5 Ways People Are Taking Harry Potter Waaay Too Seriously
Readers everywhere have fallen in love with the tale of a magical boy who escapes a decade of child abuse only to wind up in a facility with a worse child-safety record than the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, humanity's ability to simply enjoy the Harry Potter books and get on with their lives ended the very second two computers were connected together.
These days, the rule of fandom is anything worth doing, is worth overdoing, often to a terrifying degree. Just take a look at...
The Wizard Rock Festival
In what can only be an attempt by rogue mathematicians to create an actual physical empty set, someone organized the overlap of "Rock Festival Attendees" and "Hardcore Harry Potter Fans" in Brooklyn last September. If you've already guessed that the bands all had names like "The Cedric Diggorys" and "The Remus Lupins," well done on recovering from that attack on your faith in humanity faster than we did.
Tickets actually sold out, with 20 Muggle dollars earning you Wrock festival attendance (if you were wondering, yes, "Wrock" is "rock" about wizardly subjects). Though now that we look at it, it says about 300 fans and 17 bands turned up, a ratio that they could have managed if each band just got their friends and family to fork over the cash.
Behold the face of Wrocking Out:
Wait a second, that's... a lot of girls there. Maybe the young dudes in the audience know something the rest of us don't, like that guy we all laughed at when he made it onto the cheerleading squad.
This raises many, many questions, such as, do those dudes hit on the girls by claiming they got there by accident? "Yeah, it's OK I guess, but I only bought a ticket because I thought 'wrock' was wrestling where the dudes get to bash each other with rocks."
Or is the opposite? Is this the one place on Earth where some 16-year-old dude actually increases his chances by openly recognizing the banner of Gryffindor on the wall? Will he win the heart of that girl on the left by telling her she looks like Cho Chang?
The Intercollegiate Quidditch Association
As we mentioned yesterday, Quidditch is an incredible sport based entirely around magic and making the actions of everyone except a single primary character utterly irrelevant. This makes it the best movie game ever, but the most impossibly bad candidate for a real sport since synchronized shitting.
And if we told you a bunch of schools had organized a Quidditch league, you'd say, "Aww, that's so cute." Which is why we put "Intercollegiate" in the title; this isn't elementary schools, or perhaps kindergartens for the specially-differently-abled. Real actual universities like Princeton, McGill and Boston University have full-fledged Quidditch teams. Possibly as a "if we have to cut budgets we know where to start" measure.
Oh, there's video:
There's an easy way to tell if you're playing a real sport or just failing to realize you're four-years-old: Are you carrying a piece of equipment that doesn't do anything? In a real sport you carry a stick if you intend to hit an object (baseball), other people (kendo) or both (ice hockey). In Quidditch, you waddle along like an arts-degree penguin clutching the kind of broomstick that makes witches say, "Don't worry, it happens to every wizard."
Though we will say that once jetpack technology becomes common and inexpensive, this will be the most awesome fucking sport in the world.
The Politician Who Must Not Be Named
A Russian man legally changed his name to "Harry Potter" in an attempt to win an election for governor and, while frighteningly insane, is by far not the worst thing a 32-year-old could be doing by pretending to be Harry Potter.
We're not experts on Russian government procedure (and if the last 50 years are anything to go by, neither are they) but we're fairly sure that 12-year-olds don't get to vote. And magical interference in elections is punished by the ghosts of the KGB. Oh, and you're not allowed to use a changed name in a Russian election anyway. Kind of an afterthought at this point, since if the voters were going to elect the guy, really they kind of deserved what they got.
What's even more outrageous is that we're thinking this guy wasn't a Harry Potter fan at all. If so, he would have known those Soviet Durmstrang wizards from Goblet of Fire would kick the shit out of the snotty Hogwarts rejects any day of the magical week. If you're going to go with a fake wizard name on a Russian ballot, you need to put "Viktor Krum" on that shit.
Fight for Your Right to Wizard-cest-aedophilia
When is it OK to draw pictures of underage children having sex?
If you have to think about the answer to that question for very long, you have apparently gotten here by badly mistyping "LiveJournal" in your address bar. That site is, for whatever reason, a haven for all sort of images that would be illegal as hell if they were not hand-drawn cartoons.
But maybe LiveJournal isn't so fond of this reputation, as they suspended the accounts of users "ponderosa121" and "elaboration" because erotic pictures of Harry Potter and the Weasley twins, which they say violated the terms of service, copyright laws and the fundamental tenets of a civilized society.
This suspension triggered a tidal wave of Internet whining not seen since Doritos last changed their flavors. Fans stormed the site, with statements of civil rights violations that would make Martin Luther King cry:
"'Obscenity' is the perfect tool to weed out everything that doesn't fit in a nice, clean, straight, male-dominated and preferably white world," said a user named erestor as quoted in news articles on the subject.
We're not showing the image. Use your goddamn imagination.
Yes, erestor just compared the right to draw paedophilic porn to the civil rights movement, universal suffrage and gay rights. If only he'd mentioned Hitler he would have completed his Internet-outrage-bingo card.
Harry Potter Symposium
Twelve hundred people paid full price for a three day symposium, "Lumos 2006," which started at 9 AM in a Las Vegas conference center with a Powerpoint presentation on "Muggles and Mental Health: Rites of Transformation and A Psychoanalytical Perspective on the Inner World of Harry Potter." We are honestly a bit less sane just from reading that sentence.
Other talks included "Comrade Potter: A Marxist Reading of Harry Potter," because if there was one thing missing before we all embraced communism it was a tiny billion-selling fictional wizard left independently wealthy by his parents through no skills of his own.
But that isn't even nearly the worst. Brace yourself. We're not kidding, get ready. And remember that if you punch through your monitor you won't be able to read the rest of the article:
"Parallels in Tyranny: Voldemort, The Ministry of Magic, and Jewish Persecution."
How the speaker even made it to the conference without being beaten to death is unknown, but we can tell you: If you can make parallels between the Holocaust and Harry Potter and honestly believe you're contributing to society, keep your ass at least one ICBM range away from our boots.
Now, some of you are thinking, sure, that's a pretty douchebag topic to come up with there, but surely it's not as bad as cartoon kiddy porn. Oh, right, we forgot to mention the Harry Potter Porn Powerpoints.
"DEAR GOD, WHAT HORROR HAVE I BIRTHED INTO THE WORLD?!?"
A 200-woman conference room--which we imagine must have smelt strongly of cats--got together for a talk on "Out of Bounds: Transgressive Fiction," which meant Snape and Hermione fiction. And if you believe any words in the stories discussed even rhymed with "consensual," then can we come live in your world? It seems nicer there.
For more disturbing tributes from an even more disturbing fan base, check out The 5 Most Baffling Sex Scenes in the History of Fanfiction and The 6 Weirdest Fan Tributes to Mario Bros.
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks or we'll Avada Kedavra your ass right now.