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New York Times Article on Amount of Alcohol Use in Half-Blood Prince

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
July 29, 2009, 11:38 AM

A columnist for the New York Times has written a piece that asks "Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem?" in relation to what they seem to feel is rampant drinking that takes place in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The article starts out by claiming "parents may be surprised by the starring role given to alcohol. In scene after scene, the young wizards and their adult professors are seen sipping, gulping and pouring various forms of alcohol to calm their nerves, fortify their courage or comfort their sorrows."
 

The author of the piece continues: "Previous Harry Potter movies have shown drinking, but this one takes it to a new level. In one scene, Harry, Ron and Hermione order butterbeers at the pub, and Hermione ends up with a frothy mustache. While it’s never been entirely clear whether butterbeer is alcoholic, it seems to have an effect on the normally uptight Hermione, who acts tipsy walking home as she throws her arms around the boys.

As the mother of a 10-year-old Harry Potter fan, I was taken aback by the reaction of the young people in the theater. They snickered at Hermione’s goofy grin and, later, guffawed when an inebriated Hagrid passed out. While I don’t think my daughter fully understood what was going on, I wondered how other parents, educators and addiction experts would react.

Liz Perle, a mother of two teenage boys and the editor in chief of Common Sense Media, which reviews books, movies and Web content aimed at children, said she was bothered by so many scenes showing alcohol as a coping mechanism. “Hermione is such a tightly wound young lady, but she’s liberated by some butterbeer,” she said. “The message is that it gives you liquid courage to put your arms around the guy you really like but are afraid to.”

..."Overseas audiences may respond differently to the drinking scenes. In England, the legal drinking age is 18, but 16-year-olds can order alcohol if they’re eating a meal. (Even by those standards, the teenagers in the movie were flouting the law: during the pub scene, no food was served.)

A response from Warner Bros "said the drinking scenes were “open to different interpretations. 'One of our main objectives in bringing the Harry Potter films to the screen has been to remain as faithful to their original source material as created by J. K Rowling,” the company wrote in an e-mail message, adding that the wizarding world “should not be held to the same standards as the real world.' "

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282 Comments

Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:47 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:48 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:49 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:50 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:53 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:54 PM report to moderator
Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Interesting how they seemed unfazed by the repeated attempted murder of the Headmaster by one of his students, with accompanying consequences for people who got in the way, the accomplished killing of said Headmaster by one of his colleagues, the torture, the danger… I could go on. But a little butterbeer and they’re having fits. Get a grip.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on July 30, 2009, 04:59 PM report to moderator
Greenavatar_thumb
16484 Points

You know, I really don’t think that’s a problem. I mean, Hermione may have just been acting goofy, and anyway, why would she not drink because she is a “wound, tight young lady” ?!
And I really didn’t see alcohol as very present in that movie. Plus, if Butterbeer is given to children, then surely it’s like cider in France, you jhave it as a kid because it’s in the country’s tradition and has very little alcohol.
Also, the message about too much alcohol isn’t a positive one in the books, look at Winky ! Although it’s probably better she wasn’t in there =P

Dsc03219_thumb
49 Points

Oh God, talk about pointless complaints!

Posted by Magali on July 30, 2009, 08:41 PM report to moderator
Iconator_6203ffea3d3c5ab6a31096473fb93e59_thumb
827 Points

Seriously, these journalists need to get a life. I dont know if someone has mentioned it yet, but here in England, one newspaper was saying that Felix Felicis is too much like Ecstasy! Is stupid, no on e would have noticed if they hadent have said.
p.s. [at the journalist who wrote it] The wizarding laws are different to the muggle law. If you werent such an uptight prune who has no life, you would realise that to make a worthy article, you should research and actually know what you are talking about.

Posted by RoxxiPendrengentheAverage on July 30, 2009, 09:07 PM report to moderator
Hbp_promo_poster_011_thumb
59 Points

well maybe if parents are worried about what their kids see, maybe after they watch it the parents should sit down and talk to their kids about alcohol,
i know that’s an unthinkable idea.

also the kids over in Europe have a lower drinking age but they are also far more responsible drinking than kids in America because they grow up with it in there daily meals, they have a totally different mentality towards it.

Posted by H.P.2009 on July 30, 2009, 09:23 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb

wow. this is actually hillarious. i mean, if you read the book, you should know what to expect from the movie. don’t people have anything better to do than to write articles about some harmless drinking scenes? The movie is milder than some of the other movies. Believe it or not parents, kids are going to grow up and if they don’t see drinking in a movie, they will definately see it out in the real world.

Posted by TheGoldenSeeker on July 30, 2009, 09:35 PM report to moderator
2865_1127012896097_1250404635_30357756_4615970_n_thumb
312 Points

OMG some people need to calm down. I questioned it also but it makes no sense to write it like that. I grew up with parents giving alchol to their children and it seems like it’s not a big deal. Plus i think it’s up to the parent to teach their children those kind of values. But if no one notices kids won’t care. But that’s just me.

Posted by got2lovme on July 31, 2009, 01:10 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
140 Points

Y’know, tehcnically Hermione is an adult in that scene. She turns 17 September 1996, so even if Butterbeer was strong enough to have effect, she’s in her perfect rights to drink as much she wants!

Posted by WickedLoz on July 31, 2009, 03:13 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
33 Points

Do I hear “overreacting?” Geez.

Posted by lunalovegood30 on July 31, 2009, 04:24 AM report to moderator
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