Monday, October 19, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

So... I downloaded a boatload of PotterCasts (pretty much everything I missed on my mission) and I downloaded the audiobook for "Harry, a History" by Melissa Anelli (who is also a PotterCaster and the webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron. And calm down - I downloaded it from, so it's legal). I've been listening to all these - and, quite honestly, everyone is getting on my nerves. Sue's constant apologetic tone for theories and reporting the news is annoying. Melissa's thinly veiled attempts at political-correctness-and-objectivity-that-really-isn't ticks me off. Even John's jokes have gotten vulgar. Frak is okay - to a point (I guess since I've been introduced to him in post-mission life, I can handle him).

I guess it's time to move on. As I listened to Melissa's book, I realized how little I have to do with that fandom anymore (that I probably never had much to do with the hardcore geekery in the first place). Oh, I'm still excited about the next Harry Potter movie and the possibility of going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando - but Leaky has gone too liberal for me (or maybe they always were and I had the excitement of the books to disguise it).

I dunno... between dealing with the "Dumbledore is gay! Hooray!" puke-fest and the socialist HP Alliance, I feel like my fandom's been hijacked by people whose opinions routinely spit in my face and insult me on a personal level constantly.

A note related to Dumbledore's sexual preferences: as part of my playing catchup, I listened to PC's "Harry goes to Comic Con" live show. Here, Melissa and several others were part of a Harry Potter panel. Most of the audience, it seemed, were there for things other than Harry Potter. Someone, not of the HP fandom, brought up the question of what Dumbledore's "outing" had done to the fandom. Someone from either the Sugar Quill or Fiction Alley (neither of which I frequent, seeing as how I am not a fanfiction devotee) responded that it was great because they finally had ammo to throw at all the "hateful" people who requested that fanfiction be kept clean and that homophobia has no place in Harry Potter, so get out you intolerant non-homosexual religious person, you!

That's not exactly how it was said, but that's how I felt after she said what she said. And the fact that people cheered for it just rubbed salt in the wound. It's the first time that a podcast has made me cry. Honestly, I thought all that hullabaloo would die down and life would go back to normal, but I guess it hasn't and it won't.

I don't believe homosexuality is moral or even natural - BUT I don't believe that makes people who have chosen to be homosexual inherently evil. I believe they are human just like the rest of us and, just like the rest of us, they make mistakes that can thankfully be forgiven through the Atonement. The choices they make are between them and their Creator and none of my business.

Don't Harry Potter fans know what it's like to be laughed at and ridiculed for something they treasure? Sorry, but my moral values are a touch more deeply held than my love of Potter and they come first. I never knew that Harry Potter fans could be bullies, but when you get to interview JK Rowling and are on Scholastic and Warner Brothers' speed dial, I guess there comes a point where you become "The Man" that you fought so hard against.

(As an aside, I laughed during the Wizard Rock chapter when the DeGeorge brothers of "Harry and the Potters" fame, who had worked so hard to flourish and not sell out of mainstream rock and "stick it to The Man" suddenly became "The Man" of Wizard Rock when they told Alex Carpenter of "The Remus Lupins" that he couldn't perform unless he was opening for the Potters. Talk about hypocrisy. I was happy when Alex told them - in effect - "screw you" and continued to play. I knew there was a reason I preferred his music over the others.)

Anyway, that's one example of how I suddenly feel disenfranchised by my once-fandom-of-choice. And it doesn't feel like I can do much about it because I'm just one person - one person who's been out of the loop for a year and a half doing something that, quite frankly, I'm sure I would get laughed at if I were to mention it on the boards at Leaky.

Mission life changes you. You see things you once loved in a new light and, sometimes, that stuff has to drop out of your life. I still enjoy the Harry Potter books, but the fandom continues to disappoint. I'm not ready to give it up completely - I promised myself I would finish listening to all these PotterCasts - maybe some kind of redemption is possible, but I doubt it. However, I hear Twilight has a big following - maybe I can find some intellectual grownups over there.

Or, maybe I should just read the books and forget about any kind of fandom interaction. I know I'll listen to my own theories.


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