Jesus and the Escape from the Enchanted Tomb: Harry Potter and Education Budget Cuts

There’s an interesting, if bizarre, article over at esquire about Harry Potter and Jesus Christ calledHarry Potter and the Hatred of Teachers: His political fantasy and ours.” On first glance it seems to be a ridiculously obvious bid to draw Harry Potter traffic to a much smaller issue, (budget cuts on education and teachers) but I LOVE the opening line:

“The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 will be the final installment in the most popular story cycle since Jesus and the Escape from the Enchanted Tomb.”

It took me a minute to realize that “Jesus and the Escape from the Enchanted Tomb” is a reference to the Bible. I did a search for it and it seems the author (Stephen Marche), came up with it himself. Simply Genius. I think everybody should use this nickname from now on. I also borrowed the images in this picture from, because they’re very clever.

Although the link is tenuous, Marche raises some interesting points about our “fantastical” views of teachers.

“Teachers inhabit the space between childhood and adulthood, between family and the wider world, and as such seem impossibly grander and more dangerous than they really are. Therefore the professors at Hogwarts are werewolves, frauds, assassins, secret agents, and saviors of the world” (I don’t think he’s ever actually read Harry Potter).

His conclusion is also sharp and to the point:

The cost of producing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is about $250 million, while schools in Florida — where the Harry Potter theme park resides — will suffer a $1 billioncut. We pay for the fantasy that we won’t pay for in reality. We invest in fictional teachers rather than real ones.

Since Harry Potter takes places in an educational setting, I feel Marche’s comments are appropriate. However – unlike real-life teachers – the teachers at Hogwarts really are magical; they will defend their students lives against evil with every breath of their being. Perhaps Harry Potter is loved in part because it shows us teachers we can admire and respect.

Or – more probably – if the government decided education was important and actually started funding it, there’s a good chance schools would not only be able to recruit better teachers, but also give them the means to perform miracles.

What do you think? Is Education less important than, say, the war budget or the billions that go straight into the pockets of large corporations?

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