Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a fine, fine line...

Ah, it's a fine, fine line between fan and freak.

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book called What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7? by the mugglenet people. Hey, I'm mildly HP-obsessed and I just love free books. Sold.

But reading this book made me realise a couple of things. You might consider yourself a fan of something, but unless you (a) visit fan sites (b) read/write fan fiction and (c) own dress-up outfits, you're a lightweight, baby.

When I said I'd review the HP5 movie, my ed said, "Sounds dandy! But if you're wearing wizard robes, can you please not say you're from [publicaion name deleted]? that would just be embarrassing."

And fear not - I agree. I have been guilty of (a) in the past few days, but that's just because News Ltd and the Guardian keep publishing links to "spoilers" and I'm desperate to say, "Ha! As if that's going to happen! Pfffft!"

But in the Potterverse, I don't even qualify as a fan. I'm just a lightweight who happens to have read all the books and seen all the movies. You know, a big girl's blouse in terms of hard-core Harry fans.

Fan fiction and dress-up boxes are a whole different ballgame, baby. It's like the difference between watching a fair bit of Star Trek when you're a bit tiddly late at night and actually owning a Klingon make-up set, dictionary and uniform and having a character that you've named and pretend to be at Star Trek conventions. Or putting "Jedi" on your census form. You know, weird.

So unless you're a true Potter nerd, you can have no idea how many pages of fan fiction there are out there. It's not just JK Rowling whose churning out the wizard words. Just one site has something like 40,000 fan-penned stories. I'm guessing every one of them can name the magical decree where Professor Umbridge declares herself head mistress of Hogwarts, know which floor Moaning Myrtle's bathroom is on and what makes the girls' staircase in the Hogwarts dorm turn into a slippery dip. In fact, think of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes the voice of (doomed and dull) Poochie and goes to a signing event. The people in that audience are just like the Potter fanfreaks.

Can you imagine being JK Rowling at one of those events? I mean, I wish to Christ I was, because then I'd be richer than the Queen, younger, better looking and married to someone who wasn't Prince Philip. But I'm a little absent-minded, so I have to admit that if I were a famous writer and someone asked me a question about page 345 of the third book, I'd be thinking, "Oh, fafuxxake. I don't know!" I'd probably just make something up on the spot because I'd be incapable of remembering what I'd written. After all, I do that at work all the time.

But as much as I love him, one of my pals is a Harry-Hermione 'shipper. Yes, he is clinging to the ridiculous hope that Harry and Hermione are going to end up together. Even though JK Rowling has said the current partnerships won't change (in my defence, I only know this because of the review book). Even though it makes no sense for Harry and Hermione to be together after she and Ron have spent six years eyeing each other off and Harry and Hermione are like brother and sister. No. He maintains that unless the two Hs get together, the entire series will have been wasted.

Look, I really don't care one way or another. The whole series will not have been spoiled for me if H and H do get together, but I recognise that it's implausible. But there are some things that really have to be in then next book. I know there are wankers who are pretending to leak spoilers left, right and centre that Harry, Ron and Hermione all die and are reunited in some sort of Deathly Hallows afterlife with Dumbledore, Sirius and Harry's parents, but pulease! Who's going to believe that?

Harry has to kill Voldemort. Dumbledore is dead. And Hagrid and either Ron or Hermione are doomed. Also, I don't like Lupin's chances.

So fafuxxake! Can we just have the book now?! I can't stand the suspense anymore!

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At 1:18 am, July 20, 2007, Blogger Eleanor Bloom said...

Oh good God, I'm so out of the loop! I'm starting to feel like I live in some alternate universe (er, you know, more than usual)!

I must start reading HP.

At 9:45 am, July 20, 2007, Blogger Rosanna said...

The suspense is killing me.

Until I visited - I had NO idea just how much some people could LOVE Harry Potter. I am a complete novice - and then I saw people quizzing each other on the exact shade of Dumbledore's robe on page 76 of the American Version of Book number 4.

Meanwhile, Rosanna is sitting back still trying to contemplate the fact that Dumbledore is... dead.

There are fanfictions, Redcap, that are THOUSANDS OF PAGES long. It's just mind boggling.

I don't think you and I can even compete with the big guns.

At 10:42 am, July 20, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

eleanor, very craft - that would mean you could read them all at once without having to wait for the next one to be written!

rosanna, oh I know I'm a lightweight. I did a Harry Potter quiz and scored about five out of 20. But you know what? I don't really mind that much ;)

At 11:16 am, July 20, 2007, Blogger Rosanna said...

No, I think classically understated it the way forward.

At 4:45 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger Eleanor Bloom said...

Yeah, clever of me. Except, I'm guessing that Dumbledore will die at some stage... *sigh*
I'm going to have to stop reading all the HP posts going around.

At 5:56 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger phishez_rule said...

Did you notice at the end of the sixth book, that Ron and Hermione were comforting each other?

I did. I reckon that they're together.

At 6:18 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger Sakura said...

Ron and Hermione will definately get together, all that sexual tension through out the whole series has to come to some climax.

I think it is pretty pants that people are leaking spoilers all over the place, let everyone enjoy the finale in peace - some kids have literally grown up with Harry, let them at least still enjoy the last sweet taste of innoccence.

I've got my book re-ordered ... is that sad???

At 6:19 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger Sakura said...

**meant to type pre-ordered, was so excited whilst typing it

At 8:50 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

rosanna, I'm with you, missy - understated is *always* the way to go. Fashion, books, jewellery and everything else.

eleanor, ooh, sorry, man. Think of it like Lord of the Rings. Some bastard was always going to tell you that Gandalf died at the end of book one. But don't let that stop you. Go forth and read!

phishez, indded I did. They were "comforting" each other pretty much all through the book! As were Harry and Ginny. Can't see how that's gunna change...

sakura, darling, I have my book pre-ordered too. Last time I preordered with Borders and it was ridiculously busy. Now I'm going the suburban Angus and Robertson to avoid the crowds.

Darlings, don't talk to me tomorrow. Much as I loves youse all, I will be Busy. xx

At 11:56 pm, July 20, 2007, Blogger ashleigh said...

She Who Must Be Obeyed has had it order fro dymocks for months, and wants me to go into town tomorrow and pick it up.

"No way!" I replied - the forty minute drive in, and forty minutes back to outer-bogansville, along with fighting through the screaming hordes of Potter-Snatchers. Somehow I think my weekend can be better spent.

BESIDES SHE WILL BEAT WORK. IN THE LIBRARY. WHERE THEY GET THEIR COPIES AT 11 am. Then rush-catalog them and get them out for the punters to borrow.

Bet she'll be sneak reading the last few pages!

At 6:09 pm, July 21, 2007, Blogger Steph said...

Harry Potter fans are becoming like Star Wars or Star Trek fans, all that dressing up and getting hysterical.
When will it end????

At 7:16 pm, July 21, 2007, Blogger londongirl said...

You're right - a whole new level of fan ness.

I was a fan initially - read the first four books - and since have fallen by the wayside. A shame really as I enjoyed them. Note to self. buy books. But books by authors, not fans.

At 8:13 pm, July 21, 2007, Blogger Lonie Polony said...

Spoilsports must die. Or at least SHUT UP! when I'm using the computer in a common, open area and am obliged to clap my hands over my ears and chant, "la la la!" to myself as loudly as I dare without being hauled off to the loony bin by one of my passing colleagues who is looking at me strangely and thinking I've finally snapped that last thread of sanity...

At 10:17 pm, July 21, 2007, Anonymous Teddy said...

First you want to kill Hagrid and now you have H & H as like brother and sister.
Wont you get a surprise when Hagrid walks of into the sunset with the reincarnated Fluffy and Harry scruffs his sister
Of course you have now read it and you are busting to reveal all for the slower readers or those waiting at the library

At 3:57 pm, July 22, 2007, Blogger Miss Smack said...

I saw Order of the Phoenix with my daughter last night and also heard what happens in the final book. Sad really, but healthier for kids to be engrossed in this series than other temptations out there, eh?

It's a bit of shame for those who do not want to know what happened [like my daughter] because they have to wait, or read the book to avoid covering her ears for months at school going 'la la laaaa, i'm not listening'

At 5:33 pm, July 22, 2007, Blogger the ianandan expedition said...

those hard core fans are like a different breed...

At 6:50 pm, July 22, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

ashleigh, I'm afraid that if you want it, then you collect it. Bloke has had a bit of a joke for the past couple of days, saying, "So when are you picking up MY Harry Potter Book?" To which there has (naturally) been widespread mockery and hilarity. I've suggested if he's that desperate, he gets his own :) But I don't think Mrs Dump will be reading the last few pages. I know I'm not!

steph, I don't hold with this whole dress-up thing. It's just too weird. If you own a dress-up box and you're either (a) over 10 or (b) not a dominatrix, then I think it's actually time for therapy.

LG, I'm with you - fan fiction is weird in the extreme. If you want to write, then for heaven's sake write come up with some characters and back stories of your own, peeps!

lonie, Ford damn the pusher man. And the spoiler man is even worse. There's a special place in hell for bastards like that. But remember that if you're reading it in a newspaper, it might have been the @#$%ing editor who forced the reviewer to do it. I heard tell of a local reviewer who was forced to do the spoiler thing by her ed and then when the complaints started to roll in, he made her answer every single one herself. Apart from the guy I review for at the moment, editors are the scum of the universe, my friend. Scum. Universe. That is all.

ted, we're a little more than halfway through. I'm still thinking that Hagrid will die and I stand by my prediction that Harry and Hermione will never be more than friends. So there!

ms smack, people are just bastards. What can I say? Read fast, listen later.

ianandian experiment, it's very Star Trek, isn't it? Hi, I'm Yolanna Blue and I'm a Marquee lieutenant...

At 11:56 am, July 23, 2007, Blogger Hungry Hungry Hypocrite said...

uWhat does Ron Weasley really think about Harry hooking up with his sister? Surely that's bad news in the wizard's code of mateship. 1: Thou shalt not practice magic in the muggle world. 2: Thou shalt not name 'him' for fear of giving power to the fear of 'him'. 3: Not with your mate's sister - it's just out of the question - end of story.

At 5:51 pm, July 29, 2007, Blogger Davo said...

"fan" shorthand for "fanatic". (L: fanaticus) ..enough said .. heh.


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