Monday, February 2, 2009

Queering Quidditch

Joel Felcher sends me this story of somewhat strange intramural sports that are gaining traction on college campuses. The one that caught my attention was Quidditch. Felcher describes the game:

Borrowed from the Harry Potter book series, Quidditch at Middlebury College is played high above the ground as players fly on magical broomsticks and try and score points as they chase the speedy and mysterious golden snitch. Sounds cool, right? Wrong. Instead of figuring out how to manufacture flying brooms, players took the easy way out and simply run with the broom between their legs. The Golden Snitch, unfortunately, doesn’t flutter and hide as in the film. As a replacement, teams pick a fast kid, dress him yellow and make him run for hours until someone can catch him.

While the game itself reminds me of the Levitra commercial featuring a man who can throw his football through a tire swing only once he has taken a pill for erectile disfunction, the fact that players run with brooms between their legs suggests they are, well... compensating for something. College students who still obsess over Harry Potter are geeky enough. But to run around with a broom stick between one's legs, grapple with other men wielding broomsticks between their legs, chase after a stickless man clad in yellow, and attempt to throw a ball through a ring... I take it as a cry for help.

One "Snitch" explained: "Since we can't really simulate [the flying Snitch in the book], instead you have a big goofy guy like me dressed in yellow and I have a sock in my butt and once you catch the sock, the game's over" (see the video below--this is an unaltered quote). To prevent "Seekers" from getting "in [his] butt," the Snitch frequently grabs their broomsticks to keep them in front of him or throw them to the ground.

It all just screams out for psychoanalysis. But I'll leave the complete analysis up to a student trying to complete an assignment for a literary theory course.

I know, I know... Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar or a broomstick is just a broomstick. But sometimes (and this may be one of those times) certain fantasies are better off staying repressed.


marc said...

As Nick said about the coconut cake I at in the tea room, "That's so gay."

Robert J. Hudson said...

"Queering quidditch"??? How is that not a redundancy?