Sorry G you done stepped in it because I just recently made it through the whole of the Harry Potter universe and I found it unsettling. So rather than do a big long pompous bl00's review of why Harry Potter disturbs me, I'ma just kick it off here.
“I was struck by aspects of the books that were really anti-authoritarian, and Harry as a character fighting against that,” DeGeorge told Mashable. “And I thought, ‘Well, maybe Harry would be a good punk rocker.’”
This - this quote is exactly what I'm talking about. Harry Potter is the most authoritarian series I've ever read. The Ministry of Magic is utterly unquestioned even when they've been clearly and obviously co-opted by someone so evil that you literally can't say his fucking name out loud. One must always obey Hogwart's even when one of your students is literally a genocidal assassin, and the fact that the headmaster is quite clearly operating at the behest of the Antichrist in no way diminishes her authority. And in case you thought this was a parental thing, no, Fantastic Creatures continues the bent whereby American wizards can't fraternize with normies under penalty of fucking death and if one of those normies should find out about wizards you wipe his memory no questions asked. And while the limey fuck wizards can think this is maybe a little backwards, they're totally cool with it.
“What they didn’t know was that Harry Potter is the next Harry Potter,” Ross says about media's attempts to dub franchises such as Twilight or The Hunger Games as the next big thing over the years. “This year’s abundant releases and announcements notwithstanding ... this fandom was already on a trajectory to be [continually] growing and thriving.”
Twilight? It's dreck, sure, but it's dreck in which two unlikely lovers triumph over adversity in order to find happiness. Hunger Games? Hunger Games is about a plucky girl who literally overthrows the world order. Harry Potter passive-protagonizes his way through five fucking books in which his every civilization-dooming discomfort is caused by the inflexibilities of a corrupt system to become... a mid-level clerk in that corrupt system. The message it sends is FUCKING GHASTLY.
There's some weird pre-Brexit politics in the Harry Potter universe. because I'd only done the movies up until now, I'd never really noticed how Hermione is an SJW who wants to free the Elves who are clearly the British service class who clearly don't want to be freed because really, the English caste system is better for everyone. The whole "wizarding family" through-line is about the aristocracy and the house of lords and how even when they fuck up they're allowed to continue in their orbits because they're fucking aristocrats. Dumbledore is the biggest fucking rebel in the entire series and his rebellion is self-serving: he doesn't lift a goddamn finger against Grindelwald because he swore a magical oath but he doesn't ever say "hey guys I swore a magical oath so sorry here let me help you any other way I can" he fucking undercuts the Ministry of Magic because they're incompetent because I guess everyone always does whatever they say without actually helping them along. And when Hagrid gets hung out to dry over something Voldemort did? Yeah, Dumbledore shines it the fuck on for 30 years until Harry Potter finds out the truth and then it's "yay harry!" instead of "Dumbledore you fucking monster."
Why the fuck does the Ministry of Magic keep an army of Dementors at the ready? Probably for the same reason MACUSA has an execution chamber big enough to drown a Teamsters' local: they're an unquestionable authoritarian death squad whose inviolability is central to the universe. And should trouble break out that threatens the health and safety of magic and non-magic denizens alike, one's duty is to work within the arbitrary rules of those death squads to restore them to power, not to make the world a better place.
Take a look at that logo. To the people who rawk it, it says "I am a fan of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Zelda and Dr. Who." What it's really saying, though, is "I proudly announce my fealty to the marketing of Time-Warner, Disney, and Universal." Really, "fandom" means "I subvert my creative energies to the products of giant corporations."
That was in 2004 -- to date, there are over 750 wizard rock bands, active or archived, and like the Harry Potter books and movies, in 2016 the music is thriving.
There's a Star Trek band. They're named S.P.O.C.K. They've been around for maybe 20 years. They play conventions.
SPOCK doesn't have 699 competitors, though. And the Star Trek universe is pretty egalitarian - Prime Directive, first mixed-race kiss on air, all species are equal, headed by a bureaucracy that is often subject to question, "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one". 700 star trek bands would be fucking terrifying because that means there are at least 700 people whose principle involvement in creativity is supplementing the ideas of someone else.
And supplementing the ideas of someone else is pretty much how the Harry Potter world works: the minute you give it any reasonable analysis it falls apart like a quiddich match with actual athletes in it. I mean, what would Nancy Drew do if Draco Malfoi was in her classes? The fuckin' Malfois would be in prison within days. How would Huckleberry Finn react to hearing about Dumbledore's misfortune? By any reasonable metric, the cast of 90210 had a healthier regard to injustice and criminality than the whole of the Wizarding World. At least Donna has to contemplate what date rape is. Bill and George Weasley legit sold date rape drugs in book 2.
And that worries me. That worries me a lot. There's an entire generation of kids who grew up believing that the one thing you never do, no matter how dire the consequences, is question authority. There's a "fandom" out there whose inspiration is a bunch of kids who try (and fail) to lead normal lives under totalitarian rule. There's a broad swath of people who, when confronted with an Oswald Moseley, will continue to invite him and his followers to their thanksgiving dinners. But guaranteed - each and every one of those people has filled out an online petition in the past six months.
Hermione spends like three books trying to improve the lot of a bunch of elves that don't want their lot improved... but takes genocidal fascists who murdered and tortured the parents of her best friends as a fundamental basis of her existence. That's fucking unhealthy, and nobody talks about it.