The U-Bend #45: Re-Introducing the Player

by Andrew Lee

“But aliens, future men, ghosts, monsters, espers, evil cartels and anime, manga, live-action heroes that fight them…It wasn’t till later in my life that I realized they all don’t exist. No, I probably noticed it. I just didn’t want to accept it. I longed for aliens, future men, ghosts, monsters, espers and evil cartels to just appear from the bottom of my heart.”
– Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)


Welcome to The U-Bend. Since we’re going to be spending the next few months together, I think it’s time to re-introduce myself to the loyal readership. (Thanks for all your messages. They’re really encouraging.)

Right now I still dream of doing something for one of the Harry Potter films, but you probably remember that from the first U-Bend written long ago. So, I’ll be a bit more specific. I’m generally a happy person who enjoys life and looks for the positives in people and events. I live in Canada and my favorite color is blue.

Of course, none of that information is relevant to the big question that any Harry Potter fan must answer at some point: Why do you like Harry Potter? Well, settle down because today I’ll tell you.

In a time before there was Harry Potter, before there was an Internet, and before I was declared certifiable by two of my friends, I was an elementary school student. One year in class we did one of those Secret Santa events during the holidays. I received my gift (it was an action figure of some type) and enjoyed it quite a bit. Time passed and I never really bothered to find out who my Secret Santa was. Where I’m from, it was common for students in your elementary school to generally end up in the same high school as you due to the placement of school zones. Sometime later, in high school, I was talking to classmates when someone said: “Hey, did you know it was so-and-so who was your Secret Santa in elementary school?” You may think it seems odd this sort of thing would come up in conversation many years later, and I found it odd as well. But, the most important thing is that this conversation changed me.

You see, I got to thinking (a terrible thing I assure you): Was this something I really cared about? Generally as a youngster you try to discover everything about the world and unravel its mysteries. As an elementary school student I’m sure I could have found out quite easily who my Secret Santa was. But I didn’t. I thought about it after that conversation and reached a conclusion. The reason I didn’t search out the answer is the same reason I love Harry Potter. The world is an exciting and magical place and instead of trying to find answers to life, the universe and everything else, we should be enjoying the adventure.

I hope you now see how I approach The U-Bend. Each article is a look at something you wouldn’t normally consider. Each article brings you a little closer to not answering something that J.K. Rowling has left to the reader but, rather, leaves you asking questions. Is the author insane? Maybe Harry is better off being evil? Can it be that Ron has been missing since the middle of Deathly Hallows (more on this next month)?

And J.K. Rowling’s Potterverse is exactly what I was looking for. A place away from the cold, hard science and code that I look at every day. It’s a mystical place where there aren’t answers to everything and we don’t need them. The reason the Potterverse works (at least for me) is that it’s based on a wizard not knowing how something works, but rather just how to do it. Getting back to my story, I didn’t care about knowing who my Secret Santa was, all I cared about was doing my part for the event.

So there you go. That’s all you’re probably going to learn about this author of The U-Bend but I think that’s more than enough. Oh, how did I start reading Harry Potter? I borrowed the first book from my sister and have been hooked ever since. Now if you’ll excuse me there’s a world out there of fun and excitement for me to talk about. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.