When submerging myself this past summer in the amazing and wonderful Harry Potter series, I grew to love J.K. Rowling.
When I continued on this fall with the three great and quirky supplemental books, I grew to love J.K. even more.
When I stayed on target during Halloweentime by entering the daring world of The Casual Vacancy, I grew to love J.K. beyond measure.
So yes, over a course of a few short months, this mundane Muggle has become a full fledged Potterhead, swearing undying allegiance to Gryffindor House and the Chudley Cannons. And if Krystal Weedon had went to Hogwarts, her life would have definitely been much better.
Just amassing all this geek knowledge, and being able to spew it out articulately, makes me a whole lot better person. So many cultural references now reside so restfully in my cerebral cortex, always emerging to the surface at the right moment, in order to exclaim to the world my own innate knowledge.
All this makes me one giddy crazed fanboy. And that’s just how I like it.
Harry Potter joins such illustrious company as, in no particular order, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, DC Comics, Dr Who, The Hunger Games, and The Beatles. Five dozen more will probably pop into my head after this goes up, but you get the general idea.
With this newfound admiration, my thoughts have now entered into analyzing and assimilating all issues related to Potter. Like all sorts of great fandoms, the source material is chock filled with life lessons and social studies. J.K. tackles such topics as income disparity, racism, classism, jealousy, and two of the biggest of them all, love and death.
You have the distinct feeling J.K. has encountered these problems firsthand, and that assumption is born out when reading The Casual Vacancy. Hitting on these hot button concepts in a series of children books, where the complexity grows with each new entry, is very audacious. But hitting on these ideas is not enough with Vacancy, for with this one, she lets loose with a full barrage of emotions and social topics with unparalleled nerve.
In numerous interviews recently, J.K. made no apologies for her past dealings with controversial subject matters, and doubled down even more when asked about Vacancy. She defended every word, every thought, as being reality. All the books had to feel real to her, and Vacancy even more so. If you did not write truth, then you were not being true.
This courage is very enlightening and very empowering. J.K. plunged ahead into her story, her journey, and her path, with no remorse exhibited of what feelings and emotions she stirred in her future readers. It was what it was.
J.K.’s verisimilitude fit very nicely into my philosophy here and helped reinforce and reinvigorate everything I have done on SMP. Other literary heroes of mine, like Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, have also espoused this same worldview, which is probably why I like them as well so much.
Fearlessly they inspire, whether in concepts or writing or execution, something that should infiltrate all, Muggles and Magicfolk alike. Harry takes the long walk to death, accompanied by the sprits of loved ones long gone. That was courage given to a character and put on a page. Another kind of courage was used to even write that scene.
J.K. went where she wanted to go. And her example is something I have tried to live by here and elsewhere. The wand picks the owner. We all just have to learn to use it.