From City Journal:
The latest Harry Potter book is being released tonight so let’s see what people are saying.
The new Pope opposes the Harry Potter novels. Yawn.
Judy Blume wrote an Op-Ed for the NY Times back in 1999 about the movement to ban Harry Potter books.
The real danger is not in the books, but in laughing off those who would ban them. The protests against Harry Potter follow a tradition that has been growing since the early 1980′s and often leaves school principals trembling with fear that is then passed down to teachers and librarians.
What began with the religious right has spread to the politically correct. (Remember the uproar in Brooklyn last year when a teacher was criticized for reading a book entitled “Nappy Hair” to her class?) And now the gate is open so wide that some parents believe they have the right to demand immediate removal of any book for any reason from school or classroom libraries. The list of gifted teachers and librarians who find their jobs in jeopardy for defending their students’ right to read, to imagine, to question, grows every year.
And finally, Harry Potter as a historical allegory:
Yesterday I posted about how Marg who is a regular reader and commenter on Cynical-C, was on Good Morning America and World News Tonight after sending in a picture to the Werenotafraid.com website. I asked if she would be kind enough to write up about her experience and she has obliged. I’ll let her take it from here.
We found out at about 9:30pm Thursday night that a camera crew for Good Morning America would be here at 5am for a live broadcast. EEGADS! A flurry of cleaning ensued, outfits picked out for the kiddies, trying to remember how to set the damn vcr up to tape, calls and emails to family and friends, and the ever present worry that there was a very good chance that i would say something completely asinine!
A night of very little sleep followed. The camera crew showed up from Rhode Island, a 3hr drive for them, at about 5:20. They loved the flag and the log home and decided, upon pulling into the driveway, that they would shoot outside. (relief! so much for the picked up house!) The kids were very excited and were happy to go out to be ‘wired for sound’ at about 6:50 am. There were soundchecks from the guys and later from NY, the cameraman positioned us here and there, the puppy was in the house barking to let us hear his unhappiness about being excluded, the mister was off to the side wishing one of the kids would hold up a sign to advertise the company we work for, www.mortgageguy.biz. As he was not in the submitted photo, GMA had him wired and off to the side in case Charlie Gibson decided to throw him in at the last minute. Through our ear thingies we could hear the show & now and then Andrea, the segment producer from GMA, would break in and say hello. Then we were up and running! We were supposed to be ENTHUSIASTIC! It was completely nerve racking to be live and have to answer questions when i had no idea what would be asked and also to hope beyond hope that the kids would behave and not be too silly.
Anyways, Chris and I had joked that I had to plug Cynical-C and I couldn’t believe my luck when charlie asked the question ‘how did you find the website?’. Cue the evil music, mwahahahahaha!
After that there were a couple of interviews with the local papers, the phone rang off the hook from family and friends who had seen the show, Alfie Dennen, creator of the www.werenotafraid.com site called from London to say thanks, World News Tonight called to set up an additional interview and we were able to get some work done on new and ongoing files.
The camera crew for World News Tonight came at about 3:30 just as a huge thunder and lightning storm rolled in. They set up in our home office for a taped interview which was much easier. The satellite truck guy from the GMA shoot had just gotten home when he was called to come back up for transmission of the latest tape to NY. They only used a very small bit for that show.
The kids said it was the best day of their life. I say it was the craziest 24hr period in mine! Finally, all my time “wasted” on blogs paid off!!!!
Anyways, it’s back to reality today.