Monday, November 14, 2005

Hairy Polarity and the Obvious Over-reaction

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a reference in someone's blog to a Christian satire of Harry Potter. Since my Best Beloved collects Chick Tracts and other loony comic paraphenalia (a by-product of a religious upbringing rich with eccentric congregation members), I thought he would like a copy of this choice morsel, entitled Hairy Polarity and the Sinister Sorcery Satire.

The comic is published by a certain Tim Todd, a revivalist minister in the US, who runs a mission called Truth for Youth. I ordered a comic (they cost next to nothing, and are even cheaper in bulk, of course), and it arrived quick smart, along with a glossy brochure advertising how effective Minister T-odd has been in his crusade. Nice printing, I thought, until I actually handled the brochure, which has a prickly, sticky feel to it, like it had been hair-sprayed. But not as much as Tim Todd! Whose title on the inside back cover of the comic is 'Publisher/Evangelist', with a drawing of himself. Not a hair out of place. Lots of teeth. Just like his photo on the brochure.

I quite enjoy Harry Potter satires -- didn't mind the Barry Trotter books, and there were various odd Chinese wannabes on the net a few years go at HP peak freak time. But this comic is just plain vindictive and utterly unimaginative. Check out the first seven pages. Ari (it has a bit of a manga feel to the drawing, and in fact was produced in Japan for TT) has a best friend called Minnie who his parents disapprove of because she distracts him from his "Christian' friends. Ari (we later find out his last name is 'Potiphar') and Minnie have a love of Hairy Polarity books in common. One day they wander into a bookstore and discover the original HP manuscripts, written by the author, Dr Bela Verbosi. Just picking up the books starts a spell sequence that whisks them into dark magic central, full of pentacles, witches and devil worshippers. Hogwarts is called the Pigzits University of Scintillating Sorcery, Dumbledore is Professor Doltus Dumbitdown, and there is the incisively witty Lord Vulgarmouth who apparently tried to 'whack' Hairy when he was a baby.

The whole 'story' (I'd balk at using the word 'plot') is desperately trying to convince people that Harry Potter and his friends are satanic. When spells are cast, the words are things like 'HURTEM HOAXUS', and 'KNOCKUS YUSOXOFF'. Eventually you get to the point where Ari & Min find the author, a balding elderly man under the spell of the 'real' Lord Vulgarmouth, a demon called THUUKUS, DUKE OF DEMONS. Oh, quake in your boots. Ari discovers his saviour in Jesus; Minnie thinks her newly-acquired white magic can save her skin, but she is really in a coma until she calls out to Jesus and is saved too...

And just when you think it is all over, the back cover gives a written diatribe against Harry Potter, about how it represents a Godless universe. It lists 20 examples of appalling evil. I'll give you some:

#1 = sacrificing animals [fairy nuff]
#2 = emphasizing power regardless of good or evil [uh huh]
#9 = projecting or traveling [sic] without transportation [hmm]
#12 = divining by crystal gazing [bugger]
#13 = Telling lies, stealing, breaking rules and cheated advocated in Wizard ethics by copying another student's homework (oooo)
#14 = approving of astrology [ahhh]
#17 = taking mood-altering drugs used by real witches and shamans [:)]

and this is my favorite:
#20 = Believing death to be just the "next great adventure."

I thought Christianity did believe in something following death? A better thought than 'the great full-stop' (not my cup of tea, any of it, but that's another story).

There is absolutely no mention of the better qualities of HP -- friendship, loyalty, team spirit, kindness, family togetherness, sportmanship. It's all mouth-frothing, bitter, unconvincing stuff, and I'd like to meet any teenager who would take this pap seriously. Mind you, it's probably bedtime reading for the Olsen Twins.

BTW, BB loved this addition to his collection. he has two big boxes of like stuff. He especially likes the idea of being on Minister T-odd's mailing list. I guess we'll be buying one of the Yoof Bibles next, just to see what's really goin' dahn in the US of A (and, according to Minister TT, all over the world...)

Postscript: My Olsen Twins link came from a blog called Bent Corner. Just found it on Google, but it's going straight onto the blogroll. Try this, and this. And, go on, treat yourself to this. I never thought I'd type this, but LOL.

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