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Monday, July 18, 2005

A rebirth of People who Piss Me Off: Harry Potter Book Burners

After a rough couple of weeks and an even longer period of disinterest, I HAVE RETURNED to my roots. Now, on with the show.

Those who burn Harry Potter books are, pretty much without exception, conservative evangelical Christians who think these books promote witchcraft. I don't know about you, but I've never found a site for Wiccans that even mentioned the terms "Alohamora," "Wingardium Leviosa," or "Whomping Willow Tree". I'd wager that, if one were to do so, it would either be done in jest or exasperation, or that Wiccan would be one of the countless millions of Harry Potter fans who have made J.K. Rowling one of the richest women in the world. I haven't read any of the books, but I have watched one or two of the movies, and found them at least entertaining enough to make one viewing not a waste of my time. These are books that promote imagination and respect for others, and actually get children to read. These books are so entertaining that the fandom crosses generational lines. For those reasons alone, I think Harry Potter's a good thing.

Furthermore, book burning has a very nasty past. Look throughout history at the regimes that burned books, and you'll find some of the most brutally oppressive in the history of the world. But I must admit that I do find one thing funny about the book burners. Assuming they are doing so legally, as opposed to committing the crimes of theft and arson, the book burners had to buy the books. So, in essence, they're showing their opposition to Harry Potter by supporting its author. That would be like someone showing his/her opposition to the cruel treatment of animals by buying veal. Great job, morons. But I must also admit that I'm thankful for stupid people on some level: They keep me laughing, as long as they're not actually harming anyone else in the process.


Snave said...

I would like to see a statistic on how many of those people burning the Potter books have actually read what they are burning. I have an idea that the percentage would be quite low.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

If the percentage were above zero, I would be shocked. But still, they hate Harry Potter, so they give his creator money and free publicity? I can't make this shit up. As for John Rocker, it seems that he's about as good at public speaking as he was at pitching at the end of his career. Or, in other words, he may be Rush Limbaugh's heir apparent.

Paul said...

I found a good lecture on the whole Harry Potter thing on a Christian site called It's here

I'd imagine that the guy speaking (Dr Jerram Barrs) would be quite conservative. If you can't be bothered listening to the mp3 or going to the site, here is a little quote from him about John Calvin who is often regarded as a bit extreme and maybe he was on some issues but here is what he says.

"Some 450 years ago John Calvin encouraged people to read books by the great writers from Greece and Rome. He wrote instructions for the teachers in the school system he designed in Geneva, Switzerland, asking that they have the students read the great classics of Greece and Rome that were pagan and non-Christian. And he asked that they not criticize them, but rather encourage the students to celebrate what is good in them, and to learn from the truth that they could find in them. Calvin said on another occasion that it is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to deny that pagan writers like Plato wrote many things that are true and helpful. We must be prepared to act similarly in our day when it comes to the Harry Potter series or any other product of our culture."