Why Not to Hold People who You Don’t Know of Esteem

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I used to really like JK Rowling. It’s such a great story, isn’t it? Single mom, pulling herself up by her bootstraps using just her imagination and a piece of paper and eventually making millions, or is it billions?
BUT, HELLO… WHY oh WHY did you have to reveal that Dumbledore chooses a lifestyle I don’t particularly agree with?
It’s never mentioned in the books…
You say you’ll never write another one….
So why?
And why confuse kids any more then they already are?
I was talking to my dad about this situation this morning. He said this is why you should never esteem people who are in the public eye. I mean, it’s true — there are plenty of tales of people who show virtuous characteristics around me. I was just thinking this in church the other day. I looked around and saw so many people who struggle through so much, I was just impressed by all of them. I mean, truly, you don’t know them — you don’t know the whole story when you’re just hearing it on the news.
But, when you meet someone eye to eye who has an amazing story to share, perhaps those are little moments to be thankful for. I have always thought we could learn more about our Savior by watching those around us. I think it’s true. I think it’s something I’m going to try to do more of this week. With REAL people, not those who are most likely to disappoint.
{shaking head}

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  1. says

    okay, nothing a quick google search couldn’t solve. Bummer. I just don’t know what the purpose/relevance/need there was for her to say that after the fact or that it should be at all related in a series of childrens’ adventure books. State of the world, I suppose – unfortunately.

  2. Joel says

    Yeah. Well. She’s the author, and there was some reason she brought that up because of the new movie being filmed.

    But…I agree. Best to learn from the people we really do interact with and have the chance to know.

  3. says

    I both agree and disagree with your comment. On one hand, I agree that it isn’t wise to start feeling like public figures are people you know and can look up to. They’re all a product of their marketing, more or less. I also think you need to be able to separate someone’s private life with their public work. Someone can be a real jerk in reality, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their books or film roles. Just because Robin Williams has a really dirty off-screen sense of humor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your kids watch Aladdin.

    That said, I’m not really upset that Rowling made this statement. An author has the right to write his or her work the way he or she sees fit. What gets me about what she’s done is that it’s like she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too. If she felt so vehemently about making this sort of statement, it should have appeared in the text itself. Yes, you can hum and haw about it being alluded to, but those allusions are pretty flimsy when you get right down to it. Yes, you could argue that she didn’t feel like something of this nature was really important to bring up in the text–but then why would she pull a stunt like this? IMHO, what likely happened is she had stronger allusions to it orginally at some point, and Scholastic or whoever convinced her to cut them out of fear of impacting the sales of the book. So, instead of standing up for what she seems to feel strongly about, she decided to cave in to editors. You can’t tell me that she didn’t have the clout to get it published the way she wanted to. She had a choice, and she made it.

    Does it matter if Dumbledore is gay or not? Not to me. For me, it doesn’t change his character at all–he’s still just as mixed as she had portrayed him, with both admirable and less-admirable characteristics. A lot like actual people in real life. A well-rounded character. And even if she had mentioned he was gay in text, I wouldn’t have freaked out (although a revelation at such a late point in time is questionable at best–one of my quibbles with many of the final book’s “revelations.”) Some people are gay. Fact. Kids are going to find that out sooner or later. (I’m not going to go into the whole “where does being gay come from” mess, because I don’t see it as having any bearing on this issue.) If Rowling had shown a character living a decadently sinful lifestyle–and being better off for it–than that would have been different.

    Anyway . . . I probably need to stop writing now. Hopefully some of this made sense to someone.

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