I really was planning to ignore the story of the Gwinnett County, Georgia mom who launched a court challenge in an effort to remove the Harry Potter books from libraries in her school district. Really. Campaigns of this sort crop up around here every so often; usually they fizzle pretty quickly. So I was pretty surprised this week when the story actually started garnering headlines in the national press.There's much more, and it's all good. Read the rest.
It clinched the deal yesterday when I flipped on the radio to catch a bit of news. There was our girl, on CBS, voice choked with tears. She wondered aloud how, in the wake of recent school shootings, our nation could continue to allow such "evil" in our schools. So now, on top of promoting sorcery and Wicca (the original complaint) Harry and his creator, J.K. Rowling, are associated with school shootings.
Well, the patently obvious response to that would be, "Show me clear and convincing evidence that the Harry Potter books have been implicated in any school shooting." I have yet to hear of a such a case. Heck, I don't think you could even make that case for Wicca, and I'm not saying that as a fan of the practice. It's just that when it comes to potential catalysts for incidents of extreme sociopathic violence, Harry's not even a blip on my radar screen. Nor, for that matter, is a flaky, gynocentric New Age spiritual discipline (if you can call it that) that in my experience, at least, seems particularly appealing to women seeking to compensate for an overall lack of control over their own lives and actions. My suspicion regarding school shooters is that you have to be one seriously screwed up pup to do it in the first place. Still, were I going to pin blame on any form of literature or media for the actions of some of those who have, I'd be more inclined to seek out the graphically violent or politically anarchic than a 'tweener fantasy series about kid wizards.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
A Mess of Potterage
Just when you think that perhaps finally the only place you'll find Harry Potter controversy is in Trivial Pursuit 90s Edition, some fool pops up and makes a scene. CMinor has the details.