I am afraid I will be stealing the flame (briefly) from the locally appointed gay issues officers, therefore I should think that an up-front apology is in order :) I considered not saying anything at all, but the hilarity of the commotion caused by Miss Rowlings' statement that one of her main characters in the insanely popular Harry Potter series is gay practically begs for attention. As is the case with many news from showbiz, they only reach me if Yahoo manages to sneak them in on my mail homepage in an attempt to convert me into an average desperate-housewives-and-popcorn obsessed drone (no offence intended :)). God bless Yahoo, they epitomize perseverance. Again, for those who have not had the chance to hear this, Dumbledore, apparently somewhat of a big shot in the Harry Potter books, is gay:
After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."
"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.
You can read the rest of the article on Yahoo!.
What initially struck me as odd was the "gasps and applause" part since much of the audience were parents of Miss Rowlings' main target market. I didn't see the acceptance coming, not by a long shot. What I saw as a more likely reaction was an awkward silence broken by a tiny child voice asking "Mom, what is gay?". The explanation ensued briefly after when I realized that the book-reading session took place in New York, which is known for being rather relaxed about such trivialities as the sexual orientation of its denizens. However, it was only to be expected that there were those whose attitude followed a more common pattern:
"I am shocked and appalled. After hearing this news, my 7 year old son (whose favorite character was Dumbledore) has decided he wants to be gay. Thanks alot JK."
Now, as stupid-funny as this message appears to me, it did prompt me to see what other sentiments are being expressed about the issue. Most of my attention I probably dedicated to those who saw it fit to develop another conspiracy theory, namely, a theory how the introduction of a gay character in what is essentially considered a kiddy book series is a political attempt of liberals (those evil people that lurk in dark corners of your cities and towns asking for preposterous things such as extended freedom of expression and similar stuff) to promote their unholy agenda.
I know that most people inhabiting this fair planet of ours are not too bright. I also know that many of them are jobless enough to spend their time talking crap. Nothing I can do about that, I suppose. Yet, I cannot help but marvel at their imagination.
I fell asleep 15 and 30 minutes respectively into two Harry Potter movies I was forced to see, which, I guess, makes me a not so die-hard of a fan. Still I ask, why can't a children book remain what it is, a children book? Why do people need to read more into things than what is really there? I guess one could argue how politics has penetrated almost every aspect of our life but the level of paranoia that people exhibit (or, alterantively, the level of malice they harbor) never fails to stun me. I guess the acceptance of these things comes with age, but I'm not sure that I ever wish to be content with the fact that people would rather hate than use their brain and understand...
I should also say 'thanks' to the moderators of B92 Blog for extending me an invitation to write around here (lest I should appear entirely impolite :))