"In a world where dark wizards are kidnapping or killing people on a regular basis, a little under-age drinking is the least of their problems."


The New York Times' Tara Parker-Pope has a very silly article fretting about a few scenes in the new Harry Potter movie where "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 horrors! But wait, it gets worse:

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.

Goodness gracious, what vile evils will our children face next? Let's just hope Parker-Pope's 10-year-old doesn't get wind of President Obama boozing it up at the White House with Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates.

Reason on liquid courage here.