A Conversation for Harry Potter

The Researcher's Opinion

Post 21

Sidney Kidney, AKA Gruby Ben, friend of Dirty Den

Such passion!!!


About America's reaction

Post 22

Trillian's child

I love the HP books too, although only for the story-lines. However, I don't think the writing is suitable in style to be lumped in with even the loosest definitiion of literature (not like, say, Arthur Ransome or Astrid Lindgren).

What I can't work out is, if there was one vote more against than for, how could this be a single particular person's vote? If another point was being made, you could single out another person in the "against" votes and say it was their vote that swung the decision? That's really a case of the media pulling the wool over your eyes!!

About America's reaction

Post 23

Trillian's child

Perhaps we've stopped getting at the Yanks because the rest of us are coming down to their level?

About America's reaction

Post 24


I just realized something.

When the Religious extremists ban/suppress/censor a work because of the portrayal of magic as good, I shake my head at their obtuseness and refusal to let a child enjoy fantasy.

However, if Wiccans were to lead a protest against works in general that misportrayed their religion as evil -- while I know they are fighting a losing battle -- I still feel for them and support them in their effort.

I would never argue for government censorship. However, can you imagine the treatment an author would get today if they wrote the equivalent of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (or some other similar works which are actually worse). But people can write novels about how witches and warlocks are evil, and Wiccans are expected to put up with it.

That ain't fair.

About America's reaction

Post 25


There are a heck of a lot more weirdo Christians than there are Wiccans, though. Even though the Wiccans are treated a lot more unjustly than the Christians, the Christians have a lot more to argue about. And a lot more power, too.

You're right. It isn't fair.

About America's reaction

Post 26


Please don't lump all Christians together. There's a lot of beliefs among other denominations that I certainly don't agree with, but I don't force my opinions on other people. I've been asked by other Christians how I can be a Christian and still believe in evolution (very easily I might add). Just because a few loudmouths don't know when to leave other people's beliefs alone doesn't mean we're all closed minded.

About America's reaction

Post 27

Sidney Kidney, AKA Gruby Ben, friend of Dirty Den


About America's reaction

Post 28


Hey!I'm not that way!
I also thing somethings are pretty stupid but don't blame everyone!
I don't know why some people think it's bad but me..I LOVE THE BOOKS!!
I think people should stop thinking that way about monsters&magic but we can't stop them.
I think some people over react about HP.If I told my grandparents about HP they would be in shock!
Sorry if I'm being edgy.


About America's reaction

Post 29


I think it's really the minority making the loudest noise, as usual. America is a great big country, remember, and parts of it are as unfamiliar to me (in California) as the UK. Still, I sort of like the hullabaloo. I think it's fabulous that a BOOK should get so much attention.

I think the book-banners are idiots, sure, but I cherish any idiot's right to make a big loud stink. It's not as if there is any real threat. The thing to avoid is getting really angry with an idiot for being an idiot… and for attributing that idiot's actions to an entire country (I'm a little distressed that needed to be said).

Book-banners are typically of some more *radical* religious sects. I try to step lightly here because I know that religious folk often get painted with a broad brush (much as Americans do).

My mother was once asked not to read "The Wizard of Oz" to her classroom because the message to children was that they had the capacity within themselves to accomplish their goals - meaning, I suppose, that God didn't determine the outcomes. To a lot of us, that is reading far too much into a book (and probably not a big deal anyway). However, to certain people it's a threatening idea that goes against their entire belief system.

The problem occurs when that person tries to impose his system on others. I just don't think they see that by denying access to knowledge they show just how weak their systems can be… and how tenuous must be their faith.

About America's reaction

Post 30

Jonny B

Fair comment but the books also depict the struggle between good and evil. Surely these are a modern parable?

About America's reaction

Post 31


Fine, but where is the struggle when you don't even allow your "opponent" to be read? Suppressing what you don't like is cowardly. The real challenge is in carrying on in spite of the big wide world.

But what is wrong with a good vs. evil story? The Bible's full of them

About America's reaction

Post 32


If you want to get philosophical, there's plenty wrong with a good and evil story. In reality there are only a few people who are really evil, most everybody is trying to do what they think is right. Even terrorists think they're doing the right thing. Good vs. Evil is really two opponents competing over who's good is 'right'. Some people do some horrific things while justifying it to themselves as 'necessary for the good of others'. Good vs. Evil stories are setting people up for a world that doesn't exist, one in which there are a lot of gray areas.

Before any of you start getting upset, I really enjoy a well written story, even if it is Good vs. Evil. I just wanted to bring up this point.

About America's reaction

Post 33


I agree with the previous remark about Lewis Carroll being accepted by the Christian fundamentalists because of his background, but have also heard the argument that the magic performed in TLTWATW - all the zapping and so forth - is done by Bad People, certainly not by the kiddy hero's themselves, or at least if they do do it, it has unambiguously bad consequences (as you can tell I haven't read the series for a while). After all the church hasn't been backward in declaring witches to exist, historically, just that they are Evil. I think this is reaching a bit, what about the Lion? But I expect I can anticipate the answer...Ah but the Lion doen't perform witchy casting spells kind of magic. Which brings us neatly back to the probable critical faculties of 8 year olds.

About America's reaction

Post 34


Drat, as you can tell I was replying to something a while back, but I also forgot to say, on the subject of America's reaction that I read that British book banners were getting in on the act too, for largly the same reasons, so clearly America doesn't have the monoply on crazies.

About America's reaction

Post 35


Americans aren't that dumb....Well i'm not, at any rate. The old lady with the coffee was holding it between her knees while she was driving, so of course she spilled it all over herself. yes, it was her fault. nd nyone who thinks harry potter should be banned hasnt read the books.

About America's reaction

Post 36


From what I understand she wasn't driving with it between her knees. They didn't put the lid on it securely and when she grabbed the cup it collapsed and spilled the coffee in her lap. Either way it was a stupid mistake on somebody's part and the coffee was far too hot to be safe. That was why McDonalds lost the lawsuit, coffee should not be able to cause third degree burns.

About America's reaction

Post 37

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

People who want to ban books should be banned. Isn't it odd that a harmless children's story should generate more negative press than "The Anarchist's Cookbook," a how-to book that teaches you how to concoct various chemical, biological, and explosive weapons from household products?

Colonel Sellers, fantasy reader since age 11.

About America's reaction

Post 38

Researcher named for a cat

A note concerning Americans. I live in this demented country, and let me tell you that it gets much worse than the things that you mentioned. Yes the lady did get a million for too hot coffee, but let me tell you of more horrendous bull****.
Drunken driver in NY, or PA, or somewhere, run off road and hits rock in the median. He successfully sued the State Department of Transportation for 6.5 million dollars for leaving the rock in the median for him to hit. Talk about a double standard there. Makes you wonder, if it had been a van load of school kids, could he have sued the school board for the bus being on the road for him too hit?
New York subway. Drunk fall off platform onto tracks just as a train approaches, he manages to get all of himself but one arm off the rails in time. He lost the arm and successfully sued the subway security for 4.3 million for not baby sitting him while in the subway.
How do these things happen? Simple "lawyers". These people are trained to bend the law into anything they want it to be. Children starve in the streets, while these immoral moneygrubbers make the guilty rich.
What is really sad? Most Americans understand that all, that is "ALL" lawyers are as crooked as a paperclip, but do they try to change that? No they elect one President (see what he did to the integrity of the highest office in the country). Can the American public get any more ridiculously ignorant? Don't count them out.
Seriously, the main reason that they don't simply line all these legal deviates up against the wall and blow their arrogant heads off, is simply because each one secretly hopes that he/she will be the next one to get that overly hot cup of coffee with which to burn their genitalia and get rich off of.

About America's reaction

Post 39


The part you didn't hear on the news was how McDonald's appealed and got the verdict knocked down to about $100,000. It barely covered the woman's medical and legal expenses. Would you take 3rd degree burns on your crotch that require surgery for $100,000?

The reason for multi-million dollar settlements is 'punative damages'. When a company or government agency does something negligent (like turning coffee pots up to a temperature where they cause 3rd degree burns) or malicious (tobacco companies using psychology to pressure people into using a product that is harmful to their health) the victim is entitled to collect a sum that makes such a huge entity take notice. If you personally do something negligent or malicious the law allows for a punishment that makes you think twice about doing it again. If we only made these companies/agencies pay for the damages, they would start trampling over people's lives to make a profit.

Yes, there are stupid lawsuits. I heard of one where some guy cut a hole in a rubber raft so he could tie a rope to it and tow it behind a boat. While he was riding it the boat jerked the rope, the rope tore the hole open, and the guy got hurt when the raft slung into some trees. He sued the raft company and won several thousand dollars. That doesn't mean all lawyers are evil. Most state bars are very professional, taking licenses away from unscrupulous lawyers, and often providing free services to the public. The state historical society where I live has a regulation about what modifications you can do to your home. One homeowner's house was in bad shape, so he had vinyl siding installed. The historical society sued him to make him revert to new wood siding. Of course the guy can't afford it, so a local lawyer is helping him defend himself against the state (I believe without any money upfront).

As far as the president's indescretion, who cares? I think the only person who has a right to whine about that is Hillary. Did you complain about the president's integrity when our previous president pardoned all the people involved with Iran/Contra? That was most definitely a conflict of interest, and far more serious than oral sex.

About America's reaction and misusing products

Post 40


Potholder says:


Howdy! I'm an American. And, no, I'm not offended - I agree whole-heartedly.

As a defense, however, in the lawsuit-happy USA these dumb warning labels are a symptom of CYA [Cover Your Ass] Syndrome. Anybody dumb enough to microwave their pet can't sue the manufacturer because it clearly states in the instruction that thou shalt not nuke your pet. Such warnings help keep prices down.

Of course, my personal favorite is the warning label that appears on cigarette packs...

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