Can't Spell Dumbledore Without It
26 October, 2007 - 16:54 — Bryan Lambert
Memo to Jeffrey Weiss: YOU ARE DUMB.
It was inevitable, really. As soon as J. K. Rowling announced to the world via a book tour stop that Albus Dumbledore was, in the vernacular, a gay homosexual, wheels were set in motion.
The turning of those wheels would lead to many, many stupid things being sent out into the public sphere. And with a pile of stupidity that large, someone was bound to beat the odds and crack the threshold for YAD's sublime, albeit fickle, attention.
To be even franker than usual, I couldn't give two of someone else's shits about anyone actually upset about Dumbledore's sexuality, at least from a moral turpitude standpoint. He's already a pagan warlock with a history of child endangerment - the small number of people who could overlook that, but be pushed over the edge by a retroactive outing can safely fuck off without any help from yours truly.
Jeffrey Weiss, however, is a problem. Because his outrage is rooted in the depths of Bad Nerddom. And unlike most Bad Nerddom, it's not confined to the message boards and comic shop back rooms that are its natural habitat. No, in a horrific case of nerd mainstreaming, we've got an entertainment writer for the Dallas Morning News sounding like Harry Knowles after a three day Red Bull bender. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"But telling us that Dumbledore is gay, as you did last week? Why would you do that? As a fan, I can understand both the authorial impulse and the public interest. As a reader, it's making me nuts."
First, Weiss deprives me of a perfectly good testicle joke by not going with the more traditional "driving me nuts". And second, he's got his roles completely backwards. A reader would be the one to understand authorial impulse. It's the fan in him who's got his panties in a twist. Case in point:
"Jo – can I call you Jo? Like all of your myriad fans, I've spent so much time exploring the children of your mind over this past decade that I feel we are friends. You lived with Harry, his friends and his foes for so many years. You birthed them, shaped them, honed the fine details of their existence. And you thought long and hard about exactly which of those details were so important to the story that you would include them in the books. For all of those years, until those books were published, the characters and settings were yours to command and control. But then you let them go. And speaking for all of your happy readers I need to tell you: Now they are ours."
NO THEY FUCKING WELL AREN'T. They're still hers. And you're not her friend. You're the creepy dude she's forced to interact with on these book tours. She tolerates you because you have collectively given her vast sums of money, but all you bought were the books, not the intellectual property rights. You're a hobby-stalker. Nothing more. A hobby-stalker with - at the very least - closeted fabric tendencies. Get a load of this:
"Based on what you decided to put in the books, I can imagine that Dumbledore once had a girlfriend or that he was so emotionally crushed by guilt that he sealed himself off from romance or that he was one of those rare men for whom romance never really came up – or that he was gay. I can consider any of those possibilities as I read – or I can mull over all of them at the same time. Talk about magic. Is Dumbledore gay? He is for you, apparently. But unless you said it in the actual books, must he be so for me? Your saying so now makes it harder for me to imagine anything different. Do you really want to limit your fictional world that way?"
She's not limiting her fantasy world, Mr. Magic Pants. She's limiting your fantasy life. Which is not her problem. Dumbledore is gay. Apparently he always was. Your inability to cope is not proof of Rowling's secret malevolent plot to crush the delicate spirits of you and your fellow dreamers.
Although if such a secret plot existed, I do admit my respect for Rowling would grow faster than the Dumbleschlong* at a merman orgy. Because a good solid spirit-crushing is exactly what's called for here.
* Everyone and their gay uncle have been doing "magic wand" dick jokes for the past week. It's phallic. We get it. Move along.