I performed this at the National Young Writers Festival (Australia) and I was really proud of it and it seemed well received so I thought I’d record it!
Jk Rowling walks into a bar and this time she wants you to know that actually, Hagrid was sapiosexual and also rollerblading in every single scene, it just wasn’t explicitly in the text or relevant to Harry’s journey.
My beef with Jk Rowling is almost 20 years in the making. My beef with jk rowling is getting so old it’s almost but not quite due for a wholly performative unnecessary gender bent remake in Hollywood. But my beef wasn’t always a beef.
Believe it or not, there was a time when I worshipped this misguided wealthy white woman. A time when a much smaller glasses wearing, bullied for being class know it all, who was a hideously insecure version of Merryana found solace in the writings of jk rowling and the adventures of her gangly golden trio. I still do, really, find a home in that story.
Sure, the only characters of colour were underdeveloped third tier characters and sure somewhere in the back of my head Snape’s death stunk of unjustifiable male Redemption, sure I only needed one hand to tally up the scenes where two women talked to one another, sure it bugged me that Hermione’s two best friends almost constantly under-appreciated her and that she was cleverer and more powerful than any other character in the story yet she was just the best friend. Sure it bugged me but it’s fine I guess……
But then she got Twitter
There are two things jk does on twitter that make me want to throw myself into the sun. The first is her constant retconning of her own books. Her constant revising of details in the hp books that don’t exist. Granted, this is not something she exclusively does on twitter. She’s always done this. She revealed 3 months after DH was published in 07 that Dumbledore was gay but celibate which is the literary equivalent of shouting DUMBLEDORE IS GAY after you’ve locked yourself out of the house and the house party is over. since she joined Twitter has revealed such vital post-published details such as why Hagrid can’t produce a patronus, moaning myrtles real name, and my personal favorite that Remus’ werewolfness was not only a metaphor for AIDS but Lupin himself was a quote “ex-gay” because he has had relationships with men before he met Tonks which are all the literary equivalent of the person who used to own the house you rent shouting about the lap pool in the backyard when you know the yard is the size of a maccas toilet cubicle.
The second thing jk rowling does on twitter is her so-called takedowns. We’ve all seen jk rowling literally make headlines for telling a Donald Trump supporter, or even trump himself… Wait for it… Stupid. These things in isolation don’t sound bad, but in the case of JK Rowling, they’re entirely performative.
Jk Rowling walks into a bar bragging about her LGBT characters and how silly we all were not to see her non-existent wokeness. While also reassuring audiences that her latest series of hp films designed to explore the character of Grindelwald and his demise at the hand of Dumbledore will not explore dumbledores and g’s romantic relationship. You know that thing that she bragged about for the last 10 years? The thing that makes up a fundamental part of their conflict?
JK Rowling walks into a bar and couldn’t possibly be racist because she has maybe 5 whole non-white characters in her books. Two barely speak. One is Chinese with two Korean last names for a name and one, she reveals exclusively this week is a cursed shapeshifter who is a snake that lives in a cage and eventually becomes a subservient slave to magical Hitler until she is beheaded. And don’t even get me started on her reimagining of the population downtown 1920s NY. No black ppl? During the Harlem Renaissance era? Sounds about white.
It hurts kind of, I guess, when you realise that the woman who occupied so much of your aspirational space for so long thinks of a non-white, not straight gal like me as a footnote that doesn’t even make the shitty film adaptation.
There isn’t a word for it, really. What do you call the grief over the death of the respect you held for someone responsible in no small way for who you wanted to be?
JK Rowling walks into a bar and lowers it every time she opens her mouth.
As for her Twitter takedowns?
Jk can sass fascists, misogynists, rapists online all she likes, but when she made the creative decision to keep known biphobic domestic abuser Johnny Depp in her production because what happened between him and amber heard was a quote “private” matter. Well…
What makes all this even worse is they the fantastic beasts movies aren’t even that good??? At least the hp series for all its issues was still a damn good story but lemme tell u when I discovered there was gonna be not one, not two not three not four but 5 of these fantastic beasts nonsense I went into mourning for the two and half hours I invested in it to begin with.
I’m not ungrateful though
JK Rowling and her white upper-class homophobic footnote nonsense taught me a lot about what kind of writer I actually want to be. When I eventually write that novel I’ll include everything. If I’m privileged enough to gain fans I’ll respect them and listen to their critiques.
JK Rowling walks into a bar and keeps tripping over it, it’s really that low. But I’ll keep my bar a bit higher.