December 12, 2001
Good Versus Evil
I know it is politically correct to say that (to paraphrase Peter Jackson), there is no competition between Harry Potter and LOTR, that Harry Potter is also a great movie and the two should mutually benefit from their respective popularity. I beg to differ. The box office head-to-head between HP and LOTR is (mirroring the timeless theme of both stories) a battle between Good and Evil. Actually, to be accurate, I should say a battle between a movie based on a truly seminal piece of fictional writing and a movie based on a trite, hackneyed, mediocrely-written, hodge podge of cliches but that doesnt sound as catchy. It is a crime and perversion of natural justice (which the HP phenomenon clearly proves doesnt exist) that such an average piece of writing as the Harry Potter series should be selling a 100 million copies and breaking box office records while infinitely better childrens series remain relatively unknown (Moomintroll series and Prydain series, for example). This is the reason that I intend to avoid watching HP (at least until it hits the weekly section of the Blockbusters videos) and to watch LOTR as many times as practical so that I can do my bit to ensure that balance is restored to the cosmos and the LOTR beats HP in the box office. So, if any of you are considering, or have already, watched HP make it a point to watch LOTR an extra time!
The tone of this article is obviously a bit facetious, but the message is serious. Go LOTR! Down with HP!
P.S. Let me just clarify that my reference to Good versus Evil is mostly in jest and in no way reflects support for the argument from some quarters of the Christian community that HP is evil because of its allusions to witchcraft. In fact, if all of their accusations are true, it makes me respect HP a little more since the author would have had to do some personal research to get all the witchcraft names (e.g. Potter), etc So, I could at least justify Rowling becoming a multimillionaire (some predict, the first billionaire writer) on the basis of hard work since it obviously cannot be justified on the basis of writing ability.