I note that the Harry Potter’s mum has apparently been recently blackballed by her erstwhile publisher for remarking sometime ago that trans-women are not actual women-women. In this age of full-blown deceit and shameless manipulation with respect to media news like this, it is impossible to know if there is any truth to this claim at all. That is, the whole spat is actually just a marketing project for her new book; the whole twitter world on fire is very cheap publicity. Those involved in this world would easily conceive and execute a lie like this, such is their contempt for the consumer public, and especially the fan base. Whatever, it won’t end badly for Rowling. Well, not in this world anyway!
Some thoughts spin off this event:
Firstly, as a deeply opinionated millionairess that harnessed the socmed mob for advantage, this event (if real) could be considered as payback, and enjoyed for the same reason. Good old schadenfreude!
Secondly, there is a very strong whiff of dark arts surrounding this story. Sex change spells; shape shifting, powerful potions, knife-wielded mutilations, transforming enhancements that eventually lose their magic and turn toxic. The invisible social ether full of accusations, disappointments and, allegedly, curses called down on Rowling. There is a sense of more to this than meets the eye, even beyond the probability of this being a black-arts marketing spell. All of this leads us into the febrile, dark magic world she has created, but which is coming out to meet her in turn.
And this reverie got me thinking about the Potter phenomenon:
It is perhaps the last publishing and child reading phenomenon of our age. The way that the characters, actors and target audience grew up with each other gave these books a power like no other.
However, as time passes this phenomena with its anachronistic obsession with boarding school life and magic and evil starts to seem strange. The contemporary and should-be familiar setting of the story is discordant with all the sorcery goings on and the evil backdrop. And the Potter enthusiasts, always seeming a little too enthusiastic for their own good, cult-like even. It’s almost as if they had been put under a spell. And us adults swept along in the mania, so delighted that someone got children to read, that we never considered anything beyond this. Like, for example, that the psychic impact on post-Christian, and thus spiritually unanchored, childish minds of such a world of evil wizardry, is an order of magnitude greater in apparent authenticity than witchy folk tales, not least because of their brilliant movie renditions. These stories that define the Potter generation are not at all like their Blyton-esque equivalents of an earlier age. My feeling is that, having been an avid Blyton reader, that these stories leave no negative psychic residue, I am not so sure about this for the Potter series. One can, of course, easily overstate this claim, but just as easily understate it.
I don’t follow the pop music world, but have noted nevertheless what I regard as disturbing black magic/Satanic imagery and references being commonplace, and wondered about the cultural source and appetite for such. Obviously, though, it’s not all Potter derived, but anything is still something. And something that feeds this phenomenon is to be feared and resisted.
Obviously, Rowling has talent. After the talent, and treasure chests filled to overflowing with geld, comes the hubris: JKR revealing herself as the Bono of literature. And it is in the revealing of this aspect of her nature that also gives one pause. The sorcery seems to have a meaning beyond the plots, a metaphor for something unwholesome that connects all the parts of this mania together. The inspiration inspired to what end, think it if ye dare!
Too, I don’t like that Rowling has not acknowledged what is surely a direct debt to Ursula Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea. Again revealing of something more than nothing.
What think ye?