Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ok... so this one has been bothering me for a week now. JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay. I've got issues with this...
1) - it's a FICTIONAL character - so it's not like Aldus is going to come to your son/husband/boyfriend and say "i like your hairy ass - wanna experiment?" It's a character in a god damned book. Why the hell would anyone be upset?! (well, except for the story about the guy with the tattoo... that was unfortunate...)
2) - the books dont actually include him BEING gay. At no point in the books does Aldus do anything homosexual. Nothing like that is described. They never catch him in an airport in a wide stance... no toilet paper stuck to the hem of his wizard robe as he leaves the King's Cross railway station bathroom strategically placed next to platform 9¾... So how, exactly, can a fictional character BE gay if he doesnt DO anything gay... this is fiction people - not reality. A character in a book STARTS on page one and ENDS on page N and if it aint ON THE PAPER then what the hell are we talking about? Sure - the author has a degree of latitude with their stories - especially when it comes to interpretation... but this? The author may have 'conceived of the character as gay' and written it that way - but once its on paper, or film, or vinyl, or canvas, the artist is left with a RESULT. Everlong is a song... Dave Grohl can tell us what he was thinking, what its about, but the song is finished - and what it means to people after all this time shouldnt be affected by an admission that it was all a lovesong about HALO's Master Chief. JK may well have written Dumbledore with the idea that he was gay and had a gay past in her mind but if it's not on paper then it really doesnt matter - it isnt IN THE FREAKIN BOOK - just like at no point does Grohl mention Cortana's unrequieted love for MC in the song itself (unless its in that garbage answering machine playback stuff hidden in the background). Must there be a canon for all this crap? Perhaps we could discuss the time Kirk banged a tribble, or Jesus blew a goat, or how Samwise was a hermaphrodite and used to hit the Prancing Pony on Ladies Night! in full drag guzzling saucers of - you get the picture... a book is NOT FREAKING MAGIC - it's a book... and there's NOTHING more to it than the ink and paper. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - and the mental twists an artist traveled to get to the end product is not relevant to the product. Recently, they did an x-ray examination of the Mona Lisa... and found that originally it had a much more pronounced smile... does that matter?

I just dont see how a fictional character can truly BE X if he/it isnt X in the only place said character exists. That doesnt mean a character must take a crap (though it would be nice if Jack Bauer slept for half a season and suffered with a hangover for 3 or 4 weeks) and if there are never any scenes of Enterprise crew in a restroom that defacto they must be androids from planet Mudd - what i'm saying is even if the character is intended to be a womanizer, or a murderer, or a collector of hello kitty paraphernalia, then how can that be if it isnt established in the book? They're not real... Now - if we're being good Haruhists, then i suppose it could be argued that fictional characters are morphing constructs that can adapt to the wanton desires of an omnipotent albeit irresponsible god... but though i like miss suzumiya rather a lot, i tend to doubt that this sort of finnegan's wake approach to reality is something we want to apply towards our daily 'how am i going to face the cold cruel lonely truth of existence today' world - whether in our actual construct of reality, or that pen and paper fantasy we call storytelling.

3) So Dumbledore is gay... not that there's anything wrong with that... and even if one took personal exception on the grounds of some twisted hate-filled religious screed - this is a FICTIONAL character (much as your god... or do you want to go there...). Like i said - DUMBLEDORE IS NOT REAL... so why do we care?! And - if the idea that an old man who puts on his robe and wizard hat in a book you liked had a thing for polesmoking bothers you... i really think you need to get out more.

1 comment:

fearlessvk said...

i have never read a word of harry potter so i'm a little out of it. i don't even know who dumbledore is. but: was there some kind of speculation that the character 'seemed' gay, which prompted rowling to confess that indeed he was, or did this admission come entirely out of the blue? i'm just curious if there were, like, "hints" about the character in the actual books that provoked speculation from people with way too much time on their hands (like, um, me), in which case the character's "gayness" doesn't seem quite as meaningless a revelation. though in the grand scheme of things yes it's still pretty meaningless.