OT: HP movie

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Sun Nov 18 16:03:42 EST 2001

On Sat, 17 Nov 2001, Elizabeth Parks wrote:
|I'd heard people
|complaining about stereotypes in the movie--i.e., the Gringotts bankers
|being like Jewish bankers.  I don't think it's totally unseeable but I
|wouldn't have noticed it if someone hadn't pointed it out to me.  My best
|friend is Jewish and she looks nothing like any of those goblins

Not that I've seen the film, but...

The thing about stereotypes of Jews (or of any group) is that
the goblins don't have to resemble any real Jew, only the
stereotype of one, in order to cause damage.  Thus the fact that
I've never met a Jew who would demand a pound of flesh (leaving
aside the whole "is Shylock a sympathetic character or not" for
the moment, for the purposes of example) doesn't prevent
potentially damaging and offensive images of Jews to arise from
Merchant of Venice.  By the same token, how many people do you
know of African descent who actually resemble the happy darkie in
blackface stereotype of a century ago; how many American
Southerners resemble characters from Deliverance; for that
matter, how many Britons resemble Basil Fawlty (not counting my
Uncle Brian, who kind of does <grin> ).

All that being said, I haven't seen the film, and have nothing to
say about it.  But having had friends who semi-seriously looked
for the horns (and seriously for the hooked nose), and who
honestly assumed I must be wealthy, as soon as they found out my
ethnicity, I can attest to the danger of false stereotyping.  As,
I'm sure, can we all.  ("Why are you reading *kid's books*?")

deborah at suberic.net
What is an 'evil shape', I wonder?  Could a triangle be evil, for
example?  Are some kind of triangles decent and God-fearing,
whereas others are treacherous and inclined to furtive sodomy?
And could you tell that from the 'shape'?
		-- Philip Pullman, "The Republic of Heaven"

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