J.K. Rowling put some stuff on her site, Pottermore and the perpetually offended got offended. They promptly ran to the nearest media outlet to tell us how all offended they were and how serious it all was. They exclaimed that because Rowling wasn’t getting every little detail right about native Americans that somehow she was some terrible racist, (you can add the rest) person in no uncertain terms.
Now here’s a link to the pieces in Pottermore.
Looking at all four of the pieces it’s obvious that they are, in SF terms, an infodump. This is story related information that an author wants people to know. Frequently, and badly, the info dump will start off with, “As you know, Tom, Blah, blah, blah,” sometime for pages. Rowling is to be commended for two things here. One she published the dumps outside the storyline and Two, she kept them brief. I’m a David Weber fan. While he doesn’t usually resort to the “as you know.” he is the expert o long, detailed infodumps on purely esoteric information. Fortunately for Mr. Weber his fans are all geeks and we let him get away with it and count the quality of his works in their weight in tons. Still the pieces from Rowling were a refreshing change. All four pieces look like they come to less than 5000 word total, yet cover the material well enough that you get a pretty good feeling for what’s going on.
Now Time Magazine is weighing in on how close the pieces get to real history.
Apparently Time has lost the ability to be brief as the pointless nonsense is longer than all the Pottermore stuff, combined. What’s amazing is that all these people must have truly vivid imagination to see all the things they see in a couple of short paragraphs.
As the pieces are as brief as they are, I can’t see that there’s a whole lot of room for any evidence of anything that could possibly offend anybody unless their skin is so thin that it’s transparent. Look we are talking about 100 word or less paragraphs here. There simply isn’t space to say anything but the most basic outline and that’s what Rowling has done. Native Americans didn’t have wands, medicine men used natural materials, skinwalkers. Simple descriptions in single sentences. There just wasn’t space for more detail than that. Rowling is also not burying herself in story elements that she might have to remember later, something good authors do. The other pieces are the same way. It’s a synopsis people, stuff get’s left out. If you want a more detailed story write fanfic, don’t go all pissy on the internet. It’s a story, get over it.
Of course none of the screaming actually has anything to do with reality, the fact or even that matter, Rowling. All this is about is increasing the screamer’s social capital in the circles that matter to them. They know that it’s unlikely that Rowling will even pay attention to them and the media attention gives them social cred.
What these people need to understand is that there are limits to how much the adults will take before the kid gets slapped. And thse screamers are acting like the biggest kids ever. They are old enough to know better and we should stop enabling them.
Frankly they are going around breaking things and people now and it needs to stop. Like the children they behave as, they don’t know what they are doing when they persecute museum exhibits:
And hurt the concerted effort by a bunch of well meaning people to revive a dying industry and keep a culture alive.
Accuse long dead people of racism.
Use a media barrage to stifle Science Fiction fans trying to participate for the first time.
Persecute a scientist over a shirt while he’s landing a probe on a comet.
Persecuting another scientist for sexism that was only in the minds of the accusers.
And on and on. The problem is that these adult children, chasing social capital by proving how nasty they are, are causing harm and destroying things that we need to preserve. If they were effective in getting what they want from Rowling how will that affect her writing. It’s not as if as a level a writer that Ms. Rowling needs to write for money. But those of us who love her work want more. This stuff could stifle the creativity and deny the world any more from the Potterverse. But the people behind the accusations don’t care about that, they just want their street cred.