- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

Harry Potter: Hocus pocus, mediocus

15 July 2005

This week BBC News Online contained the fantastic headline:

‘Evil’ Harry Potter day cancelled

The story? This:

‘A primary school cancelled a Harry Potter day over complaints it could lead children into "areas of evil".

'Pupils from The Holt Primary School in Skellingthorpe, Lincs, were planning to dress up as witches and wizards. But the event - to mark the launch of the new JK Rowling book - was scrapped after parents and a local rector expressed concerns about witchcraft.

‘Headteacher Paul Martin said the rector claimed he was seeking "to lead our children into areas of evil"... In a letter to parents, Martin wrote: "When I received a letter from the rector which suggested that I was 'seeking to lead our children into areas of evil', I felt that the situation was escalating disproportionately...’

And so he cancelled the Harry Potter day. But who’s got the most
potential to harm children here? JK Rowling and her satanic imp Harry Potter, or a loony tunes God botherer and some equally strange head teacher. Harry Potter may lead children into areas of shit books, but at least the overriding message isn’t ‘It’s perfectly normal to be stark raving bonkers.’

But leaving aside Harry Potter’s obvious potential to drag you into the clutches of Satan, we can’t say we’re exactly thrilled at the next installment being published. Partly because of the endless, mind-numbing hype, but mainly because of the sheer mediocrity of Harry Potter. (Mediocrity which, it must be said, we wish we’d thought of.)

Like the new Star Wars films and Terry Pratchett, there comes a point where you could make people buy a turd on a string if the marketing is right and people remain largely undiscerning about how they fill their oh-so-finite lives. Which is all the more reason to get cracking on a shit children’s book. TFT presents the first installment of our own mediocre novel:



‘Cripes,’ said Hermione. ‘This is a bit like Mallory Towers crossed with The Magic Faraway Tree.’

‘Yes,’ said Barry. ‘There’s something distinctly recycled about the whole thing.’

‘I concur,’ said Frodo.

Suddenly a chill/mist/sense of foreboding [delete as applicable] descended upon the Chamber of Elf Goblins. Barry heard footsteps. But whose footsteps? Voldemort? Darth Vader? The Child Catcher? The Shoebomber Richard Reid?

Whoever it was, it was bound to be a presence of evil, the purest and most terrifying evil imaginable. A figure loomed out of the shadows - a figure who, we would reiterate, was bound to be absolutely evil and terrifying.

But it was just Ron. And you can expect a few more false twists like this before you get to the end of the book. 267, to be precise.

‘Anyway,’ said Barry. ‘Let’s get on with whatever the fucking story is this time.’

‘Well, when the wizards of Zogramuff invested the Philosopher’s Stone with the magical powers of the ancient ways, they decided that its power was too great for one mortal alone to wield and gave it over to Bunkle the Giant to keep safe from evil in the Tower of Whatever in case the Dark Times should descend and the Night Waddlers should return from their banishment by Ziggurat the Unicorn King who lived in the ancient land of Moldax bringing wisdom to all who stroked his horn but Voldemort had vowed to make the Philosopher’s Stone his own to bring about acts of great evil and a dominion of darkness that would last for aeons throughout the centuries forever and forever,’ said Hermione.


‘Cripes,’ said Barry, again. ‘Then it is our duty to return the Philosopher’s Stone to it’s rightful place at...’

Barry’s voice trailed off.

‘What is it Barry?’ said Ron. ‘Have you sensed evil?’

‘No,’ said Barry. ‘I’ve just... sort of... lost interest.’

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved