by RIP RENSE
(Nov. 14, 2007)
Dumbledore is gay. Likes to blow the bone flute. Slip his weapon of
mass destruction into the heart of Baghdad. Well, now, that’s all well and
good, eh? Good to know such things about a beloved figure in the most
popular children’s books---the most popular books, period---in history. So
now when we re-read Harry Potter, we can bear this important fact in mind:
Dumbledore doesn’t just enjoy using his own wand. He’s a real headmaster, if
you know what I mean. Whenever Harry winds up in the Hogwarts office, and
Big D. isn’t there, well, we have a pretty good idea what he’s up to, don’t
It got me to wondering. . .Was Micawber gay? Falstaff? Was the
Wizard really a wiz of a wiz, as ever a wiz there was, or was he playing
wizzer games with other wizards? Tin Man and Scarecrow were never seen with
hot babes on their arms. Polonius? Neither a borrower nor a lender bi?
Dracula sure didn’t distinguish between men and women, when it came to a
ripe neck. How ‘bout that Winnie the Pooh? Coded, heh heh, invitation there?
Maybe he was getting it on with Eyeore, which might account for the donkey’s
generally sour frame of mind. The Scarlet Pimpernel? Are you kidding?
JayKay Rowling had an
agenda coursing through the Potter books, and it wasn’t just to tell
compelling stories. Harry’s caretakers, the Dursleys, are straight from WASP
hell, living essentially to eat, emit gas, watch TV news and impotently
express discontent---you know, The American Way. Elected officials and
leaders are generally just this side of the Medicis and Borgias, even Adolf.
The preposterousness of racism is a major, heavy-handed motiv. Oh, and cake
and pie are really, really good.
Harry and his friends, though, are living lessons in loyalty,
friendship, comraderie, bonhomie, principle, courage, creativity, love, and
other qualities that make you think promptly of Dick Cheney. They also learn
that life is slightly less fair than a race against Marion Jones, or
pitching against Barry Bonds. That it is full of things even more terrifying
than “Dancing With the Stars,” Scientology, and Donald Trump. That nice
people die horribly for no good reason, and rotten sons-of-bitches (and
daughters-of-bitches) live charmed lives of wealth and fame, especially if
they cheat and lie and get their teeth whitened.
These lessons are good, and very much needed today, even if they
ultimately lose credibility with Rowling’s happily-ever-after implication
that principle, love, courage, etc. triumph, and are well rewarded---and
that rotten sons-of-bitches wind up rotting in hell, or on Larry King Live,
whichever occurs first. But you know, somebody has to offer an alternative
to the Democraps and Repugnicans, so that’s all right.
Dumbledore: "Did you bring the Astroglide?"
But now JayKay has come out of the closet, so to speak, with a new
bit of her agenda. The bit that wants to get across to the world, or at
least the Mormons, that some fine people in positions of authority and
achievement---people blessed with enormous wisdom, ethics, and moral
judgment---enjoy a little rumpypumpy, with their own sex. That’s right---not
only Repugnican senators, but persons of goodness and accomplishment.
JayKay, thou hast sinned! Literarily, anyhow. For an author to
reveal a mysterious character’s innermost nature, and nail it down, hard and
fast, so to speak, is against the first law of spilled ink. You just don’t
do this, ma’am. You leave interpretation to the readers---not to keep them
guessing, but to keep the characters interesting, multi-dimensional, ever
open to conjecture. Taking Dumbledore out of the closet (that no one knew he
was in) serves what purpose? It does not expand or enrich the character any
more than saying that Harry enjoys stamp-collecting. None of Dumbledore’s
actions or behavior is in any way amplified or colored by knowing that he is
gay. It’s of no importance. It’s superfluous. Like the previous sentence.
But Rowling didn’t do this for literary reasons,
she did it for political ones. She is making the case that gay people can be
just as grand as any other wizard. What’s wrong with that? Here’s one thing.
Question: what do gay people---well, sane gay people---covet more than
anything? To not be assessed by their sex habits. To be evaluated entirely
on the merits of their behavior, achievement, character, and okay, maybe
taste in footwear. Their style of sexual frolicking should be incidental, if
not irrelevant. This is the ideal, the repulsive Saturnalia of “gay pride” parades
notwithstanding, yet Rowling has engaged in greater violation here than date
night at the bathhouse. She has attempted, after the fact, to make
homosexuality important to the characterization of Dumbledore, with nothing
in the books to justify why it would be important. It adds zip. Not even to
the peculiar friendship he had as a young wizard with that other wiz-kid, Grindelwald. Men can be friends with other men without manhandling their
mutual manliness. In short: Dumbledore didn't make anything out of it, so
why should Rowling?
What we really have
here are culture wars being fought out on the pages of what is
technically children’s literature, and that’s a crime. Why should children
be subjected to this controversy? Why should children have to think about a
wonderful, magical wizard in books they love being gay? Why should children
understand what it even means to be gay? Why should they have any
understanding of heterosexual relations, let alone homosexual relations?
Well, they shouldn’t, of course. But then, why should children grow up being
conditioned to become consumers from the time their eyelids flicker open to
reveal the great big beautiful wide. . .TV screen? Why should they grow up
playing video games depicting decapitation and mass murder, watching movies
exalting "gangsters," listening to rap “music” about “ho’s,” “bitches,”
“niggers,” anal rape, seeing pornography on the PC? Hey, that’s all just
good clean cultural fun in the 21st century, kids.
|I tell you, I hear this kind of thing, and I
want to turn in my human badge.
Which brings up insane gay people---the batshit crazies who would have
homosexual sex acts graphically explained in elementary school classes, etc.
Here is what one such citizen had to say about the news that Dumbledore is
light in the loafers: "It's good that children's literature includes the
reality of gay people, since we exist in every society,” said gay rights
campaigner Peter Tatchell. “But I am disappointed that she did not make
Dumbledore's sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book. Making it obvious
would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and
Yessirreeee, Bob, er, Peter! Put sexually explicit gay sex in
children’s books! That’ll send a powerful message! Sho nuff! And Albus
Dumbledore slipped his hand down the drawers of Grindelwald, and felt his
fleshly wand stiffen. “Did you bring the Astroglide?” said the young wizard,
dropping his drawers and bending over. “Come on, do it to me like a
muggle!” Yeah, that’ll “enlighten” the kiddies. Yowzah. No wonder there
is a “Christian” Right. And then we have the drooling,
parrot squawk of Potter director David Yates when Jaykay informed him of
Dumbledore’s poofiness: “I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’”
Let’s ignore the fact
that the director invoked the idiotic all-purpose c-word here, the USDA
Seal of Approval for fashionable, the verbal Ponce De Leon fountain
of youth, and focus on meaning. Just why is it “cool” to be gay? Does
this mean that it is not cool to not be gay? Does being at higher risk for
AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis C mean you are “cool?” Is having to
exist as a historically persecuted behavioral minority “cool?” Well,
evidently so! As some UCLA students told me, “It’s cool to have a gay
relationship, especially if you’re a girl.” Not since some nutball black racist
college professor wrote a commentary in the L.A. Times called “Beethoven Was
a Black Man” (there is some conjecture that his mother had some Moorish
blood in her background) have I been so stupefied by an assertion. But then,
I wake up stupefied.
Here, folks, is the
reason that Jaykay is using her books to strike a blow, so to speak, for gay
"Well, what does that tell
you about the loving, kind lesbian who just assaulted you in your car?. .
.She’s the type that stuffed ovens in Hitler's concentration camps. Whenever
I hear anyone preaching to me about how compassionate they are, I reach for
my Glock. That's all I can tell you. They can all drop dead."
These delicate, flowery
sentiments were sputtered by a stinky, slobbering troglodyte named Michael
Savage, as aptly named a radio host as ever to have existed. Eight million
other stinky, slobbering troglodytes tune in his "Savage Nation" every week,
just behind Limbaugh Lower Now and Sean Handiwipe. Savage was speaking, or
rather, he was grunting and belching, about an incident being relayed to him
by phone. Seems some fellow was stuck in New York traffic listening to
“Savage Nation,” (a very good idea for hell), when an insufferably
sanctimonious woman approached his car window, and said, “You’re listening
to hate speech!”
So suddenly this silly
woman was verbally Savaged on the air as a “lesbian” who stuffed
children into Hitler’s ovens (!) Huh? What’s more, Savage essentially wished
for her death, and hinted that he might help accomplish same with a handgun.
I tell you, I hear this kind of thing and I want to turn in my human badge.
What more validates that rude woman’s claim of “hate speech” than Savage’s
very quote? How is it that this country allows radio hosts to call for the
murders---murders---of people they dislike? If that’s free speech,
bring on the censors. Well, of course, hatred is big business in The United
States of Amerryguns these days, and most citizens have no compre- hension
of the bone-bleaching shock, emptiness, brutality, and finality of actual
violent death. Killing is major moneymaking entertainment, after all, not to
mention the grease of the Military Industrial Complex.
This is why Rowling said
Dumbledore is gay.
Because this country, and this
world, is full of Michael Savagery. Because it is full of people who would
very gladly shovel up all gay people and burn them in ovens, or who like to
think that they would, and practically declare it on commercial airwaves in
the land that God shed His Grace On. To call up an old phrase used by men
feigning homosexuality, Oh, you savage, Michael! Crown they good with
I don’t know. . .It
all seems to have started in The Sixdees, when lots of lightweight
well-intentioned young people stood up for lots of heavyweight values of the
ilk that Rowling’s books also champion: love, kindness, devotion, loyalty,
tolerance of different races, religions, legal equality for women, etc. It
got all balled up with the seamy side of young kids vagabonding with
abandon, and sexdrugzandrocknroll. The media, which historically tends to be
staffed by inquisitive, open-minded, humanitarian sorts in greater
proportion than the general population, went along for the proselytizing,
self-aggrandising, profitable joyride. It all translated into a kind of
juggernaut of belittling WASP middle-America in the guise of humor (led by
Norman Lear and “Saturday Night Live”), which became the backdrop for the
country committing seppuku over the vainglory of Vietnam. The long simmering
right-wing backlash began with the “Reagan Revolution,” which stripped
capitalism of morality, the "Christian" Right, which stripped Christianity
of its morality, and finally found its full voice first with Limbaugh in the
late 80’s, and then the Internet and the legions of Limbaugh disciples in
our Savage Nation. Today I give you: George W. Bush.
Not even Dumbledore could
straighten this queer mess out. So to speak.
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