I’m not surprised that Dumbledore’s outing has caused trouble. That doesn’t mean that a lot of the stuff that is said isn’t wrong or stupid. I’m starting to feel the helplessness and despair that I felt for many months earlier in this year, reading peoples’ uninformed stances on things that they know nothing about and generally don’t let themselves be heard on.
But, you know, it’s Dumbledore. I’ve got to be very careful because I don’t want to set myself up as some sort of Leftist, when Batrock is supposed to be all about good times. I mean, my existence is probably too politically correct for a lot of people already.
I’m not going to cover the majority of what I’ve read, and I’ve dipped my toes very lightly into the jacuzzi of Dumbledore Denunciation. It’s one thing to see a carefully pruned bite of a woman, long campaigning against the Rowling menace:
“My prayer is that parents would wake up, that the subtle way this is presented as harmless fantasy would be exposed for what it really is: a subtle indoctrination into anti-Christian values. A homosexual lifestyle is a harmful one. That’s proven, medically.”
Yet to see page after page of this is disheartening. Also I’d like to see these doctors. How are the fifties working out for them?
Wags have suggested that Voldemort’s creation was at the hands of Dumbledore’s school time abuse of Tom Riddle, and that Dumbledore had indecent designs on Harry himself. Pederasty sure is comic gold! Yet in many places this sort of behaviour is contained in these “jokes”; I’m sure that the less civilised internet frontiers take quite seriously the balance of Dumbledore and Harry’s relationships now.
What actually brought me to this is an article by a fellow named Ross Douthat, where he claims
it seems like a case of J.K. Rowling trying to retroactively bestow a level of adult complexity on her characters that they don’t possess on the printed page.
It’s a big “what” to me, because that logic suggests that we shouldn’t be privy to any of the relationships, be they Harry and Ginny or Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. These are things that just are, as I would argue is Dumbledore’s posthumous bestowed “status”. I mean … it’s something inherent. It’s not an “adult complexity”.
The only person I’m bothering to source is the only person who has said anything worthwhile: Neil Gaiman. I never would have read Douthat were it not for someone having sent him an email in this post. Gaiman’s reasoning is flawless.
You always wind up knowing more about your characters than you can get onto the page. Pages are finite, and the story isn’t about giving you all the information about everyone in it any more than life is.
Thank you, Neil Gaiman. His argument against full disclosure is also perfectly understandable, and Rowling’s new position of being able to offer full disclosure and the fact that this was the first time she was directly asked a question about Dumbledore’s love life.
I’ll ask you not to get me started on the conservative article (I chose not to even name the site) which includes this gem:
I wonder where her tolerance was for those readers who have beliefs different from hers. Where was the respect for them? Don’t they too have a right to avoid and hide themselves away from ideas and themes they disagree with? I guess not.
What’s that term for people who think they know what’s best for others, who are controlling, and seek to impose their ideas on others either overtly through force or by more subtle manipulation and subversion? Oh Yeah: fascist.
There’s so much wrong there that I could essentially quote the whole thing and say nothing in response.
The stupidly funny redemption for all of this comes in the form of the people calling her a coward for outing Dumbledore rather than suggesting a Lupin/Sirius affair that lasted through the ages.
Keep shining your “homosexual agenda”, JK Rowling! I’ll support you all the way … to the bank as the children whose parents have burned your books are forced to repurchase your works.
Is it cowardly for me to not source these people, or to name them? Perhaps. But they wield the power of the internet, and they can tear me down with their relentless blindness. As a representative of the “Boogie Man Society”, I’m going to take exception to what’s being said about boogie men, on whom so much is blamed. If it fits inside the sphere of the arts that I concentrate on, I might just let you know.
Shocking update: This also gives different currency to the turn of phrase “Dumbledore is not gay.”