Opinions: Harry Potter Vs the Purists.

In a recent interview, a character actor from Scotland who portrays the popular Inspector Rebus has launched an odd attack of sorts on those in the education field who favor children reading the Harry Potter novels. The Scotsman reports that actor Ken Stott (who also appeared in “The Girl in the Cafe” directed by David Yates) said the following during an interview with Radio Times:

“If we’re going to make a fuss about children reading
books, do it with Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books, not JK

“I can’t believe idiot educationalists are praising children for turning up at school and reading Harry Potter.”

In a small bit of irony, the Rebus series are based on works by author Ian Rankin, a longtime friend and neighbor of J.K. Rowling in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Stott continued on in his interview about his future, noting “I’ll remain a grumpy old man.” We wish him continued success with his grumpiness!

The Leaky Cauldron: Actor Says Educators who Praise Children for Reading Harry Potter are “Idiots”

Interesting. Philip Pullman, whose book series “His Dark Materials”– in my opinion– is fantastic, intriguing, yet not quite appropriate for children (brings up a lot of questions about “Church” since it’s basically the enemy in the books… that’s sometimes hard to deal with especially in some US households).

But I’m not going to pick apples vs pears on this one. He’s entitled to his grumpy ole opinion.

I think I’ve mentioned this before– but I’ve come across the Anti-Potter Posse before. When I was in my senior year at Millikin, our Children’s Literature & Reading class (for educators) posed a project of controversial elements. We were allowed to pick our topic, and I chose the Anti-Harry Potter complaints.

You see, I had just finished my student teaching at a wonderful Lutheran School in town. The parents were VERY interested/concerned with various elements of entertainment. Spongebob, for example, was not allowed in many of my 3rd grader’s homes due to his occasional “sponge butt flashing”. Yes, Spongebob does occasionally appear with a rounded nude butt. Apparently admitting to the fact that all humans or human-based characters or many creatures on earth have a BUTT is against moral rights. Whatever, that’s a parents choice not mine.

But aside from Spongebob, Harry Potter was NOT NOT NOT allowed to be MENTIONED to children. Why? Because, as one very outspoken young lady told me, “Harry Potter is a devil. He works for Satan.” Right. Hmm. Interesting.

At the time I was very frustrated with the fact that parents might block their child from reading about this imaginative and vivid world. I felt like the kids were denied this right to imagination and creativity. But alas, as I realize now, it’s a parents decision, no matter how much I may be confused or in disagreement, it is what it is. <But now you realize why I’m so careful about the “His Dark Materials” series. If people feel this way about HP, how are they going to feel about Mrs. Coultier & her church stealing the innocence from a child’s soul, leaving them almost dead? Exactly.

So anyway– I was in the computer lab at Millikin surfing the World Wide Web for some discussions by parents, educators, etc regarding the Harry Potter controversy. I had found the information about the book burning down south and so on. And then I came across a site entitled “Parents Against Potter: Stopping Harry from Infecting Youth” and immediately thought “jackpot” – I was sure this would be the place for devil’s advocate ramblings (devils, heh, ironic use just now).

So, I click the link– and all hell breaks loose. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of pictures flood my screen of porn. Yes. Porn. They came so quickly I couldn’t stop any of them. Have you every played Solitaire or Hearts on the comp? You know at the end, once you win, when the cards come streaming down like card waterfalls? Yes– now imagine that with the most horrendous porn possible. It gets better– foamy-covered earphones don’t really do very well when the sound they’re trying to withhold is on full blast of insanity. Right, now along with the horrible porn covering my computer screen (instead of the valuable insights from the anti-potter crowd) a voice rang true, shouting “LOOK AT ME! LOOK WHAT I’M STARING AT! AREN’T I BAD? I’M A BAD PERSON!” on loop. So everyone in my computer lab turned and stared as the world within my comp went nutso.

What was I to do? Control/alt/delete didn’t work. Neither did holding down the power button on the comp tower. So I crawled (mortified) under the computer lab table and yanked the entire power cord out of the wall… thus shutting down all 15 computers attached to the same cords.

Not a good day for me.

So whenever I see people shouting “nay! bad! boo” at Harry Potter I remember this story and think three things:

a) Awww… I like Harry Potter 😦

b) Um… don’t say anything, people who hate the Potter have a lot of conviction and they’re entitled to their own views… which I don’t want to be a part of.

c) I wonder if they tried to join that Anti-Potter posse on the web and had the same porn attack? If so… I bet my embarrassment story beats their’s. Ha! Nothing like a roomful of college kids during finals lose the power on their computer as they’re finishing up projects. That doesn’t win anyone friends.

And That’s The End of Izzy Story Hour. 😀

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