Tuesday, February 4, 2014

J.K. Rowling, Bruno Mars Under Fire

Articles written by George Stefano Pallas.  Excessive quotations, run-on sentences, bad pop-culture references, and failure to get to the point in a timely manner expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect nor should be construed as those of the Author.

Fans Tell J.K. Rowling To Silencio On Potter

Rowling says, “Now that’s just wrong.”

We muggles have a bad habit of becoming inextricably, hopelessly devoted to our favorite fictional characters.  Often times, the most devoted among us are the same ones who gave these characters life in the first place.  The question that continues to plague and divide literary critics is whether creation is tantamount to ownership.  The vast majority of casual readers tend to answer in the negative, a tendency that’s reflected in the consumer response to J.K. Rowling’s most recent revisionist comments concerning her best-selling Harry Potter series and what its heroes could have or should have been.

Username “Savy Russ Snape” spoke to The Author’s Files as an official delegate of TheLeakyCauldron.org, a fan-maintained website that’s been struggling to draw traffic in the absence of yearly film events and the effective substitution of fantasy epics with half-baked dystopian romance rip-offs.  “Between this latest statement, too much information on Dumbledore’s sex life, the fake name, and the whole Pottermore hype that turned out to be nothing more than a stupid e-book we’ve already read a dozen times on physical paper, we can only implore J.K. Rowling to renounce writing altogether and take up a different line of work.  There’s a fine line between sharing pertinent or interesting details about the characters one has given birth to through words and being a witchy, overbearing a-hole dead set on correcting all the imperfections in characters one has already raised to adulthood.”

The Sunday Times released a preview last Sunday of a forthcoming interview with Rowling directed by Emma Watson, who nobly tried to portray Hermione Granger in the film adaptations.  In it, Rowling expressed remorse over her selfish and unrealistic decision to get Hermione hitched with Ron Weasley, lamenting her inability to time-turn back and revise that faulty plot point. “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment.  For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.  In a moment of weakness and blind adherence to my imagination, I sacrificed credible storytelling on the altar of my personal fantasies.”

She quickly backpedaled and offered a weak apology to her fan base.  “I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but… it was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.  Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this?  I hope not.”

Too late for that, lady.  A Facebook page entitled Invisibility Cloak For Rowling has amassed approximately 1.7 million likes from Harry Potter readers over just the last 36 hours.  Their three requests of the author are as follows:

“Hands off your books.”
“Cease and desist from writing novels.”
“Just shut the ____ up.”

Older followers of Harry’s adventures have drawn scornful comparisons between Rowling’s constant changes to her text and George Lucas’ desperate strides to “fix” the original Star Wars trilogy with the latest and greatest computer effects.  Those who remembered watching the theatrical cuts in their youth and film preservations alike decried Lucas’ CG additions and other edits to his creations, ultimately forcing him into retirement over a particularly radical alteration that completely changed scoundrel smuggler Han Solo’s character and arguably ruined the film that started it all.

Lucas still stands by his fateful decision to make alien bounty hunter Greedo shoot first in the Mos Eisley cantina, explaining, “What I did was try to clean up the confusion, and there’s quite a lot, I would say.  Obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t.  He’s really a merciful pacifist at heart.”  So too does he refuse to back from his assertion that he “always thought Ben Kenobi was gay”, which parents found gratuitous and inappropriate, kids found dull and irrelevant, and everybody generally found idiotic and wholly unsupported.

More than just friends at last.

Film scholar Robert Edgars debunked the claim by alluding to the climactic Mustafar duel of Revenge of the Sith.  “When Obi-Wan exits Padme Amidala’s starship and confronts his former apprentice, Anakin instinctively senses that the older Jedi has perpetrated an affair with his secret wife, accosting her violently, ‘You’re with him!  You brought him here to kill me!’ and following that with the now famous accusation: ‘You turned her against me!’  Anyone who contends that Ben Kenobi is gay must dismiss undeniable evidence that he was sorely attracted to Padme, willing to risk his own life in order to save hers, even cutting down his closest friend for her sake.”

“Furthermore,” he continued, as if this much proof wasn’t sufficient, “Ben addresses Anakin as a brother in what seems their last encounter.  This word, apart from implying a purely fraternal and asexual relationship, is significant especially in that it suggests Kenobi’s yearning for a sibling instead of a lover.  Clearly he has never harbored romantic feelings towards Skywalker, or any other man for that matter.”

Edgar’s critical essay went viral on the internet, being read by thousands of infuriated nerds who can’t or don’t normally read, including Lucas himself.  Thus his thesis unfortunately backfired, inspiring the director to rewrite and re-record the pivotal scene for the Blu-ray re-release so as to more clearly convey his idea: “You were like a partner to me!”

Regardless of how old Ben wields his Force and whom Hermione is really snogging in her dreams, other writers have articulated steadfast opposition to the techniques of both these fantasy authors.  None more esteemed than Ray Bradbury himself said, “I let [my characters] speak.  I don’t control them; I simply give them a podium and let them talk to me.  All my good stories are told to me by the characters.  I don’t write my stories.  They write me.”

Pretty astute words from a dead, white, industrious male.  With the feedback they’ve been getting lately, Rowling and Lucas might profit to stop obsessively manipulating their characters like puppets and property.  Or just obliviate them for a while, Jedi mind-melding them away from their consciousnesses.  Something along those lines.

Super Bowl scandal: FCC not to press “fleeting homosexuality” case

For many casual viewers, the most shockingly abhorrent spectacle of last Sunday’s 48th Super Bowl wasn’t Peyton Manning’s intentional throws to Seahawks receivers, an overabundance of kicking scores, the enormously unexpected appearance of New Jersey Governor and rising Republican star Chris Christie at the opening ceremonies, the onslaught of racy or confusing commercials that had nothing to do with their advertised products, or even the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ rowdy, scantily clad performance alongside 28-year-old pop star Bruno Mars, but a seemingly innocent and beautiful gesture of love in the middle of the halftime show.

This is far from the first time that the show has stirred the raging tides of controversy, but some advocates for propriety in family television are determined to make it the last.  The influential Parents Television Council formally asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday to fine both Fox Network and the headlining entertainer for violating laws prohibiting “indecent” or “profane” material in the hours that the game was aired.

Robert Philson, founder and current vice-president of the family-owned non-profit, delivered the official statement. “What happened to us?  Where did we go wrong?  Everywhere we look on TV there’s adultery, idolatry, greed, drunkenness, sin, slander.  I mean, start with homosexuality and basically morph out from there.  Soon enough they’re going to be marrying people to animals on the big game telecast.  It isn’t logical, man.”

Apparently, what isn’t logical is that Mars officiated 30 actual weddings live at the Met Life Stadium, tying the knot for a culturally diverse set of couples young and old, black and white, straight and gay.  Scores of approving young spectators pumped their fists enthusiastically and screamed unintelligible words of excitement as Mars compassionately sang his touching hit “Marry You” from Doo-Wops and Hooligans, which garnered numerous accolades including “Best Song To Propose To” at the People’s Choice Awards of 2012 and conversely “Most Unimaginative Song To Propose To” at the same year’s Golden Raspberry awards.

The PTC aren’t alone in their agenda to censor or penalize events like this that occur during the typically raunchy halftime show, being joined by entertainment watchdog publications like Plugged In and EvangelicalWeekly as well as by radio talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, an avid follower of the football industry who pointed to the incident as another sign of a liberal conspiracy to “chickify” the traditionally masculine sport.  Much to the disappointment of them all, though, the FCC issued a notice late Monday night declaring that they would not pursue charges against any parties involved in the on-screen weddings.

“The Commission already has its hands so full enforcing legitimate censorship, upholding fairness in public discourse, encouraging diversity of thought on broadcast networks, and generally protecting 1st amendment freedoms that it would be very ill advised to divert resources and funds away from its duties with minor offenses by Bruno Mars and other artists, including Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis, Beyonce, Bono, M.I.A., and Lindsey Stirling.  If we were to pursue relatively trivial cases like these, then we might miss an opportunity to prevent or quickly respond to a true national emergency – for instance, someone having a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ and flashing a human breast on national television for half a second.”

The disclosure also stated that to levy fines against Fox for the unforeseen display would fall outside the FCC’s legal jurisdiction, as the Supreme Court has formerly ruled that officiating same-sex marriages on live, primetime television is behavior protected explicitly under the constitution.  In an additional slap to all the families who filed complaints, they argued: “Although we sympathize with the many viewers who took offense at this Super Bowl’s halftime show, we also extend our sympathies to those in the gay community who have endured far steeper offenses and so long felt like they’ve been locked out of heaven.”

The news comes as a victory to proponents of LGBT rights and free speech activists.  George Soros of Media Matters said that, “This episode illustrates a key distinction between supporters of democracy and the far-right.  When a liberal doesn’t like a show, he changes the channel.  When a conservative, for example Rush Limbaugh, doesn’t like a show, he tries to shut it down and silence it.”

In a series of tweets, Arianna Huffington, creator of the consumer-ranked most popular liberal blog and 66th most popular blog behind The Files and other notable publications, praised the announcement and the socially conscious move on the part of Mars and the NFL.
“#BrunoMarsHalftime will go down one of most amazing and unforgettable ever.  @BrunoMars right up there at the top with @Madonna, @Beyonce, @Janet Jackson, and The Who.”
“So happy to see @Bruno Mars using his fame to affect [sic] #progress and tolerance.  No matter who you love, love yourself #JustTheWayYouAre.”
“Don’t worry, Bruno.  #Hatersgonnahate.  You’ll be on #therightsideofhistory someday.”

As a fellow icon in modern American journalism, the Author immediately contacted Ms. Huffington by email to ask if Fox and the NFL sent mixed and/or logically contradictory messages by playing a U2 commercial promoting the fight” against AIDS right before playing a Bruno Mars commercial promoting the “fight” for homosexual unions.  He’s still waiting for her reply.

Update: Huffington responded by asking if the Author was aware that the U2-sponsored (Red) Project is mainly about preventing the transmission of AIDS from infected mothers to newborn children, which he was not.  99% of the time, he’s right all of the time.  It’s the 1% that proves his human fallibility.

Staff postscript: Before you all start hating on George and complaining about how he hijacked this website, take comfort in knowing that the next post will be written by the Author.

Author’s postscript: And, yes, to all you snarky, smartalecky readers, I am aware that Lindsey Stirling made a Bruno Mars video.  How unspeakably foolish of you to think otherwise or assume that I forgot about it.  Don’t you know I would give her all I have even if she tossed it in the trash – yeah, I would die for her, baby!


  1. I don't understand why the FCC would be pressured to respond to a Lindsey Stirling concert. It's not like she's sworn or done anything self-demeaning on video. Or is that just a typo by George Pallas?

  2. Not a typo. 1. The FCC probably wanted to test how many readers are paying attention. 2. Some people are just indecently awesome. 3. There's a slim chance that George was instructed to be wary that Lindsey might be reading his features at the Files.


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