Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Selfish, Callous, Childhood Dismissing Edmonton Journal Bitch-Hack Journalists

*ahem* As you can guess, this is a bit of a rant. One of my siblings clued me in to the fact that The Edmonton Journal, the #1 paper for the capital of Alberta, posted the juiciest spoiler for Harry Potter's final adventure in the article's HEADLINE on the FUCKING FIRST PAGE OF THE PAPER. And by spoiler, I mean THE spoiler, that everyone from bookies to grade schoolers has been itching to find out - that is, who lives and who dies.

Pardon my Elvish, but FUCK YOU EDMONTON JOURNAL!

It was only due to Sister #2's warning that I didn't read the front page myself. It's only now that I realize that I really can't use the internet or watch TV or even talk to people (which should be hard, as I have to work at the Disney Store today and we're directly across from a Coles bookstore) if I don't want the ending ruined. I mean, I don't want to be one of those Internet idiots who's always screaming "spoiler alert!" over the littlest things, but I mean, c'mon! This is supposed to be on the last page of the last Harry Potter book!

I could (somewhat) understand the paper running an article like that maybe two weeks, maybe even one week after the book came out to discuss its meaning and the probable effect on its readers - because at least that would give some people a chance to read the book. But on the first day it's out? On the front page - the one that everyone reads? And in the freakin' headline??? I'm assuming some fucking intern got assigned to one of those "Midnight Harry Potter Madness" parties, bought the book at 12:05, skipped right to the ending, and passed the info onto the newspaper folks so they could cook up a last-minute article before press time.

It's not just because it's Harry Potter that I'm angry - I may sound cliched, but it's the principle of the thing. They deliberately printed the most important spoiler in the most-read part of the article (the headline) on the most-read page of the paper (the front page) on the morning of the very first day the book came out - and do you want to guess how many people were gifted with an advance copy of the seventh Harry Potter? Not a whole damn many - hell, even Stephen King hadn't managed to get himself one.

There may have been a few who, by now, have finished reading the book after buying it at midnight - but there are just as many kids, teens, and adults who didn't stay up past their bedtimes who are only now going out to get the copy. And they just might stop to read the first page of the paper before they leave the house.


I'm willing to bet any amount of money that tomorrow's editorial is going to be chock-full of pissed-off readers who are just as angry as I am that the Edmonton Journal let the fatass cat out of the bag in order to sell a few more copies of its paper. J.K. Rowling is a fantastic writer, and while her later books have succumbed somewhat to George Lucas Syndrome (i.e. - "he/she's so good/successful, we don't need to edit anything!"), she's still managed to cook up a great surprise, and it's always been a pleasure to read through the clues of the book only to have it revealed at the end - and it's almost always been both a) a real surprise, and b) one that's been established by actual clues and isn't just a red-herring deus ex machina.

I'm not saying I wouldn't have read the book if I'd had the ending spoiled - but you read a book differently when you know the ending than when you know nothing about the plot. Rereading a book you remember is about the journey to a destination you already know, but reading a new book is an exploration of completely unknown territory. I'd really like to have that experience with the seventh Harry Potter novel, and I'm sure a lot of people who read the front page of The Edmonton Journal would have wanted that too.

Fuck you, Edmonton Journal. Did you sell a lot of copies? I hope you're fucking happy.

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