Harry Potter and Barney - Unlikely Allies
Barney's crimes against humanity are many, no doubt. First, there is that OBNOXIOUS "I love you" song, implying that nish-Idden could be in the same family as Idden. There are kids of various genders and species dancing together and lying in the same bed, at least until they "roll over". And then the kids are expected to "clean up, clean up everybody everywhere" all by themselves, without the Goyte. But his most notorious crime is being a Darwinian seed of indoctrination, implying that, even though Barney does not exist (unless you "make believe" him), dinosaurs did indeed exist. This is the sneakiest fake purple creature to infiltrate the mind market for our children, since that queer Tinky Winky was run out on a rail by Jerry Falwell.
Harry Potter, pop culture's most popular child hero at the moment, also suffers from being fictional. But he has the misfortune of being a wizard as well. This means he can perform some contrived magic in his contrived little world, which emanates only from the mind of the talented Ms. Rowling and her muses. She is currently working on the seventh installment of the series (kol shviyim chavivim), Harry Potter and the Incipient Encroaching Goyishkeit.
In the books, Harry can go from place to place quickly without even employing kfitzas haderech or folding the land under him. He encounters dubious creatures like centaurs, hippogrifs and phoenices (is that a word, scrabble fans?), as well as confirmed real creatures, mentioned in the Talmud and mefarshim, like giants, unicorns, basilisks, witches / wizards, mazikim (called dementors) and obnoxious little rich kid jerks. Harry often challenges the gedolim and, by not listening, saves the universe from the evil one. Harry is even skeptical about the confirmed, Talmud true arts of astrology and fortunetelling. So it is no wonder that these poisonous stories are banned.
This is silly in my opinion though. It is clearly fiction. I mean, they all go to this huge private school and no one seems to be in charge of the primary function, collecting the tuition. And can't they just make money appear if they are so magical?
Are we going to start banning Goldie Lox (talking animals), parshas Balak (talking animals), Cinderella (magic shoes), Wizard of Oz (magic shoes and witches), Red Riding Hood (don't the animals ever shut up?), Jack and the Beanstalk (magic beans, giants and poverty), Danny and the Dinosaur, Sefer Shmuel (witches, fortunetellers, necromancers), parshas Breishis (talking animals, snakes with arms and legs like dinosaurs that lose them later), Shrek (fairy godmother, more talking donkeys, lots of magical creatures and that nasty Mike Myers) ... you get the idea.
Should we ban Chabad renegade Shmuel Boteach for endorsing Uri Gellar's tired spoonbending, psychic act as real magic, for making a side show of kabalah for the material Ester Ciccone or just for having the audacity of writing a successful book on the you know what subject?
Maybe Barney should just come with a disclaimer about evolution being a theory, not a fact, and that purple is not an exclusively gay color. Maybe Barney should carry a disclaimer stating that "mystical approach" hashkafa is a fact, not a hodgepodge of nonsensical blather. Maybe Harry Potter should carry a disclaimer saying that no one under 18 should fly more than 50 feet in the air on their broom without adult supervision. After all, can we take the chance with the children?