Gods, Prophets and Outcasts...Another Harry Potter Tale


Insight and analysis into the fan feud between J. K. Rowling and HP Lexicon author, Steven Vander Ark from The New Yorker.

Add into the mix, Melissa Anelli, webmistress of "The Leaky Cauldron" who has won the approval of author Rowling. Says Vander Ark: “Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling. I can’t blame her for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.” He went on, “I am an outcast now. But I still consider myself a ‘Harry Potter’ fan.”

Still waiting for the judgment from the trial...


I'm feeling sorry for this guy. At first, I thought he was a jerk, taking from Rowling, but then I saw that he researched and archived and indexed (through his site-- maybe others did the work) to create a reference resource to the HP world. And he's been kicked in the ass for it. So the leaky cauldron thing pushed me over to his side, and so I'm buying his book (if ever it gets published) to show my support for friendless middle-aged men who cling to fantasy and still buy action figures (dolls). (- Did anyone say, Iron Man?)

I can't see why Rowling, so concerned about people making money off Potter, went and gave this man so much free publicity. You think they cut a deal somehow? Hmmm. Interesting theory. I should suggest it to some of my students and see what they think. In the meantime, I think Warner Brothers shouldn't be allowed to make anymore more money off Harry Potter either. I say we start buying all the "unauthorized" works on the market and start boycot the films. The stupid dialogue between the characters grates on my nerves. If they bring back Alfonso Cuaron or Steve Cloves I might change my mind though.

The fandom is now seriously at war. Even fans 'kind of' in the middle but still pro-Rowling are calling for some "restraint" where bashing Steve Vander Ark is concerned. In her stupidity and arrogance Melissa Anelli went as far as threatening legal action against one such fan who was forced to write a press release: http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200805/1210548836.html
Meanwhile, the debacle caused a rumpus on this blog:
Personally, I have never liked Melissa and I can't see how JK Rowling respects someone like this. She bores me senseless in those inane podcasts. If Rowling is the kind of person who needs fawning accolytes like these around her all the time, then she must have some serious self-esteem issues.

Does it not feel remotely silly and age-inappropriate to be making this kind much fuss and palace intrigue over a book for people who can't drive or shave yet?

It's like watching people argue who is the "true" heir to Elmo's wisdom.

What's more disgusting than anything is the gang mentality some of these people have. It's like high school all over again. Bullies come in all sizes, packages, socio-economic standings and age-groups.

Hermione won't read your fan fiction. That little weenie that played Potter is not coming your party. Dumbledore died of alcoholism and cirrhosis.

The attempt to make fictional characters live on in your world is the surest sign that "your world" is due for a power washing and new spark plugs. This becomes more acutely true the older the person involved.

I suppose it does seem silly and age-inappropriate to people who have no frames of reference by which to relate to the issues involved. For creative fiction writers such as myself it makes perfect sense.

By the by, Chuck, your statement appears to intimate that there is some kind of law in place, either natural or legal, by which people are suppose to behave depending on their physical age. Personally, I prefer the philosophy: Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Probably sounds equally silly, but it keeps me busy. I learned to play the Nintendo system when I was forty-eight. It's not as easy as you would think for someone whose previous experience was entirely with keyboard and mouse.

Anybody up for some World of Warcraft?

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

I think the Harry Potter books suffer from the fact that they are so popular and they turned them into trashy movies with horrible dialogue. The movies are definitely for kids and teenagers. But if you think about the themes JKR was writing about...her books are actually about serious things too and not just meant for kids.

I also think Ms. Anelli didn't realize who she was picking a fight with. This is an Oxford grad who is articulate and very bright. One Barnes and Noble reviewer gave her book (Prejudice in Harry Potter) a 5-star review and I'm going to buy it. Ms Brown did not say anything against Ms. Anelli to warrant a lawsuit threat.

She actually supports Ms Rowling's right to protect her copyright, but was asking the fandom to tone down its language towards Mr. Vander Ark. Some people actually came out and said they wouldn't care if he killed himself and that's sick. I can see why somebody who wrote a book about prejudice would oppose this kind of behavior.

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