle it left to right whilst shouting "Incendio!" (optional), and they'll burn up, right? I love computters.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:50 PM on July 19, 2007


*wants an RSS feed of Pater Aletheias' comments*

Seriously, folks, it's good reading. If, like me, you skip the "lol xians" threads, take another look.
posted by smorange at 5:20 PM on July 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pater Aletheias: nicely written comment, but what is your point, again? That an adult will read more into a book than a child? Fantastic. Does this apply to any other books you can think of?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:39 PM on July 19, 2007


UbuRoivas writes "Pater Aletheias: nicely written comment, but what is your point, again? That an adult will read more into a book than a child? Fantastic. Does this apply to any other books you can think of?"

I think his point is "the Harry Potter series, like many many other books, can be read on multiple levels. Therefore, while they may be primarily aimed at one group, they may offer interest to other groups. If you are disparaging them based on the primary group they're aimed at, you're ignoring the fact that they have multiple levels, and your dismissal of those books is off the mark."

Or, rephrased: "Don't assume that everyone likes a book in the way you assume the book was meant to be liked. You will probably be wrong."
posted by Bugbread at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yes, bugbread, that's it exactly. Thanks for stepping in with the assist.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:06 PM on July 19, 2007


If you are disparaging them based on the primary group they're aimed at

(actually, if anything, i'm disparaging people not in the target audience who bend over backwards trying to argue that somehow reading a book aimed at 10 year olds doesn't demonstrate that they're a moron. this probably makes me a bit of a hypocrite, though, coz i've seen at least two of the star wars movies, which are actually based on a grand 'good v evil' theme, just like paradise lost or the divine comedy, and all kinds of deep moral & philosophical issues, like when darth vader turns out to be luke's father, not to mention the whole theme about vader trying to draw luke over to the 'dark side', which is a shining artistic example of what cs lewis wrote, to the effect of "the greatest saints and the greatest sinners are made from the same qualities." luke's struggle to do what is right, and his constant fears that he may be incapable of it, are the stuff of which the best stories are made. the mature reader knows this, and sees in luke a protagonist linked to his literary & artistic predecessors and antecedents - from astro boy (in the eposide when he is brainwashed and tries to attack urane) to bruce willis' character in the all-time great movie, unbreakable)

posted by UbuRoivas at 12:47 AM on July 20, 2007


Oh man did that movie ever suck.
posted by Nabubrush at 3:10 AM on July 20, 2007


wait... what does all this have to do with jonmc? Can someone please show me the way to metatalk? We can haz dios and blazecock pileon? Hay guyz, what about y2karl's formatting? Hellooooo????
posted by taz at 3:14 AM on July 20, 2007


UbuRoivas writes "actually, if anything, i'm disparaging people not in the target audience who bend over backwards trying to argue that somehow reading a book aimed at 10 year olds doesn't demonstrate that they're a moron."

Er...yeah, I misphrased myself. There are two groups of disparagers: those who say the books are fine for kids, but you're an idiot if you enjoy them as an adult, and those who say the books are just pure shit for all ages.

Personally, though, those people remind me of the folks who make a fuss about men over 30 wearing shorts, or wearing white after labor day, or (for a Japanese counterpart) that it's creepy to laugh at something funny on TV if you're by yourself (yes, I've heard people earnestly say that).

If you have a certain brow standard below or above which you don't enjoy things, that's groovy, but make no mistake: it's not that you're better than people who enjoy both high-brow and low-brow stuff, it's just that you enjoy less stuff. (This goes in both directions: people who enjoy classical music and raise their noses at monster truck rallies, and people who enjoy monster truck rallies and thumb their noses at classical music)
posted by Bugbread at 3:28 AM on July 20, 2007


bugbread: actually, it's not for me to comment on hp, considering that i've never read any. good luck to people who like it. i've enough of a backlog of stuff to read, and it's more than likely that i'll never find out what the fuss is about. that could be my loss, but something tells me that it's not very likely.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:03 AM on July 20, 2007


If you have a certain brow standard below or above which you don't enjoy things, that's groovy, but make no mistake: it's not that you're better than people who enjoy both high-brow and low-brow stuff, it's just that you enjoy less stuff.

None of us has the time to enjoy all stuff. We all develop our own rules of thumb to help us decide, before we spend the time and money, whether something will be worth it. How we sample things, for example, and whether we go along with fads or we wait to see how things play out, and whether we will try to consume the most stuff or the best (low-brow and high-brow) stuff.
posted by pracowity at 6:25 AM on July 20, 2007


If anything else, Harry Potter is good for one thing... demonstrating that socialised writing can be successful. I gather that the writer was sponsored by social welfare to begin writing the series. It is a tribute to the breadth of the UK's dole system that a welfare mother was enabled to write a popular series championing regressive collectivism.
posted by meehawl at 7:47 AM on July 20, 2007


Let me rephrase bugbread slightly then: it's just that you're willing/able to enjoy a smaller proportion of stuff. It's a neutral proposition: if you can get as much of the things you enjoy as you have capacity/need for, dandy. However, it's hard not to think that in a lot of cases, a person's stated (and even vehement) dislike for a work or a genre or a brow is the result of cliquish/affected/lazy opinioneering rather than a genuine lack of opportunity to develop a taste.

"I like all kinds of music—except country and rap LOL" is the battle cry of the disinterested pseudo-aesthete.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:53 AM on July 20, 2007


"cliquish/affected/lazy opinioneering" -- that goes both ways. There are thousands of good books people could read, but people read Harry Potter because other people read Harry Potter and because they've been advertised to. It's what you have to do if you have a certain mindset. Next year, it will be something else they all have to read (consume, collect, forget, discard).
posted by pracowity at 8:17 AM on July 20, 2007


Absolutely. But then there's the insulting conflation of those who merely do enjoy Harry Potter and share it with others, and those who consider Harry Potter the only thing worth reading. It feels like a lot of anti-HP (or anti-whatever) folks like to pretend they're dealing with the latter rather than the former, but I suspect things in reality swing the other way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:48 AM on July 20, 2007


people read Harry Potter because other people read Harry Potter and because they've been advertised to

Your understanding of why 'people' do things is astounding and deep. Do you have a newsletter of some kind that I can subscribe to?
posted by ND¢ at 9:28 AM on July 20, 2007


There are thousands of good books people could read, but people read Harry Potter because other people read Harry Potter and because they've been advertised to. It's what you have to do if you have a certain mindset. Next year, it will be something else they all have to read (consume, collect, forget, discard).

Reading something because other people do is one of the most valid, rational reasons for doing so. Cultural literacy motivates a plurality of reading decisions among people I've known.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:49 AM on July 20, 2007


I had to avoid MetaFilter for FOUR DAYS because of fear of getting spoiled. And now I don't have to anymore. Yay!

*hugs the blue...and grey*
posted by liquorice at 4:31 AM on July 21, 2007


"I was told that children would now read only J.K. Rowling, and I was asked whether that wasn't, after all, better than reading nothing at all? If Rowling was what it took to make them pick up a book, wasn't that a good thing?

It is not. Harry Potter will not lead our children on to Kipling's Just So Stories or his Jungle Book. It will not lead them to Thurber's Thirteen Clocks or Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows or Lewis Carroll's Alice.

Later I read a lavish, loving review of Harry Potter by the same Stephen King. He wrote something to the effect of, "If these kids are reading Harry Potter at 11 or 12, then when they get older they will go on to read Stephen King." And he was quite right. He was not being ironic. When you read Harry Potter you are, in fact, trained to read Stephen King.

Our society and our literature and our culture are being dumbed down, and the causes are very complex. I'm 73 years old. In a lifetime of teaching English, I've seen the study of literature debased."

- Harold Bloom, from "Dumbing Down American Readers"
posted by inoculatedcities at 5:53 PM on July 21, 2007


SPOILER: Potter is a woman.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:10 PM on July 21, 2007


Harold Bloom eats poo.
posted by Snyder at 12:03 AM on July 23, 2007


Never having read any of these children's books and prompted, finally, by the vitriol in this thread, I downloaded the seventh books and read the first and last chapters (+ epilogue). I honestly can't see what the fuss is about, and the ending seems a little bland. Epic pooh, indeed.
posted by meehawl at 3:48 PM on July 23, 2007


Most Potter haters are Slytherins- not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Coaticass at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2007


You know, I've got the book now. What say you I just never read it. Can nothing gold stay?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:54 AM on July 25, 2007


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