For the uninitiated (ha!), the Harry Potter series consists of seven books slowly but inexorably building to a final showdown between the eponymous (I love that word) hero and the most evil wizard ever (tm).
Before each book came out, there was speculation that it would be OMG DARKER AND SCARIER THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE! MAYBE OUR LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS SHOULDN'T READ IT.
Remember that "slowly but inexorably" thing?
Remember how Lord of the Rings started with a relatively innocuous thing (Bilbo disappearing at his birthday party) and ended with "The End of All Things?"
When things slowly but inexorably built towards BAD THINGS, they slowly but inexorably get...
This should not be rocket science, folks.
The same thing, of course, happens as trailers trickle out for each subsequent movie, to my continual irritation.
(Surely, if you're going to see the sixth Harry Potter film, you've read the books? I could forgive, perhaps, having not read the book before seeing the first, but wouldn't that pique your interest? More to the point, in a (ahem) post-Harry-Potter world, you surely know that.... Oh, never mind. I give up.)
Anyhow, imagine my reaction when I saw this:
A 'darker' Harry Potter.
I just -- I just --
Okay, let me try to be rational.
Kids who grew up on Harry Potter grew with the books. If they were 11 when they read the first, they were adults when Deathly Hallows came out. I think adults could handle Deathly Hallows, don't you?
A kid that read Sorcerer's Stone for the first time (yep, I'm American...sorry) at 11 two months ago is in a different spot.
But here's the thing.
YOU'RE THE PARENT.
IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT YOUR KID IS READING OR WATCHING THEN WATCH IT YOURSELF.
I mean, for crying out loud, people.
On another similar but related note, a couple of weeks ago, our News-2-You topic was the Country Music Awards. Because the paper had a bit on the history of country music, I hopped onto YouTube, violated several copyrights, and made a video showing the growth of country music over time, with 30 second-ish clips from each decade of country music.
Johnny Cash being Johnny Cash showed up in two of them.
Three of my students -- including my youngest, Bart (fourth grade boy P), who just turned nine a month ago -- said, "Oh, that's that guy from the movie with the drugs!"
So we let an eight year old boy (with special needs, but even so) watch Walk the Line, but we angst that the sixth movie in a series of...well, eight, really...movies that are building to a giant confrontation with a REALLY EVIL BAD GUY...is...darker?
Walk the frelling Line.
I weep for society.