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Harry Potter debate prompts raised wands on campus

Tae Andrews | Monday, September 24, 2007

Dear Rover,

First off, I’d like to say thanks for getting back to me. Your biweekly publication took so long to respond that I wasn’t sure if you guys even existed any more, or if general apathy and widespread ignorance of your publication caused you to give up the crusade. I’m glad to hear you’re still around and kicking, however feebly.

Unfortunately, some of those wayward kicks have been targeted at my section. Like the Auror Mad-Eye Moody, I believe in a personal motto of constant vigilance. I leave no shot unanswered, especially when said shot is aimed at the most electric and beloved section of the nation’s, if not the world’s, hottest collegiate newspaper. And so I responded in kind, launching a spectacular salvo which rained destruction and despair on your paper.

Unfortunately, while I had intended to blast your lame-duck out of the water, in reality my comments had the opposite effect: impassioned readers, curious as to the remarks you had made, ended up flocking to pick up copies of the Rover gathering dust in the Dining Halls. I inadvertently created massive levels of new Rover readership, doubling and perhaps even tripling your subscribers to the point where they now number in the double digits.

You’re welcome, Rover.

(You’ll notice that in my generosity, I haven’t charged you a commission for spiking record new numbers in your circulation. Consider this an act of goodwill.)

As I sat in the dining hall on Friday, I read your Cheers and Jeers section and, as expected, I noticed your spirited, if weak, counter fire. However, as I continued perusing your paper, sifting through the layouts and pixilated graphics, what did my wandering eye spy but a full-page piece on none other than Harry Potter, the very topic which incurred your wrath and my subsequent return-fire in the first place. Apparently if you add a picture of a unicorn and toss in some “Harry Potter is Jesus” discussion of Christ-like metaphors in HP it’s okay, but otherwise, it’s not.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Rover.

As you write in your newspaper masthead, it behooves a good watchdog to bark, but it behooves a bad, toothless little doggy to stop barking, roll over and play nice. Or perhaps play dead. Down, Rover. Bad dog.

Also, it might behoove you to notice that the word “September” is traditionally spelled with one letter b and not two as you had it printed on the cover of your paper. (And by the way, if you’re going to insult our awesome football writers please use proper grammar and refer to the four of them as “gentlemen.” It would make you look cowardly, instead of both dim-witted and cowardly.) It’s not that I mind so much; it’s just that this is America and we speak English here, and so it pains me when you butcher my native tongue.

But in the words of brave King Leonidas from the hit film “300” as he and his soldiers go about the business of finishing off wounded enemy soldiers, “there’s no reason we can’t be civilized.”

In fact, as disturbing as this thought is, we may actually share something in common. Apparently we both harbor a love for Harry Potter, although yours is more of a secret closet love, as you spend your free time playing make-believe with your wands in the privacy of intimate friends.

As for myself, my love for Potter lore is well known and well documented, to the point where I have engaged roommates and friends in mock duels in public.

However, as you entitled your piece “Let’s Lower Our Wands,” you’re right; perhaps we should just bury the hatchet, instead of having me tomahawk it into your collective face time and time again. It just feels unsporting, like challenging a dyslexic to a free-style rap battle. As such, I accept your surrender plea.

Thanks again for writing, Rover. I look forward to hearing from you in two weeks.