"You call yourself a fan?!" You HP fans might be screaming. ("Who gives a crap? And what in fuck's name is a grindylow?" the rest of you may be wondering.) Allow me to explain.
You know what I wish my high school would have taught me? Anything about finances. How to balance a check book. How to fill out college loan applications. Any sort of lesson about managing money. What an adverb is. I guess that last one is more of a testament of how useless my particular high school was, as I realize that most of you didn't have to Google "what's an adverb?" during your freshman year at college. But do you see the point I'm trying to make? While my senior English teacher was trying to Dead-Poets-Society his way into our hearts by having us watch and read The Secret and fill out fake Facebook pages to analyze who we are, I would have rather been learning about what to look for when buying a used car.
Let's take a look at some of the classes offered at Hogwarts:
- Ghoul Studies
"They start school when they're like, what? Ten years old? And from that point on, they just learn magic. No math, no science. [...] Imagine a guy who has access to time travel, and a third grader's understanding of world history. Now imagine that guy times a thousand. And imagine that a quarter of them are evil."
I was going to complain that there's no Health or Sex-Ed classes listed at Hogwarts, but our "Abstinence Only" policies make ours practically non-existent anyways. Still, there should be at least one required lecture that outlines all of the different muggle STDs as well as those only seen in the wizarding world. I do not want to know what kind of shit can grow on a wizard dick without casting a protection charm before magical sex.
2) Crime/death/racism/assault/breaking-and-entering/child endangerment rates are worse than the worst neighborhood in the developed world
My mom ran a daycare at our house growing up, I studied how to teach children in college, and I'm a full-time nanny, now. Despite all the fuck-shit-tits I say and the boner-fart jokes I make, I care very, very deeply for the welfare of children. With that in mind, Potterheads, how could I possibly justify sending any child to Hogwarts?
For you muggles out there (scoff), let me let you in on some of the Hogwarts on-goings. Harry Potter was in his second year of school in 1992; fifty years prior to that, a young wizard unleashed a giant snake upon the school that resulted in the death of a classmate. That same snake is released during Harry's second year, and it lands four students, one cat, and a ghost in the hospital. The following year, Sirius Black, at the time considered to be a dangerous criminal, breaks into Hogwarts, which is referred to at least a billion times in the first six books as the safest god damn place for anyone in hell or on earth to be. It's cool because he wasn't actually a criminal, but I'll get to that later.
In Harry's fourth year, a student is murdered. He was chilling out, and then he was murdered. Yup.
In his sixth year, Harry straight-up attacks a classmate with a spell that leaves his victim essentially "slashed with an invisible sword." I don't care if it was only Malfoy, Harry still fucking assaulted him. Then the equivalent of the dean of the school is murdered and falls off a building. When Harry finally returns to the school in his seventh year, the place has become a safe haven for any adult wizard who wants to torture children (no, really, they're physically abused and subjected to magical forms of literal torture). Then there's a battle, and a shitload of students die.
And that's just the potentially fatal instances! There's an entire population of children that have an encouraged hatred of muggles, or those who are half-muggle or come from muggle parents. The ones who are not pureblood wizards have their own version of the N-word, though I doubt that Hermione ever went up to Justin Finch-Fletchley and was like, "'Sup, my mudblood!"
Then again, everyone seems to fucking hate Slytherins. Sure, most of them are racist, violent sociopaths, but not all of them. Look at cuddly Professor Slughorn. He's shallow enough to host a club of his favorite students, but he's not evil. Also, he's not racist; he lets both Lily Evans and Hermione Granger into his "Slug Club" even though they are muggle-borns. And yet, during the Battle of Hogwarts in the seventh book, Professor Minerva McGonagall orders all of Slytherin house to GTFO and tells them that they can't fight for the safety of their friends and their school. Way to fight racism with racism, Minerva.
Oh, and then there's Quidditch, the school's only offered extra-curricular sport. Come to think of it, it's really the only extra-curricular activity at all. To put the danger of this sport into terms that muggles will understand, think about how unsafe football is, then add enchanted rocks flying at your head while you zip around on thin sticks fifty feet in the air. Harry winds up unconscious in the hospital while playing...twice? At least twice. Not to mention the times he wound up there conscious.
You know how many kids died at my school from when I started kindergarten to when I graduated? None. How many almost died on school grounds during those thirteen years because of dangers only my school could provide? None. Car accidents happen, drug overdoses happen, and school shootings happen with no real tie to the school they happen at; these are unfortunate possible consequences of going to public school. The horrible shit that goes down at Hogwarts is particular to Hogwarts, and Hogwarts is considered to be the finest wizarding school in the world. Sorry, future magical children of mine. You will be home-schooled.
I'm going to look over the fact that they for some reason still allow the deadly Triwizard Tournament to be a thing that happens at that school, because this is already going to be a really long one and the list of reasons why that tournament should only exist as a punishment for child molesters is several miles long.
There is no question that Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore is an amazing wizard. But holy fuck, is he ever unfit to run a school.
Firstly, he is a magnet for criminals. The most deadly wizard known to wizarding kind has Dumbledore at the second spot on his priority list of people to kill, behind Harry Potter and before every muggle in the world. In the sixth book, Voldemort (it's cool guys, he's really dead this time, we can say his name) hires a student to try to murder Dumbledore. If I thought that the most powerful evil wizard ever was coming at me and could strike at any moment--which he does, because Albus totally knows what's going on--my first place to hide would not be in a building which houses thousands of defenseless minors. I might instead surround myself with capable adults, or at least a gun.
Professor Quirinus Quirrell is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry's first year. Up till that point, he'd been teaching Muggle Studies, but after some traveling came back kind of kookie with a weird purple turban and became the DADA professor. Somehow none of the other teachers, not even the all-knowing Albus Dumbledore, noticed that the most evilest dude in the world ever was glued to the back of Quirrell's fucking head. No one, not even everyone-in-the-wizarding-world-fears-and-respects-his-magical-power Dumbledore, suspected that this guy's quirky antics were less silly habits and more sinister fucking plots to murder Harry and gain eternal life in the name of his dark master. I'm sorry, but I call bullshit.
Speaking of people not noticing when evil was just wandering around the god damn halls, Professor Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody gets hired during Harry's fourth year. Or so everyone thinks. He's actually being impersonated by Bartemius Crouch Jr., with the use of the polyjuice potion. Now, Dumbledore has known Mad-Eye for years and years. He's a well-known guy; Ron recognizes him right away and delivers Harry some back-story. No one sensed that there was something a little bit odd about him all of a sudden? Fine, so he's an odd guy. Any weirder behavior might go unnoticed. What would not, or should not go unnoticed is the fact that he kept a small flask around his neck all the time. Everyone assumed he was drinking booze...and all the teachers were fine with that.
"Hey, Mad-Eye. Whatcha drinking?"
"Oh, just some...pumpkin juice."
"Really? Let me smell your flask. Just to double check."
"That's fucking suspicious, so we're going to look into that."
Meanwhile, up in the nosebleed tower of the castle, Professor Sybill Trelawney walks around like a pretentious gypsy teaching children how to see the future, even though she can't actually do it herself. Sure, she's made predictions. She's even managed to make the most important prediction of them all: the prophesy which named Harry Potter as the one who would vanquish the Dark Lord. She also goes into a trance and predicts that Voldemort would be reunited with one of this most devoted servants during Harry's third year. And...that's it. Two important predictions, and suddenly she's set to teach divination to students. Dumbledore gave her the job to keep her around, just in case another prediction pops up. How was a job at all necessary? Are you seriously going to tell me that a guy with as much pull as Albus Dumbledore can't find some loophole to justify keeping her in the castle? Oh wait--he does keep her in the castle for no reason when somehow-eviler-than-Voldemort Dolores Umbridge tries to rightfully fire Professor Trelawney and Dumbledore allows the rightfully unemployed fortune teller to stay anyway. Jesus H, the second important prediction she does make, Dumbledore doesn't even hear. That's right: his entire reason for keeping her around is to hear predictions should they arise, so he keeps her as far away from his own office as possible. If I was a student at Hogwarts and had her as a teacher, I would have flipped the fuck out. She's clearly at least 98% phony, and yet I'm forced to waste my precious free time that could be better spent practicing charms or writing papers for classes taught by real experts doing work assigned by some hack? Malfoy would be damn right to tell his father about that.
You know who else Malfoy was right to tattle to daddy about? God damn motherfucking Professor Rubeus "didn't pass the third grade" Hagrid. Before he was a professor, Hagrid was the keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. During that time, he befriended three kids--like any creepy manchild living at a school--and let them into his cottage to play with a god damn dragon. That's like turning to your four-year-old and saying, "Here, have this gun! Nah, it's safe. I named it!"
Before that, Hagrid was wrongfully accused of the murder that took place fifty years before Harry's second year and was kicked out. Hagrid only completed two full years of wizarding school, and yet he's somehow allowed to be a teacher of wizards. Are you telling me that, in the entirety of the wizarding community, that there is no one who deserves the job better than Hagrid? No one out there went to school who completed the proper education that allowed him or her to be a capable teacher of a Care of Magical Creatures course? Yes, he is a trusted friend of Dumbledore's, and he knows a fuckton about magical creatures, but that does not mean at all that he knows how to properly deliver that information to children. It takes 4+ years to be a teacher in America, and that's in America. We have a terrible public school system, and yet it still takes nearly half a decade to legally teach. Just because he was wrongfully accused does not mean that Hagrid is a suitable teacher, but he gets to be one anyway because Dumbledore's an idiot. Hagrid is like Leonardo Dicaprio in Catch Me If You Can, if Leo was a giant, hairy moron instead of a charming teenager. For fuck's sake, Hagrid could barely speak English. And he's from the country where that language originates!
And finally, I know that some heads are exploding when a word is said against loveable Professor Remus Lupin. I'll concede that he deserves to be on this list the least. But come on, you guys. Sure, he's like, the nicest guy ever, and he gives out chocolate like that one cool teacher you had in middle school. He's also a good teacher who seems to actually care about the safety of his students...except that he told no one that he was a god damn werewolf so they could better prepare themselves should an incident occur. He's more than qualified to teach, but him getting hired was a shady fucking move on Dumbledore's part. The responsible thing to do would be to send a letter home to the students and parents, maybe saying something like, "Hey, we hired a werewolf, please teach your children to be safe but also tolerant of those unfortunate enough to have been bitten by werewolves. Here's a list of all of the precautions we will be taking to ensure that your children are safe." Nope. Dumbledore's just like, "Yo, Lupin, I'm gonna let the guy who's holding a twenty year grudge against you make you a potion that keeps you safe. Maybe. I dunno, I'm winging it." Surprise, it doesn't work.
And those are just the teachers we hear about. Who knows what other idiots are in charge of the upbringing of young minds?
"But look at all the brilliant wizards that went there!" say Potterheads. "That school churns out the wizarding world's best and brightest!"
That is a freak fucking accident, if you ask me. I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when I was about ten years old; obviously my dream was to go there and live that charmingly dangerous life. But rereading it now, I can't get past the first book without wondering how the wizards have not all stupided themselves into extinction yet. Not to mention the blatant child abuse against young Harry that no one on Privet Drive thinks to report. God, the Harry Potter universe is a sucky place to live.
But it's cool, because Dumbledore picks the best teachers at the school to create puzzles and obstacles for any dark wizard to complete before being able to reach the sorcerer's stone. Voldemort-attached-to-Quirrell manage to get through, which seems about right because he's the most powerful wizard ever...until you realize that so did three eleven-year-olds. That's right, fuckers. The brightest talents of Hogwarts were bested by three children, only one of whom was raised among magical folk. Ron, somehow the least capable of the bunch despite having grown-up with magic, manages to bumble his way through the obstacles with Hermione, who is super smart but still a wizard n00b, and Harry, who has to have every single magical anything explained to his wondrous gaze once every chapter in each of the seven books. There is a cumulative total of twelve years of amateur experience with magic between the three of them, and yet they outsmarted probably a century's worth of magical training between Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore, and yes, even fucking Hagrid.
These teachers would probably do better keeping oxygen out of the halls of Hogwarts than evil. Even their freaking school caretaker, Argus Filch, is a bloody psychopath** who is always reminiscing on the days that it was legal to literally torture children. Dumbledore allows Filch to send the kids out into the Forbidden Forest, which is full of murderous magical creatures. What for? Detention. You know what I did for detention? I stayed after school and did homework. These mature, rational adults send four kids into a dangerous forest at night, only two of whom have some kind of supervision. Harry and Malfoy get babysat by a god damn dog.
Oh, and even with dementors floating around, a serial killer still manages to weasel his way into the castle. Oh, wait, Sirius Black isn't actually a serial killer. You know who is, though? Peter Pettigrew. And he's been tucked away in bed next to a masturbating Ron Weasely for years. Come on, Dumbledore. What kind of place are you running here? It's a wonder that anyone survives this school, nonetheless grows into successful, independent members of magical society.
Fuck you, Hogwarts.
**This wouldn't be a self-respecting Harry Potter rant without saying "bloody" at some point.
Math: This The Oatmeal comic. I love that man. Read all of his funny things.
Hermione's Unclean Lovechild: this quiz
Dumb-ass-ledore: a nerdy wiki page
Drunken Minerva: another nerdy wiki page.
Care of Magical Hagrids: another...nerdy wiki page
My Dream Home: Harry Potter wiki (aka my online Bible)