By Chris Gore | November 24, 2001

I am now one of the millions of people who have seen Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Before I offer you my thoughts on the film, I think it’s important to note that I was not one of the millions who became caught up in the series of books. I went into the film with no expectations and, frankly, only mild interest. I’ve never been one who gets particularly excited about movies involving “magic.” If there’s an elf or a goblin or a wizard or a unicorn or a witch or any of that cliché crap, I just steer clear. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a decent fantasy film. Ever. The only ones that even came close to being watchable, films like “Willow” or “Krull,” are pretty weak. These are poor excuses for fantasy films that make the entire genre almost dismissable. And while I loved the first of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books, I lost interest by the second book, which I found deadly dull. (I’m sure there are a lot of fans who want to crucify me for that last remark, but I’m just being honest. Please, I don’t aim to start a pointless flame war.)
Another thing that turned me off from becoming a “Pot-Head” was the association of “magic” or “fantasy” books with the loneliest of pastimes – gaming. I had a group of childhood friends who tried to desperately to involve me in these imaginary adventures. I never understood it. I still don’t. I know there are thousands of people (definitely not millions) who love these games and must be horribly offended at my opinion. Hey, if you find joy in them, knock yourself out. You’re not hurting anybody. That’s cool with me. You’ll just never find me rolling some 27-sided dice and “pretending” that I am facing some evil troll that I must defeat by using some weapon I must equip or some spell I must cast. (And, if any of you are offended by this, I take comfort in the fact that none of you pansy-geeks could actually beat me up.) I recall telling my friends that while we could simply sit at the table and play this polite, turn-based game, I’d rather we climbed trees, built a fort, grabbed large sticks that we could imagine were glorious, ornate swords so that we could beat the living s**t out of each other. Y’know, just good old fashioned, boys-will-be-boys harmless violence that we’d play until someone finally got hurt. I was an average kid, so I know I’m not alone on this. Other kids engaged in this kind of stuff too. (Although, I don’t think our fun would have progressed to the modern day debacle that is “backyard wrestling.”) Somehow I could never convince this group of friends that actually making up adventures on our own as we traversed the backyard was more fun than moving fragile metal figures on a table-top to roll of freaky-looking dice. Obviously, this group of friends went quickly by the wayside as they spent more time indoors and I went outside to, well, run.
So, I was already predisposed to dislike Harry.
Get the whole story in part two of ARE YOU A POT-HEAD?

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