MuggleCast 162 Transcript



Show Intro


[Intro music begins]

Andrew: Hey, Mason. Did you know that on July 1st Yahoo! Domain renewal pricing increased to $34.95 per year?!

Mason: $34.95 per year? No way! Ridiculous! That's not a deal at all.

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Andrew: Today's podcast is also brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of spoken word entertainment. What are you listening to after today's episode? How about a free audiobook download of your choice when you sign up. Log on to www.AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast today for details.

[Harry Potter theme plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoyed - Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I'd just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!

[Show music begins]

Micah: Because we're talking politics Potter style, this MuggleCast, Episode 162 for November 5th, 2008.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Okay, this is our third show released in just eight days. We're really pumping them out right now because first we had the Halloween show. Oh, no, no, no. First we had the live show - the live trailer discussion show, and then we had our Halloween show, and now we're having our election show. All these themed podcasts that have to be out at a certain time. You know, while everyone's still into it. So, Micah and Elysa are here. Hello, ladies.

Elysa: Hey.

Micah: Hello.

Andrew: Good to hear from you two.

Micah: Ladies?

Matt: Hey, why am I separate?

Elysa: Ladies.

Andrew: Because you're not a lady. What?

Micah: I was going to congratulate you on the Phillies winning the World Series, too, and then you call me a lady?

Andrew: I'm not a baseball fan. I just support my home team.

Micah: Yeah, but, no, you're a Phillies fan.

Andrew: My mom texted me today. She's like, "I'm going to send you a Phillies shirt." And I was like, "Oh great," but I'm thinking like, "Why? I'm not a baseball fan." Whatever. I'll wear it to the gym.

Matt: It's a free shirt.

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: So we have this great show. We just finished recording the discussion because Laura was involved in it too, but unfortunately she didn't have as much time to be on the show. But that's okay. So we have this awesome political discussion, related to Potter politics, and a whole lot more. So let's get started. I'm Andrew Sims.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: I'm Matthew Britton.

Elysa: And I'm Elysa Montfort.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Okay, Micah, what is in the news this week?

Micah: Umm...

Andrew: What? You don't know?

[Elysa laughs]

Andrew: Aren't you prepared?

Micah: How am I not prepared? Sorry! I'm tired. We just discussed...

Andrew: Yeah, wah.

Micah: All right, well, anyway. Try that again. I'm sorry.



Andrew Admits He Was Wrong


Andrew: Well, here, while you're preparing, I'll start with this, because this is my story. On last week's episode - well, actually it was Episode 160 - I was speculating a lot about whether or not WB would be asking for the trailer to be removed. And this isn't really news because it wasn't removed, but the trailer wasn't removed! Which was kind of surprising because I heard that WB was considering it, and it looks like it never happened, so... [laughs] Just - I'd just like to admit that I was wrong. And I do make mistakes, so sorry.

Elysa: Hmm. I was surprised about that too though.

Andrew: But I think - well, thank you, Elysa. I think that it just got spread all over the Internet so quickly that...

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: ...it would've been impossible for them to take it down.

Micah: Yeah, I think the Internet is so fast that, once it spreads - it did happen over the weekend, like you mentioned, and clearly, people are not working at WB as hard as we thought on the weekends, because, if they were, they would've been taken down.

Andrew: Well, I was right about that.

Micah: You were right about that, yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I was wrong about that. I thought that they would've had somebody would would've been on this. Because you think when something like this would happen, they would be alerted to the problem, regardless of whether they're working or not. Even if you're at home on the weekends, all these people have Blackberries. They would know what was going on.

Andrew: Well, yeah, but they're not checking them as frequently because it's the weekend, and they have their personal phones with them when they're out and about.

Micah: I guess. I guess. It was interesting, though, to me that Monday morning rolled around and, all of a sudden, they're aware of it, but they really couldn't do anything about it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: In the future, if you're going to leak trailers, do it on the weekend.

Andrew: Well, that's exactly what I was saying also. These pictures that come out every - there was a time back in May and June where a new Half-Blood Prince picture came out every Friday, and it seemed very strange. But when you think about it, it was every Friday because then - WB - that's essentially the weekend, even though they do work on Friday's, but WB, they can't put it together to say, "Hey, take this down," before they clock out for the weekend, so.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: It was kind of interesting to watch. And exciting. I know I was up early to check my e-mail to see if there was like, "Please remove immediately!"

Micah: Well, what was funny was, I did think that we had gotten something because I checked my e-mail that morning and I saw something. I'm like, wait, it's from Scholastic not from Warner Bros., so...

Andrew: Well, that - yeah.

Micah: It threw me off a little bit.

Andrew: That's what happens, though. Whenever there's a big movie thing, or vice versa - whenever there's a big movie thing, the book people come out with some announcement. Whenever there's a big book thing, the movie people come out with some announcement to remind them that they're still alive, and while the fan sites are active.

Micah: Well, I was nervous because you told me, "Make sure you check your e-mail tomorrow morning," because, obviously, we have that time difference. You know, a three hour difference. So if anything did come along, you wanted me to get something up there as fast as possible or take down the trailer. And I was just sitting there all morning, and all of a sudden I saw this e-mail from the guy over at Scholastic - I forget his name - and then I thought that it was from Warner Bros., but - so I got played. I got Punk'd.

Andrew: [laughs] It is still online and, as the saying goes, once it's on the Internet, it's never off. It never leaves because people save these things to their computers and forget about it. It's digital!

Micah: Who does that?

Andrew: It's digital, baby!

Matt: Digital!

Andrew: Did anyone else save a copy?

Micah: No.

Andrew: I saved a copy in case they were going to take it down. Elysa, what were your thoughts on the trailer? You weren't on the show, so what did you think of it?

Elysa: No, I wasn't. I thought it was incredible! I loved it. I mean, I don't know what else to say. I thought it was brilliant. It exceeded my expectations for sure.



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DH Hype Overshadowing HBP Hype


Micah: Something that happened this week was Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid, did an interview, and he discussed a little bit about Deathly Hallows and his, I guess you would say, motorbike scene. But that's not really what I wanted to focus on. I'm wondering now with Half-Blood Prince not coming out until July, and filming starting to take place for Deathly Hallows, are we going to see a lot of Deathly Hallows hype overtaking Half-Blood Prince? Is this maybe something that Warner Bros. didn't think about before they decided to move the date, because I guess it wouldn't make as much of a difference if we were somewhere in the middle with all these films, but we're talking about the final film in the Harry Potter series start to film in February. Is this going to be a problem for Half-Blood Prince?

Andrew: I don't really think so, because when filming starts, typically don't see much. I mean, there's going to be the occasional interview where they're like, "Yeah, we just starting filming. It's going great. It's going to be the darkest one ever. Whatever. Sex, drugs, and Harry Potter."

[Matt and Micah laugh]

Andrew: But I don't think there's going to be too much of a mix.

Micah: Yup.

Andrew: I'm looking at Half-Blood Prince background information. They started filming September 2007, and of course that was right after the final book came out, so I don't know. I don't know. I don't think there's going to be a lot of mixing though. I think it's a good point though.

Micah: Yeah, that was the one thing that came to mind. There really isn't a whole lot to the interview. He actually did two interviews, but that was really what came to mind when I was looking. I was thinking to myself, "Hey, is this going to have any impact for Half-Blood Prince?"



News: David Heyman Interview


Micah: But somebody else who also did an interview this week was David Heyman with ComingSoon.net. And he talked about Half-Blood Prince. He said the film is complete except for a little tweak that they think that they are going to have to make. So, interesting to maybe learn down the line what that tweak is going to be.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Well, he also noted that it's going to be a little inconvenient to stop filming for a week when they have to go do press for Half-Blood Prince.

Micah: Well, he can complain to Warner Bros. then.

Andrew: Yeah. He only said a week, though, which kind of surprised me, because the premieres themselves are usually two weeks apart, and around both of those premieres, doing interviews and such - although I guess the U.K. premiere isn't hard to get to, I mean, it's an hour drive down from Leavesden Studios, so. I don't know. That was - he does seem - when you read this interview, don't you get a little feeling of frustration from him?

Micah: Well, didn't he do an interview before this, though, where he talked about the film being pushed back and he said that he didn't really see a problem with it? I forget the exact...

Andrew: Yeah, he did. Yeah...

Micah: ...quote.

Andrew: ...yeah, yeah. He said - he reiterated what he said in this interview, too, which is that "WB is so good to us that we can't complain."

Matt: You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Well, maybe it's because for a lot of these people that are involved in the movie, I would think that their schedules are dependent upon all these releases and events that they have to go to once the film is finally complete. And so if you're planning everything for November, and then all of a sudden you get thrown into the middle of July, I mean they'll be working on Deathly Hallows, but who knows what else he could have been working on at the time also, or will be working on at the time, because I'm sure he doesn't stick solely to one film.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Maybe that's what he's frustrated about. But he's always seemed to identify more with the fans, too, if you think about it, even from the interview you guys did with him, I think it was for Goblet of Fire. He always seems to identify with the fans, so maybe he's just as upset about it getting pushed back.

Andrew: Yeah, definitely.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Wouldn't it be funny if like the Dark Knight DVD did so well, because they're in a new fiscal year now - at least in the U.S. they are - wouldn't it be funny if the Dark Knight DVD did so well for this fiscal year that they're like, "Oh, you know what? Yeah, we're set for 2009 too, so you'll see HBP in 2010."

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, that wouldn't be good...

Andrew: No.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: No, that'd be bad.

Micah: To put it lightly.

Andrew: But it's kind of surprising though. I mean, you know, it's how easy a film can be moved just because another film in the same fiscal year does so well.

Micah: Right, and something of the magnitude of Harry Potter. This...

Andrew: I may be - yeah. Just a little disclaimer, I may be wrong about that fiscal year, because in the U.S. it's from - it starts in October and ends in September, and obviously Half-Blood Prince came out - would come out in November, which is not the same fiscal year as Dark Knight, so I don't know what I'm saying.

[Elysa and Matt laugh]

Andrew: The point is that it's amazing how quickly they would move this just because one film does extremely well.

Micah: Right, right.

Matt: Mhm.

Micah: All right.

Andrew: I mean, Arthur - there's got to be some big WB films coming out in 2010 other than Harry Potter, and Harry Potter's got a November release in 2010, so...

Micah: For now.

Andrew: ...frankly I'm scared. Yeah, for now.

Matt: I don't - no, they're not going to delay any more movies.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: Well...

Andrew: Yeah, well, six months ago WB said they would have...

Micah: ...I'm not really sure they had any good reason to delay this one, to be honest with you, so...

Matt: No, and I agree with you totally on that, Micah. I really think that it wasn't that great of a reason. It was - I mean, it's all about money, but still, I mean, they should have a good movie every year.

Andrew: Well, they did. Dark Knight. So that's why they're pushing the Harry Potter back. [laughs]

Matt: Well, I know. I mean they should have already planned that for the next year.

Andrew: Mmm.

Matt: Just shows you how much faith they had in Dark Knight.

Andrew: Yeah. Anyway, what else is going on?



News: Jo Updates Site


Micah: All right, J.K. Rowling updated her site...

Matt: Oh!

Micah: ...this past week, finally. Even though she hasn't updated her journal on the home page since about December '07...

Andrew: Yeah, I noticed that. Kind of old.

Micah: So she's trying to go for the whole year without making an update to that. But she did update the news section with her official plans for the Beedle the Bard release on December the 4th, and she will be holding a tea party.

Andrew: Awww. La-dee-da.

Micah: Yeah. Isn't that exciting?

[Andrew and Elysa laugh]

Micah: Sorry. [laughs]

Andrew: No, it's nice, it's nice.

Micah: It's different. It's, you know...

Andrew: Yeah, well, Jo's done a couple tea parties for Beedle the Bard, I'm pretty sure already.

Matt: I love tea.

Andrew: Yeah, yes you do. But you know how Jo has sort of done, like, something for Christmas every year for the fans, like on her fansite? Maybe there'll be something this year. I can't think of what, but maybe some sort of exclusive or something. You know? You know what I'm saying?

Micah: Right, but...

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: ...it'll be interesting to see how well this book does in the hype and excitement that surrounds it. Clearly it's not going to be the level of one of her previous seven books, but the difference this time I think with the money going to charity, the Children's High Level Group, I think a lot of Potter fans will want to contribute in that way.



Andrew's Cryptic Announcement


Andrew: Oh yeah, it's a great cause. And speaking of that, nothing is official yet. Well, actually it is, but we can't officially announce it yet. If you live in the U.K., specifically London, or if you can get to London easily for a Beedle the Bard midnight release, I would strongly recommend you keep your plans cleared. Or if you're in the U.S. and looking for a good reason to go to the U.K., not just for a book release, but a certain Harry Potter podcast doing a certain midnight release for a certain book coming out in December. So...

[Micah laughs]

Matt: Wow, geez.

Micah: Well, that was vague.

Andrew: I know.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I'm just saying.

Matt: Geez. Way to be cryptic, Andrew.

Andrew: If by chance we were to do something like that I would keep your plans clear. Announcement coming in the next couple weeks. If something were to happen.

[Elysa and Matt laugh]

Micah: I would hope that the next couple of days - the next couple of weeks you'll already be at the event.

Andrew: That's true. People need time to book their train tickets and stuff, so in the next week or so you should hear from us and from the bookstore starting in "W" and ending in "aterstones."

Matt: Ooh.

[Elysa and Micah laugh]

Matt: I mean, how many more Harry Potter books is J.K. Rowling going to write? I mean, this is the - this is probably like the only relevant book...

Andrew: I hope she writes more related to this. Or Harry Potter related.

Matt: She might, but who knows what she's going to do? I still want to see what kind of books she's been saying she's going to write about.

Andrew: You know what's - sorry, what?

Matt: Well, in that suspenseful book that she was saying she was writing. I haven't heard anything about that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Anyway, what?

Andrew: And I think that - is that all for the news this week? I think it is.

Matt: Yep.

Andrew: Cool.



Announcement: Vote for MuggleCast in the Podcast Awards


Andrew: All right, moving onto announcements this week. Don't forget to vote for us in the...

Andrew and Matt: Podcast Awards.

Andrew: The 2008 Podcast Awards are happening right now and voting is going through, what, November...

Micah: 6th.

Andrew: There's a few more days left. Sixth.

Matt: Do you - do you have to vote everyday?

Andrew: You don't have to vote everyday, but you should to help us win. You can vote once every 24 hours. So if you vote at 3PM one day you cannot vote before 3PM the next day. So you have to vote at 3:01PM.

Matt: Oh, that makes sense.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: MuggleCast is nominated in Entertainment and our other Twilight podcast, Imprint, is nominated in the Cultural Arts category.

Elysa: Woot!

Andrew: So feel free - woot woot - so feel free to vote too for other podcasts, too, in the other categories, and thank you so much for your support.



Muggle Mail: Harry Potter Books in School


Andrew: Let's move onto Muggle Mail. Elysa, do you want to take the first one?

Elysa: Sure. This one's from Jason Millis:

"This sort of goes with Micah's idea at the end of the debate subject. Many schools have a program that kids can choose a book to read for a reading project. I think that would be a great place to put the book in the curriculum. That way kids could choose. They should only use Book 1 in the curriculum, wherever they put it, because the suspense could push them further. When they do it - or when they do it at our school rather, they give us an excerpt, sometimes a chapter to read, and see if we want to read the book. Kids might respond to that because they may know someone who reads the books or have seen the movies. The kids could tell their friends about them and their friends would read it too. The parents would also have less of a case against the school districts because their kids aren't being forced to read them. I wouldn't have enjoyed the books as much if I did have to read them. I think it was sort of like when I practice my violin. I enjoy practicing when I decide to, not when my parents say 'go practice.'"

Andrew: Yeah. So I think that's a pretty interesting way of looking at it.

Elysa: Yeah, that's a good point.

Micah: Yeah. I don't even remember my point from the last episode, to be honest. [laughs]

[Elysa laughs]

Micah: It feels like so long ago with all the episodes we've recorded over the last week.

Andrew: That's true.

Micah: Yeah, no, this is an interesting point.

Andrew: Everyone liked your feedback about it the most, Micah, judging by all the e-mails we got about it.

Micah: What can I say? I should be a moderator more often.

Andrew and Matt: Yeah.

Elysa: You should. You should take Jim Lehrer's place.

Micah: Yeah.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Matt: I don't know who he is. Okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: He is a news anchor on PBS.



Muggle Mail: "Forced" to Read Harry Potter Pays Off


Matt: Our next email comes from Corey, and he writes:

"Hi guys. Strangely enough, Micah's suggestion at the end of one of the books being mandated in one of my classes was how I got into the series. I, too, had dismissed the series as hype at first but was required for a children's literature class in college to read 'Sorcerer's Stone.' I bought the book, and even though the course was cancelled, due to low enrollment, I figured I'd see what all the fuss was about. Around six years later, one attempt at dressing up this year, and devouring just about everything I could get my hands on in relation to the series, I'm still a 'Potter' geek at 26 and am really grateful I was 'forced' to read the first one. Thanks again, and you guys still rock."

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I'm just - whenever I read a book - I remember in Rowan I had a literature class, and I would read these books, and I always thought to myself, I would enjoy this a lot more if I could read it on my own time, just taking my time with reading it, and not having to pick a book apart and write summaries of it and stuff like that. It just - sometimes that kind of thing can turn you off from reading a book.

Micah: Right. I still think the first book should be mandated, just because I think the role that it's played in our culture over the last couple of years - decade, whatever you want to call it at this point. But to me, I think, though, when you look at how many fans there are of Harry Potter, I think the next generation, our children, we're probably going to have them read it anyway. If you think about it, it's not going to be something that they're going to be forced fed in school. It's going to be something that we're either going to read to them or, at some point, have them read themselves just because we know the importance of it.

Matt: Well, I definitely think that in college it's going to be required for certain types of classes.

Micah: I agree.

Matt: Like in Corey's case.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: We've already seen some Harry Potter classes in schools that actually do this in colleges. There's the occasional news report about it and there's the occasional news story, so it is happening.

Matt: Do any of you guys have a certain book that you were forced to read in class but then you just read it at a later time in your own pace and you actually liked it?

Andrew: No, but when I read a book in class I feel like I would enjoy it more if I wasn't been pressured into reading it by certain dates and such. That's what really turns me off. But then again, teachers have to do that or else they'll never know who's...

Matt: They'll never read it.

Andrew: Exactly, so you can't win.

[Micah laughs]

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Unless you're really studious. And final e-mail from today. Micah, you want to take that?



Muggle Mail: Rowling as a Man


Micah: Sure. It comes from Harry Parker-hill, Boston, England. Does that mean Boston in New England or Boston, England?

Andrew: Boston in England, I think.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: There's a Boston in England, right?

Micah: Sure.

Elysa: Sure.

Micah: Anyway. [laughs]

"Hey, just responding..."

Matt: I think he meant New England.

Micah: Yeah. I don't think Harry knows where he lives, but thats okay.

"Hey, just responding to your discussion about J.K. Rowling as a man. I think that if she were a man the books wouldn't even have been written, and here's why: we all know that J.K. went through her depression after her disastrously short marriage and pregnancy, and this is really what made her write the books, because she had nothing else to lose. But if she were a man, she would never have gotten pregnant, I hope, and therefore would have been able to go out to work. Consequently..." [laughs] "...she wouldn't have been able to put the idea on paper purely because she would've had to work for a living. Thanks for the great show, Harry."

Andrew: I mean, you guys laugh, but I think she does bring up...

Matt: She does bring up a very good point.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, her daughter is what partly defined her. Her relationship with her sister did that too, so - I think that was an interesting perspective and, actually, Harry was not the only person who sent that in. And by the way, Boston, there is a Boston in England. I just looked it up on Google Maps.

Micah: Yeah. But I just don't like the point of where she talks about - oh, sorry, he talks about her getting pregnant and therefore would've been able to go out to work. I'm pretty sure she still worked when she was pregnant, or at least attempted to, and even after she had the child, was working as well. I could be wrong on that, but I just don't see how that would deter her from writing the series if she wasn't pregnant. You know what I mean?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Micah: This idea that she would've worked for a living - she still does work for a living. She writes. You know, that's an occupation last time I checked.

Matt: Well, it definitely wouldn't have been the same book.

Andrew: Yeah. It's just an interesting perspective. I think that...

Micah: I don't think so. Anyway.

[Andrew, Elysa, and Micah laugh]

Andrew: All right, well, I appreciated it, Harry. Thank you.

Micah: I kid.

Andrew: All right, Laura is joining us now. Hi, Laura!

Laura: Hi everybody.

Elysa: Thompson!

Andrew: How are you doing?

Laura: Good, good. Thanks for letting me join you so last minute here.



Main Discussion: Politics in Potter


Andrew: Oh, well, anything. We'd do anything for you. So this week, as I mentioned earlier, we are going to have our "Politics in Potter" discussion, and...

Matt: Should we really talk about politics? Can't we just stick to the Harry Potter please?

Andrew: This is - yes...

Matt: Thank you.

Andrew: ...average MuggleCast fan. No, this is - we're going to be sticking to the Harry Potter politics. We're not going to be getting...

Matt: Oh.

Laura: Well, no promises.

Andrew: Well, at times we may want to.

[Andrew and Matt laughs]

Andrew: All right, so, Micah and Laura, you guys created this whole discussion, so throw it over to you guys.



Parallels to Regimes


Micah: Yep. Well, as you mentioned, it's timely to be discussing politics on the Potter series, and I guess we divided it up into some major themes that we'll be going through, but there is a statement that was made by J.K. Rowling on the Harry Potter series as a whole, and I'm not quite sure when she made it, but it must have been close to when the series was over. She said:

"I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the Wizarding World. You have the intent to impose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is this great fallacy. But it crops up all over the world. People like to think themselves superior, and if they can pride themselves on nothing else, they can pride themselves on perceived purity. So yeah, that follows a parallel to Nazism. It wasn't really exclusively that. I think you can see in the Ministry, even before it's taken over, there are parallels to regimes we all know and love."

So, with that being said, what regimes that we all know and love do you guys think she's talking about?

Andrew: Well, one we've discussed on the show all the time: World War II. Just the parallel between Nazi Germany and Voldemort and his Death Eaters, correct?

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, that's really strong.

Micah: I think she may have been focusing on some other regimes that are a little bit more contemporary.

Laura: I was thinking...

Andrew: Like what?

Laura: ...a lot of the press, and how corrupt our - and not just ours, but press all over the world - is. So - and we can get more into that later.

Matt: Do you mean more like press as in media press?

Laura: Media, news outlets, newspapers, any kind of news outlet where you go to get stories and where you go to get your updates. It is all corrupt. And I will tell you why. Later.

Micah: [laughs] So you're going to give us a little bit of a speech on why the media is corrupt?

Laura: Yes.

Micah: Is that what you're saying?

Laura: Mhm.

Micah: Cool.

Matt: I have a feeling Laura's going to be talking a lot about propaganda too.

Laura: Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Courtesy of my propaganda class. That class is awesome. But anyway, go ahead.

Micah: I just thought she did a really good job when she said that she wanted Harry to experience the same things that take place in the real world. And I guess that's what we're going to be talking about here. But the first major theme that we all wanted to talk about - and, Andrew, you just alluded to it a little bit - was racism, ethnic cleansing, and Nazism and their role in the Harry Potter series. And we're probably going to spend a majority, I would say, of the discussion on this, because it plays such a huge role. Does anyone else want to take the first point? Talking about really where this all got its origin from that we learn about in the series?

Laura: Sure. I mean, as we all know, the origination of that idea of blood purity comes from Salazar Slytherin - or at least as far as we know. I'm sure he was influenced by somebody else, but that's really where we see that sort of ideology take its flight. And he was essentially saying that he only wanted a school where pureblooded witches and wizards were able to learn. Of course, the other founders didn't agree with that so he was able to have his House. And we actually have a quote from the sorting song where it says, "We'll teach just those whose ancestry is purest," and that he took only pureblood wizards of great cunning, just like him. So what do you guys - can you draw any sort of parallels to anything contemporary or maybe somewhat contemporary based off that? Like do we have anything sort of like that going on now?



Parallels to Schools


Andrew: We really don't. I mean, the only thing that would come to mind to me - but this doesn't even seem that similar - is just like all boys' school or all girls' schools or - and this is even a further stretch - but like special education schools where schools just tailor to one specific group of people. And the purebloods were a specific group of people, so I don't know. Is that a good connection? Or is that...

Laura: No, I think it's valid.

Micah: Yeah. I think it's interesting you brought up schooling, because there's also schools that obviously you can get into based upon your last name or your class status that maybe people who are not as high up in social standing or don't have that same last name wouldn't be admitted entrance into that particular school.

Andrew: Mhm.



Parallels to Darfur


Micah: I was thinking more along the lines of what's going on in Darfur.

Elysa: Mhm.

Micah: And just the overall practices that are being used there in terms of ethnic cleansing and things along that line. I mean, certainly all of this got its beginning with Slytherin, and he even created the Chamber of Secrets with the intention of someday having an heir who would be able to open it and purge the school of those who are not pureblood. And that just whole notion is a really scary thought.

Matt: Yeah.

Elysa: And you know what? Just in relation to the genocide in Sudan that you were just talking about, that sort of reminds me of the government's creation of the Janjaweed militia, because it was sort of created for the precise purpose of eradicating those of different ethnicities, so it reminds me a lot of the Chamber of Secrets, the creation of that for the pure, explicit purpose of ethnic cleansing reminds me a lot of the Janjaweed.

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