Friday, July 15, 2005

some time around midnight

This is my quandry: I get off work around midnight tonight and Alicia and I are scheduled to do our turn at the prayer vigil from 1 to 2 am. Now, is it better to try and buy my copy of the newest Harry Potter before or after the prayer vigil?
Of course I'm just joking. There's no way I could grab a copy in that short of time. the lines would be way too long.
My take on Senor Harry is that the books are a pretty good reflection of our times. I don't think that they are the scourge of western civ nor are they going to draw an entire generation of young people from God. The books success does point out the lack of quality literature today, truly good books that capture kids imagination, take them to a far away land and introduce them to these mystical beings called foil characters, multiple plot lines, imagery and depth.
Imagine a kid grabbing a 500 page book and wrestling with themes like good and evil and personal responsibility. Unselfish love and inner turmoil. Fighting against personal demons to do what is right. Going into issues that are not clear cut and easy to label, but instead require soul searching and seeking out advice that has been seasoned with age.
Now imagine if those books were written by modern Christian writers. Instead of the paltry, how to books that are churned out daily (how to be a Christian in Middle School, how not to kiss boys, how to be a cool teenage witness etc) The fiction that does come out is wierd, incorrect and usually pretty lame. but most of all it is written only for Christian audiences with Christian friends to talk about at their Christian gatherings, where they can spend their Christian money to buy more Christian trinkets.
Similar to most of the Christian music out, the youth literature deals with a very whitewashed life and fails to capture the imagination or spirit of modern youth culture.
Gripe and Complain about harry pot-head but maybe we should be trying to find the next Tolkein or Lewis instead.

2 comments:

disgruntled world citizen said...

I'd have said you could of done both. Go to the prayer meetin, thing and get the book on Saturday morning. Let me tell you J, being a bookseller and on the other side of the proverbial "desk" it was an amazing thing to see the Harry Potter book sell... I don't think I can even come close to putting into the words the sheer amazement of the Harry Potter phenom. I think I must of personally rung up at least a hundred copies (if not more) of HP in an eight hour shift. The company I work for was expecting, believe it or not, to sell 50,000 copies an HOUR in the first 24hours of release! That's a lot of frickin books.

I'm a little less than half way through it. Its pretty good, I'm enjoying it.

Josh said...

I saw the Harry Potter people on the news... It reminded me of my midnight trip to the movies to see Star Wars. Now I'm not a parent (I only play one on the blog), but people, please, your 6-year-old should be in bed at 2 in the morning the day Harry Potter comes out. It's called Amazon. Look into it.

I read on a website that the author made FOURTY MILLION BONES the first 24 hours the book was out. That could buy a lot of food for starving teenage actresses.

I think you're right about Christian authors missing the boat a little bit. Everyone likes a good story, and Lewis and Tolkien are excellent examples of authors who wove Christian themes into novels not necessarily intended for Christian audiences. I will be very interested in how the Lewis books play as movies beginning this Christmas.

I think part of the problem is that right now, because of politics and some other factors, the fundamentalists make up the Christian face to a large part of the secular world. In general, fundies would not be inclined to look to fiction for faith lessons. They tend to be a little uptight about things like that. Hey fundies, loosten up a little! After all, the first three letters of fundamentalist spell "fun!" The Christian fiction books that are out there are so corny that they make me cringe.