Monday, February 07, 2005

Potter Rightfully Parodied by U.S. Army

I've never understood the whole Harry Potter mania, though even friends who dust off their Russian library once a week admit to follow his adventures. It seems that their must be some magic fans among the U.S. forces, because the army magazine Preventive Maintenance Monthly decided to publish a Potter parody in May 2004. At least, it claims to be a parody, something which is now questioned by Warner Brothers and the author J.K. Rowling.

Representative of Rowling said: "The US Army have not approached us or Warner Brothers for any copyright use." Of course, if this publication is a parody, no copyrightholder has to be approached and asked permission under the fair use provision and/or the First Amendment. Though the army may loose out, because this parody actually does not use the original work to critique it, I'd plea its satirical effect is so right on that it should be let off the hook anyway. A magazine that takes fictional characters on the more than fictional subject of magic to teach its readers on preventive maintenance, while soldiers in Iraq are confronted with the realities of preventive maintenance by the U.S. Army itself. Remember the Rumsfeld v. National Guard soldier press conference, which was something of a spoof in itself:
"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?"
And some of the vocal magic from Big Wizard Rumsfeld in reply to the guardsman:
"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want," "You can have all the armor in the world on a tank, and it can [still] be blown up."
That's satire, crystal, cynically clear.
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Images from the Preventive Maintenance Monthly can be found at the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator (!)


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