- Student-Loan Debt.
- Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance.
- Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy.
- “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.”
- Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously.
- The Normalization of Surveillance.
- Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism.
Reason #1,569 why “just give it up for adoption!” is not a viable alternative to abortion.
I want to put this on a billboard.
Do you ever have a problem where you just don’t know how to reply to an argument, not because you don’t know the answer, but you just don’t know where to begin? Like, the foundation of knowledge you’d need to impart to this person before you could even begin to drag them out of their sinkhole of ignorance would cost thousands of dollars if it were coming from a university?
The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.
The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.
The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people."
"Shaming is a defense mechanism to keeps people from doing the hard work of organizing. It is the most dangerous thing in marginalized communities, THE most dangerous thing, because then we do not organize because we can just say that if only you had made different choices then everything would be fine.”
- Melissa Harris-Perry, The New School Discussion 2013