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Quidditch By Any Other Name

[1]

It’s doubtful any of these young men will be going on dates with girls after the game.

2,008 words

In a most unlikely development, the legendary sport of quidditch caused a minor ripple in the press a couple weeks ago. I’m not making this up; it’s has been covered by Deadline [2], NPC News [3], and several other media outlets. Maybe it was a slow news day, even with the world coming apart? In any event, there’s a deeper lesson to this that perhaps the reporters themselves didn’t discern, a sober reminder that ingratitude is an ugly thing indeed.

For those who are missing the pop culture reference, quidditch is a game from the Harry Potter legendarium, as depicted in the famous book series and the attendant film series representing a combination of the urban fantasy and boarding school Bildungsroman genres. One can think of the game as very roughly equivalent to rugby, but on flying broomsticks. It has been defictionalized in a two-dimensional variant, and actually is played by several teams organized into two American leagues.

Granted, the very idea of bringing to life a make-believe sport, especially one based on escapist children’s literature and played by adults, is transcendentally dorky. This can be proven quickly on a chalkboard with merely a compass, ruler, and a bit of string — or come to think of it, without any of these things. In fact, the dorkiness of live action quidditch is axiomatic. It’s as self-evident as water being wet. I feel silly even writing about it. Perhaps admitting to playing quidditch might be a more effective means of birth control than using Hannibal Lecter-themed pickup lines.

To make matters worse, although they’re obviously not flying on brooms, the players nonetheless traverse the field while holding sticks between their legs. What’s the wood [4] there for? One needn’t be Sigmund Freud to think of it all as a bigger wank-fest than Portnoy’s Complaint [5]. As for the female players, it makes them seem — how shall we say — rather lonely. The movies did have an obviously phallic broomstick shot every now and then, which was good for some lowbrow giggles. Since anti-gravity is unnecessary in the live action game, however, then this is way overdoing it, exhibiting as much dopiness as if dribbling in basketball were accomplished not by bouncing the ball, but by literally drooling constantly.

Still, I can’t come down on it too much, since I also had some nerdy hobbies in my younger days which surely doubled as highly potent chick repellent. In the interests of fairness, there’s a positive side to the game. For one thing, it’s clean fun. It’s hard to argue against that. Best of all, it gets the players some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. So much the better, right?

What’s with the new name?

The big news is that live action quidditch has been renamed “quadball.” There’s been some discussion for a while, apparently, and then both leagues made the change. What’s up with that?

For one thing, “quidditch” is under trademark by Warner. The NPC News article says that “as a result, the sport’s broadcast and sponsorship opportunities have been limited.” Still, that seems like a rather weak reason. Broadcast and sponsorship — like, as if? For those who anticipate making a mint off this odd new sport, I want some of whatever they’ve been smoking! Again, the whole concept generates levels of dorkitude hazardous to their reproductive prospects.

The live action sport began in 2005. The organization recently renamed Major League Quadball has been around since 2014. The former US Quidditch league was incorporated in 2010. If the leagues had been running into serious legal trouble because of their previous names — or is it “deadnames” now? — it’s probable that this would’ve happened already.

If the corporation does decide to assert their rights, I have some bad news for Major League Quadball and US Quadball: Calling the game something else doesn’t change the fact that it’s still quidditch; that only puts lipstick on a very dorky pig. For example, if I started manufacturing a beverage which I called Coca-Cola, I’d soon get a call from attorneys representing The Real Thing. (I’m capitalizing it since it was an advertising slogan of theirs, of course.) Now what would happen if instead I stole their secret formula, and used it to manufacture something I called Faux Soda? Would the name change alone protect me from legal action? No, Coca-Cola’s legal team would be unleashed like a pack of baying hounds. Now picture a dozen attorneys in $2,000 suits, running and howling with their fangs bared and their tongues hanging out.

What’s their major problem? [6]

In fact, the name change isn’t primarily about copyright. Rather, the main factor is the ongoing cancellation of J. K. Rowling [7], author of the Harry Potter books. But the remarkably ugly digital dogpiling goes back a long way before these two leagues turned their backs on the person whose imagination began their sport. In one instance [8], she stood up for someone who got dogpiled by crybullies and forced out of her job. You can decide for yourself if the following statement of Rowling’s constitutes “hate” or “transphobia,” or is remotely objectionable on any objective grounds:

Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.

[9]

You can buy Beau Albrecht’s Space Vixen Trek here [10].

For such expressions of public disagreement with transsexual ideology [11] and — much to her credit — not backing down, brainwashed hordes of Leftist zombies subjected Rowling to a witch-burning in cyberspace. This includes not a small number of her former fans. The hornets swarmed her merely for differing with the Leftist hive-mind on one thing. Otherwise, the author has impeccable Leftist street cred, which is readily discernable [12] in the Harry Potter novels.

Moreover, she isn’t above retconning her own literary canon to add some intersectionality checkboxes to established characters. Her Leftist ideological alignment is perhaps only a decade out of step with the Current Year version held by her plus royaliste que le roi detractors. Thus, it’s ironic that Rowling became a friendly fire casualty.

This present development shows that the figurative witch-burning isn’t over yet; they’ve merely added another couple of logs to the fire. Never mind the fact that radical gender theory [13] as presently constructed is about as credible as belief in Santa Claus. Never mind that her greatest Narrative Violations were years ago. It’s not exactly the same as throwing the creator of quidditch down the Orwellian memory hole, but it’s a similar gesture. This is rather reminiscent of those old Soviet photos where some figure who fell out of favor with Stalin was later airbrushed out of them. Don’t they have anything better to do? Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree?

The series does exhibit considerable creativity, however. Although the Leftist inclinations are central to the plot, I can hold my nose about that aspect and enjoy the stories otherwise. Still, it’s concerning that underneath the compelling setting resplendent with European fantasy and folklore, it’s sneaky propaganda aimed at a young and impressionable audience. Moreover, the appeal is the strongest among those on the right side of the IQ bell curve, those who should naturally be our people’s future leaders. As Ron Hess commented [14]:

Rowling draws young whites into the world of Harry Potter with the identitarian values their souls crave, then redefines this world of their hearts as a multicultural hell which paints those who are identitarians as the darkest of evil beings. . . . So really, the traditional aspects are used as sugar to make the medicine go down, the medicine being anti-white communist indoctrination.

She wrote a massively popular book series featuring this candy-coated cultural Marxism, in which those who care about their heritage are depicted as a snake-headed murderer and his sadistic lackeys. Then, despite her accomplishments in propagandizing Leftist values to millions of unsuspecting kiddos, she still gets dogpiled by Social Justice Warriors for having a sensible moment. It wouldn’t be the first time purity-spiraling Leftist fanatics started eating their own. Rather like Scripture says, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Whether or not one considers her an awful AWFL (Affluent White Female Liberal), I nevertheless say she certainly has a right to express her opinions, even though I don’t agree with a lot of them.

But was her take on radical gender theory wrong?

What did she actually say? I can tell you what they say she said. Back to NPC News here:

In their statement Tuesday, the leagues noted that Rowling’s views have faced criticism from three [15] lead [16] actors [17] in the “Harry Potter” film series, as well as LGBTQ advocacy groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.

The hyperlinks point to articles about Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), among others, making statements disapproving of Rowling’s views. Like, who cares? Perhaps those were a slow news days, too? Their commentary was prompted by her mild barb at the phrase “people who menstruate,” which I’ll go further to say is a dumb and cringe-inducing politically correct euphemism. Hollywood types are entitled to their opinions as well, of course, even though they’re usually NPCs in lockstep with their ideological bubble. But it was in atrociously bad taste for these virtue-signaling ingrates to lend their voices to the wave of denunciations over the “people who menstruate” Narrative Violation.

The above-named are the three most important characters in the film series. If Rowling hadn’t written the Harry Potter novels upon which it was based, where would the lead actors be? These movie stars basking in fame, wealth, and glamor would probably be merely two ordinary blokes and one ordinary bird punching the clock at the office for their daily bread. With the heaps of money they made from eight hit movies, surely they don’t have to work another day in their lives unless they feel like it, so long as they invest wisely and don’t fritter away their fortunes. How did they then repay the one who literally wrote their ticket to stardom, someone who at that moment would’ve been blessed to have more friends standing by her? According to Dante’s Inferno, there’s a special place at the bottom of Hell for people who bite the hand that feeds them.

Rowling has repeatedly tweeted and written about transgender people in recent years. In June 2020, for example, she wrote a nearly 4,000-word blog post that some critics called a “transphobic manifesto.” In the post, she questioned whether more young people have come out as transgender because of a “contagion” fueled by social media.

Oh, really? [18]

She also described her own experiences with domestic abuse and assault, which she said made her concerned for the safety of women and girls in bathrooms and changing rooms, for example.

A 2018 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that there is no evidence that letting transgender people use restrooms and other public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks.

Yeah, those smart professors really know what’s best for us. Surely they wouldn’t let their political hobbyhorses get in the way of sensibility. Like, what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen [19] from putting “women” with dicks in showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms with the usual sort of women — as in, those without dicks?

Rowling’s public statements run contrary to the sport’s commitment to inclusivity, the leagues have said.

It turns out that Major League Quadball [20] has a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director,” and US Quadball [21] has an entire committee for that stuff. In that case, what else could one expect but nonsense like this?

Looking at it one way, I guess this name change gave the diversity munchkins something to do. But how would these ingrates make themselves look important if the person they peevishly dissed hadn’t created their game in the first place? It seems that these dorks need a lot more fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

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