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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The Astounding Success of the New Harry Potter Movie Is the Latest Entertainment Indicator That Fantasy Is in, Reality Out

19 Nov, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The astounding success of the new Harry Potter movie is the latest indicatorthat when it comes to entertainment, escapism and fantasy is in, and harshreality is out.

Harry Potter is an 11-year-old boy who happens to be a wizard. Talk about theultimate empowerment of a child -- and none of the nasty stuff is toorealistic, a la Schwarzenegger action movies.

Before Harry set a new record for single-day and opening weekend box office,observers were marveling about the unexpectedly strong opening for Monsters,Inc., and the incredible home video sales of Shrek. Again, both movies were pure fantasy, simple enough for kids and clever enough for adults.

If there's a new trend in entertainment, it's the more way out, far out and removed from reality, the better. Before Sept. 11 shattered our collective consciousness, Americans had grown fat, satisfied and lazy; magazine covers implored us to "look good naked" and the headlines were dominated by a crooked congressman who had an affair with an intern, now missing.

To paraphrase Gertrude Stein's disparaging comment about Oakland, there wasno "there" there. Life had become sanitized and safe; current events were about as interesting as a bowl of Velveeta.

Now, the terrible things we used to clamor for in theaters and on home videoare happening in real-life: An attack on America (Independence Day, etc.). Scuttlebutt about the President's safety aboard Air Force One (Air Force One, the movie). Bioterrorism (Outbreak). Special forces landing in hostileterritory (Arnold and Stallone).

The public is sick and tired of reality and wants to escape into the nurturing arms of fantasy. And that, my friends, is why the whole country is just wild about Harry.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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