31 July 2007

harry potter on facebook

Sorry for not posting anything substantive the past couple days. I've been sick since Sunday night.

I did notice a number of new Harry Potter related groups on Facebook cropping up this past week, which I'll mention in a minute (spoilers alert, by the way). But first, a Harry Potter-related joke:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
You know.
You know who?
Yes, you're right! Avada Kadavra!
I thought that was pretty amusing.

Back to Facebook. Prior to Book 7, there was a group called "After Harry Potter Seven Comes Out I Won't Have Anything To Live For" with nearly 72,000 members.

New, post-Book 7 Harry Potter related groups include "Not My Daughter, You Bitch! Mrs. Weasley Appreciation Group" (with currently over 48,000 members), "Fred Weasley - We Salute You" (14,000 members), "Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf" (11,000 members), "A little piece of me died with Severus Snape" (8,500 members), and "The Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks Memorial" (6,600 members).

It's fascinating to see how attached a whole generation of kids have grown to these characters. The Bloomsbury live chat yesterday with Rowling (transcript here) reportedly generation 120,000 questions, the vast majority to which, of course, she was unable to respond.

I know many of my students more or less grew up with Harry Potter and were very much looking forward to the final book this summer. I'm toying with the idea of asking my department chair if I could teach a philosophy course using Harry Potter as a basis for philosophical discussion. There's even a book published already called Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts that might be a useful text.