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(Nov. 14, 2007)

          So 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 we?
           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 acceptance."
            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, pop-culture-conditioned 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 acceptance:
         "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 brotherhood, baby.
          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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