Is Kenai experiencing Harry Potter incident, taste of Stalinism?

Posted: Monday, July 07, 2003

I just got through reading the latest Harry Potter book. I know that there has been much said about the hype surrounding the largest book in the Rowling series, but it brings a bit of thinking to me as I sit in the summer sun thinking about the salmon that are running past us in the Kenai River.

I'm aware that some people think that Harry Potter and his comrades are nothing more than mystical hype or even counter-religious, but the book has something from which we can all learn.

If one is patient enough to get past all of the spells and magical creatures contained therein, we can see a stark comparison to the efforts exhibited by

the Nazi and Stalinist regimes of our not-so-distant-past.

Rowling has presented us with a stage which exhibits the steps taken by the anti-democratic revolutionaries of this past century.

In her story, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the Dark Lord uses the media to accomplish his goals of hoodwinking the people into believing that which is not true. Normal-every-day people are led to believe that there is nothing to fear and life should go on in its "natural pattern."

Only later in the book, when Harry and his friends take it upon themselves to question authority and seek answers do the "regular people" finally see the truth that has been in front of them the whole time.

I know that many will call me an "alarmist fool," but the same type episode is upon us now.

A few years ago Safeway bought out our local supermarket, Carrs. It did not seem like a huge deal then, but now we are seeing another case, in our home town, of revisionist history used by the Brown Shirts and the communists under Stalin.

If one were to go to the now Safeway in Kenai, one would see a sign that says Safeway has been serving the Kenai since 1950. Perhaps I may be off in my recognition of the facts, but I'm not really sure that is the truth. Perhaps it seems inconsequential to the most of us, but this is the same kind of history restructuring practiced in the Soviet Union.

I, personally, find it reprehensive that the Safeway corporation seems to believe that the people of the Kenai are such bumpkins that we will buy into that kind of rhetoric.

I find it find it insulting that people in the Lower 48 bank on the fact that the people of the Kenai will just sit on their hands and let such non-truths float among us with not-so-much as-a "you must be kidding."

Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe we will sit still for the same kind of misrepresentation of the facts that were exhibited in the history lessons from Germany and Stalin's regime. Perhaps we do not deserve any better.

I'm banking on the idea that my fellow people from the Kenai Peninsula will demand that Safeway treat us with more respect.

Mike Gustkey


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