Culture, Pop & Otherwise

Millennials, We Need a New Cultural Touchstone

A Case Against Pottermania


My fellow Millennials, everyone else may hate us, but I think we’re great. We survived the Great Recession and are slowly killing many products and institutions that deserve painful deaths. Death to the diamond industry, death to Applebee’s!

So it is with great love, affection, and a heavy heart that I proclaim: Millennials, we need to let go of Harry Potter.

We need a new cultural touchstone. The beloved series that defined so many of our childhoods should be allowed to enjoy a richly deserved retirement, at least for a little while.

I loved Harry Potter as much as anyone, and I even went on a day trip to New York City to stand in line for the final book. My best friend and I had just graduated from high school and had just enough money for plane tickets, and we had a bizarre and amazing time. But that was 11 years ago, and it’s time for us all to move on and enjoy the memories of our youth.

But we, as a generation, just can’t seem to let Harry go. And it’s getting kind of embarrassing. We don’t make it easier for ourselves when older people accuse us, often unfairly, of being unable or unwilling to grow up when we keep buying millions of dollars worth of Harry Potter merchandise and when we spend our limited vacation time spending even more money at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

Our beloved J.K. Rowling gets a Huffington Post article every time she “burns Trump” on Twitter and she’s well known for “hit[ting] all the feels” with her public statements and social media messages. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree with essentially 98% of whatever she happens to say on any given topic, but we shouldn’t hang on her every word as gospel, as she is bound to let us down eventually, as all people do. Even Rowling herself acknowledged the importance of trying to move beyond the ‘hype and expectation’ of her Harry Potter legacy when she used a nom de plume when she wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling.

The Harry Potter books were great, and their impact on our generation and literature in general is undeniable, and its progressive(ish) social messages absolutely helped shape the politics and ideologies of many young people. But the incessant Harry Potter Buzzfeed quizzes, wedding themes, interior decorations, and ever-expanding movie empires are just too much.

Part of me gets the continued obsession. The world became particularly monstrous last year, and I fully understand the temptation to wrap ourselves in the soft blanket of nostalgia and magic. But let’s broaden our literary horizons a bit and please, let’s stop spending so much damn money on Harry Potter merch. Someone’s getting rich off of all that, and it’s definitely not us. In fact, Johnny Depp is one of the people getting rich off of us, and that really, really sucks.

In other words:


1 Comment

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top