The Unheralded Virtues of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, director David Yates and Harry Potter scribe J. K. Rowling welcome us back into the Wizarding World—and this time, they let a Muggle like us play a main character. Fantastic Beasts stars waifish magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) but the show is stolen by magic-less interloper Jacob … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Is J.K. Rowling Guilty of Cultural Appropriation?

Have you heard about the release of J.K. Rowling’s latest stories? Coming soon via her subscription website, Pottermore, Rowling has begun promoting a story compilation called The History of Magic in North America. The stories evidently include references to Native American legends such as that of the “skin-walkers,” mythical shape-shifting creatures known as yee naaldlooshii … Continued

Celebrities, Culture

Draco Malfoy’s Bad Boy Appeal

As any novelist will tell you, fictional characters, once released into the world, take on a life of their own in the minds and hearts of readers. They no longer belong solely to the writer. Once a character transitions from page to screen and becomes embodied by a flesh-and-blood actor, he or she drifts even … Continued

Books, Entertainment, Movies

The Wisdom of Harry Potter in Dark Times

Last month at their home in Texas, Stephen and Katie Stay and four of their five young children were executed in an horrific massacre at the hands of the ex-husband of Katie’s sister. The sole survivor of the family was 15-year-old Cassidy; incredibly, she not only survived being shot in the head by playing dead, … Continued

Books, Culture

What ‘Confidence Gap’?

America’s top CEOs, highest paid jobs, and most successful businesspeople, are realms largely dominated by men. “For years,” Katty Kay and Claire Shipmen wrote in an Atlantic piece a few weeks ago, “We women have kept our heads down and played by the rules.” In order to truly change things and garner equal opportunities for … Continued


Ron and Hermione Should Live Happily Ever After

J. K. Rowling caused something of an Internet dust-up when word got out that, in a conversation with Emma Watson, the Harry Potter author had expressed doubts about the wisdom of pairing up Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and her suspicion that Harry might have been the better match for Hermione. While the initial reports … Continued

Books, Entertainment, Movies

The Daily Pop Culture Scene

Lena Dunham’s Girls vs. Sex and the City—Time Well, the bad sex in Sex and the City was sort of like, “It was so bad he left his socks on.” Our sex is like “It was really bad because we’re not emotionally connected and he doesn’t want to be here and I’m scared and alone.”  … Continued