Gryffindor Tower #15: Sex, Republicans, and Harry Potter

by Dan

What a time it is to be a Harry Potter fan. With Prisoner of Azkaban being released next June, the sixth book on the horizon, and sites like MuggleNet, there is always something to keep you busy. Unfortunately for me, many things have kept me busy, none of which contain the words “Harry Potter.” Before I delve into this week’s topics, I feel that an explanation of my extended hiatus is in order.

As you all may know, my last column was written before I went back to school, at the wonderful University of Scranton. What met me there was nothing like I could have imagined. First and foremost, the schoolwork. I have been inundated with a workload the likes of which I have never seen. And, like Harry in OotP, I have chosen to not let my work slide. That has meant that, since school started, I went out once, on the first weekend of school. Since then, it has been classes, studying, going to my job, and, if time permitted, sleeping. Moreover, that means that, besides not writing for MuggleNet, I have not touched my novel in weeks. But more on the novel in a bit.

The most time-consuming project thus far, however, has been a school activity in which I am involved. Last semester, I was asked to be President of MAAVERIC (Men Advocating Against Violence, Engaging in Reform and Initiating Change). MAAVERIC is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s first male anti-rape/anti-violence-towards-women group, and I did not foresee exactly what kind of work would be placed before me when I agreed to take the reins. However, we have finally had a successful program, which means I can now delegate more power to the other officers. As excited as I am to be involved in MAAVERIC, I miss writing my novel, and, even more, I miss writing for and interacting with the fans of MuggleNet. Now that I’m back, it feels great.

I am getting murdered with work this weekend, so today’s topics will revolve around the news. As always, feel free to send me any comments via the feedback form. Taking a quick look at the MuggleNet news page, I see that, according to the Daily Star, PoA is being…”sexed up.” If that’s not journalistic creativity, I don’t know what is. Aside from the ridiculous term they have used, I suppose that we should think about this. What if it is true? Personally, I’m all for it. Don’t think for a moment that it’s because I’m a Ron/Hermione shipper, cause I’m not. Whereas I do believe that the moviemakers should stick to the books for the most part, I’m not against this. If they were to make Voldemort Harry’s father, or something like that, and it’s not in the books, then ok, it’s ridiculous. But if over half of the HP fans are right, then the seeds for a Ron/Hermione romance have been sown for a while now. It would add substance to the movies, and, let’s face it…none of us know what would happen in that storyline, so at least the movie would have one unexpected surprise plotline. But this conversation can only go so far on its own, so I ask you all to send me your thoughts on the topic.

Next on the list is America’s First Lady, Laura Bush, who finds the Harry Potter books “imaginative, clever, and fun to read.” Who’da thunk it? You would think that she shares her husband’s lack of literary skills. Then again, she’s not exactly like him…she doesn’t look like a monkey, after all. But it’s cool, I guess, that our country’s leading political party is backing the HP books. I think Dubya may even bring up Harry Potter in his 2004 campaign debates…

George W. Bush: …and we will be glad to back new educational programs for our nation’s schools.
Moderator: Yes, we have seen your party, even your close family, endorse such authors as JK Rowling, for her Harry Potter series…
Bush: Oh, absolutely…I know that my family loves those…err…(long pause)…what do ya call them?
Moderator: Books?
Bush: Yea, books…umm…thoe are the things with the words, right? And sentences and stuff…yea…they’re great…

A quick note, by the way. A while ago, I made a comment about the “weapons of mass destruction” which have been discussed so frequently in American media lately, and I got an email from a certain reader telling me to “lay off his country”, more or less. So you all know, I lived my whole life in America, in Pennsylvania, and I still do. As you Americans know, I’m protected under the wonderful First Amendment, which gives me the freedom to say what I want, as long as it poses no immediate threat to the safety of others. And, even if I was from another country, I could still say what I want online, because the Internet is not regulated by any entity besides the World Wide Web Consortium, which lays no rules on Internet behavior except the suggested “netiquette” rules. And lastly, in case you want to get into a legal debate, I’m a political science major, and I know most laws inside and out. Don’t try it. I’m an editorial columnist, and I pride myself on satire, so relax. This is all in fun. I’m not a terrorist, and I’m not committing treason by saying that George W. Bush looks like a chimpanzee and has the vocabulary of one as well.

I have gotten some feedback on this Massachusetts band, Harry and the Potters. Let me first tell you all, I am in a band myself, and I play bass in that band. We actually had our first show of the semester, the MAAVERIC program I was involved in last week. In case you are interested, we played Bush’s “Machinehead” and a song by Flickerstick, “Got a Feeling”. So I do know enough about music to give an educated review. The songs have a really good novelty value, and I like them. Do I think that these guys can make it to the Billboard charts on songs like “I Am A Wizard” or “The Wrath of Hermione”? No. ….

Ok, I just stopped in the middle of a thought. Obviously, I am online while I write this, and I just found out some horrible news. The father of a friend of mine from high school just died this past morning…Because I think that people look at religion in the wrong way nowadays, I really would like it if you guys could just say a prayer for this kid. You don’t need to know his name…God knows who it is.

And on another wonderful level, I also just found out that one of my teachers had a stroke. Isn’t life grand?

Ok…next on the agenda…the MuggleNet PoA poster contest. I have checked out all of the posters, and they are marvelous. I’ve used PhotoShop and other image editing programs for a long time, and I can’t even come close to these people. Phenomenal stuff.

I have to talk about this…have you guys checked out the Bothering Snape flash movie? Definitely worth a few minutes…it’s absolutely hilarious!

On another quick note, if you guys would like to know about another thing that I’ve been up to recently, check this out. After looking at that, here’s the lowdown: I write for my University newspaper, and we have had a field day with that story. The AP picked it up, so it’s gotten around the whole country. It even made it into an Australian television news station that follows the AP!

As always, make sure you check out my colleagues in The Pensieve, The Quibbler, and The North Tower. I haven’t written in a while, and I’ve gotten a ton of emails…they write all the time, so make sure you go email them!

Well playas and homies, I’m out for this week. I’m going on a retreat this weekend, so unless I could churn out a column Sunday, you’ll probably see the next GT next Monday night. Take care of yourselves…peace!