Fact: While living in Klamath Falls, I interviewed a high school student who waited in line 16 hours for the sixth ‘Harry Potter’ film’s midnight premiere.
That’s 8 a.m. to midnight in the same lawn chair. Nice kid. Steroid-strong passion for the young adult fantasy series that’s yielded millions of thick books that can double as bricks in a pinch. His sister put leftover Chinese food in Tupperware for him. He also had a Nintendo DS for when the button mashing urges got strong.
Truth time: He was insane.They all were.
“They” being the masses that joined him dressed like the pupils of Hogwarts: high school students, adults, parents, smokers, non-smokers, introverts, extroverts, bookworms, variety packs. They compared Dark Mark tattoos and had wizard’s duels with handcrafted wands and knew all the made up words.
I’m not withholding judgment because there’s no judgment to withhold. I admire these folks. It’s EASY to clam up and try and find mainstream acceptance through faux-apathy; to be a true-blue fan of something and just about shriek with glee the moment it’s MENTIONED makes you genuine, genuine because there are just too many things in the world to NOT be interested in at least one of them.
Which brings us to now, just days before the release of the the first installment in the J.R.R. Tolkien-adapted ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy that serves as a prequel to ‘Lord of the Rings.’
You want to talk about conniption-inducing subjects? ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ are pretty close to the top of my list, just below comics and one or two rungs up from Denver Broncos football. And honestly, it should be higher. It should be king. It was my gateway drug, after all. My dad read it to me when I was six years old. I’ve read it five or six times since then.
Then there was the demented Rankin & Bass cartoon. Remember this?
I have to imagine this passion exists for at least a dozen others who will undoubtedly be in line at Tinseltown for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” late Thursday night. The folks who quote passages, have lengthy discussions on the mythology, argue over story interpretations, etc.
Just an FYI for parents who bring their kids: don’t be scared of these folks. They’re completely harmless. They want an escape just like you. The only difference is that if the opportunity presented itself, they’d leave this place and jump through the screen into Tolkien’s rich, fantastic world, never look back.