The Pensieve #12: Harry Potter and the Evil Empire

By Joshua Smith

Many of you know that I am a huge baseball fan. I’ll make no bones about the fact that I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan. If you’re a Yankee fan, and you don’t like that, don’t email me, because I can’t possibly like you. (I’m kidding. I think.) If you’re a baseball fan as well, I’m sure you’ve heard about the game’s best player, Alex Rodriguez, being traded to the Yankees. Oddly enough, I’ve started to notice similarities between the Yankee organization and Voldemort and his merry band of Death Eaters. It’s actually a little scary.

Let’s start at the top, with the men in charge. The Yankees are run by the uber-evil George Steinbrenner. He has way more money than all the other teams, and he spends it. You can’t resist George. If you’re a marquee player, and he wants you, you’re his. He has an awful temper, and is known to fire employees while on tirades, regardless of whether or not they deserved to be fired. He is the final say in all decisions; nobody does anything without Georgie Porgie knowing about it. His ultimate goal is to dominate the baseball world.

Voldemort carries on many of these characteristics (notice I didn’t say qualities, as there is no shred of a human soul in either man). Voldemort has more pull than any other wizard in the wizarding world, and he also uses it to his advantage. You can’t really resist Voldy. If you’re a wizard and he wants you, you go with him or die. Vodlemort has a terrible temper, and is known to just kill or torture his Death Eaters when his wishes aren’t met. All decisions go through Voldemort, and there is no decision he doesn’t know about. His ultimate goal is to rule the world.

Steinbrenner’s right hand man, General Manager Brian Cashman, has some striking similarities to Voldemort’s right hand man, Peter Pettigrew. Cashman is a little guy with glasses, who looks like he was picked last for dodgeball at school. However, he is a fairly crafty individual, and he found his way to the top of one of professional sports greatest organizations. However, he is often the subject of Steinbrenner’s torment when things aren’t going well, even if they aren’t Cashman’s fault.

Pettigrew is much the same. He was not a great wizard at school, but he hung with the right crowd. He allied himself with a powerful (and evil) organization, and became a high-ranking member. Voldemort is constantly giving him a hard time; even when he hasn’t done anything wrong himself.

The Death-Eaters have a lot in common with the Yankee players. Death Eaters are comprised of mostly powerful wizards, and most of them are rich. Not all of them wanted to work for Voldemort, but were afraid that either A. He’d kill them if they didn’t or B. He’d win the war and they’d be killed for not joining his side. So they all sold out to him, because it was the easy way out. Death Eaters are rewarded handsomely for doing great things for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and punished severely when they don’t.

Yankee players are all rich, because George pays top dollar. Many players go there because they feel it’s the only way to win, if not for the mountains of money he lays at your feet. Pinstripers are worshiped in New York when they accomplish great feats. They are booed and ripped in newspapers when they do not.

Coincidentally, my beloved Red Sox (who are supposedly “cursed” by the Yankees) act as Albus Dumbledore in this tale. They know they are not quite as powerful as the Yanks, but they keep fighting anyway. They are the mainstay in the war against the Yankees, the team that will never go away, and at the same time never be able to match them financially. At some point, the Yankee Empire will collapse (as all great empires do) and it will come at the hand of the Red Sox, much like Voldemort’s empire will collapse at the hands of Dumbledore and Harry. (This year’s candidate for Red Sox Harry is Curt Schilling.) So while it’s a dark time now, for baseball and Harry Potter, fear not. The Sox and Dumbledore will see us through to the other side.
Time for this week’s movie quote. It goes a little something like this:

“And remember, Red, hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of all things. And no good thing ever dies.”

Good luck, and I’ll talk to you all soon!