Monday, 22 October 2007

Why I hate JK Rowling.

Rowling this week outed Dumbledore as being "gay".

Oh I bet she fucking did!

I hate this women.

I know hate is a strong word, but I do. I am not proud of it either. It's just how I feel about the chick. Why? Let me explain...

Let me start by saying that first and foremost I consider the Harry Potter works bordering upon plagiarised. Where from? Lets start with Lord of The Rings (monsters, high concepts), Star Wars (basic plot), The Worst Witch (downtrodden kid; nerdy kids love to empathise, something I am sure was a major element in Rowlings cynical plan right from the outset) - mix in Terry Pratchett's entire 'Unseen University' concept, for a summary of that check out Page 170 or there abouts in his novel "Equal Rites" - or as I like to call it 'the entire concept of Hogwarts' - I've shown this to people and they've been literally gobsmacked by the similarity's.

Not as gobsmacked however, as I am sure Pratchett was when he first read or heard about Potter though - the man is the king of paper back fantasy tat (with a hat) for decades and along comes Rowling - her literary guns (such as they are) aimed at kids and loaded with material Hollywood can churn out in movie form with relative ease. Played for and got, score one Rowling.

Pratchett did come back rather well with the 'Wee Free Men' et al., but at least those books teach some interesting lessons to kids - and were not motivated soley by greed as I am to explain I feel Rowlings writting is. I get the feeling they were more of a two fingers up to Rowling than a ploy to make the man more money. Score one Pratchett, congrats on the film deal.

Back to the point at hand, my feelings on Rowling's writing skill is summarized thus; if she handed the Potter books in as original works to many universities in the United States and they were thus entered into the national plagiarism database, quite simply they'd come up as plagiarised - if we must judge them on their own merit, they are at best completely derivative.

They are also written extremely badly. Like my articles. Not that that bugs me as much as the the non-owned up to plagiarism - if she admitted that a lot of her work was a homage to this or that, it wouldn't be so bad in my eyes - just extending a fine fantasy tradition (everyone owes something to Tolkien), but the arrogance of the women seems to think she can erase much of that which came before Potter - placing it in prime market position as the benchmark for all fantasy fiction (especially to those who hadn't read the genre previous to Potter), something which is put plainly; a lie. That gets my goat.

The Potter books do make great movies, I won't argue there - but they were supposed to. I am positive that was part of her financially driven money making plan in the first place!

Harry Potter was quite obviously her meal ticket, a function for which the formulaic epic has performed exceedingly well - however, despite this unprecedented and more importantly planned for, marketed for and written for, success, Rowling will still do almost anything to get some extra attention to her franchise.

"Dumbledore is gay," she says, adding he was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, who he beat in a battle between good and bad wizards long ago.

Ok, If that's the case, and it's not, as I suspect, something you've just thought will get you some headlines and maybe a whole new demographic (Rowling appears to live for that) post the release of the final book, why the fuck was it not mentioned in the books?

Either Rowling,

a) you are making it up as you go along, and you thought this'd get some attention for you, and it is thus part of your overall cynical marketing plan.

or

b) you were too afraid to put a gay guy in a kids book for fear of certain more conservative interest groups going mad and boycotting your books (they would have, and they would have done it hard) - something you don't have to worry so much about now, because you have more money than God.

or

c) You planned to wait until every child who was going to buy all of your books had done, before announcing that one of the main characters was gay, and thus opening the franchise to a whole new market, ie. the gay community.

Which one of these people do you want to be Rowling? They are all pretty shitty.

Rowling is quoted as saying "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy". Yeah sure, right, you didn't think that would make a bit of an impact? Stop playing dumb - this was yet another cunning marketing ploy. You're brilliant, I admit it, but you are too sly for even me luv...

Now the gay community will feel obliged to support her - the pink lobby now on board, is Rowling going to make a bid for real world power or what?! Seriously. Using fringe groups to expand your demographic influence is cynical beyond belief.

"Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the news about Dumbledore and said: "It's good that children's literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society."

Pete, while I support your sentiment, gays are not "Jedi" or some secret society. "Existing in every society" is a bit of a dramatic way of saying some guys and gals have always liked guys and gals.

Perhaps he got caught up in the mysticism of Rowlings constructed, well arranged and marketed, magical world?

Just watch her the next time you see an interview. She hates kids - I think she even admitted that in an interview. She just wanted to get paid. She constructed, from bits of other stories - other peoples work, a plot and characters to facilitate this nefarious goal.

And that, is why I hate her.

She did it for the money, not for the drama, not for the story, not even for the kids. And I think if you are gonna write a kids book, you should probably, morally, have them in mind.

Not your bank balance.

You'll end up giving out a very twisted messege when they find out the person who wrote their heroes did it for the cash.

23 comments:

theJwac said...

Good points, all of them. I still like the books.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree about the plagiarism. However, the other points you bring up are definitely on the money (as is ROWLING, humping furiously)

jmcfarl3 said...

i came to the same judgment. pretentious bitch

Pat said...

Can I tell you how much I HATE it when someone uses an apostrophe to denote a plural? I excused it the first time you did it, but then you wrote "university's" and "hero's." UNIVERSITIES and HEROES, dude, UNIVERSITIES and HEROES. You write like a fifth grader.

Other than that, though, a good article.

A Digital Nobody said...

Pat: I was ill that day at school. Also, I can't afford a proof reader. Volunteers? :P

Anonymous said...

The plot of Star Wars was ripped from Wizard of Oz, and if you really want to get technical about it, the basic plot stems from a millenniums-long mythical tradition in tribes where the family unit centers on the mother's brother.

Cultural anthropology, ftw.

alloverbodyspray said...

Oh no, how dare she seek profit?

Welcome to capitalism, live long and prosper (or don't, I don't really care as long as you don't dick around with my bottom line).

Anonymous said...

my god, are you bitter

Sir Kyle said...

All of these stories come from a shared beginning (Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, etc.). Read Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces" to really blow your mind. Good article though. Totally agree with your assessment of her motives behind her actions, though only she knows for sure the truth.

Anonymous said...

I think the key point here has to be the "outing" of one of the characters. The plagiarism claims are a tad weak. (not strictly untrue, however)

I agree that a gay character in a children's book is a positive thing but when there is no mention of his sexuality through the entire SEVEN book series and then the author announces it afterwards, it can only be to try and grab a few headlines or bring in some new fans.

If she's wanted to support the Gay community she'd have put reference to his sexuality in the book.

George Lucas should announce that Obi Wan was gay also.

Anonymous said...

Well, considering a woman wrote books about a kid named Larry Potter who interacted with "Muggles" several years before Rowling, and also considering that Harry Potter Jr. is the name of the protagonist of Troll, as well as lady who wrote a book called "The Secret of Platform 13" about a kid who "belongs to the magical world but is raised in our world by a rich family who neglect him and treat him as a servant, while their fat and unpleasant biological son is pampered and spoiled." Sounds rather familiar to me.
Rowling isn't talented, but is certainly cunning and a good business-woman.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, but I reckon you'd sell your soul to be as successful as her.

Deborah said...

Your comments are "derisive." However, the book is "derivative." Good points -- I'm highly skeptical of book marketing schemes these days anyway, and I am a librarian!

Anonymous said...

On the issue of plagiarism. look at "The Books of Magic" a comic book series by Neil Gaiman. The main character is a kid with mussed up hair and glasses who finds out that he's destined to be the greatest wizard in the DC comics universe. He also has a pet owl. On the positive side though I did enjoy the books and it got a lot of kids into reading which is never a bad thing

Anonymous said...

Plagiarized is very strong, but hackneyed and derivative, absolutely. This Dumbledore is gay crap is strictly meant to provoke. She is either kissing up to a certain demographic, or she just didn't have the guts to put a gay character in, so she decided to make one gay. Your commentary was/is spot on.

barryqut said...


The Potter books do make great movies, I won't argue there - but they were supposed to. I am positive that was part of her financially driven money making plan in the first place!


Yah. as any screenwriter will tell you, the best books to adapt for the screen are 1000+ pages long.

Anonymous said...

Yah. as any screenwriter will tell you, the best books to adapt for the screen are 1000+ pages long.

1) I think he was referring to the simplistic and formulaic structure of the books. Additionally, whenever I tried to read one of the books, it did feel like I was reading a screenplay (albeit an extremely long one)

2) None of the books were 1000 pages.

barryqut said...

eh, simplistic has nothing to do with it. a complex short story makes a better film than a long simple one.

sure, 759 pages instead of 1000.

Technically though, Deathly Hallows was released in a version that was 1000 pages long.... the Braille version.

theupliftmofopartyplan said...

i dont care if she writes bullshit cause her target audience is fucking retarded. she doesnt need the 16-20+ market to read her books right now, and her work's not gonna be around for too long (please god). what does piss me off is that this irritating bitch is trying to hold on to the same batch of kids by making the characters grow up. i avoid kids' movies like rape and dont wanna blow money on the books but from the promos i saw her whole storyline's gone from magic fairy land to confusion about sexuality and making out. whats next? harry potter and the magical rimjob?

Cupcake Messiah said...

Ok I agree that JK is a cunt for announcing Dumbledore is gay AFTER the publication of all her books. Total marketing bullshit liberal propaganda. If she really cared about gay rights she would have told us in the first book.

BUT Plagiarism? Ok, I can definitely see the parallels (you even neglect to mention other children's fantesy books like The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and another series that is so obscure even a total nerdzord like me can't remember it...) But that's more or less what literature is based on. We could say she even ripped shit out of Beowulf or Gilgamesh but any thing you say will Rowling and her supporters can cite as "An Influence". Writing books isn't solely creating new ideas. It could also be combining old stories and making a refreshing stolen soda of types. You also neglect to mention that, for their lack of ideas and pandering to the largest demographic, the Potter books are pretty well written. Especially for kids books. The series may not be definitively the best, but it does have it's own Literary Merit.

john said...

Quit yer whining.
If it's plaugerism you're after go have a look at eragon.
I feel almost as strongly about that crap as you obviously do about potter.

Anonymous said...

All of you except for Sir Kyle: archetypes. Look it up. It has little to do with plagiarism.

As to the gay Dumbledore issue, Rowling was eventually going to divulge the information, but wouldn't dare do it while the series was still running since the U.S. was her prime source of buyers--the money being made off the series would've been gutted overnight had she mentioned anything before book seven's release. Natch, seeing as how she sort of casually tossed it out there (re-read the BBC article; even the "Well if you wanted to know so badly..." comment afterwards is flippantly playing off the audience's reaction), she knew that she didn't stand to lose much or even anything.

And then there's the gay rights heralding, what with the Stonewall guy's comment of "there's no limit of what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster." Citing the apparent speculation made by fansites, anybody who gave enough of a damn to analyze Dumbledore's position in the series, both present and his past, could've discovered the fact and at least attempted whistle-blowing the idea instead of mulling it over (because everybody's so dedicated to their own cause, eh?) and waiting until Rowling media-whored one of her own characters out through an obviously controversial demographic, not only putting the idea into peoples' heads to go back and re-read the series to see how this new development affects the overall story, but perpetuating her own image as an author through a bullshit trick-up-the-sleeve media tactic.

I can't believe I have to get frustrated about this sort of thing...

SME said...

Oh come now, borderline plagiarized? The HP saga is just in the tradition of some classic literary genres: boarding-school (Tom Brown's School Days, Stalky & Co.) trod-upon-orphan-makes-good (Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist), and of course marginally-talented-woman-becomes-unfathomably-rich-from-novels-that-people-will-forget-about-in-100-years (Jacquelyn Susann et. al.)

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