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Ahh, I have to sit back and chuckle as I watch all this. Let's review the J.K. Rowling business model:

1. Write books. Finish series. Get world at your feet and become richer than the Queen.

2. THEN tell the world the Harry Potter books are partially based on Christian tradition.

3. Within a week, also tell the world that Dumbledore is gay.

4. Congratulations! You have now shaved off the anti-Christian loonies in one step, and the anti-gay loonies in the other, while leaving your calm centrist base to float on the waves with big amused grins on our faces.

5. On the other hand, maybe with step 3 you got some of those Christian fundamentalists to rethink their avoidance of the books--only to cause them, in step 4, to go right back to slapping the Harry Potter series atop the Banned Books list. Or, vice-versa: maybe you piqued some gays' interests, but once they hear about the Christian thing, they aren't going to read them after all.

6. However, I bet you did actually gain a bunch of fans in both communities, since there's a lot of cross-tolerance that the media and general public don't often notice.

7. Not that it matters how many fans you gain or lose, as you are already richer than the Queen, and even if your next venture only sells half as many books as HP, you will still outsell all other living authors.

8. You get to edit and veto the movie scripts? Damn. Most novelists never, ever get that privilege. I want to be you when I grow up.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
sopdetly
Oct. 20th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
JKR is, and always has been, the kind of wonderful bitch I hope to be when I'm richer than a queen. She's totally my idol. *swoons*
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
And so far she's not nearly as wanky as Anne Rice, so that's a plus. :D
sopdetly
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
She's all, "Dumbledore's gay. ........OMG the fanfic! LOLZ!" She totally pwns. :D
mollyringle
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
Heehee. Yep--I love that she immediately thought of the fanfic reaction--and only laughed about the idea.
(Deleted comment)
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
Hee. Actually, as far as I can tell, they're jumping for joy at being "validated."
kirstenfleur
Oct. 20th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
Hello, I followed you over from Mollyringwraith. :)

To me, it's always been fairly obvious that the books were rooted in a Christian tradition, and I say this as a practising Christian. Harry is always sacrificing himself for his friends,as an example. Plus there was the fact that Hogwarts always celebrated Christmas and Easter.

However, I had no idea that Dumbledore was gay, and that did startle me!
There you go!
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Welcome!

Yeah, I especially noticed the ol' death-and-resurrection bit in book 7--along with the fact that Harry never kills anyone. Of course, his friends do on his behalf, so that's...well, realistic, but not ideal. :)

I never guessed about Dumbledore either. Had my suspicions about Lupin, though...
teenybuffalo
Oct. 20th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Seems to me everybody has figured Dumbledore as being gay as a tree full of parrots for years. The problem for me is that I don't like Dumbledore. He's a slimy old manipulator. I'm over here going "Why can't she out one of the people I like, so I can write slash about them and go IT'S CANON!!!11!eleventy"?
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Hee--I never suspected Dumbledore of being gay, but I did wonder about Lupin in his whole "My marriage was a mistake!" speech.

Who would your ideal gay character be? :)
teenybuffalo
Oct. 31st, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
Oh, Neville (except that I like Neville/Luna) or Sirius or Snape. Though I may have a different selection tomorrow or the next day, depending what mood I'm in...

And yeah. Lupin the deadbeat dad was a real downer for me. At least if he'd been acting badly because he was deeply closeted and was trying painfully to turn himself into a straight guy, that would have been an understandable reason for his behavior. Instead he was pretty insufferable for not-very-convincing reasons to my mind...

And why couldn't the ghost of Tonks turn up holding hands with him at the end? ::snarrrrl::
mollyringle
Oct. 31st, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
Good point. Tonks really gets short shrift in a lot of ways, doesn't she? Hrm.
dirae
Oct. 20th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
So the "headmaster" is gay and dead. Let's read the subtext in that.

My god, that woman is such a media whore. Or, maybe, she's hot for some geriatric slash.
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
"I love my dead gay headmaster!" (as others have already said. Hee.)

If I remember right, she stayed out of the media spotlight as much as possible (which wasn't easy) in previous years, but lately she does seem to be saying what she pleases. Still, she isn't nearly as wankerific (or insane) as Anne Rice yet...
dirae
Oct. 22nd, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
I suppose it is better than if she acted like Ann Coulter. Coulter's batshit.

[I just don't like the bit about commenting on characters in this manner--if it was so important, why not include it in the story itself. It's like she feels the need to retroactively bestow something on her characters in order to give them depth you don't have on the printed page. You seldom see writers doing that after the fact... and to me it reads like she's currying favor. True, it gives her publicity and a boost in sales (perhaps), but it sort of cuts at her ingenuity. What's next? Daniel Handler discussing the omnisexual identity of Klaus Baudelaire?]

mollyringle
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
True--it sort of seems like she wants to be hip and modern with "the gay", but also bowed to the more conservative pressure of not actually including it in a children's series. Having cake and eating it too, etc.

I initially thought it was great just because I love when people make fandom go ballistic. Also, I'm of the philosophy that the story's meaning to the reader doesn't change no matter what the author says s/he intended. However, it *does* change for plenty of readers, so I do feel bad for them if this disturbed their whole worldview.
new_iconoclast
Oct. 21st, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Meh- it still all boils down to me having the hots for JK.
mollyringle
Oct. 22nd, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
And it has nothing to do with her being obscenely rich? :)
new_iconoclast
Oct. 22nd, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
No, actually. (Although I wouldn't turn up my nose at the bank balance.) I've just always thought she was hot. I think that if I had seen her Back in the Day, at that little coffee shop, toiling away over the first novel in order to keep body and soul together, I'd have thought she was hot then, too.
mollyringle
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Ah, good. We women are always heartened to hear of guys crushing on celebrity women older than, say, 23. :)
kalquessa
Oct. 22nd, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure why #2 or #3 had to be overtly stated. It doesn't really add anything to the books in either case. People who are going to enjoy the books more for either the Christian themes or the gay professor (or both) don't need to have it spelled out for them: they can already see both. The people who didn't see one, the other or either were probably enjoying themselves more that way. So basically all I see is J.K. Rowling going "Muahahahahaaa I ruin your fun!" And, like you said, she's still richer than the Queen, so she can do stuff like that, and yeah, a part of me kind of wishes I could crush people's silly minds like that, too, but another part of me thinks it's kind of pointlessly mean. (Incidentally, I felt kinda the same way about the book's epilogue. I didn't really ship, and what little I did was canon shipping, so it's not like I had my heart broken or my ship sunk by the epilogue or anything. But I felt kind of like half the purpose of the epilogue was to go "neener neener" to the H/Hr shippers et al, which seems like kind of a dumb motivation for writing something. Of course, I also feel that anyone who hangs their future happiness on whether or not two fictional characters get married and have babies is kind of asking for it in a big way, so there's that. A day may come when I'll have an opinion that doesn't come with three pages of qualifying statements, provisos, exceptions and devil's advocate tangents. But it is not this day! I think this parenthetical statement has gone on rather long enough, don't you?)
mollyringle
Oct. 24th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
*nods* As I told dirae above, I initially thought it was great just because I love when people make fandom go ballistic. Also, I'm of the philosophy that the story's meaning to the reader doesn't change no matter what the author says s/he intended. However, it *does* change for plenty of readers, so I do feel bad for them if this disturbed their whole worldview.

I didn't like the epilogue much either, mostly because it didn't tell us anything we couldn't have already predicted. If she'd included a few surprises, that might have made it worthwhile.
kalquessa
Oct. 25th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
I have ti admit, I'm with you on the "poke fandom with a stick!" school. So there's that, too.

Also, I'm of the philosophy that the story's meaning to the reader doesn't change no matter what the author says s/he intended.

Agreed. I'm with Neil Gaiman: trust the tale, not the teller.
mollyringle
Oct. 27th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Great quote! He is just teh awesome.
naill_renfro
Nov. 3rd, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
Wow, you've done a lot of posting while I was on Tattooine. (Really. That's where we went while our city was on fire. At least, one of the locations.) I'm just starting to catch up.

Dumbledore, the headmaster of an exclusive British boarding school, gay? Shocking! Absolutely shocking!

My first thought was that she doesn't understand fanfic: Once it's canon, it's not fanfic material any more. (I suppose there's plenty of Harry+Ginny4EVR fanfic out there, but it's just not the same.) But then I saw someone's comment up there -- yours, I think -- about validation, and realized that yes, if I'd written any Dumbledore slash, I'd be pretty darned elated. But I haven't, partly b/c it never occurred to me -- I can see the young Dumbledore we glimpse in Book 7 as gay, but the hundred-and-fifty-year-old Dumbledore we're more familiar with comes across as asexual, whatever his younger self may have been. And it's just as well, considering.

(Why aren't ANY of the Hogwarts professors married, or, with the exception of Hagrid, involved in any sort of romantic relationship with anyone? Poor sorry sods.)

I remember reading Isaac Asimov's description of a fan's arguing with him about a story; he said "But I happen to be the author of the story." The fan said "So? Just because you wrote the story, do you think that means you know everything about it?" I've mostly viewed JKR's hors-texte comments as non-canon; a gay Dumbledore is fine, but what's this about Luna Lovegood marrying some made-up character called Rolf Scamander?
mollyringle
Nov. 4th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Glad you're okay after the fires! I didn't realize you lived down there.

Heh, I'm kind of in agreement with Asimov's crazy fan, to the extent that the author can't, and shouldn't usually try to, change what the story means in any individual reader's head. (Exception: "Writer meant for me to kill them, kill them all!") And yeah, Rowling's after-the-fact remarks on the characters seem almost like another fan's interpretations, and perhaps should only have that much weight. After all, if it isn't in the books, does it really count? Etc. Could write many a thesis on topic. Blah blah blah.

(Why aren't ANY of the Hogwarts professors married, or, with the exception of Hagrid, involved in any sort of romantic relationship with anyone? Poor sorry sods.)

Now that's a darn good question. What is Hogwarts, a monastery? Hrm. I never considered that issue, though I *have* wondered why they seem to have no arts classes of any kind. Magic mural painting? Magic music composition? Magic poetry? (*shudders at the thought*)
jschillig
May. 1st, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Luna/Rolf
Sorry if I'm late to the party...only just came across this post.

I don't mind the idea of Luna/Rolf...I like it. Wouldn't it be a little too pat if everyone we knew paired up with their school sweethearts? Before JKR's declaration, there were those who said just that.

I like the idea of Luna (one of my favorite characters, BTW!) having a kindred spirit who can share her interests and her career. And I like the idea that Rolf is such a tabula rasa. So if I want to imagine he looks like Christian Bale and calls Luna "moon-maiden," it can be so until JKR says otherwise. :-)
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )