Linkblogging: Harry Potter, the Anti-Geek and TV Values

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan's The Dish (in this case, overseen by Zack Beauchamp and Zoe Pollock)

These two posts aren't related but I was struck reading them on the same day.

The point about children's television is troubling. I'm sure if I was a parent of a young child, I'd be more worried. If I was the parent of a child being targeted by such shows, I likely would have smashed the television to bits long ago.

Is there a relationship between that and the fact that Harry Potter, the biggest book/film franchise of recent decades, is about a character who achieves celebrity? If the character wasn't...would the books have been as big a hit?

As far as Harry Potter not being of the American band of misfits mold, Amanda Marcotte, who authored the original piece, wonders whether this template has a similar hold over the British mind that it does over the American mind. It brought to mind Michael Moorcock's reading of Tolkien, labeling The Lord of the Rings as "epic Pooh" - which isn't scatological. He's referring to "Winnie-the-" and making the case that the same middle class values of eat your peas, mind your betters, don't question the class structure, etc. are the foundation of both tales. In the U.S., of course, we like our stories of loners and revolutionaries and apple cart up-enders. Well, sometimes, at least.

I suspect we'll be seeing many more Harry Potter articles in the near term as people sit and rethink and reassess the meaning of the series.

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