Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Harry Potter and the Pint of Liquid Courage

From a New York Times health blog, courtesy of Eschaton:

In one scene, Harry, Ron and Hermione order butterbeers at the pub, and Hermione ends up with a frothy mustache. While it’s never been entirely clear whether butterbeer is alcoholic, it seems to have an effect on the normally uptight Hermione, who acts tipsy walking home as she throws her arms around the boys.

As the mother of a 10-year-old Harry Potter fan, I was taken aback by the reaction of the young people in the theater. They snickered at Hermione’s goofy grin and, later, guffawed when an inebriated Hagrid passed out. While I don’t think my daughter fully understood what was going on, I wondered how other parents, educators and addiction experts would react.

Liz Perle, a mother of two teenage boys and the editor in chief of Common Sense Media, which reviews books, movies and Web content aimed at children, said she was bothered by so many scenes showing alcohol as a coping mechanism.

“Hermione is such a tightly wound young lady, but she’s liberated by some butterbeer,” she said. “The message is that it gives you liquid courage to put your arms around the guy you really like but are afraid to.”

Click here for the rest.

Oh, for crying out loud!

I fully understand that addiction and alcoholism are important issues, especially in relation to young people, just as I understand that both children and adults are influenced by what they see in movies and on television. But this is fucking Harry Potter, for chrissakes, and teenagers, after all, really do get drunk in the real world. And...

I'm so sick of these concern trolls. I think the best response to this crap is just a simple "go fuck yourselves." It's not like we're talking about Easy Rider or anything along those lines. I mean, it's Harry Potter...

Must everything be a part of the grand debate about what children should and should not be exposed to? Must we sanitize the whole fucking world because certain parents are paranoid assholes? Frankly, as Atrios over at Eschaton asserts, portraying Harry Potter doing things that boys his age tend to do is good. More life like, more believable. Makes for a better story.

Fuck man, even Bart Simpson got drunk once: "What are you looking at?"