Sunday, November 2, 2014

4 Fandoms in Progress, part 1

I thought it was high time I gave a brief overview to some fandoms I've been 'working on.' By working on I mean checking out, watching, reading, listening to, etc.--as opposed to have watched, have listened to, have seen live, have gotten the tee shirt,* etc.  This post has turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, and so I am stretching it into multiple posting opportunities. Yippee.
So, without further fuss...
1. Harry Potter
Ah, yes, the controversial one. Woo-hoo. As I was (well, am) growing up I rarely heard this series spoken of in anything more flattering than sarcasm, a metaphor for going with the flow and doing stupid things. Part of this is my family's general aversion to anything with a lot of hype (Mum's INTP and Dad's ENFJ with a very slight feeling preference. We tend to view humanity as a whole as being less-than-bright, and ergo anything that humanity in general likes must not be terribly intelligent. Faultless reasoning, no?). Of course, I have inherited a lot of this contrariness, and when you're contrary to what's contrary to most people, you get a double negative, ~~, which means you get a positive. Thank you, logic.
So, one day, I decided I would give HP a shot. It helped that our goodwill has a neat policy on paperback purchases--buy one for $.25, or buy five for a dollar. Dear Harry's first volume helped my miserly little self avoid paying five cents more per book. I've gotten much worse books to make that noble 5 before...
The proverbial elephant (not Gavroche's, alas) in the room with Harry Potter, at least in my circles, is the 'witchcraft.' I don't have time or inclination to go into my justifications here, but let me say that I don't think what Hogwarts teaches in any way resembles what twisted man might try to do to gain demonic power. It's an inherent, inherited ability.Witchcraft is a bit of a misnomer here. I'm not saying I'm completely fine with all of it, or that I want my younger siblings running around waving wands and screaming spells (since when do I like it if they're running around, screaming, or waving anything?); I'm just saying that thus far, I see nothing shocking or 'polluting' going on thus far.
And if I read one more 'Christian' article on why Harry Potter is demonic and is going to eat the children who read it, I may just explode.
^ and if you want something amusing, watch this. ^
      Now that the elephant has been shot, let's talk about the fun bits in no particular order!

~~I love J.K. Rowling's writing style--it reminds me of Roald Dahl and Rick Riordan (I'm aware that she came first, blah blah blah, but I read Percy Jackson years before I read HP.). She has all the charm** of the former, the engaging tone of the latter, and the hilarity of both. Very nice indeed.

~~And may I add that I had no idea the whole thing would be so very...British. I knew it was British, of course, but not that British. I love it. Most of that sort of fiction that I read is very, very American.
~~The Weasleys--I love them. I have had it from multiple sources that our house is somehow reminiscent of the Weasleys' home. I can't quite figure it out--we only have two redheads (quite enough if you ask me) and we certainly don't have troublemakers. Ahem. Maybe it's the gnome problem. Pesky creatures. But seriously, what's not to love about a family of redheads with lots of chickens and no money?

~~Hermione--I feel for that poor girl. During the first part of Prisoner of Azkaban  she reminded me of the year I tried to take VPSA classes and CC at the same time. It was an amazing but incredibly exhausting term and I don't recommend it to anyone without a Time Lord or equivalent.
I think Hermione had been my favorite character so far--perhaps she ties with Ron?

~~Hogwarts. I told Mom, 'It's like VPSA for wizards!' actually get to *meet* people. But now is not the time to start pouting about the EOTYG again.
It can't get more fun (?) than a giant old school in a giant old castle filled with giant old secrets and lots of curious young wizards. Unless there were a library. Oh wait. There is. :D

~~In general, this whole experimental exploration has just been loads of fun, and I am excited to continue. Alas, I only grabbed through book three from my dear uncle's collection, and the library doesn't have book four. So here I am, just (oh so calmly) twiddling my thumbs and waiting around for a random trip to Mississippi or the library to actually get the book I want. I'm thinking the former is more likely. I NEED ME BOOK, PEOPLES!
Let's just hope I survive to finish it. And who knows? Someday I may even watch a movie adaptation. Or eight. You might actually get some pictures someday. But right now, I'm just lurking around the Internet avoiding spoilers. Or trying to.
And I haven't even put a toe into the real fandom yet. It's so big, it's kind of intimidating--this thing is only a few months younger than I am. My sister and I have already had one public fan sighting. She was wearing a Gryffindor shirt, but we were too timid to speak to her. I feel like I'm on the brink of something huge, something exciting.
I need that fourth book.

So, what's your opinion on the popular wizard? Is it worth the price of obsession?
And if any of you experienced fans are reading, what do you call yourselves? Potterheads?
And has anyone run across a MBTI chart for HP that they think is accurate? Or do you just happen to have an opinion on the types of the characters? I'd love to hear it.

*actually not entirely true because I don't wear T-shirts. Oh well.
**charm...I think it's charm. Not sure what else to call it.

And be sure to stick around for part 2! In the style of Gatiss and Moffat, here's three one-word clues: Musical. Girl. Misunderstood.
That's not ambiguous at all...


Aibhilin (Evelyn) said...

Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!! You did Harry Potter!!! XD

Oh that's soo cool you got the first ones at such a good price! I'm curious now, is it Hp and Philosophers Stone like it is here or Sorcerer's stone?

I'll be back tto comment more, I have to go now :(

Catie Dunlap said...

For whatever reason, it's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone . I guess Americans don't read enough to know what the philosopher's stone is...? I was quite confuzzled by it at first.

sarah b said...

you have no idea how happy this post makes me. it annoys me so much when people freak out about the witchcraft and all that - sure, it's magic and you have to tread carefully, but I think Rowling has redefined it in a delightfully innocent way. It's more of a science, or something. I don't know.

You are getting yourself into something HUGE and WONDERFUL. so exciting. :)

Danielle said...


I've never commented on you blog before, but this post really interested me!

First, you might be interested in this: which is from a Catholic perspective, but still I think most of it applies (I don't know what you are, but I'm not Catholic. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :P )

I am sick of Christians raising an eyebrow when I would reply to them saying that my favourites books were Harry Potter. Most who don't let their children read the books have never read them themselves, but are basing their judgement on what others have told them. How can you pass judgement on something if you don't know anything about it?

Most Christians I know are fine with their children reading/watching the 'Narnia' books and 'The Lord of the Rings', but are more wary of Harry Potter. Because C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were Christians. That is wonderful, and I like the way Lewis showed Christian ideas/morals/stories, but their books all have very similar themes, and would Tolkien and Lewis's works still be treated the same if people looked at them the same way some look at Harry Potter?

Erm, anyway, I realise this may seem a bit weird... You don't know me and I just had a bit of a rant on your blog... Sorry!

Enjoy the books, I think they're brilliant, and I hope you continue to enjoy them!

Sorry if it seemed like I was attacking or being negative about Christians as a whole; because I wasn't.


Catie Dunlap said...

Thanks, Danielle, and welcome to the madness! Have no fear of randomness, possible negativity, or seeming weird. We're Pinterest buddies already, aren't we? Here, you see, we have no awkwardness or ceremony. Capital!
I enjoyed reading that post; I don't know that I've ever come across an article with that perspective. Usually it's either negative or well-it's-okay-'cause-everything's-okay sort of viewpoint. It was quite refreshing. I'm not Catholic (except in the more general sense of the word), but to grossly generalize I find they often have better appreciation for the arts than my fellow Baptists.
And you have a very good point; how are we supposed to judge things without *some* exposure? I can't help but think that taking a negative stance on something because we heard it was naughty often feeds this sense of 'I'm in the know and you poor ignoramuses aren't. Hee-hee.' In other words, pride.
I love Lewis and Tolkien but was wary about Rowling because, as I said, I heard it was witchcraft. I really wish she had use some other term, or that people would spread the word that it's really not anything demonic. I don't have any problem with characters exercising natural abilities/powers. Harry learning to create a potion is really no different from my learning to create a geometrical proof. I was born with some seed of this ability in me--a rational mind, and Harry was born with this gift of 'wizardry.'
Well, I suppose there are some differences. Luckily I don't have Snape for geometry. And the potion might actually prove to be useful.
Please pardon my rambling. :)

April Dunlap said...

FYI, avoiding the hype has served me well in many cases. :)
The GW policy on paperbacks is not so innocuous as you state--it is $.99 PER paperback individually, or 5/$1.00...THAT is why our shelves are FULL of duplicates of books we just couldn't "leave with total strangers". No, we're not sentimental about our imaginary friends, are we? :) Excellent post, dear. I adore hearing your thoughts and I am fairly certain your obsessions were created by God to inject some much-needed joy into our little humid existence. Now, where to put more shelves...LOVE! ~Mom

Whirlwind said...

Prisoner is still my favorite. I also really like the one where everybody dies, but since it isn't Song of Fire and Ice, I won't spoil that for you ;)

That said, I thought the last book(s) was crap. Maybe I missed something in the reading, but she lost a lot of the good humor and flare right around the Order of the Phoenix (which was fantastic), but I think the more I read after that point the less interested I became. Granted, I had to wait a year between each of the last 3 books. Bah. Binge reading is much more satisfying, generally. It helps when you don't have time to mull over the last book's faults before you read the next one. I like getting swept up in the momentum of a good series.

Danielle said...

You have no idea how glad I am that you published my comment! Gosh I was so nervous you thought I was being awful or something! And I really like your blog, it's sweet! And yes, Pinterest buddies, I'm glad it's not just me that remembered! I'm not sure about no awkwardness though, according to my school friends I 'radiate awkwardness'!
I'm glad you enjoyed the post, I though you might! When I first read the books people were very disapproving, and I think Mum was seen as a bit of a radical! "What, you let your daughter read *those* books?" I experience the same sort of thing with Percy Jackson, but I think in that case it is slightly more deserved. Slightly.
Yes, if she had used another term I think in general a few more people would be more welcoming of the books. The way the characters can do magic is an inherited gift, much like the Weasley's ginger-ness or Harry's eyes (Just like his mother's...). They are simply born with it.
Ugh, Snape for geometry would be awful! I think he would teach chemistry though. Which would be equally awful because I don't understand that very well either... Haha, potion making is probably a bit more useful than geometric reasoning!

Thank you for rambling, and I hope you don't mind that I did again too! :)

Oh, and is the next thing going to be about the musical Wicked? I really hope it is because I have been listening to the songs for the last few weeks and I love it! But if it isn't I am sure whatever it is will be just as cool. And if it's not Wicked, then maybe you should check it out anyway? :)