No, This Isn’t Just Like That Thing That Happened in ‘Harry Potter’

Donald Trump has done some pretty bad things as president, and his travel ban on people from Muslim countries and his “zero-tolerence” immigration policy strike me as being in direct opposition with the principles this country was founded on; they are, frankly, un-American. But that being said, no, they don’t remind me of Dolores Umbridge’s Muggle-Born Registration Commission.

I can deal with a lot of things with grace and civility, but a 34-year-old banker having no point of reference in literature outside of Harry Potter or maybe Lord of the Rings is where I draw the line. It is a book for children. I know it meant so much to you when you were a child and you wore a wizard robe and wanted to go to Hogwarts, but you didn’t go to Hogwarts, you went to Ball State, and while you were there you should have read at least one other fucking book.

So imagine my frustration when I woke up to find yet another tired “Harry Potter is just like America under Trump” take in my Twitter feed. I was about to unfollow whoever retweeted it, but then I noticed it was Stephen Fry, who I guess I have to give a pass to because he recorded the Harry Potter audio books but I’m never going to see Jeeves and Wooster in the same light again.

To be honest, the upside to Trump being president is that he gives these bougie assholes who view the world through the lens of a children’s book the same feeling of existential dread that the rest of us have had since the Reagan administration.

If this was an isolated incident, I wouldn’t be bothered. But it’s a constant drumbeat pounding away in my head like the one that drove The Master insane in Doctor Who. See, there’s other British children’s properties you can build a metaphor around.

I’m sitting here thinking that you’re 27 years old and you should probably should have read at least one book that was written for adults by now.

Her Twitter bio says she’s a special ed teacher. This tweet, however, reads like something written by a special ed student, so I’m not sure this is going to end soon.

Jesus Christ, even the New York Fucking Times is doing it. I need a drink.

I guess I shouldn’t be too mean to these nerds, the Quiddich World Cup is starting and the bully in their investment firm might read this and break their Galaxy 500 broom or whatever.

These are adult humans pretending to play a fake game made up for a children’s book. Just play soccer you nerds. I would rather watch that remake of The Last Jedi those ten angry idiots are planning every day of my life than spend a single second watching an adult run around holding a broom between their legs. It’s just too embarrassing.

You guys realize no one else does this, right? Okay, maybe Star Wars fans do, but no one saw the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and went “Oh my god, this is just like when Zeon launched that G3 Gas attack against Side Two in Gundam!” Sure, people use literary references to build metaphors all the time, but most people have been exposed to a wide range of media and don’t constantly reference the same book over and over again.

[Image: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Consumer Products]

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jenna Scherer
Jenna Scherer
5 years ago

Hi, Eric! I’m Jenna Scherer, who wrote the original tweet you seem to be super angry about ( I’m a writer, journalist and editor with a degree in English and American Literature. I’ve written a lot referencing other works of fiction, but it happened to be that this particular tweet that went viral, to my great surprise. In point of fact, I — and I suspect, many of the people who retweeted me — am an avid reader of books of all stripes, from what you would probably consider “highbrow” right on down to Harry Potter. But the thing is, I… Read more »

5 years ago

Maybe you should read a few children’s books yourself as an adult. The good ones are a lot deeper than you think. Writers are teaching life lessons through stories. And it’s also normal to use well known books as a reference for current events. People have done it with the Bible for centuries. Classic literature is good for such references because so many people are likely to have read them. People are much more likely to have read classics aimed at children and young adults simply because we get pretty busy later in life and are no longer in school.… Read more »