#16 – Harry Potter

This week we’re talking about Harry Potter. We’ll use our pensive in the Memory Box. Anne Marie teaches us how to make our own wands in the School Box. We’ll hop on the Soap Box to debate whether or not Quidditch is needed. Then we’ll jam to some tunes from Harry and the Potters in the Music Box. Next, we’ll compare and contrast Sorcerer’s Stone in Wonder Box. Finally we’ll answer some questions you submitted through the Idea Box.




Show Notes

Universe Box subreddit

Chat is at live.universebox.com

Universe Box YouTube (Subscribe!)


Harry and the Potters

Harry and the Potters Spotify Playlist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 midnight showing

The Trials of King Sparrow

Yer a Wonder Box, Harry!
Yer a Wonder Box, Harry!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry’s a wizard according to some.
He’s going to school and having some fun.
A magical item is what Voldemort seeks.
He’s patient. He’s willing to plan it for weeks.
Dumbledore’s army is strictly homegrown
in the first Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone.

NEXT WEEK: Next week on Universe Box we’re taking about UNIVERSE BOX! That’s right, we’re opening up our Patron Hangout to everybody so you can help us plan out our next 15 episodes with the topics you picked in our poll! Join us at http://live.universebox.com Thursday June 4, 2015 at 8:30PM EST to help.

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One thought on “#16 – Harry Potter

  • May 29, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I’m really surprised that Bill doesn’t like Quidditch. Hear me out, Bill. I have a rational argument for it. In a lot of ways, I sympathize with you. I have no interest in sports whatsoever, at least no native interest. I do watch college basketball with my wife, and I do enjoy it a little, but only because she’s so passionate about it, and I gave it a chance, and found it a bit enjoyable, to my great surprise. But if she didn’t watch it, there’s no way I would ever have started myself. And even though she loves football, I cannot bring myself to enjoy that, despite her and my best efforts. So, although I do recognize this as a weakness I have, an inability to enjoy something that I should be able to enjoy, I nonetheless totally get where you’re coming from, in terms of hating sports in general.

    But it’s almost exactly for that very reason that I love Quidditch so much. Quidditch can almost be seen as the anti-sport, for many reasons. It’s unlike any real world sport, because there is so much going on at the same time. In football, or basketball, or baseball, or whatever, everyone on a team is working toward the same thing, even if they’re contributing in different ways. In the more chaotic Quidditch, this is not the case. Some players work toward scoring, others toward injuring or sabotaging (even when they’re on the offense, not only when on defense as in football); and then you have the Seeker, who works toward something that’s almost the opposite of the goal of any sport — not getting rid of a ball in a specific place, but taking possession of it, with no regard to place at all.

    The Seeker, I think, represents the most anti-sport aspects of Quidditch. Not only because his aim is the inverse of the normal pattern of sports, but also because the result of catching the Snitch can completely upend the normal ethic of sports: the idea that, in order to win, a team must work the hardest, practice the most, give the most effort, and be the most coordinated. In Quidditch, that isn’t always how it works. You can be the better team in a match, but still lose if the other team catches the Snitch too early in the game. This actually happens in the World Cup in book four. And I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. There are a lot of sports fans out there who loathe Quidditch for precisely this reason, feeling that the fictional game betrays and offends against all of sports’ most basic assumptions and values.

    So I do think it has a really magical feeling to it, precisely because it’s so irrational and quixotic.It seems almost designed to upend the traditional understanding of what a sport should be. Quidditch also has some interesting alchemical thematic overtones, but I won’t get into that here. Maybe in the episode y’all mentioned where we can submit material from past themes…

    Also, as an interesting side note, my college (The College of Charleston) has an actual Quidditch team that plays on actual broomsticks against other schools.


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